Music Monday: Procedure Music

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, in early November, I was in the midst of infertility treatments. I had, at the end of a depressing IVF cycle, an inauspicious egg retrieval and then an embryo transfer to undergo, and as part of the Feelings and woo woo positive energy la di da around the procedures, they recommended we create a playlist or CD of music.

This music was supposed to be played in the background to help relax you during what could be a stressful and uncomfortable procedure. And the relaxation was also supposed to help improve your chances of success.

As you may or may not recall, my procedure failed miserably.

Now, the impression I got from my transfer team was that most people went in to their procedures with some music with ocean waves and rain playing over some New Agey woo woo music by Enya, or some ballady Celine Dion shit. That kind of thing. Not me.

My whole attitude ran more to the “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around” end of the spectrum. Hey, if I’m going to spend a couple of hours with strangers traipsing around in my ladygarden and balancing my ovaries on the point of a pin, I was going to need to be happy and distracted.

I had some James:

And some Bjork:

There was The Clash:

And The Specials:

Some Depeche Mode:

And a little The The with some boogie woogie Jools Holland to really confuse the med students looking on:

As well as the usual suspects of The Cure and Neil Finn and whatnot that one has learned to expect with me.

So, not so much woo as WOOHOO!! And maybe that worked against me. But I think you have to start these things the way you intend to go on, and no way my potential children were going to start this life listening to some awful ballady Celine Dion crap. Possibly my potential children preferred ballady Celine Dion shit. Whoops.

Oh well. I have That Girl now, and she would have been ALL OVER the playlist I chose. I think, in retrospect, this just proves that some things are simply meant to be.

Blender Head

It’s another day with not much to say. But today, it’s because I’m having one of those days where there’s a lot on my mind — but it’s all disjointed thoughts, swirling around. I’m not making much sense of them, or at least nothing coherent to write down. It’s one of those days when you have a case of (as one of my ESL students used to call it) “blender head”.

(“Blender head”. Heh heh. Still makes me laugh. But so apt!)

Today’s blender head revolves around baby things and adoption things and family things. So here are some of the things swirling around my blender head this morning:

