When you’re back to one- The Transfer Part 1

I have thought about how I was going to write this post.  I thought about it almost the entire time I have been on bed rest.  I wanted this post to be full of joy, with the occasional witty remark thrown in.  I wanted to tell you I have my twins nestled in me.  Friends, how much things can change.

Thursday morning I got the final call from the embryologist.  “Four of them are at the 4-celled stage and one is at the 3-cell,” the lady explained.  She told me everything was going well and we were set for a Friday evening transfer.  I was so focused on the idea of having a 5:45 pm transfer, that I didn’t think anything of what else she said except for my pre-transfer instructions, and that everything was looking good.

I called Chris and he immediately asked me why there were 5 embryos when we were told Wednesday there were 4.  “Maybe I misheard her,” I told him, puzzled.  I was giddy the rest of the day at work.  “Two babies!” I kept exclaiming to any co-worker in the know, “I’m going to be getting pregnant with twins!”

It was strange waiting all day Friday for my transfer.  But 4:30 finally came about, I peed, filled my water bottle with the required amount to fill up my bladder, grabbed my Valium tablet and we were off!

I had some time to think on the drive there. I thought about how I would feel with two babies in me.  I thought about the fact that we had 4 (5?) embryos this time.  I thought about Adam.

We were the only ones in the waiting room, because we were the last appointment.  We were finally led back by the same nurse that did our retrieval.  She let us change first and then she said she’d be back to go over our discharge instructions.

I wore my lucky socks. Also, I kind of look like an oompa loompa.

The nurse came back and I was so antsy, even under my Valium-state, that I blurted out, “I still have four, right?”  She told me the doctor would have that information.

Our doctor we had was nice.  I don’t even remember his name, because he worked at the other clinic.

“So we are going to transfer one.  We recommend that you discard the other four.”

“I don’t understand,” I said, when I could finally speak, “I thought we were doing two.”  I was so shocked that I never even asked where this 5th embryo came from all of a sudden.

He told us that the four had stopped growing, and the one was still there, but was at the 12-cell stage, a morula, a little behind.  The only one that continued to grow.

He handed me the picture.  I wish I could say I sucked in my breath, in total awe, like I was when I saw Adam for the first time.

I wish I could say tears of happiness leaped to my eyes, as I stared down at my (hopefully) future child.

I didn’t do either of those things.  Instead I reached out numbly and took it, looking at it without seeing it.  I wanted to feel love for this last survivor, but I didn’t feel anything. 

You ever want to see the ugly side of infertility, this is it.

I felt nothing for this embryo, because I was mourning the loss of the others.  I wasn’t even listening to the rest of the conversation.  When he walked out of the room, I couldn’t stop the tears, absently handing the photo to Chris.

“Why didn’t they call us this morning?  Why would they wait until right before the transfer to tell me this?” I sobbed to Chris.  The nurse slipped back into the room and noticed me frantically wiping my face.

I repeated the same thing to her.

“Don’t cry,” was all she said, “We don’t want your body to be releasing all those stress hormones.”  She told us she’d give us a minute.

“They drop this on me ten minutes before transfer, they tell me four of them are going to be thrown away, and they expect me NOT to be upset?” I snarl to Chris, the tears coming again, “How can I focus on not releasing stress hormones right now after hearing that?”

Mentally telling myself to pull it together, we walk out of the room, and into the IVF suite.  The nurse was trying to make me laugh by telling me a story from earlier when they were in the middle of a transfer and the soothing overhead music turned into Beyonce’s, “Single Ladies.”  I laughed, a little too loudly maybe, desperate to rid my body of the detrimental stress response.

One embryo, I kept telling myself, as the trial transfer began, there is still one and that’s better than none.

I watched the ultrasound screen showing my uterus, and the catheter, while the doctor measured out the spot the embryo would be transferred to.  It’s ok, I told myself.

The embryologist slid open the screen by the doctor.  “Ok,” she announced, “We are transferring one, and destroying four?”

The question was meant for me.  I couldn’t even answer.  My heart leaped into my throat and my breath caught.  The tears pricked at my eyes.  Even now, I am so angry how different this experience was compared to the last transfer.

Still, I pushed those thoughts aside (a huge feat in itself), and focused all my energy into what was going on on the screen: my one little embryo being placed into my body.  The streak of light that was the catheter, the little blip of light that was the fluid that held all I have worked for these past two months.

See the tiny arrow? That’s pointing to the embryo.

Last time, when the doctor removed the speculum, when the room was cleared of people and discarded supplies, when Chris and I were in the room alone for that ten minutes, my bladder throbbing, we dreamed together.  We giggled, we kissed, we talked about how amazing it all was.

This time, I had to shut my eyes and focus on deep breathing.  I had to mash my teeth together to keep from sobbing.  We didn’t say a word until the nurse came back and led us to the recovery room.

While I layed there, I asked her why they didn’t call us.  I don’t think she really realized why I was so upset until now.  I don’t think she realized that 24-hours ago, we were told we had multiple growing embryos.

First she explained that she doesn’t even see the chart until after we have checked in.  I guess they don’t call because they want to see what the embryos do right up until we come.  But still, a phone call, warning us there may have been slowed growth.  Something.

She also told us that many people don’t even get to this point.  That if this embryo wasn’t growing the way they would like, a transfer would never had been done.  I tried to focus on that.  This one still has a chance.

