PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rudy, The Lone Embryo

Rudy - The Embryo
On Wednesday night, right on time, the TV aired their usual, “It’s 10pm. Do you know where your children are?” segment. Lord knows I’ve asked myself that question a lot in the past two years. This night though, I could at least say, “Yes. In a petri dish in midtown New York.

The transfer day was yesterday, and I must apologize for not blogging about it sooner. It’s hard to type when you’ve spent most of the day with your legs up in the air. This is probably why there aren’t a lot of blogs written by working prostitutes. That’s just my theory though.

As you know, we had just the one embryo to transfer. This has been difficult for me to accept. In general, I’ve taken a Queen of Hearts from ALICE IN WONDERLAND response to this disappointment and have very much wanted off with someone’s head. This is not like me. I’m pretty resilient and can put a positive spin on most things. I am also a firm believer that if you make something funny, you can immediately make it better. The trouble has been though that either due to hormones or exhaustion, I’ve had a harder time being all zip-a-dee-doo-dah over recent developments.

While throwing one long fabulous tantrum (I even had my own soundtrack for it featuring such hits as the Rolling Stones, “You Can't Always Get What You Want” and “Please, Please, Please - Let Me Get What I Want” by Morrissey), my husband started referring to the one embryo we produced as “Rudy”.

For those of you who don’t know, he was referencing Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger who is famous for wanting to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, despite being merely 5'5" and 165 pounds. Somehow, despite all odds, he ended up playing for the team and in a final play of one game in particular, he sacked the opposing quarterback, and was carried off on the shoulders of his teammates. Rudy was the first of only two players in Notre Dame history ever to be carried off the field by his teammates. This was all depicted in a movie called RUDY starring Sean Astin. Leave it to my husband to take a problem stemming from eggs, sperm and embryos and somehow turn it into a sport reference.

Thanks to my husband’s new nickname for our embryo, despite our fears and concerns over having only one, we began rooting for it like he was an underdog who desperately wanted to play football… or implant in my uterus… or both. We deemed ourselves Team Rudy.

It's a small team but we've got great t-shirts.

Before the transfer, I went to acupuncture and that was a help. I know different things have been said about the connection between acupuncture and IVF success rates but for me, whether it has conclusive medical benefits or not, it’s just damn relaxing. I mentioned to my acupuncturist that we were now calling the embryo ‘Rudy’ and without missing a beat, she said, “After the football player? I love it!

Clearly, we recruited another member for Team Rudy.

As I lay there looking like the lead character in the movie HELLRAISER, I didn’t visualize anything or even fantasize about making out with Jon Hamm (as I sometimes do). I just stopped thinking about everything altogether and listened to the wind flute CD my acupuncturist had playing in the background. Mind you – I won’t be downloading this CD on my mp3 player anytime soon but it was still lovely at that moment.

I headed to the clinic feeling calmer and ready to meet with the embryologist. He came in with a nurse, sat us down and explained that eleven eggs were retrieved, ten were mature, all received ICSY (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) but for reasons they don’t understand, only one embryo multiplied. He also added that they were shocked by this as they expected at least six embryos.

On one hand, it was nice to feel validated. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but wonder where the hell these six expected embryos went! I haven’t even had kids and already, they were abandoning me.

In an effort to focus on the positive, the conversation quickly turned to Rudy. The doctor told us that the embryo was a clean 7-Cell embryo as of Wednesday and they used assisted hatching to give it a better chance of implanting. Sam told the doctor that we were calling the embryo as Rudy and before we could even explain why, he said, “Ohhhh! I love that movie!” Rudy wasn’t even transferred yet and he was making friends all over the place!

As I lay down and they put my legs up in the stirrups, the doctor came over to me and said, “Just so you know, we just checked Rudy and he’s now an 8-cell embryo so he’s still multiplying! He’s a real fighter!” I took a deep breath and hoped the doctor was right. Everything feels like it’s riding on this one embryo. I tried to think positively and relax despite the fact that I had a full bladder and a catheter up my ying yang. “C’mon Rudy… implant. Please just implant…” I whispered.