  • I was searching for my Cow Bag (It’s a small bag made of cow-pattern fabric. Duh.) this morning, which I use when I walk to hold my keys and my inhaler and kleenex and whatnot. And I found the journal I started for our baby on the day I found out I was pregnant. I read a couple of entries, and it made me so sad for that woman. She was so full of hope and expectation and she wrote something to her baby every day. She told the baby how she was feeling and how big the baby was and all her hopes and dreams. Of course, the journal ends abruptly around the 10 week mark when I miscarried. It made me cry, and just goes to show that although adoption is going to be a great way to grow our family, the mourning for infertility and things never to be and babies lost never really goes away. Adoption is not a replacement, a sudden erasing of the pain of infertility. It’s just another wonderful path on the road to family. And it drives me a little crazy when people think (with the best of intentions, mind you) that now that we are adopting, that everything is magically all better and we’re never going to be sad about infertility again. It doesn’t work that way.
  • On a side note, I think that experience plus infertility treatment made me a bit better equipped to deal with the waiting involved with adoption, because all the disappointment taught me never to get my hopes up for anything.
  • On the flip side, BDH made me belly laugh the other day when he said he’s quite excited about adopting. And one of the reasons is because when he looks at our collective medical histories — including, but not limited to, asthma, allergies, diabetes, bad knees, bad backs, high blood pressure, heart disease, MS, strokes, and various sorts of cancer — he doesn’t want to pass that much bad genetics on to ANYONE, thanks very much. DUDE. Maybe it’s a good thing we’re not reproducing!
  • I used to resent the way that once many women had babies, they were part of the Special Mommies Club. And as a childless woman, I was suddenly left out of the loop. I wasn’t fit to socialize with anymore. And I was one they decided would be a good choice to work late or on taxing projects at work because I didn’t have a family to go home to. Stuff like that drove me crazy. It’s especially bad on my street. But today, as I came out onto my porch to work, and saw two of the Queens of the Special Mommies Club shouting greetings at each other and baby talk at each other’s kids, I was actually kind of GLAD I’m not part of the club. (It doesn’t stop the club from letting their kids play all over my front lawn or congregate on the sidewalk outside my house, though. What, do these mommies have infertility radar or something?)
  • I read articles in the news, like a recent piece in the Globe and Mail about adoption where they glibly say things like Africa is becoming the new China. And they post quotes about how people are shopping for kids, and how money is the big motivator, and they always trot out the celebrities and act like it’s all a fashion thing. Sure, there’s positives in it. Of course there are. But it’s also got its fair share of sensationalist information, too, and this is what most people seem to cotton on to. And it strikes me how much bullshit these articles spread about along with the interesting factoids. And it makes me so angry that these sorts of things, inadvertently or not, colour the public at large’s opinions of international adoption and fuel their biases.
  • I can hear my lovely neighbour’s 8-month-old twins crying their eyes out next door, and I admire how she keeps an even keel. I used to have such silly girl thoughts about how much fun it would be to have twins (“Instant family!” “Matching outfits!” “Blah blah blah!”) and now I just think how hard it must be. I wish I could offer to help sometimes, but she’s a pretty private person and I don’t want to intrude. And I don’t want to be pushy, and come off like the crazy infertile neighbour desperate to care for a baby. And part of it is, I think sometimes she’s got everything under control, and the crying and screaming are just part of their everyday routine, and she’s coping just fine. So I don’t.
  • I feel like a failure at the mommy game sometimes, because seriously? I just Do. Not. Want. to face cleaning and decorating that room. Am I a bad mommy-to-be? I suppose I am. But it’s the last thing I want to do right now. It just seems so… forced. There’s no baby to prepare it for yet. I am not excited. So why pretend? But then, we’ll get a call from the agency that’s going to smack me upside the head like a sock full of bricks.
  • There are so many things we want to do to get ready for impending familyhood, but this year the tax man has ensured that this will NOT be happening, as he’s asking us for a gobsmacking amount of money when we file our taxes. The tax man is a BASTARD (and not in a good way, either). It’s a good thing our child will be too small to notice that we do not have gates up on our backyard or a finished patio or whatever until at least next year. And by that time, we’ll be able to claim our adoption stuff and THEN? I am making the tax man my bitch.

The Post That Replaces Post #297

Adoption Journey — Day 190

I had this great big long blog post all written up and ready to post. Really. I did. But then I decided to chuck it.

It was a post talking about the fact that our homestudy is finally done and off to the Ministry this week. It was a post full of whining and complaining about the wait, and the frustration, and the unfairness of it all.

It was a bit of a pity party, actually.

I am not really all that bummed, truly I am not. On a daily basis, I am totally cool with all the waiting and delays and paperwork and stuff. The whininess is only here occasionally. It comes in fits and starts. And for the most part, I am realistic in my expectations of the adoption process. It’s the “all-this-on-top-of-the-unfairness-of-infertility” that usually gets me going, though. “Oh, woe is MEEEEE! Oh, WOE! Oh I am as DOOMED as DOOMED can BEEEEE!” I get all whiny and weepy and self-pitying.

Sheesh.

I suppose that means I still have some work to do in the “grieving our infertility” department. Beh, that’s normal.

So, yeah… this post replaces the whinefest that was Post #297. And, it really IS nice that our homestudy is off to the Ministry — you just don’t need to wade through all the other blah-blah-blah-pity-party stuff. Seriously. Who does?

Anytime we make progress in the paperwork, it’s a good day.

Carry on.

Lessons Learned

Yesterday was full of learning experiences. I learned many things.

  • Wearing comfortable shoes does not stop blisters from bleeding all over your socks. Only band-aids will do that.
  • It is a bad idea to do your financial paperwork for your homestudy JUST before you go to the doctor who is testing you for high blood pressure.
  • The pain and grief of infertility never goes away, even when you are adopting. No matter how much you like her or how happy you are for her, when your neighbour tells you she is pregnant with twins it will make you cry for hours afterwards.
  • Looking out the window is no way to tell how warm it is outside.
  • If your garage is peopled with Adventure Mice, it’s a good idea to wear gloves when cleaning it out.
  • If you get rid of cable or satellite, you don’t miss it. But if you get rid of your DVD player, you’re nuts.
  • Our neighbour really IS wonderful. She took the time to come and tell us about her pregnancy privately, because she knew we were struggling and wanted us to hear it from her first.
  • There is really no other option but to lose 30 or 40 pounds.
  • Cats really ARE nocturnal. Turning off the lights makes no difference to them, or to how busy they are, or how noisy they are.

