Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Actual Transfer

The next morning, we all drove the few blocks from the hotel to the clinic together. We had to get checked in, similar to how you would for an outpatient procedure, which I guess at its simplest, is exactly what an embryo transfer is. Mainly, I remember that we all three had medical wristbands, and they kept confirming our social security numbers against their records. Over and over again. I assume the very real scare of putting the wrong embryos in the wrong person prompts them to double and triple check, every step along the way. I had to sign release forms that I understood what was happening and the medical risks involved, blah blah blah.

At long last, I was put in a private room. I undressed from the waist down, hopped on the table and covered up with a lovely paper drape ….. ah, good times. Then I called my IP’s in to join me, and chugged about half a gallon of water. Big mistake. That’s when I learned how my bladder MUST BE teeny tinier than normal because of how miserably full I got before the transfer.

As my IP’s and I sat in that room, waiting for the RE to come in, we had this sort of awkward, stilted conversation. It’s surreal, in a way, to know you are embarking on something so hopefully miraculous, yet you almost don’t want to jinx it by talking about it, so you sit and babble about stupid things like the weather. Or at least I did. I also remember that we were the very first transfer scheduled for that morning, and it was freezing cold in the room. So part of my brain was dwelling on the excitement of what was about to happen, and part of my brain was dwelling on trying not to shiver, half-undressed, on the table. Part of my brain was carrying on a completely inane conversation about, I don’t know, probably shoes or Brittney Spears or something moronic in an attempt not to show how nervous I was, and the very last part of my brain was dwelling on my very real struggle not to wet the table because my GOSH my bladder is full and when are they coming in here with those embryos already!?!?!

The doctor, at long last, came in and told us the embryos looked good; growth was right on target for day three. We had previously discussed putting two embryos in, and at the last minute, my IF and I put out tentative feelers for inserting three. (I told you, I get that way, all sort of desperate and panicky, every single time.) My IM wasn’t so sure about putting in three, but it didn’t matter. The doctor was emphatic – No. These embryos looked strong and healthy, and to quote him: “Putting in multiple embryos doesn’t raise the chance of pregnancy …. It simply raises the chance of a multiple pregnancy, if it’s going to work at all.”

He went on to explain that (at *their* clinic, anyway) they consider the most-successful IVF transfers to be the ones that result in a singleton pregnancy. Less complications during the pregnancy, less risk for the surrogate, less risk for the baby. Yes, twins are wonderful and miraculous and it seems like everyone left and right is having them these days, thanks to fertility drugs, but ideally, the goal of this fertility clinic was healthy, low-risk, singleton pregnancies.

So, we all agreed, two it would be.

The two they transferred were 8 celled and 8+ celled, meaning the embryos had divided to the point of having eight cells each (one slightly ahead of the other and getting ready to divide again.) We watched on the ultrasound screen (OMG woman, I mentally screamed at the nurse, quit leaning on my bladder with that ultrasound wand!!!) as the doctor inserted the catheter and Poof! there went the flash of white as the fluid containing the embryos was inserted. The doctor pulled out all the instruments, patted my knee, told us it was a “better-than-textbook” transfer, and wished us all luck. All that work, all that effort, all that time and expense …. And the whole thing took less than three minutes, start to finish.

I lay there for half an hour afterwards, and for some reason, started doing that uncontrollable shaking thing on the table, to the point where they had to bring in warm blankets to lay over me. I’m not sure if it was because it was so cold in the room, or nerves, or adrenaline, but I remember thinking there was no way those embryos would be able to attach themselves to a uterus jerking around like the drum of a washing machine. Then, when the half hour was over, I got up and hurried down the hall to the bathroom so quickly that I remember thinking there was no way those embryos could attach to my uterus while I speed-walked like that, desperately holding my knees together. (To hold the embryos in, or to keep from wetting my pants, I’m not sure.) Or, while I urinated for what must have been close to five solid minutes. Is it possible to PEE out a baby??? (PS, the doctor assured me, No.) (Because yes, I did ask.) (Because I'm a goober.)

Finally, I was dressed and ready to go. My couple drove me back to the hotel, where I stayed on 24 hour light bedrest. They brought me lunch and dinner, and for the rest of the day I simply lay around and watched movies. I don’t know that I’d want to live my life like that, but for a day, it was pretty relaxing, I must admit. Back home, I had a one year old, a three year old, and a four year old to keep happy and entertained. Lying around in a hotel bed all day, with no-one demanding to be wiped or cleaned or fed, was pure heaven. The next day I drove the rental car back to the airport, then flew home.

And thus began the dreaded two-week wait.


Sharon, Angels in Atlanta said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us over the years. I've followed your blog from Kendrie's site for quite some time now, and just love the way you pull me in and totally involve me in your "story-telling". You put into words the awkwardness, the excitement, the trepidation, the anger and the pure joy that we ALL feel as we walk through life in such an expressive and thoughtful way. I can't wait for the next update or picture and feel deprived when you have the gall to be away from your computer for more than a day...LOL!! We're all goobers Kristie! And damn proud of it!!!

Denise Tidwell said...

OK, this is like reading Black Heels to Tractor Wheels love story...I'm dying to get to the part where it works!!! Hope everyone is well there. Is Kendrie seeing someone up there for her off therapy appts? Haley just had her 11 year cancer sometimes it seems like yesterday. Take care...all of you:)

Beth said...

Even though I know that you have happy endings (or beginnings?) here, I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear the rest of the story!

Thinking of you and your currents IPs.

Caroline said...

I cannot imagine having to have a full bladder and then go through all that. I don't think I could make it.

Can't wait to hear more!

Becca said...

Ah, the SUSPENSE! I love these posts--thanks for sharing this story, as well as your own journey to your own family. BTW, LOVED the pictures of Kendrie playing goalie. I was introduced to her when she was just beginning her cancer journey, and to see her healthy, running, smiling, with long hair is just thrilling. Plus, she kicks ass. Really. (or butt, whatever)

Jill B. said...

Great posts. Can't wait to hear the rest of your story. I think I know where you had the procedure done. I used to live in Gaithersburg, MD near Shady Grove Road.


Obviously I'm a goober too about peeing out the baby because the thought went through my mind as I was reading it!

Hats off for being able to carry on a conversation with the IP's while half naked on a table. I can barely carry on one with my doctor in that state.


lynne said...

Your story is just inspirational, I think most of your normal commenter's are lost for words. I know I am. Head expanding here with information I'd never thought of.

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

lol! I would be the same way about asking if I could pee the baby out! too funny!

Jacquie said...

Even though I know it turns out well, I have my fingers crossed!