Embryo Transfer- Our First Sign of Life- 10th September 2012

I was awake bright and early on ET day, bursting with nervous energy. My husband had to work until 12 and then was to drive directly to the clinic for our 1pm appointment. Brooding around the house by myself was not helpful. I worried if the embryos had made it or if I would get a cancellation call from the clinic. In the end I decided to get the bus into the city at 10.30am and at least attempt to distract myself. As the morning hours wore on I found that I got a bit more relaxed. I started to think that I must have something to transfer or the clinic would have phoned. I wandered around a shopping centre close to the clinic and bought a couple of bottles of water as the procedure required a full bladder due to the use of a guided ultrasound. For some reason I seemed to be quite dehydrated this morning so it took quite a lot of water drinking. I arrived at the clinic by about 12.30 and let the receptionist know what I was there for and also that my husband was en-route. She was very friendly and actually had a chat to me about the whole ivf procedure and how I had found it. I took a seat and picked up that day’s newspaper to read. There were two other couples there. I suspected both also for Embryo Transfer as the girls were drinking lots of water as well. My husband arrived about 10 minutes later so was in plenty of time. As it happened, we were advised that there was a delay of about 10 or 15 minutes or so.

It was about 1.30 when we were brought in to the procedure waiting area and into a private cubicle.  I finished off my water- after one and a quarter litres and the delay, I could safely say I had a full bladder. A doctor came in to us with our file and said that 5 of the embryos had made it to blastocyst stage and all were of good quality. One had been chosen for transfer and the rest were being frozen. Two further embryos were at a day 4 stage and they were attempting to culture them further to see if they would make it to day 5 (they didn’t). 2 others had not made it. I was so relieved to hear that a transfer was going ahead. Having extra embryos to freeze was a welcome surprise.

I was brought into the procedure room and assumed the usual position on the table. I kept my socks and upper clothing on and had the usual paper towel covering. My husband was invited to sit beside me and a nurse was also present. She was very calm and motherly which helped. There was a hatch doorway into the Lab and one of the embryologists spoke though it to us to confirm our identity, the number to be transferred that day and the number to be frozen. She also said that they would continue to work with the two slower growing embryos. From what I could see, the catheter containing our blastocyst was passed to the doctor. I couldn’t really see what he was doing but it felt initially like the set up for a smear test or the HSG. The nurse spread some gel across my stomach and pressed a wand on it, this brought up an image of my womb and internal organs on the monitor, which I kept looking at. I could see the catheter once inserted as a white line being guided into the womb. The doctor made a couple of attempts at this but appeared to have some difficulty which necessitated a switch to a firmer catheter. Some moving about, detaching and reattaching took place. I was a bit anxious about this and tried to keep my eye on the screen and my breathing nice and slow as I did not want my womb to cramp and affect my transfer. The nurse patted my knee reassuringly. It seemed that the softer catheter was bending back on itself at the base of the womb and the reason for this was that there was a bit of fibrosis or scar tissue at the base of the womb. I was surprised to hear this as it had not appeared in any pre-treatment scan or HSG. The doctor asked had I ever had an abnormal smear or surgery but I had not. Oddly a nurse had asked me at my last stimulation scan if I had a fibroid so maybe it was visible then, if so, it must have only appeared during treatment, is that even possible? I hope it will not be a problem. The doctor mentioned that I would probably have been a candidate for a mock transfer had it been realised that it might have created a problem. Apparently my womb is also quite anteverted (tilted forwards). That is commonplace but perhaps I have a little more tilt than usual.

The hatch door to the Lab opened and someone there offered the doctor some other form of catheter but the doctor decided to proceed with what he had as he didn’t want to stop mid process.

The doctor took his time as he wanted to get the embryo to be released in the correct place, high in the womb in order to give it the best chance. The firmer catheter worked and we were prompted to watch its progress up through the womb. We were also prompted to watch as the blastocyst was released. This was an amazing, if brief, moment. Here was our fertilised embryo being placed into my womb. This had been the furthest we had ever got in creating our own child. I was lost for words apart from thank you to the doctor and nurse. DH leaned over to give me a kiss on the forehead. We got no printout but it is etched in memory.

Although it seemed like a while with the catheter issues, all in all the procedure took probably no more than 15 minutes and was not in any way painful. It felt really like a longer version of a smear test. Not too bad at all apart from the slightly tense moment when the new catheter had to be acquired. I was prompted to rest where I was for a few minutes and everyone left the room apart from my husband. We just stayed put for the next 10-15 minutes or so. I kept my knees bent. The doctor reassured us that the embryo could not fall out, he smiled as this is probably a common question. The nurse said the same and said it was fine for me to go and ‘pee for Ireland’ on my way out! Finally, I got up and dressed. The nurse advised me to insert my Crinone gel whenever I got home and take the second one later that night. I asked about the fact that I had only been prescribed 15 days worth of Crinone which would run out before my test date but she said this was ok. She did however give me two spare ones and said take one on each of the last two days. I was told to test in 16 days. However, my notes from the clinic regarding blastocysts say to test in 14 days. Either way it seems like an eternity. Other clinics suggest 11 days for blastocysts. I would have to do my own home pregnancy test and ring the clinic with the result.

I was advised to get some rest, do normal activity, no heavy lifting, aerobic exercise, horse riding. Sex was also off the menu for the two week wait. I was also advised not to torture myself by testing early as false negatives can result. I was wished the best of luck and told to forget about the clinic for the moment.

We left the clinic, and went for a cup of herbal tea (I had camomile which I have heard since is probably not a good idea- now sticking to lemon and ginger) and a scone. I then went for a post-transfer acupuncture appointment. Once I got home I went to bed and watched tv for a few hours and started to take it all in.

I was now officially PUPO- pregnant until proven otherwise! For the first time!!!

Now the two week wait would begin…

This entry was posted in Fertility, FET, IVF and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Embryo Transfer- Our First Sign of Life- 10th September 2012

  1. SunnySide says:

    Wow. Beautifully written depiction of your experience. Thank you for sharing. I have not yet approached this stage, but if/when I do, I will remember this. Most writing on the topic of infertility is steeped in anxiety and stress, but this was incredibly peaceful and positive without being “bubble gummy.” It looks like you’re 5 DPT now…keeping my fingers crossed for you as the TWW proceeds. 🙂

    • libhope says:

      Thank you so much and I wish you well on your journey. Sadly the cycle has not worked out for me but we have 4 frozen embies, so am grateful that I have the option of moving to a FET cycle and hope maybe we will be lucky with that, more blogging to follow!

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