We’re pregnant…

August 9, 2008

…until proven otherwise!

Today went so extremely well.  Most of you know me, and know that I am a “glass half-empty” type of person most of the time.  I don’t actually mean to be like that; I would actually prefer to call myself a “realist” rather than a pessimist, but take that how you will.  Anyway, today I am a “glass half-full” kind of girl AND an optimist, and that’s because our embryo transfer couldn’t have gone any more perfectly.  We walked out of the clinic this morning with huge smiles on our face, just knowing that this is it for us.  We’re pregnant.  We just know it.

Jeff wanted to stop by this place called Duffy’s to pick up some “Duffyrolls” (the most DELICIOUS breakfast rolls I have ever had, by the way) for the nurses, doctors, and staff at our clinic.  This is why I married that man, he is just so thoughtful and generous to everyone – and I had no problem sucking up to the people who are going to help to make our dreams of having a baby (or babies) come true.  So, we drove there, got a couple dozen mini-rolls in assorted flavors, and a decaf coffee (that I later spilled on myself as I was taking a small sip).  We had some great conversation on the way to the clinic, reflecting on this long-ass journey, that we were finally on the final stretch.  It seemed so surreal that all of the time and preparation for this was going to come down to several minutes, but sure enough, it did.

When we got to the clinic, we met with Lynn, the acupuncturist that we hired to come do my pre and post-embryo transfer acupuncture.  She had me take off my shoes and socks, lay on the massage table, lower my yoga pants, and lift my shirt up a little bit.  She put needles on the top of my head, in my ears, in the inside of my elbow, four of them in my lower abdomen, and a few in my lower legs and feet.  She left me there for about 10 minutes, relaxing and listening to this CD that was created specifically for pre-transfer clients (it was super cheesy and dumb though, so I had to block it out and use my own visualization techniques).  She then came in, tweaked the needles a bit, and left me to relax for about 15 more minutes.  It was heavenly.  I did such a great job with visualizing our little embryos (that I hadn’t seen yet) being injected into my uterus, and then I followed that with visualizing them hatching open and attaching to the lining of my uterus.  It was beautiful.

When I was done with the acupuncture, Jeff and I went into the embryology consult room to meet with Sherri, the embryologist.  This meeting was what I had been a little apprehensive about.  I don’t know why I was so worried (maybe because we didn’t get updates on Thursday or Friday on how our little embies were doing), but we had absolutely NOTHING to worry about.  Our embies were PERFECT.  We had seven perfect, grade A blastocysts that were waiting for us, and Sherri had already picked the two blastos that she would prepare to be transferred into me in a few short minutes. 

Sidebar for a sec – Remember what blastocysts are?  They are basically just embryos that are at an advanced stage of development when two cell types present – one group of cells that eventually forms the placenta, and another group that goes on to form the fetus.  These types of embryos are ready for implantation – in fact, implantation should be occurring for us in the next 24 hours!!!  In naturally achieved pregnancies, the egg is released into the fallopian tubes, where it meets with the sperm.  The resulting embryo starts off as a single cell, and then divides into two cells, four cells, eight cells, 16 cells, etc – until it reaches several hundred cells at the time of implantation, and reaches the “blastocyst” stage at day five or six after ovulation.  In both cases, the blastocyst will “hatch” from its shell in the next few hours, and will then be ready to attach itself to the inside of the uterine wall.  Pretty freakin’ cool, huh?

Sherri showed us some pictures of our little guys (or girls).  They were really cool.  The first picture she showed us was the actual ICSI process, complete with my egg and Jeff’s sperm (magnified by thousands, I would imagine), and that was so very cool.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing science really is, as nerdy and cheesy as that sounds.  The next picture she showed us was the day after she fertilized my eggs with Jeff’s sperm, known as Day 1.  You could see the cell division starting, it was really neat.  The next set of pictures she showed us were our blastocysts, and those were by far the coolest pictures I’ve ever seen.  There were our “Super Seven” on one print out, and our other 4 slackers (I have to take a jab at ourselves somehow) on the other picture.  Of the “Super Seven”, she magnified the two lucky ones on another photo, so that we would be able to visualize the two living embryos that would be inside me so very soon.  I got really emotional at this point, I cried a little bit, and squeezed Jeff’s hand tightly underneath the table.  It was really, really amazing to really think about what we were about to do here.

The remaining 5 blastos will be cryopreserved (frozen) so that we can either (1) use them at a later date for a sibling or another chance if this weren’t to work or (2) donate them to Stanford’s stem cell research program (which is what we will be doing if and when this works and we have our little one, or ones, in our arms).  Jeff’s dad, Art, has Parkinson’s, and I am friends with several women who live with MS, so stem cell research is VERY near and dear to our hearts.  We would be honored to be able to contribute any leftover embryos we may have to try to help to find cures for both of these debilitating diseases.

Now for the actual embryo transfer.  I’m really glad that I was awake during this procedure, because it was so neat (and painless).  I came in and laid down on the oh-so-familiar bed with the stirrups, only this time, I got to hang my legs over the stirrups instead of put my feet into them – thank God!  Sooo much more comfortable!  The ultrasound tech squirted some jelly on my lower abdomen so that she could use the ultrasound wand to get a good view of my cervix and uterus for the doctor.  Then, Dr. Swanson came in and told us how beautiful our embryos looked, and that we should be good to go for a successful pregnancy – YAY!!!!  The rest of the procedure went really quickly.  He put a speculum on me, cleared out all of the gunk that was in the way (sorry for the TMI), and then inserted a thin catheter through my cervix, into my uterus.  We could see it on the ultrasound monitor.  Then, Dr. S hollered at Sherri that he was “ready to go”, and Sherri brought in a little tube (filled with our blastos) that was then attached to the catheter.  Dr. Swanson asked us if Jeff and I were ready, to which we exclaimed, “YES!”, and then he “pulled the trigger”.  Jeff and I then watched the ultrasound monitor as we saw the little air bubbles plop into my uterus, which meant the transfer was complete!  I got a little bit emotional again at this point, tears were just flowing out of my eyes thinking about how damn cool that just was.  Jeff, in his typical smartass form, then asked me if it “was as good for me as it was for him”, and I just laughed right out loud.  Have I mentioned how much I love that man?

