No matter how much I convinced myself to stay calm and that things were out of my control, I had an incredibly massive pit in my stomach the closer I got to my appointment time. I tried to prepare myself for the worst case scenario and I had even looked up flights and boats to other places so I could escape Athens and move forward as quickly as possible.
It is a tough situation to be in when all your hopes are riding on something that is completely out of your control and that is for the most part, a right of a womans existence or life. Unfairness at it’s peak – how do you cope with that while tying to stay positive but trying to prepare yourself for the worst, just incase?
Through this process I repeatedly and truly wondered if I was actually cut out for this. I constantly questioned myself. ‘I am not strong enough for this’, being a thought that was a regular in my head, popping up and starting the emotional train wreck going again.
I had the longest wait yet in the waiting room (always bring a trusty book – though I had to re-read that chapter again later as I had taken none of it in), and then I was taken to have a blood test to check my Progesterone levels – they need to be high – apparently that’s what some of my pills had been doing.
I was getting to be a pro at blood tests now. The mid wife laughed as she called me for it and as I proclaimed ‘Awesome, fab, can’t wait’, she told me she had never heard that reaction for a blood draw before. No shit Sherlock.
After another wait – this was incredibly nerve wracking – more so than the wait to see if my meagre number of eggs had been fertilised. I didn’t have another chance, I was screwed if it was not a good grade.
I was asked to go up to the illusive 3rd floor – that had to be a good sign right? – this is the procedure room floor – no offices in sight. I went through the same routine as the retrieval with the full gown, although I was pleased I was allowed to have my top half remain covered which made the ‘hospital shuffle’ much easier this time.
The embryologist appeared – and SUCCESS!!!! My little embryo had continued to fertilise and although it wasn’t at day 5 (which means it would be a blastyocst and have a better chance), for a day 3 transfer it was excellent quality – NO FRAGMENTATION. Relief flooded me. I had an internal celebratory dance party and then it hit me, my god….this was actually about to happen.
It was then into the next room and legs up into my “favourite” stirrups and Penny came in and explained how the procedure would go. She did a ‘dry run’ of the transfer, meaning that after the usual speculum, she inserted a long, tiny catheter which we could see on the screen. The mid wife and her really ensured that I could see everything so I was able to see how it worked and they told me what I needed to look for when the transfer happened.
The embryologist was then told we were ready and came in with an identical catheter which contained my embryo. It was then inserted and I was told to look for the shooting star and it was exactly that. It was crazy cool – as they transferred the embryo it looked like a shooting star going across the screen/ my uterus. Super cool.
The catheter was then removed and they took it away to make sure everything had been transferred and it was empty. Penny rubbed my belly and said ‘C’mon on blue eyed baby, grow, grow, grow. She then gave me a photo from the transfer where you can see the little light of the embryo sitting there. I felt pure elation and awe looking at those pictures, it was all a bit insane and surreal.
I then needed to transfer to a bed and be wheeled into the nearby cubicle to ‘rest’ while I was delivered a thick wad of notes on the medication and injections (oh god, not more of those!!!!) that I needed to do, detailed right up to the 13th week of pregnancy, if I was lucky enough to make it that far. As I tried to take in the fact that I had to do daily self injections and had 3 more ‘butt shots’ of Progesterone to do, I lay in a daze. Thank god I was staying in Athens for a week longer and the clinic would do the shots for me (well the ‘butt shots’), – for the daily ones I was all on my own.
When I was allowed to stand and get dressed (around an hour later), I went through the pages with the mid wife a few more times, sat and waited for my supermarket bag full of medication and needles (only 1 months worth), and then asked if they would show me how to do the daily shots. Long story short – they tried to do it, I told them that “no, I needed to learn” and then as I tried to stab myself 3 fingers from the tummy button, I got very upset (was there any doubt), only put it in a small amount and had to pull it out and then finally pushed it all the way in, pushed down and withdrew. She told me it was like a little mosquito bite – at that point in time, my arse it was. She also told me that it was a good idea to alternate sides for the shots in a smiley face pattern – at least something would be smiling! They are all preloaded thankfully.
As I left I was told that my Progesterone levels were excellent – another small win and I was off back to my apartment officially inseminated.
Crazy, just crazy.
Bring on the 2 week mark when I would have my blood test to see what was going on and to tell me if I I needed 3 additional ‘butt shots’ of progesterone – luckily I had trips planned and plenty of awesome people to distract me until then. Thankfully they are fabulous friends and helped me arrange blood tests both in Sweden and France as I needed to have 2 tests, 2 days apart. My mind could rest a bit easier with that sorted.
Pregnancy test here I come – never thought I’d be saying that being 33 and single. My, how things change and how life works out
I AM strong enough for this. It just took some convincing. What’s llfe without a little (or a lot), of challenge.
Although, I still would not wish doing this process alone on my worst enemy.