Over the past couple weeks, Brennen and I have been trying to make a big decision – how many embryos to transfer. I debated on whether or not I should blog about our conversations, our dilemmas, our feelings; but like I’ve said before, I want our fellow IVFers struggling with the same decision to know you aren’t alone in your thoughts.
In my last post, I described our decision-making process as a roller coaster. I lied. It was definitely more like a see saw. It’s as if Brennen and I were living out a Dr. Seuss book.
One or Two? What do we do?
Put two in
But one may take
Or both will work
And twins we’ll make
But just put one
And it’s one shot
So we have more
Use what we got
But twins are risky
So maybe one
Is the safer way
And so on.
During our first round of IVF, we never had to deal with this decision. From the get go, before we even knew how many embryos we had, we agreed that for the first try, we would transfer one. In fact, on the day of my egg retrieval when the doctor asked if we had decided, I responded, “Just one.” Looking back, it was good that we made that decision so early, because that’s all we had – just one. And when that one didn’t take, we didn’t have any frozen to give us another shot. We moved on to Round 2 and didn’t talk about embryo transfers again until recently. Our minds were focused on egg production and embryo development in round 2. Once we jumped those hurdles, we found ourselves looking at each other going, “Umm…so one or two?”
I was talking to my best friend about all this, and she reminded me that right after we found out our first round was unsuccessful, I told her that I was definitely putting two in the next time. I had forgotten saying that. I guess when you’re still dealing with the heartbreak of a failed round, you say those kinds of things. Then, when you start to heal and your hope is restored with a more successful second round, you lose touch with those emotions that made you declare, “I’m putting two in!!” I didn’t feel as strongly about two anymore. We’ve had more confidence in the second round since the beginning, and so far, we haven’t been disappointed. So, we felt comfortable saying we would transfer one this time, but if it didn’t work, we transfer two the next time. Decision made. Even though several members of my family started heavily campaigning for two, we stuck with one.
Then, a few days later, I looked at Brennen and said, “Ok, so now I’m thinking two.” Let me tell you, there is something about the upcoming holidays that really makes me want a baby, and transferring two would increase our odds. Brennen blames the Christmas music that I prematurely listened to in October. In my defense I was online Christmas shopping, so it felt appropriate. He would still argue that it’s even too early to Christmas shop. To that I would counter, “And that’s why you aren’t responsible for any Christmas presents.” Seriously though, Brennen and I come from such big, close families; and we can’t wait for them to share their love with Baby H. And just thinking about the look on my Papaw’s face when I can tell him at Christmas that he is getting another great grandbaby…chills. So my mind was made up. Two increases our odds. I asked Brennen, and he said in his laid back, anything goes nature, “I’m game.”
Then, yes, a few days later, I backed off my decision a little. Statistically speaking, pregnancies with multiples are riskier. I’ve never been pregnant. I don’t know how my body will carry and have babies. Twins make me nervous. And I couldn’t help but think that if something happened to my babies, would I blame myself? My impatience? I know it’s not fair to put that on myself or think that way, but I did. I couldn’t help it. I was back at one (cue the Brian McKnight).
So when I couldn’t take the internal tug-of-war anymore, I looked at Brennen and asked, “One or two?” He said, “Babe, really I’m game for whatever you’re comfortable with.” I finally had to make a rule that “I’m game” was no longer an acceptable answer for a decision quite like this. So finally he said, “Let’s see what the doctor suggests.” Let me stop right here and say, for me in that moment, that answer wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t a definite. I needed a definite. I couldn’t drag a pro-con conversation out of Brennen for the life of me, and it was driving me crazy. But now, I realize I can’t really blame him. He didn’t know what to say; he didn’t know what he thought because his opinions are usually based on research. They have been throughout this process. That’s why he’s my human Wikipedia. And he just needed some educated advice from our doctor.
Once I saw Brennen’s point-of-view, I called our nurse to let her know that we would like our doctor’s opinion when she called about my ultrasound results Wednesday. Well, after she gave me the rundown of the Estrace, she relayed a message from our doctor – we have what he considers to be a perfect-looking embryo, a high grade A. We understand that there is no guarantee in what we’re doing. Trust me, we definitely get that. But we have confidence in this doctor, and he has confidence in this embryo. And that gave us something to talk about.
I called Brennen to tell him the good news. After hearing in the first round that we didn’t make good embryos, I knew he would be thrilled. I could hear him tearing up through the phone. We talked it over for what seemed like the hundredth time, and decided to transfer our high grade embryo – just one. Final answer. A huge weight had been lifted.
Then, right there in the Chick-fil-a drive thru, I did something I haven’t done in 5 years of marriage. I told Brennen, “Yes, you were right.”
My dear husband
He was right
We just needed
Relieved to hear
And glad to know
About our perfect
We transfer 1