Round 7, Day 20
After a flustercluck of a morning, we arrived at almost-noon for the transfer. My bladder wasn't yet screaming, but I knew that wouldn't last and I could tell from the pained faces of the women as soon as I entered the waiting room that the clinic was running behind. Way behind.
I managed to remember to take my Verapamil on the way to the clinic and drank my 'bladder water' at the appropriate time, so was feeling pretty pumped about how I was kicking butt despite the mornings' obstacles. It wasn't too long before we had been ushered from the shared waiting room into the "you're next, get your gear off" private waiting room where they weighed me and I reconfirmed that I really have put on about 3 - 4kgs during the prep for this round. The nurse helpfully stated that everyone puts on weight because of the hormones and steroids and I was on a double dose of those so what did I expect? I could have kissed her. Then I took off my shoes and panties per their instructions, hoisted up my skirt, put on my red cap for allergies, sky blue booties and a gorgeous navy paper gown that flapped in the breeze. Then she draped a fuzzy blanket over me, despite the warmth of the day.
The embryologist came in and said that the embryo had survived the thaw. I let out a breath I didn't realise I had been holding. She recapped what we would be doing: that we'd be using embryo glue, that she was reluctant to hatch the embryo as the shell was already very thin and looked like it was ready to hatch itself. That was fine by me. Then she said in passing that the grading of the embryo, 4BB, was the lowest they freeze. That sucked the air right out of the room. I thought it was almost perfect because Offspring was a perfect 5AA so I figured 4BB wasn't too far off. Only one letter and one number. Apparently not. My doctor/surgeon had walked in by this stage, rolled her eyes and flapped her hands at the embryologist, pooh poohing her and said they got pregnancies with that quality embryo all the time, and how were we both feeling?
"Uhhhh, I don't know. Maybe it will work?" I said honestly. The news of the Very Imperfect Embryo had just been delivered and it had taken the wind right out of my sails. She grabbed my hand and smiled. "It's a lovely looking embryo, everything will be perfect! Be positive!"
DH said that all he cared was that it was either a baby or nothing, he just didn't want me to go through another loss.
I'm not so sure. I think if I'm going to lose the baby then I can at least nurture it for as long as possible. It's a little life, but it's a life, no? And a wanted one. And I can love it for perhaps a little while. But I understand the thought and it makes total sense. All or nothing. But I do think sometimes it's harder watching someone else go through something than going through it yourself. I know I can handle it either way. I'll have to.
We were running around an hour late by the time we got into the theatre. I stood at the base of the table between the stirrups and two nurses and the embryologist checked my wrist band against my personal details.
For the seventh time in that darkened theatre room I was asked: "And what are we doing today?"
And I reply the magic words: "Transferring an embryo!"
The room smiles and they ask me to lay down and scootch my butt to the end of the table. DH sits near my head and they hand him my blanket to hold.
I asked the embryologist if they took a photo of the embryos. She looked confused. "Not usually," she said, "but I can do that now if you want?"
"Sure... that would be nice," I said. Not sure why she was looking so confused, lots of my online IVF friends have pics of their transferred embryos.
A nurse puts some gel on my stomach, rests her arm on my thigh, runs the ultrasound wand over me and ooffs a little at my swollen bladder. She points out the dark mass of my full bladder, the squashed-burger shaped womb beneath with the endometrium running horizontally through it, and points to where the embryo will be placed. The doctor puts in the speculum and I try to relax my legs to ease the discomfort. There's no pain. I concentrate on the screen. I can see the catheter enter my womb on the monitor, it's just a tiny white line, and there is no feeling at all. The doctor calls out "Ready!" and the embryologist brings in another catheter from a side room. Somehow it feels as though the room should be hushed, but everyone is carrying on at their various tasks, the embryologist team chattering away in the side room, nurses having a conversation at the top of my head. It's just another day in the clinic.
Then with a puff of white on the screen, the embryo is delivered at the fundus. The nurse points to the screen and smiles at me. "There's the baby, right there!". Not quite... but okay, I get what you're saying.
"Beautiful!" The doctor unscrews and removes the speculum, pops up from between my legs and beams at me. She says she thinks the puff on the screen looked like a boy and winks. She heads for the door. She squeezes my arm on the way out. "Best of luck to you both. You have done your best, I hope this one works in the very best way for you."
It's all over in under 10 minutes of entering the theatre. The nurse reminds me to stay on my back and DH is escorted from the room. She takes my blue paper trenchcoat thingie and hoists it between my legs as makeshift knickers and they pop my furry blanket back over me. Another nurse rolls me and pops a board under me and together they scootch me off the theatre table and onto a gurney. I'm wheeled into post-op to lay quietly for half an hour and contemplate the ceiling.
We talk about how it's weird that they call the embryo a baby. I'm slightly weirded by it, DH is very weirded by it but I can see how other people might find that helpful or comforting.
DH suggests that, given the news about the quality of the embryo, that if this pregnancy takes we may have to come up with a name with very simple spelling to match the probable IQ of Offspring #2. I giggle.
But seriously, now I'm worried. What does a low grading mean with regard to the resulting pregnancy? I suspect it's either pass/fail with the pregnancy and not scrambled. *Quick google search later* Apparently it's pass fail. It's an implantation chance thing, not an issue with the quality of the underlying materials.
I continue to stare at the ceiling and worry. I pendulum swing between feeling like I want to burst into tears and feeling like I'm going to pee myself at any second. I send DH back to work because he's been "at lunch" forever.
Finally after an eternity, a nurse comes back with my new drug regime and walks me through them. I think they do it then deliberately, when the pain of your bladder is keeping you sharp and focussed. Then I'm dismissed and allowed to get up and relieve myself. I made it to the bathroom and peed for so long that I got the giggles. Then I tossed my paper outfit in the bin, yanked my skirt down, popped on my shoes and walked out into the sunshine.
It was a beautiful day.