Don’t mind my “I just bawled my eyes out” face.

And then the bed rest started.

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Risa, my dear friend, I wish I could give you a huge hug. I wish I had more to say. I am sorry that you had to experience this; I can not imagine the pain and grief you must have been feeling while trying to remain positive…. I admire you beyond words.
I hope that this embie sticks!! XOXO!


Hugs for you!!! Believing with you that this is it!


Echoing Teresa's comment about wishing I could give you a hug right now. wow, this puts my frustration about not having a schedule and needing to make multiple calls to get my appointment scheduled in perspective! Granted there's never a right time to give disappointing news, and sometimes it 'a better to do in person, but sheesh! Anyway, I am so hoping this is the little embryo who could!

Bridget Pitney

:Hugs: Good luck. I hope this is it for you.


I'm so sorry for your loss of the other embryos. Fingers crossed for this little one. Thinking of all of you and hoping it works.


I am praying so hard for this baby for you! This will be your miracle! *HUGS*


miracles are all around us. I feel like this blogging community needs one right about now! We're due! Praying that it's your miracle! XOXO


We are all hoping and praying so hard for that sweet embryo. Take 'er easy, Mama! XOXO

Kasey A

I'm so sooty they didn't call you. I agree you at least deserve a little heads up that something is off. Praying for this sweet lil one. He/she's already beautiful in my eyes!


What horrible timing. You would think they'd think of that stuff, this can't be the first time this has happened. I'm sorry you had to go through it, but now try to think positive thoughts for the one you DO have!


Praying for you, and my fingers are crossed, too!! Xoxo


Ugh, this sucks so much. Your feelings are 100% justified, especially when they TOLD you there were more, and then yanked them away. That's awful.

That being said…you have your little one, nestling deep in there right now as we speak! I'm sending you a huge hug and tons of positive energy for your wait.

Jenni Moore

I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience! It would have been nice if they could have called to give you some time to accept what had happened. I can tell you from experience when the phone rings and you see the number on caller ID, your heart stops and you immediately expect the worst–that no embryos survived. Maybe experiencing that feeling and having time to process, would have helped you be more grateful for the one survivor instead of shocked by the loss of the others. So sorry again! Praying that little survivor implants and hangs around for… Read more »


Risa, I'm so sorry. Yes, one is better than none, but that had to be a terrible shock. I sincerely hope the one embryo growing in you turns out to be THE ONE. That would certainly help to take the sting away. Hang in there. Hugs sweetie…


Stick and Grow, Little One!!!!


I'm so hopeful for this little one. I know it was not a great experience for you and wish it was. I'm praying for this baby. And mourn with you the loss of the other four.


I won't tell you the classic, "it just takes one." But I hope that your one, is THE one for you. So sorry that things continue to be so hard.

Sarah at Midwest Pillowtalk

sending you sticky baby dust!!


Hi from ICLW…good luck!!!

Kerry Alderman-Murphy

Here's to lots of sticky baby dust! Good luck!


Oh Risa… I can't imagine hearing that news at the time of transfer! I'm so sorry about your other four! This is all just so hard! I think you did a great job pulling yourself together for your little embryo! Praying with you that this embryo is THE ONE and that you are on your way!


I think they were wrong not to call you. They should have called that morning with an update. And then telling you not to cry?!?
But, I'm happy about your one tough little survivor. I'm hoping this is the one!!!

Mrs. Lost

I'm praying that this little fighter is the one! Blessings and prayers coming your way!


Oh hun, I'm so sorry. I agree, they should have given you some sort of warning earlier, 10 minutes before your transfer is ridiculous. I also don't understand their language. I mean, I understand that between doctors and nurses "destroying" conveys very clearly what they intend to do, but why use that with a patient? Those embryos they are "destroying" are someone's hopes and dreams, you'd think they could use a less abrasive word.

I hope that this little fighter is the one!


I'm so sorry about your four embryos. Praying for peace in the waiting and for this one beauty to thrive.

Non Sequitur Chica

There is never a good time for bad news- maybe they were worried about you getting upset before arriving at the clinic and that not being helpful? Either way, it could have been handled much better. I'm sorry that you had to go through that, but happy that you are PUPO with your fighting embryo!!

Jennifer Juniper

Sticky, sticky!!! Thinking about you all the time, Risa!


My thoughts are with you and the transferred embie!! Grow embie!

Melissa Long

Aw I want to give you a big hug! Sure you were upset and I completely agree they should have told you sooner! And the word "destroy" just tears though you, surely there is a better term to you. I have hopes and prayers for your embie!!


Oh my…..your clinic needs sensitivity training. Their way of breaking bad news is atrocious. As for discarding the other 4, would there have been any harm in transferring them too? Even if they weren't viable (or didn't appear to be at the time) your clinic should've transferred all 5. Destroying them seems so unnecessary at this point.



I'm so sorry, friend. Hoping that this embryo is SuperEmbryo and latches on to that ute like a champ 🙂


Oh Risa, my heart aches for that awful transfer experience. As if it isn't stressful enough. I am having a hard time understanding how four embies just stopped growing like that in such a short time. I know it happens, but still. You do have one rock star embaby nestling in, hopefully for the long haul though! I'll be praying for that baby.


I'm sorry you had such a crappy experience. The clinic definitely could have handled that better. I'm also sorry you had to get that news in the first place. Thinking positive thoughts for you and your survivor.