Well, it's here! As I type this, two beautiful, fully-expanded, thawed, and assisted-hatched blasts are finding their resting places in my cushy uterus. I am fully loaded!
The day went pretty smoothly. We managed to get out the door on time and on the road to Buffalo. I tried to manage that careful balance of a full, but not TOO full, bladder on the way. Didn't quite work, as we had to stop at the rest stop so I could empty and try refilling again, a bit less robustly. So hard to execute when the drive is an hour and fifteen minutes! Apparently I did just fine though, my bladder was a lovely backdrop for the uterine magic that followed.
I faithfully took my 10mg of Valium in the car (no I was not driving), which actually did make me feel very relaxed and peaceful. Our transfer was supposed to be at 10:00, but they always run a bit late, so I waited until 9:40 to take the valium. Voila, it was exactly 30 minutes before the procedure. Having done this so many times before does have certain advantages, I guess.
This time we did not cart our beautiful Buddha statue into the office. I don't like to bring the same totems in twice, or at least not in the same combination. So Buddha stayed home (he's kind of unwieldy anyway), and I just brought my rose quartz heart that an infertility friend sent me last year, I wore my rose quartz earrings my best friend gave me a year or two ago, I wore a turtle necklace on a leather thong that my mom gave me for Christmas from the Gonandagan visitor center (a lovely fertility symbol that was 100% new to the mix), and I wore my Arms of Strength Alex + Ani bracelet that my mother in law gave me. I did not wear orange underwear. I did not wear a special shirt or color. I wore a heathered light brown t-shirt and a linen skirt, earth tones. Maybe subconsciously I was trying to ground myself.
We got into the examination room and surprised the nurse by not really having any questions. Really, there aren't many questions I have left. Then, we saw pictures of these beautiful, awesome embryos. They were fully expanded, 3-D looking, and had had assisted hatching already. I didn't know you could do assisted hatching on blasts, but apparently on frozen transfers you can. When they are thawing, the cellular material is all in the middle as it starts to re-expand, and so safely away from the zona pellucida (shell), so they can do their helpful magic and give a boost on the escape route to get to my lining, without harming the integrity of the blast itself. Pretty darn cool. While we were waiting for the picture, I was like, "oh wow, these are embryos 24 and 25." The nurse breathed in sharply, and Bryce later told me that her face looked shocked and a little sad. I guess she figured out why we have no questions about post-transfer stuff.
It was tough, because Bryce felt a bit disconnected. It was still just as exciting to see that flash on the ultrasound of the embryos coming home, but strange to not genetically be a part of it. This is going to be very interesting to see how this all plays out. I feel badly because he feels so extraneous. At least at this point in the game. He knows that that will change as we get further into the parenthood process, but at the time it is stinky.
After the swoosh of the embryos, our doctor removed the catheter that had held the embryos and gave it to the embryologist. They always have to double check, in case an embryo gets stuck in the catheter. Which has never happened to us. Until today. She came back and said, "One retained." We were so surprised! Usually you just here "all clear" and go about your business. But one stubborn little guy was hanging on to the catheter. Our doc reassured us that this happens from time to time, and purely anecdotally, it's a good sign. "This one's extra sticky!" he joked. They did a second, shallower transfer to get that blast where it needed to go without disturbing the other one.
And then it was over. They don't have you lie on the table anymore. I could immediately get up and get going, which is SO WEIRD. We drove home, got some lunch, I took a nap, and then went to acupuncture for a "securing" treatment. Lots of "beautiful baby" points.
And now...we wait. I take gads of medication and we wait. We're leaving for a mini-vacation to Vermont tomorrow and I am a little stressed out. We have to leave wicked early so we can have as much time with Bryce's dad and his wife as possible, and all the packing and the logistics of getting all these needles in a bag and having enough of everything is making me cranky. I just want to relax. Soooo, I kind of reserve the right to be like, "I don't feel so well, I'm going to hang back in the hotel room." I am on that antispasmodic still tomorrow (three days of 3x/day terbuteline to help with implantation somehow), and the benadryl is in full force. Not to mention the PIO tiredness. Bryce did find a pill case with boxes for each day of the week -- I can fit everything in there but the fish oil and my prenatals. All the estrace, the benadryl, the last day of terbuteline, the vitamin E, it all fits. That's helpful for packing, but it just makes a physical statement of how much pharmacology I'm stuffing into my poor body right now. No wonder I'm tired and cranky.
I feel pretty peaceful other than the stress of travel. I feel good about these little embryos hanging out inside me. They looked beautiful, and they looked much different than any of other embryos that we've had so far. Fuller, more developed. Not sure if that's the donor sperm component or what, but it's encouraging at the very least. Here we are again, off to the races. I'm totally loaded and hope to stay that way for the long haul. (perhaps I should rethink my phrasing on that one.)