When Embryo Transfers and Anniversaries Collide

This morning we did a 3day transfer.  First stop once we got there was to meet with the embryologist.  Walking in we thought we had 2 embryos in the game and were very happy with that.  Sadly though, we learned that one of the two eggs that had fertilized never divided.  At. All. It fertilized and puttered out.  But, embryo number 2 did divide and by today was at 8 cells, with only a little fragmentation.  Next we went into the room where you robe up and get ready for the show and I……unexpectedly started to cry.  I haven’t cried in awhile, but there I was, leaking from the eye sockets. Whatever stress of all this just decided to come out. I think it was mostly, “really, just 1?”

Nurse who had been a bit man-handle-y the day of the retrieval came in, saw my salty face, and was completely surprised and worried. My husband simple said, “we were hoping for different numbers.” Man-handle-y nurse became: THE NICEST NURSE EVER. Total 180. Good times.

I kicked back in the barcalounger and listened to my relaxation exercise from Circle+Bloom, but just couldn’t focus. I opened my eyes and realized my hubbo was writing goofy messages to me on his mini iPad, which started me back on the path to happy.

And suddenly they came to get me, took me into the room where a different nice nurse got me all tucked in snug as a bug and The Russian came in to tell me that even though it was just one to transfer, she was happy with it. She also reminded me that last time we had implantation (it was a chemical pregnancy) and that this time we would hope for more.

The transfer was just peachy, and it’s a pretty amazing thing. I mean, you get to watch on a monitor as the embryo makes its way through a catheter and settles in.  You sort of watch yourself get pregnant….which, if you can’t do it the old-fashioned way…..is a pretty cool consolation prize!  I’m then left alone on the table to hang out for 20 minutes.  And…..I immediately sneeze. Like a HUGE sneeze. I had to laugh. I just had this fragile thing put in me and I’m supposed to just stay relaxed and BAM massive unladylike sneeze. The nurse later assured me that everything was absolutely fine – nothing’s going to fall out due to coughing, laughing, sneezing, etc.  I then remembered a great analogy I’d read somewhere on-line:

“The embryo is like a grain of pepper in a raspberry jam sauce.”

Odd, weird and a little gross, but just what this girl needed to hear.

Back to the 20 minutes of waiting – this time instead of relaxing stuff to listen to, I opted for funny. There’s some research happening regarding laughter following IVF transfer:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/13/us-pregnancy-laughter-idUSTRE70C0QM20110113

So….last night I made myself a little iPod mix-tape of stuff that would a) amuse me and b) help take my mind off the “really gotta pee” factor.

My playlist:

Daddy I Don’t Like Children (Louis C.K.), Daughter’s Birthday Party (Kevin Hart), Free Dog (Bill Burr), IHOP (Lewis Black) and Lousy In Little League (Brian Regan)

If you’re not into swears, don’t go and listen to these….but if you’re lenient on language, this is some pretty funny stuff.  It definitely helped to pass the time and I came out of the room in a far better mood than I went in.

Now I’m home hanging out – no assigned bed rest, just instructions to take it easy.  I’ve had some comforting warm soup, my dog is snoring next to me like a truck stop hooker and I’ve got an acupuncture appointment in a few hours.

And there’s this: today is our wedding anniversary which we’re taking as a good omen. I mean, of any day our transfer could have fallen, it fell on the very very happy day we got hitched….so MAYBE, just maybe, it’ll also be the day got pregnant.

 

 

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Feeling Oogy About Telling Leads to Lots of BUTs

So yesterday I got offered a really good gig….a type of gig I’m good at and have been working hard to get more of….and finally someone called who hadn’t used me before…..for a show and a workshop which equals pretty big money.

But….

You knew there was gonna be a but….I put it in the title….

The rehearsal has potential to fall on egg retrieval (ER) day and the gig has potential to fall on embryo transfer (ET) day.

Potential.

Because WHO KNOWS?!  Today is Stim Day 9 and it’s sort of a day-at-a-time thing to see how I’m responding to the meds and when I’ll be good to go…..BUT (again with the but) since I only have last IVF’s schedule to use as a reference (where I did 13 days of stims), the dates might just fall directly on top of the gig.  I can’t in any good conscience take this gig if I’d have to back out at the last minute.

‘Cause that would be low class.

But (again?) turning down the gig was a bummer, in the end gigs come and go – it’s what happened to the side of it that has left me with some residual oogy feelings.  I was doing an afternoon corporate show in the building when I got the email asking if I could do the show/workshop so I went upstairs to the producer’s office to say I couldn’t do it.

And….out of my mouth came THE TRUTH as to why I couldn’t do it.

THE TRUTH.

Yikes.

The Truth.

The IVF Truth.

What?

I’ve only told a handful of friends about what’s going on, and have definitely blatantly bent the truth to plenty of people as to why I’m not available for stuff or can’t go for drinks or whatever…..but out of my faceplace came THE TRUTH to someone I barely know and it felt like I was given up precious information to someone who, I don’t know…..shouldn’t know it?

