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Transfer Day

March 5, 2012
Logo design by Christine Hepner

The morning of the procedure, I was supposed to drink a lot of water before I left the apartment and bring water with me to drink in the waiting room. You need a full bladder for the doctor to get the best view of your uterus. D and I drove the 40 blocks to the clinic that morning instead of taking the subway, and we were both a little nervous.

Once in the waiting room, I realized the other couples were there too for the same procedure. The women were drinking water and their partners looked anxious or bored, mostly. The technicians came out and called couples in one-by-one, until D and I were the only ones left there. By this time I had been drinking water for a couple hours and I was starting to feel pretty uncomfortable. I noticed that the receptionist took a couple phone calls and glanced over at me while she was talking, so I assumed I was being checked up on by the medical staff. After another few minutes of pacing to try to forget how badly I needed to pee, the receptionist finally told me to go but to start drinking water immediately again. Apparently there was some sort of “situation” in the procedure room, and my procedure was delayed indefinitely.

Finally, we were called in. Our nurse apologized and brought us to a small changing room with lockers. D had to get in a mask and gown and I had to get in the standard hospital gown. I had to snap a picture of D, he looked so cute:

We were taken to the procedure room where we met Dr. Jeffrey Wang, the doctor who would do the transfer procedure. I think I had to sign releases, but first, we were shown a lab photo of two fertilized eggs. These were the “best” candidates from the four that fertilized. I should mention that Columbia will only transfer 2 embryos per procedure, which I think is absolutely right. Remember, October 2010 was about the time that “octomom” was all over the news. And no one wants to hear about a 51-year-old carrying octuplets, especially this 51-year-old!

But that left us with a big decision to make: do we transfer one or two embryos? The success rate of bearing at least one child is close to 70% if you transfer two embryos to start with. The success rate of bearing at least one child is less than 40% if you transfer only one. Of course, the chances of having twins (or greater multiples) increase if you transfer two embryos.

I’ll be honest; I did not want to have twins. On one hand, I knew that this was our only shot. We were not going to attempt this again, and while it would be nice to have two children, I was and still am certain that I would not have been able to carry twins. But, the odds are so much stronger for success if you transfer two. It was a very hard choice, so I took a deep breath and said “two.” Until the word came out of my mouth, I sincerely had no idea what I was going to say. Dr. Wang asked me if I was sure. I wasn’t, but I was sticking with my answer.

So the procedure began. An assistant performed an external sonogram to show my uterus while Dr. Wang inserted a long tube into me. Then, a window opened on the other side of the room, and a completely masked and gloved person handed Dr. Wang a small dish. My name was written on it, and I was asked to confirm that it was indeed my name. (I don’t use D’s last name, so I was always a little nervous that that would cause confusion, especially around fertilization time!) Oh, and just for the record, it was more like a petri dish than a test tube.

The embryos were transferred, and the doctor and technician left the room. I was told to stay on the table for a while, ten or fifteen minutes, before getting dressed. I would have stayed all day, actually, just to be sure, but in a few minutes the staff started to “check” on us. We were the last procedure of the day and I think they were anxious to leave.

We finally changed and drove home. I crawled into bed where I was determined to stay for 48 hours. I had taken this day and the next off from work, and D waited on me the rest of the day.

From this point until October 11, when I would return to the clinic for my first official blood test for pregnancy, I was to consider myself “pregnant until proven otherwise.” So now, nothing to do but wait for 10 days to pass!

Next time: Positive news!

Thanks for following and reading! I’d love to hear your story of IVF. Please leave your comments below.

© 2012 grayhairedmom.com

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