The Lowdown

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Yes, that is a bona fide pic of our embryo! We did transfer yesterday. At the last minute DH and I decided to forgo PGD. We didn’t feel it was necessary in our circumstances. Because we made this decision we were given a 5-day transfer instead of a 6-day.

We got to the clinic bright and early at 7:15 a.m. I had blood work drawn and then we were escorted to the surgical area to change. DH got a smock, hairnet, and shoe covers; I got the standard too-short gown, slipper socks, and a hairnet. We looked so hot in our getup. I gotta say, it was comforting to have company for once. I had showered the evening before and put on no lotions, creams, etc. whose scents might interfere with the transfer. In fact, I went sans deodorant too just to be super safe (I just bought a new deodorant that I haven’t gone nose blind to yet). So yeah, like I said, hot stuff.

Before transfer, the embryologist met with us about the results of our embies. She came armed with a printout of the embryo that’d be transferred momentarily. Truly this was a perfect, beautiful, hatching, grade 5AA embryo. The embryologist—a sweet woman who spoke in lots of scientific terms—espoused the virtues of our transferee by showing us spots and specks and curves on the printed picture that DH and I didn’t understand, but her excitement was so sweet that we truly did try to process it all. I really appreciated her enthusiasm.

Then she dropped the bomb that only one embryo—a grade 5BB—was leftover to go in the freezer. Technically, there were two embryos to potentially freeze, but the embryologist wasn’t holding out for both of them to make it. (I found out this morning that indeed the second lil fighter did not make it, and ended its life as a 5-celled grade 3DE. Or maybe DF. I forget.)

So, 1 frozen embryo + 1 fresh embryo = 2. Out of 9. Mathematically, only 22% of our embryos survived. The lab thought we’d get at least 40% to survive. And out of the 13 eggs retrieved, only 15% made it to viable embryos. Those are not the kinds of numbers anyone wants to hear.   Then again…. we could’ve ended up with none to freeze at all. The two that made it are so special to me and I thank God for providing them. Yet I can’t help being sad and upset about the seven we lost. I of course started crying the minute the embryologist left DH and I alone behind our curtained area. And this morning after receiving the news that only one was left to freeze, I began crying again on my drive to work, ruining my perfectly good eye makeup. I hope this sadness gets better with time.

I truly struggled with this outcome. Part of me is of course undeniably grateful for our two embryos that did make it, grateful for this opportunity, grateful that it wasn’t worse. Yet another part of me is heartbroken for the seven embryos that didn’t make it. I don’t know how to feel. I go back and forth, up and down, left and right. If I start getting sad or worried then I kick myself, because surely those emotions are sending bad/draining/negative bodily vibes through to my lil blastocyst and maybe that will affect its implantation. So, what, am I not supposed to feel any amount of sadness because of this possibility? It’s a vicious cycle. Being on estrogen is not helping matters, since it seems to affect my emotional state the worst of any of the hormones I’ve stuffed into my body lately.

The transfer itself went smoothly. I had creepy Nurse Pam hovering over me again, but her chilling presence was buffeted by the return of Dr. G, who had performed my hysto and mock transfer! Aside from my regular RE, Dr. G is my fave doctor in the whole group. I was super happy to know she’d be doing our transfer. The lab is adjacent to the surgery room, so a door was opened up between the rooms so DH and I could see everything that was happening. The lab seemed like a happy place—it was brightly lit and they had music going. What a cool place that must be to work at.

DH and I got to watch on a TV screen as the embryologist in the lab took the embryo from its petri dish and basically sucked it into a catheter. She then carried it through the doorway into the surgery room. At this point I was already on the table with the speculum in. The catheter was inserted to the very tip of my uterus and the blastocyst placed. Quick. Easy. I laid there for less than ten minutes before they discharged us to leave. I spent the remainder of the day on bedrest, only getting up to use the bathroom or get something to eat. Today I am back to work.

Since we did a day-5 transfer, our TWW is actually a 9-day wait. October 1 I will have a blood pregnancy test done at the clinic. I’m so grateful we don’t have to wait an extra five days to find out the results. I really don’t see myself POAS between now and then. Among the lovely side effects of the Crinone that I’ve been taking for the last six days, constant cramping and ridiculous boob pain/swelling/lumpiness (They lie and call it mere “breast tenderness” on the informational insert from the pharmacy. Not.even.close) have been plaguing me on a daily basis. Because of that, there’s little else to “look for” as far as possible pregnancy symptoms go. Symptom counting has never been my thing anyway. Just gotta ride this thing out.

Peace 🙂

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Author: Marixsa

Navigating the infertility waters and encouraging other mamas-in-waiting along the way.

12 thoughts on “The Lowdown”

  1. First of all, that blastocyst is beautiful! It really is perfect-looking. I have the highest hopes for it. I’m really excited for you! Secondly, I’ve been in your shoes — my first cycle I only had one blast and one to freeze. It sucks when you hear about people having like 7 to freeze or whatever and so many of your guys didn’t make it. I say go ahead and let yourself be sad about your other 7 — of course you should grieve for them. But also, celebrate your amazing cycle and your two potential babies. You really did have an amazing cycle that went beyond anyone’s expectations. I’m kind of in awe of it to be honest. You were only supposed to get three eggs and you got 13, and then 9 embryos. And yeah, they didn’t all make it, but they were totally scrappy and kept fighting the whole time. And you ended up with one that’s perfect in every way. Pretty damn amazing.

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    1. Also, side note, but Dr. G. herself told me that she’s pretty happy with a embryo 20% survival rate, as it’s similar to a fertile young woman’s chance of getting pregnant every month. I’m not really explaining that well, but she says 20% is good! I’m totally jealous that you had her for your transfer and hyst. I never had her for any procedures. I always had Dr. K. who I frankly do not like AT ALL.

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  2. First of all, congrats on the beautiful embryo! Second, I know how disappointing it is to hear bad news on the day of transfer. The same thing happened to us. We had 17 embryos going into Day 4, but the morning of the transfer I got a phone call that almost all of them were gone. They transferred one AB that morning and only one more survived to freeze, bringing us down to an 11% survival rate from a 62% fertilization rate. And, worst of all, no one could tell us why as the doctor was just as baffled as we were. It took me a couple days to recover from that information, but eventually I decided that I didn’t want to let the loss of those embryos mean more than the survival of the two we did end up with. While the first transfer was unsuccessful, we are now 22 weeks along with that second and last embryo. Everyone says “it only takes one!” for a reason! Even still, that news is hard to take, especially in such an intensely emotional situation.

    I hope that your “2ww” goes well and I’ve got my fingers crossed this THIS embryo is THE embryo!

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    1. Thank you! I guess I’m in good company then, even though that means we both got less than hoped for results. I just took some time to read through your story. So amazing that you found a surrogate (I’m late in catching up with you) and ate halfway there!

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  3. Come on you perfect blast! Geeze, that is a really good grade one- so happy for you! Even though you only had one frozen, that is awesome you had one! What have you got planned the next 10 days or so?! LOL I think I would try throwing myself into a Netflix binge watching marathon or read a ton of books.

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    1. Just taking it easy. I pretty much am just going to work, then coming home and spending the evenings doing as little as possible. I’ve been doing a LOT of reading to keep distracted (books. And Google too. I can’t seem to stop!).

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