Wednesday, July 22, 2015

FET Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, I said I would go into more detail about my FET process.  Although it didn’t work out in a pregnancy, other than a chemical pregnancy, I still want to blog about this to document this, as it is another step in mine and Dusty’s journey to have children here on earth.

So, as I said, after a delay where I missed my cycle, we began the frozen embryo transfer process on April 23.  I called my nurse when my cycle started, and had a slight freak out.  See, Dusty and I went out of town to Washington DC for a work event for me, and initially, we thought this might interfere with the transfer timing.  I called the nurse, and explained to her that I wanted to do a FET this cycle, but would be going out of town May 16 – May 20.  Her initial reaction was something like that may not work out with my labs and asked me how June was looking for me.  That didn’t make any sense to me, so I questioned her on it further, and explained to her that June wouldn’t work either, for having to be out of town for my firm’s annual training right in the middle of June, which would be where the transfer would fall the following month.  So, she said she’d look at the calendar and call me back. 
She called me back a few minutes later, and had evidently just mis-spoke with her initial reaction, as the timing seemed to be fine for me.  She did ask me what I’d be doing when we were out of town, and was fine with me sitting at a work conference the majority of the time.  We tentatively had our cycle calendar, and the transfer was scheduled for May 12. 
I started on my patches, and then on May 6th, had labs and ultrasound at my clinic.  The ultrasound looked great.  My lining was already measuring at 11.5 (ideally, they want anything above 8, but higher is better).  Our doctor even explained to us the best way to find my left ovary, you know, in case we ever needed to do that when he wasn’t there.  Haha! 
I must say, the bloat from the estrogen patches was terrible!  I hurt *almost* as much as I did from my fresh cycle, and I was really surprised by that!  I consider myself a pretty tough cookie, and this really bothered me.  But, oh well, it was all part of the process and would be worth it if it resulted in a baby in my arms.  {who am I kidding, it was still worth it, even though I don’t have that baby in my belly now, but I still have hope that someday, I will}
May 12th arrived and Dusty and I were very excited, although, I must say, I was much more scared it wouldn’t work.  He, as always, was completely positive.  We had to be in Little Rock at 10:30, which wasn’t too terrible of an early morning.  I took my bottle of water and began drinking it about an hour out, to ensure I had a full bladder going into the transfer. 
Thinking back, I truly believe my biggest fear was our embryo not surviving thaw.  The night before, I asked my husband to make the decision as to what we’d do if the embryo didn’t.  I don’t even know what our options were, because we chose not to discuss this with our doctor leading into the transfer.  I assumed our options would be 1) cancel the transfer or 2) see if our other two embryos that are frozen together could be thawed and transfer them.  Within that option, I wasn’t sure if it was an option to “re-freeze” one embryo.  There were so many things to consider, and I honestly didn’t know what to decide.  I asked my husband to pray about it, and if we needed to, he would be the one to make the decision and I would go along with whatever he decided. 
We were called back to the room to prep for the transfer and I remember thinking, surely if the embryo hadn’t survived thaw, we wouldn’t be called back here.  Surely we’d go to an office or something.  The nurse had me undress from the waist down and put a gown on, and had Dust get dressed in his gown as well.  I kept thinking, surely we’d know by now if the embryo didn’t survive thaw. 
Once changed, the nurse came in and handed me paperwork stating the embryo survived thaw, and had me sign off on the authorization to transfer the embryo (or at least that is what I seem to recall it was).  When I saw that paper, and saw it said our embryo had survived thaw, I lost it!  Tears just started pouring down my face!  I just couldn’t help it!  I was so relieved. 
Shortly after that, I was wheeled into the OR room where the transfer would take place.  The embryologist came in and gave us pictures of our embryo, along with the straw our sweet little embryo had been “chilling” in for the past 11 months.  Again, I totally lost it.  The embryologist told us that our embryo had survived thaw perfectly, and everything looked “perfect”. 
 
Here is our perfect little embryo, thawing out beautifully

 
This is the straw where our little embryo hung out for the last year

 
It's hard to see in the pic, but at the very end of the straw insert, there is a little tray, which is where the embryo actually is while frozen
 
A little while later, the doctor came in and we began the transfer.  I’m not going to lie, it always hurts.  Being pried open like that, hurts!  However; the transfer went “perfectly”.  Again, they used that word, and I remembered thinking, let’s not jinx this!  We even got an ultrasound picture of our embryo once it was transferred! 
 
Here is the ultrasound picture of our little embryo, once it was transferred.  It's hard to see, but there is an arrow on it pointing at our embryo
 
 
 
Lastly, here is the petri dish where our little embryo thawed out

I was wheeled back into the room where we changed at, and laid on the bed for 30 minutes.  After that, Dusty and I headed to the same lunch place where we ate after my last transfer, and I, of course, had the same meal, for good measure. 

We just knew everything was going to work.  And for a very brief time, we thought it had.