Friday, May 30, 2014

Hearts United Hoping for a Womb Divided AKA Transfer Day!

At our clinic, you don't find out your transfer time until the day before, as the lab has to plan around all of the other transfers that day. We had requested an early afternoon appointment if possible, as Ellen was scheduled for an acupuncture session at 9am that morning.  Research shows that acupuncture before and after transfer can aid in implantation as it helps to increase uterine blood flow.  The day before our scheduled transfer, I got an email from my nurse giving me my time (afternoon as requested).  However, she also told me that a different doctor who we had not yet met would be performing our transfer since our RE, Dr. Toledo couldn't be there as he had a surgery that day.  When I read that I immediately burst into tears.  We have known Dr. Toledo since late 2011 and had been through many challenges and tears with him. Dr. Toledo had shared that he went through four failed IVF's with his second wife before they finally got pregnant with their daughter on their fifth attempt.  While I think he probably had an amazing bedside manner prior to this, that experience certainly made him even more compassionate.   Though we were sure other doctors were competent,  we really wanted our transfer to be with a doctor that cared about us and understood our journey.  We believed Dr. Toledo wanted this too, as he had made a point to tell us that we would be sure to plan Ellen's transfer on a date that he would be available to perform it, even if it meant manipulating her cycle to match his schedule.   I immediately wrote our nurse back letting her know that it was really important for us to have him there and asked if there was anything that could be done. She told me that it was impossible to change his surgery and assured me we would be in good hands.  I was beside myself.

I am sure a lot of it had to do with the anxiety leading up to the day but I was also really upset because whenever I pictured our transfer finally happening, I had never pictured it without  Dr. Toledo.  In fact, we had planned to involve Dr. Toledo in our college rival transfer day theme since he is also a Gator (I was hoping he would wear his Gator surgical cap).  Needless to say I was pretty inconsolable. Until this text exchange with Ellen. To give you some context, we had both just watched this ridiculous movie,  Sorority Surrogate that basically takes every stereotype about surrogacy and twists it into a campy movie that I think is supposed to be a thriller but was really just hilarious.  In it, a college student desperate for money becomes a gestational carrier for a couple and the overbearing grandmother  put the surro in her trunk and kidnaps her in an attempt to keep the baby as her own.  We both enjoyed poking fun at the movie and I loved that she referenced it during my freak-out moment.   It definitely provided much-needed comic relief!

Never one to just accept "no" when there is something that I really want, I decided to email Dr. Toledo directly,  explain our situation and plead with him to see if there was anything that could be done.  As suspected, he did not seem to be aware that he would be missing our transfer date.  Thankfully, he got with his nurses and the lab and arranged his schedule so that he could do the transfer before his surgery.  Crisis averted.

On transfer day, we were nervous and excited.  We dressed in our respective college t-shirts, gathered our transfer day packages and met Ellen and Chris at the clinic at 8:00 AM. We asked Ellen and Chris to put on their Georgia shirts and showed them this awesome sign that  Jason made. 

We knew there was a possibility that the transfer might not happen if G-d forbid, the embryos did not thaw properly.  We were only planning to thaw and transfer one embryo, but if for some reason, the embryo didn't make it, we would have to thaw our second and final embryo and there was always a chance that the second embryo might not make it either.  Thankfully, when we got to the surgical room we learned that our embryo had thawed perfectly. 

We took plenty of pictures with the four of us

And the five of us
And also got a shot of the two hopeful mommies with our embryo
The transfer went off without a hitch.  It was really special to share it with Ellen and Chris.   When we left the clinic, Ellen gave us a transfer day gift as well: this ever-bearing strawberry plant.  We couldn't wait to watch it grow and hoped our little embryo would grow along with it.

My favorite part of the day?  Around 5:30 that night I got my first-ever text from Chris.  A little background- Ellen and I use copious amounts of emoticons when we text (which is no less than 10 times a day but typically at least 30)  While there are plenty of smileys, hearts, praying hands and a baby, there is no emoticon for crossed fingers- a very necessary expression when you are hoping for something this big.  I ended up just taking a picture of my own crossed fingers and sent it to Ellen and it soon became a thing for us.  My text from Chris was simply this:
A picture is worth a thousand words and the fact that Ellen's husband sent that to me? I think that says it all....

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