It is not fair. It is hard, and it is heart breaking. Which is exactly why we need to talk about it.
I’m fat and I’m not pregnant, which feels entirely unfair. The hormone injections I have been taking for almost two weeks have worked their magic and I am swollen with stimulated follicles. I am anxious to be put under sedation to lay my eggs. If I could choose to be put out for the entire IVF process, I would.
My husband, Stephen, and I sit on the couch together for the better part of 24-hours post-egg retrieval, holding hands, waiting for the clinic to call with fertilization news. The phone rings. Stephen bends his neck as he listens and I try to discern if that’s a good sign or bad. It’s bad. After one round of IVF, we have only one embryo. There was another one, one the clinic described as “so-so,” that might have pulled through, but it bit the petri dish. We had hoped for a better result. There will be no discussions now about how many embryos to transfer or how many to freeze. There is just one little embryo that we hope will remain viable to implant.
We quickly silence our disappointment because, as we keep repeating to ourselves, “it only takes one,” and we are so very lucky to have even come this far. There is still hope. And I don’t want our one little embryo to somehow sense our discontent. To think it isn’t good enough. Because of course it is. Of course it’s the sweetest embryo of all the embryos.
And so the two of us sit, the dog between us, holding an embryo vigil. We jump every time the phone rings—terrified our embryo has suffered a similar fate as his mediocre embryonic sibling. It’s best to be practical about these things. To not get our hopes up. The odds here are not in our favour, so it’s best to remind ourselves it’s just an embryo and not a baby. Definitely not a baby. We definitely shouldn’t think of it as a baby.
Do you think it’s a boy or a girl?