Tonight my mom picked Massimo up from daycare. While she was there, she had a more personal conversation with one of his teachers than I had before. To be fair, I don’t often see this particular teacher because she leaves before I get off work. Massimo loves this teacher very much.
According to my mom, the teacher had a long struggle with miscarriages–she had three. Then her catch of a husband left her after he had gotten another lady pregnant.
My mom had told her about my journey and how I got Massimo–so that she would not lose hope.
That got me to thinking. I’ve been so consumed by other perceived injustices in my life, that I have kind of lost sight of what’s really important and how lucky I really am.
One time in my life, the stars literally all aligned perfectly. I went through a full IVF cycle. Just one. One viable embryo was fertilized. Just one. The first time. It’s a good thing too because I would not have put myself through that again. And after all of that, I had a healthy baby boy.
The month or two leading up to the procedure involved reducing my estrogen to basically nothing and then increasing it substantially. The reduction allowed the docs to start from scratch. And then they pumped me full of estrogen to stimulate as many follicles as possible.
On a daily basis, I had to give myself shots. Every day or two, I had the opportunity to visit the doc for a blood test and ultrasound.
The follicles that were stimulated produced eggs that were then harvested in one procedure. After that, the eggs were fertilized individually. Then the best two seven- (or was it five?) day embryos were to be implanted. After the requisite number of days, only one embryo remained–and I was told that it was a beautiful embryo (its hard to know what to compare it to–particularly when you are heavily medicated).
I think that’s pretty lucky. I was lucky for two reasons: (1) there was one good embryo, and (2) there was only one good embryo (not two). It was an amazing celestial alignment that there were not more embryos because the standard of care for the IVF study was to implant two embryos. I was so so so scared I was going to get pregnant with twins. I was scared anyway but the whole idea of bringing two humans into this world at one time was more than I could imagine.
Even more amazing, is that the implantation of the one good embryo was successful and that I had a healthy baby boy nine months later.
The emotional ups and downs and the amount of mental energy that entire process took was crazy. Kudos to the women who have been through the process multiple times–sometimes with multiple disappointments. The amount of emotional and mental resolve that must take is much more than I can imagine.