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August 26, 2011

Infertility is a weird thing. You are ‘unlucky’ in that you are not able to conceive without assistance. In some cases it’s just a minor nudge and in other cases it’s a whole heapload of help. We, for the record, needed a tractor-trailer’s worth of help.  Not only did we require IVF – no I mean it, REQUIRED; I have no fallopian tubes, nobody’s getting from point A to B and back again without a syringe and a catheter, we also used ICSI and had a great deal of trouble maintaining pregnancies even after a successful transfer. (Intra-muscular injections of Progesterone in Oil for 10 weeks FTW!)

And yet, in watching this video, I realized in some ways we were really lucky. Not only have we learned an incredible amount about human reproduction (and in doing so stand in constant awe of the continued survival of our species*), we also had the opportunity to see the embryo that would become our daughter when she was 5 days old…by conventional pregnancy calendars I would have been 5DPO or 19 days pregnant:

She wasn’t quite a blastocyst, she was still a compacting morula, but we have a picture of her as she was transfered from her cosy petri dish to me. It wasn’t just an ‘activity’ to create her, she wasn’t a by-product of some fun (believe me there’s no fun in having a needle stuck into your ovaries. Repeatedly.) We were deliberate in her creation and we have an ultrasound of a little radioactive blip that shows here being released into my uterus. She was outside of my body when she was only a few cells and we got to see her. There aren’t many people (well more and more these days, still not many) that can say that.

*Seriously in awe. Not only were all those parental fear tactics smashed (no I wasn’t going to get pregnant if a boy looked at me the wrong way) but think about it: Even in a world where the Duggars exist, procreation is a delicate, unlikely thing. Add up the number of fertile days a woman has in a month. Chances they’re having sex then? Likelihood of that sperm meeting that egg? And them making it back to the uterus? How about implantation? That’s not a guarantee either. What about the (estimated) 30% of  pregnancies that end in miscarriage? Every pregnancy is an odds-beating event in my mind.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 29, 2011 8:53 pm

    Wonderful views on that!

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