The Protocol

There are various levels to IVF. Mrs Mango and I are on the “platinum-super-size- me- level-1” program. I am not sure of some of the earlier protocols as we jumped straight in at DEFCON 1, but I believe they go a little like this:

Level 5: some stimulant shots for your wife for (hopefully) some more eggs, add the Barry White CD, and hopefully kiddie

Level4: (IUI) stimulants again for the missus and this time dad is added manually via turkey baster <insert medical word sometime>, swims around for a while, does an Easter egg hunt, and hopefully kiddie

Level3: IVF – mum loaded up on stims, as we are now going to extract the eggs, and they will dance with dad in a dish somewhere. Growing kiddies are dropped back into mum 3 -5 days later  and 9 months later you have added to the human population

Level 2: IVF with ICSI. Same as level 3, but you have dopey tadpoles so they are injected into the eggs as they are too dumb to sort that out for themselves.

Level 1: IVF with ICSI and PGD. Same as level 2, but around the 3rd day after fertilization, they grab a cell out of jnr and test its genetic composition. Good ones are given back to mum to grow into healthy nuggets.

Our 1st cycle was at level 2. Our last 2 cycles were level 1

So for those out there who have no idea how this really works, he’s the cheat sheet. Think of drag racing. Your wife is put on a drug that acts like a hand brake, which shuts down her normal cycle. You then jab her full of stimulants for 7-10 days (hand brake still on, but you are now revving the engine, big time). Next step: you trigger (release the hand brake!!!) and you have a very tight window (36 hrs) to retrieve the eggs.  You then get into the counting game. Every step is an anxious hurdle you can trip on that kills your whole race (cycle): # eggs retrieved, # mature eggs, # fertilized eggs, # embryos that pass PGD, and then 3-4 days after retrieval (hopefully) # eggs transferred back. You then wait 2 weeks for a preg test and that’s about it.