Wednesday January 2, 2013 was the day Grey and I had been preparing for for the last 6 months. Our one, two, three day; transfer day. With each passing day of this cycle, we've both had moments where we've reflected aloud the difference between now and a year ago. Both of us remembering all the pain and the failure; both of us finding solace as we've confessed our fears.
But this time around has been different. Sure, the fear most certainly exists (there's really nothing I can do to erase that), but hope has been more at the forefront of our minds. So much so that we've allowed ourselves to dream of a future where all of this works. It's a strange place to be.
In addition to our mentality, there's been some obvious differences with this transfer. First off, the transfer was scheduled for the afternoon. In the past all of my transfers have occurred in the morning, meaning I've been on pins and needles the night before. This time around, because of an afternoon transfer, we were allowed to be more relaxed. Secondly, the drug regiment has been different. In the past, I would be throughly suffering from the effects of the antibiotics (i.e. constipation, bloat) and dealing with morning rituals of removing Crinone (sorry for the TMI, but I've got to go there). Instead this time I've been dealing with injections. Granted, my butt is sore and the Lovenox injection stings for about 30 mins- 1 hr after administrating, but outside of a couple of moments of panic from both of us, I've been feeling better.
Anyway, Wednesday. A beautiful sunny day in Seattle, with warm temperatures and clear views of both the Cascades and Olympic Mountain ranges. Mt. Rainer was out in it's full glory and everyone in the city was acting like the water had been spiked with Valium. Our day started out with both Grey and I trying to out sleep one another. That last until about 9 am, when Jaxson and Daisy decided that breakfast could no longer wait (and they still haven't forgiven us for that one). After getting breakfast, administering shots and showering throughly, we packed our bags with all the necessary materials for the day (Valium, water bottle, comical reading and Eeyore) and put on our socks. Grey and I both received socks for this FET. I'll post a photo of his soon (Kokopelli riding a bicycle; thank you Amy!!), but mine from Trisha definitely stole the show.
First appointment for the day was acupuncture for both Grey and I. Seeing as both of us have been so run down, I figured it would be beneficial for both of us. Initially Grey wasn't too happy with me, as I was leaning on him heavily to do this appointment with me. Since he has been the one giving me the PIO shots, he had this image in his head of the needles being similar and he wasn't keen on the idea of being in pain. But the end result was a more balanced Grey, with the acupuncture actually fixing some issues. He admitted the whole experience wasn't what he was expecting with the tiny needles that he could barely feel and it was good to see a lazy, post acupuncture smile grace his face immediately when he emerged. We'll see if he goes back (I promised no more pushing).
After acupuncture, we had an hour to kill. So our next stop was a local Pho shop to indulge in some veggie Pho as well as to begin filling my bladder. Seeing as I have difficulty drinking vast amounts of water, this ended up working on perfectly. Plus it meant one last trip for Grey later on as in the past I've forced him to pickup Pho for me after transfer. Needless to say, instead of begging and whining while on bedrest, instead we got to spend a few moments together enjoying a late lunch.
Finally, it was time to go to the clinic. I had made a point of burying my phone in my purse so that I wouldn't be obsessing about phone calls from the clinic, but the whole hour before the transfer I was holding my breath. After a year of this process, I'm all too aware of those devastating phone calls on the way to the clinic and my heart breaks each time I hear these stories. So instead, I focused on Eeyore, petting the knit stuff toy. When we arrived at the clinic, we were ushered back into the lab area and told to take a seat. Mo sent me this book for my birthday, so as we waited for the nurse to come get us, I read aloud to Grey and anyone within earshot. Laughter really is the best medicine.
It didn't take too long for the nurse to find us to bring us back to the transfer room. Immediately, Grey noted that the set up at the new clinic was very different from the old one. Instead of going down to the bowls of the building, we were only a few steps away from the waiting room. In the transfer room, the set-up looked less clinical and more comfortable. On the wall was a TV, which we learned would be used to project images of our embryos. I was immediately greeted by an ultrasound tech, who insisted once she checked my bladder that I needed to let her know if I was in any way uncomfortable. The embryologist came into the room and after introducing herself proceeded to grin from ear-to-ear and tell us about our embryos. Both Grey and I immediately teared up when she handed us this picture and announced that they were gorgeous.
I didn't get a grade from them, but I remembered that when they were frozen they were 5AB and 4AB. The thing that took my breath away though was to see that they were already hatching! The embryologist told us that given where they were at, she expected that they would implant within the next 48 hrs. For the first time in a very long time, I was speechless.
Dr. Smile came into the room shortly after that and we immediately had a discussion about PIO. The night before, I had had a moment of panic when I realized that I was on 1 cc of PIO while most other protocols call for 2 cc. Dr. Smile was quick to respond to a frantic email explaining that they normally don't do more than 1 cc unless the patient is over 44 yrs or has had a history of multiple miscarriages. There is a risk of complications with more PIO, from forming abscesses to other side effects, but she was also more than happy to work with me and increase the dosage. After a quick back and forth, we decided that I should have my progesterone levels checked on Friday morning, as it would allow us to determine if this needed to be done. Reaching this agreement, we proceeded with the mock transfer and prepping the embryos for transfer.
UPDATE: Turns out my progesterone levels were on the low end: 18.95. Dr. Smile likes to see them greater than 20 (>20), so I'm upping my PIO amount to 2 cc's daily. I'm so happy I asked AND that they were willing to accommodate me without question.
Overall, the whole process took 10 mins. With Grey and I both watching everything on the ultrasound screen (and me being so excited that I could actually see what was happening), our two embryos were quickly transferred and I was instructed to sit under a warm blanket for 10 mins. Life is hard sometimes, huh?
Before we left, we scheduled my blood draw today, scheduled our first beta and got a long talking-to from the nurse about how important it is to continue our meds until they have results from the beta. I'll admit, there have been times I haven't been as good about this, but I've also learned this cycle that by giving up control and following their instructions, amazing things have happened. It's officially PIO or bust.
The past few days I've taken up residency on the couch. Between bad TV, a good book and a lot of knitting, I haven't really moved. And, for the first time in years, I've actually been enjoying it. In the meantime, Grey has given the embryos multiply talking tos, instructing them to burrow into that ~11 mm thick uterine lining, to grow, go through cell division and start producing hCG. I must say, they've been pretty convincing arguments.
Overall, I'm at peace. I know that we're early into the 2 week wait, but as I told Dee yesterday, something has changed this cycle. There's no one thing I can put my finger on, as both Grey and I have been utilizing all the tools we've acquired from both David and Dee over the last few months. But, it's noticeable. Instead of being in fear, I'm at peace. Sure, there's a chance all of this will result in a BFN, but I'm choosing not to deal with that until we cross that bridge. To go there means I will be living in the pain earlier than I need to and frankly I'm done with the undo stress that comes from being cautious. I chose to instead to live in the moment, being as naive and happy as possible.
Beta #1 is on Saturday 1/12/2013. So much time between now and then. May hope bloom.
Dear Cheeks: Three Months
1 hour ago