Why didn’t I just say I had other gigs or something?

In the moment I just wanted her to know that I had a really good reason for turning down the work, a big reason, that the work really mattered.

But really….I told her THE TRUTH?

Fart!

Why didn’t I just take a breath, sit on it for a minute, and draft an email saying I had other shit going on those dates.

Fart!

I told her we weren’t telling people and to please keep it to herself. She was supportive and told me that she knows people have other things going on and that she’d be back to me with other work down the line…..but her face was kind of awesome…..kind of like “I’m not entirely sure I know what you’re talking about but I know it’s something big and I don’t really know you so I’m attempting a good poker face.”

She’s got to be a good 10+ years younger than me….she must know what IVF is, right?  Maybe she googled it after I left the room.

It’s on me that I’ve opted to keep this information largely under wraps. I know that. I also know that there will come a day where I sing the praises of assisted fertility and hopefully serve as an advocate for folks going through it.

BUT (we’re back to the buts)

….for now, I need to keep it close…not Pandora’s Box powder keg close…but tender-careful close. I’m in the trenches, in the thick of it and doing just fine….

BUT (probably the last)

Why did telling a random someone somehow feel like I was fracturing something that is precious? It’s silly but there’s an irrational part of me that feels a tiny bit like if I tell too many people that somehow it lessens our chances.

And that my friends: IS DUMB.

But (definitely the last) I’m human, and having silly oogy thoughts and feelings during IVF is just part of the minefield ballgame.

 

 

 

IVF transfer: Passengers on board

So Monday we got the call that The Russian wanted to move forward with a 3day transfer (3dt) on Tuesday.  Thing is, the nurse calling had no word from the embryologist as to how many embryos we’d be working with. For that: more patience…..we’d find out when we showed up on Tuesday.  

I made an appointment for acupuncture – they wanted to see me the day before and the day after the transfer.  As usual, I got there, got a mess of needles in me and within minutes zonked out. That needle business is so friggin relaxing.

You.

Should.

Try.

It.

So Tuesday morning we’re set for a 9:30am transfer which means I have to start filling my bladder at 7:30 (your bladder has to be full so that they can visualize the uterus). I already know that I’m a) a quick filler and b) incapable of holding my water for long, so instinct tells me to hold off a bit. I drank at the schedule they told me to drink but maybe not quite as much each time…..which turned out to be a good decision since our 9:30am transfer ended up being closer to 10.

When we arrived at the office we met with a nurse and then the embryologist. Good news: we still have 3 embryos. I’d hoped for at least 2 to transfer so I was very happy. At our clinic they rate embryos GOOD-FAIR-POOR, no letters or numbers….which in the end was fine with me, just a little bit less for me to worry about. We have 2 GOOD and the thrid was on the FAIR/POOR fence, but The Russian still thought it had a fighting chance so in it would go.

I strip from the waist down and get gowned and socked (loved the socks they gave me, little grippy things on the bottom….good times…totally brought them home) and was told to chill out in the comfy barcalounger chair. My hubbo and I joked around for awhile and then I opted to listen to one of my guided meditations from Circle+Bloom. While I initially thought they were a bit pricey, I have really enjoyed them and their relaxation techniques are very beneficial.

And then it’s time to go.

We did have to wait a little while for the lab to be ready, so there was a mildly awkward 5-10 minutes with me, The Russian and 2 nurses all just hanging out….remember that I’m naked below the waist, staring at the ceiling, legs in stirrups, knees ajar. You know, just 4 gals having a chat….

The procedure itself was easy-peasy. I barely felt anything and got to watch everything on a monitor – very cool to watch the catheter go in, the little glob of embryos and colored fluid (so you can actually see) slowly get injected and then everyone in the room commented on how well everything went.  Not me, I have no medical knowledge….but it sure seemed to go well.

I was then left alone for everything to settle in – the nurse asked if I would be okay for 15 minutes or if I wanted a catheter to empty my now very full bladder. The catheter option was a complete (and intimidating) unknown and I honestly thought I was fine, so I opted to be okay for 15 minutes.

15 minutes.  She said 15 minutes.

The first 5 were alright, and the next 10 were squirmy…but I’m fine right, any second now nurse is comin’ to get me.

But alas no.

The additional 7 minutes passed very very slowly.

I’m pretty sure I started running a fever with the sheer effort of mind over matter.

Needless to say it was one of the most gratifying trips to the bathroom I’ve ever had.

We were given a mess of instructions and sent on our way. No real need for prolonged bedrest but definitely told to take it easy the rest of the day.  I had acupuncture again today which as always was very relaxing and now I’m home trying to avoid Chicago’s extreme temperatures while hanging out with the dog in the bedroom – the only room in the apartment which currently has air-conditioning.

We have a not-quite-2-week-wait as my bloodtest is set for Friday, july 26….so in the meantime I have three microscopic passengers and am hopeful that at least one of them decides to take up permanent residence.