Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Three Little Embryos

"Three little embryos"... kind of sounds like the start of a very modern fairy tale or nursery rhyme (have you ever noticed that in fairy tales things come in threes? Three bears, three little pigs, three brothers.)

We had our embryo transfer today and I now have three little embryos in my belly. They were thawed early in the morning and all three survived. Dr. A said they were "fair" in quality, a bit more tactful than "not so pretty." E and I dropped Sawyer off at his cousins' house, I took my valium (which made me completely loopy and weird) and drank my water, and we arrived to our appointment right on time. We had to wait for about half an hour because there was another transfer right before ours.

In the waiting room I quickly discovered that I had consumed way too much water beforehand. The instruction sheet said to drink 8 oz one hour before my appointment, because a full bladder helps them visualize the uterus with an abdominal ultrasound. I drank 40 oz, because during my mock transfer I drank 8 and it wasn't nearly enough. Nurse L had to keep bringing me water, and the final amount was 32 oz. So I figured 40 would be plenty. And wow, it definitely was. I was in so much pain I had to pee in small amounts FOUR times beforehand to relieve some pressure. Because water was constantly filtering in, I was still in a lot of pain during the transfer, with the speculum in and the transducer pushing on my belly. OW. Afterwards they want you to lie flat with the stretcher tilted so your feet are higher than your head for 30 minutes. After 10 I knew I wasn't going to make it. Nurse A asked if I wanted a bedpan and I gratefully said yes. Normally I would have been so embarrassed but it was so painful at that point I didn't care (the valium probably helped too.)

The transfer itself was very smooth. First they got me set up on the table and had us verify our names and birth dates with the embryologist to make sure we were matched up to the right straw. Then Dr. A put the speculum in me and cleansed the cervical area to make sure nothing harmful would be introduced with the catheter. At the same time Nurse A worked the ultrasound to get a good view of where everything was going to go. When it was time for the embryos they dimmed the lights (bright light can be harmful to them) and the embryologist brought in the straw (kind of like a catheter) that held our embryos. Dr A very slowly threaded the catheter through my cervix and up to the top of my uterus. The embryos are suspended in a liquid solution with a tiny air bubble next to them so that on the ultrasound the doctor can see where they land - the embryos themselves are too small at this point to be seen with the naked eye. They went right where they were supposed to. I wasn't able to fully appreciate the moment because of other urgent needs but it is an amazing process. We got a picture of the little guys/gals, which I'll post once I get a chance to scan it.

And now, we wait. I'm on two days of bedrest (only getting up to use the bathroom, although I admit I haven't been that strict about it). My parents and baby sister are in town so my mom and Tanne are coming over tomorrow to entertain me, which I'm very excited about. We have a busy weekend spending time with my family, and on Monday I leave for Young Women camp for five days. I think this two week wait is going to fly by.

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