one of the last steps in an ivf cycle is the embryo transfer. after all the injections and blood tests and ultrasounds to count and measure your follicles. after the procedure to retrieve all those eggs and fertilize them and let them grow into an embryo (or not) and continue developing into a blastocyst (or not). after all that is the embryo transfer where they put the very best embryos that have held on for 5 days back inside you.
and after the embryo transfer is the bed rest. 24 hours of it. (i think that next time, i’m going to request 48.)
i’m going to tell you about what happened when my 24 hours of bed rest for cycle #3 were over.
grateful for freedom from my bed, i immediately headed for the shower.
and proceeded to have what i believe was a panic attack. rapid breathing. probably some darting eyes. general feelings of panic and freaking out. about what, you ask? about the pregnancy test that was almost two weeks away. about the unknown result of that pregnancy test. about the possibility that the test would be negative and i would have to descend into deep deep sadness and deal with the reality of my hopes for a baby going unfulfilled yet again and with the reality of another cycle looming somewhere in the future. i was freaking out. and thinking very much like i couldn’t survive any of it. like there was no way on earth that i was going to make it from that tuesday morning to the following friday afternoon. like friday afternoon was already pressing down upon me and i couldn’t escape. i was quite literally debilitated.
in the midst of my panicking i was also wondering to myself what the heck was going on and where these panicky, fearful, dreadful feelings had come from. i had no idea. no answers. (i now have a theory but won’t take the time to go into it here.)
feelings are, as you may know, transitory. pretty soon, wouldn’t you know it, i was feeling relatively fine again.
the experience left me gun shy, to say the least. is this what i had to look forward to for the next several days? oh joy.
i spent the better part of that day on something akin to self-imposed bed rest and trying to figure out what had happened and why.
the results of my ponderings were these: (1) i wasn’t going to figure out a whole lot of anything, try though i might. (2) i could not make it to the pregnancy test day as a functioning member of society if i was susceptible to having a freak-out at any moment. or even if i was worried i might be susceptible to freaking out at any moment.
which left only one thing to do: pray my guts out.
i got down on my knees that evening and did just that. i asked that if the experiencing of panic attacks was not necessary for my growth or eternal progression, i would be able to keep them from happening. i described my own inability to function if such experiences continued. i prayed to be granted power over the natural tendencies of my physical body in its mortal state. that my spirit could govern.
(this is special and sacred business i’m writing about here. and i’m about to post it to my blog that could be seen, technically (not realistically) speaking, by anyone. but it must be done. it must be documented and remembered.)
my prayer was answered before i said amen. i experienced a physical change. there, by the side of my bed as i knelt and humbly supplicated. like a shield was activated and i could feel it. if i’d opened my eyes, i might have been able to see it. something glowing and impenetrable.
at that very moment, the worry and stress and panic ceased. completely and entirely. if the word weren’t so ubiquitously overused, i could call it awesome.
i breezed through the next handful of days as if in an impossible dream. i didn’t think about what was or wasn’t happening inside me. didn’t even think about it, i tell you. i just lived and worked and was. and wasn’t obsessed or panicked.
until i started spotting way too early. which is when i let the world back in to take over. and back came the worry and the obsessing and the freaking out.
but for five days i was free. and in charge.
i cannot explain what happened or how. but it was real. the difference between the panic i felt that morning/the worry that the panic would return at any moment and my calm and relaxed yet powerful state of being after i prayed was tangible. unmistakable.
something to always remember.