Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Transfer

Yesterday I told you I got the call from my embryologist in the morning.  I was expecting an email, so my heart dropped, and I did that auto-pilot thing you do when you are expecting devastating news.  Fortunately, the first thing she said was "I'm calling with good news."  My heart resumed beating and she told me that all three of the morulas had made it to the early blast stage.  She expected them to be further along when we got there for our retrieval.  Apparently, the rest of the day, because I was the only transfer that day, she ran around telling everyone employed by the Fertility Center, LLC in Chattanooga that I had made blasts and showed them their picture.  It's part of the reason I love this place.  They are all so amazing and supportive.

BJ and I got to Chat-town a little early and decided to go Christmas shopping at the big mall that is not near as impressive as it was when I was 9.  What can I say?  Once you go KOP (King of Prussia) you don't go back.  As I said, we were Christmas shopping so, of course, we only bought clothes for ourselves.  I got a cute skirt and top in a size smaller than normal.  I believe in Murphy's Law and hope that I cannot wear it for a really long time...well, after a couple of weeks anyway...

It was time to go to the clinic and I was called back for an hour-long massage.  It's included in the IVF package.  So yeah I paid a lot of money for a wonderful massage with a hopefully happy ending.  At least that is the joke BJ and I've been telling each other...hehe...  Then they sent me back to the waiting room. Then they sent me to the lab for my progesterone levels to be checked.  (It's over 40 which is perfect!) Then they sent me back to the waiting room.  What was only like 5 minutes felt like an hour, but finally Susan comes to the door SMILING!  Yes, Susan, was smiling.  Last time, I don't even remember who called me back and then we had the parade of the team doing their death march to tell me, "Umm, your embryos aren't so good."

One of my embryos had become a genuine grade-able blastocyst.  It wasn't a perfect score, but it's in the category of 3AA- which is a high enough grade to consider a single embryo transfer. The three refers to the amount of the blastocyst's expansion, and it just had not had time to take on much fluid.  The first A means that the baby parts were perfect. The second A- refers to the trophectoderm, the part that becomes the placenta.  It wasn't a B, but they were lined up a little loosely.  Susan once again performed assisted hatching on them, and was thrilled to see that it was already starting to hatch itself out the hole she had made. Otherwise it may have been a 4...The other two had made progress, just not quite so much but one was still looking pretty good, so we went ahead and transferred the better of the two still early blasts.  7 other embryos including the early blast were alive and kicking. Two more had become early morulas which is what we had last time.

This is our embryo B in the morning.  It's an "OK"early blast. Its a couple hours behind  embryo A.
This is a Brilliant early blast that is also BJ's and mine. It should look like a rice cake...not bad, huh?
This is Embie B, again 3.5 hours later.  Isn't it neat how fast they grow?  It's still too early to grade but he's making progress and doing fine.

This is Embie A 3.5 hours later and she's a beautiful specimen of a blastocyst.  The outer cells (which are a little bit loose for a A, but an A- nevertheless) will become the placenta.  The cavity part that looks like crinkled paper is going to be the amniotic sack and the little ginger-bread-man looking thing in the low middle is Baby Roberts.  Best moment so far!!!! You can see at the top she's already trying to hatch out which is what you want because that's how they implant in my uterus.
****I do not actually know the sex of these embryos...this is just my silly, sexist conjecture.****  

Dr. Donesky came in with a big smile on his face which has been an unfortunately rare appearance once he starts talking about technical things.  He said this is what we expect.  "We just need one good one and still expect to see some lower quality ones. One is all it takes."  So instead of  bawling crying going into this transfer, I was happy/excited.  So happy and excited that I forgot to ask for water to drink to fill my bladder...OOPS!  I took a quick swig of what I had which wasn't much and tromped down the hall in my shirt, socks, and sheet with BJ in tow.  It all worked out ok as far as my bladder, but one of my ovaries which is still ginormous decided to be a camera hog. (Makes me feel better about aforementioned skirt purchase.)

So, it's a good thing my bladder wasn't full because they had to mash down pretty hard.  I'm pretty sure Dr. D would be very unhappy if I'd had a completely full bladder. For whatever reason the whole transfer process was more difficult this time, but Dr. D finally was happy with everything and the embies were transferred.  The key word is transferred. No one can force an embryo to implant and grow up to make a fetus. I think people sometimes assume that with IVF if you put two in you get two out, or whatever.  But this is a clear case that science can only do so much.  No doctor in the world can make you pregnant, or else I'd have the next available appointment.  After the transfer I had a much easier 30 minute wait before I got up because my bladder was not near as full.  (Remember, ladies, if you ever have to go through an un-pregnant uterine ultrasound, I am living proof that you can cheat it a little bit and be a lot more comfortable.)

So now I've got until Friday around 4pm to be lazy and get up only when absolutely necessary.  As in bathroom trips and eating.  It's a rough few days of trying to not drive myself crazy. Every twinge, and after seeing my ovary I understand why, makes me wonder 'is it happening?'  'Are these implantation cramps?' I keep reminding myself that I'm not an insane person, and that it's not normal to have symptoms this early.  Although I am still on a million hormone supplements, and my ovaries are still acting weird so even if I did, it could simply be residual effects from the stimulation.

It's not all wonderful news, unfortunately.  Susan called me later this afternoon to tell me that none of the rest of my embies could be frozen.  The blast from yesterday did progress a little futher, but the quality wasn't there.  One of the early morulas made it to blast today for a total of 4.  So, no matter what happens, this cycle was 400% better than last.  It was definitely worth trying again.  Susan reiterated that she felt good about the embryos she chose for transfer. One of my online cycle buddies found out she was pregnant this week after having nothing left to freeze out of 23 embryos.  Basically, I've put all my eggs in my one basket. So now it's just praying, hoping, praying, hoping.  And once again, let me take the opportunity to thank everyone!  I would be nowhere without all the love and support I've gotten the past several months. I am forever grateful!

Peace, Love, Prayin' and Hopin'!

Mary Katherine

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of an included massage! I did acupuncture before and after my transfer with a dude I'd never met before who was SO not the same kind of person as my regular acupuncturist, but a massage, that sounds like all kinds of awesome.

    May these next two weeks go by quickly!