God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

ETD (Embryo Transfer Day of course! Not Estimated Time of Death)

Today was our transfer day.
All the words I want to say seem to quickly bubble to the surface and get caught in my throat, trying to be the first thought out.
It went well. It didn't go well.


From the beginning...

Walter and I walk in, on a cloud of happiness and slight arrogance. I know my eggs are good, and I know my husband has good sperm. Wrap twins up in a bow, we got this.

We got scrubs on, and await for Dr. Keller, the RE on IVF call this week. Our pride grows when our Dr. Cooper comes in our room. She has come in, just for us. :) (Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am to have her?) She comes with a manila folder and I know it's ours.

"Are we ready?" she looks into my eyes. This woman knows as much of my heart as my best friend and husband do. Every time I see her I have to resist hugging her with all my might. I feel like I've gotten to know her well too. Not in the way that I know her hobbies for a Friday night, or what her favorite meal is... but I know how she does her job. She does it very well, and I also know this question is beginning a difficult discussion.

Her job is to deliver not-so-great news, but make you feel like it's not a big deal. She puts you at ease, even though you both know the patient is crumbling inside.

She explains that of the five eggs that fertilized, the results weren't exactly what they'd hoped. At this point, we're looking for at least 8-celled, with slight to 'no' fragmentation (it's impossible to have NONE)... I would soon find out that I would give my right arm for one of those guys.

Dr. Amber Copper has fought this whole process with me, and although we disagree when life begins, she gets it for me. However, she has also tried to talk us into only putting in one embryo for our first IVF cycle. However, she understands the infertile woman in me screams to put the whole clown car in me. We decided on two months in advance, though she warns me she will fight me one last time on transfer day since she has the confidence that we will have great embryos with the results from my egg testing and his sperm testing in hand.

"Jen, you know what we're looking for here and we've picked the best two embryos for you already..." at this my heart sinks a little, I know the outcome hasn't been good.

Five Embryos
2-cell with 30% fragmentation
3-cell with 20% fragmentation
3-cell with 30% fragmentation
*4-cell with 20% fragmentation
*4-cell with slight fragmentation

I see a bit of her sympathy peek through her eyes and at that, I begin to cry.

Of ALL the things I sat up and thought through what could go wrong, I didn't think it would be this. She explains to us that women with PCOS sometimes do have problems with their eggs that make them to be slow-growers. "There are things we can do for your eggs, less drugs, more drugs, less time, more time... but let's give this a shot" she says.

I continue to fail at holding back tears and snot, she blames herself for it all and make a joke. "It's really our fault, pumping you up with all these hormones and consistently giving you sensitive news!" I laugh and pull myself together.

Let's do this. At this point I will let you in on a little secret: I was supposed to drink 42 ounces of water and come with a 'full bladder' and let's just say I was about to pee my hospital gown. I was low on hope, but I needed to get this done and pee!

She leaves the room for a moment and I cry with Walter, saying awful things.
"This won't work!"
"There's no point!"
"They're not going to make it!"

Walter makes jokes to cheer me up. I think this is why I choose to surround myself with funny people. I'm a panicker. He jokes about if he should leave his clothes on under his scrubs and how funny it would be if we BOTH walked in, only in scrubs.

It's time. He walks in the room, and I waddle, seriously afraid I'm going to be like our new puppy and find a corner to pee in. I seriously can't begin to tell you how miserable I was. I lay back on the table and it gets a little better, but then the ultrasound comes and she's checking my full bladder.

"Woah there overachiever! You ARE full! Are you miserable?" I let her know I most definitely am. She decides my bladder is actually TOO full, and that I must get up and pee. I'm so thrilled until she hands me a very small cup. It's those cute little cups you see for mouthwash on fancy people's sinks. (I use my cupped hands, let's be honest)

I am only allowed to fill the cup.

I go into the restroom and pee, and within a second the cup is full and I have to force myself to stop. I have to be honest, if you can do this with a painfully full bladder, you can do anything. Back to the room and we're ready to go.

Walter is in a chair to my left, and I hold his hand. Dr. Keller is on ultrasound. There are three assistants and my doctor floating around the room making arrangements. We're making jokes and I can feel myself fill with hope and joy. One of the assistants asks my to verify my name on a lid to a petri dish, and everyone hushes. It's getting serious. As soon as the name is confirmed and she leaves we all get to joking again. The doctors tell us that one of the funniest things that's ever happened is a man who came in in just the scrubs. Walter and I look at each other, laugh, and then he confesses his confusion too.

A small catheter is inserted. I can see if move all the way up towards my bladder on the ultrasound to my left. They 'load' the embryos once it's in place. The embryos are too small to see, but you can see a small puff of fluid out of the catheter. One embryo is in. I am pregnant. Another puff. Another embryo. I am pregnant with twins.

I am cradled to put my knees to put chest and I sit there dreaming. I'm moved up on the bed and rolled down the hall. I am to lie and wait for 30 minutes before moving. I realize it is the first LONG 30 minutes of my Two Week Wait.

I lie there and dream. I didn't really worry. Walter and I didn't even talk. We just stayed still and enjoyed our own thoughts. Every now and then we'd catch each other smiling at each other and we'd laugh. I stared at the picture we were given of our embryos and at this moment I didn't think of how weak they looked, I imagined little faces that looked like Walter's... with his humor of course... they're eyes will be big and brown, just like my husband's... they would have his stubbornness as well I'm sure... but I guess we're both stubborn. And right now, I'm thankful for that.

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