It’s fair to say that this has been one of the worst weekends of my entire life. What started off as a great big ball of hope ended a mere 24 hours later in a spectacular fiery inferno.
Thursday evening and egg collection is scheduled for the following morning. I’m excited yet nervous, hoping like crazy that all these extra drugs have paid off, that the side effects are worth it, and that we will get a decent haul from the follicles growing inside me. At the last scan there looked like there were at least 11 follicles to harvest from, maybe more. Egg collection is scheduled for 8am which is great as I’m really not good when I don’t have breakfast and an 8am collection means I can have my 6 hours of no food beforehand and still have breakfast at a somewhat normal time.
At the ungodly hour of 7:30am we rock up to the clinic and while I’m getting prepped, hubby stops off at the lab to do his bit, only to come back with an amused but slightly horrified look on his face, “It’s quite an odd experience dropping your sperm off with S’s brother” he says. Argh! I’d forgotten that our friend’s brother worked at our clinic, and it turns out he’s our embryologist for the day. I doubt he’d recognise us, I think I’ve only met him twice, but when he walked into our prep room and started talking to us about my scans and the process for egg collection, it was like our friend was standing in front of us talking about our eggs and sperm – S and his brother are that similar. It was so weird and slightly unsettling. At least he’s not the doctor performing the collection though right!
Into theatre and it begins. I remember slightly more from the procedure this time and am prepared for the drunk feeling afterwards. What’s more, it’s a great result. 11 eggs! Two more than last time, we can only hope they’re of a decent quality. In slightly more discomfort than the last time we did this, we manage a quick shop for Christmas presents before heading home for a quiet afternoon and relaxing evening on the couch.
Saturday morning. We’re both in a good mood and are hopeful but nervous. I decide to make hubby breakfast – a treat for him as I don’t enjoy cooking. Halfway through making eggs and my cellphone rings. Butterflies explode in the pit of my stomach as I answer the call. “It’s not good news I’m afraid” and my world dissolves. Turns out the results are much the same as our first IVF, only worse. It seems stupid now but it really hadn’t occurred to me that that was possible for us. The classic ‘it won’t happen to me’. Out of our 11 eggs, 8 of them are either abnormal or immature, and of the 3 mature eggs none of them have fertilised normally. NONE. The lab tell me there may be a glimmer of hope and that they’ll keep an eye on the 3 embryos throughout the day and will call in the afternoon with an update.
I hang up the phone and relay the news to hubs. Shellshocked we sit in near silence eating our now well-overcooked eggs. I shed a couple of tears, and so does he, but to be honest we’re both so shocked that we’re not really sure what to do. The day is all a bit of a blur now, but we did head out somewhere because when the 2nd call from the lab comes we’re driving back towards home along the motorway. One embryo had shown signs of fertilisation but for some reason only got halfway there. The other two, nothing. That’s it, it’s all over. From excitement, hope, and joy to absolute devastation in little more than 24 hours. How can this be happening to us? Not only is this IVF cycle a bust but we both know, with a similar result to IVF1, that this is more than likely the end of the road of a biological baby for us. I’m heartbroken. It’s a strange feeling as although I’m perfectly fine with a non-biological child, it’s quite a shock to hear that your body is defective and can’t do what it’s supposed to, that it can’t do the one thing it’s evolutionarily supposed to do as a woman. And, being mistaken for brother and sister more than once, my husband and I have always wondered what our children would look like – a combination of similar yet completely different genes….I guess that’s something we’ll never know.
The rest of the weekend is incredibly subdued. We cry, we think, we analyse, we cry some more. We start to tell people what’s happened – although not until near the end of the weekend so as not to put a downer on other people who, with the gorgeous weather across the country, should be having a marvellous break. We start to focus on the next step. And look forward to work to distract us. And then more bad news hits – but that’s another post in itself.
So our dream for a biological child seems over. Of course, there’ll be no confirmation of that until our WTF appointment with our doctor in a week or so but we both know what he’s going to say, he prepped us for this after the result of our first IVF cycle. It’s tough, real tough, but what can you do, that’s life right? Save the Bumble, save the world.