Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Big Day

I haven't been able to talk about it until now. I'm really not actually sure why - I just needed a little distance from it.

Saint Anne phoned me soon after I last wrote and asked if I could come in a little earlier.


I phoned AdventureBoy who was planning to meet me there after his early morning meeting. Message bank. Shit.

Oh well, time to go!

Saint Anne took me through the secret back entrance into the Big Top. Just through here, it will all be fine. She pulled the curtain aside and I stepped into the bright, glaring light. I turned to say goodbye, but she was gone.

I was in my gown and waiting in the pre-op room when Dr I Love a Challenge finally arrived. I had already been spoken to by Helga, my new scientist, who had broken the news, in broken English, that I only had two blastocysts to transfer.

Only two?
But there were eight?

That is true, but this is what happens. It can be very disappointment. But OK, there are two. They are not perfect as we like, but they are medium.

What does that mean?

They are not bottom. They are not top - they are middle. But the bit that becomes baby is verry good. Lots of cells. Very dense.

She left and I was quite calm. I surprised myself and I found myself thinking, well at least there are two. There's still hope. I started my new hope page in my new tiny sketch book.

I closed it quickly when Dr Challenge opened the curtain. Too private. Too much of my soul. What is that?
Oh, just some stuff.
Show me.
No way, pretty boy! You get to see every other part of me - this one's mine.
Where's AdventureBoy?
He's on his way, we're just a little earlier than he expected.
No problems, plenty of time, you're th eonly one transferring today.


What happened to all of the others?

They didn't make it. Yours were the only ones that went this far.

I felt even closer to my two right then. Strong little buggers! Despite my inexperienced juggling, they had still managed to stay in the air for 5 days.
So, because we've only got two, I'm going to go against everything I usually suggest and implant both! They're not good enough to freeze, and we don't want to just throw them away. How do you feel about twins?

AdventureBoy walked in at that point.
What?! Do you know that already?

Cue knowing and slightly condescending chuckle from Dr Challenge. He explained the situation again and AdventureBoy just sat there grinning.
Bring it on!


And then we were in the darkened room.
Scientist Helga was there as well as another very competent looking nurse, ready to begin.

I suddenly became very, very nervous.

Do you want to see your embryos?

As they came into somewhat blurry focus on the screen, AdventureBoy held my hand and smiled. I even think there was a tear.

And then the fun began with an important medical question:
Have you heli-skied?
He and AdventureBoy swapped ski stories until Dr Challenge shoved a cold, wet swab inside the speculum.

Cue enraged yelp from me! What the ...?!

Righto, but the rest will be OK. I knew what to expect from here. Slip it in and be on your way.

Perhaps in some people's worlds!!

Those without a twisted cervix that is. Their worlds. Certainly not mine!

As Dr Challenge attempted to insert the catheter, I could feel it poking at a place inside I had never been able to feel before. I held my breath and then let it go in a long, slow exhale. It's OK, this bit doesn't hurt.

What about Aspen? Been there?


Does that hurt?


Real pain?

What other kind is there?

Oh, you know, anxiety.

Owwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!! Tears were running down my face and AdventureBoy took my hand again. No more ski conversations now.

This was the most excruciating pain I think I had ever endured. So much for slip it in! Dr Challenge tried a number of different catheter sizes to avoid damaging the canal. Everything he did felt like hot burning needles in a place I could never reach to remove. It was agony. I was panting and holding my breath in equal amounts. Sister Sensible patted my head and wiped away my tears.

I was N OTprepared for this. No slipping in and out for me.

Dr Challenge finally decided he had worked out the problem. I had a kinky canal. Lucky me. Whilst I cried and panted, the softest and smallest catheter was wriggled and prodded and twisted and then it was gone. Like he'd taken it out again, but he was through.

That's more like it. Scientist Helga, are they ready?

He treaded them through and after all of that waiting, crying, injecting, juggling, they were in. Just like that. He withdrew the catheter and Helga checked that they hadn't stayed behind on the ride. Sometimes they stay for just one more spin. Then Dr Challenge checked inside me.

And there they were.

Perfect, Dr Challenge boasted. Look what your fabulous Doctor has just done for you. They couldn't be in a better place.

I hope so.

Perhaps we should go skiing sometime.
With a hug from Dr Challenge, I hobbled to the recovery room. And back to the tightrope.

I just hope I can keep them safe.


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