FET #2 – Small Dramas

Waiting for second embryo to de thaw, FET, infertility

So, we successfully had our second embryo transfer on Friday, but things didn’t quite go according to plan. Throughout the whole day we kept having these little hiccups that have left me dubious about getting a positive pregnancy test this go around. I don’t want to be a negative nancy, but I’m really not sure what to expect. Let me back up and tell you what happened . . .

Friday morning I felt nervous but excited. Since this was our second frozen embryo transfer (FET), I felt confident on what to expect. Just like last time we drove up to the hospital with extra time for traffic, I took my valium an hour before the procedure, and we quickly sat down to wait for our first acupuncture session right on time. And then things started to go awry. Because we didn’t do acupuncture for our last FET, we really had no idea if we were sitting in the right waiting area, and my husband dutifully went off to find the right spot to wait. Information sent us upstairs to urology, (which in hindsight makes no sense, but by that point the valium had kicked in) and I didn’t question it. After we successfully surmounted the hospital maze and found urology, we were informed that we were in the wrong spot. Eventually a doctor had to escort us back downstairs to our original starting point, where we were quickly called back for our acupuncture session. The acupuncturist and nurses mentioned that they were wondering where the hell we had gone. So that was hiccup number 1.

Hiccup number 2 happened soon thereafter in the prep area. We were informed that taking photos was going to be limited to the acupuncture and prep area only. *sigh* I was really bummed about not being able take photos for this transfer. I was looking forward to being able to document each embryo transfer, but the doctors weren’t having it. I didn’t like it, but there was nothing I could do.

And then once I had changed into my flouncy hospital gown and blue hair net, the acupuncturist started the session along with hiccup number 3. While I was laying on the table, with the acupuncture needles in various locations and tranquil music playing in the background, the embryologist walked in and informed us that the our de thawed embryo had started to degrade. It was not likely to survive, and we had to decide if we were okay with de thawing another embryo right away and whether we wanted to insert the degraded embryo in the small chance that the embryo survived. My initial reaction was actually kinda factual. We had a problem, and in my brain I was trying to figure out the best solution for our situation. I gave the okay to de thaw the next embryo on our list, and decided that we would not be inserting the degraded embryo. It wasn’t until the embryologist left that I had more time to process what a degraded embryo meant. And even though I fully understood that we were losing a chance at getting a baby, the valium really prevented me from feeling those emotions fully. And to be honest, I was a little grateful to delay those emotions until today. Feeling sad and distraught about the loss of that embryo wasn’t going to help me during the transfer. And for a change, my husband was having a harder time emotionally with the loss than I was. It was a surreal moment.

wrapped up during acupuncture
Right before receiving the bad news about our embryo.

Then, about 15 minutes later we were informed that the initial de thaw of the next embryo had been performed and that they were ready for us. I walked next door to the transfer room, started to get situated, and then the embryologist showed us images of the second de thawed embryo. And once I saw those images, I knew we were going to have a problem (yep, here is hiccup number 4). From what I saw, the second embryo looked almost exactly like the first embryo 15 minutes after de thaw. Maybe a little worse. I just didn’t trust that the second embryo wasn’t going to degrade like the first, and I really pushed back to wait longer than 15 minutes to see if the second embryo was likely to survive. With all of the medical masks and hairnets covering faces, I had a hard time judging reactions. But the doctors and nurses accommodated my request, and luckily there was a cancellation in the doctor’s schedule to allow us to wait. So an hour and a half later (and one more valium) the embryo was de thawing well and considered in “fair” condition. There was nothing to do at that point but continue with the transfer and get out of everyone’s hair. The transfer procedure went well, and the embryo successfully slid into place like it was supposed to. We didn’t get our second session with the acupuncturist after the transfer, but I can’t say that I was super disappointed. The valium wouldn’t allow it.

And now I am here at home. Waiting. And feeling a little uneasy about the outcome of this pregnancy. I would love to do nothing more than curl up on the couch and sleep, but my 3 year old is not going to let that happen. Emotionally I’m okay, despite losing the one embryo. It helps that both my husband and my mom are here helping today so that I can pause every so often and wonder what the hell went wrong with that de thaw. I am hoping for a positive pregnancy result in a week and a half, but I can’t help but feel a little suspicious. I just want this to all work out so that I don’t have to deal with being infertile anymore.

4 responses to “FET #2 – Small Dramas”

  1. Oh no, that must have been very unsettling to receive news that your chosen embie didn’t make it, but I am sure they wouldn’t transfer that second embie if they weren’t confident in, and they would tell you that at least. I will have my fingers crossed for you!!! Congratulations on being PUPO!!

    1. Thank you for keeping your fingers crossed! I would love it if the results were positive!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you all the best.

    1. Thank you. I really appreciate it 🙂

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