They went ahead with the first embryo transfer.

"How do you feel?" asked my friend, because I seem to have managed to pull together a small group of people who, without mutual knowledge or communication, have gone and made it their function to keep asking me how I feel. It's reminiscent of blogging, but in meat space. It's weird.

I said, "Surprised," when our recipients let us know that all six of the two-day-old embryos had survived the thaw. "Didn't know they all had it in them."

It was later I realised with a slight chill that we'd passed the point of no return. Those embryos were only ours til they thawed.

A single, "beautiful" blast was transferred on the Monday, and a second one put back in the freezer for another time. Our recipient explained all the things she was planning to help its chances (acupuncture, meditation, diet, clearly-defined periods of baby-holding and not-baby-holding) and gave us the date for the blood test. She said she was trying to keep her hopes in perspective. And me? I was telling my friend I felt fine. From this distance, without the artificial hormones, the whole process is less intense.

She got pregnant. I'm telling you like that so we can cut to the chase: at 3am last night I found myself sobbing in my living room, shuffling through my contact lists to see who in which time zone might be up and willing to talk. When I found someone, I wondered "aloud" if I was the worst mother in the world, but ultimately I had to explain that I had known it would be like this, at least a little bit, perhaps a lot. We knew and we did it anyway. That was our choice.

So I went out with my phone for a walk in the darkness. "Do you think this feeling will pass?" my friend asked me, and I said, "I know it will. Feelings always do," but then a second friend chimed in and said, "I'm guessing you'll always feel something there," and suddenly my heart was lighter, like it just then realised it didn't have to go through it all that night, because it would in any case be going through it piece by piece each day.

This morning, a third friend asked, "Do you regret your decision?" and I said, "It's too early to say yet. In my books, she's not really pregnant til they see a heartbeat, and that scan won't happen til next year." But I keep coming back to the moment I got the news, and I know it sounds dramatic and perhaps a little cliche, but my hands actually shook and I felt a light head spin, so I lowered myself onto my knees and pressed my forehead to the floor as if praying, and I focussed on my breath while I waited for it all to sink in. It took sixty whole seconds to realise I was whispering, over and over, subconsciously.

And what I was whispering were two simple words. And the words were: "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

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