Saturday 4th September 2010
One year ago.
“The phone’s ringing, honey!”
I run into the lounge room, where I find Suse holding the phone like it’s a bomb. After a moment, she depresses the trigger.
“Hello, Susan speaking.”
“Hi, it’s Shelley here. From Monash IVF,” she qualifies, like we haven’t been waiting for two hours for this very call.
“Hi Shelley,” we say together, the tension pluckable.
“Well, I’ve got some great news.” Suse and I look at each other. “All three of your eggs have fertilised.”
“Really?” Suse asks, grabbing my arm tightly.
“So, now you just need to come back at 2.10pm on Monday, and the implant will happen at three. You’ll need a full bladder, but not too full. So I advise that you go to the loo before coming in, and take a bottle of water and start drinking it here. And then you’ll start the progesterone gel on Monday night.”
There is a void.
We’re both mute. Suse continues to grip my arm. “Hello?”
“All three fertilised?” I hear myself asking.
“That’s a pretty good result overall, isn’t it?”
“That’s a great result overall,” she corrects. It’s the first time I’ve heard her genuinely animated. Ever. “To put it into perspective, I’ve just come off a call to another woman who had sixteen eggs collected and only two of them fertilised. Three out of three is a fantastic result.”
Suse’s hand grips ever tighter.
“And so, I guess, from here, what should we expect on Monday?” I ask, my head swimming.
“I mean I don’t want to be pessimistic, but I want to be realistic. Should we expect one of them left? Or two?”
“Well, I’d be hoping there’d be at least two on Monday,” she says.
“Okay, okay, that’s good. I mean…we’re just…we’ve just had a bit of a rough road, and this is all just a bit surreal. There’s been a few set backs along the way.”
“That’s IVF,” she says plainly.
“And this is a great result.”
“It’s quality, not quantity,” I chime, as cheesy as a box of Twisties.
“Exactly. And then on Monday, after the implantation, we can talk about what to do with the spare ones with refreezing.”
Two hours ago, I’d been considering that there might be none. And now we’re talking about spares.
“Of course. Of course. We’ll talk about that with them on Monday,” says Suse, keeping it together. “Thank you so much, Shelley.”
“Yes, well,” Shelley says, a little uneasy in this emotionally-charged territory. “Good luck with the transfer on Monday.”
We hang up the phone, and it drops to the floor with a clack. We rise in embrace, hugging each other, jumping up and down, in an adult version of ring-a-ring-a-rosy.
We bounce, and we bounce, and we bounce.
“Oh my God!” Suse says, grabbing my face.
“One hundred per cent!”
All morning I’d been imagining three fertilised eggs. I knew that there might be none, but I’d just kept closing my eyes, and seeing the dish, and seeing all three.
“Do you think they’ll let us visit them?”
“Not yet, honey,” Suse says, “you’ve got to wait till they’re Day Three before they make it to the nursery.”
We both laugh, like dizzy little kids, so hopeful, yet still hardly daring to wish.
One hundred percent.
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