Thursday, February 12, 2015

Transfer #1

I wrote this entry September 2014 just after my first embryo transfer. 

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We checked in at 10 am for a 10:30 procedure. I was so glad Abe was able to escape from work for a while to be there.

I changed into a gown, socks, and hat. Abe was already in scrubs and only had to put on a surgical cap. I continued to sip on water to fill my bladder as this would help with the procedure.

They took us back pretty quickly. One of the staff doctors and a fellow came in after we waited a bit longer. I felt very calm but not very excited, not worried, just relaxed, calm. The doctors came from the lab after looking at our embryo and gave us a report of our embryos. They only thawed one and we were told the quality was excellent. The staff doctor gave us a picture of the embryo -- a round ball of cells. He seemed optimistic about our five remaining embryos in the freezer, which was a relief to me -- I want to have enough left over for more tries in the future.

They started using an ultrasound to guide the transfer. My bladder was so full this was a little uncomfortable. They prepared for the transfer which felt a lot like a pap smear as they placed the speculum and cleaned the cervix with what they called a sponge but felt like 2-3 sharp needles. It was uncomfortable just long enough that I started to feel a little worried. I was told it wouldn't hurt. I started to feel a little emotional thinking, "This isn't how it is supposed to be!" Meaning this way of getting pregnant. (It's supposed to be easy and non-painful!) I was a little surprised to have that thought as I have been pretty at peace with the idea of IVF thing lately.

Just as I had this thought, they told me there were ready and it didn't hurt anymore. They did a trial run with the catheter and seemed to have a little trouble. Then the doctor told the lab they were ready for the embryo. They passed the catheter through the pass-through window as they yelled "Sheffield 1 embryo." I found myself really hoping it was labelled correctly and we were getting one of our embryos and not someone elses.

The embryo catheter seemed to go in easier than the trail catheter. It went in smoothly and painlessly, guided by the ultrasound. We watched the screen as the embryo was delivered -- a little flush of fluid was all you could see which looked to me like a little spaceship deploying. The doctors seemed pleased with the procedure and checked the catheter to make sure the embryo wasn't still inside before finishing.

Then they instructed me to lie flat for 10 minutes. This was the hardest part of the procedure as my bladder was very full at this point.

Before we left, they gave us a picture of our "baby" on the ultrasoud. The fellow said, "Hopefully this is the first of many to come." I got a little emotional and teary eyed. I'm not sure what I was feeling -- relief? excitement? maybe some anxiety?

I've been feeling fine since. My progesterone* shots aren't fun, but they are tolerable. It will be nice to pass the time while we wait on results in Hawaii!

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* Progesterone injections start about 1 week prior to the transfer date and on a frozen transfer continue for about 12 weeks for a successful pregnancy. These are injected in the muscle of the posterior hip region. They are notoriously painful --painful to inject and painful later.  This is probably related to the fact that the medication is suspended in oil and requires big needles to inject such a thick substance. I have found the discomfort has varied from round to round. The first was the worst. I had big knots in the area and pain weeks later, as well as some numbness in the injection sites. Subsequent transfers have been less painful. Maybe I'm just getting more brave?

injection site
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I was lucky to be able to spend my first "2 week wait" in Hawaii. What a good way to get my mind off of the anxiety of uncertainty as much as possible. I had some low-grade nausea that week if I had an empty stomach. I felt confident I was pregnant until I had a dream that I had to hold my breath for 17 minutes or I would lose the baby. Of course, I couldn't hold my breath that long and even though I knew that didn't make any sense, it shook me up a bit. I was naughty and took 2 pregnancy tests that week (they advise you to not do this as the results are usually not accurate) which were both negative. 

Shortly after arriving home I had my pregnancy blood test which came back negative.

Embryo count: 5 remaining

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