People often refer to life as a roller coaster. The IVF process is definitely fitting of that analogy. The physical part of it has been a minor challenge—kind of like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It tosses you around a bit, has a few ups and down, and leaves you a little queasy: but it is tolerable.
The emotional side is more along the lines of Expedition Everest. Bigger climbs. Steeper drops. Gives you a headache.
Here’s a brief description or those who have not been (compliments of Disney’s website)
The Adventure Begins
Board a weather-beaten train and ascend a series of rolling hills overlooking a serene green forest. Climb a steep incline and navigate through a ceremonial stone tunnel before reaching the summit. Once at the “top of the world,” hold on tight as you pick up speed and race inside the dreaded mountain.
An Unexpected Encounter
Without warning, your train screeches to a halt: A broken and twisted track appears in front of you. Brace yourself as your train unpredictably begins to race backward into the darkened mountain, furiously swooping up into a double-looping turn. Inside the windswept passage, the shadowy figure of a growling creature can be seen on a cavern wall. It is the Yeti—the legend is real.
Hurl 80 feet down the base of the cursed mountain and swoop in and out of murky caves and along jagged rocky ledges as you race to escape the dreaded monster before he catches up with you.
Will you make it back to civilization safely? Or will the Yeti claim another victim?
That damn Yeti. You know he’s there, but he still takes you by surprise.
We started with 16 eggs after the retrieval. Twelve fertilized. Honestly, with each passing day I was waiting to be told none were viable. By day 5, which is when they biopsy them, we were down to four. And then we waited again for the results of the genetic testing to come back. We’ve waited for genetic tests before. I remember where I was when I received the phone call with Zoey’s official diagnosis. I was waiting for a similar call.
On Good Friday we finally heard from my doctor. And three are healthy. Now we must make decisions. How many do we transfer? Do we choose the gender or let someone else pick (yes, we already know we have two of one sex and one of the other).
It’s all just so…complicated! Right now, those embryos are a frozen set of cells. But that little set of cells was Zoey once. I am again reminded how easily she could have left us at any point. A millions things just slightly different and she never would have taken a breath in this world. Had we done IVF then, Zoey would not be our daughter. She would have been #4—the one that has chromosome abnormalities and has been deemed not healthy enough for transfer.
While I know deep in my heart we made the right decisions for Zoey, there’s always that little voice. We’re in the same place now. We will follow our doctor’s advice, we will think through all of our options and we will make the choices we feel are best for our family. It’s why we did the genetic testing in the first place—after all of this we want a baby. We are maximizing the chance of that little embryo to implant and grow.
Zoey was due on Easter. She would have been three this May. Maybe she has a hand in all of this.
We still have a long way to go—the roller coaster has not made its way back to the platform. There are mountains to climb and twisted tracks to navigate. And Yeti’s. But we still have hope. Hope in three tiny little embryos.