We will have our sixth transfer this afternoon. But as of yesterday morning, we weren’t very certain if we’d have a transfer or not. I will explain at the end of this post.
Annie’s lining check was last Tuesday, which yielded a wonderful report of a lining that measured 12.6mm. It was “gorgeous” according to Dr. E, who loves to use this word. I am very grateful for Annie’s uterus as it seems to perform well and often delivers with very good thickness. The next questions that Dr. E asked took a few days for us to answer. Do we still want to transfer more than one embryo and if so, which ones?
Part one was easier. We have long decided to transfer two embryos ever since we failed the last transfer. Although I have to say, both Bob and Annie have been quite bold in suggesting transferring all three embryos. That makes me cringe even just typing it out. Annie said that a fellow surrogate is carrying twins after the intended parents decided to put back all three of their remaining embryos. But what we have here is different. We have embryos made with donor eggs. Although we failed the last transfer, there is still a very good chance that all the embryos would implant if we transfer all three. So why did Bob suggest that? Well, he is always one embryo ahead of me. He suggested transferring two last time. We didn’t listen to him and our cycle resulted in nothing. To him, if we transfer all three embryos this time and nothing takes, then we can move forward to embryo donation or adoption. I am not willing to go to the place of fear and worry of potential risks for both carrier and babies should Annie be pregnant with triplets. I don’t even want to think about the much higher chances of needing a high level NICU in that case and the potential danger of delivering in the neighboring state that bans commercial surrogacy. A lady in one of my infertility Fac.ebook groups also urged me to transfer all of the embryos. She insisted that Bob’s sperm problems (with his high percentage of DNA fragmentation) would mean that our chances of getting pregnant would be higher with three. She told me to trust her, and that I met her for a reason. But to me, this is all noise. I have prayed for quite a few days about it and do not have peace with putting back all three embryos. So two is the magic number.
Now for part two of Dr. E’s question, we had a little bit of a difficult time. Which two embryos should we transfer? If Dr. E never told me that these embryos are a mixture of male and female, I would have never thought to make a choice based on the sex of the embryos. I would just ask her to pick the two that she thinks have the best chance and move forward from there. However, when we had a low first beta, Dr. E mentioned on the phone about transferring two embryos and told me to make a choice of transferring two of the same sex or one each. Since I have always not wanted to find out the sex of our future baby until birth, I was taken aback by her suggestion. But that was back in November so we hadn’t had to make a decision.
Fast forward to last week, Dr. E asked us to make a choice. The embryos’ stats are as follows: one day five blastocyst (embryo #2) that has a high mitoscore which means the implantation potential is about 80%. So we are definitely going to transfer this one. We also have two day six blastocysts that were 5AB (embryo #4) and 5BB (embryo #5). Their mitoscores are the same, with the implantation potential of 56%. Dr. E revealed that #2 and #4 are the same sex. So it means that #2 and #5 are different. Since #4’s quality is slightly better than #5, she would transfer #2 and #4 if we don’t care about putting back one male and one female. Otherwise, we could transfer the opposite sex ones (#2 and #5).
For somebody who didn’t want to know the sex of the embryos in the first place, this had been an extremely difficult decision to make. Let me see if I could explain my thought process here. I really wish that Dr. E hadn’t mentioned about the sex. Then I would just say transfer the embryos based on quality. However, I can’t undo what I do know. So we really had to make a choice that we won’t regret in the future. Do I have a particular preference? Well, I have all along wanted two children, one boy and one girl. If we transfer two and both take, then we’ll have both genders. However, I really didn’t want to know the sex of the baby before birth. If both take, then we know from the beginning that they are one of each. How big of a deal is it? Well, I just want one surprise on this journey. I guess I can let go of that surprise if we are blessed with two babies. If only one takes, then we will still not know the sex of the baby until birth. We also won’t know the sex of the remaining embryo until we transfer it.
The question is, should we put back the two that are the best quality knowing that we give this cycle the best chance? First of all, the two day 6 embryos are very similar. They both have good implantation potential. Dr. E said that there is not a huge difference between the two. And second, sometimes the best looking and even “normal” embryos don’t implant, but the ones of lesser quality do. So it’s really hard to say that we are not giving this cycle the best chance if we don’t transfer the two embryos with the best quality.
I almost wanted to bury my head in the sand and just let my RE choose. I just wanted to wait until the last moment and finally it came. A nurse from my RE’s office gave me an urgent call last Friday as she had to put in an order to indicate which embryos to transfer. She left me a message so I discussed one last time with Bob. I had been praying for it but it wasn’t clear to me. He told me that if he had a choice, he’d opt for one of each. When I heard his choice, I felt completely at peace with it. So that was the choice we made. A male and a female.
Why was I uncertain about whether or not we’d transfer? I learned that there was going to be a storm hitting this side of the country. It would hit the hardest on the day of Annie and Kenneth’s arrival. If Annie’s flight got canceled, we wouldn’t be able to have a transfer. It would have to be postponed for another month of so. I was honestly quite worried about a canceled cycle. But Bob reminded me that this is totally out of our control. God has already ordained these events. If it is in God’s will for us to transfer, we’ll be able to do it. If not, then it’s okay to wait for another month. It would suck, but it’s not the end of the world. I prayed and prayed for their travel to go smoothly, but more importantly, for my complete trust in the Lord and His sovereignty and control over my life.
The fortunate thing is, instead of booking a flight into SFO that has at least one stop, I decided to book a non-stop flight into OAK (as there are no direct flights from Annie’s hometown airport to SFO). The biggest reason was that it’s much easier to make changes on Southw.est Airlines rather than other airlines should we have to change the transfer date. It did cross my mind that a non-direct flight would mean a higher risk for Annie and Kenneth to be stranded at another airport during transit. The storm started after midnight on Sunday. The wind and rain picked up and sounded very scary at home. Despite the bad weather at Annie’s hometown and here, Annie and her husband got to the airport safely and the plane departed on time and arrived on time. We did witness one spinout on the freeway on our way back home but we got home safely. I just want to praise the Lord for his provision as He protected them and us on the road. Later on, we found out that many flights from Annie’s hometown airport were canceled later in the day. So it’s such a blessing that Annie and Kenneth’s flight arrived safely and on time.
It has been wonderful to see Annie and Kenneth again. We are like old friends. They even brought superhero socks and shirts to wear for the transfer. That warms my heart. Transfer is scheduled for 12:15pm. Bob is coming with us this time too! He’s coming mainly because he wants to drive us there in the rain as I have major anxiety driving in rainy weather due to my experiences having two car accidents both in the rain. I love my husband that he takes care of me. Annie will have her pre- and post-transfer acupuncture sessions. We won’t have to pay as much as last time since she is a repeat customer. Although I’d much rather her NOT to be a repeat customer for this, we still got to celebrate small victories such as saving a bit of money, right?
I will report on the transfer after it’s done. Hopefully the embryos thaw well today and we will have Noelle and Quentin safely home soon.