Friday, November 25, 2011

Operation Jellyman Kelly: Embryo Transfer

DISCLAIMER: Any blog posts titled "Operation Jellyman Kelly" will no doubt gross you out. These posts will describe our current treatments for if you have a weak stomach or don't know how you'd have a conversation with me in person after reading this....stop reading now. ; )

When we left the IVF clinic after egg retrieval we were told we’d be given a report the next morning on the status of whether or not any of our eggs fertilized.

It was the most dreadful wait of them all.

There would be no guarantees here.

Sometimes eggs fertilize.  Sometimes they don’t.  Even if they’re being forced to fertilize…it doesn’t mean they’ll survive.

I tried to sleep the wait away.

But I still couldn’t help worrying that perhaps this cycle was for nothing.  Perhaps we wouldn’t even get to the transfer.

And then the phone rang.

“Hi!   it’s Valerie. “

I hold my breath.

“It’s good news.  Five of the nine eggs fertilized!”

And breathe.

“Dr. T will monitor and see how they do over the next few days and will call you on day 3 to let you know when we’ll do a transfer.”

She gave me a few more instructions and asked how I was feeling and told me to continue resting the next few days.

I don’t remember most of what she said though.

I was just thrilled that we’d made it to the next level of the process.

And then that excitement turned to dread when I realized I’d have to wait another two days to see if we’d really get to the next level.  Our five precious embryos would have to develop correctly you see…otherwise they would not qualify for a transfer.

The next two days were hell for me.

I kept thinking our embryos would die and this would all be for naught.

I again tried sleeping away the wait.

And then it was the morning of September 11th.  Day 3.  I woke early, hoping for the best.  I showered, got myself ready….just in case.

And the phone rang.

“This is Dr. T.”

I hold my breath….again.

“I think we’ll go ahead and do the transfer today.  You have all the details that Valerie provided?”

I tell him I do.

“Ok, see you at 11.”

Dr. T is not a talker.  It was very awkward speaking to him on the phone.  Even more awkward than in person….but the man knows what he’s doing, so I don’t mind.

I tell my husband we’re a go for the transfer and he asks how many embryos survived.


I didn’t even THINK to ask.

I was just thrilled we were moving on to the next step!

I tell my husband I didn’t ask and that we should go with the number 1 in our heads.  Let’s assume 1 embryo survived (since you need at least one for a transfer) and if we find more survived, we’ll be happy and excited.   
My husband accepts this plan.

One hour before transfer, you have to drink a ridiculous amount of water so that your bladder is as full as possible.  This apparently helps the Dr. visualize your uterus via ultrasound.

I’ve had dear friends go through this process…and both mentioned the full bladder for transfer was the most uncomfortable part of the entire IVF process.

Lie; they did not.

Dr. T came in and showed us a photo of the two healthiest looking embryos of the 5 that were STILL ALIVE and told us he’d be transferring them both.

My husband and I were ecstatic.

The embryologist wheeled our embryos in, verified they were ours (awkward!) and we were off and running.

Thankfully, the procedure was quick.

I was instructed to lie on my back for 30 minutes and the nurse told me I could try to hold it or she could get me a bedpan.

I’d never used a bedpan before.  I told her I’d try to hold it.

And 30 seconds later I sent my husband running for a bedpan.

Embarrassing?  Sure.  But soooooo worth it.

I lay there for 30 minutes, holding my husband’s hand, starring at the ultrasound monitor where we just watched our two precious embryos enter my uterus....still thrilled that we transferred two good looking embryos and still had 3 more.   Now we just needed those 3 to survive to blastocyst stage so that they’d be eligible for freezing.  If we’re able to freeze them….we have another shot if this cycle doesn’t work.

In no time we were back home and I was on 2 days of strict bed rest.

And then  the two week wait………

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