The last 6 months has been trying. Seriously, crappily, shitty trying. After our fraudster surrogate mother, along came a well intended surrogate mother who unfortunately turned out to be medically unfit with high blood pressure and abnormal kidney function. Again, the process came to an abrupt and grinding halt and my hopes crashing down.
I’ve been avoiding shopping centres during weekends, not just because I loathe crowds, but also because that’s when families are at their most prominent. In July, as part of my voluntary work for a non profit animal welfare organisation, I found myself ‘stuck’ in one of my worst nightmares – a shopping centre for 4 days doing a fundraiser … during the school holidays! Hundreds of families with thousands of babies / children of all ages. Some with twins, others with newborns, women with telltale bumps and with another one in tow, some with up to 4! What’s the deal with that? Were they first in the line when they dished out ripe, healthy ovaries and industrial strength uterus packages? Did I get the leftovers? The scraps?
Talking about scraps, it really feels as if we’ve been scraping the bottom of the barrel, but despite our countless disappointments, we’ve decided to forge on with our new egg donor who had 20 eggs retrieved / harvested on Sunday. To be quite honest I didn’t give myself the chance this time to get anxious, nervous, excited … Or anything – I’ve ridden the roller coaster way too many times. I woke up Sunday morning bright and early to be at the stables by 7:30am, do shopping for braai by 9am, clinic by 10am to hand over LH sperm sample & complete necessary PGD paperwork, make salads, have fundraising meeting at home with up and coming singer, in time for braai with friends at 1pm. By Monday, 13 of the 20 eggs had fertilised and the ‘beauty contest’ as LH puts it, officially starts today. By today the scientific expectation is that they be between 2 and 4 cells. So far we have 4 2-cell embryos, 3 3-cell embryos and 6 4-cell embryos and 2 have seemingly fallen off the radar. As odds & stats go however, its looking promising … if one can call it promising considering we don’t have a surrogate mother in sight. So once PGD testing is complete over the next few days, those that make the grade will go on their ski holiday in the freezer, until an angel in the form of surrogate mother comes along – whenever that might be.
Perhaps surrogate mother number 4 (if she ever materialises) will make our dreams come true. Who knows? Nothing is certain in this world, let alone in the world of egg donors, IVF and surrogate mothers. Perhaps one day it will be an exact science, but for now it’s hit and miss with a bit of fairy dust and magic thrown in. Something we needs truck loads of right now.