Monday, 24 April 2017

#atozchallenge Letters to my Embryos: T is for Transfer

Welcome to Day 20 of the A to Z Challenge, an April blogging challenge where you aim post every day during the month following the letters of the alphabet (with every Sunday bar the last one off).

In the past I've used the challenge to blog about my infertility and the IVF process. I'm following a similar theme this year as we wait to begin the process for a Frozen Embryo Transfer, having completed a Freeze All IVF cycle in February.

We currently have nine embryos sitting on ice, my little bubbles, and this April I am blogging to them about the process of how they came to be.

Dear Bubbles,

The first time you see me will probably be a bit of a traumatic experience for you. Thankfully, years from then, as you are reading this letter, you won't have any recollection of it, so I'm going to take you on a little time travel adventure.

Let's go back in time for a minute.

On the day we meet properly you will be forced from the safe, if somewhat cramped, place you have been calling home for nine months, into somewhere bright and loud and scary. You will cry. So will I. And we'll get to meet each other face to face for the first time.

But it won't be the first time that I'm seeing you.

Thanks to modern technology I'll have been keeping an eye on you (along with yet more medical personnel) over the duration of your stay with me. But would you believe that even on the very first scan I have, the one where we double check you're actually in there, that won't be the first time I'm seeing you?

Oh no, that first glimpse of you will happen roughly four weeks beforehand on the day of your transfer. On that day you'll be able to count almost six days of existence (five of those days taking place in February 2017 and the sixth one taking place in whichever month and year you're thawed out, my clever timey-wimey offspring).

I'm hoping that day will be taking place around a month from the date I'm writing this letter. Your father and I will go to the hospital, full of nerves as we wait to find out whether you have defrosted successfully. I will drink roughly a bottle of water in order to fulfill the requirement of having a 'comfortably full bladder' (there's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one, you should try spending an hour with a comfortably full bladder sometime, preferably when you're old enough to do your own laundry, just in case you find it a bit tricky!) and then we will be summoned through to the room.

Beforehand they will have asked if we want to see you on the screen and of course we will say yes! There will be a brief wait (an excited one for your father; slightly uncomfortable for me) and then you will pop up on the TV screen on the wall.

You probably won't be much to look at for most people, but to me you will be beautiful. You will be vaguely circular and kind of lumpy looking in the middle, perhaps with a bobbly bit around the outside where you are starting to hatch. I could gaze on you all day but there's not time because there's somewhere you're supposed to be (and I'll be desperately in need of a bathroom by this point).

At this point the embryologist will prepare you for the biggest day of your young life. You'll be popped into a catheter and when I'm ready to receive you, you'll be passed through to the doctor performing the transfer.

Your father and I will hold hands as we watch as the catheter is placed in position, then you, and the fluid you've been calling home for the five days leading to this point, will be officially transferred into my womb. We won't be able to see you on the ultrasound, of course, you're much too small for that, but we'll see the flash of the fluid you're in.

And then we'll wait and hope that the next time we're looking at that screen, you'll be very definitely there on it.

So if, all those years later when you're reading this letter, you occasionally catch me looking over at you, studying your features, just know that I've been memorising the way you look ever since you were just a tiny bubble on a screen.

All my love,

Your Mum.


  1. “Comfortably full bladder.” What? That doesn’t exist!

    It’s so cool that you get to see the “bubble” before it’s put inside you. I know nothing about this process, so I’ve been learning a lot from your letters.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Awww. What a sweet letter.

  3. The comfortably full bladder had me laughing too. I've had that when I was being scanned before having polyps removed. My idea of comfortably full was obviously not uncomfortable enough and I was sent back to drink more. Agony!

  4. I am looking forward to this...


Let me know what you think. :-)