This week is a blur, and I'm not sure why I thought it wouldn't be.
I said I wouldn't write, but I'm not sure how I thought that would be possible. I am working though narratives and scenarios in my mind at breakneck speed, so why not share them with you.
Here's the synopsis. I won't even keep you waiting: Thawed five. One remained. No double transfer action, but that's ok. There were options that we declined. One is nestled somewhere safe right now and god, oh god, please be ok. Please keep growing. Just. please. grow.
Now, we can go back to the beginning.
We've been away from home since Friday evening when we set out for the Delaware shore and my parents. We arrived to find dad back in the hospital and mom a bit of a teary mess, I think mostly from sleep deprivation. Friday night I went to sleep thinking how I might get out of speaking at a conference in Dallas in August if I had to, drafting my father's obituary in my mind and wondering if we even have a photo of him where he's not wearing a @#$%@#$ golf hat. (note: my father hasn't golfed in over 2 decades).
Saturday morning I was convinced my dad was nearing the end. He refused to eat for the last several days and seemed resigned not to. M and I spent some time at the hospital but left maybe not so graciously. My thoughts: if this is how you want to go, dude, this is on you. I don't have to watch it. We left for the beach where at least we could steam with thousands of others baking for different reasons. My brother and his girlfriend arrived shortly after and met us there and you know, we had a pretty amazing day together, floating and talking. Eden recently wrote about this. There is something a little magical about drifting in the ocean with people equally affected by a situation and trying to piece it all together, but not. There is an ebb and flow. Resistance and acceptance. And cool, cool water. I went to sleep Saturday feeling much more peaceful than I woke.
Sunday was more of the same, but dad was looking worlds better. It's amazing what choking down a little oatmeal to humor your kids will do. Oh hey, you feel better when you eat? Amazing! Monday the race began. We left straight from mom's house to our new clinic to pick up a steaming tank of liquid oxygen, soon to be temporary home to our remaining frozen embryos. As M lifted it into the car he tilted it a bit too much and a rush of steam went spilling out of it.
You know when something happens and you suck your breath back into your body and it makes that hissing sound that's also a gasp? I wasn't sure if that was coming from M or the tank. If there was a soundtrack for this day, I think it would be that sound on continuous loop.
Or maybe some techno tracks from The Transporter.
We ran inside the clinic oh no oh no oh no we broke it! They smiled. Told us to chill the fuck out (not really) and just keep the canister upright. We asked how much time we had to get from there to our old hospital back to there. Hours? Minutes? Should we get a police escort?
Days, dudes. The tank is good for days. Now, please. Just go.
So we did, and got the goods and made those sucking hissing sounds again when the embryologist wanted to to pull out the straws filled with our future to show us what was where and how they were color-coded and had our names on them and M and I were just like CAN YOU PLEASE JUST PUT THEM BACK IN THE CONTAINER PLEASE? He laughed and did and sent us back on our way.
Four straws pulled. Four embryos to thaw. One straw empty (wtf). So pulled another straw to bring us back up to four. Jump to next day. one out of four still growing.
Options: Assuming this little guy stays strong, a.) transfer it to our gestational carrier the following day as planned, perhaps thaw a 5-day blastocyst to transfer to me later in the week. b.) transfer little one to me, a 5-day blast (or two) to GC later in the week (requiring an extended stay, more hotel rooms, changing a flight, making plans at home for work, daycare, etc) or c.) wait until later in week for all of us and all try for 5-day blast transfers.
Moment of gratitude: believe me, I am thankful to have these options.
Hurried call to our GC as she and her husband were already en route to the airport to give her the options and to see if the latter two were even possibilities. Her response:
"We are here to do whatever needs to be done. We will make this work if we need to."
And this is where my heart melts I know we have a solid set of people along for this ride. Moment of deep, deep gratitude. Ok. Ok. Let's just see how this all plays out.
Fast forward to transfer. One still there. Still growing. The question is posed again, we can always wait until Friday and try to transfer two, and one for you.....
We decide that one is a wonderful number. One is all it takes. It only takes one growing embryo to grow into one beautiful baby. Let's do this. So we did. One frozen embryo thawed and transferred to our very full-bladdered GC. And then we all went back to the hotel and crashed. And then hung out by the pool, watched TV, had some pizza. Enjoyed each others company. And that was good.
One last email from our nurse: are you sure you don't want to thaw a blast and transfer to you on Friday? Just let me know.
And you're never sure, are you? This whole process is lit with decision points and choose your own adventure scenarios, only so many times the choices are illusions of ones. More like rolls of the dice. The choice we made was to stick with one. To focus all of our attentions and thoughts into the one little guy snug in our GC's womb. We don't need a vanity transfer (which is what a dual transfer was starting to feel like for me). So I stopped my meds. We got off the train.
And part of me is feeling a little guilty. Like I left a game before seeing the final score. Like I am walking away too soon. But another part of me is feeling....relieved?
When I mentioned that I was thinking of cycling along with our GC to my co-worker, her immediate response had been: Are you sure? Do you really want to put yourself through this? And I have to say, her questions were (and are) valid. And I didn't know. And even as we were restructuring our diet and physical activity to gear up for this cycle, this was a constant in my mind. Do I really want to do this? How will I feel if there is not one to transfer to me? Sad? Happy? There was constant fluctuation between the two.
So there was relief when the decision was made for us. There will be one. I will not be the one who could be pregnant. And that is really ok. More than ok.
Grow, baby. Just please keep growing!
I am impressed with how in tune you are with yourself as you made your decision.
You will all be on my mind tomorrow.
You know that game where you flip a coin and if it is heads and you feel relieved you know you make the right choice for you.... it sounds like your sense of relief about the second one gives you your answer on that question.
as for the biggest question... I'm just thinking grow baby grow too!!!!
oh so much going on for you. Thinking of you, your husband, your father, your GC...and that little embryo...Implant little one, implant!! May this be IT for you.
Sometimes when the outside makes the decision it just makes it easier. At least for me, when they took me out of the game and gave me no choice it just made it easier to move on. Hopefully you feel some relief too.
Really hope you have some good news soon!
PS GS sounds wonderful!
Oh, honey, sending growing vibes to baby and loving, healing vibes to you. It's hard to have a sick papa. xo
Thinking of you so much, and hoping.....
Just had to tell you you've never left my mind. I think of you constantly and am rooting for you from my core. I've always wished I could have helped somehow. Always been humbled by the paths our journeys have brought us on. Sending you love and so, so, so much hope.
Hugs!!!!! I am hoping so hard that the news you share soon with us will be great news. Thinking of you.
thanks for posting this. I was wondering what you all decided to do.
sorry to hear about your dad, but kudos for having the strength to walk away. I've watched enough people die to know how hard that can be.
and my goodness, grow little baby grow!!! will be thinking of you all in the coming days.
Wow! So much here that I can't come up with an all-encompassing comment. Sending every ounce of hope I have your way. Grow, little guy, grow!
All my best wishes for your little embryo.
Hoping to hear good news here very soon.
Many confluences of end of life, beginning of life here!
I love the image of you all floating around and digesting and sharing bits of talk with the others.
I know it's not my business, but I really appreciate how you decided to Just focus on one embryo and take the pressure off yourself:)
Wishing you so much goodness and a beautifully implanted, growing embryo!
I hope this little one makes it - your GC sounds fantastic, and like the others said, your relief sounds like you made the right choice for you.
Here, hoping, caring, WILLING all the best things to happen from here on out.
And now the waiting begins.... 2ww...God Bless and smile down on you :)
Oh my GAWD!! I have been thinking of you guys nonstop. Seriously.
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