May 31, 2011

The transfer

One year ago, I had a brand new baby of my own. I hadn't been thinking much about being a surrogate. Last fall, when I started researching it again, I never thought things would happen so fast. Here we are a year later and starting the actual process. This amazes me! While we are moving forward fast, I feel comfortable and anxious for each new step.

In early April, I headed to California for a consultation at the IVF office where the embryo transfer would be taking place. I recall sitting in the waiting room and feeling a rush of emotions... all good. This smallish office I was sitting in has made dreams of parenthood possible for so many people. The walls and the tables are filled with pictures of simply adorable babies!

At the appointment, I was given a schedule of medications. But most importantly, I was given an approximate transfer date of May 14/15. Seeing everything coming together was so exciting. This dream I have of helping someone achieve their dream was becoming reality! It's a pretty great feeling.

I was already taking a prenatal vitamin daily but I started adding baby aspirin daily soon after the consultation. The following week, I started my first injection. It was a daily shot in the stomach. I was nervous about giving myself shots (actually my darling husband gave the shots). The needle wasn't huge but I am not a fan of shots in a doctor's office so to be given a shot by someone inexperienced wasn't leaving me with fun thoughts. The time came for the shot and it was completely harmless, I felt a little silly for being so nervous.

Every Monday, I had a blood draw and an ultrasound to be sure my "oven" was reacting properly to the medications. After a few weeks, I added another injection. This one was not as friendly looking. The needle was about 5 times the size of the first injection needle, not kidding. If I was nervous about the teeny tiny needle, imagine this new injection. I was given advice to ice the injection area prior. This one was done in the tush, I recall waiting for my husband to do it and feeling a panic attack approaching. I have never had a panic attack but it's what I imagine the beginning of one would feel like. I give my husband a lot of credit for his shot giving ability. Again, I barely felt it.

There were no major side effects from the medications, maybe a little more emotional than usual.

The transfer date was fast approaching. The guys (intended parents) were in the States visiting family and doing their part for the transfer. Unfortunately, the egg donor was not quite ready. The transfer date was pushed back about 4 days. The transfer being pushed back wasn't a big deal but the guys were scheduled to leave a day before the new transfer date. This worried me as I thought we may not meet. It was important for me to meet them and get to know them in person. After all, I am going to be carrying a special part of them with me for 9 months.

It was arranged for me to arrive in CA a few days prior to the transfer. This allowed plenty of time for us to get better acquainted. My best friend came with me. Carrie and I left for CA on May 14. When we landed in San Diego, I was extremely anxious to get off the plane and head to baggage claim. Roy and Avner were waiting for us. This was going to be our first face to face encounter. I wanted to make a good first impression and was nervous I may try to over impress. I wanted to be myself but I wasn't sure my mind would cooperate.

It was a short walk to baggage claim. As I turned the corner, I saw them immediately. We approached each other and hugged. I felt at ease right away. We chattered away while we waited for our bags. The guys drove us to our hotel. We checked in, the guys left and Carrie and I settled into what would be our home for the next 7 days. The hotel was nice and only 2 blocks from the beach!

The next few days were terrific! We went to the beach, the zoo and ate very well. I really enjoyed my time with Roy and Avner. It was very nice having my best friend to share this time with, too.

The transfer was set for May 17. The guys were able to push their travel plans back one day in order to be there for the transfer appointment. It was a rainy day. The guys picked us up and drove us to the appointment. I was feeling good and ready for it. My mind was heavy in thoughts, though. I can't really tell you what the thoughts were... not because I don't want to but because I don't remember. It was just a lot of random thoughts.

We arrived at the IVF and I was called back. I was given a Valium to help relax my uterus. I haven't explained much in regards to the embryos. We agreed that 2 embryos would be transferred, one from each guy. As I mentioned briefly, I did not supply the eggs. The 2 best embryos were selected, the guys were called back to the room and we were ready to make magic. They sat at my side. I was very glad to have them there. The process took less than 10 minutes maybe closer to 5 minutes but I could't tell you for sure. We watched the process on the ultrasound screen. It was very silent in the room as we watched the screen very closely. Those few minutes were very special to me and I would think for the guys, too. I had to stay in a very reclined position for the next 30 + minutes. The guys were concerned about how I was feeling... they are 2 very sweet people.

Here is a picture of the little buggers prior to transfer:

Here is a picture of the actual transfer:
If you look closely you will notice 2 small dots on the left side. That would be the embryos surrounded by fluid.

After the transfer, we picked up lunch and went back to the hotel. For the next 3 days, I was on strict bed rest. I got up to use the restroom and that was it. I am thankful Carrie was there to help me for those days. She walked to get our meals, helped me with my shots and was very good company.

We will find out 2 weeks from the transfer date if the embryos implanted.

Please keep following me on this journey!

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