Monday 17th December was the date firmly locked in our calender's for our transfer. Following last weeks womb scan that "C" had at CRGH, we got given the go ahead to transfer a week later, and within a blink of an eye, it was here. So naturally we woke feeling a complete mixture of emotions. Excitement, nervousness, apprehension, anxiousness - a real melting pot of everything you'd expect. We were absolutely overwhelmed with messages of support from our Instagram and Facebook followers from all over the globe, literally. Messages from Northern territories of Australia, Melbourne, Sydney, New Zealand, Bangkok, Madrid, Portugal, LA, San Fran, Miami, New York City, Stockholm, Lyon, Nice, Berlin Zurich, Ireland and a tonne from the UK, over 100 thoughtful and appreciated messages. So for that, Thank you.
We've generally had a smooth ride so far, we had our failed transfer in June and before that our very first cycle resulting in Talulah being born, so we're one of the lucky ones. This journey has taught me so much and introduced me to so many other couples that are still on transfers and on their own personal journey to start their family, or complete it, or in most cases both. One couple who reached out to us are on number transfer 8, and still no opportunity to celebrate, no positive test result, no scans to forward plan, no Facebook updates to scream about, nothing. Just a void. Then there's Jessica Hepburn who I had the pleasure of meeting at a recent event I attended and spoke at this summer, where I presented to Fertility Nurses about our personal 'journey' to become Dads. I've since replaced the word 'struggle' with 'journey' since meeting Jessica, and if you read her books, you'll understand why. Jessica has written two books if you're not familiar with her, her first The Pursuit of Motherhood and her latest is release 21 Miles. Jessica has been through 11 agonising rounds of IVF, 10 years of trying to become a mother, with multiple miscarriages and a pregnancy which almost killed her, her story is both admirable, comforting and yet painful to read. Yet she continues to be a force and a leading voice with the IVF arena and is the founded Fertility Fest the world's first arts festival dedicated to the science of making babies. Her website is here; https://www.jessicahepburn.com/
Monday's journey started with our own train journey from our village into Birmingham and then a connection to Euston. We made it to London for 12 noon, and 'C's train arrived 3 minutes later. As CRGH are only a 10 minute walk, we all took our time to take the stroll and catch up about our families, Talulah's excitement over Santa, our Christmas plans and how disorganised Wes and myself are this year. It's beyond embarrassing, but we have good reason to, right?
Our appointment was 1230, and we arrived with 5 minutes to grab a quick drink and to visit the loo for me! Much to C's annoyance as she needs a full bladder for the transfer. We met with Francesca Styne who is the Head Nurse at CRGH, and who has lead our care along with Mr Ali Chami, our Fertility Consultant. Francesca made us feel completely comfortable and shortly after we were called to make our way downstairs to the Embryo Transfer room. C was prepared for the transfer by the team and we then received our update on the Embryo which was selected for transfer, the thaw had competed and the cells had already begun splitting, so a great sign that this was a great little Blastocyst; we were instantly reassured by this information from Blair (one of the Embryologists), and everything 'just felt right'. And for those that know us, that is our mantra.
The transfer preparation and procedure took around 5 minutes, (which felt much longer I'm sure for C who was still bursting for the ladies room, yet had the uncomfortable ultra sound pressed firmly on her bladder scanning her uterus to guide the doctor maneuvering the catheter) we saw the embryo culture make its way down the catheter on the screen and get placed with absolute precision and care, safely inside C's uterus, the best place for the next part of the journey. The Doctor passed Blair the Embryologist the catheter, he then gave the all clear that the catheter was 'all clear', meaning that no trace of it remained who he passed it through a microscope, that was the transfer complete.
So what now, well as you're probably familiar with couples now have the 2ww, (2 week wait) this takes us to the 31st December. To test, or not to test before? Well, we did with Talulah. We waited 5 days post transfer, which is this weekend. So - should we? ;)
To be continued...