I – Infertile Girl — have created babies.
11 of them, to be exact. And as I sit here typing this, they are hanging out in a lab petri dish across town, concentrating on cell division and wondering why they’re not in a fallopian tube. Tricked you, babies!
I feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway, except instead of shouting “I have made FIRE!“, I say ‘babies’ instead.
After weeks of drugs and so many needles my butt looked like a black-and-blue leopard, my ovaries were so huge that they were touching (the ultrasound tech called them “kissing ovaries,” which sounds cute, but ohmygod it hurt really bad).
Both boys and girls have the same tissue type “down there” when they’re developing in utero. In girls, the tissue ascends and become ovaries. In boys, they descend and become “berries” (right under the twig).
So when someone pokes at your giant, swollen ovaries with a transvaginal ultrasound wand for 15 minutes, it’s the equivalent of being kicked in the balls repeatedly. Every movement causes pain — a bump in the road, walking the dog — all in the name of baby-making. Ah, the sacrifices we make.
Finally it was time for the egg retrieval. My friend the nurse anesthetist took good care of me in the OR and shot me up with some superneat drugs (propyphol, mmmmm…). They retrieved 20 eggs, 14 of which looked good.
Of those 14, I was expecting maybe 5 to fertilize. But my eggs, like me, are overachievers. Like me, they tend to be over the top. Or maybe I should give credit to my husband’s swimmers. (Nah, let’s credit my eggs.)
I got 11 fertilized eggs out of the 14. They immediately froze 4 and cultured 7. And they’re growing so well, they’ve decided to let them stay in the warm cozy lab, dividing diligently, until Day 5, when they’ll put the highest-grade embryo “back inside.” (Funny, that’s how convicts refer to prison. I’m certain my uterus is more like the Hilton than Riker’s Island though.)
The rest we’ll freeze until we decide to add another rugrat (unlikely given my husband’s view on children… *sigh*) or we donate them — to an infertile couple or stem cell research. I’m not sure which we’ll choose, because both are really cool.
This Monday, one embryo will be chosen to go inside. (That’s even more fun to say if you read it in the Movie Preview Guy Voice: “One embryo will go inside!”)
Wait a minute — will we get to choose? Holy crap, talk about pressure! How will we pick one? Eenie-meenie-miney-mo? Paper-rock-scissors? Wait, embryos can’t play P-R-S. Pick a number? Choose the one who looks the most like a perfect circle?
Oh, wow. This is scary.
It might work out well though. Every time our kid acts up, we can come back with “I should have chosen Embryo #3! You’re terrible!” (KIDDING, people. Jeesh, I’m not that awful.).
Whichever lucky one we pick, hopefully The Hilton of Uteri is ready to host him (or her) for 38 weeks. We will soon find out.