After the egg retrieval, I thought the worst was over. My biggest worry was that my eggs would not be able to grow and now, I managed to get 4 eggs. So the next steps should be easy-peasy.
Well, like every step of the infertility journey, it was damn difficult. Firstly, the appointment was set on Thursday, 9th June. Being our ROM (registered marriage) anniversary, V and I took it as a good sign and reached the hospital as told by 8 45am.
I was excited and raring to go, with a full bladder (also raring to go pee). As a surprise, my mom and sis turned up at the clinic to support me, though I don’t know what support they were expecting to give (hold the catheter?). Them being there helped to lighten the mood though as all sorts of weird comments came out (as usual) and my mum giving me 1001 tips as the self-proclaimed expert of IVF since her close colleague successfully went through the procedure recently.
These were just some of the tips that my sis and I were trying very hard not to giggle about and V was giving me this look saying “is your mum serious?!”
- Don’t walk with your heel.(yes as I should be floating everywhere instead)
- Lie straight on your bed, no turning left and right AT ALL
- Don’t switch on the fan or air-conditioner (does she realise we are living in SINGAPORE?)
- Don’t talk loudly (Those who know me personally will know how difficult this is)
Anyway after giggling and feeling a little loosened up, we were called in to the procedure room where Dr Sadhana would be meeting us. All excited, we awaited her arrival. Soon. she came in and that’s when everything went downhill. So we had collected 4 eggs but apparently, 2 did not ferterlise. We had 2 good embryos which was a good number still (really? did not feel like it). However, Dr Sadhana was not keen on transferring both due to the possibility of twins and the high risks associated.
Firstly, I was gutted. I mean I always secretly wanted twins – kill 2 birds with 1 stone! However, as she listed all the risks, my desire waned. My mum also had gestational diabetes when she carried me, so Dr Sadhana warned that I will also (she used the term 100%) get it if I were to carry twins. So, her suggestion – cultivate both the embryos to blastocysts and transfer the better quality one on Day 5 and freeze the other.
Initially, I was hesitant. Would transferring 1 mean the chance of getting pregnant be lower? But Dr S said it would be the same chances and she would rather transfer 1 than risk a multiple pregnancy. She gave us some time to think about it and we left the room with heavy hearts.
As we went down to the kopitiam where my mum and sis were, I was wrecked with confusion. I really really wanted to transfer both but the risks were staring me right at my face. How could I do something knowing it may cause harm to my (potential) babies ? My mum and sis were trying to be diplomatic, telling me that they will support me whatever decision I take and that it was my decision to take. V, I knew, preferred the safer option as to him, nothing is more important than us being safe. And for that I was grateful.
So, I decided to stick to the dr’s advice and headed back to the clinic to tell her our decision. The nurse on duty told us it was the better decision and sent me to the pharmacy to collect the medication needed for the next few weeks. As I walked down, my heart felt light and heavy at the same time. Light as I knew I did the right thing, taking the safer route. Heavy as I wondered if I would regret this “safe” route to come.
(My mum then tried to make me feel better by saying Saturday is actually an auspicious date and today not so…she didn’t want to scare me so did not say anything earlier but now it turned out for the best yada yada. My sister and I continued our side-glance-eye-roll-hidden-giggle).
I went home and had a good sleep and felt better when I woke up. That evening, V and I talked it out and reiterated that we did the right thing. On Saturday, I will have 2 good blastocysts to look forward to.
Not so. On Saturday, we returned to the clinic. I was a little apprehensive after Thursday but I knew that was the day. My bladder was full and I felt a little distended and bloated. Soon, we were called in and Dr Sadhana delivered the news. One of our embryos didn’t make it. So we only had 1 left. We would be transferring that and so, there will be nothing left to freeze. As gutted as I was, I tried to push all the negative emotions aside. Having 1 blastocyst was better than none. I have heard of so many cycles that had to be postponed as it could not even reach this state.
As the preparations went underway, Dr Sadhana mentioned that she was hoping to get more follicles from me based on the scan results but most of the sacs were empty, resulting in only 4 eggs. I asked if there was anything I could do to improve the numbers but she just said it was genetic and sometimes, it is just like that. sigh.
Soon we were about to begin. She inserted a catheter which was not unlike the IUI procedure but this seemed more uncomfortable as I had a full bladder. It was like when you really need to pee and someone is boxing into your bladder. I grimaced and tried to bear with it – I would be having my precious embie in me soon! Then the TV screen showed a live-feed from the other side of the procedure room where the embryologist was showing me my details and asking me to verify. V and I were very amused at the high-techness and soon, they showed us the petri-dish where there were some black dots. One of the dots was my blastocyst! They zoomed in and showed us how it looks like.
The dark mass of cells at the side would become the foetus and the round membrane would be the placenta. Excitement tingled through me as the embryologist sucked up this little one and carefully brought it over to where I was lying. Through the ultrasound screen, I could see the little needle entering my uterus (uncomfortable and cold) and soon, a little wriggle was released into it! I felt so overwhelmed (positively) and reached out for V’s hand though it was at a very weird angle as he was seated diagonally behind me and I was lying down. After that we just lay there for a bit, while the embryologist came and explained about the blastocyst to us and passed us the photograph.
Soon, we left and I was feeling really really bloated. I went to pee (checked with the nurses and they said it’s perfectly fine) and we headed home.
That was when the torture began. By the time I reached home, the slight cramps which began at the hospital climaxed to intense cramps rivaling my murderous menstrual cramps. I was so so afraid and called up the hotline, but they said it was normal and advised me to take some paracetamol. I did some googling and found that it was common as it was simply the uterus reacting to the invasion. I prayed and prayed my precious embie would stay there despite the hostile environment and swallowed the pills. Thankfully, the pain subsided and I drifted off to sleep.
I must say, V has been so so supportive. He has ordered me to stay in our room and has been climbing up and down the stairs bringing me everything I need and want. He fed me lunch as I was still in pain and did whatever he could to make me comfortable. I am so grateful for him and I only wish I can bear him a child as he would be the most wonderful father I know.
Today is 1DP5DT. In normal talk, it means 1 day past 5 day transfer (as my blastocyst was 5 days old when it was transferred to me). As I anxiously tide through the next 2 weeks, I can only hope for the best and pray for my little embie to stick on.