Saturday, 5 March 2016

The hardest 24 hours

Aion and I went for lunch after the transfer. I had a piece of quiche and a lavender/rooibus tea...and a chocolate croissant, even though the clinic had re-stocked their chocolate squares and I had just had one of those.

Then I walked around the corner for some post-transfer acupuncture. Not quite the same as having it at the clinic immediately after, but I'm sure it was good for me anyway. or not. I was so upset from the news at the transfer that I didn't want to think my own thoughts, so I had the acupuncturist set up the guided meditation for post-transfer (yes, they have them that specific). It was just as cheesy as the other one I listened to once...big bright comforting loving light, envision your lining at just the right thickness and your embryos dividing just as they should...it's a bit much for me, but it did take my mind off my own thoughts. The needles were on the inside of my ankles, my shins, wrists, top of my head and a couple on each ear. Such a pincushion! I understand that is the typical post-transfer protocol. I liked this acupuncturist a lot...a different one than usual because of the time of day but she was really gentle and nothing hurt even a tiny bit.

I walked back to my car and met Aion and was feeling a bit better...for maybe 5 minutes. And then the doom returned.

Aion was wonderful and supportive and said all the right things I needed to hear, but I was trapped in my head and miserable. I googled "cavitated blastocyst" and found mostly nothing. I then googled "cavitating morula" and found out that most clinics classify what I had transferred as not-yet-a-blastocyst. This depressed me even more. I tried to cheer up by reading positive morula-transfer stories, but that didn't seem to work.

Aion had her own appointment that evening. I drove her and then wandered aimlessly around Winners/Homesense for an hour, trying desperately not to even look in the direction of the baby & kid stuff. I bought us a puzzle to do on the weekend, thinking that might be a positive distraction. It is a picture of two spoons with arms laying next to each other on a little spoon-bed.
Isn't that cute?

When we got home and went to bed, I had quite the cry, then fell asleep and had horrible nightmares.

I felt so terrible. I couldn't fathom spending so much money only to have nothing to show for it. I felt certain that this embryo inside wasn't going to stick and then felt guilty for giving up on it, but couldn't bring myself to think positively. I thought about trying to adopt and completely overwhelmed myself thinking about the costs and the years and all the different challenges that I wasn't yet prepared to face. I worried that because we are people with two uteruses and because of Aion's medical issues that we would never even get approved to adopt, let alone get selected by birth parents. I thought about fostering and dismissed that idea quickly as I don't think Aion would be at all interested and I look so young that how could an older child who didn't know me from birth ever take me seriously as a parental authority. And I want to be a mother, not a guardian. I don't want to contemplate having to give a child back. Also, the problems with adoption also apply to fostering.

I kept these thoughts to myself because some things are just too hard to admit aloud at times like that.

Thursday morning I returned to work. Closed my door and waited. Couldn't work. Couldn't focus on anything. My thoughts were all swirly and dark and hopeless. I watched the clock advance minute-by-minute. I had expected the lab to call around 8-ish, like they had on Day 3. Nope. At 10 I called the nursing line and left a whiny, rambling message about needing the results. I also remembered the post-transfer instruction sheet said I could ask the nurses about counseling referrals if I needed. I asked about that too.

At 10:30 the lab called. It was the embryologist who was there for my transfer. She said she was doing well today, because she had good news for me - they were able to freeze 3! Two were 4BBs and 1 was 3BB, which means it was just a bit smaller, but all were blastocysts and good candidates for frozen transfers (FET). I thanked her profusely, hung up and called Aion.

I don't know if I got any words out before I burst into tears. I just sat there in my office sobbing into the phone for probably 5 minutes. I must have told Aion the results at some point, because they were so excited and happy and relieved and so was I and the big dark cloud lifted and I hugged my belly and decided that everything was going to be ok. Four chances overall from this cycle. I can live with that. I can be HAPPY with that.

I hear all the time that this process is a roller coaster. It seems a tired, overused metaphor....and absolutely accurate. Except I usually like roller coasters.

The nurse called me back later that afternoon. Someone else was in my office so it made the conversation quite awkward. I explained quickly that I had spoken with the lab that morning. She offered to send me the list of counseling referrals - turns out that the clinic offers 1 hour of free counseling in the cost of the IVF cycle (but they sure don't bother to publicize that fact)! I've never had therapy, but I think given how hard that 24 hours was, it probably would be a good idea. I have set myself up with a session for Monday.

So much healthcare for a girl who only ever had to deal with the occasional infection. Dislike.


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