2, 4, 6, 8

I appreciate embryologists.

On Monday, embryo transfer day, I got to the clinic, emptied my bladder, and then began drinking water to fill back up. We had an acupuncturist do some pre-IVF voodoo for a half hour, and then we went into the procedure room. As K mentioned in her post-surgical update, these rooms have little doors through which the doctor and nurses hand stuff back and forth with the embryologists on the other side. What I didn’t notice last time is that there’s also a big man-size door right next to the mini-me door. After I got undressed, put my legs in the stirrups, and covered my parts with the paper napkin, a pleasant-looking man in scrubs walks through that door. Please note that the door is located just to the left of “the view.” Taken aback, a simply shook his outstretched hand and hoped he didn’t see anything before I clamped my knees together.

Embryologist-man came in to tell us about our embryos. He said that of the six eggs harvested, five were mature, and four fertilized properly. He said they were above average in quality, which was a big relief since I’ve been dreading my low-quality eggs this whole time. In fact, the two embryos being put in that day were quite impressive, he said. They rate embryos on a 1-5 scale, and E-man told us that no embryos get the full 5 rating but that these two got a 4 and 4.5. Without hesitation, I turned to K and said, “I’m already so proud of them!” The other two, we were told, were also above average but not quite as quality as these and that they’d be frozen… in case we need them. He said that there’s a chance they might lose some cells in the thawing process, but not to worry about that now. FYI, the two that went in had 8 cells and 9 cells (considering cells divide, the latter seemed a bit odd to me).

So, here’s how it goes… First, they do an ultrasound (external, booyeah!) to check the fullness of my bladder. (Btw, a full bladder helps the uterus be in a better position for the procedure.) The nurse keeps the wand there so the doc can see where she’s going with the catheter in the uterus. E-man comes in with an ultra thin tube that has the embryos in it. They are inserted through the catheter into the uterus. Then E-man checks to make sure the tube is clear (sometimes those sticky suckers don’t want to come out).

Once done, I was looking at another 30 minutes of post-IVF acupuncture (research, real research, has shown that this acupuncture increases chances of success by 16%; at my measly 10%, anything helps!). But I wasn’t allowed to get up to pee. You know what I’m saying here… Bed pan. First time for everything, I suppose. This/these kid(s) is/are gonna get an earful if he/she/they ever sass! (We’ve also discussed—jokingly—that if we have twins, we’ll tell whoever is acting up that he or she was the 4, and not 4.5.)

In about a week and a half, we’ll find out; I’ll go in for a blood test, since they don’t want us doing the home pee stick. In the meantime, the following are the joys of nightly shots of progesterone into my bum muscle: sore bum (obvious), major anxiety and increased heart palpitations, insomnia, nausea, and last but SO not least, swelling tetons. When I see myself in the mirror (let’s say, post shower), I seriously and truly do not recognize my own breasts. Bigger is an enormous understatement. When I stand up from the bed each morning, my first sensation of the day is ripping pain on my chest. I know at least one of you out there is thinking to herself, “Well, you better get used to it ’cause they’re only gonna get bigger!” Yeah? Is that true? I’ve never heard that! Fuck you (kindly, of course).

It’s Passover (starting Monday night), so I’ll have a little something to distract me. Being gluten-free, though, means no matzah, which really limits an already limited diet… for a week! I guess if the embryo(s) can stick it out, we’ll know they’re in touch with their Yiddishkeit.

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5 Responses to “2, 4, 6, 8”


  1. 1 The Wife April 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I enjoy your cursing out of the imaginary reader. You didn’t list “mild aggression” as a hormonal side-effect, but all of us readers were hormonal teens at one point, so we’re simply going to have to make asses out of u and me. I also wanted to mention that pregnancy makes your uterus get bigger and that becoming a mom is a 24-hour job involving night feedings and endless laundry. Just FYI.

  2. 2 E and C April 15, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    We’re sending love and good vibes your way ladies!

  3. 4 Julie April 16, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Wow, a 4.5! That’s one ambitious embryo! You have both come so far on the road to parenthood. Here’s hoping that whoever keeps calling for roadblocks is about done. I’m thinking about you both in this time. xox


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