Embryo Update “Call me tomorrow”

I’ve been holding out on doing an update because I’ve been waiting for some concrete news (I bet all the IVF veterans out there are slapping their thighs and laughing at this, ‘concrete news’ and ‘IVF’ indeed do not go hand in hand). So I’ve given up on the concrete stuff and decided to update with what I’ve got.

Basically, we still have no idea what will happen this cycle. Well technically, we do have options but each option has a rather gigantic risk, so we are letting the specialist guide us on this one. I’ll go over them at the end of the post after I’ve gone through a rundown on the Embryo development over the past few days.

So most important news first – the only two fertilised eggs are still going by some miracle. Currently on Day 4 of development, Grade 3 (I kind of flipped out when I heard this but the specialist tells us is an average grade, not necessarily a bad thing!) From Googling, I discovered grading appears to vary from clinic to clinic…you know what that means? – Step away from the search engine & trust your specialist!

EMBRYO DAY 1 (day after egg retrieval & day of my last post)

Saturday 21st Feb – 10am

Phone call with specialist. Doc gave us the devastating news that out of 11 mature eggs only 2 fertilised. At this stage one was showing fragments, it appeared as though only one Embryo was in the running. Specialist advised not to start on next lot of medication, he wants to avoid Embryo transfer this month if possible. My last blood test showed progesterone levels were rising prior to egg pickup, this means conditions were not ideal for implantation. Doc said “The fragmented one can still come good at this stage, call me tomorrow 7pm”

EMBRYO DAY 2

Sunday 22nd Feb – 7pm

Rang Doc, he didn’t answer (immediate crazy-hormonal thoughts that he is avoiding our call because he doesn’t want to give us bad news). Phone rings, Doc begins “Sadly…” (oh shit!) “the embryos aren’t developing as fast as they should be” Scott and I silently make wtf-does-that-mean-faces at each other. The doc goes on to explain that it isn’t necessarily a bad sign. He will check how they are tomorrow morning, if they aren’t looking strong then we may transfer then (DAY 3). Although the chance of implantation is low it’s better than no chance at all. He advises to hold off on starting the meds still, and assures me it won’t be too late to start on the same day of transfer if necessary. “Call me tomorrow 9:30am, I’ll be in theatre but I’ll call you back” We hang up the phone. Scott rubs his face and says “This is way too stressful”

I feel a little sad, I don’t want our only 2 embies dying in a dish, but on the other hand I’m going “HOLY SHIT THEY ARE STILL GOING – THIS IS A MIRACLE”

EMBRYO DAY 3

Monday 23rd Feb – 9:30am

Scott insists on taking the day off work in case of either news (he wants to be there if we are transferring, and he wants to be there if it all falls apart). We make the phone call together again. The Doc sounds cautiously optimistic, they have divided further (OMG “THEY”- YOU MEAN THEY ARE BOTH STILL THERE – We are in complete disbelief) They are both currently grade 2 and could make it through. He is hoping they will continue getting stronger, he advises to wait another day to see how they are looking. Hold off on meds again. “Call me tomorrow 9:30am”

EMBRYO DAY 4

Tuesday 24th Feb – 8:30am

So we are supposed to be calling the Doc at 9:30, so why on earth do I have a missed call from him at 8:30am??? Oh no, what’s wrong! We call straight back without even listening to the voicemail. He tells us that the embryos have “moved on” again Scott and I make wtf-does-that-mean faces at each other. Is that some kind of specialist talk for Embryo heaven? He clarifies they have divided further – one 8 cell and one 10 cell. OMG I’ll put my heart back in my chest – HALLELUJAH! I wonder if the specialist can tell that I’m verging on psychotic yet or if I’m doing an extremely good job of concealing it. The only thing is, they are one day behind (Currently equal to Day 3 Development). Apparently the slow growth isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. They are now grade 3 and he is hoping that they may even make it to freeze. Depending on how they look at Day 5 we will either transfer or try to grow them further for freezing. He advises that I may need to come in after lunch for transfer “Call me tomorrow 9:30am”

So I’m beginning to see a pattern with all this. Maybe I’ll start to develop an eye twitch whenever someone says “call me tomorrow”. It’s too bad that tomorrow feels like a gazillion years away, especially when you are confined to the couch because your ovaries hurt when you walk (ok sorry I’ve got my whinge out of the way now).

SO THE OPTIONS ARE:

a) GO AHEAD & IMPLANT SINGLE EMBRYO THIS MONTH

PRO: Avoid possibility of embryo dying in dish

PRO: Teenie chance of pregnancy, which means 1st IVF won’t be completely fruitless.

CON: Embryo very unlikely to implant this month (given my hormone levels)

CON: Only one embryo will be left, and odds not in our favour that our only embryo will make it to freeze.

b) NO TRANSFER, WAIT & HOPE THAT AT LEAST ONE EMBRYO WILL MAKE IT TO FREEZER

PRO: If an embryo makes it, our prospects for implantation will be greater next month

PRO: Won’t have to go through round of injections & surgery for a Frozen (FET) Cycle

CON: Extremely risky, as they may not be strong enough to make it.

CON: Prospect of it failing and having no embryos to transfer after huge emotional and financial investment is terrifying.

We’re hoping they’ll be strong and we have no idea what the right thing is to do.

I must say, I’ve never been a fan of gambling.

 

 

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