20 September 2009


This morning we transferred all 5- for you fertility geeks like me-

1 3 cell B+
1 4 cell C
1 5 cell B-
1 7 cell B+
1 8 cell B

HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, I'm currently carrying a litter.

I felt so incredibly odd having them exist, but not having them inside me, and I feel much better now that we're all hanging out together, you know, until I think of the number.

Dr. R did the transfer, someone I had never met. He used to work in a big Boston clinic and do 20 of these a day, every day-- so when he said based on his experience that he would absolutely recommend transferring them all due to my age, we went with his suggestion. I have a philosophical inclination not to transfer more than it is possible to carry safely-- you know, just in case. But he is right-- because of my age, it will be lucky to be pregnant at all after this, and extra lucky to stay pregnant, and likewise, it is highly unlikely that the unthinkable would happen.

But I know this already- admittedly vehemently pro choice kate speaking here, that while it is likely/expected they will not all make it, that will make me sad- even though it would be *crazy*, untenable and impossible if they did.

Ok I need to make a comment about progesterone shots-- they suck rocks and I am really lucky my protocol includes daily suppositories (yay festive bubbly pee) rather than shots. But on retrieval day and transfer day, the give a shot of PIO. And today, I was extra lucky, I had two. The needle fell off halfway through the first shot, so I got a bonus shot. Lucky me.

I also need to make a comment on the requisite "uncomfortably full bladder" required for transfer. I am not sure I have been that uncomfortable ever. In the past, the distant past I may add, when I had to pee that kind of badly, I literally just went-- wherever-- behind a tree, in my pants, whatever. So I have never let myself get that uncomfortable and certainly not then stay that way. It was horrid. Before we began I was allowed to empty *some* (enter super human effort here) since I was so uncomfortable.
But by the time the ultrasound thingy was pressing on my bladder, the speculum was in and open, good lord. And my notorious tea-cup sized bladder was looking like a pumpkin on the screen-- gah.

For those of you who have not done this particular part- I think I want to share the broad strokes. Went in, got undressed from the waist down. It always makes me laugh when they step out to give you privacy at this point, since really, most of these folks are going to see your uvula from the inside out pretty soon anyway.

Then up on the table, progesterone shot, hair net, face mask, ultrasound (external as with this whole procedure, a nice change, you know, except for the bladder)--
while getting positioned, the doc came in and we talked about numbers and reasoning and advice-- and there was all of the confirmational stuff with the embryo lab (adjacent to the procedure room and for me, the door opening right where everyone in the lab could see my religion). Confirmation of my name, birthdate, embryo count, number to transfer....

then my doc did a trial thread of the catheter since we had not worked together before-- all ok, then he called into the embryo room. Those folks loaded our embryos in a syringe thingy, and brought it in forthwith-- this is a really quick process, there is no dilly dallying. That catheter was threaded, I could see it on the ultrasound, then, just like that, the embryos were deposited, and the cath removed and checked by the embryo lab to make sure none were lurking-- all clear, done.

And we had a great view of 5 sparkling lights in my uterus before we were done.

In at 7:45, out at around 8:30.

of course my betas are scheduled for when I am in the netherlands week after this so that is something that will need to wait-- they are scheduled for day 12 and day 14 (past retrieval). So... I will call the nurse about that tomorrow. And, as an added bonus complexification (I like my new word), I need to bring suppositories with me (yay) on my european jaunt. Somehow refrigerated. Hmmm.

About Squam-- folks last year raved that it was a lovefest, lifechanging, transformational.. and I thought ok, I hear you, but for me it will be an art workshop. But you know? I was kinda wrong. It was an art workshop, but it was not only that. My transformation was admittedly more quiet-- the reason it was life changing for me was a combination of the amazingly beautiful location and wide open sky over the lake, the permission I gave myself to play and make mistakes and try stuff anyway, and the truly lovely people that I met.

