I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday.
Waiting for phone calls from your fertility clinic is very hard. Unfortunately, so many of us know how that feels.
Before our phone call yesterday, I was mostly calm. In my mind, I was thinking for sure that we’d have one or two, or even three day six blastocysts to freeze given the number of early blastocysts the day before. Well, that was my human way of thinking. We waited all morning. We continued our Thanksgiving tradition of going to a South American breakfast place for Bob’s chilaquiles and for my beef soup. I kept my phone in sight throughout that time including during our wait at a very noisy coffee place for my hot chocolate and Bob’s coffee. With my hands full, I still tucked my phone in the purse where it was easily accessible. The phone call came when we just pulled into the driveway.
A very nice nurse told us that we had one embryo that had grown to day six and had become a blastocyst with a grade of 4BB. Four means it was almost hatching. She said the other two Bs are good grades. So this is it. Our expectation/wishful thinking/hope that we would have two, or three, or even four more embryos was crushed. I didn’t ask more questions. I didn’t ask which embryo on day three this blastocyst came from. It didn’t matter anymore. I felt that the less I know the better. The nurse asked if I had made an appointment with my RE to go over the next steps. I told her that we had transferred an early blastocyst the day before. She said, “Oh that’s excellent! Early blastocysts are great!” I appreciated her enthusiasm.
You know me. I always try to be honest when I am here writing about my thoughts and feelings. I was disappointed. With ten eggs, the statistics from our donor’s past cycles told me that we would have about three to four, if not five embryos at the end of this process, especially with 100% fertilization. I really did not expect to have a total of two embryos in the end. But I did not fight my disappointment. My friend L told me that the more I fight it, the more the disappointment will grow. So I was acknowledging my disappointment and had to process my feelings for the rest of the afternoon.
About 30 minutes after we got the news, I became grateful. I was very grateful that little Lucy (our 4BB blastocyst) decided to join us. I know that I could end up with nothing to freeze. The fact that we have Lucy is a great reason to be thankful for. We did end up with two blastocysts. In my human being eyes, this might not have been the most ideal outcome. In God’s eyes, this is the right number. I have all along been praying for a perfect number of embryos. I didn’t know what that would be. I secretly had been hoping for a number four. But I know that God doesn’t work that way. In my human mind, the more blastocysts we have, the more insurance we have. But God has His own mysterious way of working. I was reading Psalm 139 and particularly verse 13. It says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” God knitted us a long time ago. He had planned and knitted my baby a long time ago. Verse 16: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Who is to say that Kevin, the little embryo inside of me now, is not the one baby that God has planned for us a long time ago? And who is to say that Lucy, the little frozen blastocyst, is not going to be the sibling for Kevin? He saw my child’s unformed body and ordained all the days for him/her. Like I said, God works in mysterious way that we don’t always understand. Kevin could be that child. Lucy could be that child. I myself am trying really hard to wrap my mind around it. Maybe this is God’s way of telling us that those two embryos are enough for you. You don’t need more, and you don’t have to look further. And if this works out, we don’t have to worry about donating our unused embryos.
I really don’t know which way it will go. But I am trying really hard to trust.
I also have my weak moments. Later in the afternoon, Bob was showing me a funny video of one of my favorite kiddos taking a flu shot. She was so brave. I had watched that video quite a few times already. However, yesterday afternoon, something triggered in me. Watching her being brave and smiling after the flu shot, I suddenly started crying. All I was thinking that was I want one of those myself. I want to document my child’s happy, sad, triumphant, and naughty moments. I want to share in the joy of parenting, figuring things out ourselves, fail and be successful together as parents. I don’t know why, but the fact that 1) Kevin was an early blastocyst who was probably only a little bit more advanced than the other early blastocysts in the bunch, and 2) the other early blastocysts except for Lucy did not make it make me deduce that maybe Kevin is not strong enough in my uterus either. Maybe if Kevin was left there to be grown to day six, he wouldn’t grow either. Maybe Kevin was not chromosomally normal. Maybe maybe maybe. See how my human mind works? I try to embrace Kevin, but I sometimes feel that this may not work. And then I worry that if Lucy doesn’t work either, then we’ll have to go back to choosing a donor again. My mind is messed up.
Fortunately, my mind is not messed up all the time. I talk to Kevin all the time. I imagine the embryo finding a cozy spot in my uterus to land. I imagine Kevin attaching to my uterus. I imagine Kevin growing and growing and growing. I imagine it to be strong. I imagine it to become a little baby that would grow inside me. I am really trying my best to trust that this embryo is going to become my baby. I ask God to protect it, nourish it, and keep it nice and safe inside of me.
Bob is like me as well. He also vacillates between being hopeful and feeling doomed. Last night right before we went to my brother’s house for our thanksgiving dinner, Bob became utterly frustrated and angry with God that we didn’t have more embryos and that we had already spent so much money and ended up with less than stellar performance with frozen donor eggs. It hurt him to see me be sad and cry in the afternoon. And it took him four hours to process that and become angry. But then, we also should not dismiss what Kevin can do here. Kevin can still be alive and well and thriving. Bob went to bed last night telling Kevin to stay put and grow. This morning he woke up telling Kevin to be cozy and snuggle up inside mommy.
The two week wait is very tough. I don’t feel anything physically. I know that I am not supposed to feel anything physically. Today is two days past. We still have ten more days to go. I know regardless of how I feel, these days will pass. So I will continue to pray for God to sustain this life that is inside me, for it to attach, to grow, to be well nourished.
And welcome Lucy! We love you and Kevin already.