I remember walking out the doors of the IVF clinic three years ago wondering If I’d ever be back. It was just after our official blood test to see if we were pregnant, and having done about 40 sneaky at home tests, I knew we were. I remember wondering what it’d be like the second time around.
Almost exactly three years later, I walked back through those doors with the same anxious sweaty palms and heavy heart. It is different the second time, and also the same in a lot of ways. It’s hard to explain. But one thing that was definitely different was my emotional state. I didn’t feel that total and utter desperation. Desperation and longing for something that may never be. To be a mother, to have a child. I wasn’t half way in the grieving process and trying to come to terms with something that may never be. Instead, I had my miracle baby. I was a mum, to the best little human around. I had that little person that woke me up every morning (and multiple times a night) yelling out “MAAMMAAA”. And it’s all I ever wanted. But this is how the second time is different in a lot of ways. That longing for another baby becomes less about you and your desires and more about your first born. It becomes about giving that tiny human a sibling. Someone to do life with, a best friend forever. I have a really close relationship with my sister, and the thought of not being able to give that to Eva crushed me.
The other big part of how the second time is so different is the guilt. The all consuming guilt. That you already have your miracle baby. And now, you’re sitting back in that waiting room surrounded by women who are still fighting the battle to get theirs. To be honest, it’s all just a total mind-fuck. I think this time around I really struggled a lot with these feelings of guilt. It probably didn’t help that I had to take Eva in with me to the clinic for my blood tests. This made me feel horrible as I know that when it was me sitting in that chair three years ago I’d see someone in the clinic with a child and think “they don’t deserve another one, it’s my turn”. So sitting in that room, where everyone is feeling desperate and sad and emotionally exhausted, with my two year old was tough. The looks and sad eyes were tough. But I understood it, I totally got where they were coming from, as three years ago, I was them.
After consulting with our specialist and a bunch of tests in preparation, we booked in a cycle to start on the 23rd of February. We were lucky enough to have four embryos frozen from our first round of IVF, so this round would be a lot more simple being a frozen transfer. I didn’t have to do the daily injections and endure the egg collection procedure. Instead I just needed to go into the clinic every second day for a blood test so they could monitor my hormone levels and decide when was the best time in my cycle to pop the embryo in.
Day one rolls around and being back in that clinic felt pretty odd. The familiar feelings of being nervous, anxious, angry and sad returned, but this time around it was a whole lot easier as I also felt hope. I guess having already been through it I knew the process, and I suppose I really just trusted the process.
Over the next 12 days I went into the clinic six times for blood tests and awaited the results from the nurses each afternoon for updates. My body was behaving pretty much spot on. We had a few off results in there, but the next day my hormone levels would return back to normal and back on track. I had also started on some drugs to prepare my body for the embryo transfer, in the hope it would help accept the embryo. These drugs made me feel pretty shit. Just tired, like I needed to sleep 15 hours every day to get by.
I still find the fact that we just go about our normal lives whilst undertaking such a massive thing so odd. I’d pop into the clinic before work or on my days with Eva, before a play date or playgroup. It’s all just really a totally bizarre experience. Halfway through the cycle rolled around, and we began discussing and preparing for the all important transfer.
Up next, the embryo transfer procedure, the dreaded two week wait and the result.