Embryo Transfer – Check!

On Thursday I started the hatching meds and progesterone gel.  The hatching meds are Doxycycline (which I thought was actually an antibiotic?) twice a day, and Medrol (I have the generic, methylprednisone – maybe a steriod?) four times a day.  The Doxy pills are big, but the Medrol pills are tiny.  I think I read somewhere that the Medrol helps reduce inflammation and the chance that the body may reject the embryos.

The docs at Austin Infertility Clinic have all gone exclusively to using Crinone progesterone gel now instead of progesterone shots.  I’ve heard horror stories about the shots, that they’re really thick and painful, so I’m glad I get to skip that!  The gel is in an applicator that looks similar to a thin tampon applicator.  Just insert and squeeze the bulb on the end.  The first time I put it in right before going to work, so I was up and moving as soon as it went in and I did have a bit of leakage early in the day.  Today I laid around for a half an hour after I put it in, and I’ve had almost no leakage.

Friday morning we slept in and relaaaaaxed.  Mmmm, so nice!  I could get used to this life!  I’ve been getting caught up on Big Love, Dexter, and Troy has gotten me hooked on the new Starz series Spartacus (naked hot men, yay!).  I took the first Doxy dose of the day and got two Medrol pills down before we headed over to the St. David’s infertility surgery center where I had the egg retrieval.  Mom, Troy and I got there early, where they told us that all five of the embryos had survived. 

We had one 8-cell, grade 1 embryo.  Turns out the cells in an embryo often have some fragmentation – grade 1 is little to no fragmentation, grade 2 is mild fragmentation, grade 3 is moderate and grade 4 isn’t good.  We also had two 8-cell, grade 2 embryos, and those three are the 3 we had transferred in today.  The embryologist said these 3 embryos were “Beautiful!” and that it’s very rare to have an embryo that has no fragmentation at all.  Mom is certain that the grade 1 embryo is a girl, while the two “messier” embryos must be boys. 🙂  Lastly, we had 1 7-cell embryo and 1 5-cell embryo.  The embryologist said they will continue to watch these two for the next few days to see if they continue to grow, and if they do, they’ll be frozen.  But he cautioned us that less than 40% make it to freeze, so not to be disappointed or discouraged if they don’t make it.  He left us with our first baby pic of our three little embryos. 🙂

All 8 cell, Grade 1 on the left and grade 2 above and on the right

Next the RN brought a Valium for me, then Dr. Silverberg came in and once again told us what goreous embryos we had, yay!  I was able to ask him something I’d been curious about – why we ended up with so few eggs when I started with such a high follicle count.  He said that the drop in estrogen had left many of the eggs immature.  The eggs actually mature in the back of the follicle, and aren’t released to float free in the fluid of the follicle until they are mature.  So most of the follicles had only fluid in them.  If we have to do another stimulation cycle, hopefully we’ll start slower next time and build to a high level rather than start off way to high and have to scale back.  It eases my mind a little just having an understanding of why things happened the way they did.

Next we all had to put on gowns and hair nets, and mom and Troy had to put on masks and shoe covers. 

Mom, Me & Troy

 I got these totally awesome footies!

Totally worth the $1000’s we’ve spent so far, right?

Then they wheeled me into the surgery room and I got up on the surgical table, and mom and Troy were positioned on stools behind my head.  We could all see a huge TV screen with our name on it.  Then it switched to a view of our three little embies floating in fluid.  The surgical team were all busy working, arranging blankets and positioning my legs.  The doc came in and inserted the speculum.  He had to struggle a little to get my cervix in view, but finally he was able to clean the cervix and remove the cervical mucous. 

We’d been watching the embryos on the TV screen, and they looked huge – until the embryologist inserted the catheter into the fluid to suck up them up.  The catheter looked like a fire hose!  That’s when I realized just how tiny our embryos were!  He gently sucked them into the catheter, then he came thru the door into the surgical suite and handed the catheter to the doctor.  The catheter was inserted, and although there was a small cramp when the catheter went through the cervical opening, it was less than when I had the IUI’s.  He then paused for a full minute and a half to let the cramp pass.  He wanted the uterus to be completely calm.  Then he pressed the plunger and our embryos were in!

