Happy T Day

As you may have guessed Saturday night was a full-on shit show for me. After freaking out that I only had 3 embryos remaining, I lay on my couch watching truly weird documentaries and convincing myself that I would never have children.

This may sound defeatist, but it had a calming effect. You see, I may not be able to control the outcome of this or any IVF cycle, but I do have some say in whatever happens next. If I can’t have kids, I’m pulling an Elizabeth Gilbert. (More on that at a later date.)

I got “the call” Sunday morning that we were going in for the transfer. My appointment was 12:00, with the transfer scheduled at 1:00. They make this whole deal about not wearing perfume and emptying your bladder before you go. So showered, peed, and commenced freaking out.

Ah, what would my first IVF cycle be without several waves of panic? The clinic I go to offers you Valium for the transfer. So I become preoccupied with taking it. Or not. or maybe yes. On one hand, I was clearly so worked up about my transfer that I was having trouble staying calm. On the other hand, I was so tired of all the chemicals coursing through my veins that I didn’t want to introduce more.

As corny as this sounds, I meditated on it. I went through one of my mindfulness exercises and realized I was more anxious about making the decision that the actual decision itself. So I got off the Valium train. I set a plan with Mr. O about how he could help keep me centered and parts throughout the visit when we would check in.

We were now off to the races.

The next several hours were tedious. There was a lot of water and a lot of waiting. Water, because a full bladder helps the ultrasound during transfer. Waiting because they were clearly behind schedule.

Oh, how I love the illusion created by moving you from one waiting room to the next. As I was moved from one, two, three waiting rooms, I was not fooled that we were 45 minutes behind. More to the point, my bladder was not fooled. Once I told the nurse that my eyes were literally watering in pain, she let me pee for 10 seconds. NOT ENOUGH, I TELL YOU.

Once we were ushered into Transfer Room B, I was waddling with my massive bladder. I told the ultrasound tech that I was pretty full, and she told me that was perfect. Until she scanned me and saw how full I was. Nothing like someone looking into your bladder and expressing shock. There is, apparently, too much pee for your own good.

Of course at this point, I have exactly no pants on. But I’ve been cleared for 20 seconds of peeing before the Doc comes in for the transfer and modesty can screw itself. I wrap a sheet around me and waddle out to the bathroom. I’m not usually one to wander around offices without my underware on, so this felt really weird. Not to mention that I ended up getting ultrasound jelly everywhere in the process. But yay for sweet relief!

Back in Transfer Room B, things are heating up. Lots of people come in and ask me my name and date of birth repeatedly. The Doc comes in, and the transfer process gets started in earnest.

The way this office is configured, it looks like the transfer rooms surround the lab. Each transfer room as two doors- one for the patients and staff to access, another for the lab and embryologists. Once I was deemed ready, one of the nurses opened the lab-side door and yells “Ready for transfer in room B.” The embryologist confirms “Ready for transfer in room B.” My little bundle of cells is escorted in, the actual transfer begins.

It felt a little bit like putting an order in a diner. Yes, Chef! Order up!

Throughout this process, I was focusing on staying relaxed. Or at least as relaxed as possible when your legs are in stirrups and your vagina is exposed to three relative strangers. The ultrasound tech pointed me to the screen (which I had been intentionally avoiding for fear it would send me into hyperventilation) and explained to me that I could watch the transfer. In seconds, what looked like one tiny air bubble appeared on the screen.

I’ve never been so freaking amazed by science in my life. Holy shit. Even if this doesn’t turn into a pregnancy, I was in awe. At that exact moment, there was the tiniest combination of mine and Mr. O’s cells hanging out in my uterus. This is a first.

And just like that, we were done. For the record, transferring is fine. Because my HSG and sonohysterogram were distinctly uncomfortable, I thought transfer would be the same or worse. Not the case. It may seem incredibly obvious, but with those other procedures you’re forcing quantities of fluid into your uterus. The transfer is just a wee bundle of cells. By comparison, it is practically delightful.

As we drove home, I looked at the small picture they gave us of the embryo currently nesting in my uterus. It’s so small. I can count the number of cells. For a split second, I found myself thinking “I wish you were bigger. I wish there were more of you. I wish…” And I stopped myself.

I haven’t thought about parenting in a while. After over 2 years of trying, it seemed so far outside my purview. But if I am going to be a parent, I refuse to start by putting my own outlandish expectations first, by wishing my child to be anything other than he or she is. My job now is to harbor that little mass of cells, to offer it shelter and safety. But that’s it.

