There are always people who have it better than you do and people who have it worse. If you choose to compare your situation to those who have things "better"…you're certain to be unhappy.
I bare this in mind as I reflect upon the results from my egg retrieval yesterday. 84% of the population is able to conceive with no cost, no effort (or very little) and no medical intervention. Of the 16% of people who seek fertility treatments to have children, many conceive by taking a clomid pill, doing IUIs or doing IVF once. One might say that those people have it better than me when it comes to conception.
But I'm well aware of all of my blogger friends who would die for my situation. Those using donor eggs/embryos. Those who can't afford infertility treatments. Those who have zero sperm and can't even attempt IVF. Or those who cycle and end up with no embryos at all.
We've been blessed with good jobs and the help of so many wonderful angels to seek treatment at one of the best clinics in the country. And we still have, at least a chance, at our own biological child. That reality is not lost on me.
Yesterday's egg retrieval went well. I had the same surgical nurse that I had during my last surgery and she's fantastic. CCRM was behind schedule and switched doctors on me right before surgery, which was a little unnerving. But Dr. B seemed to be a capable surgeon and I'm in very little discomfort today…so I take that to be a good sign.
Since we'd seen more follicles in ultrasounds than my last cycle, I was hoping to get about ten eggs. When I woke up, the nurse informed me that we got eight…one more than my last cycle. After the initial disappointment, I started focusing on praying for all of them to fertilize. Or at the very least, fertilize at the same rate as my last cycle, which would give us six more embryos to add to our bank.
Last night, I didn't sleep much as I laid awake praying and trying to think positive thoughts. Visualizing beautiful, strong, healthy embryos.
This morning, we got the call from the embryologist and the report was not as good as we'd hoped. Despite the fact that all eight eggs were mature, we only have three embryos from this cycle which is a low fertilization rate for ICSI. He informed us that three degenerated (died) and 2 fertilized abnormally. With the two that fertilized abnormally, they had an extra chromosome. The embryologist could see two nucleus in the embryos even though only one sperm was inserted in each egg. Typically this is due to poor egg quality.
I'm worried for the growth and CCS genetic results of our remaining embryos considering the news about my egg quality. I already knew that I had Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR), which typically means poor egg quality but it's still a slap in the face hearing it's already affected two of my potential babies.
Today, the four embryos from our last cycle were thawed. Both sets of embryos will grow and the cells will divide (God willing) in the lab in Denver starting today (Day 1). The embryos that make it to the blastocyst phase (Day 5) will be biopsied and tested for chromosomal abnormalities.
So now we wait and pray. And hold onto the hope that our strong little fighters will keep growing until Thursday and at least a few of those embryos will be genetically normal to transfer. If we play the numbers game, CCRM gave us these stats:
50% of embryos will usually make it to blastocyst phase.
In my age range, they'd expect to see 60% of embryos come back normal.
So that'd give us, 1-2 normal, transferrable embryos if we are in line with the odds.
Of course, we are hoping to beat the odds. It will be a tough four days of waiting to hear from CCRM on our blast report and then another really long two weeks until our CCS results come back.
Please pray for our four autumn embies and three winter embies...our lucky seven. And thank you again for all of your love, support and encouragement. I don't know where I'd be without it.