I want to count on two things: believing I will be a mother, and not being afraid to be a mother. Perhaps these two points were blocking me all along?
Since after the last IVF cycle we had utilized all our frozen embryos, Darren and I no longer have our three banked embryo "insurance policy," which we had created and frozen before we were married. We thought these embryos represented a last resort. And since they were created when we were both younger, we thought they would be of better quality. We never knew that variations in IVF practice can improve—or degrade—the quality of embryos.
We now know that the stimulation meds were off, and the embryos' ratio of stimulated follicles to retrieved eggs is not particularly good. Also, these embryos were slow-frozen instead of "fast vitrified" after having been alive only three days (instead of at least five days). None of these are best practices.
At the time of that retrieval I was only 39, and the chance of high-quality eggs was much better, which is why Darren and I had decided then to have a retrieval even though then we were not married and were not ready to have a baby. We wanted to give ourselves the best chances at a child in the future. Unfortunately, we did not know IVF best practices at the time. I now know we cannot ever go back in history, but I so wish we had been as informed then as we are now.
So, a few years later when we finally decided to complete an IVF cycle we used both embryos from that cycle, and those we had kept guarded, and one of the three survived thawing. That embryo along with another were transferred into my uterus leading to that moment of celebration at the words "You are pregnant." But as I've shared, those glorious words were only fleeting, lasting a mere few days and unfortunately that "pregnancy" was what I am told is called "chemical," one that would not result in a healthy pregnancy.
Those embryos did not work and so here we are, and here I am—the night before we find out if and how many possible follicles a woman at 43 can make this time around.