I hope today involves a little less learning. I could stand to learn a whole lot less today.

The First Step In A Long Journey

This week BDH and I took our first small step in a very long journey. This week we formally applied to begin the process to adopt a child.

It’s been a period of some decisions for us. We had to decide whether to try to adopt, figure out where we would come up with the money, sort through the paperwork, come to terms with not having a biological child… none of these things can be taken lightly. But we talked it over, and decided that our life together would not be complete without children in it. And so, adoption seemed like a logical choice: uniting a couple who want a family with children who want parents. It’s a simple call to make when you put it that way.

So we have been making phone calls and talking to government organizations and planning to take a course and filling in paperwork. It’s a little overwhelming. It’s a little scary too. And it’s going to be a lot of time, energy and money. It makes you sit down and catch your breath.

But… it’s totally going to be worth it. At least, we think so, from the idealized viewpoint of someone on the outside looking in. We stand outside and look in at what it is like to have kids, and it looks lovely from here. We think we will be good parents; or, at the very least, we’ll do our very best. We certainly have a lot of love to give to a child. We imagine all the wonderful things about parenthood, but we also know how hard it will be, how challenging, and ultimately, how rewarding.

So, yeah, it’s going to be a rough road and cost us a ton of money. But we think of it as an investment. An investment in our life together. An investment in our happiness. An investment in our future.

The returns on our investment, we hope, will be limitless.

Forty

My fortieth birthday has come and gone. It was a hard day for me.

I used to look forward to turning 40, because I knew that most women say that they start to come into their own and enjoy life more in their forties. I had always thought of it as a decade to begin to enjoy myself and who I had become. But then, I started trying to have kids, and my thoughts about 40 changed.

40 suddenly became a terrible deadline. It meant that I was officially too old by medical standards to have kids. It started a stopwatch ticking in my head like the one at the start of 60 Minutes. We were rushing headlong toward 40, trying desperately to have children. It became a race to a finish line I did not want to hit.

And then it came. “You’ll never have kids” flashed in my head like a neon sign. “You will never know what it is like to be a parent.” “Look at everything you have missed out on.” “You’re going to get old alone, you’re going to die alone.” It wouldn’t stop. I cried a lot on my birthday. I mourned the loss of children we wanted so deperately and would never have. People continued to be pregnant, and have babies, and tell me about their children. It was a terrible day. One of the worst birthdays I can remember for a long time.

Before the day came, I told my husband I did not want to celebrate my birthday. He was crushed. He loves to spoil me on my birthday, because normally I love to celebrate my birthday. I look forward to it like a little kid. He was confused. I couldn’t put into words the fact that I was unable to face people that day, because talk would inevitably turn to my fertility or their kids or something, and I knew I would not be able to stop crying. I did not want to cry in front of people on my birthday. I didn’t want to feel like more of a broken person than I already did.

And now, it has passed. The tears are subsiding. The pain isn’t going away so much, but it is less immediate. And on the other side of 40, the future still stretches out bleak and lonely without children. But now, I have the rest of my life to get used to it. The deadline has passed.

And I see articles in the paper titled “Poll Says Childless Couples are Happiest” and I think maybe I will be ok. I doubt it. I think I will be unhappy without kids for the rest of my life. But at least now, I can entertain the possibility that somehow I will find some happiness in life after 40. It will always be a bit bittersweet, but maybe I will be able to enjoy it as I had imagined, after all. Just with a bit of a different spin.

A Bottle Of Red, A Bottle Of White…

(Remember that song? That’s back in the day when Billy Joel used to have TALENT.)

Well we got our official blood test results today. Not Pregnant. Gee, what a surprise. But we had to have an official result.

