Transfer Day

Whoo hoo! Transfer Day. This is the day that hope is at it’s peak, before it takes a nose dive into the “two week” wait of doubt and obsessiveness. I put two weeks in quotes because with a 6 day transfer it’s a 9 day wait, but it still feels like an eternity.

This is my first transfer at my new clinic, and it’s been 13 months since my last transfer which ended in a chemical pregnancy (and was the first time ever that I saw a positive pregnancy test). The clinics are like night and day. I am completely aware that I am in a small privileged minority who are able to get IVF treatment, let alone go to one of these “boutique” clinics. That is a battle that I will fight another day.

I arrived at the clinic an hour prior. They took me right back for blood work and vitals, then to one of the rooms that I go to for morning monitoring. I changed into a hospital-type gown and they had socks and a blanket for me as well. All my stuff was right next to me on a shelf in the room. There was no hair net, and I didn’t have to remove my jewelry. (At the other clinic it was just like prepping for a transfer: clothes/possessions in locker, jewelry off, hair net, moved to a waiting closet, then the transfer was done in the same room as the transfer. It’s all very clinical and cold. My partner was never allowed to be with me, even after they almost transferred some else’s embryos, and I was crying and asking for him. (True story.)

Ok, back to the present: a nurse came in and checked my identity, had me check the info on the hospital bracelet and put it on me. She also gave me some Valium Then she sent in the acupuncturist. Yes, you read that right. They offered to set up acupuncture sessions with an in-house acupuncturist right before and after the transfer. I’ve never had acupuncture before. I tend to think of it as woo. But I’m all in on this cycle, so I decided to give it a go. I felt very relaxed during the treatment, but to be honest I can’t tell how much was the acupuncture and how much was the Valium.

Waiting for transfer

After a 30 minute session, they brought in my partner. This was the most exciting part for me. If this works our future children will not have even been conceived while either of us were in the room, and everything leading up to fertilization happens separately. I was so happy that we could be together for the transfer. He was underwhelmed, but thought it was cool to watch everything happen on the ultrasound screen.

I always freak out about filling my bladder for the ultrasound. It’s painful for me to have my bladder full so I usually under fill it. Not today. It was so full, it was partially blocking their view if the uterus and I was in a ton of pain. They offered to bring me a bed pan, and I was like fuck that shit, “Where’s the bathroom?” I was afraid of emptying too much, so I ended up having to make two bathroom trips before the transfer.

Pre-transfer acupuncture (The room was dark for relaxation, so picks are blurry.)

Once that was taken care of, the embryologist wheeled in an incubator. It looks like a preemie incubator. She had me check my info on the tubes they came from and the petri dishes. Then she showed them to me. One 6-day fully hatched and fully expanded; One partially hatched and mostly expanded!!! What!? I’ve never had even partially hatched blastocysts before. The embryologist said they were beautiful. Of course Potential Impatient 1 & Potential Impatient 2 are beautiful!

Fully Hatched (example, not my actual blast)

Partially Hatched (example, not my actual blast)

The transfer was super quick. (No one yelled at me to relax like my last transfer). I watched the whole thing on the screen. One of them went back into the tube, but they got it in the second time. The whole thing lasted no more than 10 minutes. Then it was time for a little more acupuncture, and we were done!

I firmly believe in the pregnant until proven otherwise philosophy, so I am considering myself about 3 weeks pregnant in this moment. Instead of fighting the urge to test and then giving in (which I always do), I’ve decided to test every morning until the beta. The transfer was yesterday afternoon, so here is my first test from this morning. I know that it’s supposed to be negative, just go with me on this, ok, Reader?

1 day past 6 day transfer (1dp6pt for those of you in the “know”)

Have Needles, Will Travel

So I traveled to a an international conference this weekend. I finished the letrozole, but am still on daily lupron, estrogen patches, and my meds for anxiety and depression (in the process of tapering off two of them and continuing with one). The lupron was already opened and has to be refrigerated. The nurses told me that the refrigeration is to discourage bacteria growth and not for stability of the medication. She said we’d be ok, if it wasn’t refrigerated 100% of the time, but that we’d have to be extra careful with sanitation when preparing and administering it.

So I had my whole set-up ready to go. First I put the lupron bottle in it’s box then wrapped it in bubble wrap, partly to help keep it upright and partly to keep it from freezing. I packed it in an insulated reusable grocery bag with cold packs. In the outside pocket of the bag, I had a copy of my doctor’s note on letterhead from the clinic and the top of the outerbox where the actual prescription sticker is. A while back, I had to take home a pre-filled needle of medication from the clinic. They sent it in a hard case that zips shut. I kept stored the needles and alcohol pads in their and put that in the outer pocket too. I also had an extra copy of the letter from my doctor in my carry on. I was prepared.






It turned out to be no big deal. They didn’t even look at the doctor’s note. I just told them that I had a refrigerated medication with me. They put it through the scanner and then did an extra check by just looking inside the main compartment of the bag and waving some kind of sensor near the box of medication. That was it. They also did an extra check of my carry-on, I’m guessing because I had like five prescription medication and a whole bunch of over the counter supplements and things in their. Once we got up to the x-ray machine, the whole thing took like 5 minutes.

Then, when we got on the plane, I asked the flight attendant if they could refrigerate it for me. He said they weren’t allowed to, but he could give me as much ice as I wanted. He also said that we could use the bathroom or he’d clear out the galley when I needed to administer the injection.

Our flight ended up being pretty turbulent and the seat belt sign was on for the majority of the flight. It was a redeye and we had our own row, so my partner did the injection quickly in our seats when no one was looking. Happily, we did not hit any bumps at that moment. I put the cap back on the used needle and put it in an inside pocket of the hard case. Once we got to our destination airport all the bathrooms had needle disposal bins, and I was able to dispose of the needle safely.

One thing that I didn’t think about was the time change. I actually have to do the injection around 2am here to keep the time between doses consistent. This also affects when I change the estrogen patches. I’ve been keeping all the used needles capped and in the hard case. I plan to dispose of them at the airport prior to going through security on our way back.

So that’s the DL on traveling with needles:

  • It’s no big deal
  • Have a doctor’s note just in case
  • Have a plan to safely dispose of needles
  • Mind the time change

Just Enough, No More

Whew! After three weeks of 10-14 hour days including weekends, I am just a puddle. And I realized that I need to work on doing just enough. When I was in grad school, my therapist counseled me to try to get B’s not A’s. This is great advice for a perfectionist. More often than not, I stressed less and still got A’s. So now I’m trying to apply the same principal to work. I can always imagine doing more, doing better. However right now, it’s important to do just enough and no more.

Lupron update: constant and intense hot flashes, brittle nails, still feeling pretty bitchy and irritable. My partner is just done with the lupron. He’s completely out of patience for the irritability, and I don’t blame him. I am too.

FET Update: I finally have a plan! The transfer is Nov. 9! That’s T – 4 weeks & 2 days. More details to come. In the meantime, I’ve got all sorts of drugs showing up in the mail….

IMG_20171010_190757 (1) I’m starting to get super excited and hopeful again. I’m still waiting on a couple other things to get started. Cycle prep officially starts October 19. Until then, my mottos are:

  • Do just enough
  • Do whatever it takes to get through the day
  • Ask for help
  • Have compassion for myself