I realised that in my last post I rather glossed over that crucially important point when they actually put the one good embryo inside me. Which, rather like my not spending much time thinking about the actual donor, is a little bit weird when you think about it. But then I think my reactions to so many parts of this process are weird — they definitely seem weird to other people.
Various friends asked if I wanted them to come with me for the embryo transfer. I didn’t. For me it was just another procedure at a clinic that I know well, with a consultant who I know and trust. Just another medical appointment, which is a strange way to think about what might be the moment of conception of your child. But it’s not is it? I mean it’s not the moment of conception. Wasn’t the point at which the embryologist injected a sperm into an egg the actual “moment of conception”? Arguably none of this is about a single, individual moment, it’s about a collection of moments — the fertilisation, the transfer, the implantation, the… well all the things I wanged on about here.
Anyway, today was one of those moments, the day of the embryo transfer. “Like a smear” they told me. Although you have to turn up with a full bladder (I think it means they can see better, or get better access to your womb, or something), which isn’t anything like a smear test. Unless you’re the sort of weirdo masochist that deliberately goes for a smear test with a full bladder in some bizarre challenge to your pelvic floor. But, I digress…
So they basically put a long tube inside you that goes all the way into your uterus, and then they shoot the embryo in a solution up it. I mean obviously it’s way more technical than that but I think that’s the gist. And they use ultrasound to make sure everything is going in the right place, and they show you on the screen what they’re doing.
But dammit, after all these bloody scans I still can’t make a fucking thing out on those screens — they’re just different shades of black and white, and I take it for granted that those bits are the bits they’re telling me. (As I’ve said, you kind of have to take these things on trust…) And they sort of record it, so you can replay it, so the nurse showed it to me a couple of times — and it was basically a flash of white.
And she asked me “do you want a print-out of it?” And at the same time that I thought “wow, that’s really cool, I could have a print-out of the scan of the exact moment that the embryo went into my womb,” I also thought “I don’t want a print out of this, I want a print-out of the scan of a baby.” And maybe because I thought it would be tempting fate, or maybe because I thought that it felt like a consolation prize, to have a picture of that, rather than a baby, I said no.
I didn’t think I’d feel emotional about this bit. And mostly I didn’t. Right up until my consultant said “you have my mobile number, if you’re worried about anything, anything at all call me, or text me. It’s different doing it on your own.” And then I was so touched by that, I had to try not to cry as I made an appointment for the blood test, 10 days later, that would tell me whether I was or wasn’t pregnant.