The bun is officially in the oven. On Sunday, March 26 our 3AB blastocyst was successfully thawed and transferred into my uterus.
The actual frozen embryo transfer was very quick, but a bit uncomfortable for me. Unless deemed a tricky transfer, my IVF clinic performs “blind” embryo transfers, which means no ultrasound equipment is used to visualize the uterus. This requires the patient to be inverted at almost a 90-degree angle (with your head toward the ground). I found this position to be awkward and completely unexpected as I wasn’t told it would be happening until it did. The procedure pinched and definitely caused some squirming on my end. The doctor assured me this would not hinder pregnancy outcomes, but it certainly didn’t feel smooth.
Today is two-days post transfer and I’m just trying to relax, as I have eight more days to wait before my official pregnancy “beta” test. I’ve made this claim before, but I will reiterate it here: waiting is the most difficult aspect of the entire IVF process. And this waiting – also known as the two-week-wait (2WW) – is the worst! Up until this point, you’ve been in constant communication with your medical team who is providing daily updates on your body and its progress. After transfer, it’s radio silence – no phone calls, no blood work, no updates – nothing but your own thoughts to slowly drive you mad.
My biggest coping mechanism through IVF has always been to keep busy, using my regular workout sessions as mental therapy. But two days post transfer, I’m sitting here confined to bed rest, analyzing every piece of food I put into my body, and staring at the the below chart.
According to NYU Langone, here’s what happens after a blastocyst embryo transfer:
- Day 1: The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell.
- Day 2: The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus.
- Day 3: The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation.
- Day 4: Implantation continues.
- Day 5: Implantation is complete. Cells that eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop.
- Day 6: Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the hormone that signals a developing pregnancy, starts to enter the blood stream.
- Day 7: Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted.
- Day 8: Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted.
- Day 9: Levels of hCG are now high enough in maternal blood to detect a pregnancy using a blood test.
As is illustrated above, the first three days post transfer are the most critical since the embryo is hatching out if its shell, coming into contact with the uterine lining, and (hopefully) implanting into that lining. Some doctors suggest going about your normal business while this process takes place and others suggest strict bed rest. My clinic is somewhat in the middle and recommends bed rest for 1-2 days post transfer, but then normal activity henceforth. Because I have the flexibility with work, I have decided to do modified bed rest for what I believe to be the most crucial days and then resume a normal schedule. I’ve also decided to give up coffee during these three critical days and I think that’s been the hardest of all. My doctor says one 8-ounce cup a day is totally safe, but I really want to keep it clean during this window of implantation. If this little embryo can implant, than we are golden.
2dp5dt Symptoms: So far, I don’t feel any different. I had some gurgling in my uterus and some faint cramping on Sunday post procedure, but I’m assuming that was on account of the procedure. Yesterday (1dp5dt) I felt some more of that in the morning, but by evening all was normal. Today I’ve felt completely normal as well. My pregnancy blood test is on April 5th (10dp5dt) which honestly feels like five years away. I will most likely buy an early detection home pregnancy test (HPT) by 6dp5dt, since there could be traces of hCG in my system at that time.
In the meantime, I’m trying to stay sane by reciting my own mantra: <3 I don’t know the outcome yet, but I’ve done all that I can to make it happen. <3