Transfer Day – No Joke!

April Fools transfer day? Well, in the world of surrogacy where they are manipulating and medicating two women, who live halfway across the world from each other, to line them up for a fresh embryo transfer … you take what you can get!

IM had her egg retrieval on March 27th, and they retrieved 25 eggs! In the past 5 days, as we hit each day the number went down. 18 were mature, 15 fertilized properly. After three days, there were 12 still growing. Today, 10. The IPs opted for PGD testing, which determines whether there are chromosomal issues with the embryos, or whether they are viable.

We sat and waited for an hour past our appointment this morning, waiting for the PGD results. And here is our one, beautiful, viable embryo:

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And here is me, resting post-transfer with my lucky leg warmers! I’m not sure why but apparently yellow is considered the lucky transfer colour.

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The transfer went well, it’s a mildly uncomfortable procedure, but nothing unbearable. And we women get used to doctors up in our business, am I right ladies? There’s nothing like sitting with your legs up in stirrups, and having the doctor walk in, fling the drape up and declare “Let’s make a baby!!”

Please send any prayers, positive & sticky thoughts that you can spare 💗

Transfer & the Two Week Wait

And so it begins. The two week wait (insert appropriate mood music here).

The transfer went well, as much as that ever tells anyone about the outcome. We transferred one 5-day embryo, it thawed out nicely apparently, so that’s always a good thing. I can’t imagine being hormoned up, prepped and waiting … and then to hear that the embryo didn’t survive the thaw.

Intended Father (IF) remained in the waiting room, and Intended Mother (IM) and I went to get gowned, capped, paper-shoed, and the like. Then we waited. And waited. For an hour longer than anticipated. It was one of those moments in life where it stretches out to an eternity – and you don’t know if you are actually waiting longer than you anticipated, or if the feeling is being created and moulded by the circumstances. If the nerves stretched taut, tears welling close to the surface, sheer emotion of the moment is distorting time.

IM and I spoke, in our little curtained room. About family, food (we both love to cook), learning English, about nothing too serious … just the general feeling out of new acquaintances. She speaks English well, better than she thinks. But gets frustrated at herself when she can’t come up with the word she wants.

We kept it pretty light, no “what ifs”, no planning of how the next visit will be. If this transfer takes, they will come to my hometown for the 20 week ultrasound. If not, I don’t know if they will make it for the next transfer.

When they moved us to the transfer room, she was overcome with emotion and said “no serious talk!!” The first thing I thought to ask was “What is your favourite colour?”, and so we discussed all the things that were blue in her house. And then in mine.

The transfer itself is over and done with in about 10 minutes. We held hands, held breath.

And now, we wait. IM doesn’t want any home pregnancy tests done before the two week blood test. IF says if I decide to do one, I could email him the results, and he promises not to tell her. And I, well I waffle between the two stances. Time will tell.

Transfer Day!!!

Good morning, world!

Transfer Day has arrived! Thankfully, so have the Intended Parents. It was dicey there for a bit, as they got caught up in the fallout from the Air France strike. They ended up being delayed by a day and a half, but arrived yesterday afternoon.

They are absolutely just as lovely in person as their emails indicated.

I’ve eaten my pineapple, I’m dressed and ready to go, and since the TV selection here leaves a lot to be desired, I am posting here instead.

Pineapple, you ask? Is there a reason for that? Why, yes there is! The surro sisters in the support group swear that there is something about pineapple that makes embryo transfers stick. So I had cut up an entire pineapple while still at home (because of course it had to be the fruit that is the hardest to cut up!) and carried it here in my carry on and I’ve been snacking on it for the past couple days. It can’t hurt, right?

We should be heading off shortly here, our contract is ready, but not signed, and it needs to be in place before they will perform the transfer. What’s that saying about if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done?

As we say in the group, think sticky thoughts for me (as in embryo sticking)!

Let’s Roll

I really can’t believe how fast this is all going! For the last 16 months or so, I’ve watched my surro sisters in our support group go through the process – match, screen, transfer, test, conceive or not (& often at that point it repeats – transfer, test, repeat). All the while, I have been on the sidelines, matched, screened & waiting. Endlessly waiting, or so it seemed.

My experience also became the experience of those close to me. Many of the people who are following my journey don’t know anyone else who has gone through this, and so their perception of this process is filtered through my experiences. This means that I get a lot of comments of “Seriously?! Already?!!” as things happen. “You’re transferring already??

I’ve seen surrogates due dates be close to the one year anniversary of matching with their Intended Parents. My experience with the first IPs was definitely the exception to the rule. Generally, these people have been waiting so long, they want to get rolling on the process!!

My current IPs gave me the choice of when to transfer. Once the screening was complete, they asked when I felt ready to go. They are the farthest thing from pushy, and so willing to work with me (in fact, follow my lead) – rather than set an agenda that they want me to follow. I don’t want to be in charge of their journey, not by a long shot. However, to be asked and listened to, and to have my perspective considered, really makes me feel valued.

For my own reasons, I was ready to get going as soon as we could. The emails went something like this “Whenever you are ready to get started…” “I’m ready now, are you ready now?” “We’re ready now” “Let’s roll!!”

While I remain aware that not all transfers take, and I may end up waiting yet again (they only have one embryo ready to go – if this transfer isn’t successful, then they would need to retrieve more eggs, and create more embryos. I don’t have experience with this part of it yet, so I’m unsure of the time frame on that process). However, I’m 37 now (no spring chicken per both my mother & my doctor), and I’ve been off my medication & symptomatic with my arthritis and psoriasis for almost a year and half now. I still really want to do this, but I want to do it now. (And we now how much the Universe likes to line itself up with my wishes, yes? Haha)

Assuming all goes smoothly, I will be back in Toronto for the transfer in less than two weeks! Fingers crossed and positive thoughts, please!

First Time Fail

I’ll put in some back story in my next few posts, but I’ll start with where we are at today.

And that is with a BFN, as it’s called. A Big Fat Negative. It’s been a little under three weeks since the embryo transfer. This past Monday was the blood test where you get final word on the success or failure of the transfer.

It’s been emotionally trying for me- I can’t begin to imagine what it’s been like for the Intended Parents. And they aren’t saying much to me, so imagining is all I have at this point.

I don’t think I need to be their confidante or person to lean on, I’m fairly sure that isn’t my job. I’m happy to listen if needed, but at the same time- I feel like I’ve put a lot into this process already. To give myself over as a sounding board when I tend to take on other peoples emotions … well, I feel like a little distance at this point is healthy for all of us.

I don’t know where we stand for another transfer at this point. This transfer used the last two embryos they had, so it would require them finding a new egg donor. I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of that side of it. In the contract I agreed to four transfers in a year, so I’m good to go should they decide to keep trying.

Right now, I’m working on remembering that most things are just plain out of my control. And that’s ok. >