The day after the transfer procedure felt very, very strange. With no more injections for either me or my wife to do, and no further appointments scheduled at the hospital, there was literally nothing for us to do except wait. It’s at this point that I stopped and considered just how lucky couples that conceive naturally are. Not only do they skip all of the endless hospital visits for fertility tests and treatment, they also don’t find out the lady is pregnant until she has some symptoms, usually starting with say a missed period. But we still had 2 weeks, no, 13 days until that was likely to happen, but who was counting?
2 days post-transfer and time has seriously ground to a halt. In fact so much so that I was actually thinking of contacting Professor Hawking to check if there’s a black hole in the vicinity. Seconds feel like minutes, minutes feel like hours and tomorrow feels like it will never come! I found myself continually looking at the calendar as a reminder that there are still 12 days to go.
Another change I experienced during this period that felt as though an ice age could be fitted into it was a sense of protection towards my wife that I had never felt before. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to bits, she’s my best friend and the centre of my universe. I’m usually a fairly tolerant person and listen usually with disinterest every evening when she tells me of a student or colleague that has annoyed her in some way. But never before have I felt such disdain for the people in her life that cause her stress. I felt as though she was suddenly a fragile object that needed to be wrapped in cotton wool and handled with care.
One of the things they didn’t really explain very well was that during this 2 weeks, the lady has to take progesterone. This is a hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to allow a fertilized egg (embryo) to stick or implant. The problem is that progesterone is also responsible for many symptoms of early pregnancy. So you find yourselves over analysing each and every twinge or feeling experienced by the lady during this time.
2 weeks passed and somehow we had survived. We had resisted the urges to do an early home test for fear of being demoralised by getting a false negative result if we tested too early. We found ourselves nervously sat in the waiting room whilst the receptionist fiddled with the lights of the Christmas tree and kindly asked if we were ok. The nurse called us through, took my wife’s sample to test and promised to return as soon as possible. We sat there in silence, holding hands. The last 4 years had come down to this moment. Were our dreams going to come true.
A noise at the door alerted me to the returning nurse. I looked up and caught her eye. In that instant my heart sank. She didn’t need to utter a single syllable.