After getting home from transfer, I took it extremely easy and slept a lot which is why it has taken me this long to write about the day. Just as a warning, this post will be long and it will contain words such as uterus and cervical mucus. If these words make you uncomfortable please ignore this post and wait for the next one.
The story of our first transfer:
We got up to University of Chicago very early. See, the problem with U of C is that one day your trip could take you an hour and the next day it could take you two and a half hours so you always have to prepared for the latter. When we arrived, we were the only ones in the waiting room, and it wasn't long before we were taken back to the transfer area.
By this point, I had been waiting for them to call and say that none of the embryos had made it this far, but instead they told us to go ahead and get changed. This is when I figured we had to still be in the game, and one of our sweet embryos was strong enough to survive to this point! I put on my hospital gown, cap, and booties, and David got to don an extremely unattractive white sterile jumpsuit, cap, and booties as well. After changing and giggling at how ridiculous we looked, we sat down and waited.
Because we were so early, we waited for quite awhile as they had to take two other ladies before us to do their transfers (we were scheduled after them). Our transfer time was set for 9:30 AM, and we watched the clock anxiously the entire time. David ended up reading his book while I played games on my phone, and then we decided to take a picture of ourselves in our outfits since it was such an important day.
Finally, it was our turn!
We were led back into the transfer room and I was told to sit on the nice, uncomfortable exam table with stirrups while David got a stool to sit right next to my head. Our nurse then went over all discharge instructions including the date of our first beta. She even offered to write us an order to get the beta drawn locally so we don't have to commute so far for just a blood draw. After she was done with the instructions, we waited just a bit longer for the Dr. to get dressed and the team to be assembled.
He ended up coming in with a nurse, a resident, and the ultrasound tech, and then the quizzing began! We had to repeat our names, birthdays, and reason we were here about 10 times! Once they were satisfied we knew who we were and that we weren't lying, we began talking about the embryos.
From my research, typically 50% of embryos from day 3 die out by day 5. This happens because the weaker embryos that wouldn't make it to a viable pregnancy are weeded out and the strong ones will make it to day 5. We originally had four mature eggs. Those four mature eggs turned into four perfect embryos. We expected to lose at least two of them by day 5.
And this is why I began crying when he told us we had four embryos that survived to day 5. All I could think is "What a miracle," and my tears had the nurse and resident tearing up as well. I was just so overwhelmingly happy and excited, and the only thing I could do was cry.
As for the grading of our blastocysts: We had one that was absolutely perfect, two near-perfect, and one that was still in the morula stage which means it's being a little sluggish and is not yet a full blastocyst. They are going to watch that one until tomorrow and see how it does. If it does ok, we will be freezing that one along with the two near-perfect blasts that we decided to freeze today. For the transfer, we decided to use the "perfect" blastocyst.
***This is the part that gets a bit medical and might be gross for some to read***
The transfer ended up taking longer than most because it took him 20 minutes to scrape/suction out my cervical mucus which he said was as hard as a rock (this is due to my CF). This could explain why we haven't been getting pregnant as he was just stunned by how hard it was. By the way, when you have something abnormal and are going through IVF, the idea of all the people looking at you during labor seems like nothing because so many people have already looked at you just to GET you pregnant. Everybody had to take turns looking at the mucus, and I just had to lie there and pretend not to care! It's quite an uncomfortable feeling.
Once he was able to get the mucus out, he then wanted to repeat a mock transfer to ensure that everything went smoothly. It was hard for him to get into my uterus the first time which he told me was because I'm young and healthy so the uterus is not easy to get into. I hope this also means that it's not easy for the embryo to get OUT of either! :)
After about twenty more minutes and some intense cramping (which he waited to subside before doing the transfer), we were finally ready! They quizzed us about 10 more times about our names and reason we were there, and then the embryologist delivered to the Dr. one sweet little blastocyst in a catheter. From there it was only a matter of a few minutes before the catheter was inside and the transfer was complete, and then...the most amazing thing I have EVER witnessed happened:
We saw our little blastocyst on the screen..in my uterus. It was there! It was alive and there, and we created it (with help, of course). It was miraculous to witness this because so few people are lucky enough to see this part of conception.That tiny little white dot on the ultrasound screen could end up being our child. It's truly beautiful.
After holding back tears at the sight of the blastocyst on the screen, we were then told to relax for 30 minutes (we pushed it to 35 minutes), and then we were allowed to get up and go home. I spent those 35 minutes praying, thanking God, and thinking about being pregnant. It was such a relaxing time, and it gave us a chance to reflect on everything that brought us up to this point. We witnessed a miracle today, and I will never forget it!
And that's it! That's the story of our IVF transfer - a day I will remember forever!
Now, the waiting begins and we see if the little blastocyst decided to stick or not!