The Transfer!

posted by Dana with 9 Comments
I had my alarm set for 6:01am but Jason’s (my husband) went off at 5:50.  We got up (yes, kudos for me from those who know me) and I went with him to drop him off at his work which is nine blocks from the RE’s office.  The plan was for him to walk to the RE’s office for the appointment so he didn’t have to take the whole day off and we didn’t end up with an extra car downtown Portland.  I couldn’t drive myself because they gave me a Valium for the transfer to relax my body/cervix/uterus. I drove back home and got all my ducks in a row which included prepping a breakfast to last a few days and dinner.  I got my son Anthony settled with everything he needed at home and then dropped Caitlin my daughter off at my sweet friend Maria’s who took Caitlin along with her boys to an amusement park today!

As per my pre-transfer instructions I emptied my bladder and started drinking a quart of water at 11:45, one hour prior to my check in time.  A full bladder helped position my uterus how they wanted it but they didn’t want it too full.  I left for Portland with a big smile on my face. It’s about a forty minute drive.

Nerves kicked in on 15th Street and it seemed like a different concern crept up every block.  By the time I arrived at the RE’s office on 22nd Street I was nervous.  What if I drank too much water? What if my uterus lining is too thin, too thick?  What if the embryos don’t survive the thaw?  What if the appointment was yesterday?  I became less reasonable as I went.  But this didn’t keep me from my silly grin as I walked into the clinic 20 minutes early.  I checked in, finished my water and pretended to read until Marce arrived.  He was on the phone with Chris who could not make it.  Marce looked more worried than me and he was.

Marce laid it out for me.  When all was said and done after the fertilization last week there were six mature embryos which were frozen.  Four were from Marce and two from Chris. Upon thawing this morning, one was found to be doing real well and the other not so much.  Unfortunately it was Chris’ that was struggling with only one alternate embryo to try.  This news was unanticipated and a decision had to be made.  Marce heard the news no more than an hour before the transfer and Chris was at work where his job is very intense and he is not able to step out at will!

After some time in the waiting room we were taken past the familiar exam rooms, through two doors, each with a passcode protected door, and into a hall looking much like a hospital wing.  I changed into a hospital gown, a hair net and little blue elf looking booties!  Then Marce came in and suited up with a big white cloth jumper over his clothing and of course the hair cover and booties!  They were not messing around!  I was given my Valium and more conversation about the embryo situation resumed.

The options:

  1. Use the two already thawed embryos knowing that one isn’t in fantastic shape and may not take.  Huge game changer.
  2. Thaw Chris’ second and last embryo to see if it may be in better shape, which wasn’t terribly likely since they were both of similar quality when frozen. There would be no way to know without thawing! This option would leave no plan B if the pregnancy didn’t take but could help the pregnancy take.  If only the RE’s office had a fortune teller on staff. 
  3. No one talked much about this but there certainly could have been the option of calling off the transfer, going through another egg retrieval and trying to get more viable embryos. 
  4. It was mentioned but not pondered too long to use both of Chris’ embies plus the one of Marce’s hoping that one of the two of Chris’ would take, but that would have been too risky.  Triplets anyone?
Marce and Chris decided to just use the already thawed embryo since they were not guaranteed to have any better luck with the other and then at least there is still one left.  Talking to the doctor the plan sounded pretty solid, he said all you need are some living cells that could survive and multiply and that babies were born from all kinds of embryos.  This was a much more upbeat report than that of the embryologist who pretty much said not to expect it to stick.  Stressful for the guys for sure.  In the end it is what it is.  I’m truly hopeful that I have twins working on finding a comfy spot in me right now.  Jason showed up about this time and joined us in the room.

 When the doc was ready they wheeled my bed to an even more hospital looking room, with white everything, a dim room and a bright adjustable light for the doctor.  It looked like a surgical room.  They got me all set up with legs spread while the RE dressed and the embryologist prepped the embies, if felt like a long time but I guess that’s expected given my positioning.  Marce was able to come in the room but where I thought he might be able to see the ultrasound machine as the RE used it to guide the embryos, that viewing space was taken by a nurse and the embryologist.   Even I couldn’t’ see the screen.  At least though Marce was able to see the general environment and be as close as possible when their embryos were transferred.  The room was pretty serious, almost tense.  There was no chatting.  I was told to hold very still.  The RE cleaned my cervix, did a trial run and then the real deal where he ran a catheter up my vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus where he then used a syringe at the end of the catheter to push the embryos, which were in a drop of liquid in the catheter, into the lining of my uterus.  When he was finished the embryologist then checked the catheter to make sure the embryos were not still there!  The RE put a progeterone (I think that’s what it was) suppository close to my cervix.  I tried to focus on my uterus and welcome those little embryos in.  They said the best thing I could do was relax although that was tricky with a full bladder!  I’m hopeful that those embies went right where they needed to be.

They wheeled me back to the room where I laid flat for forty five minutes.  We joked about the jumper Marce was in.  Jason took a picture of Marce and I and made a joke about getting a picture of me with the guy who just got me pregnant and how the other man getting me pregnant did it without even being there.  I’m sure the surro jokes just get cheesy from here.  By the end of the forty five minutes I was not focusing on much conversation as I had to pee too badly!  When they did let me go I was only able to let a little out because I was afraid I was going to compromise the transfer, like somehow my cervix would just open with my bladder.  The nurse assured me I could urinate without incidence.  I am ordered to bed rest through a full 24 hours after the day of transfer. The main reason for the bed rest is to keep my body calm and prevent cramping not so the embryos don’t fall out.  Once I got dressed the nurse wheeled me to the parking garage, we said goodbye to Marce and Jason drove me home.

