Today began early, like all my previous trips to Nashville. The whole way down (an hour drive, but it takes 30 minutes longer in traffic), Greg and I talked A's and B's and what our final decision would be regarding the number of embryos to transfer.
It's such a difficult decision to make and one that fertile couples never have to discuss. Can you just imagine, "Honey, I think you should ovulate 3 eggs this month." "Why of course, sweetie, then we'll have one implant." Um, no.
And, like I've said numerous times before, IVF is a numbers game or statistics game if you like that fancy word better.
Our 2009 round of IVF, we transferred 2 embryos. One was almost an A and the other was definitely a B and we ended up with a singleton which we later miscarried at 10 weeks. So, the dilemma this time was whether we should transfer 2 or 3, but we knew all along the decision would be made that morning (after my Valium) when the embryologist brought in photos of our embryos with letter grades beside them.
So, on the drive down, we were still discussing A's and B's and the risks involved, as I was drinking Gatorade so I'd have a full bladder for the procedure, even though we had no clue how many of the 5 stand-out embryos would be presented to us this morning.
We were supposed to arrive by 9:00am, but of course, we were there by 8:45 because in my family, if you're not 15 minutes early, you're late.
So, we waited for 15 minutes until we were called back to the surgery center. Like always name-bands were checked about 53 times from point A to point B.
When we got to the room, Greg changed into his lint-free outfit, or purple-people-eater-outfit, whichever you prefer.
And, I disrobed waist down except for my awesome socks (knee-high socks are a must in these cold rooms).
I'm digging my outfit here. The mix of patterns is fantastic. Not particularly happy about my level of Gatorade consumption at this point, though.
We talked with the nurses, signed papers, got my discharge instructions, and then, most importantly, took my Valium.
And, I'm glad I did, because when the embryologist came in with our embryo photos, I was a tad disappointed.
3 blastocysts, all grade B.
I was so hoping for at least one A, and that the doctor would try to talk us out of transferring all 3, but we had no such luck.
Our embryos had done great up until day 3, when they slowed a bit, so they are about 6 hours behind this stage here:
Isn't this one beautiful?
But, that's okay....ours may be ugly ducklings at first, but we're hoping for one beautiful swan.
After discussing our decision of transferring three with our doctor, I was wheeled back into a dark room. It's dark because embryos are normally kept out of the light. At that point, the embryologist showed Greg the embryos one last time (hence the lint-free-garb). The embryologist loaded the embryos into a catheter and the doctor inserted that tiny tube through my cervix and into my uterus.
Now, this isn't my uterus, but see the white line that looks like a feather? That's where the embryos go, because that's where they attach. During the transfer procedure, my bladder has to be full because it presses down on the uterus making it easier to get the embryos in the exact right spot. So, my ultrasound monitor had a big black spot on the top 1/3, which was my gatorade sitting there, and even warranted a complimentary comment by the embryologist: "That's a great view!"
Me: "Why thank you."
I pride myself on being able to hold my bladder, so I'm the perfect patient for this procedure.
So, using an ultrasound the doctor guided the catheter to that very spot and pushed the embryos out of the tube. Once removed, the embryologist examined the tube under his microscope to ensure all 3 had left the tube, then I was wheeled back into my room to lay flat for an hour.
With my still-full bladder.
Thankfully, Jennifer my IVF nurse came in to check on me and help pass about 15 minutes of time encouraging me about my chances of pregnancy.
With grade B embryos our chances aren't as good as we'd like. We're at about 50% chance at best for pregnancy, but Jennifer said I'm pregnant until proven otherwise.
It's just a mixture of emotions today. Disappointment, but potential excitement.
Today and tomorrow are bedrest, then a progesterone check on Friday.