I wish I was a little better about writing… I love looking back and seeing all my past posts, basically watching the girls grow up all over again! I guess I should try to be better about making time…
But the real point of this post is the TRANSFER! It was Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at noon. And it went perfect! The previous week at the surrogate’s check-up her lining was 11.9mm and they wanted it at least 6, so that’s great! And her estrogen level was perfect too, though I don’t remember that.
A little recap about the embryo… it was retrieved from me on September 8, 2014 when I was 34, along with Nora! So her twin, technically! Though I guess it’s weird to think about it that way, being they are ten years apart in age… It was originally frozen on September 13, 2014 as a 5 day expanded blastocyst graded BA. At the transfer the embryologist said it looked “so so good”!
Tuesday morning I got up as normal, took the girls to school and then headed to Iowa City. Back when Nora was transferred the IVF clinic was still part of the hospital, but now it’s a separate building off site, which I don’t like as well. It’s a super modern building, cold, very sterile, I don’t know, just not inviting I guess. I got into town way too early, so I stopped at a Starbucks inside Hy-Vee right next to the clinic and grabbed a coffee.
The one part of the day what felt really hard for me was checking in. I knew my surrogate wasn’t in town yet, as I texted her when I got there, but since I was there I decided to go in and find a waiting room. Now I get we were putting this embryo into her, but it was my embryo, so a part of me thought the appointment still had something to do with me, like I could check in at least. No… nothing under my name. I felt so… uninvolved and unimportant. So I sat in the waiting area until she and her husband arrived. They checked in and then we had a few minutes to wait until we were called back, which was the perfect time for me to give her the little gift I’d brought. I wasn’t even sure if I was supposed to give her something, but… I mean, how do you thank a person for going through this for you?? I wanted to give her something small. The previous day I had stopped at Target and picked up a few items… pregnancy tests, a water bottle and LiquidIV drink mixers, hand lotion, a candle, and chocolates.
Once we got to the exam room the nurse came and took our surrogate’s vitals, asked a bunch of questions about which medications she was taking, etc. (Oh, I guess I totally forgot to mention that Eric wasn’t able to join me on Tuesday. He had too many surgeries scheduled… just too hard to reschedule everything. I was a little sad, but it’s part of the life I guess, he’s busy, a lot.) After a bunch of questions and blood pressure and such I stepped out so the surrogate could change. Her husband and myself were both seated behind her near a TV screen so we could see the transfer on the ultrasound. This was my first meeting of her husband. (Did I even write about having coffee with her a few weeks ago??) He was super nice, seemed very supportive, maybe a little geeky, but nice. Dry sense of humor, very to the point, technical, but nice.
After a short wait two doctors greeted us and explained that the embryo thawed perfectly, thank goodness! The actual transfer was very fast, they do a trial first with an empty catheter to make sure they can reach the best location inside the uterus, which went great, so then they loaded the embryo into a catheter and repeated the process. At the end they look under a microscope to make sure the embryo isn’t still in the catheter and honestly that’s all. The worst part of the transfer is they want her bladder very full so they can see the uterus better, so at the end she was feeling very, very uncomfortable and wanting to pee. I remember that part very well. With my transfers they always made me lay there for 10-15 minutes, but I guess that has changed as she was up almost immediately and off to the bathroom. I stepped out into the hall again while she changed and then we were allowed to leave. I did get two pictures, one of the embryo and another of it as it was placed into her uterus.
After the appointment we met at HuHot in Coralville for a quick lunch and then we both headed back our separate ways. Lunch was good, no awkward moments, we all chatted about our Thanksgivings and future plans for Christmas.
She will have a blood pregnancy test to check her HCG level on Friday, December 8th, which is another week from today! AHHHH. The waiting. But I looked back at my transfers and I always had a positive home test by 5 days after a 5-day embryo transfer, which is Sunday. She’s going to start testing then at home and let me know what she gets!
I’m so nervous. Hopeful, but nervous. I feel like Eric and I never really got to decide we were finished having children. Having the girls early kind of make that decision for us. And with only this one embryo left, which only has a 50% chance of implanting… I’m 43 now, probably too old to get more eggs and do this all again. I’m just sad to think that if this doesn’t work, my family is complete.