Friday, September 30, 2011

My first frozen embryo transfer

I was astonished by how quickly I recovered from my gallbladder surgery. Within a couple of days it was as though it had never happened. My fertility specialist was happy for me to proceed in my next cycle with a frozen embryo transfer.

Given that my cycle is reasonably reliable, the specialist is happy for me to do a natural cycle. I'm stoked that I don't need to take any drugs at all for the first half of my cycle, I just let my body do what it does naturally.

Once my period started I let my fertility specialist know. It is then a case of monitoring. I need to go for regular blood tests to check my hormone levels are where they should be and need to have a couple of ultrasounds in my specialist's office to confirm my uterus lining is appropriately thick. It was doing these scans that I discovered I was ovulating on the left side, the side that lost the fallopian tube as a result of the ectopic pregnancy in February. I'm kind of pleased about that. Although it is possible for the right fallopian tube to pick up the egg from the left ovary (that is freaky right, but those fallopian tubes are apparently limber little suckers with fingers on the end and can just sweep over to the other side of the uterus to pick up the egg!), I figure it isn't all that likely, so feel extremely justified in my decision to proceed with IVF treatment.

Once we know I'm about to ovulate, we have to make the decision about how many embryos to thaw - 1 or 2. The specialist is all about 1 healthy baby is the ideal outcome, and therefore a singleton pregnancy is the best chance of achieving a healthy baby. However, I'm thinking, I've just put 1 embryo back in and nothing happened, and I've already had one miscarriage, perhaps if I put 2 back in, I'll actually get the 1 we all want.

Matt and I decide we will thaw our best embryo and our worst embryo to put 2 back in. We also decide that if one succumbs during the thaw, that we won't thaw another, we will just put the 1 back in. It is pretty exciting at this point, every day I get to speak to a scientist in the lab and hear how my embryos are progressing. Both are developing well, however 1 is a little slower than it should be.

Come transfer day I go to work as usual, and then a half hour before I'm due at the hospital I log off and let my team know I'll be on mobile for the rest of the afternoon. It is a beautiful mid August Brisbane day. It is ekka time and the days are stunning, clear blue skies and warm. I walk up to the hospital in Spring Hill, stopping in at my specialist's office to drop off some paperwork.

Matt is meeting me there, but I have time to get changed into my gorgeous hospital gown before he had arrived. When Matt arrives he quickly slips on his hospital attire over his clothes and before you know it we are being lead into the theatre. Thankfully there is only my specialist and nurse in the theatre so I can assume the transfer position without too much embarrassment. Matt is in the husband chair holding my hand.

The scientist comes in and tells us that both embryos have progressed to morula stage. They are 5 days old and ideally should be blastocysts by now. My specialist tells me not to be too concerned and the scientists assures us they were both still developing well and could literally be blastocysts in a matter of hours.

A quick turkey baster job medical style and 2 tiny embryos are inside trying to make themselves comfortable. I have hold the transfer position for another few embarrassing minutes while the lab quickly check the turkey baster under a microscope to ensure the embryos actually did make it out. Given the all clear I'm off the table and covered up in moments.

My doctor walks us out and wishes us all the best. He lets me know I can do a blood test in 12 days to confirm if I am pregnant.

I slip back into my normal clothes and then sit for the compulsory half hour rest period in the recovery lounge sucking down ginger ale - that I kindly share with Matt  :)

Again the wait begins.

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