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It has been six days since they placed you in me. I rested as much as I could those first few days. But if you’re anything like me (and hearing that you’re a bit overachiever-ish like me suggests that you might be…you perfect A embryos, you) you’d know that sitting still isn’t my strong suit. Sitting still is hard. It gets even harder when you have a urinary tract infection to boot. So I know a bit about how much it sucks to sit still.
So it is with great understanding that I ask you to plant your not-yet-developed asses down and take a seat for nine months.
I am dying to meet you. I want to hang out with you and get to know you. I want to watch you pet Brooklyn the Dog and chase Spencer and Lucy the Cats. I want you to meet your family. I want you to remind me of my youth…to make me feel like time is flying…to truly learn all of the hell I put my own parents through.
But I need you to work on developing and growing and SITTING STILL first. Plant your cell-walls in my uterus and call it a day. Better yet, call it a nine months.
I hung your pictures on our fridge. There are two amazing little embryos blown up to oversized wallet photo size watching me as I pass by each morning and night. Let’s get more pictures up there. Let’s cover the refrigerator with the glow of your growth. Let’s lose track of where the fridge ends and the wall begins. Let’s do this together…you and me…and I promise to be proud of every last picture you bring me.
It’s time, little clumps of cells…it’s time to settle in and rest up. You have a big bold life waiting for you if you can just make it through these next nine months with me.
Your New Petri Dish…aka…The Host…The Mother-in-Waiting.
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The nice thing about the Two Week Wait when you do IVF or FET, the two weeks is actually a bit less. The bad thing is that there seems to be so much more on the line whether it be financially, emotionally or physically. My mood can go from extremely hopeful to extremely doubtful in no time flat.
The transfer was Friday and went well. Two embryos thawed, two survived, two transferred. The embryos that were transferred were graded as BB. But the more I read about that, the more I find that these grading techniques are all subjective. It’s above average, that’s all I know. And that sounds good to me. There were four transfers that day. One woman got to transfer three because they thaw two at a time and one in the first batch didn’t make it. The woman next to me was reassured that her embryos looked as good as they would have if they weren’t frozen and thawed. I was kind of irrationally jealous at these women.
Until today, all I had symptom wise were some headaches and exhaustion. Both of those things can be progesterone related. Yesterday and today I’ve had achey legs. Today I definitely had some nausea/heartburn and my IBS is acting up. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, but these were good signs last time. I have to keep reminding myself that every pregnancy is different.
I keep doing what the psychic said: I keep placing my hands on my abdomen where my uterus is and telling the embryos how much they are wanted and loved. I hope they can feel my positive energy.
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Embryo transfer is a go. My hormone levels are “excellent” and my lining is “right where it needs to be.” At approximately 10:45 tomorrow morning, I will be PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). That means at approximately 10:46 tomorrow morning, the two week wait will begin and I will commence going nuts. Just a fair warning.
The Mister and I talked about the transfer some again last night. He’s understandably worried about another loss. It hasn’t been easy on either one of us, obviously. But I feel like the roles have been reversed a bit. When the whole thing went down he was primarily the strong one and I was the weepy one. Now that’s it time to take the chance again, I’m the positive one and he’s the nervous one. At least we balance each other out.
The RE asked if I was excited about the transfer this morning. And without thinking or hesitating I responded that I was. After I said it I wondered if I had just said that to please her. But then, when I thought about it, I really am excited. I’m nervous about the outcome, of course, but I’m still excited. I’m excited to have the chance at pregnancy again. I’m excited to do things differently. I’m excited to be hopeful again.
So if you have time around 10:45 AM tomorrow, shout out a prayer or some good thoughts tomorrow for some very special embryos and me. We’ll need all the help we can get.
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I was going to wait until I was fully awake to write this, but I suppose this is about as awake as I’m going to get today.
We had the first ultrasound today. I wasn’t really nervous about it until last night when it hit me in a rush of “OHMYGOD WHAT IF NOTHING SHOWS UP?!?!?!” As I see it, there’s a big difference in a blood (or urine) test saying you’re pregnant and actually seeing something to confirm that the hormones are there for a reason and not just playing some trick on you.
Despite the long wait (I think every single one of their patients had some sort of morning monitoring appointment this morning) and the early hour (we got there around 6:50, which is much too early for me to be thinking straight), we did get some good news. There, on the black and white screen that sits next to the exam table, appeared a small black oval in a sea of gray…our little embryo. The doctor could see the gestational sac and the yolk sac and said everything looks right on track. (The rhyming there was unintentional.) He said that they’d call with my beta levels and progesterone levels later today and I’d come back in 7-8 days for a repeat so they can try to see/hear the heartbeat.
Of course, I didn’t let that stop me from developing a new set of worries. Is everything on track? What should I be able to see? What if a heartbeat doesn’t show up next week. I enlisted the help of Dr. Google and, for once, Dr. Google wasn’t a complete dick and actually helped to reassure me. Where I’m at right now (gestational age 5 weeks 3 days—depending on implantation, according to this helpful calculator) is too early to see or hear a heartbeat anyhow. And it’s a good thing that they could see the yolk sac. So I’m just going to let things rest for awhile.
He also confirmed that my ovaries are still a bit enlarged from all of the stimulating medications and whatnot. This explains the random twitches of pain I’ve been having in my ovary areas.
