Day 3 Embryo Transfer and the Waiting Game

I needed some space before I posted this update. I’m sure everyone understands.

As I mentioned we were waiting and hoping for a Day 5 Blastocyst, and we were waiting to hear from the Embryologist. Well, I heard from them at 9AM on Thursday morning, and the embryologist told me that based on the results they were seeing, that they wanted me to come in that afternoon for a Day 3 Transfer, at 2:30PM. This meant our embryos were not on track to be considered good enough quality to be frozen as blastocysts. Of course, my heart just sank.

Of the six, we had two healthy embryos of about the same high grade. The other four embryos that fertilized are graded at a 3 and 4. Meaning, these are the lower graded embryos that have less of a chance of achieving a viable pregnancy when transfered. Meaning, of our six embryos that fertilized, only 2 are graded at a high enough level to hopefully turn into a blastocyst, and thus into a healthy pregnancy. Now, as of Thursday we are still growing these embryos, and we were actually supposed to hear from the clinic today about how they were doing, and if any are eligible for freezing. We haven’t heard anything. The embryologist on Thursday did mention that they might grow them an extra day, so I am hoping that is the case and it wasn’t just an oversight in calling us back. This part of the waiting is extraordinarily difficult. Literally life and death are hanging in the balance, so I am hoping we hear some minimally good news but I wont get my hopes up.

So, the transfer. Dean and I left, and I was (obviously) upset and had spent most of the morning crying, apologizing for my failures as a woman, and really honestly not wanting to go to this appointment to feel my disappointment. The nurses in the clinic remembered us, and as one took me to the back she said, “I feel like you were just here!” She was chipper, and well meaning, but the only thing I could choke out was a small, “I was.” I was just there on Monday. We walked past the nurses station, and the nurses all waved and I saw Dr. A who gave me a cheerful “Hi” as I passed. I was honestly so relieved to see her, because I wasn’t sure if she was going to be on call for our transfer. I thought we may need to see a new Doctor. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it made me feel comfortable knowing it was her. There was no waiting around this time- our nurse, Gail, walked Dean and I back to the procedure room and gave me instructions to disrobe from the waist down (as usual) and gave me a list of “Do’s and Do Not’s” for the next 48 hours. Yes, I have been on mandatory bedrest for the past 48 hours.

Once inside the bed, I was covered with a warm blanket and then given a valium for the procedure. It was here that Dr. A came in to see how I was doing. I told her I was really disappointed with how things turned out, and she took my hand and told me that I shouldn’t be and that I am young, and that ‘this is going to happen, and you are in good hands.’ It may sound stupid, but I actually believed her because she was so sincere when she said it. She told me the embryologist was going to come in to talk to me while she prepped to ‘get me pregnant’. I laughed a little, but I still felt sad. And then, we met the embryologist who went over the statistics of our two healthiest embryos.FullSizeRender

This is the embryo that we transferred (hence the T). Dean and I both exchanged glances, and he held my hand before signing our paperwork for the transfer. The team started to come in, and the embryologist came in with her portable cart, and our petri dish. She had Dean get up to look at it under a microscope before the transfer, and confirmed that we were the “Johnson’s”. Dean was seated on a stool next to me as my legs were put in stirrups (a sight he has seen many, many times in the last few months) and of course this means another speculum, and another wonderful catheter inserted through the cervix. This one pinched enough to make me jump a little, but I was fine to endure it. The worst part of the whole procedure was that you have to do it with a full bladder. So, imagine having to pee very badly while having someone pushing on your bladder with an ultrasound wand, and another person threading a catheter into your cervix. If that didn’t make your insides uncomfortable – well, I dont know what to tell you.


The coolest part of this whole procedure? Dean got to watch the ultrasound screen. He saw the catheter on the ultrasound machine, and then he also was able to see when they inserted the embryo. This was a really special moment for me, as I am sure it was for Dean. Dr. A pointed exactly where to look, and also provided us with a picture:


You see where the white arrow is pointing? It looks like a big grain of rice? That is the embryo inside the culture droplet that they transfer. Pretty cool, huh?

After this, they wheeled me into the recovery bay and set a timer for ten minutes. I had asked them as soon as they were done, “when can I pee?!” Apparently, after that 10 minutes is when I was allowed to go. After I finally had a chance to go, I got dressed and every single nurse in the room wished us well and told us “happy movies only!” The nurse that wheeled me out made sure to insist that I stay in bed and told Dean, “happy movies only”. I replied that “happy movies” for me were probably in the horror genre. She was polite, but I can tell that she was quietly a little mortified. Oh well.

So here we are. I am officially off of bedrest (as of 3PM), and now it is just a waiting game. Spouse appreciation you guys: Dean is a champion. He has been doing everything for me – our grocery shopping, bringing me dinner, getting me water, reminding me to take my medications, etc. He is the best person, and does not get nearly enough credit for how amazing he truly is (from me, or anyone else). I am insanely lucky to be loved by such a wonderful person, and having him in my corner always makes things better.

Now, an important note: As I mentioned when I began the blog – please respect our privacy when waiting for results. I know the temptation is going to be great to ask me if we ‘know’ yet. You may even want to ask if I am pregnant, or ‘how are you feeling’ in a sing-songy way. Please do not. I need to be as relaxed and calm as possible. Being asked these sorts of questions does the exact opposite. It creates a lot of emotional turmoil for me. I promise, if there is something to update you on, I will update the blog accordingly. But please note – in the event of a positive pregnancy test, I will NOT be announcing it here until the customary 12 weeks have passed and YES, this applies to everyone. It is not because we do not want to share our news with you, it’s just that the risk of miscarriage drops drastically after 12 weeks and we do not want to have to make a pregnancy announcement, and then a retraction. We appreciate your sensitivity to this matter <3