Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the Team Zoll Starting Lineup:
*cue Fox NFL Sunday theme*
Currently, these little embryos are all up in my ‘ute.
Get comfy, kids. We want you to stick around.
. . .
We got up bright and early Saturday morning. I insisted on getting a bite to eat on the way there, only to realize in the parking lot that we had left my single Valium tablet at home, so we had to turn around and go back. As such, we got to the clinic 15 minutes late… oops.
I had been debating all week whether or not to take the Valium, since I’m super-sensitive to muscle relaxers and painkillers (seriously: it’s not safe for me to drive after taking two extra-strength Tylenol). I decided once we got to the clinic, however, I would take half. The butterflies in my tummy got the best of me.
I got all dolled up in my seersucker robe while Larry put on a sexy pair of teal scrubs that were easily about three sizes too big for him.
A nurse went over the basics: transfer would take about 5 minutes, cramping afterward is normal, and I was to be on bedrest for 4 days afterward. The nurse made it a point to underline “no housework” on my aftercare sheet before handing it over to Larry
Dr. Warmenfriendly arrived and quickly said hello before checking out our embryology report. “We have two HIP grade embryos; those will be the ones we transfer today,” he said. (HIP grade is short for high implant potential and specific to our clinic.) Dr. Warmenfriendly went on, “And we have three more that are excellent and one more that looks not so bad. We’ll freeze those four.”
The reality of what he just said sunk in.
“So… you mean all six embryos made it?” I said, incredulously.*
“Yes, all six!” he smiled, before heading back to the transfer room.
I burst into tears.
I barely had time to let the amazing news sink in before another nurse was gently guiding me up from my seat. “It’s time to head back!” she said with a chipper tone.
Larry and I put on our sexy blue hairnets as we made our way to the transfer room. Having had a few surgeries in my life, it was strange to me to walk back into the procedure area instead of being wheeled in on a gurney. Larry pulled a pastel yellow mask over his face and beard.
The transfer room was surprisingly dark. It was surreal to see my name and date of birth flashed up on a big screen TV. I must have been asked my name and DOB at least three times. I was grateful for the pillow under my butt, since I was sore from PIO shots for the last few days. I was surprised that I didn’t even have to put my feet up in stirrups; I just scooched myself to the edge of the table.
The embryologist came over to talk to us, to confirm my identity one more time. “So we’re transferring two HIP grade embryos today, right?”
“Yup!” I nodded.
“Great. Would you like to see ‘em?”
My face lit up. “Yes!” we both said, enthusiastically. She handed us the picture. It was so strange to see these two little balls of cells, knowing what was about to unfold. “They both look great,” she said. “Would you like to keep the photo?”
We nodded emphatically as she clipped the photo to my chart.
Dr. Warmenfriendly inserted the speculum while a nurse squirted jelly onto my pelvic area. “Would you like to watch?” she offered. Again, we were all over this. “Please,” I said. She turned the ultrasound screen toward us. My womb was illuminated in that familiar hazy greyscale triangle.
I got a lovely little vaginal rinse. That was kind of weird, not going to lie. A little pinching, a little pressure. And then the nurse pressed down on my very, very full bladder. I was terrified I was going to pee all over the table.
I saw a tech come from the embryology lab just next door with what genuinely looked like a turkey baster, fresh from the warmer. I reached for Larry’s hand; he squeezed it tight and didn’t let go.
“See that little white line? That’s the catheter,” said the nurse, pointing to the screen with her free hand. “And now we’re transferring the embryos right into your uterine lining… and that’s it! All done. You did great!”
Dr. Warmenfriendly looked up and said, “Now we’ll have the embryologist check the catheter to make sure that we got both in there.” After a moment, the embryologist said cheerfully, “Excellent transfer, catheter clear!”
I sat up, feeling warm wetness and thought I had peed the table. “Don’t worry,” said the nurse. “It’s just some extra saline from the procedure.” We walked back to the pre-procedure holding area where I finally got to pee (seriously, best pee of my life) and got changed back into my comfy clothes.
From there, I headed to the other side of the clinic and went right into acupuncture. I got my own private room and a foil blanket draped over me so I was nice and toasty. The acupuncturist dimmed the lights and I drifted into my happy zone, the Valium fully kicking in while I listened to Circle+Bloom’s embryo transfer track in their Donor Egg Mind/Body Program . I placed my hands onto my belly and zoned out, thinking lots of warm, snuggly thoughts.
Before I knew it, I was back home, my feet up on the couch.