Surrogacy Series #4- Transfer Day!

Hi all!  Apparently, last time I got a little too confident about blogging weekly.  Justin started a new job and it has been a bit of a struggle adjusting to our new schedule and all the moving parts that come with having two full time jobs and raising a three year old.  But writing is important to me and I am going to need to learn to squeeze it in somewhere!

The story so far has led us right up to Transfer Day!!!

Stacy had been faithfully following the protocol leading up to this day.  She had graciously been administering drugs and shots to get her body ready to actually transfer the embryos.  She passed all the requirements and we got the green light to proceed with the transfer as scheduled.

This day has always been a day full of many powerful emotions for me.  I had experienced 5 of them at the time of this story, so I knew the drill by heart. I knew about getting the call from the embryologist in the morning, the long drive up to Del Mar, sitting in the waiting room with clenched hands and nervous minds, meeting the embryologist and seeing a picture of our little babies, the relatively painless and fast process of transferring the embryos, laying in the dark and quiet room alone in my thoughts and prayers afterward, and the equally long drive home with the astonishing feeling that there were now more than just the two of us in the car.

But today would be different. 

There would be 2 more of us crowded in that little room.  I wouldn’t be lying on the table.  I wouldn’t be in the dark with my hand over my belly, praying for God to give us these precious lives.  I would drive home with an empty womb.  That felt strange and a little sad.

But I also remember having a deep sense of deep relief.  I knew that my miscarriages weren’t my fault- as if I willed them in some way or chose to be ill-equipped to carry life all of a sudden.  But when my body failed me time after time, it was easy to feel guilty… as if I failed my own children as their mother.  On this transfer day, I felt relieved of the pressure.  Since these embryos had already been created, I was relieved to step aside and give them a fighting chance in someone else’s’ womb.  If I couldn’t take care of them myself, at least I could let someone else try.

And I knew God had His hand on this whole thing.  I felt like I was in the right place with just the right people.  And I was so grateful to my beautiful friend for her offer.

But before the transfer could take place, we had to get the call from our embryologist to tell us how things went with the thaw.  Since we had WAY more embryos (18 to be exact) than we could transfer originally, the remaining 16 were frozen in 2011 when we got pregnant with Jack.  Every time we did a cycle, the embryologist had to do a special process of unfreezing them and getting them ready to be transfered. Crazy, right?  So on transfer day, they call us to tell us how that process went.

On all 5 previous transfers, every single one of our 10 embryos had thawed beautifully.

But on this transfer day, the embryologist started the call with a somber tone.  We were planning on transferring two so the embryologist had thawed the next two in line.  But she revealed that one of ours had not survived the thaw.  I was NOT expecting that news.  It had never happened before and it socked me in the gut.  It was like I hadn’t emotionally budgeted for a loss this early in the process. It made me fearful that these embryos weren’t as strong as some of the earlier ones and worried we were fighting a losing battle.

We gave the embryologist permission to thaw one more.  We wouldn’t know how it went until we got there, so it threw me off for the whole morning.  If I was fairly calm and put together before this, I certainly wasn’t anymore.  I was a full blown bundle of nerves.

I wrapped up a few calls for work and Justin and I made the 45 minutes trek up to the clinic.  We met Stacy and Justin in the parking lot and exchanged excited and nervous greetings.  Was this real life? Was this really happening???

We got checked in and the four of us crammed into the exam room.  Our embryologist came in and met us all.  She explained that the third embryos had thawed perfectly and gave us the picture.  She asked us what we wanted to do with the one that hadn’t survived.  We had a quick, unplanned discussion with Stacy and Justin.  Would she be comfortable with transferring all three?  We all agreed to proceed with that choice, feeling like we wanted it completely out of our hands.  If God wanted to do a miracle, we didn’t want to stand in the way.  It had less than a 1% chance of surviving, but we felt more comfortable giving it a chance to beat the odds.  I was grateful Stacy agreed.

Here are the two healthy ones (our baby girl is one of these!!!)

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And here is the third one….

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It just added to the strangeness of the day, though.  It was hard to process all of these unexpected curveballs.

But eventually, our doctor- a short, energetic and empathetic woman- came in and warmly greeted us.  She shared her excitement for this day and we all said how badly we wanted it to work.  Justin and I stood at the head of the bed to ensure privacy 🙂 and within a few minutes the embryos were transferred!

After the transfer, the doctor does a quick ultrasound to make sure they ended up in the right spot.  So we got a picture of our baby girl the moment she settled into Stacy’s womb!

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We stepped out while Stacy laid and rested for 20 minutes.  Justin and I sat in the waiting room hand in hand silently. They came out and we all walked out of the clinic.

And then our dreaded ten day wait until the pregnancy test began…..

2 Comments

2 Comments on Surrogacy Series #4- Transfer Day!

  1. Lisa B says:

    I recently discovered your blog (through another blog, “Diana Wrote”) and immediately was drawn in. You are an amazing writer and I cannot wait to hear more your journey. You most recent blog post left a little bit of a cliffhanger, with waiting for the pregnancy test 🙂

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