E is for embryo

E thawed well, with all his or her 10 cells, and was transferred this morning. By the same doctor that did our transfer with A & C, who remembered us and expressed his hope that I’ll get pregnant again, but with a better outcome this time. E did show more fragmentation than A & C, but I hope it’ll develop into a beautiful baby regardless:


I took it easy for the rest of the day (my clinic doesn’t believe in bed rest) – napping, knitting on a bench outside, then lying and just enjoying the weather (ok, you may envy me for this one). I have some light cramping, but it seems that may be normal. I went to my post-transfer acupuncture appointment but was quite relaxed even on the way there. I think I was worried that for some reason the transfer wouldn’t happen, so now I’m glad we made it. Work will keep me busy for the next few days, which may be a good thing (though I plan to spend most of that time sitting down listening to other people).

Here’s something we came across on a recent afternoon stroll. I’m taking it as a good sign:


patches and needles

  • I’m trying to find a witty start for this post but can’t. My transfer, which I have largely neglected to talk about so far, should be in just over a week. Isn’t that amazing?!
  • I have learned that the worst part about estrogen patches is tearing them off, and am not exactly looking forward to removing four of them on Wednesday, just to put four more on (also, I seem to be running out of space). But I am looking forward to hosting another of our precious embryos. Hopefully for the whole nine months this time.
  • My big grant is almost submitted. Of course, once the stress over that stopped I began to actually think about the transfer and freak out a little…
  • I imagine that, in some parallel universe, there’s a copy of me (or however you call the version of yourself in a parallel universe) that has babies at home or still in the belly, and fretting about how to get this grant done with the babies or the pregnancy exhaustion. And it makes me sad to think that, even after all we went through to get pregnant, I still didn’t quite appreciate what a miracle it is to actually bring home a baby, healthy and screaming and alive.
  • After going through the new patient paperwork, my new acupuncturist said she was very sorry, and then asked a bit about my symptoms and what I was here for. She has a community practice together with some other practitioners, which among other things means that it’s much more affordable. She doesn’t talk much, just checks in with me when I get there to ask if anything has changed. She also mentioned that some people like to bring their own blankets or pillows. So I started taking this:


    It’s the baby blanket I was knitting for A & C. Just one, you ask? I had bought the yarn on a trip to the east coast in this lovely store before we even started IVF. I never really expected twins, but due to the skein size would actually have had enough for two. I knit through stimulation, retrieval, transfer, the 2ww, and some more during pregnancy. But I hadn’t even finished this one when we lost them. And initially I thought it would be terribly hard to get back and finish it. But it was surprisingly easy, soothing even. It gave me hope that someday there would be a baby in our home to wrap in it.

grief, interrupted

Apologies for the lack of updates after this rather distressing post. I’m writing a grant (not exactly a recommended activity a few months out of such a loss…) and that is taking most of my time. My husband is not amused. Anyway, my GP thought that my heart sounds just fine, but that I should find a counselor, go to yoga and meditation classes, and try acupuncture. And when I say “my GP” that is vastly exaggerated – the woman I used to see, from the same practice, now only works in their office in the outskirts, too far for me. So I had to tell the whole story again. Which in a sense was good, I think – it brought back the realization that this really was a terrible loss, and that it is okay to still be upset and sad and angry about it. I think I had somewhat withdrawn over the holidays, worried that all the interactions with family members and their sometimes insensitive reactions would be too much. Maybe this was a necessary protection mechanism, but it wasn’t a feasible long-term approach. My body clearly communicated it wasn’t happy.

I’ll write about yoga and meditation another day – I practice yoga at home every day, and going to a class can’t hurt. As I was willing to try acupuncture, my GP checked with some people she works with and found me an opening for the next day. So I went. I had heard some amazing things about acupuncture, and while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t the most relaxing experience of my life either. I have to admit that I felt considerably more relaxed afterwards (though the cynical part of my mind keeps wondering, wouldn’t that be the case if I laid down and relaxed for half an hour without needles, too?). But the acupuncturist isn’t a good fit for me, I think. She was overly convinced of herself, which I’ve never dealt with well, and now have even less tolerance for. She told me she “was early too” with giving birth, “as she’s on her feet seeing patients all day”, which I found kind of inappropriate, given that she got a healthy living baby out of it and I got a box of ashes. And she asked whether I was on a flare protocol for my FET and wanted to put me on a no-wheat-no-diary fertility diet, kind of making me wonder if she had listened at all. I went back a week later, because I’m all for second chances and I did feel better afterwards after all, but it only confirmed my first impression – acupuncture may be good for me but this person isn’t a good match. So this week I’m seeing someone else in a much more affordable place.

And then, the counseling. I have thought about this. The hospital, the MFM, the RE, they all asked. And the social worker we had in the hospital really wasn’t a good fit for either of us (there may be a pattern here… although, to balance it, my RE and MFM are wonderful). H was so unconvinced that he never wants to see a counselor again. It doesn’t help that, where we grew up, counseling is sort of frowned upon, only for cases where “there’s really something wrong with you”. Sigh. I see that I probably should see someone, but don’t even know where to start. Suggestions? Experiences?

I’ve started to do some meditation before I go to bed. It helps me calm down, and I think I can sleep better after having released some of the sadness. And yesterday I suddenly thought of two little angels, connected to my heart through golden strings. First I was concerned the could completely unravel my heart, as in this awesome video. But then I remembered that my love for them is infinite. Even if they fly to the other end of the universe, there will still be enough love in my heart to connect all the way to them.