After the transfer, they had me lay flat on my back for a half hour. One of the nurses came in and handed me two pieces of paper. One was a report card of sorts. It listed IVF 2 onto one little index card:

EGGS RETRIEVED – 11
MATURE EGGS – 10
ICSY – 10
EMBRYOS – 1
ASSISTED HATCHING - 1

The other piece of paper was a black and white picture of Rudy. Since I couldn’t get up and there was nowhere to put them, I lay there holding them both and reflecting on all that had happened.

After a few minutes, my husband came in and sat down next to me. We sat there quietly for a bit before Sam smiled and said, “You know… I have a good feeling. Maybe Rudy said to the other embryos, ‘Back off! I got this!’”

I tried to smile back. “It really depends on how this story ends. If we get pregnant, then this whole thing will make sense. If it doesn’t, then we’re back to square one."

I held up the report card with my right hand and said, “I just can’t understand what went wrong.

Sam took the report card out of my hand and said, “I think we should pay less attention to this piece of paper, and more attention to the other one.” And he motioned to the picture in my left hand of Rudy, the lone embryo.

And he’s right. I still can’t help but be disappointed and confused but at the very least, we have one strong embryo that has a whole lot of people rooting for him. It’s going to be a tough two week wait but I’m going to do my best to remain optimistic, continue writing, taking it easy and maybe... just maybe I should consider actually seeing the movie RUDY.

58 comments:

sienna said...

I like how ur hubby's thInks. I'm *sure* Rudy told the others that he got this. And being the dominant lil fella that he is, the others backed off : o) 8 cells is eggcellent. Hang in there. For ur sake, I hope time flies. Xoxoxoxoxo. Go Rudy!

The Barreness said...

All my fingers and toes are crossed and I am hoping the best hopes for you all!!

Heidi said...

no joke--my husband's dad is rudy's first cousin. yep, our little claim to fame. i read my husband this post--he said to tell you he's definitely pulling for little rudy this month :) well, it's over, and you can sigh a breath knowing there is nothing else you can do or control at this point!!! prayers and more prayers that rudy ends up getting carried out of his playing "field" by a bunch of doctors in 10 months!!!

Jess said...

You know you are going to have to name this baby Rudy, now right? There's no other way! So hopeful for you. Hang in there and make Rudy proud. :)

COME ON BABY said...

Goooooooo Rudy. This post made me cry, cry, cry. You are so funny and so sweet. I just LOVE you. I am happy to be apart of TEAM RUDY!! Rest well dear. Here's hoping for the fastest two weeks of your life.

Cortney said...

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! (& yes, you must see that movie!)

I'm pulling for you and Rudy! Hang in there, little guy!

Elaine VanDRiver said...

what a great post! and an even more fantastic outlook. i am pulling for RUDY!!!!

SLESE1014 said...

I feel like there should be a stadium full of people cheering you on! I'm definitely cheering RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!

You're not alone with the husband who likes to make sports references. I have an entire blog entry on how many at bats we have. Everything is sports referenced. I think it's the only way he can understand what's going on.

BTW John Ruettiger the brother of Daniel was my physical education teacher in elementary school....pretty funny huh? And I highly recommend the movie, it really is good.

Jen said...

I'm rooting for Rudy!

Gurlee said...

I'm all for Team Rudy!! Go, Go, Go!

Dead Cow Girl said...

You are an amazing writer. Yes indeed! Go team Rudy!

Julia Lynn said...

I'm on Team Rudy :-) And you absolutely should see that movie.
Love this post! Kudos to your husband for being supportive and knowing what to say.
Backing you up with prayer for this two week wait, for Rudy to implant, hang on and grow, for the time of waiting to seem to pass quickly, and for peace of mind free from anxiety while you wait. ;-)
Hooray for Rudy!

Jill said...

Great blog!! I love the image of Rudy pushing the others out of his way. It sounds like you have a great, very supportive husband. Best of luck keeping busy the next two weeks, if you are looking for things to do, I highly recommend watching all of the Oscar movies, that should at least take up a few hours. Go RUDY!!!

