Bringing Home Babies: Transfer Day

"A bird in hand is worth two in the bush"- or in IVF: "An embryo in the womb is worth 10 in the dish."

Sometime before dawn today, a bird began singing right outside our window. It was a clear and sweet song and loud enough that it woke me up. The bird happily warbled on and on, and in my dream-like state, I felt like it was trying to tell me something.

Please little bird, can you check on my embryos across town? Do I have a baby-to-be waiting for me?  

I fell back asleep, feeling more calm, and slept deeply until I was woken sometime later to the jarring sound of my phone ringing. I leaped out of bed, my heart thudding in my chest. If it was our clinic, it could only be bad news.

Grabbing the phone, I realized it was only the alarm I had set the night before. I crawled back in bed with T, my heart still pounding.

“You’re trembling,” my husband informed me. “It’s going to be ok, really. I love you and no matter what, it’s going to be ok.”

“I’m just so ready for this to be over,” I cried into his shoulder.

We checked into the clinic, and I was disappointed to find that Downer-Debbie nurse instead of Favorite Nurse was on call.

“How are you doing today?” She smiled, friendlier than usual.

“Nervous.” (About to have a panic attack)

Mr. T helpfully added, “It’s a good idea to check her blood pressure,” as nurse wrapped the cuff around my arm.

“Well,  you have some beautiful embryos waiting for you!”

“I do?! Really?”

“Yes, a 5AA and a 4AA. We almost never give out a 5AA rating so they must be really special ones.”

“Are you sure that’s my record? That doesn’t seem right.”

She showed me the record, and there they were. But from our 14 eggs, down to seven embryos, only these two had made it. The others had either arrested or hadn’t made it to blastocyst stage. Two others were morulas, which meant they were in the process of becoming blastocysts, but hadn’t made it yet. Not a good sign by Day 6.

Here’s the problem. I love the underdog. These two morulas could be just like me, I reasoned to Mr. T. They haven’t qualified for the Boston Marathon yet, but they haven’t given up yet, right?

The embryologist had just finished explaining our embryo report and given us a basic primer about how embryos develop, expecting me to take his recommendation to just transfer the two blasts without question. He didn’t realize I knew the terminology and the success rates- or that I liked to question everything.

“But if these morolas are unlikely to develop, why can’t we just give them a chance? Why not put in those two morolas with one of the top blasts and save the other blast for later?

He didn’t understand my question or my reasoning.

“Because we want you to have a healthy baby. Mulitples bring so many risks…”

“I understand that, but you also said that it’s unlikely the morolas would make it. We know they won’t make it to freeze. I just want to give them all a chance. And we’ve been through so much. The last “perfect” embryos didn’t end up as our babies- so maybe these slow-pokes would.”

The nurse understood what I was saying. She tried to explain my reasoning to the embryologist, but he didn’t want to “think creatively” about the situation. Finally Dr. IVF came into the room.  (My favorite doctor, the only one who is a woman.)

She had been there when we discovered our second loss after IVF 2.0. She understood what we had been through.

“Why don’t we give you and your husband a few minutes to talk it over. You need to really think about the risks of triplets and what you would do if all three were to develop, but I understand what you are saying,” she said as she left us.

By this point I was in tears.

“What do you think, T? I just want to give those little ones a chance- and give ourselves the best chance.”

My husband, always calm and comforting, held my hand and carefully gave his opinion without sounding like he was on their side.

“What if we transfer the two best and just ask them to give the morulas one more day in the dish to give them a chance to develop? Would that make you feel better?”

I nodded. I knew he was right. I’m not greedy. I don’t need triplets or even twins. Just one healthy baby.

The embryologist agreed to give our slow-poke morulas another day, reminding us again how unlikely it was that they would make it.  I hope they prove him wrong.

I dried my tears and prepared for transfer, watching the monitor for the third time this year as my “maybe-babies” were launched into my uterus.

Mr. T held my hand and we talked about life beyond IVF during the required 25 minute wait with my legs up. We were old pros at this now.

Now I’m home, imagining my two perfect blasts- my “maybe-babies” exploring their new accommodations. I hope they feel at home in there. I hope that years from now, I can read this back, and remember today as the day I first brought home my baby.