A special shout out to my amazing cabin mates-- sweet Sarah, Crissy, Sarah, Tracy, Lisa and Jess-- smart, talented, lovely and wonderful artists and people who absolutely made the week for me. And also to Denise of bohogirl fame, for our brief real life hello and for looking at me with her beautiful, warm, deep brown eyes in the midst of the dining hall sensory overload and in that moment making me feel both visible and seen, and oh, to Jen Lee-- honestly, what a blessing to have met her-- I am not sure what finally will matter more, the impact on my writing or on my heart. I imagine it will be both. Let me just say that for how difficult this was in many ways, for the old fears and discomforts and some that were new, I would not trade it. If you go next year, trust me on this, bring gloves, a hat, scarves, sweaters, a heating pad or hot water bottle- and a travel mug. I was cold most of the time indoors and out and I live in NH and have no excuse of ignorance. And for goodness sakes bring a good bright flashlight. I have never been anywhere more dark ever. Walk into a tree dark. If you are a city person and cannot imagine uninsulated cabins, or a spider in your sink, or the kind of darkness that swallows you, this may suck.

The only regret I have is not swimming- but I couldn't really-- the water was so clean and so beautiful, it begged for star spangled skinny dipping.

Thank you for your amazing support always-- I cannot tell you how much it matters, but for those of you out there, I imagine you know-- your kind words and wishes bolster me, my intermittent bravery, my resolve. Thank you. I hope to be a better blogger, and now that I am back on line I hope to check in. I feel very out of touch.

So my 5 little ones and I are going to sack out now. We were up at 5 to drive north-- the dark starry sky giving way to light and fog and frost (!) and changing colors, I am not sure anything could be more beautiful.


bb said...

wooohooo for FIVE embies ;-) OMGosh I want this to work SOOOoooooo bad for you. Lots of prayers/thoughts/love to you and for you over this 2 week wait.

Off to the Netherlands, while complexification (LOVE will also me my new word) it will keep you busy and to me that is sometimes KEY. Just like your art retreat over this cycle. Sounds like while you were worried about timing... it was somehow just quite perfect timing.

Just very excited for you. Rest up now ;-)

Sprogblogger said...

Oh HURRAH for 5 transferred! I always figured better in me than out, and yeah, cross any horrible bridges only if/when coming to them. This is crappy enough without borrowing trouble. I think you absolutely did the right thing.

And now off to the Netherlands? How cool is that? I'll be stalking your blog starting from, oh, say, one week from now.

Please tell me you'll be packing pee sticks...

Phoebe said...

Congrats on your transfer! I'll be doing the exact same thing if I'm given a chance. When I first thought about it, it freaked me out, but I'm ok with it now, because of the age thing. I wish you didn't have to travel at your beta! Good luck!

IVF 40+ said...

I don't know why but I have such a sense of calm, peace, love and joy for you right now. Sweet Kate. All of life's blessings for you and your 5 fireflies.

Megan said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Rest, relax, and let's hope for the best!

Nic said...

5, thats amazing, so pleased you transfered them all and gave yourself the best chance. I am thinking sticky thoughts!
Congratulations on your litter! lol!
Have a good trip and take care
Nic x

Anonymous said...

Fabulous news!!!

Mad Hatter said...

5 sparkling lights!!! Oh joy! So happy for you, for them, for your darlin', and so full of hope for what is to come.

Jenn said...

My sweet friend,

5 is such a perfect number - blessing all of your little ones.

Holding you tight with positive thoughts, energy and love!!!

Hoping this is YOUR time hon!

love ya much!
Super Duper Big ole' squishy hugs

Billy said...

That bladder thing was what I was scared the most :-).
First transfer was told to sit and wait and drink some water. As I didn't know how long I would have to wait or how much I was required to drink, I didn't drink too much, and got told off by the nurse (though the dr. never said a word..).
Second trnsfer.. wiser and more in control (of knowing how long I'd be waiting..) I thought I did better with the drinking, but was still told off (yeah, my bladder probably wasn't at it's fullest, but again dr. was o.k with it..).

And the lab door opening straight in view of my religion..

Anyway glad you had a successful transefer. Wishing you all the luck!
And hope you have a nice time in Holland.

Jem said...

Whoo hoo! Houston we have tranfer!

