I did it. I booked the appointment. It was the last thing on my todo list, so I did it. I had to stop thinking to get it done, but I did it just the same. Then, because it was booked, I went.
My doctors office is huge, the size of my apartment almost. She’s got these white fancy suede chairs and this ridiculously large window and this desk bigger than my dining room table. What does she even need a desk that size for? It’s so big, she has to really lean over to take my hand when she says hello.
I guess that’s where the stupidly expensive fees I’m paying go towards. Ridiculously sized desks.
I’m nervous, because this is the appointment where I say yes to the impending family that I’m about to create. She smiles a lottery winning smile, and pulls out a worksheet that explains The Timeline. When I’ll take all the drugs, the ones that are going to fuck up my cycle by suppressing it, and then make it go crazy…. and when I’ll have scans and the development of my little eggs.
There will be an extraction (she shows a little animation with a wand that will violently stab my ovaries through the wall of my vagina to suck out each little egg one by one. It takes a moment to realise that I’m admiring all the work that went into making that 3D animation look smooth rather than paying attention to the content).
Afterwards, she explains about how we’d fertilise our cache of eggs (we wash them with sperm, or we inject them with sperm… depends on how well they swim apparently) and then we come to a gate.
We can either freeze them (Option a), or let them grow into little blastocysts and then freeze them (Option b). She said that of the eggs we extract and fertilise, only 40% of them are likely to make it to blastocyst stage. We’ll lose most of them, she said. We might even lose all of them (a negative outcome, she called it. When there were no viable embryos for freezing, that’s a negative outcome). That’s true whether we freeze them at day 1 and unthaw later, or whether we wait. Only 40% will make it regardless of the option we choose.
The bonus is that if they make it to Day 5, and their little cells do all that they’re meant to do, they’ll freeze better. They’ll thaw better, and they’ll be more likely to grow into babies. If I’m freezing them, surely it’s better to know that we’ve got some good ones straight up, right? So that if none of my little whatsit reach it to blastocyst stage, then I can do another round while I’m still young and my ovaries still have eggs left to harvest?
I can’t believe I’m doing this. That my thoughts are now consumed about the stages of zygote development (I can draw you the different stages, the difference between a morula and a blastocyst). It seems surreal that I’m debating the various pros and cons of freezing Day 3 or freezing later at Day 5.
This world is unfamiliar and I’ve got my head buried in IVF forums where they use all sorts of acronyms (BFP = big fat positive, FET = frozen embryo transfer, MMC = something miscarriage. Sad face). I read from the sidelines as the ladies from last year cheer each other on with all their highs (BFP) and lows (BFN).
I feel like I’ve just pushed the ‘accelerate’ button on my life. There is this epic since of urgency, and I feel like I’ve been betrayed by my body. That my body had ages faster than I want it to, faster than I’m ready for it to. And in this urgency there’s been a path to give myself more time, so I’m following it. White knuckled on the steering wheel as we accelerate into the big and scary world of IVF, and the world of scientific procreating.
Next up we’re doing all the screening tests. Both of us. Just, woah buddy.