This is Part 12 of the IVF Diary series. I’ll be keeping a diary of all important IVF days, starting from when we first chose to undergo infertility treatment in Prague. Click here to read all other IVF diary posts.
I’m very happy to let you know that we successfully transferred an embryo into my uterus today! Well, the doctor should get some of the credit, I guess, since he did most of the work 😉
I was nervous all weekend. I was relieved for 5 whole minutes on Saturday after hearing that 13 embryos were still developing. After that, I was nervous for the next update. An update which we wouldn’t get for 2 more days!
They don’t give updates on Sundays as the coordinators want this thing called a “weekend”. The embryo lab does have embryologists working on Sunday though. I specifically asked the embryologist that today because I was wondering what would happen with embryos that need to be frozen on a Sunday.
Anyway, I was pretty much a bundle of nerves this morning. I like to refer to myself as a “realist” but most people I know say I’m a total pessimist. Either way, I worry about tons of stuff. They say worrying isn’t good, but then again, most of the stuff I worry about never seems to happen, so it works out, right?!
Okay, back to the embryos!
Just a couple hours before we were scheduled for the embryo transfer, my coordinator emailed me that we had 5 blastocysts! Isn’t that amazing?! I’m really pleased to be honest. They froze 4 of ’em, all in separate “straws”. They freeze embryos in straws (I’m assuming different from the ones I’m currently sipping orange juice from) and can easily pull one straw out to defrost an embryo.
Our highest rated embryo (AA quality) was used for the transfer today.
I never expected we’d get this many. This basically means we have 5 shots for this IVF cycle to work. If we go by SART data, we could have 4 failures and 1 that sticks and still call it a 100% success rate (which doesn’t tell the whole story, which is why I prefer CDC’s way of looking at the numbers).
The Embryo Transfer
We got to the clinic and were escorted to the 3rd floor. I got to wear my cool slippers and wristband with my name on it again, and had to change into my gown.
I guess they were really busy because we were waiting and waiting and waiting, until finally the embryologist came in to talk to us. She had a printed report (and a picture of the blastocyst that they’d be transferring) of the development of the embryos and we talked awhile about the grading system and other stuff.
She seemed really excited about our blasts and so were we!
Another 30 minutes passed, and O-M-G I needed to pee so bad. You need a full bladder for the transfer as it allows the doctors to have an easier time seeing the uterus. The coordinator told me it could take a while and that I should just go. “But only pee a little bit, okay“. Peeing a little bit is the worst, but not peeing was an even scarier thought. So I went. Twice!
I made sure to drink 500 ml afterward to quickly make me feel uncomfortable again…
After about 90 minutes, it was finally our turn!
Mr. Frugalcrib got a fancy hairnet and coveralls. We were escorted to the operating “theater” where I had to state and confirm my name three times to be precise. Once to the person who let us in, once to the doctor, and once to the embryologist.
They turned on a massive flatscreen TV and switched the channel to the embryologists’ microscope. She was within earshot the whole time, behind a small drive-thru-esque window. There, we saw our little 5- Day embryo floating around in a petri dish which also had my name on it. It was really cool to see.
Next, the assistant switched channels and tuned in to the Ultrasound channel (not part of your standard TV package). The catheter was inserted and we could follow along on the TV. The doctor did a mock transfer to see if everything was positioned correctly and after that was confirmed, it was time for the real thing.
The embryologist sucked the embryo into a pipette (which we could again see on TV) and handed it over to the doctor. And then, with just a quick push of the button, it was in. The embryologist confirmed the embryo was no longer inside their equipment by checking everything carefully. I was asked to scoot over to the hospital bed which the nurses then rolled back into my room.
There, I was supposed to just lay down and relax for another 15 minutes or so. The doctor came and gave us the final report. He asked if I had any questions and unfortunately for him (and all the patients after me), I kinda did. I felt like this was the only time I could ask some of these things as I might not get the chance after.
So we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of a frozen embryo transfer vs. a fresh transfer. The difference in protocols. What he thought of my estradiol levels. Yes, I brought up the E2 levels again! He told me to stop bringing it up as it clearly doesn’t have a great predictive value, in his opinion. He only interprets it in relation to OHSS, but not with regards to the maturity of follicles. He may be right.
There you have it. I’m now officially Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise (aka PUPO). Do I feel different? Nope. Can I eat raw sushi or pig out at the deli counter? Nope. I’ll just take it easy for the next two weeks.
Realistically, it’s still more likely that this embryo won’t stick for 9-months. But then again, I’ve been known to be a pessimist at times 😉
Click here to find out if I ended up pregnant.