if i had a nickle

Alternate Title:

it only takes one

Y’all, I have had a lot of transfers. Six, if my count is correct, plus today, which makes seven. They are, for me, no big deal. Hell, I could do those fuckers in my sleep. With the two valium I took today, it was sort of close to that. Ok, not really, but two valium is fun!

My friend M, of do-your-PIO-shot-while-lying-down fame, was kind enough to drive me this morning. (The appointment was late enough that I got to make my usual trip to the market to pick up my CSA.) I obediently drank a fuck-ton of water – because this is A Full Bladder Appointment, you know – after I got back from the market and took my two valium (I thought three was overkill and told them so) at the correct time and M drove up and collected me and my big bag of medications that I was going to happily unload on the nice people at the cheater RE’s (they will donate them to people in their egg donor program). And off we went! It was a fun trip. Because of the valium. And because M is nice.

We were in the same little cold room as I was Wednesday for the retrieval, and then they wheeled me into the adjoining Room Full of Medical Things, which I thought was just an OR, but apparently is used for all sorts of things. Funny. Anyway, the lab guy (to whom I’d spoken on the phone earlier in the morning to get the lay of the embryonic land: ok, but not top of the class – much like me) came in and explained the procedure, which M and I listened to with great seriousness (she was serious in a blue hair net thing) because the lab guy is serious as well as really nice. They covered me a million bankets and used the big girl external ultrasound to see if my bladder was full enough (it was) and then my name and birthdate came up on a tv screen in the corner. Weird! Once I confirmed that was me, the screen showed my embryo. M said it was “very cute”. She’s a good friend.

And then in went the speculum and then in went a catheter – it was Dr. Soap Opera, btw – and then the lab guy came in the the embryo in it’s own little catheter which was threaded through the first catheter that was threaded through my cervix (“straight, or true north” comment Dr. Soap Opera, when I offered that my old RE had said it was NE). There is a name for this sort of transfer, but in my valium-induced fog, I have forgotten it.

And then it was all done and I was wheeled back to the small cold room to lie down for 20 minutes before they would let me up to pee.

M took me to acu, which was pretty much a repeat of Wednesday with the needles in different places. Which is to say, great. And I’ve been here on the couch ever since. S brought me coconut soup for dinner.

Ways In Which The Cheater RE Is Not Like Richmond:

  • transfer takes place in the catch-all room, which is also for retrievals – in Richmond, you stay in the fancy room and they bring the embryos to you in their chariot, aka incubator.
  • embryos get screen time – on screen, not watching things themselves; the AAP would never condone that.
  • there are fewer staff people – maybe this is a Saturday thing? Today was the lab guy, Dr. Soap Opera and one of the clinic nurses. In Richmond, I’d get at least two nurses, Dr. S, the embryologist and then often a bonus person who  was there to do… something? It always felt like a party. Or maybe that was the valium?

For all the times I’ve done this, for all the cold ultrasound gel and the need to pee, for all the tubes and face masks and the virtual strangers leaning over my nether regions, the moment of seeing that tiny glowing white bit that is my embryo pop into view on the ultrasound monitor will never cease to amaze me. One of the (few) bonuses of infertility, I think, is that there is this feeling of community: everybody seems to be on your team, even with this round robin of doctors; everyone is working toward a goal that we all genuinely *wish* to reach. Who says science is cold and heartless? Not anyone who’s be there for that moment of collective breath-holding, as we all watch to see that speck of light appear and then settle into place, carrying any number of people’s hope along with it.

Here’s to it only taking one.

5 Comments on “if i had a nickle”

  1. And don’t forget us! We’re collectively breath-holding too! Wishing hoping loving.

  2. Yes, the team thing. I hadn’t consciously formulated that thought, but you are Right On. I’m glad M got to be with you. No civilians allowed at the Baby Factory.

  3. May says:

    Dear Embryo of Starrhillgirl,
    Look at the team you have all willing you on and wishing you well. Look at it. Take heart. Better still, grow your own.

  4. emilyj67 says:

    with you.

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