Just thought I would give this blog an update after transfer #2 just happened on Friday! We have been in New Jersey since June 26th and so I've been going to a different monitoring clinic for all my blood draws and ultrasounds before the transfer. The vibe towards surrogates in New Jersey is definitely very different than Kansas. The clinic where I have been monitoring at, while nice and did their job, was very standoffish, and the doctor barely looked at me for the appointments that required an ultrasound. It's been a little weird in that sense, but I guess there is a reason why surrogates are illegal in New Jersey! Once I do become pregnant, per our contract, I am not allowed to travel to New Jersey, and five other states like it who are not okay with surrogacy after my first trimester. It would be a complete disaster legally if I were to unexpectedly go into labor!
Everything has pretty much been the same leading up to this transfer with a few variations. At my first blood draw and ultrasound, everything looked good uterus-wise, but they asked me to increase my estrogen pills a little earlier than previously done with the last cycle. On my third blood draw, a week before the transfer, my blood was drawn again, and instead of getting the go ahead from an email sent by the clinic in Connecticut, I got a phone call. As I was picking up the phone call, I started to panic just a bit. It turns out, my uterus is perfect. She said that if they could take a picture of a uterus and paste it into a text book for what a uterus is supposed to look like before an embryo transfer, mine would be the picture they would paste! But what they were having a hard time with was the level of estrogen in my blood work. The reason I take estrogen pills during a cycle is to build the lining of my uterus to a desired thickness that is comfortable for an embryo to latch on to. While it was building the lining well, the nurse said I was metabolizing the estrogen pills quicker than most, and so that is why I was getting a little discrepancy in my blood work. So, with that, they have added an extra shot of estrogen that has to be injected into the same area as my progesterone shots (in my buttox), twice a week. So Saturdays and Wednesdays, my butt gets two shots in one day. I am extremely sore already, and standing still during a shot is getting harder and harder, but it's all for a great reason! Positive visuals are my friend during these shots. Seeing a newborn baby in the arms of his parents mostly is what I picture! :) The first shot seemed to have improved my blood work greatly because the nurse emailed on Monday afternoon after my blood work that morning and she was pleased with the numbers and ready for transfer day!
Since we have been in New Jersey, we traveled to Connecticut by car. I was definitely glad not to have to get on a plane again! It was about an hour and forty-five minute drive, but with traffic, it took more like three hours, there and back! Frustrating, to say the least! Troy and the kids were my companions this time around and it was nice to see their faces when the transfer was done! The intended mother picked me up from the hotel before the transfer and we had lunch together. In the few days leading up to the transfer, I just had a different overall vibe this time around. I can't quite put my finger on it, but just to say that this time feels different. We arrived to the clinic in time for my acupuncture treatment. This time, it was done by a Chinese acupuncturist, which I took to be a good thing, and a different doctor performed the transfer too! The acupuncture treatment this time was completely different than the first one I had last time. She focused the laser on more spots all over my body and also included some acupressure at the end to help with blood flow and relaxation. I was definitely more relaxed this time around!
Once the treatment was done, it was time for the transfer! After checking to make sure my bladder was full enough, the doctor came in to talk to us about the embryo they had unfrozen that morning and to see if we had any questions. I got to thinking, this is my fourth round of IVF. I don't really have any questions at this point, I just want them to tell me that what they are doing will work, guaranteed! That's obviously not something they can do, but a girl can hope, right? The doctor was incredibly nice. He sat down, and showed us a little picture of the embryo, and explained to us the grading that they give embryos. He told us not to get too hung up on the grading, it doesn't mean anything significant with regards to successes apparently. He did tell us that in the few hours after they had unthawed the embryo, it had expanded 5% more than what it was frozen at, which was a great sign! They recorded that 100% of the cells survived the unthawing, even better, and by the time of the transfer, the embryo had expanded to a total of 25% more than what it was frozen at! Yay! Great signs!
When doing the transfer, it is very much like getting a pap smear, but with an extremely full bladder and a nurse pushing on my uterus with an ultrasound wand to let the doctor see where he is placing the embryo. The embryologist came in and handed the doctor the tube with the embryo in it, and the doctor inserted that tube into my uterus through a path he had been mapping out. Like I said, I have done 4 of these so far, and I have not seen anything like this one! Once the little tiny catheter was inserted, it was time to deposit the embryo. You can see it on the ultrasound. It's a tiny little while dot. This time, it shot right out of the tub and flew to the top of my uterus! The entire room gasped and started immediately saying: "Wow, that's awesome! We couldn't hope for a better situation" "This is a fantastic transfer and it's the best one I have seen all day, and I have done a lot of transfers today!" They kept going on and on to the point where the intended mother and I had to ask:"Do you say this to all of your transfers?" They, of course, said no, and continued to gush over the transfer and how well it went!
I was allowed to get up and empty my bladder right away, which was great and much needed, and then went to a recovery room to get my post transfer acupucture treatment. I was still really relaxed and just tried to calm my nerves about the whole thing as best I could! Now, the waiting begins...again! lol The pregnancy is August 3rd. We are leaving to come back to Kansas on Thursday and I'm hoping it will distract me enough for a few days at least, until then! I may sound like a broken record at this point, but if you're reading this, just keep me and the intended parents in your prayers, and keep thinking sticky thoughts! I will be back with an update after the pregnancy test! I'm thinking positive and am looking forward to the results!
Sticky thoughts and prayers, people! :)
Thank you for reading!