How long will the butterfly stay?

Mum100-blog-IVF-red-admiral-butterfly-bleeding-after-ivf-embryo-transferI wanted to draw a tortoiseshell butterfly today. I don’t know why. The image came to me when I woke up, fluttering around my mind.

I used to see these butterflies as a girl, every summer, growing up in the countryside. I loved their flame orange wings with bold black and gold markings. I was fascinated by their furry brown bodies and dotty antennae.

They decorated the flowers in our garden. Their landing pads were bright petals and green leaves, in the beds my Mum created. They flapped from flower to flower; pairs danced in the sky.

I remember trying to catch tortoiseshells in my hands. I approached with the focus of a tiger, steady and soundless. Close in, I held my breath. I raised my hands, and so quickly, I cupped them around a butterfly, catching petals in my hands. Mostly, I missed; the butterfly flapped up and away, zig-zagging across the garden.

Eventually, I caught one. I held my hands in a ball shape, to give enough space and light. I carried it with me, those delicate wings tickling my palms. Then there was the pleasure of opening my hands, a magic trick reveal, before the tortoiseshell took off to the sky.

Occasionally, the butterfly sat in my hands, its tiny feet resting on my palms. That was the greatest wonder of all, those rare times when the little creature chose to stay with me – even for a few extra heartbeats, when it had all the freedom to fly away. In those moments, I believed the butterfly knew I meant it no harm. When it did leave, I watched, both delighted and sad to see it go.

Now I live in the city, I don’t see butterflies so much. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw one. I should get out to the countryside more, to remember those glorious warm summers of childhood. They were endless golden spaces, certainly my memory has made them so. Where we lived, we were surrounded by wheat fields and long grass. There were giant pines and horse chestnuts to climb, apples and blackberries to pick, big ditches to jump and scrape our knees. There were miles of farmland to explore, the roar of green combines at harvest gave such a thrill.

Any adventure was possible in that landscape.

Day 4 past our double embryo transfer

Today, the cramps are much stronger. Since 6am, I have been passing red blood. I have said my prayers of acceptance for whatever is happening to our beautiful blasters. Tears are coming and going. It really helped to draw my little butterfly this morning, there was comfort in that.

I am drawing lots of strength from the words of my IVF sisters yesterday. I know pretty much anything can happen in the two week wait, and still result in a positive pregnancy test. I have read about pregnancies in the IVF community that are nothing short of a miracle.

We spoke to the nurse at the hospital, who said to keep taking the medication and rest. There’s nothing else we can do in this waiting game. The nurse said if it becomes a full period, chances are we’ve lost them. I still have hope.

So, I’m taking to my bed today, to draw and write, read and sleep, whatever I feel like doing or not doing. Dad 100 is making some homemade tomato soup.

I am not in charge of the miracle.

This too shall pass.


20 thoughts on “How long will the butterfly stay?

  1. You cannot control what happens next, what you can do is look after yourself. Rest, rest and more rest. I’m thinking of you – nothing I can say will take away the worry. It may work or it may not but there is always hope – hope for this round and hope for the next if it comes to that. You are a warrior, you are strong and you are loved. Take care of yourself my lovely x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – beautiful message xxxx I’m in bed now and I plan to stay here all day -and tomorrow, if necessary. It just feels like the right place to be – it was so helpful what you wrote yesterday, how you coped with this situation. Can’t thank you enough x

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  2. I don’t really have any words to help but thinking of you. Keep chilling and watch or read something to totally take your mind of things! But fortunately bleeding could mean he/she settling in nicely so don’t let your thoughts run away with you too much!! Sending hugs x

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    1. Thank you xxx Been in bed all day, long time since I’ve done that! Watched some good stuff on iPlayer. I was just saying to my fella, the good thing about all this is that nothing else will seem that hard after doing the 2 week wait. I thought I could breeze through it – hahaha!! Thank you for your encouragement – means so much to hear from my sisters 🙂


    1. Thank you Nara. It’s a full period now. Weirdly, accepting it feels a bit easier than not quite knowing. Perhaps there is still a miracle in store for us, but in the mean time we’re going to book a holiday – need some bright light and warmth and blue sea. x x x


    1. ah thank you, that means a lot. I am doing okay. The bleeding is a full period now, so I have moved into the acceptance that IVF 1 is probably not going our way. If there’s a miracle in store, brilliant, but in the mean time, we’ve decided to book a sunny break :-). Need blue sea, something we’re a bit short of in London!! x Thank you for rooting for me, that has helped so much x x x

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      1. That’s exactly what we did! Book a holiday go away – learn the accept it and let yourself be angry. Do you have any more eggs in the freezer? I know that this journey is not over yet there is more to come – lots more. Please don’t feel like you have to be strong – allow yourself to be upset and angry !

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      2. Definitely had some anger come today, then I slept for most of the afternoon. It’s a strange effect on the body – a bit like jet lag! We are definitely going to take a break, that feels so nice actually, that we’ll get some warmth and sea. We do have two more blastocysts in the freezers, plus when the dust settles, we might get a second opinion. Thank you for being there x x x How are you doing today? Did you have a nice party yesterday? x

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    1. Hello, I am up then down then fine in the middle. You know how it goes – all the emotional seasons can come and go in a single day. The hospital have brought our test forward to Friday (rather than next Tuesday), so at least we will have the official result then if it’s BFN, I can stop the medication. The good news is we have booked our little holiday – going to Formentera and Ibiza, early June. That is giving me something else to focus on. My lovely fella has banned further IVF research for the rest of the week – which I think is definitely a good thing. xx How are you my love? Send me some nice pregnancy news please, it makes me feel hopeful to hear the success stories x x x


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