I am now on my 14th two-week wait and I am once again thinking about numbers. It’s been an unlucky rollercoaster ride for me to make babies. Fortunately, I have been pregnant four times, unfortunately one miscarried and the other three we medically terminated. My husband is a dominant carrier of a disease that we don’t want our child to have. There is a 50% chance that he will pass this gene on to our child. Once pregnant my doctors can test the baby at 12 weeks and give me the result at 13-14 weeks. I have been unlucky three times in a row.
To save me the pain and torment of yet another second trimester termination we have decided to do a procedure called PGD. (Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis). This means I do a normal IVF cycle and the lab will test one cell on the day three embryos. On day 5 they will know if the embryo will have the gene or not. When I try to explain this to my non-infertile friends their eyes glaze over and I lose them.. I’m pretty sure the infertile blog-world knows exactly what I’m talking about!
On thursday last week we flew to Spain to wait for the phone call. The clinic would phone and tell us 1 hour before transfer if we had any good day-5 embryos for implanting. It is such a nerve-wracking time! Are my phone batteries OK, is there enough reception, why havent they called yet?! I was happy when they confirmed that one of the three cells didn’t have the disease and it was able to be transferred.
Having not done an IVF transfer before I was a little amused at the procedure! we all dress in our gowns to go to the OR which is next to the lab where my embryo is waiting in a petri dish. Most of the conversation is in Spanish so the suspense is even greater as we don’t know what is happening! (Our translator would give us the super summarised version of events). The lights darkened and the doctor put on a minors headlamp. I had an internal monologue of bad jokes but looked at the screens and was quiet whilst watching the live feed from the lab. The lab lady took my embryo and sucked it into a catheter and bought it through to the OR, we switch to the new screen of my uterus where we can see the doctor aiming the embryo in the right spot. The lab lady then goes back to the lab and proves there is not an embryo left in the catheter!
I am lucky to be able to have 1 out of 3 embryos transferred. There was a couple from Guinea who came to Spain on the same day as us and were told they had nothing to transfer. I am lucky that medical tourism is huge in Spain. We are on holiday in Portugal next week and conveniently there is a branch of their clinic in Lisbon and I can do a pregnancy blood test there.
So once again I’m on the two-week wait. I have been told I am not allowed to run or cycle. As a cyclist and a runner this is so hard to follow. Cycling and running help me to de-stress, and besides all of my other pregnancies I havent stopped running or cycling. I am now analysing every ache or odd feeling hoping that it will indicate im pregnant. Unfortunately I have to wait as I know from the past four pregnancies that the symptoms are always the same. My symptoms are travel sickness, huge boobs and being unable to sleep on my side. Weird but I have to sleep on my back with my head propped up with a few pillows in order to breathe out my nose??!
It seems crazy but I will do everything I have done previously in order to feel shitty and wear huge bras again.. Even when I’m in the crappiest of all places in my head, I still have hope that one day it will work.