I so meant to post something yesterday, but, the bleeding returned (it seems to have finally stopped completely and I did speak with my OB and feel like we have a plan) and I was still not feeling great, so I missed the day, but did not miss thinking about how much my life has changed in one year.
A year ago yesterday we arrived at the fertility clinic expecting to transfer one or two embryos. Since I hadn’t heard anything to the contrary, I assumed all three vitrified embryos were developing and was worried we were going to have to decide which two of the three to transfer and that the other would not survive to be re-thawed. I was hoping, really, that nature had taken its course and that the decision would have been made for us.
I remember after entering the procedure room, the embryologist coming in (the same one that had delivered embryo news to us in 12 other transfers but who I didn’t think knew us from Adam) with a picture of the three embryos and explaining that, while they were all still alive, they had not developed beyond the cell number they each had at the time they were thawed the day before. I was in shock and almost instantly numb. What did this mean?
My RE came in soon after and said that when he arrived that morning the picture of the embryos was on his desk with my file. Since it looked exactly like the image from the day before, he went to the lab thinking there had been a mistake and asked to see the image from that day. Of course, the embryologist explained that that was the image from that day and that they had not developed. In recounting this to us, my RE said he had never had it happen this way with all embryos that were thawed. He seemed perplexed and disappointed but not dismayed.
After much discussion and confirmation that, yes, they were all still alive, we made the decision to transfer all three. I was not expecting to transfer three; prior to my appointment, I didn’t even want to transfer two and run the risk of twins, but I didn’t want to run the risk of not getting pregnant at all, either. This was our last shot.
I remember, post transfer, my RE saying to me clearly, that this should not be all doom and gloom. That the egg donor was young and that the original couple did become pregnant and deliver twins. He was measured, though, and specifically did not congratulate us on being pregnant until proven otherwise (something he had done from time to time before). His last words were ‘let’s wait and see’.
I do not use the words miracle or blessing very often because both have religious connotations and I am decidedly not religious. But, as I felt during the transfer of blastocysts that created our first son (and was reinforced time and time again when another 5 OE cycles did not produce another healthy pregnancy), and again when the donated embryo FET was successful, there were other forces at work.
I just put my almost 4 month old son down for his late afternoon nap and to sit to write this post. I am humble and grateful beyond measure and am without the vocabulary to adequately convey the depth of emotion I feel for being on the other side of our family building efforts. It was an eight year odyssey that took, at times, very dark turns. Yet, and in spite of every twist, we are on the other side, our family complete, with two boys to love and cherish daily.
My thoughts are never far from those I know who are still in the struggle of their lives to become parents or add to their families. And, I think often of those who are newly diagnosed with infertility, the whole scary road ahead of them, not even knowing the options available to them or which one will be the right one for them.
And, as news continues to unfold about the horrifying events in Boston, I think of this new world that I am raising my sons in. I want for them what all parents want for their children, a happy, healthy childhood, free from grown-up worries. That is getting harder and harder to do.
To those still in the struggle and those affected by acts of the evil among us, I leave you with this quote from Mr. Rogers about what his mother used to say during scary times:
“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”