So yeah…I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious. (Ten cool points to the person who gets that reference…)
The Mister asked the other day (yesterday, I believe) when I was going to start throwing up in the mornings. He was so kind to ask… (*insert a plethora of sarcasm here*) I informed him that not only can the nausea come any time of the day, but some women don’t get it and that I hope I’m in that camp. Isn’t exhaustion, gut wrenching heartburn, an abundance of bathroom trips and a sore ass from progesterone shots enough? Oh, and let’s not forget the headaches I had a week ago (which creep up every now and again). I think that’s enough for now. I’m fully aware that this can change at any moment, though.
Speaking of being tired…maybe I can sneak in an afternoon nap once our work study student gets here….hmmm…
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Again, I like to have all of the information I can get my hands on. So for those of you who want a more in-depth description of an embryo transfer, here it is.
When we went in for the retrieval, we were told the transfer would be on Monday or Wednesday (Day 3 or Day 5, respectively). The problem is that they wouldn’t know until Monday if they were going to do it then or if it would be Wednesday. I guess it’s basically a game time decision. But I got the call pretty early on Monday that we had enough advanced ones to go to a Day 5 transfer. So Monday was out.
As an aside, this is my understanding of the whole Day 3/Day 5 situation: Originally in IVF, they only had a Day 3 transfer. Over time, they realized that allowing the embryos to mature to the next stage—the blatocyst stage—and wait until Day 5 to transfer would ensure higher quality embryos were being used and that you didn’t need as many of them to ensure a successful cycle. I guess with the original Day 3 transfers, they’d transfer several embryos (more than 3) because of their tendency not to “stick” as well. But, if you have enough embryos and enough of them are developing properly, they are willing to take the risk of losing a few by waiting until Day 5. So, although it’s counter-intuitive at first, the more embryos you have, the more likely you are going to do a Day 5 transfer.
On Wednesday morning, I got a call from the doctor again. We had several high quality blatocysts (the ones they transferred were grade 4AA) available for transfer. He asked if we had discussed how many to transfer, and I indicated that we thought of two. At that point, The Mister started getting nervous about a double embryo transfer—what were the chances of twins or higher order multiples? We had talked about it before, but in hindsight, it was probably more of an assumption on my part that we’d transfer two.
So we got to the office and my acupuncturist was there waiting for me. Now, I highly recommend acupuncture for relaxation. I don’t know if it does everything it claims to do, but I know it puts me at ease and I needed that Wednesday morning more than anything. So I had an hour long session prior to the transfer, which was wonderful. The acupuncturist let me listen to a guided meditation CD about embryo transfers during the session which was distracting at first, but ended up helping a great deal. My RE’s office gives the option of taking a Valium before the transfer, but being that Valium has never done anything for me, I didn’t really intend on using it. The acupuncture probably did a better job than the Valium ever could.
At the end of the session, we walked back to the mini-hospital area of the clinic. I changed into the gown and hairnet and whatnot. The Mister put on a gown and a hat and a mask. We waited maybe five minutes total and the doctor came in and handed us a picture of the two embryos selected for transfer. He informed us that the chance of pregnancy putting these two back was 50%. If pregnancy did occur, there was a 30% chance of twins, but only a 2% chance of triplets. I think these odds put The Mister’s fears at ease because we agreed to the two.
Within minutes, we were walking back to the transfer room. They put me on the table with the big ski boots and the bottom that falls out. They used an ultrasound in the traditional manner you see on television to find my uterus. Because I’m a bigger gal, I had to hold some of my skin out of the way for them to adequately see the whole organ. They inserted a speculum and I could tell they were cleaning stuff off, but to be honest I didn’t really feel anything. This was probably the easiest time I’ve had with a speculum ever. I wondered if it had anything to do with the Crinone applicator they had me use before I came in.
On a TV screen above my head, my name and The Mister’s name appeared and we were asked to confirm that it was us. Then you could see two tiny round circles on a background of white and they were soon being sucked up by a device. These were the embryos. The TV was changed to the ultrasound picture and they had to press harder to get an accurate view. I guess my bladder wasn’t full enough (though it certainly felt like it was). This was the most discomfort I felt was them having to push on that pretty hard. And I’d bet that most of that was because my bladder was so full.
But within seconds, it was over. The embryos were in (I missed any movement on the ultrasound of the catheter or anything) and we were done. They checked the catheter to ensure that there weren’t any fallen soldiers and then moved me to a gurney and rolled me back out to the recovery area. That’s when they gave us an ultrasound picture of my uterus with the two embryos in it.
And that’s when I started to get all choked up. It was such an amazing thing to witness. Most people don’t get to see their embryos at this stage and most people don’t know when the embryos have made it to the uterus. But we did…down to the exact second.
I collected myself and the acupuncturist came back in and we did another, less lengthy session. This was probably a good thing because it made me lie very still and relax instead of getting worked up.
Twenty minutes later, I was headed to the bathroom to relieve myself and within another fifteen minutes we were walking out the door.
I had a bit of soreness yesterday in my abdomen, but I think that was from them having to push down with the ultrasound paddle because it was in that exact spot that I felt the most pressure when they were using it during the procedure. All in all, the procedure was a lot less intensive than I worried about. It was over very quickly and though I was tired from having gotten so worried about it in the first place, I wasn’t exhausted from it physically.
And now I just need two nicknames for those bumpy circles residing in my uterus. I really hope they decide to stick around.
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