Most excellent to have 5 opportunities. I'll be rooting for you.

Anonymous said...

yay for you! I did transfer 3 and the unthinkable did happen. (perhaps I took care of that crazy stat for everyone for a little while...) anyway. It was a horrible bridge but is thankfully behind me now. Here's hoping for 1 or 2 for you!!

and...if you end up being miss oh-my-god-there's-a-litter, please look me up. I did tons of research 'cause I needed it.

alyssa said...

woot, five!


K said...

Congrats my dear. So happy to hear you took them all for the best chance. Will wait out your 2ww with you. Best, K

Michele said...

OMG! I am in shock!

Praying without ceasing for your little ones and hoping... Lots of hoping...

onwardandsideways said...

Wowzie wowers wowtown!

Girl, I am so happy for you and I am sending you all kinds of implantation and warm and cozy ute vibes... you'll cross any bridges you need to later, and perhaps there will nothing to cross but into the world of BFPs and gettin' this show on the road! I know you've been waiting so long.

I wish and hope and pray that all continues so wonderfully.

And yeah, the bladder thing on transfer...? They had me trying to use a bedpan after mine... um, no, wasn't going to happen. I was so miserable I was squirming and moaning. They took pity on me after 20 minutes and I ran to the bathroom. Sheesh.

Take good care and good luck!!!

B. said...

I think the whole bladder thing completely ruins what would otherwise be a very serene and positive experience (well, if you can put aside the exposed to the masses part of the transfer)- those lights on the u/s screen are the prettiest stars I've ever seen. Congratulations on having such lovely embies to transfer! I had 5 too, and am happily carrying a singleton. I hope you won't have to face the unthinkable, and suspect we can (mostly) trust the docs on the most prudent number to transfer. And now you're PUPO. Be very good to yourself, and best of luck!

Kate said...

YAY for transfer day. My fingers and toes are crossed for you my dear.

The bladder thing sounds horrible- I hope this will all have been worthwhile very very soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you! I'm keeping everything crossed for you all!

All my love,

MabelB said...

That's brilliant news, so pleased for you. And glad you have something interesting and exciting to do in your 2ww even if it does mess up your beta timing. I have everything crossed for you...

Mo and Will said...

Wow! Kate! This is so so awesome : ) I'm so glad that all five are inside now and will soon be traveling to the Netherlands! Hoping so hard for you.



Grade A said...

Five!! Awesome. It makes absolute sense. Glad you went for it.

I'm concerned about the refrigeration bit. Can you ask about alternatives? Just wondering.

Ok, signing off with a Woot woot!!!


IF Optimist, then... said...

Coming around late in here to tell you. Reading this:

"And we had a great view of 5 sparkling lights in my uterus before we were done."

warmed my heart. What an amazing wondergirl you are. I'm glad you had a great time at the artglory-fest-a-go-go.

And 5. Wowzie. 5 is the number of fingers on your hand. 5 fingers can be put over your heart for love. 5 fingers can be placed over your belly for comfort. Grow little ones. Snuggle in. :-)

denise lynnette andrade said...

you came up to me...but you didn't tell me you were "mekate"!!!

oh geez...i was in such a stuffy head fuzz. thank you for your graciousness despite it all. this post of yours made me tear up something fierce.

i am holding onto SO MUCH hope for you and your 5 little ones. do keep me in touch with it all, okay? this is beautiful...

and wonderful to meet you, albeit brief but lovely.


sarah ahearn bellemare said...

kate oh kate! how lucky was i to have you right behind me in line to walk with and talk with on day one. how perfect was it to be in wayonda together too! and then if i recall correctly, you may have literally held my hand on the last night... thank you for that. you were my calm in a fuzzy blur. so glad to have shared time with you... so happy for you now too. squam has magic ways it seems, so i bet some of that magic is still with you for this next journey. thanks for sharing so much of you... i'm glad that we had lunch together that day so things could all work out as they should.
thank you for your comment the other day... moved me to tears and am thanking my lucky stars to have you around... you are close you know! holding you in my heart and thoughts.... hi to doug! ; ) xoxox*s