First, an update. We had our egg retrieval last Friday and were happy to learn that it yielded 14 eggs. The next day we were told that 12 of those eggs fertilized, and that we had a long five-day wait to see how many would survive for our transfer today. Well, we were very excited and surprised to find out that nine of our embryos survived the five days (Usually, from what I’ve read, the survival rate is about 30-50%. Ours was 75% – John takes all the credit.) So, we implanted two very good looking embryos (they have my eyes) today and will hopefully freeze the rest. We couldn’t have asked for better results. The procedure was a bit painful/stressful, but the doctor said that it could not have gone better. I am now just resting on the couch for the next few days and praying to God and every angel I’ve got on my side in heaven that we will soon be pregnant with twins.
Which leads me to the subject of my next post – the dreaded two week wait (or, 2WW for you message board junkies). Whether you have just started trying to conceive (TTC) or have made it all the way to IVF, no one escapes the grueling process of … waiting. You wouldn’t think waiting would be so bad. After all, waiting doesn’t take any effort. It’s not like climbing a mountain or running a marathon or solving a really tricky math problem. You don’t have to DO anything. But on the flip side, there is nothing you can DO. You are now in the hands of fate. Everything you could control is now over, for better or worse. And, in our culture of instant gratification, this is one of the very few processes that you can’t speed up. Because whether the fertilization of the egg happens in your body or in a Petri dish, the miraculous process of dividing, implanting, nestling in and beginning to emit the pregnancy hormone that will show up on a blood or urine test, always takes about two weeks.
For women who’ve decided that they’re ready to be mothers, this is a tough pill to swallow. For women like me who’ve decided that they’re ready to be mothers AND they have what some might call “control issues,” this is torture. Of course, ideally, there are healthy, meditative things you could do to pass the time.
You could take a long, brisk walk. You will google “how soon can you take a pregnancy test?”
You could do yoga. You will google “what are early pregnancy symptoms and how early might they show up?”
You could talk to a friend. You will google “pregnancy due date calculator.”
The list goes on. And in many cases, you won’t get outside or talk to a friend. Because although you love them dearly (Friends – I love you dearly!!), unless they are right where you’re at in the process, they cannot completely empathize with the longing. And the preoccupation with all things fertility. However, there are other women out there just like you. Women you’ve never met, but to whom you’ll reveal your most intimate thoughts and bodily functions. Yes, I’m talking about message boards and online support groups. I haven’t yet concluded if these are an incredible time suck that only add to my obsession and paranoia or a valuable resource for support, encouragement and information. Probably both, but I have gotten a great deal of comfort in feeling part of a community of women warriors, fighting this battle together.
The 2WW is a roller coaster – one minute you’re up. You’re thinking of baby names and how you’re going to announce the big news to your family and friends. The next minute you are down – chastising yourself with pessimistic, self-deprecating judgment. Every thought in your head orbits around the singular theme of wondering if you’re pregnant. Is this cramping a good or a bad sign? Is that spotting implantation bleeding, or am I about to get my period? I feel nauseous – hooray! Now I don’t anymore – ugh, it’s over. I wish I had better advice on how to cope with this part of the journey. If I did, I would give it to myself right now. Because I’m not 12 hours into this 2WW and I’ve already googled, message boarded, emailed and blogged. Patience is a virtue, but it is not mine. Wish me luck!
PS. For those of you TTC, let me save you some googling and provide you with links to answers for the above-mentioned questions. Enjoy!