Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Infertility: The IVF Process Part II

While I'm traveling Down Under I thought I'd post some excerpts from my IVF Journal. It's a little surreal, even for me, to look back and re-read some of my thoughts and feelings from this time. I remember being incredibly scared and vulnerable during this process and it's comforting to know now that with each life experience we can come out of it a better, more empathetic human. 
Embryo Transfer 3/31/11

I’ve been anxious for this day. Sweaty palms, racing heart excited.  It’s been 5 days since the retrieval and I’m so hopeful that this will work. We haven’t been updated about our embryos since Monday. I still don’t exactly know what to expect physically, but I’ve scheduled to take Thursday and Friday off work as the Doctor strongly suggested lying low. It’s also Conference Weekend, which is a perfect excuse to not do much at all. Our transfer appointment was scheduled for 10:00 am Thursday morning. Brad gave me a blessing just before we left which helped to calm my worrying soul. Tom and Todd are here staying with us this week and gave us big hugs and good lucks as we left. 

The clinic is becoming so familiar these days; the stairs, the smells, the weary smile of the receptionist. We were taken immediately to the Transfer Room and the nurse gave us some brief instructions. I followed them, undressed, and got situated on the chair to wait. Dr. P didn’t come in for what seemed like a really long time. It was making me more nervous and Brad tried his best to keep my mind from wandering too far. We talked and he held my hand. 

When the Dr. finally came in, he was bright and smiley which put me at ease. He knows this is a big day for us. He handed me a small black folder with a black and white picture of two round masses of cells on the inside. “Here are your babies!” he exclaimed. I choked up immediately. He then further explained the status of our 6 fertilized eggs. Ultimately we had only 2 high quality embryos to work with. He summarized our options and left the room for us to have a family counsel and make a decision. As he left we both welled up with tears over the picture of our two embryos. I was surprisingly awe-struck to see them! I was looking at the very beginnings of what could become actual human life, my children, my future. All of the hope and stress of the past 6 years seemed to well up in that moment. Immediately I recognized the feeling. I loved them. Our decision came quickly, we wanted to transfer both strong embryos. We felt it was the best thing to do. I was filled with so much joy and couldn’t stop staring at that little black and white picture with our two babies on it. My heart aches to know them.

When Dr. P came back we told him our decision and he agreed that it was the best way forward. With his support we were all ready to move ahead. The excitement was literally boiling over in my body. I tried to act calm. The Dr. gave me some Valium, not for any pain he said, but because he wants to be absolutely certain that I stay down today. No driving, no cleaning, no working, no nothing. Calmness was on the way. The nurse came in and together they continued to prep the room for the transfer, eventually opening the door to the lab where our babies were being safely kept. The Dr. used an ultrasound machine to find my uterus, which according to him was standing perfectly straight up and right where he wanted it. I resisted the urge to pat my stomach and congratulate my uterus; GOOD UTERUS! With the ultrasound paddle the nurse kept hold of the position on my uterus while the Dr. readied a path for the embryos. The Dr. said something funny and I belly laughed which caused the nurse to lose my uterus on the screen. Ok, no more laughing. I tried to be good and still. I tried to focus only on the sweet spirit that filled the room.

The embryologist gave the Dr. some pink liquid called media to wash my cervix and uterus. The media contains a simple sugar that the embryos will need to survive. Please put lots in! Next we were ready for the embryo transfer. The Dr. told us to watch the screen on the back wall. From the other room the embryologist placed a dish under a lens so we could see the embryos. Then he used a tiny pipette to gently suck them in the transfer tube. A few seconds later he was back in the room handing our babies to the Dr. who then placed them directly inside my uterus. It was amazing! Tears unexpectedly flowed down my cheeks. We were done. The Dr. congratulated us, we are “technically” pregnant and conception has taken place he said. After removing all the “gear” from inside me the Dr. shook our hands and said that he would be praying for our success. It’s out of our hands now. The nurse helped me lay flat, positioned some pillows under me and wrapped my body in warm white blankets. They turned down the lights and left us alone to relax in the room for about 30 minutes.

...to be continued... 

3.31.2011 Transfer day; We were both a ball of nerves...

3 comments:

C*K*J said...

I'm so glad you are sharing these!! What a journey you have been through!! xox

Marriott + Ali said...

oh my gosh you two have been through it. You are so good at remembering & documenting every little detail.

I'm so glad I know the ending of this "story", and I LOVE it!

tisanjosh said...

I think they may not have any fallopian tubes. With the IVF process, the fallopian tubes are bypassed so this allows them to get pregnant even by not having any fallopian tubes. Fertility Treatment