The clinic called to follow up and see what we’re going to do next. But, whether we somehow find the money and the will to do it again, or whether we pack it all in and get on with our lives, we have a couple of months to decide. Officially, we’d have to wait until I am sufficiently healed up and my system has some down time before we could start again.

We need the time off. We need time to think. We don’t have the money to do this again. If I picked up a contract or two, or we wrangled some more debt, then maybe we’d be fine. But even with the slim chance that we did find the money somewhere, we have to decide if we want to do it again. Physically, I can do it, but emotionally and mentally, with the stress of BDH missing work and the emotional ups and downs… I don’t know if we could do that again. We have some thinking to do, some decisions to make, before then.

The case nurse that called today was wonderful. She was bummed for us, and very supportive. She said to relax and have some quality time, some down time, until the new year. And she said to go and have a nice big glass of wine. OH, that sounds splendid right now! It’s been a long time since I have enjoyed a glass of wine.

And so, everyone, have a glass of wine with me. Sit down, have a nice glass of wine, and relax. Leave the decisions and the stuff that has to be done until later. Take some quality time. Relax. After everything we’ve all been through, we deserve it.

Universal Truths

There are a couple of things that I am coming to believe are universal truths in my life.

  1. Whenever I have to go somewhere and sit for awhile, be it a restaurant, a doctor’s office, or a waiting area of some kind, a pregnant woman and/or a woman with a baby will sit near me.
  2. Whenever I need it most, I will find kindness in strangers.
  3. Whenever I go anywhere in my car, a Beastie Boys song will come on the radio.

Today, I had to go and get my blood test confirming that I am not pregnant. I mean, yes, there is statistically a chance that I could still be pregnant — statistically the same odds that monkeys are going to fly out of my butt — but yes, STATISTICALLY, it is possible. And so, after any of these infertility procedures, you have to go and confirm one way or another if you are pregnant. Rather than drive two hours for a five minute test, I decided to do it locally instead.

I went to a lab about 5 minutes away, near an old folks’ community. Usually it is crowded, but this morning it was blissfully empty. I gave the receptionist my paperwork and health card, and sat down at one of the many empty chairs to wait. Moments after, a woman with a very small baby came in. And of all the seats in the place, of course, she chose to sit right beside me, plopping the baby carrier almost directly in front of me. So there’s universal truth number one. She began cooing and talking to the baby, and the baby was responding all cute and happy. I began to feel the tingle in my nose and my eyes began to well up. I put on my iPod and tried to distract myself. Nothing was going to drown out this mom cooing at her baby a few feet from me, but I was determined to try.

Finally, the nurse called my name, and I went into a cubicle. I lost it. I began to cry. I explained to the nurse that it just figures that when I am coming to confirm that I am not pregnant, a woman with a baby would sit right beside me. She was very sympathetic and said, “I completely understand.” She started asking questions about the program, and said, “You’re lucky you can do this here. I had to travel to London almost every day for my blood tests. All that way for a 5 minute test.” She had been in the program too. She DID understand. She said she remembered feeling how I do. She said she had done it for almost 3 years, but she has two kids now. She kept telling me, “Keep the faith. Don’t give up.” I told her I was going to be 40 soon. She said she was 37 when she had her last. It CAN happen. We joked about the fact that, after spending $10,000 on this stuff, maybe now I should go out and get a $12 bottle of wine, and at least if we don’t get pregnant, we can have some fun. I felt immensely better, knowing this woman understood. “Keep the faith,” she said as I got up to leave. I smiled and said I would, and thanks. There’s my second universal truth of the day.

I got in the car, sniffly but feeling better. As I started my short drive home, one of Alan Cross’s quick hits of “The Ongoing History of New Music” came on the radio. It was about the Beastie Boys. And when it was done, they played “Sabotage”. I laughed, and turned it up, and let the Beastie Boys take me home. Universal truth number 3.

Funny how these things always happen — some good, some bad. But I am telling you, this weekend, after my date with BDH, I am getting a bottle of wine, and putting the Beastie Boys on the MP3 player. You don’t mess with the powers of the universe, man.

This Woman’s Work

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman’s work,
This woman’s world.
Ooh, it’s hard on the man…

~ Kate Bush, “This Woman’s Work”

Today it was tough to wake up. We stayed up late to watch a movie, V for Vendetta (which is actually quite good. I really like it.)

I went into the bathroom to find a sombre BDH. He said he was really tired. He had slept okay, but not enough, he said. So he carried on getting ready for work, and I went downstairs to make his lunch and a pot of coffee.

When he came down to leave for work, he was still not himself. He just seemed down and subdued. He said he was thinking a bit about my family this morning — which goodness knows is enough to turn anyone’s mood sour — but that he was really just tired. I left it that that. He left for work.

About an hour later, I got an IM from him, apologizing for being so glum. As it turns out, he’s just starting to be hit by the sadness and the disappointment from finding out our IVF had failed. While he played his computer game all weekend, or watched movies, he was able to keep it at bay. But this morning, in time alone getting ready or driving to work, it hit him. Hard.

So often in the infertility process, men are forgotten. They are a part of it, sure, but (usually) everything is so centred around the female in the process that men’s needs and feelings are not addressed adequately. I am sure if the infertility problem is a male-factor problem, things are different. In our experience, though, because conception is so critically timed around a woman’s system, they are the focus of the process. And it is not fair. Men are under the same stress, feel the same disappointment and worry, and to add to that, they are sitting on the sidelines for a lot of the process. They are supportive, sitting by and watching the woman they love undergo indignity and pain and discomfort, procedure after procedure, and they cannot do anything to fix it. They have to be strong and positive to support their wives, who are allowed to cry and rant and complain.

It must be so very hard to be a man in the infertility process. I cannot even imagine.

And so, when I get a message from my husband saying that this morning, he is in pain, that he is struggling to hold it together, that he must do his job and not lose it at work, I get only the tiniest glimpse of what his life must have been like over the last few years. I cannot do anything to ease his hurting right now. I have to support him and try to help him get through the day. I have to hear the pain in his voice as he tells someone we will likely not be able to have the kids we want so badly, and there is nothing I can do to take the pain away. There is nothing I can do to fix this.

I can only give him my love and understanding. I feel helpless.

I know all men are not so good, but I am grateful for all BDH has done for me over these last three years of trying, loss, and treatment. And so, I will do what I can to be comforting and supportive. And, I will talk to someone at the clinic, when all this is done, to say maybe it is time to really re-evaluate their treament process, to include special support for husbands. This woman’s work, it’s so hard on the man.

And Then There Were None

And so, with the bright red spotting I am having today, I think it’s safe to assume that our foray into IVF has failed. Our ten thousand dollar baby is not to be. No more Malcolm Reynolds. No baby for us.

We’re tired. We are sad. But, I think, we are not surprised.

We tell ourselves, But we still have each other. But we still have a roof over our heads. But we still have the girls. But we still have…

We try not to look at the things that make us sad. The fact that we will never have children running through the house. No little one to call us Mommy or Daddy. Never feeling a baby kick or move inside me. Never having someone to sing lullabies to. No hopes and dreams for a family.

We had to do a lot of work to get the money to afford this. We had to choose: spend it on the possibility of our own biological child, or spend it on the nearly sure thing of having a child through adoption. We wanted to try to have a biological child. We gambled. We lost. And so, we are left with neither. Some times it works out that way.

We went into a restaurant for a bit of lunch. And as we sat there, the hostess sat a couple and their 2 year old at the next table. The woman was pregnant. A few tables over was another pregnant woman. It was like some sick cosmic joke. All through this process, we’ve been surrounded by pregnant women, couples with babies, parents telling us about what their child did today. So we decided to get the rest of lunch “to go”, and come home. For the next little while, we want to separate ourselves from that world. We know the world does not revolve around us, that women will continue to have babies and parents will continue to tell us about their children, but for awhile, we want to shut that world out. It is not a world that we will likely ever be a part of, and so we need time to get used to that.

I know, theoretically, that there is still a chance that we might be pregnant. But it would be foolish to pin hopes on such a statistically small chance. I have learned from experience not to hope anymore. It is too hard. We need facts now. We need realism. If we know what the facts are, we can deal with them and move on. We cannot live for what ifs and maybes and possibilities any longer.

