The waiting is almost over - the procedure for implantation is scheduled. My last Lupron injection was a few days ago, my last Estrogen (butt) injection was yesterday. I am trying to balance between giddy and calm.
Things they don't tell you in the beginning:
You have to have a full bladder, full enough that you think you will explode.
Implantation is always scheduled for 3 days after retrieval. However, on the morning of day 3 they take a look at your embryos to see if there are any "leaders of the pack". If there are, awesome, implantation continues as scheduled. If there aren't any leaders or, get this, there are too many awesome ones, "it behooves you" to wait another 2 days for further development to make the "winner(s)" more clear. In my case, the call will come just 4 hours before my appointment is scheduled if they need to reschedule. *twitch*
Embryos "react" to strong smells, so no perfumes or other potent scents/soaps/toiletries.
The oocyte (egg) harvest seems very large. Retrieval yielded 31 oocytes, 25 of which were "mature", 21 of which were successfully fertilized into embryos.
The moral implications involved really hit you in the head with the form that they wait to spring on you until the day of retrieval: consent forms to give them instructions on what to do with your embryos in various unpleasant scenarios. It's not... pleasant to think about divorce and death, and it's extra not-nice thinking in terms of what to do with frozen embryos if these things happen. Should I get them or him? Should they be donated to science or another infertile couple? Get this: to donate to an infertile couple, regardless of whether they are known or anonymous to you, YOU agree to pay for all the testing involved for genetic compatibility. How strange is that?
The morality of this whole thing is a constant watcher, sitting on your shoulder, harping at everything, making you doubt and stumble and worry.
We are the owners of 21 embryos, 1-2 of which will be implanted, leaving about 20 to be frozen so they can be used or donated or destroyed at a later date. Or just kept in frozen limbo until one of those "unpleasant" scenarios activates the clauses we consented to. What will I want if this procedure is unsuccessful? What will I want if we have a baby?
This is not the kind of responsibility I want on my hands. But there it is anyway. The link to the debate on abortion seems obvious, making me doubt more than just what we've decided to do, but my own sense of right and wrong and life and death and abortion rights.
In the end, the only thing that has changed is that I am hyper-aware of my own sense of morality. I am more infuriated than ever that anyone feels they have the right to stand on the sidelines and pronounce judgment. Do they really think I am so cavalier about this whole process? That my heart aches just attempting to make these decisions, let alone living with them? I am responsible for deciding what happens to 21 clumps of cells in some petri dishes in a lab somewhere. Could it possibly be any easier to decide what to do with one much-more-advanced embryo already inside of me?
Are you nuts?
Honestly, I cannot recommend this path we've taken to anyone. If someone I know decides to do this, I will offer my insight, my love and support, but not advice. Ditto abortion.