The Embryo Transfer

After the egg retrieval, we got news that 6 of the 9 eggs had fertilized.  So we started the next phase with 6 embryos total.  We were glad to hear that we could at least continue the process.

They let the embryos develop in a lab for a few days, where they observe them to see which ones are more likely to be the healthiest survivors.  Last time we did this, 5 embryos did not survive.  So we knew anything could happen here.

A few days later, we got up before daylight to go in for the embryo transfer (the second and final procedure of IVF).

Prior to that, we hadn’t gotten any word about whether or not the embryos were progressing, so it was actually a relief to hear that they wanted to make an appointment with us at all for an embryo transfer.  That meant at least one must have survived!

When we showed up at 6:00 am, we sat and waited for our turn, still not sure how many embryos we had.

They finally called us in…

As soon as we got into the procedure room, we were then told that we actually still had all 6 embryos and that they were ALL great quality.  This was great to hear.

And so, right then and there, we had to decide how many embryos to transfer into my body.

My doctor recommended to transfer “at least two.”

We decided three.  There is less than a 5% chance that all 3 embryos will take.  But the chances of twins may be greater.  We’d take twins.

So, I laid there on the table with all kinds of tools and instruments inside me….(I’m so done with that part!)….and we watched on a screen above us where they had the entire process magnified for us to watch.  Danny held my hand.  We could see them collecting the embryos from a dish, then inserting them into my body.  1, 2, 3.  Pretty crazy.  It all happens in about 10 minutes.

They had me remain lying down for about 30-45 minutes.  Then I just got up and got dressed and walked outta there into the New York morning with THREE EMBRYOS IN MY BODY.  That part is nuts.  I keep forgetting that they are there.

Danny suggested that I lay the seat back in the car.  I knew it wasn’t necessary, but I still did it as he was very sweet about it.  ๐Ÿ™‚

We drove off into the foggy, New York morning.

And then we came home to a wonderful nap.

I know it’s common to have such a nerve racking experience while waiting for the results.  For me, that hasn’t been the case.  In fact, I hardly think about it unless someone mentions it.  I guess I’ve just been through what feels like hundreds of these “what if” moments that it just doesn’t even phase me anymore.  I’m still just focused on getting through the continued injections and drugs.  Though the weight of feeling like I’m abusing my body is lessening as the end is in sight.  I mostly just feel relieved that I won’t have to do the drugs anymore…and that there will be a conclusion to this decade long chapter of my life.  It will be the start of a new life, either way. 

P.S.  In case anyone is wondering, I don’t feel one bit pregnant.  Same as I felt last time.  But certainly many people do not have any symptoms.

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  1. Jo Schaeffer-Crabb October 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you for blogging and being so open. I'm in a similar boat as you, trying to decide if the treatments and all of it is my will or God's. I think the desire to have children is a good one and at the same time, I wonder if perhaps its just not meant to be and I need to let go. I find hope in the peace that you are finding.

  2. Tanya October 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Sometimes we just have to let go. Maybe all those feelings that youโ€™re having is just your way of truly letting go. Being pregnant with our fourth child I learned this time around that I had to let go of the control. I knew I wanted another baby but we struggled to get pregnant and it was hard! Finally when I surrendered and truly became ok with whatever happened is when I actually got pregnant. It's amazing the stress/pressure we can place on our bodies without even realizing it. For me, letting that stress/pressure go changed everything. Being a parent is amazing and I hope that you don't give up on that. Just remember that you have lots of options and you have lots of time! Sometimes with Mormon culture we tend to feel too old to be Mother's if we haven't started in our early 20's, but that is so not the case! Best wishes to you!

    • mara October 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      Hello, dear Tanya…I've actually had a different experience with infertility than most. I completely let go of it maybe 7 years ago. I have been more at peace than ever and since then have not felt the pain, agony, stress, pressure, or anxiety associated with infertility. For some, I think stress does play a factor in their ability to get pregnant, but for me, that hasn't been the case.

  3. k8te October 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    fingers are crossed for you. either outcome i know there's a baby out there for you! you two will be the best parents!

  4. Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Having been through it myself, I can only wish you good luck and happy thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚ – KEG

  5. Emma D. October 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Fingers tightly crossed for you, though I truly believe you will live a full and happy life together no matter what the outcome. And, for what it's worth, the day I had my pregnancy test for our second round (after the first failed), my doctor asked how I was doing. I looked at him, feeling totally "whatever," and said, "I feel exactly the same as I did last time, so pretty sure it's a no." He said, "with all due respect, I've heard that many times" (in a very kind way) and although I felt completely negative… he was right, and I'm pregnant. I think the drugs did such a number on me that I couldn't feel anything my body was adding to the equation, if that makes any sense. xo

  6. Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. When will you find out if you are pregnant? Sending positive vibes your way!

  7. L October 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Hope you can enjoy this time! After our transfer, I knew there was a higher than 50% chance that our one embryo would not implant, so I decided to just make the most of the few days we had together. We went for a lovely walk and just took in the beautiful August sunlight over a field on "baby's first (and last) walk," and other such events. In the end, it did implant–much to my shock–and I still treasure the memory of those first few days together. (FWIW, I didn't feel anything at all until at least a week after the transfer, and then things were very subtle for the first few days.)