ADSchill said...

I can't wait to find out of Rudy hung in there!
I am so excited for you!

Emily said...

Go Rudy Go! Sign me up for team Rudy!

Fiona Caldarevic said...

Oohhh lucky you getting to lay there for half an hour after your transfer!! Good sign for Rudy. I was advised by experienced friends to insist on this, but no, we were scooted out of the clinic 2 mins after my transfer. Fingers crossed for Rudy, hope he makes it!

WaitingVicky said...

I think we are all cheering for Rudy! I really think your calmness before transfer and Rudy's obvious attitude are the elements that will make this a success. Fingers crossed for you!

Secret Sloper said...

I'm on Team Rudy!

I love your husband's words to you after the transfer. I definitely teared up while reading them. And I love that everyone is behind Rudy and cheering him on. I am praying super hard that he will play football *and* implant, though obviously not in that order :)

Go RUDY!!

Patti said...

Not a big movie person but Rudy is a fantastic movie and one of my all time favorites! I love your husband's reasoning and think it makes sense. Best wishes for a great outcome. You have a ton of people wishing you success and extra prayers too.

TeeJay said...

I'm on team Rudy! I so hope this goes your way.

CS said...

Love it! I'm rooting for Rudy as well! :)

FormerlyFertile said...

Team Rudy all the way!!! Be kind to yourself and stay positive. I will be thinking of you during the brutal 2ww (and joining you on Tuesday!). :)

Nic said...

Go Team Rudy!
Your Husband sounds great!

I know what you mean about wondering what went wrong. I feel like that about my 'perfect' emryos.

Good luck, hope Rudy sticks around!

KC said...

Team Rudy!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I've been a creepster for a few weeks now reading your blog without commenting. My husband and I ventured into the fabulous world of fertility last april. Three IUIs, and two IVFs later, we are still waiting for our kid to show up. This week our RE told me in so many words that I have rotten eggs. Your blog has given me some laughs when I've really needed it. My husband is a huge football fan, so I just had to read him this post outloud. We are both definitely rooting for your Rudy.

Joanne said...

Go Rudy! Rooting for you all.. xx

Baby bump bound said...

Oh that Rudy. I too hope that he sticks around so that this will all make sense.

I wish we could have a moment, any moment in time when we experience all of this making sense.

Wishing you and Rudy ALLLL the best of luck for the next two weeks (and beyond)!!!

Dr. Edward Ramirez, MD, FACOG said...

Remember, Jay, it only takes ONE good embryo to get pregnant and I have a feeling this will be the one for you! I remember one patient in particular who at 42 yo, had only one egg retrieved...it fertilized and miraculously went on to implant! Now she has a healthy baby. Yes, I do believe in miracles. The power of prayer and positive thinking is not something I ever shrug off. I am also rooting for you both and your impressive embryo aka "Rudy". :) EJR, MD

February 12, 2011 12:10 PM

MyTwoLines said...

I love this post--I am not sure how I wound up here (you know how you follow a link from a link from a link) but way back in the day I was an IVF vet--(five total) and blogged as DAVS and then LastChanceIVF and now as MyTwoLines (we've moved on to international adoption). BUT, we had a lone embryo transfer once too (IVF #3) and we named it "IOTO YONO" which stood for "It only takes one, you only need one" because everyone KEPT SAYING THAT. But I love the name Rudy and I love your hub's thoughts on it and an 8 celled beauty has quite a bit of potential! Hoping for the best for you!!

missohkay said...

You may not feel like it, but your attitude is great and inspires us all. TEAM RUDY!

Michelle said...

Please please watch Rudy. It is one of my favorite movies of all time and will make you feel so good! I love how the nurses and doctors were totally on board with your "Rudy" nickname. It is so nice to have a clinic that is not only supportive but does whatever they need to do to make you happy. Best of luck and I'll be thinking positive thoughts for you!

kkasun said...

I love that you are calling it Rudy!!!
I will be thinking of you during your two week wait and I hope this ends in a happy ending, just like the movie!!!

arohanui said...

