‘We have to bring the date of the transfer forward, it’s now going to be on Tuesday.’
I got this text while out on a run with friends on Friday morning in Phoenix. Thankfully I had plans to be in Phoenix for the half marathon weekend (OK originally I had planned to run the marathon but training didn’t quite happen so I dropped down to the half) and was going to cancel it when our transfer was scheduled for Friday 18th February. Then I thought about going to Phoenix (flights and accommodation had already been booked). Coming home to work for 3 days, then flying back out to San Diego for the transfer. But after speaking to friends, I knew that there was a risk something would happen. Or I’d get ill during all the travel. So very last minute, I committed to a week in the US for both the race and transfer.
If I hadn’t been out in the US already with annual leave booked, I’m not sure I would have made it to San Diego in time for the transfer. Funny how things work out in the end!
Our Surrogacy Journey: Embryo Transfer Day
So after the race weekend, I drove to San Diego arriving late Monday night.
Tuesday morning, I met Ashely (our surrogate) and her fiancé Trever at San Diego Fertility Centre for her 7.30am blood test. I was really keen on being present for as much of the procedure as possible. I wish it was me going through all this, but if it can’t be me (I have MRKH – catch up on our fertility journey here) then I want to be as part of it as I can be. Unfortunately, Tom couldn’t get the time off work for the appointment.
We didn’t need to be back at the clinic until 2.45 to check in for the 3.15pm embryo transfer. Thankfully, unlike the egg retrieval, there’s no sedation required. So we could go out for breakfast, walk around the shops, have lunch and spend the day getting to know each other more. I’ve met Ashley once before in Charleston but had only ‘met’ Trever via Zoom.
The clinic was running a little behind. So poor Ashley had to wait 30 mins with a very full bladder (helps them see the uterus!) But eventually, she was called in. Currently, one other person is allowed into the transfer room. And I was grateful to be allowed to sit in behind Ashely, watching on the screen.
Tom and I have 5 PGS tested embryos on ice in San Diego.
(We had them shipped over from our clinic in the UK last year – you can read our IVF FAQ Part 1 and Part 2). In the US you can find out the sex of your embryos. However, we opted against this and asked them to just transfer whichever the best quality embryo was.
It is all VERY official. They called out the name of our surrogate and my name via intercom from the embryologist lab before bringing it into the room to make sure it was the right embryo!
It was over quickly, Dr D inserted the embryo through a catheter into Ashley’s uterus. And then had her wait 10 minutes. And then it was done.
In preparation for the transfer, Ashley has been taking oestrogen pills twice per day and progesterone injections with oil daily. She’ll continue with these right up until the 12 week mark if the transfer is successful. She also had blood tests and ultrasounds twice prior to the transfer to ensure her body was processing the hormones as planned and that her uterus lining was thickening as hoped.
What is crazy to me is that if it all works then when she next has a blood test, if things are progressing as hoped, then she’ll be technically over 4 weeks pregnant!!
So in the fertility world we are in the two week wait where you are ‘PUPO – pregnant until proven otherwise’. And so with hopeful hearts, we wait..