  8. marlene October 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    I can't wait for you to start the next phase of a wonderful life. Rest, relax, rejuvenate. Have you watched the documentary Forks Over Knives? Very interesting and right up your alley if you haven't seen it already. Fingers crossed over here for you both! Thanks for sharing. You're really an amazing person.

  9. Kim October 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I have a really good feeling about this for you! I got pregnant through IVF and didn't feel the slightest bit pregnant either. In fact I was so shocked to find out I was pregnant I felt sure it was a mistake ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm sending you both all the positive thoughts I can.

  10. Sloane Phillips October 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Rooting for you!

  11. Sarah October 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    I didn't feel one bit pregnant after our embryo transfer either… But I just put two 9 month old babies down for their naps ๐Ÿ™‚ praying for you guys! Will you be able to freeze any of the other embryos?

  12. Nora October 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Oh, how so wonderfully exciting! I'm so glad things have been progressing for you both. I know that whatever the result, you and Danny will be full and happy and deep with radiance.
    Sending you love and prayers!

  13. Mary Schaubert October 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Praying for you! I am so impressed by your attitude about this and totally respect that you have accepted whatever will happen, but of course, I wish you a successful and healthy pregnancy as a result nevertheless!

  14. Miggy October 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Super SUPER exciting stuff. Either way the beginning of a new life…I like that. Best of luck to you two and glad to have you back.

  15. Joe and Joanne October 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Oh my husband and I are so excited for you and Danny, Mara! I think you're taking this all so well and whatever happens I know you both have miraculous adventures ahead; whether that is as parents or as you said in an earlier post, something else. I don't know where you are in the 2WW, but if it gives you any hope, my husband and I just found out we're pregnant with one baby from a two blastocyst transfer a month ago (one survived; one didn't) and I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary during the 2WW. I know every woman is different and maybe some do feel a change or something different but for me it was really too early then to feel much of anything different — but one took! So we know something was happening. You'll be in our prayers!

  16. Steph October 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    MARA!!!! It is so good to have you back. You are always such a wonderful reminder and example of just taking a deep breath and doing your best. And then letting what happens happen!

    I know you feel like you are killing yourself and harming your body with all the drugs. And long term that would definitely be true. But take heart that it is a sacrifice your body can handle in order to make sure you have the possibility of a pregnancy. (insert boring, truly unimportant blah blah blah "I'm a nurse" stuff here!) Either way I think this sacrifice you have asked your body to make will make you a stronger better person.
    A few years ago…before entering the blog world I would have NEVER imagined praying for a total stranger. But please know both you and Danny are in my prayers specifically and by name. I pray that His Will will be done, that you will have peace with either, and also that your body will take the help to work as it should, and heal when it is all said and done.

    I can't begin to tell you how much many of your posts have meant to me and have changed my outlook on life.
    Thanks soo soo much! FINGERS CROSSED!!!!

  17. Jess Bird October 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Good luck! I will be praying for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Annie Goddard October 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Whatever the outcome, wishing you lots of luck and love.

  19. The Lewis Farm October 25, 2013 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Same here, Mara. 3 embryos transferred, felt NOTHING even though I was pregnant with twins (losing one at 8wks). Please know your readers are going through this with you and hoping the absolute best for you guys. XO

  20. Rachel October 25, 2013 at 12:05 am - Reply

    My thoughts and my prayers are with you and Danny and those three embryos. As a Certified Nurse Midwife, I have so much appreciated following you on your journey to this new attempt, this new venture of hope. It has given me a valuable insight into the struggles that many of my patients encounter. I'm impressed with your stoicism at this juncture, it gives me and so many others the hope that we can find that same sense of peace, no matter where our path takes us. As just another blog reader, I find myself holding my breath out here, in a sympathetic alliance so similar to what I do with my patients as they labor to deliver. You are doing such a beautiful job of breathing your way through. Big hug!

  21. Anonymous October 25, 2013 at 2:20 am - Reply

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Danny. I so love reading your blog.
    Thank you for the time and effort.

  22. Leanne Rees October 25, 2013 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Mara and Danny I have missed your voices on this blog but knew that you guys were focusing on this round of IVF and I have been thinking about you often. I'm so happy for the two of you and how your lives are on teh brink of something new, no matter how the IVF turns out. SO glad to be able to share and talk with you on your blog again. Lots of love to you!

  23. hustontrio October 25, 2013 at 11:30 am - Reply

    beautiful, beautiful you…i love your story. blessings to you and danny today and always.

  24. CSB October 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    You and Danny are such a wonderful, REAL presence in my life through your words and pictures. Your IVF journey is so personal yet you have transformed it into a powerful message and learning experience for the rest of us. Wishing you the very best.

  25. Michael Smith December 1, 2013 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Angie provided stellar service with key coordination, follow up and follow through! The move day was flawless with friendly, professional folks. I had personally boxed everything and it ran smoothly. noosa transfers

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