Embryo transfer day. We have done all the legal pieces, gotten medical clearance, I have gone through the worst egg retrieval and the effect of the meds on my body, we have genetically tested the embryos, and we are here, ready to transfer the embryo into our gestational carrier.
In the morning, on the way to the doctor’s office, Mark and I stop to visit Colette’s grave. We talk to her and tell her we are working on a little sister or brother for her. We tell her we will not forget her, that she will always be our oldest, and then ask her to watch over everyone and to do whatever she can to help. For both of us, making sure Colette is always included as one of our children is of the utmost importance and that stop was necessary for us. As we leave the cemetery, I ask Colette to give me a sign that tells me she is okay with this and will watch over everyone.
We get to the doctor for what has become a routine procedure.
I have been through four embryo transfer days myself, but this is completely different. First, I am not physically uncomfortable since doctors require a full bladder for the transfer and I am usually near bursting while waiting. This time, I even went to the bathroom, partially out of necessity, but mostly just because I could. Second, it is not me going through this. I will not have to worry about what I do physically after this, I will not have all the horrible symptoms of pregnancy as I wait and play the game is it pregnancy or is it the drugs. Third, I have to rely on someone else. In the past, all I had to worry about was Mark and I getting there, checking in, and dealing with uncomfortableness and slight pain of the transfer. Now, I have to worry about whether they show up and then whether this works with someone else who has never gone through this experience.
We get there early and they are not there yet. We check in and wait. As the minutes go by, I think okay, so I am not physically uncomfortable, but man, this feeling of will they or won’t they is really not much better. Finally, they arrive at the appointed time. They check in and since still fairly new to each other, especially G’s partner, we engage in small talk. G’s partner asks us if we have any baby names in mind. I am trying to ride the this all good, let’s get excited train so I start to engage a bit, but Mark is in the other camp of not wanting to jinx it. I think at this point about how much I would love to be 100% excited all the time, but after loss, that naïveté is gone.
Finally, the embryologist calls us and asks if we want to go in separately or not. At this point, I think we know everything there is to know so screw it, let’s do this all together.
After signing forms, they tell G she can go back to the room with only one person. We tell her it is her decision. At first, it seems like she will go back by herself, but then as we head out, she turns to me and asks if I want to go back with her. Without even a hesitation, I follow her and as I wait outside for her to change, I text Mark asking if he’s cool that I came back, which he says is totally fine. I feel like every little opportunity I have to be part of this pregnancy, I will take and will need that to survive this process.
G and I have some time to chat before the doctor arrives. She asks what the procedure is like and I basically tell her it’s like a pap smear but with more pressure from a full bladder and a slight bit of pain. Our doctor comes back to chat with us and I feel more at ease right away. They take G to the room a few minutes later and I have what simultaneously feels like a very short time and also an extremely long time to myself. Our doctor, who I absolutely adore, comes back and shows me a picture of G’s uterus with the embryo implanted. When she says things look good, I breathe a sigh of relief and feel like it is the first time I have really breathed all day.
The doctor hugs me and tells me G will be back shortly.
She leaves, I look at the picture, and then all of a sudden, I see it—the sign I needed, something from Colette to let me know she was being an awesome big sister and looking out for her little sibling. In the uterus, there is a little heart shaped image. At that moment, I knew that G would get pregnant and more importantly, I knew that Colette approved and would be G and our little one’s guardian angel.
G came back and I showed her the picture. She and I both exclaim over the heart, both tear up at the thought, and have this amazing moment of two moms together, who were brought together in a very unconventional way, one of us having had a fairly easy path and the other an extremely difficult, bumpy journey to parenthood, but bonded together by this little one and by this little heart, little angel.
At this moment, I felt so much love for this woman who was willing to do what I was so incredibly fearful of doing and that had never been a good experience for me.
We left and met up with the guys. I shared the picture with them and while they were like, oh, that’s cool, ultimately, they just did not have the same reaction as we did. I winked at G and it felt like there was that unwritten oh it’s a mom thing between us. This baby was not growing in my stomach, but was my child and this woman had become a sort of godmother to our child and we were really embracing the belief of it takes a village.