I smiled when you wrote that the doctor had said “Just so you know, we just checked Rudy and he’s now an 8-cell embryo so he’s still multiplying! He’s a real fighter!”

How lovely that your clinic staff got in behind Rudy like that. I can imagine how devastating it was to have only one egg fertilise with the ICSI, but it only takes one embryo to make a child. And you are right, if you end up with a baby in your arms, none of the rest will matter.

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

My mom and I from Seattle are rooting for you, your husband and Rudy!

hopeisafourletterword said...

Good luck, I am keeping my finger crossed for ya!

Nicole said...

Go Rudy, Go!!!

wishonastar said...

Lurker here...just wanted to say I hope this is it for you!! I'm rooting for RUDY!!

Kakunaa said...

I have been MIA all week, and catching up with your posts have left me weepy as hell. I'm rooting for Rudy like you wouldn't believe and trying not to turn into a hormonal puddle of saline. Tell your husband that his analogy is perhaps one of the best I've heard in a while and I want to hug him for being so wonderful to you this week.

Praying in my own way for you, hun.

Anonymous said...

Dig in there little Rudy! Love the name.

RJ

C said...

Go Team Rudy!!! I'll be thinking of you and hoping that the 2ww goes by fast for you!

Tara dS said...

I'm glad you have such a wonderful, supportive husband! Really, he sounds like a winner!

Count me on Team Rudy! RU-DY! RU-DY!

Kristy said...

Count me in for Team Rudy :)

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

He's got this! Go Rudy!

shutterbugwife said...

I am so incredibly hopeful for this one. Go Rudy go!

InfertileNaomi said...

Go Team Rudy!

Kelly said...

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

Oh, I love this story so, so much. Fight hard, Rudy. Burrow deep.

2wwt, Sydney said...

How are you traveling now? Loved reading your blog - not only because I'm in pretty much in the same situation, (five of my seemingly perfect little embbies left me solo in the stirrups on transfer day - went ahead with one on Monday and am now well and truly in 2 week wait wasteland!!! ) but also because of your lovely attitude and inspiring writing. All the best of luck (for both of us). Go Rudy!

Patty said...

RUDY! RUDY! RUDY! I can hear the whole team chanting!!hope this 2 wk wait is super fast! Miracles DO happen, and you have a ton of people sending prayers and positive thoughts your way. Grow Rudy! Grow!

Maddy said...

I can understand your dismay over your overall results. It is baffling. But you have one and that one is GREAT! At 2 separate times, we transferred a single 6-celled embryo and now I have a healthy 2 year old and I'm 27 weeks pregnant with my second. Rudy can do it!!! And as annoying as it might sound, it really does only take one! Best of luck to you.

Carli said...

OK, everyone else has told you to see the movie already, but you really should see it.
The last 10 to 15 minutes will bring you to TEARS.

AND

When you watch it and you hear the crowd chanting, you can imagine it is all of us out here on the internet cheering for YOUR RUDY.

Love the name and I hope he really did just tell the others to back off because he had this one.

Stacy said...

this post made me cry ~ I can literally feel your pain, your longing and your fear through your words. First of all you gotta see the movie, it will give you hope and its just a damn good movie. (be ready to cry thou) Second your husband is right focus on the good and good will come your way. BEST OF LUCK

Kim said...

I'm really rooting for Rudy, as is everyone else in the IF blogosphere. This blog post almost made me cry at the end. I have a good feeling about Rudy.

Elizabeth said...

go Rudy!

I had only two embryos to transfer myself during my IVF, but miracles can happen- I am now pregnant with twins!

Jen said...

I gave you a blog award!

kateypie35 said...

Just thinking of you - and Rudy - and hoping that little fighter is digging in for a championship play...

conceptionallychallenged said...

Go, team Ruby, go!

Anonymous said...

Team Rudy!!!
Having dreams is what makes life tolerable.~Rudy

sunnymama said...

I'm on Team Rudy too! :) I've linked to Rudy the lone but inspirational embryo here: http://sunnydaytodaymama.blogspot.com/2011/02/50-inspiring-links.html

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