Jane and Alex’s IVF journey continues with Jane’s penultimate blog…
On the day of the transfer, (day 5), we found ourselves in a situation of déjà vu. Our last IVF journey had followed similar lines. The update was that there was one strong embryo to return to my uterus, but that a second embryo had improved overnight and made the grade to be returned – although not as strong, there was still a good chance it could progress to become a baby.
In this situation the clinic’s policy states that both embryos should be returned to allow nature to take its course – as long as the parents consent – as this means there is a much higher chance of twins. So, we had gone from fearing one embryo would not succeed to having to think of the reality of accepting the chance of having twins! The emotional rollercoaster continued.
Alex and I decided to go with the clinic’s policy – twins would be hard work – but so loved – and not returning the second embryo would lead to its demise as it had not reached the required grade to allow the clinic to freeze it for the future. We had not started the process of IVF – helping to create life – to then take that possibility of life away. We agreed to the double transfer with gratitude.
When we got to the clinic I was once again clothed in a charming gown and hair net and my husband now had to dress for theatre too – he was welcomed to be present at the ‘conception’ which is a highly ironic situation but one Alex was pleased to be part of.
The nurses and embryologist spoke to us about the situation and went over the possibilities of the process – from having two successful embryos continuing their journey and developing into twins (or even the possibility of the embryo’s splitting and creating triplets or quads) to neither surviving the next three weeks ahead – after which a pregnancy test would be carried out to see the outcome. Positive of negative.
After the nurse spoke to us the embryologist gave us two photographs – one of each embryo that was due to be transferred. We were then left for five minutes to get ready for the transfer.
The photographs opened up my floodgates of emotion and I found myself crying, taking myself by surprise. The photographs were so clear.
A last minute loo stop and some hairnet adjusting followed before we were taken through to the theatre. The atmosphere was relaxing and classical music played in the background. I lay down on a theatre bed and the procedure began which is quick and painless.
The eggs were returned to the uterus through an inserted catheter and the process felt like a prolonged smear test, not pleasant but not painful. To take my mind off of this I watched the scan screen to witness the embryos being returned. We saw a flurry of movement and two tiny dots appeared on the screen – our embryos!
I was out of the theatre in about ten minutes and relaxing in the recovery room. I felt like the embryos may ‘fall out’ – a common feeling apparently but impossible.
We returned home and for three weeks I needed to continue taking the cyclogest pessaries before completing the all-important pregnancy test. It was hard to believe that the process was finally complete. The clinic could do no more, it was now nature’s turn to continue or put an end to our journey.
Another waiting game commenced. We had our fingers firmly crossed for a positive outcome…
For more information on IVF success rates, fertility treatment options and detailed information see the NHS website