I wasn’t expecting a call. I was at a conference in Billings when I saw ORM on my screen. I dialed back right away. It was the same as last time – navigate the phone tree, only to wait on hold, for what felt like forever. Only to be transferred to embryology… more waiting forever.
Thank Dog a friend was there with me. Gripping her forearm as I waited, I asked if she could feel me shaking. As in, whole body shaking. “Yep,” was her answer.
Finally the embryologist picks up. Without even saying hello, I asked “How many?” “Two, plus one mosaic. Do you want to know the sexes?” At this point my axons short-circuit. Though I knew we would be able to find out the sexes, it hadn’t occurred to me that now would be the time — I just hadn’t given it much thought. But it didn’t take long for me to come up with an answer. “Yes, please,” I replied, knowing that if John preferred a surprise, I could simply not share the information. “One boy, one girl… the mosaic one we don’t test. And both of the good ones are graded AA.”
Here I am, in a room with the governor of Montana 50 feet away, talking about embryos. I try to keep my composure, but it’s no use. This news is really great, and also a blow – I was really hoping for 3 and if we were lucky, 4. After all the needle pricks, testing, planning, hoping, scanning, and having 12 embryos that got tested, 2 feels like a disappointing and scary outcome. If you transfer a genetically viable embryo, you have a 60% chance of it being successful. So 2 doesn’t seem like quite enough for me to feel confident. Three would, and 4 most certainly would. But on the other hand, if one is enough, two could be more than enough. What might we do with the extra one? I try to recalibrate my expectations, but it doesn’t work. My mind is challenged to make nice neat sense of this news.
If there is anything good about being at a conference while getting IVF news, it’s that there are loads of friends to share it with. In my immediate vicinity, there are at least 4 ladies who have been following me on this journey. Because we are surrounded by work colleagues, a loud whoop would not befit the context. Instead, their reaction is channeled silently through their eyes, which light up with joy when I tell them.
The best I can do is teeter on the edge of happiness.