Matt and I have been keeping a secret.
The whole time we were filing paperwork and closing on our house and selling most of our stuff and packing up the rest and bon voyage-ing, we were working on another project: fertility treatments.
Dexter is a science baby. I’m infertile. He exists as a result of in-vitro fertilization and a big pile of luck.
When Matt and I were deciding whether to relocate to London, there was a lot to consider, and once we’d decided to move, we had to consider two more things: a pair of frozen embryos, in storage, left over from the retrieval round that gave us Dex. What would happen to them?
It wasn’t really a tough decision. We had always planned to transfer them and roll the dice on whether Dexter would have a sibling. And when the London move became a reality, that plan quickly shifted from someday to right now, so we met with a doctor and he presented an expedited medication and treatment schedule that would allow us to make the transfer before we had to go. It was rushed and painful and stressful, fitting in screenings and drugs on top of everything else, but we were committed.
I never believed it would work.
We’ve been at this fertility treatments thing for a long time and based on our history, the odds were not great. I just couldn’t bear to leave the little frozen dudes behind. We’d worked so hard to make them.
So in they went.
It was the 4th of July, when our test came back positive. My sister was in town. I was so shocked I don’t think I even smiled. Just utterly stunned, and then had to set it aside to tackle the huge To-Do list that would get (all four of) us across an ocean.
Well, we couldn’t set it entirely aside. A positive pregnancy test isn’t the end of treatments. I had to continue painful, nightly injections during our visit to family up north, then through the move – they didn’t end until we were in London for about a month. At our final ultrasound in Orlando, our doctor found a blood clot that concerned him, and he wanted me to rest. Like, really rest. He told me not to walk down stairs with too much bounce. So as we packed our stuff, poor Matt had to do most of the labor because I wasn’t allowed.
Have I mentioned how great our Orlando friends are? They filled in the gaps and then some. “I couldn’t have done it without you,” is a total cliche but truly, without the help of our friends, we’d still be in Orlando right now, living in a pile of our unwanted stuff.
Finally, I battled extreme fatigue during the first trimester. I was more exhausted than I’d been at any point of Dexter’s pregnancy. Spent most of the family visits struggling to keep my eyelids open, and the fatigue has only eased in the past few weeks, which means the entire time we were moving and flat-hunting and trying to survive in the hotel, I was completely knackered. Again, a virtual medal for Matt.
And THEN, when we got here, we had to figure out how to get me set up in the health system to get a scan, something my Orlando doctor was recommending happen immediately. We did everything as quickly as we could, but there’s a process and it took a while. I was nervous – I’d been under a lot of stress, the blood clot, we had to make some medication timing concessions based on travel/time zones and no, I wasn’t able to rest as much as was prescribed.
But we finally got the ultrasound, and there he was, swimming around, thriving. During the first scan, I was alone with Dexter and my relief cut through the sounds of Dexter losing his mind, being ignored in a darkened room while Mommy answered 1,000,000 questions. Matt came along to the second scan, though, and we had a gorgeous moment when Dex sat on Matt’s lap, holding my hand, entranced by the sight of his new sibling on the screen.
We made it, and we’re so excited. Cricket is excited too, somersaulting in my stomach as I type this.
He’s due March 8.