They had me elevate my hips for about 10 minutes, and that’s when we took several photos.  I just laid there thinking about everything that had just happened, and what would be to come, and I couldn’t have been more positive and excited than I was at that particular point.

Then I went back into the recovery room for my post-transfer acupuncture.  I asked Lynn if I could scrap the CD I was listening to before, and she obliged and let me listen to some relaxing music instead.  She put needles on the top of my head, in my ears, in between my thumb and forefinger, right above my knees, right below my knees, and on my inner ankles.  Then, she put two on my lower abdomen, in a different position than before, and she told me that these needles were “the welcoming committee” for the new lives inside my body.  Awwww.  Damn tears.  She left me alone for about 10 minutes, came and tweaked the needles, and then left me for about 15-20 more minutes.  Jeff came in the room towards the end and snapped some photos before Lynn came in and took the needles out and sent us on our way.

Today was just so surreal, I hope I have captured it in a way that you all feel like you were with us.  I am so glad we have been keeping this blog, as this will be a nice way to “document” how we started our journey to parenthood, and not everyone gets this opportunity (see, looking at the situation as “half-full”, aren’t you proud of me, mom?).

I’m off to figure out what I want my husband to get us for dinner, and won’t likely be back on tonight, but please stay tuned for updates as I over-analyze symptoms and such in the next 10 days…

Love and hugs to everyone,

Kerry

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23 Responses to “We’re pregnant…”

  1. Angelika said

    That was beautifully written Kerry. I hope to see all your wonderful pictures some day. Take good care of yourself and the embies and get lots of rest.

  2. Tarah said

    Just stoping by to let you know I’m thinking of you and your embies. Get some rest and take good care of yourself.

    And congrats an such a wonderful cycle. I can’t wait to see pictures of everything and I’m waiting to see the video. 🙂

    Take care…

  3. Peggy said

    Yup Dear One, I’m very proud of you. I love the “glass half full” stuff from you. I’m not so sure I like it when you make me cry but I’m not sure anyone could read this without a few tears in their eyes. It will be a wonderful record for your little one.

  4. Brandi said

    Thank you so much for being so open and sharing all of the details. Today sounds like it went beautifully! I can’t wait to meet your baby/babies in 9 months. I’ll be thinking about you guys during the next 10 LONG days and sending all of the positive thoughts I have in your direction. I can’t wait to hear the good news. Big Hugs!!

  5. Ondrea said

    omg – non-emotional me is sitting her crying I’m so happy for you! How incredible this journey has been and what an amazing day for you and Jeff. You are already incredible parents. (((HUGS)))

  6. Megan said

    That is so wonderful! You and Jeff has such a great relationship. I hope, no – I know, that you will have a product of that love in several months!

  7. Brenda said

    I am so happy for you two! It sounds like today was the perfect climax to your amazing story. I am looking forward to hearing good news in less than two weeks! 🙂

  8. Kari said

    Yeah! Sounds like it worked! Can’t wait to hear the news….I am so happy for you both!

  9. Lanie & Shane said

    We know that you are pregnant. And we can’t wait to celebrate the proof!

  10. Ann said

    Beautiful, just beautiful!

  11. Amber said

    I’m so glad it was such a positive experience for you. Best of luck in the coming days, weeks and months!

  12. Sara said

    Thank you so much for sharing this journey!! Lots of happy tears are flowing for you and Jeff.

  13. Cathy said

    That sounds so amazing. Almost spiritual. Cool!

    You are going to be SOOO ready for childbirth after all you’ve had to endure to get PG 🙂 Wanna see my cervix? What the heck?

  14. Kim said

    Congrats on your transfer. So happy everything went so well for you guys.

  15. shawnandlarissa said

    I just read your last few blogs. I am praying for your embabies! Stick babies, stick! What an exciting process. Love, hugs, prayers.

  16. Andrea said

    Kerry- This post made me tear up! I am so happy for the two of you. There are few things I would want more for a stranger(friend) than for you to get pregnant. I truly believe that this journey is on its way to a close for a new (and better) journey into parenthood!

  17. Melissa said

    Ahh that is amazing. Congrats – I’m glad things went so smooth! Hugs and prayers!

  18. Pesky said

    Yay!!! I’m so excited for you guys! And can’t wait to hear beta news next!!!!

  19. Noell said

    Wow! Thank you Kerry (and Jeff) for sharing your journey with us! You two deserve all the happiness that comes with pregnancy and babies! I can’t wait for the upcoming pregnancy posts!! How cool will it be to re-read this post when you are about to give birth and when you are cuddling with your little one(s)!

  20. Joe & Lorraine said

    Thanks so much for sharing your most wonderful day with us. We are so very happy, excited and thrilled that you are pregnant!!

  21. Stacy said

    Wow Kerry – I am emotional just reading about this day. I have been out of town and catching up on all of the nesties and I had to start with your blog. i wish you and Jeff nothing but the best and you are in fantastic hands with Dr. S.

  22. Paul said

    Congrats, guy!!! We’re happy for you. Twins??!!

    Love,

    Paul and Meg

  23. […] you would like to read a full recap of our embryo transfer last year, you can find it here.  It’s late, we just got home from Nebraska (after 10 hours in a car), and I’m too […]

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