Exactly three years ago today, I went through my embryo transfer. Like all women on the IVF path, I was already fully prepared with hormones. Different shots. Different dosages. Each day for weeks. My body had turned in to a Prepare-for-Baby-Cocktail. My eggs had already been taken out and they had met my husband’s swim team resulting in a few “Maybe-Babies”. So my body was prepared. I was sitting in the waiting area with a few other women. Other couples. I was however, waiting alone since my busband had to stay home with our daughter. Living far from extended family often means you have to make decisions like this. When to find a babysitter and when not to. We had discussed this and we both thought it best for me to go alone. Actually, I did not mind at all waiting by myself. Mostly because I felt like I needed my mental space. Time. To. Focus. Trying to fight off all the worries and negative thoughts that were trying to fill my head again and again. Try not to feel scared. Not for the procedure itself, but for the future. The result. Or more the thought of a “non-result”. And also trying to find out any strategies about how to completely ignore my body for the coming two weeks before we would know if any of my “Maybe-Babies” would be strong enough to cling to my uterus and start the real journey with me. I needed time to gather myself. Think positive thoughts. Because yes, my body was fully prepared but my mind was still rushing.
There are a lot of things I do not remember from that day. Probably my mind has tried hard not to remember to much. Maybe because it was one of those days when you feel completely overwhelmed and you try to stay calm and cool, not letting your craziness inside take over. However, some small details are etched into my memory. Sharp and bright as a piece of shattered glass in the sunshine. I remember the touch of the gown after I changed from my normal regular clothes. Almost a bit cold against my bare skin. I remember watching the blue pattern on the white. Tiny dark blue flowers. I remember that I tried to peek at the other women in the waiting room without letting them notice. And I remember thinking that one or more of us will become a mother, but who? And deep deep inside I was holding my breath for being one of the lucky. I remember that we were taken three by three from the waiting room to another waiting area. Here one of us was called and then transported to the room where the procedure was going to take place. I remember being the last to go. And how nice woman number two was. We spoke. Just a little. Naturally, none of us was in the chatter box mood, but we shared a few words and it actually felt nice. Comforting in a strange kind of way. She told me this was her second attempt. And I told her it was my first. We wished each other Good Luck the moment she was entering the corridor outside to head for her procedure. I was alone. And it all felt very unreal. Surrealistic. And then. The door opened again. It was my turn to go and meet my “Maybe-Babies“.
When entering the room, I greeted the medical staff. Then the doctor and the embryologist entered and shook my hand. Before I leaned back they showed me a photo of my “Maybe-Babies“. They told me that I was lucky because more than four nice looking embryos had developed and then they went over the embryo transfer procedure once more before getting to work. I had gone through a number of IUIs so the catheter did not bother me at all. I could see the concentration in my doctors’s eyes when he watched the ultrasound while guiding the catheter. Then, it was done. The procedure was so quick. One second I stared at the fluorescent light bulb and the next I was wheeled out. To the recovering area. We had been told to stay horizontal for 30 minutes before checking out. So I lay there behind a beige curtain and then the thought hit me. Now I was actually pregnant. No matter the final outcome from this embryo transfer, but right there and then, that very day I was actually pregnant. At least with my very own definition of pregnancy. I knew the embryos were still swimming, trying to find their way through my fallopian tubes, and to some people pregnancy is not really a thing until the embryo(s) is/are implanted into the uterus. But I felt pregnant that very moment. My body was now incubating my “Maybe-Babies“. They were dividing, growing, developing while still struggling on their journey. Alive. Inside my body. At that very moment my body was holding on to my “Maybe-Babies” but something was also growing in my mind. Something bright red. It started as a bud but soon spread its petals like a flower. One of the most dreaded companies while walking the IVF path. HOPE. A companion to which you have developed this love-hate relationship. Because it can keep your spirits up like nobody else. But it also makes the fall so much harder, deeper. However, while resting in that hospital bed I realized that even with my attempts to actively keep hope away, I knew that at that very moment my body was invaded by dividing embryos and my mind with hope. So yes, I did indeed feel pregnant.
Pictures in this post are borrowed from: https://edc2.healthtap.com and http://www.ebay.com