Positive Energy

Along with resting and drinking a ridiculous amount of water, one of the things that was recommended to me post-transfer last week was to try to stay postive. Surround myself with positive energy and happy thoughts. It has been a bit of a challenge.

Outside the obvious stress of waiting these two weeks to see if our IVF was a success, maintaining a positive outlook has been a bit of a struggle for us here at the House of Peevish. I am tired. That’s to be expected as I recover from the retrieval, I suppose. Sitting around is also, surprisingly, tiring. I swore to BDH that the first thing I would do after our two weeks of waiting, pregnant or not, either way, was to take a walk and get moving again. (And no, walking to the bathroom throughout the day after drinking my daily 3L of water does not count as exercise.)

Family stress is there, in the background. I got a really (typically) passive-aggressive, bizarre ranting email from my father last week. While it provided Kelly and I no end of entertainment, because it was — what’s the word? Oh yeah, CRAZY — it still niggles away in the back of your mind that someone who is family feels it’s okay to talk to you like this. So it has been a bit of a struggle putting him out of my mind, letting go of his issues and problems.

Another problem is BDH’s blood sugar, which is really high. We were doing really well managing it with morning walks and a decent, home cooked (by me!) diet. But when we get out of our routines and get stressed, we both are too lazy/tired/defeated/whatever to eat well, exercise, get up and do things. We both eat for comfort (read: a lot, and not well). So, after a couple of really long weeks, BDH’s blood sugar is pretty shockingly high. And it is hard for him, aside from the stress of knowing it’s high and dealing with that. It also has physical and emotional manifestations like making him tired, and thirsty, and lethargic, and cranky. And it causes me to worry, and I probably nag at him more than I should.

So we need to get that positivity back. We need a plan. We need ideas.

It starts today. I am getting up a bit and doing some gentle chores, easing back into my house routine. I feel better when the house is clean and I am busy. So bit by bit, gently, a load of dishes here, some laundry there, it’s getting done. No vaccuuming yet, but at least, it is a start. I also wrote a long, cathartic blog (which I am not posting; it’s purely therapeutic, as opposed to expository, in nature) to get my father’s insidiously negative behaviours out of my head. I’m deleting his emails, and I have my outlook set to file any future ones as junk mail. BDH and his diabetes are a bit of a tougher nut to crack, but tonight we’re going to have a big salad for dinner, and he’s planning to get on the treadmill for half an hour. And goodness knows, after a week of indulging my love of chocolate, I could use a salad. (The walk will have to wait, but God knows I am willing!)

And for her part, Opus very patiently reminded me at precisely 2:30 today that it was time for the 2:30 Cuddle. Because she believes there’s no problem in the world that cannot be solved with a good cuddle. It works for her.

So, what else can we do? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this: give me suggestions for restoring tranquility and positive energy to a stressed and tired home. No suggestion is too small or too outlandish. The only restrictions are our budget (because IVF costs, man!) and my somewhat limited mobility for the next week (so no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise). And also, no baths or alcohol, for obvious reasons.

I await your positive energy.

Kindness and Friends

SQUEE!!!11111!!!11!!1

My dear, wonderful friend Adina, who has been so supportive and kind through everything we’ve done, sent me a package today! It was one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever sent me. I opened the package to find… A FERTILITY DOLL! Also, there’s a lovely card and a package of SCRUMTIOUS chocolates. 😀

The fertility doll has been a big hit here. BDH and I have been rubbing her belly and talking to her in a very friendly fashion, because we want her to like us so she will work us some babymaking magic. BDH has been rubbing her on my belly — hoping the close proximity will make her and Malcolm become good friends. She’s sitting with us watching movies. Lucy has introduced herself, and they are getting to know one another. She’s becoming one of the family. I offered her some chocolate. I think we’ll have to find a good name for her.

And so, my dear, sweet Adina, thank you so very much. Your support and kindness have been invaluable. And for the chocolate — you are a GODDESS. (But not the fertility kind. We don’t want to freak you out.)

Smooches and love from BDH, me, and Malcolm.

P.S. Hi Mom and Dad vacationing in Florida! *waves* And a special HI to the lovely Library Lady, who helps them find my blog each day! *waves again*

Potential

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.