Max, Noelle, and Owen

Just a quick update.

As of today, we have three full blastocysts that have joined our embryo family: Max, Noelle, and Owen.

They were 3AB, 3BB, and 2AB. They were biopsied this afternoon and were frozen.

The rest of the embryos are as follows:

1BB, 1BC, 1BB-, two early blastocysts, and four morulae.

Dr. E asked her assistant to email us the fertilization report in the morning as she was still in procedure.

I didn’t know what to make of the grades when I read the email.  I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t have more full blastocysts.  I was hoping for at least 4 or 5 of them so I’d feel better.

Dr. E called me at 12:30pm.  She sounded happy, saying that we had some beautiful embryos this morning.

This is what I gathered.  She said that this is a fluid process.  The fertilization report is just a snapshot of the embryos at 6:49am.  The three expanded blastocysts (3AB, 3BB, 2AB) would most likely be biopsied and frozen (which they were) in the afternoon.  The three 1s (1BB, 1BC, 1BB-) are not expanded blastocysts yet so Dr. E said that they can’t be biopsied yet.  They need to grow into full blastocysts before they can be biopsied.  And plus, she said that the grading can change as the blastocysts continue to grow.  She said that our cycle at this stage (day 5) looks quite similar to our donor’s last two cycles.  She also said that the morulae could grow into blastocysts as well.  So now we have a total 9 more embryos that the lab is watching overnight.  We’ll have a report on them tomorrow.  I asked if the sperm quality affects the embryo quality.  She said for sure.  But she thinks that it’s too early to say how many embryos we will have tomorrow, but she believes that we will have some.  So it’s a waiting game again.  I told Dr. E my fear.  She said, of course our mind often goes to the worst case scenario.  But today we have three beautiful day 5 blastocysts.

How do I feel?  On one hand, I feel very grateful as this is the farthest we have come.  We have never had any day 5 embryos that are full blastocysts with the grade A in it.  And we still have a chance at more blastocysts tomorrow.  On the other hand, I just have this fear that none of the blastocysts are normal or that we don’t have anymore blastocysts to freeze.

My sister-in-law sent me this text tonight:

“Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition and thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and mind in Christ Jesus.

Father God, We give thanks for these embryos, for the miracle of creation– knowing Lord that you are the creator -the almighty God.

God we pray that your hand and will be on these embryos, on these procedures, on these doctors, on Isabelle and Bob and all the spaces and breaths in between.

I ask that your presence be known, and that your encompassing peace would rest on them.  You are good and we praise you.  Amen.”

I will try my best to hold onto God’s goodness and His presence, and to also celebrate the fact that Max, Noelle, and Owen have joined us.

And I continue to pray for God’s perfect number of embryos for us.

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MicroblogMondays: 7DP5DT, AKA Half Way Done

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Life is good, although I am in the middle of an extra long, longer-than-two-week two week wait.

Ever since Lucy came home, I have been feeling happy, calm, at peace, and ridiculously optimistic.  It’s not that I have any psychic ability to know that I am pregnant.  It’s just that I have decided to live these two weeks with an expectation of being pregnant and staying pregnant.  I am determined to keep this attitude all the way until beta day.  I choose to believe in God’s power to make the impossible possible.  Plus, there is a good chance that I could be pregnant, so why not stick with this attitude for now until we see the results?  I am very thankful that God answers my prayers by keeping me so calm and at peace.

I chat with Lucy daily.  I wake up in the morning praying.  Then I put my hands on my tummy forming a heart shape with my fingers.  I talk to Lucy about where it should be, hatching, finding a site to attach, start to implant, and now just basically to grow and grow and divide, and grow some more.  We are a team of two, traveling together, doing everything together.  Whenever there is a new experience, I share with Lucy about it.  You would hear me mumble sentences like, “This is your first yoga class”, or “Oh this is your first time meeting Auntie Q”.  When we went grocery shopping over the weekend, I was walking to another produce store by myself while Bob went to the car, mumbling this to Lucy, “We come here a lot although it’s 15 minutes away from home because you just park the car and walk to Tra.der Joe’s, produce market, drugstore, the bank… When you are born, we’ll wear you on us or we’ll put you in a stroller, but we will come back here all the time.”  During the Sunday sermon, I wrote in my notebook, “Lucy’s first sermon”.  I am loving this period of time of visualizing this little embryo having a chance at life.  You know how they say that distractions are the best during the two-week wait.  I am doing the exact opposite.  I am constantly and deliberately including Lucy in my daily activities.  I am glad that this approach has been working out for me so far.

