The tenth month in the calendar year has represented several anniversaries. Husband and I met in the month of October and we moved to the States in October. In October 2011, I removed my IUD so we could start trying to conceive, but I made Husband use condoms, least we be one of those couples who score on the first attempt. A year later, we fell asleep early and missed having sex on the night of my positive OPK. I thought we were the most pathetic TTC couple in the world. Ha! Little did I know we were still amatures at that time. Last October I started my first IVF cycle and here were are at the end of October in 2014, preparing for our fifth transfer.
As we arrived at XYZ Fertility Centre, the staff went through the familiar instructions for us. Husband and I both pointed out, not only is this not our first time at the rodeo, we're five-timers! I do realise this is not exactly something of which to be proud. However, I am proud of my pelvic floor muscles, as they came through for me and my mega full bladder. Dr STIUTK felt the transfer could not have been smoother. Sigh of relief. We spent some time talking with the embryologist about our embryo quality. As four of my embryos were frozen on day 6, I wondered if they were inferior in any way. I was prepared to hear the embryologist (donned in her Hello Kitty scrub cap) explain that while chromosomally normal, as my embies are formed from a 38 year old and a partner with male factor, they actually suck.
Well, apparently they are all grade 1, which is they highest grade assigned at XYZ. When they have CCS tested embryos, they rank them by the confidence report of the chromosomal analysis. Although both she and my RE disputed that the day 6 embies could be of poorer quality, the first two chosen for transfer, were the ones frozen on day 5. Interesting. She also described that the process of performing the biopsy acts as a form of assisted hatching. Finally, the the embryo thawed well and the expansion was "awesome". Fuck. I forgot to ask my RE to take the report with him. I made that request last time as I didn't want to add to my photo collection of unfulfilled blasts. He had already left by the time I made the discovery. Now this transfer has to work as I have the picture.
Meanwhile, while I was resting, Husband received a text from Barney. He acknowledged that he felt badly about sharing their news as he knows of our struggles, and he asked how we were doing. He also confirmed our suspicion; they were a one hit wonder. Barney thought it would take about six months and was hoping to enjoy a lot of 'practice'. Instead, he notes he'll be doing a lot of self-practice from now on. Barney may come across as a crass lad, but he is genuinely a caring friend. Husband brought him up to speed. Just transferred a Grade 1 euploid embryo. "Wow." replied Barney. "I just googled what that is. It sounds like you can't get much better than that."
This is exactly what I would want to hear. Well besides hearing the words, 'your beta is positive and you are pregnant.' I've been asking myself would I rather hear the embryologist (in her French accent) explain, 'Your embryos are shit. There's not a chance in hell that you'll become pregnant' just so I'd have an explanation if it doesn't work? Obviously not. It's just that I've heard all the favourable reports before and they no longer mean anything to me. Why should I go out on a limb and let myself beleive that this transfer could be any different? Yes, we made a few modifications to this time, but they were emperic. They may or may not have any effect. We've gone though some many rounds of treatments with the thought that this could be the one! It feels so daft to think that way anymore.
This line of thinking led me to confront another question. If I don't actually believe that this may work, why am I continuing to transfer my embies? I have to admit that after our last BFN, the temptation to just walk away from it all was enticing. If we're going to eventually be defeated by infertility, why not lose on our terms, our command. Yet how much time would pass before regretting that decision? Would the spector of our remaining embies always haunt me whenever I saw children and would think about what could have been? C'mon Jane, you're allegedly a rational person. Somewhere inside that pessimistic skeptical being is a shred of hope. If you really didn't have any faith, you wouldn't got through these procedures.
Yet at the same time, it also seems prudent to ask how many times can we torture ourselves with this process? How many times can we welcome that faint ray of hope, only to have it extinguished so quickly? The smart alec in me has the answer. We're just serving to stay in the match. Down a set and a break, and our opponent is dominating her serve. Defeat feels inevitable. In fact, we haven't even managed a point [of an HCG] during her last three service games. We're just trying to hold our own serve to prolong the game. Maybe make the final score look better to reflect our efforts. Sometimes it's just the message that holding sends. You may be en route to victory, but I'm not going down without a fight. You want this win? I'm not going to give it to you. You'll have to earn it on your racquet. So we hold. Pause for a few minutes as we change sides. Await for our opponent to deliver her first serve. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get our break.