He’s not much to look at. He’s sort of round-ish, with a bit of extra padding around the middle. And he’s a bit of a couch potato, not the very active sort at all. He’s exactly the sort of kid you look at and, with nothing else positive that jumps out at you to say, you blurt, “Well, he’s just got TONS of potential”.
He’s our embryo. Our potential kid.
I have to admit, when I saw him on the TV screen in the lab, I felt kind of sorry for him. He’s pretty small. He’s got a lot of pressure on his not-yet-developed shoulders. But the doctors and the lab techs said he’s 6 cells and of “good quality”. And apparently, they’ve seen some pretty ugly 4-cell embryos turn into kids in recent years.
We did the transfer today. Basically, it’s a really easy procedure. They make sure you are who you say you are and that they have the right embryo(s). Then, they use a speculum to be able to see the cervix, and make sure the area is clean. Then, they bring in a syringe containing your embryo(s) from the lab. The syringe has a catheter on it, marked with measurements, and the catheter is inserted into your uterus, up to the length of your uterus (which was measured at the beginning of the process). They squirt the embryo(s) in, and wait two minutes for everyone to settle. Then they remove the catheter and syringe, take it back to the lab, and make sure YOU have the embryo(s) now and not THEM. Then out comes the speculum and you rest for 5 or 10 minutes. All in all, it’s an easy procedure, but I was still pretty sore from the retrieval on the weekend. Things were feeling kind of raw.
BDH and I were still bummed, and I don’t think the staff was prepared for that. They like us because we’re always so bubbly and upbeat and positive, and then I expect word spread of my crying my heart out after the retrieval on Sunday. Suddenly everyone was there, huddling around and giving us support and words of encouragement and positive vibes. There were two lab techs showing us the embryo and two doctors to do the transfer and two or three nurses to help out. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t take that many people to do a transfer of one little embryo. And one of our favourite nurses was hanging around outside the exam room waiting for the procedure to be done so she could chat with us. She was off on Sunday and wanted to be there for us.
Everyone was so understanding. They know how discouraging things have been, and what a long haul this past two years has been for us. They want us to succeed so much. They want to help us stay positive and have hope. It’s just so hard right now. Like our Young Lady Doctor said, who understands so well because she’s been through the procedures herself and she knows firsthand, “You get tired of getting kicked in the teeth all the time”. It was nice to be surrounded by such support today.
And so, to give him some positive karma, we named the embryo Malcolm Reynolds. Yes. Like from Firefly and Serenity. THAT Malcolm Reynolds. Someone who gets the shit kicked out of him time and time again, but keeps coming back. He keeps fighting. He stands firm. And so, we hope that our little embryo will live up to his namesake a litte and maybe stick around for the duration. Defy the odds a little bit.
It’s the least we can do for him. He’s not pretty, but he has potential.