So here we are, 3 days post-transfer, which means if things are working this time, the blastocyst has hatched and would be in the process of implantation in my uterus, with the implantation process complete by Monday. For the most part, I’ve been keeping pretty busy on other things, like work and starting on my taxes and doing some DIY projects with my husband, but of course, on Saturday nights when my husband is usually working, I start to allow my mind to drift back to the primary obsession of baby-creating. Even with a really cool PBS special on Myanmar as I type this, I have started Googling. Nope, not on the forums (well, let’s just say I went to FertileThoughts and my eyes immediately spotted “embabies” and “sticky vibes” and yes, I closed that fucking page immediately…as most readers know, those terms are way too weird and syrupy and honestly, a bit creepy, to me), just reminding myself of the process post-transfer and getting some visuals.
By the way, I’ve been really happy to see so many wonderful, supportive comments on my blog lately and to be honest, it’s saved me in many ways. Many of us have the daily reality where it’s not exactly the prime topic during the workday, so it’s nice to find sanctuary here in blogland. And I also really appreciate the efforts of those who haven’t been through this yet have found beautiful, sensitive, simple ways to express their support during this past week. Very warm and fuzzy, y’all.
I found a few visuals that I thought I’d share as some folks don’t really understand all that’s involved in the donor egg IVF cycle. Since my body isn’t making eggs, DEIVF doesn’t require me to do those initial tummy injections like I did in earlier fertility treatments (that ended up being a waste of time) to attempt mass egg production, so in the frozen cycle I’m really just laying the groundwork in my reproductive system to get the uterus lining all thick and ready to host the embryo should it choose to stick around.
The Basics For Those Who Haven’t Been Through DE-IVF
So above is what actually happens on transfer day. The whole transfer takes 5-10 minutes at most which includes getting the embryo through the wall (my RE has a painting on the wall that actually covers the window to the lab, so they just take the painting down before I arrive when it’s time, bam! the embryologist is handing the doc over the blastocyst to insert into my uterus. (FYI this graphic seems to indicate a younger 2-3 day embryo but for us we have all older 5-day blastocysts which increase our odds).
During the transfer it’s normal stirrup mode like when you go to the ob/gyn, except my doc has the fancy chair where you sit down regularly with your arms on the arm rest then the lower end of the table moves up to put you “in position” – basically eliminating that terribly awkward question by the doctor “please skooch up a bit”. Unlike many of the sample photos out there, during the actual transfer the lights are out in the room so the doc can better see the ultrasound machine that’s guiding him, and his assistant is standing there with one hand on my knee and the other on my abdomen, pushing down on it to get everything as visible as possible. The first time it happened we could actually see the embryo shooting into the uterus and snapped a photo of it afterwards (they froze it on the ultrasound machine), but this second time we couldn’t see anything. Funny as my doc said “don’t worry, it’s in there!” That and me stifling a giggle as Millie pushed down on my belly – aka full bladder – during it was something they seemed to find entertaining afterwards. My sweetheart by the way is standing next to me, holding my hand as I focus on releasing the tension in my arms and legs and feet, to get as zen as one can get in such an odd position and situation.
After the transfer the doc hangs out for about 5-10 minutes, chatting with us and generally keeping us mellow while I lay on my back, and the embryologist comes in and hands me the picture of the blastocyst that was just put inside me, brings in all kinds of warm female energy (can’t explain it, just wanted to hug her!) and asks if I have any questions. I’m of course stoned on meds so just smile 🙂 Then the acupuncturist comes in to give me (us, as my hubby sits with me quietly in solidarity) about 20 minutes of extra down time before I get dressed and we head home. No major activity that day, no sex for a few days, and avoid coffee and alcohol (I had half a glass of Syrah when we had tapas the night before the transfer as my send-off from that world…at least for the time being. Coffee is a pleasure, but like alcohol, I have no reliance on it, fortunately.).
Then the fun part begins. You get into nights like tonight where you start re-reviewing what implantation symptoms and matching them to your existing progesterone symptoms. Squeezing your boobs to see if they hurt. Wondering if that gas and bloat is actually a “twinge” in your abdomen or just the chilaquiles you made last night doing the talking. And on the other end of the spectrum, trying to ignore the memory hearing the doctor’s voice over the phone the last time, telling you that the transfer failed.
This morning as my husband and I walked the dog, I confessed this last part to him. Yet at the same time I admitted that it’s easy to imagine something you’ve heard before compared to something you’ve never heard. I’ve never been pregnant. I don’t know what it feels like. I have no comprehension of what it feels like to be told your body has at least preliminarily cooperated to your favor.
The Nine Day Wait
Unlike the many standard pregnancy tests, with DEIVF because of all the hormones you are on, your blood test is around day nine. For us it’ll be next Thursday where I’ll wake up impossibly early, well before the alarm, drive downtown to the clinic, and have my blood taken as soon as the office opens. Then do whatever I humanly can to stay sane until he calls. We’re planning to take a short hike, assuming my achy foot cooperates, to keep us breathing in and out, but it will be a test, of course.
And In The Meantime…
My bum gets progressively sore as the schedule of daily intramuscular injections increases, one of those things where when you sit on a chair you shift a bit from side to side to ease the pressure.
The progesto-dreams, as another blogger referred to them, are intensifying. And kind of creeping me out, to be honest! Last night I started coming to consciousness while telling my husband (as I sat on the edge of the bed, naturally) about how they had dug these deep holes in the property next to us and that it appeared they were doing it again. And of course, simultaneously saying that I was wide awake (the best feature of my weird dreams, you see, is my verbal insistence that I’m not actually asleep- I’ve been a sleeptalker my whole life, you see). But the worst part? My husband told me that earlier in the night he’d awoken to find me rubbing his back. Not a nice massage or gentle touch, just a weird rubbing and when he told me it was okay to go to sleep, I mumbled, laid back down and was snoring within seconds. Ugh. (by the way if you really want to freak yourself out, download the “Sleep Talk Recorder” app – it’s wild what you have no recollection of saying…and for me, way too creepy to do anymore, as my “sleep laugh” is way too out of body to ever hear again).
So We Keep Breathing
We must not tamper with the organic motion of the soul. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson