The dreaded IVF 2ww, why this time it's different
So here I am again. The dreaded two week wait. For those who are new or maybe confused or whatever this is what we call the wait time after an embryo transfer until our blood test. Well I should rephrase that, basically any wait time after trying to conceive and taking a pregnancy test. But in the IVF world its really really fucking scary.
For one, I have gone through 4 surgeries now to collect my eggs. For about 2-3 weeks the follicles grow in my ovaries with a lot of help from hormones and shots administered by yours truly until they reach the size of maturity, meaning large enough to hopefully have viable eggs. The bloat and uncomfortable and oh yes weight gain are unreal but we do what we need to do to get these little suckers to grow. Just so you have an idea, most women without hormone help have 1-2 viable mature eggs that then drop each month (ovulation). I had about 13 in one ovary and 17 in the other, so yeah, not that comfortable.
Once these eggs are collected during surgery, we get a certain number of the ones that were good enough to be fertilized and then we hope they actually do so with nick's sperm. The goal is to get them to make it to the 5th day of blastocysts (meaning they've become embryos and their cells have divided properly) and then they get frozen. We also have chosen to test our embryos in the past, so the embryologist takes a little tiny biopsy of the surrounding cell of the embryo and sends that off to genetic testing. 7-10 business days later we find out just how many embryos we actually have. This entire process from taking hormones to getting the final count is about 2 months. And let me tell you, its the biggest roller coaster of them all.
This past egg retrieval, after all was said and done, we ended up with 3 embryos. Three normal little embryos that could potentially be our baby. We were very excited since that was the most we had ever gotten! They were/are gold to us! So much hard work, money, blood sweat and tears (literally) to get these little embabies. And yet the most fucked up thing of it all is that they still had to actually stick to my uterus and I still had to actually get pregnant.
So you see, we've had these little embryos for a long time. Its almost like you feel pregnant because your body has been going through so much change, you have your little embryos but then you actually have no guarantee that they will become your baby. So yes, I'm attached to them, I imagine them in my belly and as babies. I feel so happy to have these little embryos on ice, so hopeful and so proud.
And then the dreaded two week wait comes. After prepping my body for transfer, more shots, medicine, hormones etc, we are ready for it. My mind is ready, my body feels ready and I can't wait to have my little embryo back inside of me where it belongs. Its there, we've created it, now I have to do my part!
So here we are, the two week wait. Only this time, this is my last embryo. I don't have another one frozen to help me rationalize the what ifs. I've lost a total of 7 babies that nick and I have created. We've been able to actually see them all. We've known the sex and we've been so close every time. And while I've done 4 retrievals, for some reason, this one feels like the last one. It feels like my last chance because truthfully I'm not sure if I can do it again.
It's scary to think of the strong attachment we have to this little embryo. The one that we've known since July, the one that's been waiting the longest for us. That's why this is so hard. Its like we already have the baby but we don't at the same time. It's like I know what he or she will look like and yet I try to not picture it too much, not get too invested because well its just scary.
That's why the IVF two week wait is so hard. We can't just try again next month, it just doesn't work that way for us unfortunately.
So as I sit here and think about this little embryo, our last little hope, I know something is different. I'm holding on to so much hope. Im praying this little guy or girl wants to hang on and finally become our missing piece. I'm trying to relax more, to not put so much pressure on the little guy or myself. Im trying to focus on all the good, on the fact that I've done everything I can for this to work this time because at the end of the day, that's all I can do. I've been pushed to my limits, I've become someone I am so proud to be. I've become a survivor and a warrior and I've endured too much pain. But I know its all for something. I know I am where I'm supposed to be now. I just wish I could have that guarantee of being able to one day hold my embryo in my arms.