Saturday, 1 November 2014

Lady in Waiting

I was scheduled to teach a contraceptive methods course in Sacramento on the day after my transfer, which meant I got to sleep in that morning. I rolled over and found Husband was already scrolling through his phone. As I rubbed my eyes, he presented a picture of Mrs Robinson and her twins. After a month in the NICU, everyone was finally home. "That will be you in nine months." he declared, "expect with only one baby" he added. When he delivers lines like these, I find myself loving him a little more, yet hating him at the same time.

After waiting for AF's arrival and hoping it would permit my baseline scan, laminaria placement and removal and follow up scan to coordinate with my trip back east, there was one more logistical hurdle. I had signed up to run a half marathon. When New Girl handed me my tentative schedule, my transfer was planned for a Monday, and the race was on Sunday. Six days post transfer and a day past the five day rest period. Of course, I should have been suspect that anything could align so perfectly. When I went back for my final lining check, Dr STIUTK asked if we could move the transfer to Tuesday, as he had a surgical case on Monday and as XYZ tends to be busier, they may not provide a time that would work for him. As I always do, I had snapped some pictures of my own schedule and it was actually easier to move my Tuesday patients. No problem, I agreed. I actually forgot about the half, until I received an email update later that day, and also noted that it was on Saturday, not Sunday.

So that would be on my fourth post transfer day... As the race location was a ninety minute drive away, I wouldn't have minded not getting up at 0430 on a Saturday, but the complicating factor is that one of my friends heard I was planning to do this half, and she signed up with me. Additionally, she took care of the cats while we were away and her requested payment was that I drive us to the event and pick up the tab at our post race breakfast. Just to hear what he would say, I asked my RE if I could run. "I'll leave that up to you to decide..." was his non-committal answer. Husband pointed out that he did not say 'yes', while I interpreted it as he did not say 'no'.

I just wanted an evidence based answer. Of course, I doubt there are any published papers about patients running half marathons and long distances after a transfer. There isn't any evidence to support that bed rest offers any benefit. In fact, one article I read performed a comparative analysis and noted similar pregnancy rates between bed rest and non bed resters, but the women who were on strict bed rest had a lower implantation per embryo rate. I've even heard some REIs wonder outloud if bed rest may have a harmful effect, that it's better for uterine blood flow to be up and moving. Just maybe not moving 13.1 miles.

I dug up my post transfer instruction that I received from my first cycle. As a five-time guest to the XYZ Embryology Suite, they no longer give me the hand out. I have been compliant with these instructions with all my previous transfers, and it didn't make a difference. "No strenuous exercise for five days". Strenuous is the key word. My ego wants to say that running 13.1 miles isn't strenuous for me. It only take me abut 4 weeks to train for a half. Yet, I've done this course before and found it to be tough, especially if it happens to be a hot day. Plus I haven't ran much in that last few weeks. And I'm recovering from a cold. Also, are you aware that this is your fifth transfer after three consecutive failures? "Jane, you and I both know that whether or not you run won't make a distance, but I don't want to see you blaming yourself if you run and it doesn't work." Husband offered.

The logical side of my brain agreed, as she tried to tell my ego that if it were an easier course, cooler temperatures and if I had been able to squeeze in a few more practice runs, then I could have done it. Then I received another email from the race organisers announcing that they decided to add a 5K distance to the event. It would follow the last three miles of the half marathon course. Now, that was something I could do!

They offered a shuttle service from the start of the half to the 5K start. While walking to the meeting point, I ran into a woman who I'm guessing is about 28 weeks pregnant. "I signed up for the half, but I obviously can't run it now." she explained. I decided to try being open about my situation "We're doing IVF and I had a transfer done earlier this week." "Oh. I had a friend who did IVF." she replied as she pulled out her phone and quickly became engrossed by it. Sometimes you can tell how fertile someone is by how uncomfortable they are discussing infertility.

I overheard two or three conversations on the shuttle to the 5K start, "so I was planning to run the half, but then I found out I'm pregnant!" I also caught a group of guys who had intended to run the half under the team name 'Sweating for the Wedding'. The Groom (I'm presuming) had written on his bib 'Hoping she'll love me the way I am'. Apparently they didn't realise how long 13.1 miles was and didn't train appropriately. So, this 5K distance would be composed of pregnant women and people who aren't fit enough to run the half marathon. I'm neither; but I'm feeling more closely aligned with the didn't properly train group.

After the shuttle dropped us at our start, we had to wait about 45 minutes for all the elite runners to pass. Those who keep a less than 7 minute mile pace and would clear the ten mile maker in less than one hour and fifteen minutes. We were able to hang out at a winery, receive shelter from the pouring rain, enjoy hot coffee and tea as well as indoor plumbing. It was starting to resonate that switching distances was a very smart decision.

I ran the 3.1 miles rather gingerly. I disabled my timing chip so that there would be no official record on how slowly I ran the course, but it was very slow. As I was waiting for the race to start, I received a text from Robin asking how we were doing. "You two are going to be amazing parents, whether it's in nine months or a little longer." Suddenly, I had a new perspective on the two week wait. I am merely waiting to see how long I will be waiting...


  1. I think that's a great perspective to have and I couldn't agree with Robin more!

  2. Obviously my issues were related more to egg quality than implantation, but I also like to point out that while my Toronto RE always had me do three days of strict bed rest, my Prague clinic gave me no such restrictions. I took it easy day of transfer, and then was back up on my feet walking hours a day all over Prague for the next couple of days sightseeing. I'll never know if it made a difference, but it clearly didn't hurt implantation. Glad you decided to do the run!

  3. Ahhh I'm really hoping you won't be waiting long at all!!!

  4. I hear ya, lady! All I do lately is hurry up and wait.

  5. My clinic specifically said no bed rest. They said go for a walk and do normal activity. I took them at their word and was up and about all day. They did, however, say don't run a marathon.

  6. I think my clinic also advised to not run a marathon, but I never asked about a half because, well, the 5k would be a clear challenge for me ;)
    I'm glad you went. It must have been frustrating to be surrounded by all those "accidental" pregnancies though. And I hope the transfer works out!

  7. I love that! Just waiting to see how long you'll be waiting. So hoping it is not long my friend. If you're ever in Sac again for work, I'd love to meet for a cup of coffee. Hugs!

  8. I'm hoping it is just nine months and that you'll get good news soon. Good for you for doing the 5K since you felt like it. I find running and exercise so therapeutic.

  9. Ah Jane, your two week wait is killing me!

  10. I'm glad you were still able to participate in the event! I love the new perspective, waiting to see how long you'll be waiting.