Monday, February 14, 2011

More than you wanted to know about my Embryo Transfer

Transfer day yesterday- Wowsers, that was not easy at all. I knew from IUIs that having to have a full bladder is tough. But I am also dealing with some OHSS (more on that in another post) and I imagine my endo might have added to the pain. So, it was pretty brutal. PLUS turns out I have challenging anatomy. I think it took 4 times to get my cervix in position. (Ouch x 4) And then the practice run was so difficult getting the catheter to feed to my uterus (I guess the angle was near impossible) that they scrapped plan a and went to plan b. Which I don't understand exactly- DH could explain as he watched the whole thing and found it fascinating. Something though about leaving the practice catheter in me, and feeding the actual embryo filled syringe on the end, instead of putting a whole new line in me as planned. But I still not sure what all was going on.

All I know is I pulled my hood up over my head, grasping DH's hand, trying not to die from the pain, the bladder pressure, and the absolute fear. The doctor was clearly frazzled with how difficult of a case I was. And at one point she was struggling so much with it that I felt tears welling up so terrified that she was going to tell me it wasn't going to be possible. It was taking forever and nothing was going smoothly. Then at the very end I could hear relief slowly coming into the doctor's voice and she started saying "Excellent" - slowly at first and then she started repeating the word faster and faster and more confidently as she finished things up. And I started to relax a bit. And then next thing I knew the room seemed to pause for what seemed like a full minute, and then the embryologist yelled from the lab "All clear"- meaning the syringe that had held our embryo had been passed back to her for inspection and she confirmed it was empty. And you could tell the whole room (Doctor, u/s tech, assistant, two embryologists, and DH) exhaled.

I would have exhaled, however I was trying not to pee on the medical staff.

And presumably the embryo was left in my uterus. This is the part I am struggling with.

It is so tiny. Almost non-existent. I never really contemplated it much before that day,they always look so big in people's pictures. but seeing the needle that they suck it up into, and realizing it truly is microsopic. All of this fuss and effort, and it is so freaking tiny? How do they know it really is in my uterus? How does it not get stuck somewhere along the path to my uterus? How is it that it doesn't fall out after the procedure (they let me pee right away afterwards and then had me rest)? And (warning TMI) what about my bout of err..ummm.. consti.pation later that day? Wouldn't all the extra pushing and straining squeeze it right out of there? Maybe they should have cultured it until it was a bit bigger- I'm thinking, oh, 9 months gestation!!?? And maybe after all this frickin' effort and (money, OMG the money) we should have thrown two or TWENTY in there just for good measure. And maybe today I should have stayed home instead of going to work and maybe....maybe....

............Deep breath. Deep, deep breath.

I think what I am actually feeling is helplessness. And I suppose that is to be expected. It happened after my IUIs each time. By the time you get to this point, you are at the end of what you can control.

There is nothing more I can possibly do but step off the cliff and free fall. Trusting I did all I could.


  1. One of the most awful things about this whole IF/IVF thing, is the sheer loss of control... or having to hand the control over to someone else to get it right. I find that so difficult. I'm with you on wondering how the tiny thing gets in and sticks. Mother nature is amazing and the fact that IVF can over-ride her and get it right so many times is even more amazing. Fingers crossed for you and your little one xoxo

  2. Oh wow, that sounds like a real tough transfer. It's amazing how modern medicine works, hope your 2ww goes fast now..

  3. Wow, I had no idea. You make a valid point, how does it stay in there?

    I hope you are feeling better and that all this money and pain will be plenty worth it!

  4. OMG I know how you feel!! The Dr was dealing with the catheter for more than half an hour and nothing fit! I almost broke my DH fingers!! Could it be something to do with the endo that messed up our cervix?? Where the showing with an ultrasound the catheter going in? I've seen that online but they didn't do it to me, so that has me wondering if I really have the embryos in me!

  5. (hugs) I am sorry you had such a bad ET experience.

  6. Ow, sounds awful! So sorry to hear it was so painful and difficult. I felt the same when I realised how tiny these little embryos are - is *that* really likely to turn into a baby? I hope you are okay with the OHSS - it seems to be much more common in the US than here - but then the numbers of eggs harvested here seem a bit lower. Hope you recover quickly xxxh