Frozen embryo transfer (#2)

Our transfer yesterday proceeded as well as we could have imagined. One of the embryos we intended to transfer was of weaker quality (a 3 on the scale of 1-4, 1 being best) and I had been worried that (s)he would not survive the thawing process. I had been praying specifically for that little life along with a friend of mine. Before we pulled of our driveway, John prayed over us and our embryos. On the way to the clinic we both tried to steel ourselves to receive the news that only one had survived the thaw while holding on to the hope that we would be able to transfer both like we intended.

Pulling into the parking lot at the fertility center my heart began to beat faster. This was it! John remarked that way back in November when we scheduled our next transfer for February it felt a lifetime away. Now here we were! About to walk into the building as two and out of it as four. 

We stopped to snap a few pictures, photos I dream of showing our baby/ies someday when I tell them the story about how they came into the world. My large smile is due in part to my excitement and in part to the fact that frozen embryo recipients are prescribed valium for their transfers. Apparently it is given to relax the uterus, but it does indeed relax the rest of the body (read: brain) as well. ;-)

Inside the office we were taken back to the prep area where we changed into clothes suitable for such activities as making a baby: 

Then a nurse came and brought us into the sterile procedure room where we waited anxiously to hear the news about how many embryos had survived. Dr. Colbert entered the room with a smile, shook our hands, and delivered the news: "We've got two embryos!" My face lit up with another too-wide smile. "Yes!"

I asked Dr. Colbert what the statistical thaw rate was and he told me they had gotten it up to 80%. Ever-ready with a smart reply John remarked, "Well I guess we're helping you with your averages!" 

Dr. Colbert laughed and continued to deliver more good news, telling us that a couple months ago his clinic upgraded some lab equipment and protocols, improving their frozen embryo transfer success rate to 73%! If I remember right, that is up from somewhere in the 40-50% range. (Note: this doesn't necessarily mean I in particular have a 73% chance of achieving pregnancy, but still it is good news!) 

Next came the procedure itself where we watched an ultrasound screen as our two little babies slipped cozily into my womb. How I hope and pray they snuggle in and continue to grow! 

Soon we were back in the prep area getting dressed, going over post-transfer protocols, and staring at this amazing picture of our little snowflakes: 

On the way home John and I picked up Ethiopian for lunch, which I later ate from the comfort of my couch. John's mom stayed with us to help with Arie and she told us later that when she picked him up from preschool he asked if "Mama is gonna have a big belly when she gets back?" Arie is super pumped at the prospect of having siblings but has very little concept of what that actually will mean! He's always coming up with ways he is going to "help" the babies, which include such things as giving them yogurt and talking to them if they feel sad. I love it but am afraid he may be slightly disappointed with the little baby blob that comes home from the hospital someday! 

Two presents arrived for us yesterday which made my already bright spirits soar. First, this gorgeous bouquet from our embryo donors, complete with two snowflakes and a card that read, "February is the month for snowflakes to stick." Based on the white landscape glistening outside my window today, I'm trusting that is true! 

I also opened a small brown package from an old college classmate which made my heart skip a beat: a tiny pair of baby slippers, once pink and one blue with snowflakes on top. How I cannot wait to see those slippers filled with tiny toes! 

I spent the rest of the day on the couch until bed, trying to envision our embryos settling in tight. It was wonderful to read all your comments and messages via Facebook and instagram. I cannot thank you enough for all the support you have given us during this special time! Thank you! 

This afternoon my sister arrived and she will be staying with us for a week. Originally she came to help me while I coped with the pain from my progesterone shots, but mercifully I do not have any pain from them so far! Last time we transferred I was on a compounded version of the drug (100mg/ml, 1m dose for those interested) and this time I am on a more standard version (50mg/ml, 2ml dose). Some of you suggested that I may be reacting to the base oil last time, however both times the base oil has been sesame oil. My IVF nurse said the likely explanation is that the compounded version has a higher concentration of preservatives to which many of their patients were reacting.  They have been marked improvement since switching versions; I'm happy to count myself among those numbers! I wanted to share for those who also have pain with this shot. Ask your nurse about switching to lower concentration/higher dose. 

Since I am not suffering from so much pain, I plan on having lots of fun with my sister while she is here! I know her company will help this two week wait go faster and hopefully keep my mind off the nerves I feel when I think about receiving the results. 

That's all for now! I would love your prayers as we go through the next two weeks, waiting to find out if we are expecting. 

Lots of love from me, John, Arie, and our snowflakes! 



  1. Joining the prayers of many others - in hope and trust in the Father who holds these tiny lives in His hands
    -Jacquie DeRaaf

  2. Praying for you! All the best

  3. Holding you all in my prayers and in my heart and hoping that, like me, you won't have to wait the whole two weeks before you start to feel that indescribable "difference" that lets you know your prayers have been answered

    1. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know what that difference feels like!

  4. Prayers sent out into the Universe for you and your family......

  5. Snowflake day! Snowflake day! Snowflake day! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

  6. My heart is so hopeful for you! You have been added to our nightly prayers.

  7. This fills me with so much joy for your family! I will be praying for you!


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