Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Michael Hutchence are forever frozen in time at the ages at which they died. Forever young.
Similarly and fantastically, the embryos made of my sister’s eggs and my husband’s sperm are frozen in time too – they will always be embryos made from two people in their mid 30s.
So, even though I am knocking 42, the little embryo inside me is seven years younger. Apparently the chances of my pregnancy continuing with embryos this youthful are around 95% – (touch lots of wood). If the embryos were made of my eggs, it would be a different story with a much higher chance of miscarriage.
Even so, every time I go to the loo I brace myself in case I see blood but to date (apart from the first bit of spotting a few weeks ago which the doc put down to the progesterone pessaries I take) there has been nothing. I am now 7.5 weeks – still early days but further than we have ever been before.
If we are lucky enough to have this child and decide to try again for another baby at some in future with our remaining five embryos, they will still be frozen in time at around 35 years old. How brilliant is that?
I love the miracle of IVF plus of course the wonderful benevolence of my sister and brother in law who have allowed for this dream of ours to gradually be coming true.
I have just returned from the florist with a beautiful bunch of flowers for my sister. I bought them on behalf of my brother in law, who is miles away in New Zealand. He asked me to give them to my sister on this Valentine’s Day, the day on which she gave my husband and I 14 of her eggs.
I think it very fitting that the day of my sister’s egg collection be Valentine’s Day, today.
What a wonderful act of love she has carried out for us.
It was the first time she has ever had general anaesthetic so she was a bit nervous but very brave.
I waited for her in the reception of the day hospital, reading magazines and drinking tea. I felt guilty to be sitting back and relaxing while she was going through the ordeal of being put under and having her insides poked and prodded and retrieved.
Meanwhile, my husband was next door giving his contribution. We had wondered if I should go in with him while he produced it but then thought the nurses and medical staff might think us weird so decided against it. I think usually those rooms are the domain of men only, allegedly furnished with red leather couches and porn mags.
So we have a wonderful clutch of eggs – just over a baker’s dozen – with which to try to fertilise into embryos and then transfer to me.
We feel so lucky to have this chance – I can’t believe we have got this far.
What would we do if my sister left her partner and ran off with my husband? This is a scenario which has been playing on my brother in law’s mind since he and my sister decided to donate her eggs to my husband and I.
He is also concerned for my sister’s future fertility plus any complications which may arise from the drugs she is taking to hype up her ovaries.
I said that if my sis runs off with my husband then I’ll just run off with him and all will be fine.
Flippancy aside; it’s just one thing in a crazy minefield of stuff we’ve had to consider throughout this egg donor process. Some stuff has been truly yucky, including how would my sister feel if her children all died and we still had our children which are biologically half hers.
Or how would she feel if we conceived a child with something biologically wrong with it and we decided to abort it, or decided to go ahead with the pregnancy?
Guiding us through this weirdness has been our fabulous counsellor. She has been absolutely amazing with her help and advice. I feel so lucky to have someone like her to talk to.
I broke down in yesterday’s session as I admitted that I felt so guilty and so grateful to my sister and her husband. It overwhelms me when I think about what they are doing for us.
We then all went to lunch in the 30 degree humidity which is Melbourne at the moment and ruminated over a glass of rose.
We have our first scan on Monday so it will be fascinating to see if the Gonal F which sis is taking is encouraging her eggs to do anything and if the oestradial I am taking will thicken up my womb lining. I will keep you posted.
I will also keep my eye on my sister and husband, especially as my brother in law returns home to New Zealand tomorrow (just kidding!).