Transfer Day

I’ve been thinking back a lot lately about our last IVF. Putting out the new medicine and putting dates in my calendar has been making me a little nostalgic. Weird, right? To think you could get nostalgic about this kind of thing? There are parts of IVF that can actually be really exciting, but as anyone who has been through it knows, there are parts that can be really difficult. It’s quite literally a cliche roller coaster of emotions.

I’ve never really written about this day because it was probably one of the most painful in the journey so far. I realized I hadn’t even talked about it much until a couple of weeks ago when Megan and I were chatting. I had never really told anyone how I felt about that day. I think because it was just too hard to look back on to hash out all over again. It was supposed to be one of the best days. It was supposed to be one of those exciting moments in IVF – the day we were to become parents – transfer day.

As far as we knew, we had 15 eggs that had been fertilized when we went in for transfer day. We had 28 eggs retrieved, 15 fertilized and we would find out how many had made it to this 2nd day. You expect a significant drop off. It’s just how IVF works. 15 would be A LOT of embryos and unlikely, but we knew 15 was a great start and expected to put one in, and have maybe 3 or so to freeze so we could try again.

I remember the day so well. We were excited. Anxious. Ready to become PUPO {pregnant until proven otherwise.} I actually showered {this is a lot the day after surgery and having your ovaries bloated to the size of grapefruits}, did my hair and makeup, got ready and put on some comfortable, yet acceptable clothes.

We arrived and were ushered back to the room we had just been in on Monday to change into scrubs. Jordan got to go back with me this time, which was exciting. He’d get to see our babies too, I thought. We saw our doctor, Dr. Dodds, that did our egg retrival, and he came over and shook our hands and wished us luck. I thought it was really quite sweet and just remember being incredibly happy about everything at that point.

We went into the exam room and I began to prop myself up on the table {once you’re in the office, lifting your legs up every other day for awkward ultrasounds, you just know the drill} and Dr. Shavell told us she was going to go talk to the embryologist and check on the embryos. At that point, we had decided on transferring one. It’s what we were both comfortable with since we assumed we’d have some to freeze.

She came back out of the room and showed us the photo of our embyros. Yes, embyros, as in two. Wait, what? I thought. I began to panic. No! No! We’re only transferring 1! I stopped her. “Um, I think we only want to transfer 1.” I should have known by the way she looked at me. She’s so super sweet and her eyes told it all. She said, “Well, unfortunately, these are the only two embryos that have made it….” I was in serious disbelief. I said, “What!? Seriously, how?” All while trying to keep my cool. I wanted, no, I needed this to be a good experience. She went on to say that it sometimes happens in PCOS patients, we produce a lot of eggs, but not always of great quality, it explains why our IUIs have worked, and it’s not the end of the road, just the explanation to more answers.

Truthfully, I didn’t care. I couldn’t even listen anymore. There was no way I was going to be able to hold this in. I just started sobbing. All I could think about is that this was it. This was our shot. We had two embryos {one was not in the greatest shape} and this was our one chance to be pregnant. She put her hands on my knees, and said, “I’m so sorry. I am so sorry. But these are some really great embryos and I would suggest you transfer both.” And I knew she was right, but I couldn’t even begin to take it all in. Jordan grabbed my hand and I looked over at him and saw tears begin to well up in his eyes too and it’s literally all I had not to just collapse on the floor right then and there. He said, “Let’s transfer them both then.”

So with a very heavy heart, I watched as they transferred our two embryos on the ultrasound screen. I missed them going in {they’re two fuzzy white dots} but she showed them to us after they were in and that was it. Fate was set. Two weeks to wait.

As I walked back to the room to change into our clothes, I began to cry again. Okay, more like sob. I just couldn’t believe it. I just had this awful, gut feeling that it wasn’t going to work.

When we left the office, I ran upstairs in the building to the bathroom {they make you have a full bladder} and I was totally convinced I had peed them out. And as I was walking down the stairs to meet Jordan, I was crying again.

I got home, crawled into bed and napped as well as I could with the photo in my hands. I began to feel more positive by the next day {it helped that it was Thanksgiving}, but I was still sort of crushed by everything that had just happened. Yes, we had two embryos, which is still fantastic. I get that. Some people have none, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. And I think just having gone through it all, the thought about doing it all over again if it didn’t work was just overwhelming.

I’ve realized there are a lot of moments in this journey that fly by in sort of a blur. Things start to mesh together. The shots, the pills, the appointments, but there are some moments in it that are so clear, so crisp I will literally never forget them. They’re burned in my memory, good or bad. This is one of those days. I think, for a long time, I tried to pretend like it was a great day for me because I see so many others that are happy on their transfer day. And while I was, and still am grateful, for my two embryos, it was incredibly traumatizing for me. I still have a hard time thinking back to the day and remembering the good in it.

I am not saying this to be negative, but I want to be honest in this journey and I want anyone else to read this, to know that if they, or you, have felt this way, you are not alone. Every journey is different, but they’re all painful at times. 

For now, I pray our next transfer is the one I envisioned. The one where we leave hopeful and happy.

T-minus 3 days, folks!

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3 thoughts on “Transfer Day

  1. Sometimes it’s hard to adjust your expectations. It’s such a shame that you were not able to find out those results before the transfer day and have it all processed before you went in. I guess this time, you’ll be more prepared for whatever the outcome. Good luck!

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