So now we wait. My official pregnancy test is scheduled for Friday December 5th, and a whole new debate begins.

To preemptively pee on a stick or not to preemptively pee on a stick. That is the question.



  1. g2the4thpower · November 25, 2014

    So freaking exciting!!!! Thinking nothing but amazingly sticky thoughts for your itty bitty bundle!! Xx

    • thecommonostrich · November 25, 2014

      It really is amazing, isn’t it? I keep trying to temper my enthusiasm, but at least for that moment, it was so exciting to be in a state of possibility. It has been sooooo loooong since I’ve felt that.

      • g2the4thpower · November 25, 2014

        For sure! Keep up that positive thinking!!

  2. wtfovaries · November 25, 2014

    so excited for you!!! baby dust!!!!!

    • thecommonostrich · November 25, 2014

      Thanks! I’m cautiously optimistic about this. So very cautious.

  3. My Perfect Breakdown · November 25, 2014

    I am desperately hoping and wishing you sticky thoughts!! Sending you love!!

    • thecommonostrich · November 25, 2014

      Thanks! Even if this doesn’t work this time, I’m really grateful to have come this far. Now all I have to do is wait. You know, no big deal.

      • My Perfect Breakdown · November 25, 2014

        Sure, waiting, that’s always easy. Wishing you a peaceful wait, if that even exists. 🙂

  4. mamajo23 · November 25, 2014

    Yay- the embaby is home! Also- I have never been into drugs or alcohol much ( kind of a prude) but I LOVE Valium 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · November 25, 2014

      I know! Hopefully, it is setting up camp for a long stay. But even if it isn’t, I feel strangely grateful for having this moment. It was just the dash of hope I needed.

      Oh, I love me some Valium too. (This is literally the only way I survived a family wedding once.) Mostly, I think I was just paralyzed by the decision. If I made the choice to do it, I think I would have been fine. But give me something to obsess over, and I will take it.

  5. labmonkeyftw · November 25, 2014

    oh good luck, I will have all fingers crossed for you in your wait.
    A sciencey note because I can’t help myself: if you choose to pee on a stick early, don’t pee TOO early. I am guessing you had a trigger shot, which is the hormone implanted embryos produce, and what pregnancy tests detect. It can take 5-14 days for it to clear your system (usually about 10 for me). For me, anything visible 12 days post trigger I take as a positive, and then look for it to get darker not lighter. 🙂
    Again: I am hoping and wishing with you!

    • thecommonostrich · November 25, 2014

      You should start some kind of business translating sciencey talk into Ostrich. I google and get overwhelmed. Your comments always cut straight to the chase.

      Thank you so much for that. I think I’d like to do at least one test in the privacy of my own home. It may sound strange, but I want to be alone regardless of the results. Maybe I’ll just do it a day or two before the official blood test. Hmmm…. much to think about.

      • labmonkeyftw · November 26, 2014

        Ha! I swear, it’s as though in the summer of 2013 I supervised my own masters degree in reproductive endocrinology. “You say there’s something wrong with me? And it is biological in nature? I shall learn ALL the things.” A touch obsessive, this kid. Plus my sister’s been having me translate her procedures (and primary literature that might be interesting) for a while now.
        I absolutely understand, I’d rather find out myself than over the phone. A few days before the blood test should mean the trigger is well and truly out of your system. I tested my trigger out at one point, peeing on a stick every two days, and it was madness inducing. I don’t recommend the experience.

  6. Reb · November 26, 2014

    I just stumbled across your blog and I will be keeping my fingers and toes all crossed for you! I loved your comment at the end about not putting your own expectations on your baby, even as an embryo. You have such a great writing style. Thanks for being willing to sharing your experiences!

    • Reb · November 26, 2014

      *share, not sharing 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · December 1, 2014

      Thank you! It really hit me at that moment that this little bundle of cells is something new. Just a few more days of waiting…

  7. Elizabeth · November 27, 2014

    Wishing you huge amounts of pregnancy vibes from NYC! 🙂

  8. Haisla · November 28, 2014

    Ostrich – you are officially PUPO!!! Congrats!!! So excited for you!! Sending all sorts of baby-dusty and unicorn-vibey thoughts your way!!x

    • thecommonostrich · December 1, 2014

      I was so focused on peeing that it didn’t hit me until later how incredibly cool this is. (That full bladder is no joke.)

      I will take all the dusty-unicorny vibes you’ve got, dear!

  9. Lacey · November 30, 2014

    I’m taking a test on the 5th too (for our second IUI). SENDING YOU A THOUSAND GOOD THOUGHTS!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s