Lately, I've been finding myself rather at a loss about what I should and shouldn't post. Do I really think that it's necessary to mention being tired again? Will anybody really want to read about the fact that I can now (just barely) feel my uterus in my lower belly? Is it beyond unnecessary to celebrate the fact that I am now officially entering the second trimester? Well, the answer to the last one at least is a resounding NO, I think. For some reason, the end of the first trimester was a big deal to me. With every passing day, I start to become more optimistic that maybe, just maybe, there will actually be a baby at the end of this all.
In general, though, I actually feel more comfortable blogging about my neuroses, psychoses, and dilemmas than about the happy moments that have resulted from my first-ever (apparent) victory in my long-running war with infertility. It's not that I'm not grateful. I'm beyond grateful. Almost 14 weeks into this pregnancy, I still feel like kissing my RE every day to express my gratitude for my incredible luck in making it so far. Infertility is still far to fresh in my mind to take a second of this for granted. Rather, I am (like every other former infertile, probably) coping with the survivor's guilt in part by trying to shut up when I don't have something to say that I'm not embarrassed to say in front of people who are still in the battle.
What I'm about to say, though, is not only embarrassing to say to people who are still in the battle. It's embarrassing to admit to anyone at all. Nonetheless, I thought I'd throw it out there, just to see if I'm the only freak in the world, or if other people actually think about these things. Are you ready? Here goes... Sometimes I worry that they put the wrong embryos back in my IVF cycle, and that this is actually somebody else's baby. Am I completely deranged? Should I run, not walk to the nearest psychiatric emergency clinic?
I should clarify that when I say "worry", I don't mean "lying awake at nights fretting", I mean more like wondering, but in a slightly apprehensive way. And when I say "somebody else's baby", I don't mean a baby that I won't (or don't already) love with every fiber of my being. I mean a baby that someone else might also have a legitimate claim on. That's the part that takes me from wondering into apprehensive wondering. Given that every other customer at my clinic was Korean at the time that I was going there, if they DID put the wrong embryos back in, then it will be obvious to everyone involved on the child's birthday. What would this mean for us? Would we be in danger of having the child taken away? In the US it wouldn't, but in Korea, who knows?
I think that some of this anxiety results from the differences between the procedures at my clinic here in Korea versus my clinic in the USA. In the USA, with every IUI, we had to sign a document when we dropped the semen off to be washed stating that the semen came from my husband's body, and that it had been in our custody since it had been produced. Then when we picked up the washed sperm to take it in for the IUI (it was in an office across the street from the RE), the technician signed a document basically stating that the sperm hadn't been out of her sight, and I signed a document stating that I had verified that the name on the label was my husband's name. Then at the RE's office, Mystery Man had to sign something saying that he agreed that I could be inseminated with his sperm, and I had to sign something stating that I had verified the identity of the sperm with the technician. They were serious about chain of custody issues. Here in Korea, though, we just brought in a vial in a paper bag (carefully kept at boob temperature on the subway ride), wrote his name on the vial, and handed it over to the receptionist, not to hear from it again until the day of embryo transfer.
When I think about this realistically, I realize that they probably relaxed a lot of that legalese here partly because Koreans are less litigious by nature than Americans, and partly because having me sign legal documents in Korean is not only an exercise in futility, as far as communication of risks and responsibilities is concerned, but also requires that they provide a translator, which would be an enormous hassle. I can't believe that they really fling embryos about randomly in the back room. Furthermore, even if they do normally fling embryos about, I would think they'd be a bit more careful with mine, given that it would be really obvious in my case if they made a mistake. So, rationally, I realize that I just need to turn off the TV and my imagination and stop thinking about things like this. Still, I keep finding myself wondering.
Honestly, if they did make a mistake, I'll still be grateful for this amazing gift. However, I've got to say that I really really hope that they didn't.