But either way, I’m already living my “happily ever after.” And I’m determined to give this story a happy ending- one way or another.

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22 thoughts on “Bringing Home Babies: Transfer Day

  1. Afiya April 15, 2011 at 7:59 pm Reply

    Awww wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I am visualizing your embryos loving it there and getting all comfy in there and say let’s stay and become healthy babies ❤

    *sprinkles more baby dust*

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 9:53 am Reply

      Thank you so much for the baby dust- I can use as much as I can get! Your kind words make my day. Thank you for following.

  2. unfertilized April 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Such a sweet post Jess! I’m glad the transfer went well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for those morulas – I’m also a fan of the underdog 🙂

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 9:54 am Reply

      Thank you! Here’s to the underdog- after all, we all are underdogs in this journey.

  3. babymakingdiary April 16, 2011 at 12:31 am Reply

    Congrats on being pupo! It’s great u have two strong embies back where they belong. Hope the morolas make it to blast… everything xd for u this cycle xx

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 9:55 am Reply

      Thank you for the positive thoughts!

  4. Moon April 16, 2011 at 12:39 am Reply

    Ahh so pleased you had top embies to transfer back! I hope the other two make it as well. Take care of yourself, you’re carrying precious cargo :-)) x

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 9:56 am Reply

      Hope we both will be carrying this precious cargo for the next 9 months!

  5. Finding My New Normal April 16, 2011 at 3:02 am Reply

    Keeping fingers and toes crossed!!

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 9:57 am Reply

      Thank you so much-I can use all the luck I can get!

  6. Jess April 16, 2011 at 4:50 am Reply

    Oh Jess! It is unimaginable what you must be feeling right now. You should know that you have prayers being said for you and for those little ones and even Mr. T.

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 9:59 am Reply

      Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. I’m feeling relaxed today; Mr. T has been taking good care of me and I keep telling those little embies that they really must stick around to meet their wonderful Dad. 🙂

  7. sunnymama April 16, 2011 at 5:06 am Reply

    So hoping for a happy ending for you. Thinking of you and your two perfect blasts. xxx

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 10:00 am Reply

      Thank you dear friend! I keep reminding myself that I WILL get there someday, one way or another- just hope it’s sooner rather than later. 🙂 I’d love to meet these two little blasts as babies!

  8. moi April 16, 2011 at 11:57 am Reply

    There was a polar explorer. Called Fritiof Nansen. He survived all of his journeys and I have a feeling that at least one of these babies are just like Nansen. 🙂

    • Jess April 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm Reply

      I hope so! Mr. T and I are both fighters, so hopefully one of these little ones will take after us so we can meet him/her. It’s an exciting- but nerve-wracking time. Wishing you good things in your journey ahead!

  9. Vicky April 17, 2011 at 4:01 am Reply

    I completely understood your train of thought over your morulas, I wish more doctors took time to attempt to understand our thinking! Very happy to hear that transfer went well and my fingers are well and truly crossed for you. Sending endless positive thoughts your way

  10. myTTCstory April 17, 2011 at 9:38 am Reply

    Glad your doctors listened to you in the end!

    Bet your two little embabies are getting snuggled right in there. Sending positive vibes for your morulas, hope they can make it too.

    Look after yourself on your 2WW honey xx

    • Jess April 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm Reply

      Thanks- I hope they follow in flora & bruce’s footsteps. 🙂

  11. fateofthechocolatechipcookies April 18, 2011 at 9:10 am Reply

    Isn’t it tempting to want to get just a glimpse of the future so we know everything will be all right and it’s all worth the waiting? 🙂 I’m so happy to hear about your perfectly graded blasts. I hope with all my heart that they both will stick and you will be able to hold them in your arms in a few months. Best wishes to ya!

    • Jess April 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm Reply

      Tempting? Heck yes! If someone could tell me when this would be over, I’d be a happier (or maybe more frustrated) woman. But at least I’d know. Thank you so much for your kind wishes- I can use as many as I can get!

  12. Woman Warrior April 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm Reply

    I am blown away at how strong both you and your husband are. I am so looking forward to reading about your journey and sharing in your happiness with you. Wishing you both everything you have ever wanted!

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