Sunday, August 29, 2004

Babies! Get in my belly!

Today was embryo transfer day. We transferred two blastocysts and decided to freeze three others that looked promising. The procedure went perfectly. In fact, the whole experience was one of the most amazing ones I've ever had, which I didn't expect at all.

We arrived at the fertility center at 8:00 a.m. and I was given a bottle of water to drink so my bladder would be nice and full for the sonogram (that helps the uterus lie flat so the doctor can easily insert the catheter loaded with the embryos.) When I was sufficiently hydrated they had me change into a hospital gown and hat and Eric changed into scrubs. We both had to wear a mask so the operating room would remain sterile. Before the procedure, Dr. A took us into the embryology lab and introduced us to the technicians who made our embryos. "Your first baby-sitters," he called them. As soon as we walked into the room I had an intense feeling that we were in a holy place. It was exactly the same feeling I have when I enter the temple. I sensed that something sacred was taking place; so many lives were being created. I had honestly never thought of it that way before so the impression surprised me greatly. The doctor let us look at our embryos through a microscope, which was incredible. He printed a picture of them for us (I'll post it once I have it scanned.)

Soon we were ready to proceed with the transfer. Dr. A had me lie flat on the operating table with my legs strapped in, then he tilted the table so that my head was lower than my feet. He asked us if we had any questions and Eric responded, "Yeah, can you give us the quiet ones?" Dr. A and and the nurses found this hilarious. One of the nurses took a sonogram of my belly so they could find a perfect little landing strip in my uterus. (It took her a few seconds to find it because my ovaries are bigger than my uterus from the OHSS and they were hogging the screen - I know, EW.) When they had located the correct position, Dr. A inserted the catheter through my cervix and up into the very top of my uterus. All I felt was some slight cramping and pressure from the speculum against my full bladder. Not fun, but not terrible by any means. Dr. A turned the sonogram screen so that Eric and I could watch and he even let E hold the transducer for a while so he could be an active participant. They load the catheter with tiny air bubbles next to the embryos so that the doctor can visualize where the embryos will be deposited, so we could see them go in. It was incredible to watch.

Afterward I had to lie flat for 30 minutes, and then I was allowed to change and go home. I'm on bed rest until tomorrow morning, which is difficult because I feel better today than I've felt in over a week. But I want to do everything right, so I'm trying to stay entertained. It's so strange to think that there are two embryos inside me right now. I keep talking to them and telling them to grab on and hold on tight, but since they're created out of my genetic material (not to mention Eric's), I don't expect them to be overly compliant. They're probably fiercely independent little buggers, so all I can do is hope they decide on their own that my womb is a good place to be.


  1. It is interesting to see someone who went with two embies instead of three. We don’t plan to do IVF until January but I’ve had a hard time deciding on the number of embryos to go with and my doctor seems very flexible and is pretty much leaving it up to us. Now I know we might not end up with enough to chose from, there are of course a lot of factors but I would love to hear how you decided. Frankly the idea of triplets with our lifestyle (moving to a different country every 3 years) is terrifying!


  2. Hi Sanorah! Our RE is very conservative about how many she will transfer. We could have pushed for three, but considering my age and the fact that our problem is male factor, she felt the risk of triplets would be very high if we did three. Because we did ICSI, there's a significant risk of one or more of the embryos dividing into identical twins once they're transferred - there was one woman at my fertility center who transferred two blasts and ended up with quadruplets! Anyway, if this one doesn't work, next time we may think about transferring more than two but for now we're hoping one or two of these will stick. Good luck to you!

  3. This was a really beautiful post. I'm just sitting here, crossing my fingers that these little embryos hang on!


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