May 9, 2010
Happy (maybe!) Mother’s Day
Guess what friends? I might actually be pregnant right now!! It’s been a tough cycle and I’m having a hard time believing that it could actually be possible… but I woke up feeling a bit more hopeful today.
Yesterday went as well as could be expected, but it was definitely not a happy, stressless transfer. After the-call-with-no-information, I was SO nervous on our way in to the hospital that S actually asked if I could take my V.alium a bit early. ;-P Then once we got in, it seemed like they were all just in a big rush – got me changed and up onto the table in 5 seconds flat, and then walked in THE EMBRYOLOGIST. I was so anxious to hear about our embies, and the embryologist was the total opposite of helpful and understanding. She basically was like, “So, we’ll be transferring your two best embryos today, okay?” Umm, NO, not okay!
S and I had spent our entire 45 minute ride in discussing whether we’d be transferring one or two embryos, and after much consideration, decided that we’d do two (please God we had that option) if they were B quality or below, and only one if there was an A quality to work with. And then we got in and felt totally blindsided. The embryologist told us that one of the embies was 8-celled and the other was 10-celled, and that was it, no information about quality, how many embryos we had left, next steps, nothing.
So I basically had to DRAG the information out of her…while she, the two REs, and the nurse are standing there ready to go. After much questioning and awkwardness, we finally got the answers we needed. All of our embryos were a 3 (on a scale of 1-5) in terms of quality, which made us feel better about the decision to transfer two. We had five embryos total, the two they were going to transfer, and three that were continuing to develop. I asked if all three would be frozen, but apparently this practice doesn’t freeze embies unless they make it to blast stage (another thing no one ever told me), so we’ll find out Monday or Tuesday whether any of the others were able to be frozen.
I made a point of mentioning how difficult it is for me to get to retrieval (and fertilization), and that I felt strongly that we should freeze as many as possible, and the embryologist made some comment about how I wasn’t really the best person to decide whether embryos were viable. No shit Sherlock, but how come I previously had an embryo frozen at 3-days that perfectly survived the freeze and thaw? I mean, it obviously didn’t result in pregnancy, but the freeze/thaw was not the issue.
So then she said something about not knowing much about my past history (another mark against her) but said that they were doing all that they could to create a pregnancy. And then just casually mentioned that they had done assisted hatching on my two embryos that morning to increase all possible chances. WHAT?!? Assisted hatching was something else that we had discussed as a possibility but that was supposed to be part of a discussion with S and me, NOT just a decision made in a vaccuum. I had previously been told that assisted hatching slightly increased the chances of the egg splitting, which could turn our two embryos into FOUR babies, an eventuality we were NOT prepared for.
I continued to get more upset and uncomfortable, and although S tried to help, felt very alone. The embryologist and RE assured me that assisted hatching did not (in any measurable way) increase the chances of the egg splitting, so I tried to just believe them and relax. I knew that I was getting myself all worked up and that that would definitely not help our chances. So after S assured me that he felt comfortable with the plans, I let go and tried to relax and trust that they knew what they were doing.
After 10 minutes in a recliner, we were free to go, but I seriously just spent most of the afternoon feeling upset. I mean, obviously, we would cherish twins, as long as they are healthy, but all of the drama just left me feeling spent. There’s always the possibility that we don’t get pregnant, even with two embryos, and I just felt like I was at the bottom of my hope pit.
The whole transfer completely rubbed me the wrong way, and was definitely the last straw. Regardless of the outcome of this cycle, we are NOT using this practice again. The whole time I’ve been with them, I have just felt like a number, not a patient, and have had to be my own advocate to the point of awkwardness. In addition, all the big decisions (like ICSI, how many embryos to transfer, and whether to do assisted hatching) were made without any discussion with me and S. The last time we even mentioned these things was at our initial appointment with my RE, back in NOVEMBER. Luckily we have agreed with all of their choices – after the fact – but we are the PARENTS, we should be involved in these decisions!
I just pray that this cycle will work, and that I will be able to take a break from REs, ultrasounds, medications, and people rooting around in my hoo-ha. It would definitely make up for the difficult and drama-filled cycle if we were able to say that today was actually my first Mother’s Day. Please God, let this cycle work…