Connecting to My Little Chicks (Day 1 Update)

Connecting to My Little Chicks (Day 1 Update)

The lovely embryologist called this morning with an update. One of the eggs collected had been immature, so the embryologist had performed ICSI on eight and six of them fertilized.  That’s a 75% fertilization rate – above average – and the embryologist called this an EXCELLENT fertilization rate. BOOM! I am happy.  H is happy.  We are back in the game, baby!

Now, we just need these little chicks to keep developing into beautiful blastocysts.  When I was little kid, I had a vivid imagination.  I had some cool imaginary friends (in addition to my human similarly-aged friends, I should add) called Mingan and Mangan.  My grandmother will recount endless stories of me (age 2) chatting away to these friends.  At that young age, I (obviously) didn’t know that talking to Mingan and Mangan would be great training for my future self (age 38) when connecting with my little chicks in a petri dish.  Currently, I’m whispering the following in a soft, motherly voice:

“Hello my six little chicks. You’re in the best possible place to develop into strong and healthy embryos and go on to be beautiful babies. You focus on dividing your cells at a normal rate and enjoy yourselves while you’re at the lovely lab. I’m ready to receive you when the time is right.”

I’ve been repeating this little pep talk a few times today and will continue repeating it. I believe in positive affirmations, and I’ve used them on and off during my fertility journey (and I’ll write more about that another day). They don’t work for everyone – and I do think it takes practice (whether or not you’ve had imaginary friends!) – but they work for me. They help me refocus and look forward, which has an extraordinary effect of calming me when I feel anxious. When I was pregnant I felt connected to my embryo because it was growing inside me. It’s hard to feel connected to your embryos when you’re doing IVF because sometimes I feel like I’m just going through the motions, going from appointment to appointment, from injection to injection… So, chatting to my embryos makes me feel connected to them.  And, it reminds me of the end game: to chat to my [real life] baby.

Good night my six little chicks 🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣,


The Egg Race – Collection Day

The Egg Race – Collection Day

I’m sitting in the garden in the sunshine.  I am loving this (atypical) British Summer.  Despite being born in the very north of Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle, on a cold (-30 Celsius) January day, I am a summer child. I’m soaking up the rays and the vitamin D spray is firmly placed in a drawer (a very risky move when it comes to British Summer).

We got nine eggs this morning and although I was gunning for a dozen (read here), I am very happy with nine little beauties.  WHOOP!! Egg collection was a smooth process – I feel a little slow and woozy from the anaesthesia but on the whole I am in no pain and I feel calm and relaxed.  In The Disaster Round when we got five eggs and my lining was dire, I woke up after egg collection crying uncontrollably.  Today, I feel good.

Although the consultant doesn’t normally work for the IVF clinic on Wednesdays, he popped down especially (from his private clinic) to do my egg collection this morning. Just before the anaesthetist gave me the “G&T” and sent me off to la-la land, the consultant appeared wearing a frog-clad bandana, which put a BIG smile on my face. By the way, is it only me or do you also find that every single anaesthetist says “and here comes the G&T….” before giving you the anaesthetic? I’ve been put to sleep 12 times over the past three years (!!) and every single one of them said the same thing, I swear. The head nurse who has been our primary contact during stimulation also popped down minutes before egg collection, just to wish me luck.  It’s those little things that make you feel supported.

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