Saturday, 27 June 2015

Embryo Transfer

I'd been slightly worried when we started this IVF cycle because I'd arranged for my Mum and Stepdad to come visit for a weekend in June. Then my period came two days earlier than expected which threw out all my calculations for the month. In actual fact, it could not have worked out any better for us because on the Sunday we went for the embryo transfer, they were able to come with us. It was fantastic having my Mum there with me on the day, plus my Stepdad helpfully drove us to Glasgow, which saved Mr Click a lot of stress as he hates driving in the city.

So massive thank you for doing that!

I'd been given instructions to go to this appointment with a 'comfortably full' bladder, an oxymoron if ever I've heard one. The nurse we spoke to about it at egg retrieval helpfully suggested a trip to the bathroom an hour and a half before the appointment, then to drink 500ml of water over the next ninety minutes.

This was an incredibly optimistic amount of water for my pea-sized bladder to handle. Especially as it's still somewhat squashed by my oversized ovaries.

Going to the loo ninety minutes before our appointment time (which was at 10am) meant a quick trip to the toilet before we got off the ferry. I proceeded to drink half a bottle of water until I realised it was 9:30am and I was getting pretty full.

We got taken through to the Quiet Room quite quickly and the nurse gave us our chic Embryo Transfer gear.

Here you see Mr Click sporting a stylish paper over-gown and paper hat. Not pictured are the highly sought after blue paper booties over the top of his trainers.

I meanwhile went for something I'd already rocked earlier in the week:

I've gone for a paper hat to match my husband's, I'm also wearing blue paper booties over my pink Winnie-the-Pooh slipper socks. The socks are cleverly accessorised with my pink fluffy dressing gown which I decided against wearing in the end, because once again the Quiet Room was roasting. I'm also wearing an elegant backless gown, though unlike the one on egg retrieval day, this one did up!

We seemed to wait for ages, it probably actually wasn't that long but time moves slower when you're in danger of wetting yourself. A little after 10am we got a visit from the embryologist who told us that we had one perfect embryo to put back, one that was definitely going to be frozen and two she was going to monitor the rest of the day to see how they got on in the hopes that they too would be suitable to freeze.

We had a quick crash course in embryo grading as well. The one I got transferred was classed as a 5BB, while the one we were freezing was a 4BC. Our clinic grades them from 0 to 6 with 0 being a collapsed, or non-developing, embryo and 6 being a hatched one. The doctor explained that they wouldn't let an embryo get to the stage where it had hatched so a 5 is the best you could get.

The letters refer to the inner and outer parts of the embryo; these are graded from A to C, the first is the bundle of cells which will form a baby, the second is the outer 'shell' which becomes the placenta. 5BB is a pretty damn good example of an embryo and 4BC isn't bad either.

The doctor ran through some details with us and then we were taken through to the room where transfer was going to take place. We'd been asked before hand if we wanted to see a picture of the embryo on a screen before it went in. I was slightly disappointed that we wouldn't get a print out of it so I was very enthusiastic about 'meeting' it on the screen.

I assumed the usual position (gown open, feet in the stirrups) and laid back, looking up on the screen on the wall. And up it came. It was a perfect little circle with a little pointy, almost triangular bit near the top; that was where the blastocyst was starting to hatch from its outer shell, making it perfectly ready for implanting into the uterine lining.

I'd be lying if I said that embryo transfer was a pleasant procedure. It's likened to a smear test, except you feel like you're going to wet yourself (you may also pee a little bit with all the stuff going on in that area). I had an ultrasound on my belly showing me my womb (and my wicked huge ovaries which are still all full of fluid which helps to explain the bloating I've experienced). I didn't get to see all the stuff that was involved in the process, but there was a speculum and some other things, plus a catheter which went up through my cervix.

The embryo was sent along the catheter and I saw a little whoosh as it went in. The best thing I could liken it to is the bloom of colour you get when you pour milk into a cup of tea. It was beautiful.

And that was it.

The catheter was checked to make sure 5BB wasn't still hanging around. I headed back to the Quiet Room with Mr Click to get changed. The nurse stopped by with a pregnancy test and to go over some details for the next couple of weeks.

And then I was free to go (and pee).

Oh, and later we got a call from the embryologist to let us know that all three of our remaining embryos were good enough to freeze. I've nicknamed them Olaf, Elsa and Anna, though as the embryologist said, hopefully we won't be needing them for a little while.

Now it's just a question of waiting.

I'm having fun with my Progesterone pessaries (you do not want to know), I've got a list of things I can and can't eat. I'm supposed to be taking it easy, which Mr Click is being very strict about. We just have to hope that 5BB is bedding down and getting ready to hang around for another nine months or so. I really hope it does.


  1. I hope all goes well with this and you get the outcome you want.

    1. Thank you. It's been a week already (which has been both the longest and shortest week of my life). Not long to go now before we find out if 5BB has stuck around. :-)


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