This attitude spills over to Bob who is also ultra positive this time.  He has definitely been affected by my attitude.  Bob goes to bed placing his hand on my tummy, saying good night to Lucy.  In the morning, he does the same thing.  When I leave for work, we have group hugs for our little family of three.  He sends me G.chat messages and asks “How’s Lucy?”  This has created a very nice and positive environment for Lucy to grow and grow.  I am assuming that it’s growing and growing.

Physically I am not feeling much.  And I know I am  not supposed to feel much.  I went to see my acupuncturist on Friday.  She commented on my pulse, saying that it was nice and strong.  She mentioned that the kidney energy and the earth energy were both strong.  And those are the energies that are important to fertility.  On Sunday, I felt this tugging sensation on my lower abdomen repeatedly all morning and on and off the rest of the day.  I usually don’t attribute any physical sensation to a pregnancy, but I am taking a different approach this time.  I am assuming that this pulsating and tugging sensation has to do with the hormones from a pregnancy.  Whether or not it’s true, I don’t know.  But I am going to keep a uniform line of thinking here for the rest of the wait.

A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law asked Bob about us having a baby for the first time since we got married.  Honestly, I was surprised that it took her so long to ask.  She told Bob that it’d be too late if we waited because we are getting old.  I wasn’t actually offended by her.  I am glad that she cares and actually wants a grand child.  Yesterday during their Sky.pe session, she once again asked for a baby and said something that really blew my mind.  She said that the stars are aligning for Bob and something good in terms of fertility would happen to us in September or October.  My mother-in-law studies astrology.  You know me, as a Christian, I don’t believe in fortune telling, psychic, or anything that predicts the future.  It makes me extra uncomfortable.  If she is right, then it is just going to be a beautiful coincidence that will change our lives forever.  I sure hope that this coincidence will happen and we have one more good story to tell in our lives.

Sometimes I do get this anxious feeling.  But I’d say it happens about 5% of the time.  Majority of the time I am full of happiness and gratitude.  A friend from bible study studied my face and said that I have a lightness that she hasn’t seen since my journey started.  I am glad it shows, and it means that I am not forcing it.  I know that there is a possibility that this doesn’t work.  I know that I will be able to sort through the heartbreak, disappointment, and devastation.  I am just determined not to live it twice if I don’t have to.

Seven more days to go.  I can’t wait to see a fantastic beta number!

MicroblogMondays: The End of the Two Week Wait

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This morning at approximately 7:30am, I will walk into a lab at Kai.ser and get my blood draw for my first beta.  The last time I did it at the U.CSF lab and didn’t get a phone call from my nurse until two or three in the afternoon.  This time I asked my OB/GYN and found out that she could order STAT for me, the results will come back within one to three hours, and I can either call a nurse over at the OB department or I can check for the results on the Kai.ser website.  She also put in an order for my Wednesday beta if this first beta turns out to be positive.  I am happy that I control when I check/contact the office for the results rather than waiting for that dreaded phone call from my nurse coordinator at my fertility clinic.

Physically, I have been feeling nothing.  Business as usual.  No unusual tiredness.  No cramps.  No soreness of the boobs unless I squeeze it.  And I know that this soreness could be from the progesterone.  I have been feeling very normal with my energy level and my sleep.  Emotionally, I have been the most at peace and calm out of the three transfers in my history.  I just feel very covered in prayers.  My friends at church, at my bible study, my online groups, and from the blogging world all have been checking on me, thinking about me, and praying for me.  No wonder I feel so at peace.  Mentally, I just feel that this transfer is not working probably because of 1) my knowledge of the blastocyst’s less than stellar day three status, 2) the lack of physical symptoms (although I know many people don’t feel anything at this point), and 3) my usual sense of failure after getting bad news over and over again on this journey.  I think I am partly at peace with it because deep down I feel that it is not working.  At the same time, I am hopeful that this embryo from my young donor’s egg could actually work out.  The good thing is, I am really not that anxious about it, at least most of the time.  When I am anxious, my shoulders hurt, my stomach sinks, and my heart feels heavy.  I haven’t had these feelings the majority of the time in the last 12 days.  I carry on my life as usual.  I have not had any urge to pee on a stick.  And surprisingly, none of my friends have asked or urged me to do so.  Very unlike the last transfer.  They all know that no amount of convincing would make me go anywhere near a pee stick.  So nobody knows except for God.  And I am fine with it.

