I’ve been feeling OK since I wrote about the egg retrieval yesterday. Uncomfortable, I would say, sort of feeling a bit stiff and bruised inside. I didn’t take any painkillers though as I didn’t interpret the feeling as a pain, I more just couldn’t get settled. I did, however, go to the theatre. Well we already had tickets booked and I felt alright. It was fine, a bit uncomfortable to sit in one position for a long time but entirely bearable. Shh… don’t tell the nurses I went out.

The husband would like to interject at this point with his perspective on how things are going.

From a very simplistic perspective, what has happened up until now has been fairly gradual, and although it’s been a lot for my wife to take on my role has been mostly supportive. The feedback from scans and blood tests was mostly qualitative, and the measurements were being taken to manage the timing of the process and dosage of hormone injections more than anything else. The process had no fixed endpoint as timing was being constantly reviewed.

That all changed yesterday.

My wife was very brave, but going into hospital and being sedated is a big deal for anyone. Seeing her coming back out sedated and hooked up to monitors was a little bit stressful even though I knew she was fine.

We are now being bombarded with “go/no-go” type results too. Yesterday it was “is the semen sample OK?” and “how many eggs were harvested?”. We were also given a definite date for the blood test that will confirm pregnancy or otherwise. Gulp. Today we find out how many of the eggs have fertilised. Of course there are shades of grey – egg quality, embryo quality, the number that fertilise, but now there is stuff that could just be unequivocal “I’m sorry, it hasn’t worked this time” on the horizon. Or the opposite – which is almost as scary.

We had so much waiting to get to this point, and I have been so focussed on making sure we get through the day-to-day, that it’s come as a bit of a shock that we’re at this decisive point and so near the end of this cycle. I’m not sure I was really prepared for that.

I’m still feeling optimistic, as of the time I write this on my way to work in the morning everything has gone well, but getting closer to d-day does add a little frisson of the equation.

It’s also interesting for me that although I don’t really feel stressed (and why should I – it’s my wife that has all the really hard stuff to do) I am finding the constant awareness that we have this going on pretty draining. I’m tired, and continually aware that my wife needs my support, gentleness, and at times tolerance, more than usual.

She is being an absolute star though, and I know the encouragement she is getting through this journal means a lot to her. My sincere thanks to you all.

So back to me. I was super tired last night and slept very well, it was tough to wake up this morning.

Also shh… don’t tell the nurses I worked today. You may recall all of my pain in the ass rearrangements that I had to do because we didn’t know which day I’d be off work, and this meant I had to do four extended phone calls today. Luckily I can be in my PJs to do this as I’m working at home. I popped a wee paracetamol to get me through it and this returned me close to normal, so I probably should have taken one yesterday. No matter.

I was due to call the hospital at 11am to find out how well my 13 eggs mixed with the husband’s sperm in the test tube overnight.

I was quite nervous this morning, as this was a big one. We might have started with 13 but ended up with none actually fertilising. After all, my husband and I (as far as we know) had never actually managed to fertilise an egg ourselves the natural way. Nail biting it was.

I conveniently had a half hour work-free window to call the hospital, but I spent the first 25 minutes of it trying to get through. Engaged! Argh! Got through at 11.25 but luckily it was a quick phone call.

Because 10 of our eggs have fertilised. Woo hoo! Wow! This is so much better than I could have anticipated. This gives me hope that we’ll get a good one to whack back in me this week, and a few to freeze in case the first one doesn’t stick (and you need a few, they don’t all survive the thaw). So that is good because it is good, but it is also good because if things don’t work out this time it gives us a few tries at implantation before I’d need to go through the whole needles and egg retrieval thing again. It has been fine, but it’s not my first choice of things to do with my time or with my body!

Like yesterday, such a relief.

I don’t know when they are implanting ‘the chosen one’ as I shall now call it, it will either be Saturday or Monday and they will phone me on Saturday to let me know. You might recall that way back on day one they did a ‘dummy embryo transfer’ which was a five minute process and much like a smear test, so at this point I have no reason to worry about that. I just have to get ‘the chosen one’ in there and do my best to incubate it.