We ended up getting to the clinic early. I like to park on the street (it's free) and then take the 2-minute walk to the building. Mr. Hope does not. I tried to convince him that a brisk morning walk would send blood supply to my uterus. I won.
When the nurse called us back to go over my post-transfer instructions, she was all smiles. She ran down a list of items, including when I'd start my estrace, Lovenox, and prednisone (tomorrow, today, and today). Then she left to get the embryology tech.
I turned to Mr. Hope and said, "She was really chipper. This has to be good, right?"
The tech that came in was the same one who called me on Wednesday. She's got one facial expression: flat. I don't mean this in the bad way - I just mean she wasn't as smiley and friendly as everyone else we typically deal with.
She gave us a picture that had individual shots of our five embryos. The ones that had been As on Day 3 (ours and one of the donors') were now Grade B blastocysts. "I'll take it," I told her. Because HOLY SHIT, we were transferring a blastocyst of our own making! Of the three remaining embryos, one arrested at five cells, one was lagging behind as a morula, and one was an early blast. They were pretty sure they could refreeze the early blast but weren't sure what the morula would do. My guess is it's out, too.
So let me recap for you: My "rotten" egg managed to make an embryo that not only made it to blastocyst, it also outperformed three of the embryos created with a 30-year-old's eggs.
On the ride up, Mr. Hope and I were still talking about whether or not we wanted to transfer one or two. I'm a little nervous about twins, in part because of my weight but also because hi, twins cost a fortune. And there's no way one of us can be a stay-at-home parent, so in addition to double the cost of everything else we'd have to contend with double day care. Mr. Hope, on the other hand, was all, "Twins are great! Twins are an instant family!"
If our embryo had been a Grade A, I may have pushed harder for eSBT (elective single blastocyst transfer). But the fact that both of the front-runners were Grade B made me think I shouldn't chance it. So we stuck with our original plan to transfer both.
At my clinic, here's how this works:
They take you back to a room with lockers. You change into a gown, hair net, and slipper socks, then drape a thin blanket around your shoulders like a cape to cover your otherwise-exposed bottom. You lock your stuff up and take the key with you. Then they take you back to the transfer room, where you wait until they're ready to load your legs into the leg holder things.
I sat there, alone in the quiet room, and started to cry. Not because I was sad or upset, but because I never thought we'd get to that moment. I never thought we'd have a viable chance at making a baby from my egg and Mr. Hope's sperm. My first RE, Dr. God Complex, wouldn't even consider going to transfer with one follicle. He actually scared me into thinking I was putting myself at risk by doing that because it was such an "invasive" procedure.
But here we are, retrieving a solitary egg for the third time, and the damned thing turned into a blast.
I told Mr. Hope, "I can't even...I don't even have the words."
He joked, "They should've sent a poet."
So I cried a little, and then the nurse who assisted on my second IVF came in and said, "Aww, why are you crying?" I told her they were happy tears and filled her in on everything. She said, "It only takes one, right?"
I'd already had about 35 ounces of water before I came to the clinic, but the nurse who went over my post-transfer instructions seemed concerned that I hadn't had more. So I chugged another 16 ounces. I was fine until the transfer nurse told me to put my legs into the holder things. As soon as I swung a leg over I felt the pain in my bladder. She said, "Do you need to release a little?" I said, "No, that would make it worse." And then powered through.
Dr. Smiles came in a few minutes later. He said, "So, we have two good blastocysts today," and I said yes and then he said, "Let's get you pregnant," which is what he says every time.
I barely felt the speculum go in and I didn't feel the catheter at all. In fact, I didn't know it was over until he started to pull the speculum out. I said, "That's it? I didn't feel a thing." Dr. Smiles quipped, "That's what I've been hearing from ladies since I was 16 years old."
I told him I owed him a hell of a Hanukkah present and he said, "Just get pregnant. That's present enough." And then he left and Jen said, "He's right, you know. You getting pregnant is the best present ever." I said, "I'll do what I can. You know, it's not like I've been trying to thwart the process along the way!"
I stayed on the table for another 10 minutes. Around minute seven, my bladder started to hurt. I called out the nurse's name softly. The next minute, I called it out a little louder. A minute after that, I really raised my voice.
More minutes ticked by. As the clock approached 9 a.m. I thought to myself, if she hasn't come back by then I'm getting off the table and going to the bathroom. She didn't come. I was debating how bad it would be if I got up when finally - FINALLY - she walked in.
As soon as I tried to sit up, I thought I'd pee myself. I told the nurse, "I don't think I can do this." She said, "Want me to get a bedpan?" I said, "You might have to." Then I decided I'd try to power through anyway.
Holding onto the nurse, I swung one leg over and did this weird tuck and roll off the bed. Then scurried to the bathroom where I peed for so long I felt like Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own. Seriously, it was the neverending pee.
And then I got dressed, and Mr. Hope and I went out to breakfast. We came home and I took the prednisone and my first Lovenox shot. We tried to watch a movie but I started passing out almost immediately, so we stopped it and went to bed for a long (like two-hour-long) nap.
I'll be honest: I don't know how this cycle will turn out. I'm nervous about the B grade on the blastocysts. And even though we used an anonymous donor through the clinic, I'm a little bummed that we only ended up with one good quality blast and one decent one. You'd assume that using young donors would give you at least ONE Grade A blast, right? If not more? The fact that we only have one decent one to maybe freeze means that if the donor embryo is the one that sticks, there's not a great chance of a genetic sibling.
Of course, there's still one scenario in which both embies stick and we end up with super-fraternal twins.
I'm not someone who's big on prayer, but I have been sending positive messages out in the universe. And I have a lot of people praying on my behalf. So maybe - MAYBE - that will help?
I want this to be our time so badly...I really, truly hope it is.