IVF Plays With Your Mind - And Your Heart. It’s more than like flipping a coin. The outcome can be anyone’s guess and 50/50 at the best.
What you are about to read is text copied over from notes on my iPhone. It’s revealing but I think worth sharing with you as an older father and dad in the IVF for men process. Why?
I went through all of this baby stuff 30-years ago with my first child. It seemed easy then. IVF is anything but easy. The drama you’ll read is absolutely overshadowed by the wonderful place we are at right now… We are 9-weeks today! (healthy baby since arrived April 2019)
Here we go. No editing and lots of typos.
IVF for men… the reality.
It’s 10:00 am and we are back at the hospital for a routine check after a small bleed.
The scan is 3D and despite it being just 6.6 weeks the detail is amazing.
She sees the first embryo and I can see the heartbeat on the screen. She puts on the speakers and it is so loud and perfect. I cry but hold back in front of the nursing staff.
She looks for a moment and can find no second embryo which was there just 3 days before. It’s now gone, this was the show of blood.
It feels desperate in my heart and despite the early stages I want to cry.
We speak to the consultant and everything is confirmed. We now have one but one that is thriving. We all seemed resigned but I still need to cry.
6.6 weeks today we lost a twin whilst the other thrives.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Disappointed for my wife but selfishly for myself. The IVF process plays with your emotions and mind at a very deep level. I feel numb but happy the second embryo appears to very strong.
They call it a vanishing twin but it makes me heart vanish in the moment. Ripped out and torn. This is an invisible moment for a man as the man is always third party during this whole process. Not on purpose it’s just the way it is.
IVF is an incredible breakthrough but never guaranteed. They place two embryos inside in the hope that one will survive.
Either way it feels like a blow to lose one but I need to focus on the reality that we are still beating the odds and we are still pregnant.
Once on the street I cry I just can’t help it. In my minds eye had played over time and again myself with two new babies. That isn’t going to happen and the other frankly feels on the edge despite what they told us.
We are back home (in Tbilisi) now and carrying on life as usual. My wife is outside putting washed clothes on the line. I’m on on the other side of the yard doing some DIY.
Around 6 hours have passed since the disappointing hospital visit.
What happened next we never expected. I hear a shout from my wife to come quickly. She looks panic stricken. Her pants are filled and soaked with fresh blood. I don’t know what to do apart from remain calm. My wife is as calm and accepting as ever. She says it’ll be fine. I think it’s all over. Deep down I think she thinks its over.
Is this the second baby vanishing before our eyes?
How can such a strong heartbeat just hours earlier now fall silent? Nothing makes sense and we go through endless panic driven questioning. I feel utterly helpless and desperate. My wife lies on her back on the sofa whilst I make her comfortable as possible.
We can’t get hold of any medical experts including our consultant. Finally after a lot of blood things start to slow and the blood begins to show as brown rather than bright red. This is a good sign so we are told.
After at least ten messages to the consultant we manage to get her assistant. She gives us her protocol which means get another huge injection of hormones into my wife’s hip. I hate doing this. She accepts it and injects away. Her hip is bruised, lumpy and sire. I feel so much for here but I am just a mad in the IVF process with his wife.
What a tense evening. I feel so tired. My wife looks fresh as ever but I can tell she’s tired. She’s a real warrior.
Eventually we go to bed exhausted. I have endless questions running through my head.
Where did the first twin vanish to? Has the second baby also now gone? What will tomorrow bring?
Buzz - At 2:30am the consultant finally replies via viber.
“Don’t worry, This is fine, it is normal but you must rest for a couple of days.” and that’s it.
It doesn’t feel fine for me but my wife looks fine and says she feels she is still pregnant. Right now I cannot rely on feelings I and we need to see a fact. It’s Saturday and we’ve been asked to wait until Monday.
I feel a little frozen. Let’s See.
It’s 5.07pm the day after yesterday. Our baby is fine, alive and growing and I’m still tearful. To see the embryo and sac on the screen. Thank God for that.
Week 8 day 5
We are booked in for a check up after yesterday’s big bleed.
Week 8 day 4 another bleed and another panic.
Tamuna sent me a text.
“Baby I’m bleeding again”
We are in Tbilisi and she is on the other side of the city. I need to get over there fast.
I’m panicking. I’ve been writing my old dads blog and the happiness of having a new child.
Am I tempting fate?
It feels that way.
I run down the street until I can grab a taxi. My Georgian is useable to ask for the street I need to go to.
He understands and I finally arrive where I find Tamuna lying with her feet up on an old chair. She looks devastated. I feel the same. It’s over or it feels that way.
The blood has been flowing but slowed. I help her to the Toilet. A clot spears then vanishes down the Toilet. Was that the embryo?
There’s no cramps, no pain no anything. That’s a good sign.
Tamuna as always is highly positive. Now we have to wait for the Outcome.
Good or bad we have to accept It.
Yet... I’m optimistic - trying - this child will arrive.
The Older Dad.
Ps the outcome of course was perfect we now have our son in our arms.