I’ve worked out that our upcoming frozen embryo transfer will take place almost exactly 1 year to the day since our first embryo transfer, back in IVF #1. I felt sad when I realised this. It feels like much longer than a year ago. It’s as if that cycle happened to someone else.
Back then I knew nothing about IVF – I turned up for hospital appointments, got bossed around, did as I was told and asked no questions. We couldn’t believe it when we got a positive pregnancy test. That was it -I was pregnant! Too easy, thanks for the IVF, toodleloo. We told my mum, my dad, my brother, my grandad, some of our friends. I started researching maternity hospitals and thinking about how I’d tell my boss. A good friend told me that she used to write notes to her unborn baby whenever she travelled, so she’d have stories to share with her tiny travel companion later on. So I did the same – writing a note from Chicago – feeling silly and excited all rolled into one.
Just two days later I started bleeding – I was in Chicago and had to go to A&E there. My good friend came with me – she told me about her own miscarriage as we waited to see a doctor. I listened to her, nodding and smiling, feeling quite sure that wouldn’t be me. Thanks for the info, I’ll just continue being pregnant if you don’t mind. Hey, we had IVF and it worked first time! We’re basically awesome.
Sure enough the pregnancy test came back negative, the scan magnified my empty womb in 3D and my blood test showed a HCG level of 5. I felt ashamed. I was so ‘un-pregnant’ that my ‘pregnancy’ didn’t even register on the scale. I must have miscarried days before, maybe even a week before, back when I was googling maternity hospitals and making a birth plan. I felt embarrassed, I felt stupid and naive. I lay on the trolley and cried. I just wanted to crawl into bed and hide. My dear friend took me for a glass of wine and we talked and laughed instead. I’ll always be so grateful to her for that day. I can’t read the note I wrote to my ‘baby’, it makes me too sad.
A lot has changed in the last year. We’re on our fourth cycle and I’m an expert in IVF jargon. We go to hospital appointments armed with sheaves of paperwork and data, we make our own decisions regarding treatment plans and medication. We understand the statistics and know what our chances of success are. I’ve experienced miscarriage and know what that feels like, physically and emotionally. I do wonder if knowledge is power or whether I was better off 12 months ago, oblivious to it all. It’s hard to say. Better not to dwell on it, according to my (blimming) ‘Mindfulness’ book. Anyway a bit of a sombre post but perhaps the 12 month thing is a good omen for our forthcoming frozen embryo transfer. Onwards and upwards.