I just love my husband and how he is enjoying this.  I think he thinks I’m a goddess and I’m not sure how I got so lucky.  He went to pick up Caitlin this afternoon and he texted, “You are laying down, right?”  He also ran to the store and bought an antenna and set up a television in our room!  My kids are pretty cool too!  Caitlin (six) came up with a system in which I can get what I need while laying down.  I toss this princess ball at her, she tells Anthony what I need who tells Jason who gets it ready and then Caitlin brings it to me. 🙂  She is asking a lot of questions too.  Anthony, knowing that the embies are the size of a tiny dot, as we learned today, already tried to blow bubbles on my belly to teach them how to fart.  Just laugh, he’s ten and everything revolves around such topics for him.  Soon I will take the kids to the OMSI display which shows real life size models of the stages of a fetus.  I’ll let Anthony decide which stage is best for teaching the art of gas. 
It wasn’t until I was home and in bed that I was really able to be quiet and feel the gravity of what was just done.  I have inside of me two embryos which want to survive.  A couple hundred miles from me are two guys who want with all their hearts for their embryos to stick and grow!  They are surrounded by friends and family eagerly waiting with them.  I had several people text and message me soon after I got home and it just kept making me feel the greatness of this.  I am focusing on my uterus often just trying honor it and bless it while it provides for the embryos what they need.

Here is a photo of the embryos, you can see the stronger of the two is hatching already.  I asked what it is that differentiates a strong embryo from a less strong one and they pointed out the definition in the outer circle.  I know it’s more complicated than that of course.  I also asked the embryologist what her degree was in because I was dying to know and you’ll never believe what she said, zoology!  

What is next?  

In nine days (which will be fourteen days after ovulation) I will have a blood draw to measure my Beta HCG level.  Non pregnant women have a beta around 10.  For a pregnant woman it will be about 100 fourteen days after ovulation.  A higher number could indicate twins.  The Beta should double every 48-72 hours if everything is going well.  After the initial test in nine days I will be tested two days later to make sure my numbers are rising.  Two and a half weeks after the first test they will do an ultrasound and then we will know for sure if we have twins. 

As far as a home pregnancy test, the good old surrogates on the forums say ten to fourteen days after ovulation is when you can start to expect accurate results on a HPT.  We transferred two five day old embryos so ten days past ovulation will be five days from the transfer, Tuesday!  I will take a home pregnancy test by day five for sure.  I am also taking my temperature as an experiment.  Chris said he heard that your morning temperature rises .3 degrees when pregnant so I don’t figure it would hurt to track my temperature!  This morning with my cheep thermometer my temp read 97.5 consistently so I will continue to use the same thermometer and track my temp!  

I also read that HCG levels can be leftover in the embryos in IVF from the “trigger” hormone given to the egg donor.  I would hate to get a false positive so tomorrow I will take a pregnancy test to make sure there is no residual HCG showing up.  The test should read negative.

I have a few statistics for you.  The RE we are working with has a record of 80% of the transfers ending in one embryo taking (I’m not sure if this is just with two embryos transfers) and a 60% rate of twins.  

I will keep you all posted!  Feel free to ask any questions.   I’m sorry my posts keep being so long, I want to try and capture it all!  It is an honor and a privilege to be hosting the embryos inside of me for Marce and Chris.

Please note:  Parts of the last part of this post has been recreated, in case you notice any difference.  I was trying to do something on my phone that should have been done on the computer and effectively deleted a part of this post. Backing up is for organized people. 

Like this post? Please send it along...


  • Jeff and Kevin

    Not too long at all. Lots of great information here!
    Wishing you and the guys tons of luck!

  • Melissa

    Awesome awesome! I love the embryo picture! Gonna Pin It.

    Good luck. Sending sticky vibes.

  • Tammy

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you guys that at least one of those embabies decides to stick around for 9 months!

  • Jeni

    I’m thinking wonderful things are happening right now! Can’t wait for the great news!

  • ~J~

    Great news!! Can’t wait to see the ++ hpts! 🙂

  • Michael

    My friend told me that her daughter came from the lowest level acceptable embryo so anything is possible. My top grade embryos didn’t work and my mid-level embryos resulted in twins. Pregnancy is a crazy game and anything can happen. I’m hoping with such a positive vibe you’re already helping these two little babies stick and we’ll get great news soon. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    did they give you a ‘grade’ for the weaker embryo? Just curious…

  • greatdana

    @ Michael, thank you! This is what we need to hear and I don’t doubt it at all.

    As far as a grade, I asked and they wouldn’t give me one. I don’t know what’s up with that, if that is their policy or they didn’t want to say if it was like a C or whatever. I don’t really know that much about grade just that the strongest get an A. Chris has looked at photos of embies online and what grade was assigned and while he hasn’t found one the same, he has found ones that weren’t supposed to take that did and visa versa. Maybe that’s why they wouldn’t give a grade, because it’s not a sure anything? Who knows. The embryologist just didn’t get the memo to stay positive.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been praying ‘stick’ all day long… Lol…

    This reminds me of the song: The waiting…

    Leave a Comment

    Your email is never shared.
    Required fields are marked *