We officially have two excellent looking blastocysts on board. We will find out about their fate next Tuesday.
Throughout this transfer, I could just see God’s presence in our midst. The more I think about the timing of the flights and the transfer, the more I appreciate how God orchestrated the logistics way ahead of time. Dr. E originally set the transfer to Tuesday, but Monday was more convenient for Annie. A Tuesday transfer wouldn’t have happened because the weather would’ve been too dangerous for Annie to even drive to the airport. As for the drive to the clinic, God protected us as the rain didn’t come until late afternoon. It would’ve been bad on Tuesday as the sky was dumping buckets of water all day long. I am very thankful for God’s provision.
We all donned our superhero attires: Annie had Wonder Woman socks on. I was wearing my Superman socks. Bob was Batman, and Kenneth was Punisher. After the pre-transfer acupuncture session, we arrived at the clinic at 12pm sharp. Annie took a Val.ium a few minutes before that. Our scheduled transfer time was 12:15, but we went way past that time and nobody was calling us in. I was feeling quite calm that morning. The thought of the embryos not thawing well did cross my mind, but I tried not to go there. No phone call from Dr. E’s office was a great thing. However, when the clock went past 12:30, I started to become a bit anxious. The delay made me wonder what was going on, and my mind went wild. Annie was super calm because of the drugs and she was giddy and a bit high. She didn’t feel it at the last transfer because we went straight from acupuncture session to transfer and then to the post-transfer session. She was probably already lying on the table when the drugs finally kicked in. My mind continued to go wild, and I had to excuse myself to go up to the front to get some water. Just then, I could see in my peripheral vision that Dr. E walked into the clinic but didn’t see me. It was 12:35. She walked straight to the waiting area, saw Annie, Kenneth, and Bob and asked where I was. Annie joked that I was freaking out. I could hear Dr. E say, “Oh why is she freaking out? Everything is great.” I was right behind her so when I heard that, I immediately felt relieved.
What I realized was that the clinic wasn’t ready for our transfer yet, so Dr. E didn’t arrive until the right time. A bit later, we were led to the transfer room. This time it felt different because Bob was there. We all squeezed in there. Dr. E presented us with the pictures of the embryos. Here they are:
The top one is Noelle and the bottom one is Quentin. My first thought was that, Wow look at them! They look so good! Especially the bottom one that was a day 6 5BB blastocyst (Embryo #5). It looked like it was hatching already! Dr. E could not stop talking about how good #5 looked. She said they looked gorgeous.
I didn’t feel particularly emotional this time like the last transfer. I was just very happy and relieved that the embryos thawed well and looked amazing. I would say that out of all the embryos that we had transferred, these two looked the best.
We had to wait a little longer for the procedure to start, which left the four of us alone in the room. Annie suggested praying, and all four of us joined hands as the husband prayed for the procedure, the embryos, and for all four of us. It was a very sweet and precious time of fellowship. Amazingly, the professionals didn’t step in until our not-too-short prayers were all said.
Annie’s bladder’s fullness was just right. Dr. E showed us the uterus, the lining, and where the embryos would go. I pulled up my chair next to Annie. The embryologist walked in to check our identification, and asked us to verify the number of embryos to transfer. Dr. E inserted all the catheters that she needed. The embryologist then disappeared behind the door. Suddenly, Annie grabbed hold of my hand and appeared like she needed support. I held my phone on the right side for the video and the pictures, and held her hand with my left hand. She and I held hands for the rest of the procedure. It somehow meant a lot to me to feel that we are in this together. Our lives are intertwined and I really hope that this close relationship will last for the next nine months and many years beyond.
Once again, my name appeared on the big screen on top, and then it was Annie’s name. The lens zoomed into the embryos. Embryo #2 (day 5 3BB) was still a round ball with a little sign of starting to hatch. Embryo #5 appeared even more advanced at that moment, as the embryo hatched out even more. The embryologist captured the two embryos with a catheter. Moments later, she returned to the room with our precious cargoes. Dr. E focused on inserting the tube in the uterus. She talked us through the process. She slowly pulled the catheter out and handed it to the embryologist who moments later confirmed that the embryos had gone in.
The atmosphere changed instantly. It felt like the whole room was relieved. Annie stayed on the table as Dr. E lowered her down. She asked us if we had any questions. Since this was our 6th transfer, and Annie’s second, nobody had any questions. Then the following happened.
Bob asked Dr. E, “If we hadn’t chosen a boy embryo and a girl embryo to transfer and leave the choice to you, would you have made the same choice?” Dr. E said, “Oh yes!!! The girls at the lab kept on telling me what a great choice we made this time looking at the great quality of the embryos, especially the [Insert Gender] embryo! It looks so good! We made a great choice.” What she was referring to was Embryo #5, the hatching one. Like I said, she had been giving this embryo such high praises throughout the transfer that I knew she was referring to this particular embryo and not Embryo #2. I couldn’t believe my ears that she actually leaked out the gender of that particular embryo! (I am not disclosing the gender here because I want to keep an element of surprise on this blog.) My carefully plotted scheme of keeping something a surprise/secret has been taken away from me in an instance. I looked at Dr. E in disbelief. She realized what she had done and said, “Oh yeah you didn’t know!” Then she pointed to my husband, “It was his fault! He asked the question!” Everybody in the room was laughing. But it wasn’t too funny for me. I can’t undo what I do know now. I didn’t care too much about knowing what gender each of these embryos is. If both take, then we have a boy and a girl. If only one takes, we still won’t know which one until birth. But knowing that Embryo #5 is a particular sex means that I now know the sex of the final remaining frozen embryo. I never intended to find out about it and knowing it now has just ruined the biggest surprise in my life for me. Well, what can you do right? I can’t tell my brain not to remember. So I guess I’ll just have to let go.
This transfer had been a precious time for me. Unlike last time, Bob had a chance to hang out with Annie and Kenneth for an extended period of time. The more we spend time with them, the more we love this couple. They are cool, easygoing, selfless, funny, thoughtful, and much more. It was pouring rain on Tuesday. Knowing how much I hate driving in the rain, Annie sent me an email right before I left work on that day and said, “You’ll be driving home soon. Be careful. No need to rush. I know you hate driving in the wind and rain. We are all good!” They were cool with us sending them off to take the train to the airport instead of Bob giving them a ride because the two ways would take about the same time. It was their first time ever taking public transportation (they are from a very small town). They were so easygoing and adventurous about it. It saved us a lot of time being stuck in traffic. I just love them so much for who they are.
When I hugged Annie good-bye at the train station, I didn’t feel the emotions like last time. I remember last time I felt like a part of me went with her. This time I felt much more guarded and distant. I don’t know. Maybe being at this process for so long and failing the last transfer has made it difficult for me to feel the excitement of the possibility. I am hopeful, but at the same time I also know that anything can happen. Even the best looking embryos don’t always make it. But, I really want both of our embryos to implant now that I have them both transferred. I have never thought that I would want to be the mom of twins. However, I do not want to lose even one embryo. So I hope and pray that both of them decide to burrow deeply, take hold, and continue to divide and multiply.
We will know in six days. Now we wait.