Yesterday was transfer day and I’m thankful it went smoothly. I was lucky to have a light and relatively zen morning at work. For our last transfer in September, I had a really chaotic and emotionally draining morning at work and broke down in tears during my acupuncture session. This week is pre-vacation week, so it’s a little less busy and it was easier to slip away for the afternoon. It turned out to be a stormy morning with heavy rain showers. But I somehow managed to walk from work to acupuncture to the clinic in between to downpours, which, as silly as it sounds, was the little touch I needed to put me in a good pre-transfer mood. Then my acupuncture session, with my wonderful acupuncturists, kept the positive transfer ball rolling in the right direction. It’s always really helpfully for me to se her before the transfer. She has a lovely calming way about her, which helps prepare me to stay positive and relaxed in the rush and stress of the fertility clinic. When I walked over to the clinic after acupuncture, my husband was waiting for me 🙂 and the biologist called us in right away to confirm that the defrosting, or rather re-defrosting, of the first blastocyst was successful and that we have one left on the rocks.
I have to say that I’m pretty proud of our hardy little balstocyst that managed to survive not only one, but two rounds of defrosting. Even if I did ask the laboratory to defrost the ugly duckling of the two embryos this cycle because I was a bit stressed about how Thursday’s endometrial biopsy, so close to the transfer, might negatively affect the outcome. I’m pretty sure the biologists think I’m a bit batty, especially with me trying to explain my reasoning in French. I wouldn’t be surprised if the laboratory techs announce me as “that crazy American” when they transfer the line. I was a bit nervous a couple cycles ago when we made the decision to defrost our Day-3 embryos to grow them out to day 5 in order to be able to chose a bit better for our single embryo transfers. They’d been frozen on Day-3 initially for the simple reason that the laboratory is closed on Sundays (like the vast majority of things here in France) and that our day 5 happened to fall on a Sunday. I was able to find a couple articles on the subject of refreezing, it’s clearly not common practice, but there have been some case studies of healthy babies born from double defrost embryos. And the biologist did reassure us that embryos are not like frozen food, in the sense that they can still be usable even if they’ve been refrozen ;-).
After the meeting with the biologist we went into the transfer waiting room, with its funny purple lounge chairs and its wall plastered with IVF/IUI baby birth announcements that always leave me with mixed emotions. For our first transfer we waited in this room for what seemed like an eternity, while I awkwardly pee pee danced around it and wondered how the hell I was going to avoid peeing on the exam table. This time I finally got my H2O calculation right (for me it’s 500ml, 1hr pre-transfer). My RE came in just as I got to the foot tapping, bladder full enough to see uterus on an ultrasound without feeling like I’m going to burst phase. In addition to the full bladder issue, my past two transfers have been pretty uncomfortable and stressful with the RE resorting to using a tenaculum (giant clamp thing) and subsequent bleeding. It wasn’t the discomfort that stressed me out, but rather how the uses of a tenaculum and the subsequent bleeding would impact the outcome. My “friend” Google has told me it is much better to avoid both tenaculum and bleeding during transfers. For this transfer, I tried really, really hard to relax me cervix, which is no easy task when you’re in the stirrups and you’re trying really hard to hold the ultrasound wand thingamajig in the right place. Yeep, you read that correctly. Here in France (well at least at my clinic) there are no ultrasound techs, so I get the honors of holding the wand during the transfer. As easy as it sounds, it’s actually quite the feat: slippery ultrasounds gel, pushing on your own bladder, trying to hold the wand in the exact position that the RE wants while she is the only one who is able to see the screen. Anyhow getting back to what’s important, the transfer this time around went smoothly, with only mild discomfort, no tenaculum, no bleeding, and the sweet look of relief on my husband’s face :-)!
So now the two-week wait begins, well actually the 11-day wait (I managed to negotiated it down with my RE since we transferred a blastocyst). I’m on vacation next week, which will be a much-needed break. My job required me to be super active, so vacation will give me time to rest my body and mind and to take it easy while this little embryo is hopefully nestling down in my uterus. But it will also mean that I’ll have much more time on my hands to think about every detail of this cycle. I know I’ll need to set limits for IVF related interned time. I have found that with each successive transfer I’ve managed to cut back on searches like “pregnancy symptoms” and “HPT false negatives post FIV”, but I’m still prone to those all consuming Internet afternoons. I would greatly appreciate any positive thoughts out there and suggestions on post-transfer appropriate activities to help fill my week?