When Dr. Silverberg removed the catheter, the embyologist put it back under the scope so we could see it on the TV again.  He checked both the inside and the outside of the catheter for any sign that there was still an embryo stuck to it.  Finally he put up a “Clear” sign, and we were done!  I was hoisted onto a gurney and wheeled back into our exam room, where the Valium finally took hold and I fell asleep for about an hour. 

3 embryos, safe 'n snug!

Finally we were discharged home, where I lolled and slept and was waited on hand and foot all day.  Ah, the life!  Every now and then Troy pats me on the head and croons, “Hello, my lovely incubator.”  So romantic.

So we …. what do we all do best, sisters?  Say it with me – “wait.”  Louder!  “WAIT!”  We WAIT!  My old nemesis, the waiting game, we meet again.  So far, we are score:  Wait – 3, Stacey – 0.  This time, I plan to even up that score.

11 days to go.


25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Myndi
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 19:14:12

    So exciting!! SO EXCITING!!! Yeah for beautiful beanie babies and for an easy transfer! I will be waiting with bated breath to hear good news! Definitely take advantage and milk it during the next two weeks. I laid down and sat on my butt as often as possible.

    When are your betas?


    • iamstacey
      Mar 06, 2010 @ 19:43:35

      All I need is a little bell and my life of luxury will be complete! Bwahahahaha!

      Since I can’t comment on your page, I’ll tell ya, I’ve never been a big IKEA fan, either. Some of the housewares and decorative items are pretty, but I find the furniture sort of stark. And I have books piled upon books, too! Whatever it takes to get ’em all to fit on the shelf! 🙂


  2. Low Fat Lady
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 19:33:19

    Three babies 🙂 How exciting. I hope your wait goes by quickly and easily and that you will be telling us your pregnant soon. You did such an awesome job. So brave.


  3. Kari
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 19:47:14

    What beautiful little embryos!! 🙂 Congrats!! I hope the wait flys by. I did like nothing for like a little over 48 hours after my transfers before getting antsy and getting up. Hoping you get some frozen embies, but remember even if you don’t the best ones are snuggling in for the long haul. We got no frozens either time but we got pregnant both times so I truly believe those docs know what they’re doing when they pick. Take it easy and enjoy being PUPO!! 🙂


  4. iamstacey
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 19:59:52

    I forgot about that! I get to be PUPO! Woohoo! 🙂


  5. katery
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 20:43:13

    hooray!! see, i knew all five would grow!! now if the other two can just make it through freezing for your next baby, **fingers crossed** and you are right, doxycycline is an antibiotic, i think they use it as a precautionary measure to prevent infection since you are having invasive procedures.


  6. Amber
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 21:14:05

    Oh my gosh, I love this post! I’ve never seen anyone write about their IVF experience in such great detail. I feel like I’m actually there with you. 🙂 I’ll be waiting and rooting right here with you until we can see that BFP!!! Thanks for sharing.


  7. meinsideout
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 21:50:07

    Woo hoo! Fabulous embies – I am so excited for you!!


  8. Michelle
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 01:43:56

    I am so excited for you! It sounds like all went GREAT! I hope the 11 days FLIES BY!!!


  9. Txgirl
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 07:56:02

    Hey!-I had my transfer at the same time/same place-my husband and I came into the waiting room and saw you, hubby, and mom. They called us in before y’all. I recognize you from your pink shirt! Best of luck–


    • iamstacey
      Mar 11, 2010 @ 11:16:37

      Hello, Txgirl! I can’t believe you found me online! I was so excited to meet another real-life IF sister, but they whisked y’all away quick! They’re an efficient bunch! I’m wishing you all the best, let me know how it goes for you!


  10. Pie
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 10:02:10

    Those are some lovely embies you have there! Good luck in the 2ww (or 11dw)!


  11. Jessica
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 15:40:25

    Sounds like it was pretty painless. Thanks for writing out all the details since I will be doing mine IVF soon.

    Your three babies look perfect!! I hope they are snuggling in as we speak.


  12. Katie
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 18:21:02

    So so exciting! I hope your wait goes by quickly!


  13. lifebytheday
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 20:45:02

    YAYAYAY!! Congratulations on a seamless transfer! 🙂


  14. Austin Embryology
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 22:00:22

    I’m so excited for you..Good luck ! 😀


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