How many did you say?

After a series of scans to make sure everything was “just so”, we scheduled the embryo implantation day, which happened to be over a weekend (guess that’s why we pay these doctors the big bucks, hey!). On Sunday, April 10th, we arrived at the clinic ready to welcome, what we hoped would be, the newest addition to our family.

Our doctor was (as most doctors are) notoriously late for everything and, true to form, she arrived late for the implant appointment. But to be fair, we did drag her and her staff away from home on a Sunday, so we couldn’t really be upset with her, and it’s not like we had anything else planned for the day. When she arrived, we followed her into the procedure room, where she briefed us on the process.

Her assistant would hold the ultrasound wand on my tummy, allowing the doctor to see where the implanting needle and tube were, to make sure she implanted the embryo in the right place. Once everything was in place, she’d tap on the little window in the wall, and the umpa lumpa behind the one-way glass would open a hatch and pass our embryos through. She would then implant the little guys and we should look out for a “flash of light” on the ultrasound screen, which would signal they were in. Awesome sauce. We were ready.

“Just one other thing…” she began tentatively, “we froze the four embryos that successfully fertilized last month and, when we thawed them, one didn’t survive the process.” OK, I thought, not a train smash, we’ve still got three, right? Right. The embryos had been thawed two days previously to enable them to continue to develop into 5-day embryos, or blastocysts, which statistically have a better chance of implanting. She continued explaining, “One of the embryos has developed perfectly and is exactly on track, the second one is a bit sluggish, but not far behind. But the last one is a little further behind and won’t survive being refrozen. So, either we implant all three, or we lose the last one.” Becs and I looked at each other with worried faces. Ummmmm…

We asked for the room and started discussing the pros and cons of implanting three embryos.


  • If we don’t implant the third one, what if that’s the one and we effectively chuck it down the drain?



“Let’s play rock, paper, scissors?” I said. Cool. “I’ll be three, you be two.” I said to Becs, assuming the position, with my clenched fist behind my head. We played, best of three rounds. I won. Almost simultaneously we said, “No ways, only two, three is just madness.”

We called the doctor back in, told her our decision and the rest of the implantation went off without a hitch. We watched our little flash of light on the screen as we cried like little girls, clutching each other’s hands. I lay there for about 20 minutes after the procedure before I dared to move. We spoke about our miracle as if it was a sure thing – we knew, this was going to work, no doubt in our minds.

We headed home and I spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in my hammock while Becs gardened around me. The next day was business as usual, we both went off to work and carried on our days as if nothing extraordinary had happened in the previous 24 hours. When people at work asked how our weekend had been, we nonchalantly responded, “chilled, thanks. Yours?” All that was left was the waiting game…

4 thoughts on “How many did you say?

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