It finally happened!!
I can finally call myself PUPO (Pregnant Unless Proven Otherwise) for the first time in my life! Our first ever embryo transfer was this past wednesday (Feb 28th). I had been preparing for this date for 52 days… 52 days is how long it took from the time of my egg retrieval, OHSS, new cycle start, birth control, lupron, doxycycline, medrol, estrogen, and progesterone to get to this glorious day! To be honest it almost felt like it was never going to happen. I had spent so much time and energy trying to prepare for the big day, all the while worrying if it was actually going to take place. Thank you god it did!
The day of our transfer my husband and eye donned our lucky IVF socks, I put on my “I’VF Got This” Pineapple shirt and we headed to our clinic. We still had some legal issues hanging over our head (more about this in my next post) and so our nerves were on edge heading into the clinic. I was also trying to carefully time my water consumption as to have a full bladder but not too too full for the procedure. The embryo transfer is done via ultrasound so unfortunately a full bladder is required and as you probably know its not super comfortable for someone to be pressing down firmly on your lower abdomen when you have a bursting bladder! The key is to time your water consumption perfectly so that you have consumed just enough, but not so much that you are in pain during the procedure.
The day before our transfer I had gotten a call from the lab to confirm that they would be thawing one embryo for our transfer. Due to our age and insurance company policies we were only allowed to transfer one embryo. I totally wasn’t sure what to expect for the whole procedure. They walked us over to the surgical side of our clinic and put us in our own little room which was dimly lit and had soft calming music playing. The nurse thanked us profusely for allowing her to be a part our special moment of conception. She reiterated numerous times that this was our special day and they were just lucky to be a part of it. Pretty cool when you think about it.. I guess I had gotten so use to just being poked and prodded and going with the flow that I wasn’t even realizing how personal and special this moment was going to be for us.
The nurse left the room and I got changed into the traditional hospital gown and waited patiently for the rest of the team to arrive. In our tiny little room was myself, my husband Jason, the RE, two nurses and the embryologist. It was like a conception party! Once everyone arrived they got me all set up with my legs in the stirrups and the brightest damn light shining down my lady bit hallway (once again all modesty is out the window when there’s four adults, who are not your husband, getting an up close and personal view of your private lady bits).
After inserting the dreaded speculum, and cleaning up my cervix my doctor placed the catheter via ultrasound guidance. Now we were ready for important part! The embryologist scanned my ID hospital badge and then the paperwork to confirm that they would be transferring one thawed 6AB embryo and that we would have 6 embryos left in storage. She left left the room to return with a giant incubator, like the kind they keep neonatal babies in, which contained our one precious little embryo in it. She used the special microscope to show us a picture our little nugget on the big screen. Jason took a picture but I must admit his camera skills are less than amateur!
After putting the embryo into the special solution and syringe everyone was ready for the big moment of conception. I watched carefully on screen to see the designated ‘flash’ of light which indicated our precious little embaby was now being comforted in my plush uterus (yup I used the word plush and uterus in the same sentence, I worked damn hard to have a nice thick lining!). Then before everything was completely done the embryologist re-checked the syringe to make sure the embryo was actually gone and they printed two pictures of our little ‘spark’ for us to take home. All of that work, 52 days worth, was over in a matter of minutes. The rest as they say is up to the big guy in the sky.
The nurse had me stay laying down for about 15 minutes and then re-reviewed my discharge notes which basically said to lay low, no heavy lifting, no extraneous exercise, no sex and continue on current meds until our beta blood work test on March 9th. Hard to believe that all this work will come to some sort of a conclusion either good or bad in just over a week. So now begins my dreaded TWW (Two week wait) even though its more like a week and a half wait since our embryo was frozen at day 5.
I had a whole list of infertility wives tales to follow for the next 5 days thanks to all my internet research! In an effort to spare you all some time, here’s what I had found for do’s and don’t’s:
- Do: Eat Mcdonald’s french fries or some other salty treat after your transfer
- Do: Keep your feet warm and elevated!
- Do: Drink pomegranate juice and raspberry leaf tea
- Do: Have lots of warm beverages and foods like soups and cooked veggies
- Do: Eat an avocado a day
- Do: Eat pineapple core starting the night of transfer for the next 5 days
- Do: Stay hydrated
- Do: Relax, lay low, and stay warm!
- Do: Watch funny movies and laugh a lot after transfer
- Do: Think positive thoughts/vibes
- Do: Continue to take your progesterone, estrogen and prenatals
- Do: Acupuncture following your transfer and again 5 days after if possible
- Don’t: Drink cold liquids or eat cold foods
- Don’t: Symptom spot
- Don’t: Have sex
- Don’t: Do any heavy lifting or intense physical activity
- Don’t: Take hot baths or put warm items on your lap (heating pad/laptop etc)
- Don’t: Drink alcohol, ingest caffeine or take drugs (including over the counter stuff)
**There was one item that had pretty conflicting information depending on where you looked and that was bed rest. Some RE’s recommend strict bed rest for 48 hours following a transfer. Some newer research however has shown that continuing with your regular activities is more beneficial as it decreases stress and increased blood flow to your uterus. Stagnant bed rest can decrease the blood flow where it is needed most.** I say to each there own. I ended up doing a combination of the two.
Here’s what I actually ended up doing. It was a randomly warm and beautifully sunny New England day so we decided to drive to South Boston and have ourselves a traditional boston lunch at Sullivan’s (aka Sully’s). We waited in a long line to finally get hotdogs and french fries! I know many of you are probably cringing at this based on all the chemicals etc in hotdogs. But you know what, it made me happy, I was craving them and they may be my last hotdogs for the next 9 months (fingers crossed they are). After leaving Sully’s I rode with my feet up on the dashboard home. Where we decided to then take the dogs to the local dog park since it was still so beautiful out. I figured my dogs make me incredibly happy, sunshine and being out doors makes me incredibly happy. All that can’t be bad for our little embaby right??
When we were finally done with gallivanting around, I laid on the couch in my comfiest pj’s with my legs elevated on a pillow wrapped in a blanket and watched some funny movies. We chose Anchorman and Bad Moms. We spent the rest of the day enjoying each other’s company, laughing and relaxing. For dinner we had soup and sandwiches and then went to bed early. All in all, I would say it was a pretty successful and positive day. Now all we have to do is hope this little nugget has settled in nice and snug and will continue to grow and make my belly its home for next 9 months!
Until next time, wishing you and yours lots of love, luck and baby dust!