All the facts


In the days following the meeting in Groningen I am so happy! Something is going to happen! There will finally be a moment where there is a real chance of being pregnant. I’m glad we’ve chosen to start at the end of September. It’s always difficult to tell clients that I may not be able to be at the birth of their baby, and now I know for sure I’ll be at all the ‘August births’!

I inform all the October clients, and although I do so with a sinking heart, everyone reacts with such kindness. It takes a weight off my shoulders.

But then, once everything is arranged, doubts start to creep in. We recap what was said in the last meeting, and what’s going to happen. On the 8th day of my cycle we need to go to Groningen. Usually that would be on day 10, but I have a short cycle, so it’ll be day 8 for us. The growth of the follicle will be checked with ultrasound scans. I do have to use some hormones: one to make sure that ovulation doesn’t happen too early, and one to make sure the egg keeps growing. The absolute minimum of hormones. When the follicle is big enough, I need to take Pregnyl (the Moeders-voor-Moeders hormone) to trigger ovulation.

This last bit confuses me initially, but if my body doesn’t indicate that ovulation happens, the cell wall of the follicle will remain hard, and then extraction of the egg cannot take place. 32 hours after the Pregnyl has been injected, the extraction will take place. If there is an egg, then Denny will need to provide sperm at that time, and in the laboratory the egg and one seed will be combined. Then we wait and see whether fertilisation happens, and whether the embryo then develops well. If so, it’ll be reintroduced to my womb 2 days later.

All very clear so far, right?

But there are a number of points where things can go ‘wrong’. We could miss my ovulation (the follicle releases the egg before the extraction); we could be unable to get the egg during the extraction; the embryo may not develop properly and therefore cannot be transferred back into the uterus. During the intake we’re told we could experience it all…

If the transfer does take place, then at that moment you have the same chance of getting pregnant as anyone else – 20%… with an increased risk of miscarriage.

Ultimately the chance that it all works out the very first try is 8%, and as I said earlier, 30% chance that it works within 6 attempts.

Not very optimistic numbers…

Denny and I agree that we’ll take things one attempt at a time. At this moment we don’t know whether we’ll go for all 6 attempts, and we really don’t know whether we’d continue after that. I don’t think we’re one of those couples who keep trying to the very bitter end…

But let’s just take things one step at a time.

I put the numbers to one side, and don’t look at them again. We’re going to get pregnant the first time. Done.