Tag Archives: bladder

IVF week 5: Embryo Transfer

Justin and Desiree on transfer day.

This is us right before we went in for the transfer.

If there’s anything we’ve learned about a round of IVF it’s that first, there’s a lot more that can go wrong than they’ll tell you and second, things change and often.

The last time I wrote we were anticipating a Saturday transfer of 2, day-5 embryos (blastocysts).

Thursday morning (day-3 for our embryos) the head infertility coordinator called and asked if we could come in to do an early transfer – things had changed back to the original plan of transferring 2, day-3 embryos (not blastocysts).

She explained that our embryos were developing slowly, but that 2 of them were impressive for day 3. The embryologist’s concern was that if these 2 didn’t make it to day 5, and the rest continued to grow slow or didn’t make it, that we might lose our chance to transfer this cycle. Her concern was “pregnancy now”, that these 2 embryos had a better chance of making it in the womb than they did in the lab and so the team decided today was the day.

We got ready and headed to the clinic.

When we got there they did an ultrasound to check Desiree’s lining. The thickness hadn’t changed and it was smooth – we got a thumbs-up to proceed. The last hurtle had been cleared and the thing we set out to accomplish was actually happening.

The transfer was relatively fast. Desiree didn’t need an IV or any anesthesia. I wore scrubs. The way it works is they use a sonogram to see the uterus, and they only way they can see it clearly is if Desiree has a full bladder. Unfortunately, this was the worst part (well, aside from having her legs in knee-stirrups) and made things uncomfortable for her. After they’ve got a clear view they use a catheter to place the 2 embryos and they’re done.

Desiree drinks fluids

Desiree fills her bladder with a smile.

It was an interesting process and one they encourage husbands to be a part of. Before they placed the embryos they showed them to us on a big screen. The first was a grade 1, 8-cell and the second a grade 2, 6-cell. As they placed them we could see the catheter moving through to the uterus and our doctor counted down the placement so we knew exactly what was happening on the screen.

Justin suited up for the transfer

This is me all suited up and sterilized for the transfer.

After it was over Desiree stayed on the table and we spent the next 2 hours at the clinic as she started bed-rest. When we got home she spent the next 22 hours in bed, only getting up to use the bathroom.

Everything went great – we’re happy to finally say we had a successful round of IVF.

She’s done with all her drugs except the progesterone which I’ll continue to give her every night. If any embryos implant it will help her lining stay strong for a better chance they’ll survive. Monday begins what they call “the 2-week wait”. She’ll have blood-work done every other day. Hopefully they’ll begin to see her pregnancy levels rise. She’ll do this until she takes a pregnancy test. If the test is positive she’ll stay on the progesterone and monitoring throughout the first trimester.

Now for the bad news.

The embryologist called this morning and said none of our other 10 embryos made it to day 5, and they’re all being discarded tomorrow. This means there’s nothing to freeze and if we choose to do a second round of IVF Desiree will have to go through another egg retrieval, something we hoped to avoid. Of course this leaves us asking a bunch of questions, but we’re trying not to dwell on it. We’re looking forward to the pregnancy test.

Regardless of whether or not we’re pregnant making it this far has been a huge success. Some couples don’t make it for a number of reasons. To add insult to injury they lose all their money in the process. In the worst cases they go through an egg retrieval and have nothing to show for it, a wasted cycle. This was a possibility for us all along and so we don’t take where we’re at lightly – it really is amazing we’ve made it this far.

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