Friday, April 23, 2010

Reporting Live from Bedrest in Denver...

First of all, I must comment on the crazy weather we're having here. Yesterday, it rained, it hailed, it was sunny for a while, and there were tornado warnings. Today, it has been raining but now it is changing over to snow. It is pouring snow right now! I think I heard that there could be 4" accumulation. Insane! We were here for 10 days in January/February and it was bright and sunny just about every day. We saw about 10 snowflakes in 10 days. Meanwhile, I hear it is sunny and supposed to be 86 in Atlanta today.

Enough about the weather. I think everything went great with the transfer yesterday. The day started with a call from the lab to confirm my "thaw plan." I learned that they were going to thaw numbers 1 and 17, which were both frozen on day 5. Their grades were 3AA and 5AA. I learned that after thawing, they would give them each a  % grade based on how much of each embryo was intact. Then, they would also grade the re-expansion, from slight to fully expanded. She said even if it was slight, there would be time for expansion between the thaw and the transfer. I think the thaw took place about 3 hours prior to transfer. I asked what would happen if something goes wrong -- would they call me back to talk about thawing a third one? She said yes, they would.

They didn't call, so that was my first sign that all was well.

Before going up to the CCRM surgery center, I had a blood draw to run the E2 and P4 (estrogen and progesterone). I was very curious about this because both had been low the last time they ran them. We also had our injection teach with our nurse. I suggested that DH actually do that shot under her supervision. It went fine. Thanks again to everyone for the tips and encouragement about that!

Everyone at CCRM's surgery center was so friendly and upbeat. I had acupuncture before and after the transfer. It is so nice that CCRM makes this really easy on patients who want to do this. They bring the acupuncturist in to CCRM so you have the same room the whole time you're there. (In Atlanta, I had to go to the acupuncturist's office before and after the transfer.) I was lucky because I got the same acupuncturist I had seen while I was here in January. And she's the one who spoke with my acupuncturist in Atlanta about electro-acupuncture treatments. She also gave me the strict "absolutely no caffeine and 64 ounces of water and 30 minutes of walking daily" regimen. It only seemed right for her to bring me across the finish line of this treatment cycle, acupuncturally speaking.

Snow update: "the lake is covered, the ground is covered, it's snowing more and more!!" This is an inside comment for one of my readers -- my dear friend S. who was my freshman roommate in college. I sat up one morning in bed, looked out the window and exclaimed the above. You probably had to be there, but that has become a catch phrase for 20 years now. In other words, there is snow everywhere. Sorry for the snow fixation, but I live in Atlanta, people!

Back to yesterday. You have to drink lots of water before an embryo transfer because it helps the sonographer find the uterus, the image of which the doctor uses to guide the placement of the embryos. A nice CCRM discovery is that they are very precise about how expanded your bladder should be. In Atlanta I had to drink more than 64 oz of water before the transfer. Here, I drank maybe 20-30 oz and they decided my bladder was too full, so they let me go to the restroom -- twice! They gave me a medium-sized cup and allowed me to fill it. What a relief!

The embryologist came in with a clipboard to report on the embryos. Get this: both of them survived 100%!

When it was time to bring the little guys in, they rolled them in in a high-tech IVF chamber, that according to this web site (from which you can buy your very own IVF chamber if you like), will protect the embryos from harmful room air and boost your chances of success. I never saw this chamber in Atlanta. One more reason why I love CCRM. I'm telling you, they have got it going on. In Atlanta, there's a door between the transfer room and the lab, so I'd like to believe that it was just a few steps that the embryologist walked with my embryos in the pipette, exposing them to who knows what, but you never know.

The coolest thing is that we got to see them magnified on the video monitor above the chamber.

Here are a few pictures . . .

Embryologist at work

The dish under the microscope

Numbers 1 and 17, moments before transfer
(one is just above center, the other is in bottom right-hand corner of screen)

Dr. Babycraft got me ready for the embryos, the sonographer was pushing on my abdomen to keep a good view of the uterus, and when it was time, the embryologist actually inserted the embryos and accompanying fluid into the catheter placed by Dr. B. This was different in Atlanta, too; the embryologist didn't get to do the honors. She handed the  pipette to the doctor who actually did the deed. I don't know that these differences really matter, but I surely like the idea of everyone having their own task and specialty. I'm sure such attention to detail plays into success rates.

At the risk of giving TMI... Dr. Babycraft had some trouble getting "access." After it was all said and done, he said, "Did you feel anything?" and I immediately said yes. And he said, "What did you feel?" I told him it was uncomfortable when he was putting the catheter in.  (It actually hurt at moments.) He nodded and said he had some difficulty. He asked if I was cramping and I said yes, a little bit. I said that has happened before -- that my cervix has been kind of twisty. He agreed. Strange -- I felt like I was assessing his performance and that he was not happy with himself that I felt something. Like he prides himself on people not feeling anything. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

He said I had two beautiful embryos. Everyone was saying that, and they were all so excited for us.

After my second acupuncture treatment, when she said goodbye and left the room, the last thing she said was, "Send me a baby picture!" and I immediately said, "Okay!" like it's a done deal.

I could write all day, since I'm confined to the bed until tomorrow morning and it's not even noon! However, I realize you do not have all day to read my blog, so I'll sign off for now.

Oh, one more thing. Progesterone was still low, so PIO shots are now daily, plus the three-a-day endometrin suppositories. DH is already a pro! We did today's shot a while ago and I literlly felt nothing. Yay!


  1. YAY for snow and YAY for beautiful embies!!!

  2. Yippee!!! Two beautiful embyos are home! The embryo at the top of the monitor looks just like the one that I'm currently carrying. Is it too early to say congratulations??? ;-)

  3. Ooh, I like how this is shaping up! Here's hoping for the shortest 2WW ever.

  4. Oooooo. I am getting excited, but trying to stay level. I know the plan is for us to stay calm...
    I laughed out loud about the lake and the ground. I'll never get tired of watching snow come down. Those embryos DO look beautiful. Take it easy, woman.
    Praying for a peaceful road!

  5. That's a great transfer! I can see those blasts hatching in the picture! So when is beta day? I'm feeling good about this!!

  6. Yahoo! What great thaw rate! I think things are aligning up very nicely, and the beta will speak for itself.

    I know what you mean by the weather. When we were there, it snowed like crazy, then melted by the next afternoon with the sun coming out. I really hope it's nicer when we're there in a few weeks. I find it so ironic when it's nice back home and then crappy in the city you are in.

    What hotel did you wind up getting? I hope its nice nice and comfy so you can fully rest, give the embies a preview of the nice warm home they will get for the next nine months.

  7. P.S...thanks for the photos and description of everything. It's tells me a bit about what to look forward to!!

  8. Oh, yay!!!! So encouraging!!

    And thanks for your encouragement today on my self-administered shot! I'll probably blog about it tomorrow. It went... ok. It wasn't easy but all the encouragement was nice!

  9. Yippee! Enjoy the snow and take good care.