Yesterday, on day three after retrieval, one beautiful 8-cell embryo was transferred to its natural element :-).
8 cells is as it should be on day 3 they told us and they estimated that this one has 30% chance of making it and implanting. It was a clear winner amongst the 6 eggs that got fertilized out of the 8 retrieved. We had decided on a single-embryo transfer even before we began the IVF process and the IVF clinic also favors it generally in initial attempts. The remaining 5 embryos will be assessed today to see if they are good enough for the big freeze.
It was quite amazing to see the microscope picture of our little embryo that can’t even be seen with the naked eye. Magical. The doctor who did the transfer was just so sweet and calm. She is like an angel really. I expressed my appreciation and she got all touched. The whole experience was quite beautiful despite the stirrups and the bleak hospital room next to a lab…
Now I have officially entered the realm of the two week wait and the battle between hope and fear is commencing. At the moment I still feel quite positive and at peace. I’m trying to hold on to that, while also trying to accept and surrender to the fact that what is going on inside me is entirely out of my control. Nature is at work for better or for worse and all I can do is avoid interfering. I’m a realist. Statistically there is about 30% chance of success and this means a bloody big chance of failure.
As I’m pondering on these not so promising success rates, I hear that voice in my head. The voice of current dominant ideology, i.e. “positive thinking”. Believe it and it will happen. This dogma of thinking positive isn’t just a helpful suggestion to make you feel better, but seems more like a moral obligation. You have to think positively! Negative thinking will create negative outcomes. What you fear you will draw to you etc. etc.
This is one obligation I can certainly do without at the moment.I need to remind myself that I truly do not believe that neither positive nor negative thinking will make any difference with regards to the outcome. To that end, I love watching the animated version of Barbara Ehrenreich’s dig at the positive thinking dogma in “Smile or die”. Click here to watch on YouTube. It’s fantastic.
As she argues, it is cruel to suggest that people going through difficulty in life have themselves created it with their minds. Or that for instance cancer or infertility can be cured by way of positive thinking. Indeed it would be cruel to myself to think that my chances of becoming pregnant within the next two weeks should in any way be influenced by my ability to think positive or not. Realism gives me the freedom to feel however I feel at any particular moment knowing that the outcome is entirely beyond my control.
In this way I embark on my two week wait armed with a healthy dose of realism, mixed with some non-obligatory positive thinking for general well-being. It might make the wait more bearable and less characterized by premature suffering. I will suffer soon enough if the blood test is negative on the 9th of December. Until then I can allow myself some happy spells by thinking of the tiny little seed of life inside me :-).