Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Transfer

The embryo transfer was a breeze, and in many ways, an enjoyable, exciting experience.  We arrived early, but were shown in right away.  When the receptionist pulled my file, I noticed two other files in the stack with the same green sticker on them, which makes me wonder if they did three transfers that day.  I really have no idea what kind of volume this clinic does, but it makes me curious to find out.

We were shown into a comfortable consultation room.  (Last time we sat in one of those rooms, we had just found out that I had had my fourth miscarriage. Wow, how differently we felt this time.)  A nurse gave me my instructions, which were basically, "keep taking your meds and stay in bed for the rest of the day."  She told me, "one pillow is fine, and you can get up to eat and go to the bathroom, but otherwise, you need to be horizontal."  I was surprised.  I figured I'd at least be allowed to kind of recline in bed.  When I later asked my doctor about why bed rest was required ("do I really need to worry about gravity?"), he said, "Oh, no good reason.  We're just being conservative.  There are no studies about it so we err on the side of caution.  But we used to order two weeks of bed rest and it's slowly gone down with no ill effects."  Two weeks! I have to say, a half day was torture.  Of course, that was mainly because I was in tremendous pain (which is worst lying down) from those damn progesterone shots. I ended up sobbing (the hormones also have me in a continuous state of near-emotional-meltdown) and having to ask Adam for a tissue and whining, "I can't even get myself a tissue!"  Staying in bed all day by choice on occasion is fun.  This was not fun.

So back to our cozy consultation room. After the nurse spoke to us, she asked us to go in to the ultrasound room so they could check to make sure my bladder was full enough.  (A full bladder helps with the ultrasound, so I had guzzled 4 glasses of water an hour earlier.)  I knew we were supposed to meet with the doctor before the procedure, so I asked if we would come back to the comfy room or if he was going to meet us in the u/s room.  She didn't have a clear answer, so I told her I did not want to meet with the doctor in that dark little room (which is filled with unpleasant memories for me), half-naked with my cold, bare feet hanging off the table.  I wanted to stay put.  She said that was fine.  I'm very proud of myself for thinking of this and being assertive enough to ask for it.  I have a bad habit of being completely obsequious with doctors, but I'm learning to conquer it now that I'm actually paying them directly instead of through insurance.

Now, the main thing that we needed to discuss with the doctor was the status of the embryos and how many we would transfer.  But when he came in and asked, "How are you doing?"  I answered, "Nervous," but Adam said, "She's in pain from those shots."  So we somehow ended up talking to him for at least five minutes about the shots before we got the great news about having at least two viable embryos.  I can't believe we didn't pounce on him about that first.  I mean, everything depended on that, and it was completely uncertain until that morning.  I guess that shows you how horrible these shots really are.

So, as previously reported, we found out that we had three mature blastocysts, two early blastocysts, and one morula.  I'm still flying high on our luck with this!  We decided to transfer the standard two.  The RE told us that the others would need to be watched until the next day to see if any were viable for freezing.  I figured that we might get one.  In the end, we found out the next day that two continued to develop well, and now we have two frozen embryos just in case.  What a wonderful feeling, to have that in the back of my mind!  Although, at this point, the main reason I'm desperate for this attempt at pregnancy to work is that I never want to have to do these injections again!  Anyway, the doctor then told us that he would inform the lab to prepare the two best embryos, we signed some release forms, and we went into the ultrasound room.

When the doctor came in, there was some setting up of equipment and getting me positioned and ready.  (I was extremely relieved that my bladder was plenty full and yet I wasn't dying to use the bathroom.  I've learned exactly how to time these things!)  At some point, somebody, I think the ultrasound technician, opened a little door in the wall - it looked just like a dumbwaiter door.  I had noticed this door on previous visits, but didn't think much about it.  (I've been in the u/s rooms at this clinic six times now and have spent some time looking around. Oh, and I thought you should know:  I counted them up, and I've had twenty ultrasounds. Twenty.)  But I realized now that there really was something behind the door.  The tech was talking to someone back there.  And then my doctor said, "That's our lab behind that door."  I said, "Ah, so that's where our little embryos have been cooking for the past five days."  Awesome! I was really excited by that, for some reason.  I guess it was nice to know the concrete place where all this science takes place.  Then the doctor and some mysterious, half-visible figure behind the door began to exchange some formal communication - something along the lines of:
"Prepare embryos for Amy Mossoff."

"Two embryos for Amy Mossoff."

"Two embryos, check."

"Roger, that."


Well, it was something like that.  I again pleased myself by having enough sense of humor at that moment to say, "It's like a fast food restaurant.  Order up!"

I suppose I won't give you the gritty details of the procedure itself.  You can look it up on the cloud if you're interested.  But the cool part was that we could see, on the ultrasound monitor, the little tube that was inserted, and we could see two little blobs of white escaping the tube and landing somewhere inside me.  We saw it!  Again, awesome!

But then I wondered, and asked the doctor, "how big are those things now?"  He said they were still microscopic. What we saw on the monitor was the air and liquid surrounding them.  But you could see two separate masses.  The technician clicked the mouse and put two little arrows on the screen, pointing to them.  I don't think I took my eyes off of those arrows until the screen saver came on a few minutes later.

Then it was done and I had to lay on my back for fifteen minutes.  I don't remember feeling any pain from the injections that whole time.  The doctor handed us something before he left the room.  It was a photo of our embryos:

Aren't they beautiful?

Here's hoping that all my future experiences in ultrasound rooms are as wonderful as this one.


  1. How exciting! I am so glad it went so well! Thank you so much for blogging this. I am learning so much, and it is all so inspiring and fascinating.

  2. Really enjoyed reading/learning about this Amy. Best wishes to you and Adam and Sam. xo

  3. They're so cute! :) I hope it goes well. Grow little guys, grow!

  4. Yay, yay, yay, yay, HOORAY!!! I can't believe I missed this post yesterday but I'm so excited for you. When do you get to pee on a stick? :)

  5. Woo hoo!

    So are you pregnant as of the transfer or do you wait for some additional confirmation before you consider yourself pregnant?

  6. Tori - I think I'm going to abstain from peeing on a stick and wait for the blood test, which is 1/19. I'm not having trouble waiting, can you believe that!

    Michelle - Oh, no - can't assume pregnancy yet. There are still many things that can go wrong. Statistically, I have a 70% chance of getting pregnant from this transfer. But to me, that would just be another starting point. After 4 miscarriages, getting pregnant isn't much cause for celebration, even though I know that these young eggs are a whole new ballgame. I think if I make it to 10 weeks pregnant, I'll feel like this is really going to happen.

    And, I suppose, that is why, in my response to Tori, I said I don't mind this waiting for the pregnancy test - because it's just another step for me, not the ultimate conclusion. But I'm used to it by now. :)