The embryo transfer is in 2 days, and my uterus is feeling the pressure. Tomer’s birthday was on Thursday, the day after the egg retrieval. I texted to say happy birthday, and he responded by saying I was giving him the best birthday present ever. Gulp. All I can do is hope for the best possible outcome and assume that the daddies are aware of the success (and failure) rate of IVF.
The doctor told me that with two embryos, a donor egg, and a surrogate uterus, there is an 80% chance that one embie will stick and a 30% chance that both will stick. (Just for some perspective, generally there is about a 15-25% chance of conceiving the old fashioned way each month and about a 1-2% chance of conceiving fraternal twins.)
Those are pretty good odds, but I’m still incredibly nervous. I have heard surrogates talk about taking on the emotional baggage of their couple’s infertility struggles, and I thought I was avoiding that by working with a gay couple. Turns out, I’ve traded that for all the emotional and political baggage of the struggle for gay rights–gay and lesbian couples being refused the right to marry or adopt, being refused the right to build their families in the way they feel is best, or even at all. These two men have been yearning for a child for 10 years, and even though this is only their first try, I desperately want this transfer to take. For them, for the gay community, and for society in general. I want there to come the day when “love makes a family” is the prevailing attitude, when having two daddies or two mommies is a non-issue. Perhaps it’s the hormones blowing things out of proportion, but suddenly the weight of the world is resting on my uterus.
The egg donor had her retrieval a couple of days ago. They harvested 34 oocytes, 28 of which they inseminated. The daddies gave their “fresh deposits” the same morning, and I got what was perhaps the sweetest and most awkward text message ever:
They got 28 eggs. Our sperm counts were good today. 🙂 We are so happy!
Fun fact: did you know that sperm is actually short for spermatozoon?
Sounds like a piece of 16th century pirate clothing. “Arrr, ya ripped me good spermatozoon, ya scurvy blaggard!”
The eggs were mixed with the daddies’ sperm (or spermatozoa, matey) and put in an incubator to be monitored for five days. On Monday, the day of the transfer, the doctor will pick the best looking embryo from each daddy to transfer. The rest will be frozen in case we need to try again or in case they ever want a sibling.
I leave for Los Angeles tomorrow evening. My mom is going with me, and we plan to pass the 36 hours of bed rest with movies, games, chit chat, and (in my case) a blissful lack of tiny redheads demanding to be entertained or fed.
And so, dear readers, next time from the city of angels. Think fluffy uterus and sticky embies, everyone!