*Still rambling about reproductive matters. As always, feel free to avert your eyes.*
I'm horribly impatient, which makes the waiting for the first beta torturous. My sunny and optimistic husband just puts it out of his mind and goes about his day. My innards are still a bit jacked, so even in the rare moments I can forget, I'm reminded by the pain every time I have to pee. Or sit on my lumpy, PIO'd ass. If it didn't work, it didn't work; I JUST WANT TO KNOW. My test is scheduled for the 17th, but I am 100% a home test cheater, so maybe Thursday. We'll see -- I'm trying to hold out as long as possible.
Did I tell you about the transfer? It was such a strange experience. They bring you into a dark exam room to wait for the doctor, then there is a lot of repetitive ID bracelet checking and name/birthdate/social recitation, first with the nurse, who also checks your photo ID before putting on the bracelet, then with the doctor, and finally again with the embryologist. We had to say why we were there and verbally consent to the single embryo transfer and sign the consent form. The embryologist went back to her bench and trained the camera on the embryo that had been voted Most Likely to Succeed, displaying the image on a tv in our procedure room. At this point, the doctor started describing what we were seeing and why they chose that embryo as she, um, set up shop. It was kind of weird because this was only the first time I had seen my doctor for an actual medical procedure. She works out of the main office, which is a hike for me to get to. I go there for consults with her, procedures requiring the ASC, and occasional monitoring appointments if I have to go outside of the satellite office monitoring hours. For my regular monitoring appointments, I go to the office that is on my way to work and I am a frequent flyer to the staff over there. My doctor coordinates my protocol, though, and has been wonderful to work with. She is super no-nonsense, yet still quite sure we will eventually have success, but in a very matter-of-fact way. I never, ever get the sense that she is blowing sunshine. We also went to the same small college. Although I was there about five years after she graduated, I feel like it makes her my people in a way.
But I digress. (Ha, that should have been what I called this blog.) After setting up shop, the doctor looked around for free fluid, given my increased risk of developing OHSS. The ovaries were still swollen, of course, but I appeared to be fluid free otherwise, so she felt good about giving a thumbs up for transfer. She opened a door into the lab and requested the embryo by an ID number. The embryologist brought in the catheter, it was positioned by the doctor, and just like that, the transfer was done. The embryologist brought the catheter back to the microscope to make sure they had gotten the embryo out, and that was it. My doctor was lovely, taking a minute to chat afterward and thanking us for being so patient over a long road, saying how hopeful she is that this is the one and how confident she is that we would have a strong group left to freeze. (We did! Six!) She is super smart and very much a scientist, but she is also an excellent caregiver. This clinic sometimes gets a bad rap because it is so huge; people complain about feeling like a number. However, that has never once been my experience. Even visiting multiple offices, I still feel like they all know me and genuinely care about our experience and getting us to an eventual success. We're several cycles in, child-free, and I would still recommend these people without the slightest hesitation.
Oh! The funniest part! (It's dark humor; bear with me.) So once the doctor leaves, they have you stay lying down on the table until one of the nurses comes in with your follow up instructions. As I was lying there, the embryologist came back with a card that had a picture of the embryo attached. It just struck me as morbidly hilarious, perhaps because detachment is an excellent defense mechanism. It was just like those cards you get when you take kids to see Santa or the Easter Bunny, except inside was a picture of our widdle blastocyst. What does one do with this? Hope for the best and save it to paste under "Baby's First Photo" in a future baby book? I couldn't help but think about what I was supposed to do when the clump of cells dies. Label it "Our First Little Crushing Defeat" and tuck it away to reminisce about those two weeks we spent hoping it would live and wondering who it would become? For now, I am going with hide in purse and try to forget it's there.