I tried over and over again many different ways to write an introduction to this post. But there really are no words to explain how I feel other than happy and as hell, so here’s everything that happened! (But if you’d like to learn what exactly an embyo transfer is first and all the preparation it entails, please read this post!)
Day of transfer: 2/23/15
We arrived at our clinic at 10 am, signed in, received a wrist band with my name and birthday, had my blood drawn, and peed one last time. I was then to drink 30 oz of room temp water and take a valium. Oh, how amazing that felt! (The valium, not the excessive amount of water).
My acupuncturist, and quite possibly the most soothing and calm lady I’ve ever met, Heidi, arrived a bit before 10:30 am to start the first of my 2 acupuncture sessions. We walked downstairs to where she has the most cozy little room set up, I finished my water, and she went to work. I had an acupressure point in my head, ears, stomach, inner knee, and on the top of my foot. I put in my ear buds and listened to some Zita West hypnotherapy (specifically for IVF transfers) while she turned off the lights and let me lie there for 20 minutes. Brian was quietly sitting near me. Between the valium and the acupuncture and the hypnosis I don’t think I’ve ever been so relaxed and felt so damn good in my entire life. Around 11 am, we headed upstairs to the floor where I was to have my embryo transfer (which was also the same room I had my egg retrieval in 2 months earlier).
Everyone at the clinic knows Heidi as she goes there alot to do acupuncture on patients, so when she took us back to the embryology lab, the techs all said hi to us and that I must be Alycia. I was so chill and in the zone, I didn’t even hear the tech mention that our embryo survived the thaw just fine and was ready to go. The thought that it might die didn’t even cross my mind.
Heidi took us into a little room with chairs to change. She gave Brian a fancy yellow gown, blue hair net, and face mask. And all I had to do was get naked from the waist down and put on a gown. After we were changed, I said to Brian, wait so our embryo survived the thaw? Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!
After a few minutes, a lady from the lab came in to our changing room with a new picture of our completely hatched embryo! She said it looked great, had nice compacted cells. Aaaaand I cried. Oh what a cute little embryo it was.
So finally, around 11:30 we went into the procedure room, I hopped up on the tall table with my bare ass and cold legs covered by a fancy paper blanket. It was at this point my bladder started to get really uncomfortable. And when I say uncomfortable, I mean the back of my legs started aching and I couldn’t see straight. And no, that wasn’t from the valium. The ultrasound tech, Sherry, who’s done a bunch of scans on me throughout this entire process, came in to look at my bladder with the ultrasound. She said that I was full enough that it would be safe for me to let a little out in the bathroom so I could relax a bit more.
So I hop off the table, and right as I’m about to leave the room, my doctor finally comes in and jokingly says, “Oh where is she going? This is only really important!” I was like, “Waaaait!! I can hold it then if we’re going to do it right NOW, otherwise please let me pee!” (I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to stop peeing, and if I did manage to stop would it hurt really bad. But I managed just fine). Anyway, he said to go ahead and use the restroom because if I had to pee that bad it would be bad for my uterus. So yea…..I felt much better after and back to being relaxed. And I still had a full enough bladder to go ahead with the transfer.
At this point, I am back on the table with my thighs in those lovely stirrups with that paper blanket back over me. And while I’m laying there, there’s a humongous tv monitor on the wall that showed our petri dish (not a test tube like society thinks) with our last name on it and we were to verify that it was ours. Yes it was! And right in the center of the dish, our little embryo came into focus. All alone it was, and yet so totally alive. This sounds ridiculous, but it looked as if it was shouting to us, “Look at me! I am the strongest! I survived! I made it! I am the winner! HAHA! Now let me in!” With alot of luck and the magic of science, this mass of cells was going to hopefully turn into our baby! The doc said to keep watching, they were going to suck it up into a catheter. And up it went! Oh my gosh this was amazing to see!
Then our focus changed from the huge tv monitor to the ultrasound monitor which was by my head. Sherry had squirted that cold ultrasound gel on my stomach with a flourish of fart-like noises and I started laughing, while the doc was getting all my business in order with the speculum and that fun stuff. Then he said to watch the screen. It was a picture of my uterus and all of the sudden, a skinny catheter that contained our embryo passed its way in (I didn’t feel any of this so I got to actually enjoy being in the moment. This procedure is the easiest and most painless part of the entire IVF process). Then he said, “Ok that’s right where I want it. Injecting in 3, 2, 1” and the lab tech depressed the plunger of the catheter, and in went our embryo! It showed as a tiny white speck and was placed perfectly in my uterus…the catheter was withdrawn leaving our embryo behind. What am amazing moment I will never forget in all my life! I was smiling and crying and trying to stop crying so I wouldn’t mess anything up. Oh my gosh I was pregnant until proven otherwise (via blood test 2 weeks later)!
Sherry took my legs out of the stirrups, telling me to keep them bent up, and they tilted the table back for 10 minutes while I rested there completely blissed out of my mind. Brian was holding my hand the entire time. This was the moment we had been waiting so so so long for. We shook hands with the doctor, he told me about my bed rest directions, and that was that.
After the 10 minutes was up, I got to use the restroom. And as many women will tell you after having an embryo transfer, I was terrified of my embryo falling out into the toilet, but that’s just impossible. I still peed really slowly though. I told Heidi this as we went back downstairs for my 2nd acupuncture treatment, and she said, “Oh my, that’s so considerate of you!”
So back into our cozy little acupuncture room we went. Only this time I wasn’t as relaxed because I was pumped up on excitement and adrenaline at the miracle that just happened. And the valium was wearing off. But I laid there none the less, and listened to more Zita West for 20 minutes.
After it was all over I hugged Heidi and thanked her so much for making this day so relaxing and calm for me. She made such a huge difference in this entire experience. I can’t recommend acupuncture the day of transfer enough. Even if it was all in my head, that’s all that mattered anyway.
So we headed home and in the car we called and texted everyone in our families that the procedure went perfectly. I laid on the couch for the remainder of the day and the day after per our doctor’s protocol. And I also took the rest of the week off, even though I didn’t have to.
And I know you are dying to know if it worked or not but I’m not ready to share any information about the outcome either way at this time. Thanks for understanding that!