My chorus line of 11 embryos are no longer lined up in their little dishes doing their song and dance. Auditions are over. Genetic testing was run and in the end we were left with one.
One. Single. Blastocyst.
Let me start by saying, one is all it takes. One is much better than many other people get. One means I can stop having random panic attacks about the possibility of twins. We should be grateful for our one. And we are. We so are. But it's hard to go from 18 to 15 to 11 and end with a single one.
We showed up to the office beyond nervous. My stomach was upset from the stress. Dan and I had spent the entire drive playing the "what if" game. My husband loves hypotheticals, and I love that he allows my imagination to run wild with the possibilities. What if we have 8 left and get pregnant on the first try? Do we want more than 2 kids? Would we donate those embryos to science, maybe a couple in need? Cryo-freeze them and let our children decide what they want to do?
Imagine, if Lloyd and his future spouse struggle with fertility someday. They could choose to defrost one of his siblings, implant him/her and raise that child as their son/daughter. Trippy, right?
As I entered the office, I asked the receptionist before even reaching the desk. "We get anything?" She explained they don't give her any updates on the embryos. She tagged me with a wristband and had me sign yet another stack of paper work.
Then the acupuncturist called my name.
This must be good news! I was set for acupuncture before and after the transfer and was told they wouldn't move forward with the treatment if there was nothing to transfer. Excited, as she led me back the pale yellow hallway, I asked hopefully, "so this means we are having a transfer today?"
Her response? "No news is good news" she said.
No news is good news? I was confused.
In a lame attempt to appear casual, but desperate for clarification, I repeated, "so we ARE having a transfer today," this time louder but with a little laugh over the top of it, as if to say "It's no big deal, it's just ruled the last month of my life, all our life savings and taken my family on a roller coaster of emotions, but IS SOMEONE GONNA KNOCK ME UP TODAY?!??"
She smiled and gave me a nod, which I chose to interpret as a "YES."
I told her I needed the restroom, which was just a ploy so I could quickly text my husband the news. Then I sat through 30 minutes of acupuncture trying my best to be relaxed and pretending to clear my mind.
All the while, my brain was going a mile a minute, guessing the numbers and brainstorming baby names. We have one boy and one girl name set. But with so many embryos, we need more names! I gave my uterus a pep talk about how our daughter Mabel would soon been wombing in there and we wanted her comfortable and happy. I caught myself giggling instead of breathing deeply.
There was going to be a transfer!
Finally, the acupuncture was over. My husband was escorted back to the little dark room and the nurse came in. She congratulated us. The doctor was right on her heels. I heard them both saying, overlapping one another, "you got one healthy blastocyst".
My heart sank. I knew I should be grateful, and I was. But only one? All that work. All those needles. All that money. All that emotional chaos and we are left with one? I was imagining....more.
But it only takes one. This blastocyst could be THE one. OUR one. Before I could ask for genetic details on what happened to the others, he asked if we wanted to know the gender.
It's no secret that I've been hoping for a girl. So has my husband. And while ultimately it wouldn't matter, as long as the baby is healthy, it's still been something we've thought about.
The doctor, knowing how badly I was hoping for a girl, rested his hand on my knee, and immediately I knew.
"It's a boy" he said.
Without thinking, I asked "how many girls were there?"
Turns out all the rest, sans one, were girls. Final score: Girls-9 Boys-2
It seems to be a pattern with us. All three miscarriages have been girls. Of our eight blastocysts last time, Lloyd was the only boy. This time 9 out of 11 were girls. But all our little girls have one thing in common. They aren't viable.
And yet we seem to make these rare Herculean boys. They strut in those little dishes with their popped collars and A+ grades defying all the odds.
I get bloodwork done on Tuesday, July 5. A week from tomorrow, we'll know if we are pregnant.
All I can do is hope that this little boy blastocyst smashes it. That he digs deep and implants himself and decides to stay. To help aid him in his journey. I'm enjoying a few days of bedrest. Just me, the dog, and 10 seasons of Friends.
They say laughing helps with implantation. Maybe I'll try a little singing too. I'm thinking "One Boy" from Bye Bye Birdie.