My theme this year is IVF/ICSI, a process we’re starting at the moment and today it’s E for Embryos.
Embryos are pretty much what you’re hoping for during IVF or ICSI treatment. Well, not entirely, obviously the end result you’re hoping for a baby you can take home and raise. But during all the drugs and scans and injections the thing you’re hoping for during the treatment is that those follicles are going to produce a bunch of healthy eggs which will fertilise and develop into a clutch of healthy embryos.
Scarily though, at that point everything is out of your hands.
Fertility treatments offer you the chance to take control of something which you’ve lost control of. During our cancelled cycle I found it quite empowering doing the injections and going for the blood tests and scans because it sort of put me back in control of the whole baby-making rollercoaster.
If you’re lucky enough for everything to go to plan, your egg collection results in lots of eggs and at least several fertilise, you then have to sit back and let nature take back over. The drugs make your body do what it needs to to reach this stage, but with the eggs being asked to become embryos, you’re back out of control again.
I’m not at that point yet, but I think the waiting to find out what’s going on with them will be hard. Waiting is always hard. No matter how long you wait, it doesn’t get any easier with practice. This wait involves waiting for find out how many embryos you will have, then how well they are developing so you’ll know how many you’ve actually go after three or five days (depending on when they will be put back in, different places do embryo transfer at different stages of development depending on a whole host of factors).
As I’ve not been through this myself yet, I’ve not really got any advise or words of wisdom here. I suspect this wait will involve a lot of knitting, film watching, reading and busy-work. Stuff to keep my mind off things and trying to stay occupied so I can’t dwell on the obvious.
I also can’t give anyone any advice about supporting friends and family during this stage, but I think the best you can do is let them know you’re there for them. Offer to hang out, bring round a film, have a long chat on the phone, whatever, but understand that perhaps they’re happier dealing with this period on their own, and accept that if the case may be.
Hopefully a few weeks after this fraught time you might have some tentative celebrations to enjoy.