Hi to all!! I am on cloud nine right now, but trying to stay calm. I am currently extremely content with where we stand in regards to our final report, prior to testing. If you have spoken with me in the last few days, thank you for LISTENING, and I promise you I was not on speed (if that even still exits), I seriously just couldn’t slowwwwww downnnnn, AT ALL!
Disclaimer: I have had ¼ of a vodka and water, please excuse any errors in grammar and/or punctuation. This Broncos game is also a distraction. Lastly, there is a lot of scientific and medical information below, and the word embryo will be read about 39 times.
In talking with Chris on Friday, my ideal number of embryos to end the week with was six. I knew it was an aggressive wish, as there is typically a 50% survival rate from Day 3 to Day 5, but it seemed we had been “overachieving” all week, so I expected the trend to keep up.
Day 5 Update Call on Saturday 9/26 would include the following information:
- Overall number of embryos still going.
- Number embryos at blastocyst and ready for biopsy and freeze on Day 5.
- Number of embryos not yet at blastocyst, but still going. They are given until Day 6 to reach blastocyst stage.
- Number of embryos that have arrested/stopped growing.
Yesterday at 8:58a my phone rings, “Reproductive Partners” on caller ID. My body begins to tremor. Not kidding. I grab a pen, and the closest piece of paper, which happens to be my Jesus Calling bookmark aka the card Jessica wrote when she sent me the book. Perfectly fitting!
Wei (spelling?) is on the line to update me, and she gets right into it the details! Of the 10 total fertilized eggs, turned embryos:
- 9 still going.
- 4 had reached blastocyst and were ready for biopsy and freeze on Day 5.
- 5 would be given until Day 6. 1 seemed it would make it. They were unsure of the others.
- 1 arrested.
- Wei would be calling me back on Day 6/Sunday.
I felt just OK with the update. I wasn’t thrilled, but I was alright with the news. I tried to be positive considering we were in a much better position than we originally anticipated. I knew statistically speaking…we were right on track. But I had higher hopes since we were beating the odds with every statistical average all week. I was SO thankful the call came in the morning, so I wouldn’t be waiting all day.
I spent an hour or so on the phone updating Chris, family, etc. I pulled myself together, and out the door I went to RPMG. I took flowers, cards, and cookies to the nurses, doctors and staff as the tiniest gesture of thanks. I am beyond appreciative for all they have done to make this entire journey as pleasant as possible.
After running a couple errands and grabbing lunch, I had plans to spend the afternoon with Desiree, Ryan, and their BEAUTIFUL 6 week-old trio! It was my first time meeting Jax, Sawyer, and Charlize, and let me tell you, I am in love. It was so special to meet these little miracles! Happy due date 🙂 Since Chris was out of town, it was even more meaningful to spend time with this fabulous family and they were JUST what I needed on this particular day. Being that Des and Ryan have walked this journey, it is SO positive and encouraging to have them in my life. They get it. They truly understand. And it feels SO incredible to have built the bond we have! I am forever grateful!!
On to today…Day 6 Update Call on Sunday 9/27 would include the following information:
- Official number biopsied and frozen Day 5
- Grade/quality of those frozen on Day 5
- Number, if any, ready for biopsy and freeze on Day 6
Today/Sunday at 9:15a Wei calls. Again, my body entered a state of shock. She starts by letting me know, FIVE were able to be biopsied and frozen yesterday, versus the four I thought! Next she says that ONE more is ready for biopsy and freeze today. There is my goal of SIX!!!!! YESSSSS!!!
SIX!!!!! Are you kidding me?! I was over the moon, and nearly in tears. Wei would be calling me back to let me know the grade of the embryo to be biopsied.
After spending some time updating Chris, family, etc., I went to Starbucks for the sixth day in a row. Four different locations have been graced with my presence since Tuesday, as I have SEVERELY missed my venti iced coffee with four pumps of sugar free vanilla. Since retrieval, I have consumed an excessive amount of calories, fat, GMO, MSG, and nastiness. Pretty disgusting to admit, but I am an open book, so must share. I deserve it, right? Back to being a beacon of health tomorrow!
So I was breathing easy, with a smile on my face, and TOTALLY ready to enjoy my relaxing Sunday. I went to do a quick return at Loft, and then picked up Bruegger’s Bagels (so tasty) for breakfast. I wanted to be back home in time to watch the awful Cards v. Brewers game, catch up with some friends and family, and lay in the sun for a bit before Chris would arrive home.
At 10:52a while en route to Loft, I see Wei calling to let me know the grade of the one embryo biopsied today.
WELL WELL WELL! She had some pretty damn amazing news to share.
Drumroll, please….There was not just ONE embryo ready today, there were TWO!!!! IS THIS A JOKE?! SEVEN TOTAL?!?!?!??! As mentioned, normally there is a 50% Day 3 to Day 5 survival rate, and we outdid ourselves at 70%!!
I am trying not to focus TOO much on the grading scale, as a poor embryo could be genetically normal and a good embryo could be abnormal. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the levels, results, numbers, and so on. Our clinic uses a different grading system than others. Our embryos are rated again as Good, Fair, and Poor, but it is based upon entirely different qualities and qualifications than the Day 3 grading scale. They review the cells relative to the placenta and fetus which is just absolutely insane to me.
Our Seven are:
- 1 Good
- 4 Fair
- 2 Borderline Fair/Poor
Wei said, and we had heard before, their lab is VERY VERY strict, and another lab would likely grade our embryos a bit easier, with 5 rated as Good. Again, none of the grading matters at this point, as the genetic testing will be far more telling. Good and Fair embryos have nearly the same viable pregnancy rates.
Our embryologists have said that typically Day 6 embryos do not have as high of a genetic normalcy rate as Day 5. However, if the Day 6 embryos genetically normal, the pregnancy success rates are the same as a Day 5.
I thanked Wei a million times, and told her she is a miracle worker, literally. I cannot wait to meet these amazing individuals in the coming weeks to appropriately thank them in person. To think just a week ago, I was content in retrieving 6-8 eggs, and NOW we have SEVEN embryos. Sorry to be repetitive!
Our Super Seven are now frozen at RPMG. In asking questions, I was told the embryos are extremely sensitive and fragile and any time they are manipulated, there is risk. The biopsy, freezing, and thaw are a LOT for a tiny embryo to handle. The biopsied cells I keep referring to are being sent to New Jersey tomorrow. This still blows my mind! It will take about 11 days for us to receive the results. We could have a couple come back genetically normal, or we could have none. We have no idea, and no control over this. My goal/ideal number in my mind is THREE. If there are more, FANTASTIC, but three is what is in my head. Although I am nervous to receive the results, it is a HUGE relief to not be getting daily calls/updates this week. Hopefully my heart and blood pressure can take a little break this week.
Many have asked – YES we ARE doing a second cycle. It will start with my next period which is expected within 14 days from retrieval date. I will share in more info about Cycle 2 in my next post.
You have no idea how helpful and encouraging your support and encouragement is. I LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOU ALL so much! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!! Xo
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. – Robert Tew