2013-07-10

Tomorrow is the big day, the frozen embryo transfer.  Yay!  I’m excited!  This is what it is all about, knowing I have an embryo within me.  Hopefully one that will decide to stick around.

You’ll recall that about half of couples that undergo IVF are not lucky enough to generate sufficient good quality embryos to freeze any after the fresh cycle.  You’ll also recall that 85% of embryos do not survive the thaw.

So I’m lucky to be doing this, and I know that at this point most couples will be a bit worried that they might turn up and on the day and their one or two frozen embryos might not have made it.

I’m not worried, because I have seven frozen embryos.  Which is an unusually high number of frozen embryos.  I know it is theoretically possible that all seven will fail to un-freeze, but that’s seriously unlikely so I’m not going to bother worrying about that.

In other circumstances I might also be worried because any leftover embryos from cycle one are likely to be less good quality than the embryo selected for the first attempt.  They pick the best one each time, so in theory subsequent ones are probably less good.  And the first best one failed.  Doesn’t look like good odds.  Well again I’m not worried, because all seven frozen embryos are at least as good quality as the one that was selected last time.  Having been left to develop for an extra day, some are even better.  This is unusual, but great for us.  So I’m not worried about that either.

All this lack of worry means I can feel quite positive in advance of this procedure.

Here’s what will happen.  As I’m an NHS funded IVF patient the embryologist will select the one embryo that looks the best (no multiples allowed on the NHS), thaw it, and put it in me tomorrow.  And I will return this bag of used needles and unused medication.

In advance of the frozen embryo transfer I have now given up alcohol, swimming and baths.  Last time I gave up drinking a few weeks before I started any IVF medication but then last time I was growing eggs and this time I’m not.  This time I have occasionally been drinking alcohol socially and in moderation, within the recommended daily allowance, but stopped last weekend when I started taking the progesterone.  As for the swimming and baths, well some schools of thought recommend that you do not immerse yourself fully in water during the first few weeks of pregnancy.  Something to do with the changes to your body temperature.  My IVF clinic do not say this, and last time they said I could swim a bit – which I did – but I’ve decided not to risk it this time.  I will miss swimming for a couple of weeks.  It is nice in this hot weather, and it keeps me sane.  All being well I fully intend to swim throughout my pregnancy once the embryo is properly settled in.

Last time I referred to the embryo that they selected and put in as ‘The Chosen One’.  I don’t think I mentioned but I also called him Torquil because the husband and I were at a comedy show when The Chosen One was within me and a participant was called Torquil, which seemed like such a ridiculous name that it stuck.  Sorry for any offence caused if you’re called Torquil.

Anyway, although wee Torquil The Chosen One showed early promise he did not have the staying power.

So what to call the embryo they pick tomorrow?  I can’t call him The Chosen One as well, that’s weird.  And patronising to him.  I mean, he was the second choice.  But I don’t want him to feel like second best.  I toyed with ‘The Chosen One #2, the second coming’ (hehe) but have decided it is preferable to select something new to acknowledge his specialness.

The name of the embryo selected tomorrow will thus be ‘Puffling’ – inspired by ‘Hebrides – Islands on the Edge’ which is a TV show narrated by Ewan McGregor that I saw the other day.  A Puffling is a Puffin chick, a baby Puffin.  A Puffling is very cute.  And lives up a dark tunnel.

 

 

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