IVF Embryo Transfer

All day Tuesday I was feeling a bit nauseated. The day of retrieval I didn’t feel well, but Monday I was great. So I was a little concerned when I was again feeling sick on Tuesday. My biggest concern was that I was getting the same flu bug that was going around my family. I knew that if I was sick, my doctor would not be anxious to do an embryo transfer, and would want to freeze my embryos for a later date. (During my frozen transfer in June, I had a cold and he said that the chances of implantation decrease significantly if you are sick.) So I called the office just to be sure of what they wanted me to do. I spoke with the nurse who advised me that my doctor said to go ahead and come in as planned and we would assess at that time.

The next morning I was feeling great. I was so happy about that because I didn’t want to have to freeze the embryos and put this cycle on hold. I wasn’t feeling quite as anxious about whether or not the embryos survived as I was with my FET. However, I also wasn’t anticipating my results. The doctor came in and said that all three had survived and were doing very well. He graded them as a 9-cell good, 10-cell good, and 8-cell good+. We then discussed how many we would transfer. I asked him if it would be crazy to transfer all three. He said, “No, not at all.” I was a little surprised by that, because I had kind of expected that we would only consider transferring all three if they were really poor quality. He talked us through our numbers and said that chances of pregnancy would increase from about 30% to 33%. He said chances of twins would be 25% (I believe he meant 25% if pregnant, so about 7.5%) and only a 2% chance of having triplets. I asked him what he would do. He said, “I think I’d transfer all three…but if they all take, I’m not babysitting!” We all had a good laugh with that one. The hubs was all for it. I think he wants to throw everything into this and hopefully be “done.” I was a little nervous about the idea, but also felt that if we didn’t do all three, there would be a high likelihood the third embryo (which would probably be the weakest of the three) would either not survive to day-5, or would not survive the thaw if we came back to using it later. It felt like it would almost be like we were just throwing it away. So I jumped in with both feet and said, “Let’s do it!”

The hubs and I got prepped in our garb. He asked why he had to have a mask, but I didn’t. The nurse said, “Because they’re her embryos and she can’t contaminate them.” The hubs said to me later, “Uh…they’re part mine too!” So who knows about that.IMG_4133

You’re supposed to have a “filling bladder” for the procedure. Last time, my bladder was bursting. I did not want to make that mistake again, so I was very conservative with my liquid consumption. Apparently a little too conservative, because the nurse made me down another 8oz before starting.

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The embryologist came in, introduced himself as Ben, and verified who we were and confirmed the procedure. I was being a little sassy (as per my norm) and he asked if this was the valium talking. I laughed because I chose not to take valium and it was just my sparkling personality. He said that one patient asked what his last name was. He told her and she said, “Oh, I thought it was Dover….Ben, Dover.” He said, “As if I haven’t heard that for the last 20 years.” We laughed and he said he forgave her because she was on valium. He then showed us a picture of our cute little embryos. He said, “Those are some really good-looking day-3 embryos!” He said that they have good cell formation and are very symmetrical. When our doctor came in, he asked to see the picture and also agreed that they looked really good. That gave me a little boost of confidence that they both said that. And maybe (just maybe) a surge of fear that they’re all so awesome. 😉

The embryo on the left is the 9-cell good, the middle is the 8-cell good plus, and the right is 10-cell good. The doctor said that at this stage they like to see 8 cells. That is the most normal development. Apparently, of the three, the 10-cell is the considered the poorest of them because if they develop too quickly, they aren’t as good for whatever reason. Again…I am just so amazed by the exactness of all of this. God sure knew what He was doing when He created us.

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Next up, the doctor prepped me for the transfer. While doing that, Ben showed us our embryos on the screen in our room for us to see and confirm our names on the dish. We asked if he could actually see them with his naked eye. He said he could and that they were like little specks of dust. He invited Miles to go in to the lab and look. He said, “Yeah, I’ll trust you on that since I think I need glasses anyway.”

Once the doctor was ready, Ben prepped the catheter and sucked those cute, little specks up. The embryos are the three tiny dots in the middle. The audio is hard to hear on the video, but another embryologist who was there said something about how good they were, all lined up in the petri dish. That’s when Miles says something about them being good children.

Catching Embryos

After Ben confirmed that they were all in the catheter, he gave it to the doctor. The next video is apparently to big of a file. I’ll have to figure out how to fix that. But it just shows an ultrasound screen and you see a tiny white spot, which is the catheter. Then there’s a flash a white as he pushes the fluid (and embryos) out into my uterus. After that, Ben confirmed that none of them stuck to the inside of the catheter.

The doctor told me to relax and then readjusted me on the bed. I’d forgotten about the fun little ride I get each time while he angles my head down and my feet up in the air and slides me to the top of the bed. He then lifted the top of the bed so my head was up. I said something about it working against gravity and he said, “Oh, gravity doesn’t matter at this point. They’re like specks of dust in a wet sponge.” HA! Miles said that’s his new catch-phrase. So be prepared for that at the most inappropriate of times. 😉

They left us in the dimly lit room to relax for a bit. I always like this part where we just get to look at our picture, name our embryos and imagine what is in store.

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As for our embryos names. This time it’s Dover on the left (after Ben, of course), Oddball on the right (because that’s the 10-cell that grew too fast), and Yahtzee in the middle (since it got the best grade). Although, someone suggested Daisy for the middle because it looks like a pretty daisy. I like that too.

I’m feeling pretty excited about it all and I’m anxious to find out what will happen. Unfortunately, now begins the wait from hell. After being so focused on each and every step on a near daily basis, it’s hard to wait. The nurse said, “Try not to test before 10 days.” I think they don’t like you to test before then so that if you happen to get a false-negative, that you don’t worry. Ten days post transfer will give better results. The official blood test is not for two weeks. I’ll be out of the state, so I asked for an order to take with me. Until then…I wait.

One thought on “IVF Embryo Transfer

  1. Holly

    I’ve been thinking so much about you the last few days, and I’m feeling anxious myself–dying to know what’s going to happen. So I can only imagine how YOU must be feeling!!! 😉 The waiting game is the worst! Good luck, and keep us all posted! (I know you will, of course). And by the way, we got your Christmas card yesterday & it is SO cute!!!

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