This has got to be the most emotionally draining part of the whole experience. We have worked so hard and done everything we were supposed to do (and then some), and we have nothing left to do but sit and wait, and hear numbers that frankly make our stomachs drop. I have wanted to post on our embryo numbers, but I needed time to wrap my heart and brain around it myself before I could do it.
I thought we would have more. I started with more than what they hoped for from me with 22 eggs retrieved last week. Either way, this is the progression of where we have been the last few days:
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Of my 22 eggs:
16 were viable for fertilization (the others were discarded)
5 fertilized right away
5 are looking good - too early to say that it took. Tomorrow we will have the final answer on these.
6 didn't take and were discarded.
The biopsy will take place on Saturday (sucking a cell off to send to the lab in Detroit).
Friday, January 29, 2010
The 5 embryos that took right away are doing great. They are dividing now. Three of them are 4 cells big now. The other two are 6 cells big. They are right on schedule to do the biopsy tomorrow for the genetic testing. They are a little bit fragmented - as they divide, parts of the cell break off. A little bit of this is ok and normal, but if you get too much, the odds of success after implantation lower. They are watching this carefully.
Of the 5 that hadn't quite taken as of yesterday, 3 have fertilized successfully, but their development is slow. The doctor says that usually you start to see cells divide at the 12-20 hour mark. We are at 30 hours and they haven't started dividing yet. They can still come along and make it or not. They are watching these 3 very closely. (I joked with Chris that they are moving on Wilkerson Standard Time.)
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Of our 8 embryos, 2 didn't make it so we are down to 6. The 2 we lost each stayed at one cell big and never started dividing.
They did the biopsy on the remaining 6. Here's what we know about each one (remember the goal was to get the embryo to grow to be 8 cells big before the biopsy).
#1. Four cells big - This one has not divided past 4 cells since yesterday so the embryologist is concerned about it.
#2. Six cells big - This one has not divided past 6 cells since yesterday so the embryologist is concerned about it.
#3. Eight cells big - This one is by far the best looking one and grew completely on schedule. It is looking perfect.
#4. Seven cells big - Good growth, but a little slow. 7 cells is pretty good though.
#5. Five cells big - Slow, but hanging in there.
#6. Four cells big - Slow, but hanging in there.
They can only live outside my body for 6 days, so the timing of when they do the biopsy is pretty set. They can't wait for the ones growing slowly to catch up. We will get the results at 10am on Monday morning, and then they will implant shortly before noon. There will be not much in the way of news tomorrow - just simply to give a count of our embryos, and to comment on their growth.
This is an agonizing process. On one hand, I am not so comfortable with having a freezer crammed full of 20 embryos just waiting that I may use or not. The ethics of that are overwhelming. But on the other hand, it would be nice to have options, and to choose two stellar embryos to implant. It looks like we will just get what we get. Going through each day worrying about this is eating at us. Is it Monday yet???
Physically, I am recuperating. I didn’t expect the egg retrieval to be that hard to bounce back from. I had a bad reaction to the antibiotic that they prescribed, and spent much of the day after the surgery being sick to my stomach. Fortunately, it was an easy fix. I stopped taking the drug, and when it wore off, I felt a lot better. Today is the first day that I am moving around more and feeling like me again.
Chris and I are just going to try to keep ourselves busy today and tomorrow to try not to think about it so much. It is out of our hands at this point. There is nothing to do but wait. Obsessing about it only makes it worse. I know you guys probably have a million-and-five questions about it (this is crazy, how could you not!), and we would ordinarily love to talk about it, but for now we need to put it aside to try to relax. Once we have this leg of it over, it will be different. We are just trying to get through this part right now.
Thanks for reading along.