I have kept myself busy this past week with social engagements and holiday parties.  I would take a walk during lunch and talk to Kevin.  I did feel a need to talk to my therapist because of my belief that this transfer wasn’t working.  My friend Q urged me to make an appointment but I hesitated because it was last minute.  I wrote my therapist, and of course she was all booked.  Well, God had His hands on it because the same day, my therapist had a cancelation for the day and time that suited my schedule!  That hour of talk with her really helped put me back on the positive frame of mind.  A few take home from her: 1) I need to let go of Kevin the embryo’s day three report because that really means nothing and it’s not helpful to hold onto that thought, 2) remind myself to be open and curious about what can happen because this is something Bob and I had never done before, 3) there is no reason to believe that it doesn’t work until proven otherwise, so in the mean time, think positive thoughts about this great embryo and my great uterus and welcome Kevin with warm thoughts, 4) and even if it doesn’t work this time, we have an option (Lucy the frozen embryo) that we can use whenever we are ready. She is very excited that we have two blastocysts to work with, and encourages me to be excited about them too.  After talking with her, I have been focusing my thoughts on the possibility of this working.  It has been really helpful.

Bob is the best.  He talks to Kevin daily.  We have “group hugs” as a family of three.  He encourages me that if this one doesn’t work out, we still have Lucy.  If Lucy doesn’t work out, we’ll move forward and find another donor.  We will try until we become parents.  He knows that we are ready to be parents but if this doesn’t work for now, it doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future.  I know that we both will be very disappointed if this doesn’t work, but we have faith that it will eventually work some day.

I do get Tuesday off (because I have too much vacation time and will lose some if I don’t take time off, and Tuesday is my boss’ baby shower at work).  So Tuesday could be a day of mourning or a day of celebration.  We will see whichever way it goes.

Our Little Embaby Is Home!

First thing first, our transfer is done!  We have one embryo safely home!

I slept really well last night.  Focusing on God has really helped me be grounded and at peace.  Waking up to my Face.book secret group ladies posting pictures of their super hero attires and socks on their kids and themselves was so nice and touching.  Multiple friends and my sister-in-law texted me and sent me chat messages with their well wishes.  I am certainly very loved, and I know it and cherish it.

My whole morning consisted of me keeping myself calm and productive.  I made special Indian-spiced oatmeal on the stove top that Bob loves.  I cleaned the whole kitchen, wiped the counter, and soaked the range hood baffle filters.

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There is nothing better to distract myself than tidying up.

My wish was my phone would not ring.  My clinic would not be calling me.  Calling me would not be a good thing. That’d mean they would have some bad news for us.  Nope.  The phone didn’t ring.  My mind rested a little.  That meant we would have something to transfer.  I was quite calm all morning.  I might have had two moments of anxiety, but I knew that it was normal.

We arrived at the clinic at 12:35.  We were supposed to meet my acupuncturist there at 12:40.  I started drinking water at 12:20 but I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to hold it until 1:45.  I made a trip to the bathroom when we got to the clinic.  We waited at a waiting room that was brand new to me.  I guess because I had not done a transfer, I hadn’t been to the area.  I took a Val.ium at 12:45.  My acupuncturist, Bob, and I waited for another five minutes before a nurse came to greet us.  She looked puzzled and said, “You guys are early.”  I had to explain to her that we were here early for acupuncture.  She said that it wasn’t in the notes, but it was okay.  I told her that I told two different nurses about it during the fertilization report phone call, and asked if I should’ve called or done something differently.  She assured me that I didn’t do anything wrong.  She would talk to those in-cycle nurses. She was super nice and told us that she’d set us up in one of the transfer rooms.

The set up for transfer in this brand new clinic is sweet.  At the old clinic, you would have to go to a resting area with everybody and do your acupuncture there with the curtain closed.  Right here, there are four transfer rooms.  You have an hour before the transfer and an hour after transfer to do the pre- and post-transfer acupuncture sessions in the same room as the transfer.  I was situated in transfer room number four.  My wonderful acupuncturist let me lie down on the transfer table, put needles on me, and keep me warm with warm blankets that the clinic provided.  I drank quite a few more sips of water before I fully relaxed.  The light jazz music was a bit too upbeat for acupuncture.  However, the effect of Val.ium and the acupuncture had such a relaxing effect on me that I almost fell asleep.  It was quite an experience to do a session right in the transfer room.

The session was done five minutes prior to transfer time.  Bob came in to join me.  He had on his Superman shirt.  I had my usual Superman socks on.

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At 1:45 sharp, the nurse and Dr. Scrubs entered the room.  She greeted us and handed us a picture of our blastocyst.

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She explained that it was an early blastocyst two (EB2).  I was a little bit confused because I was expecting a blastocyst with a number and two letters, like 1AA, or 2AB, or something like that.  I really didn’t know what EB2 meant.  Dr. Scrubs said that it was a good blastocyst.  They are watching three to four more embryos that could become blastocysts that can be frozen tomorrow.  I asked her if it was necessary for us to know the grading of this early blastocyst that was going to be transferred.  She said not necessary, but she thought that it was a good blastocyst.  She also said that she’d be surprised if we didn’t have more blastocysts to freeze tomorrow.  She said it’s fairly common to have day six embryos to freeze.  And we could see all the gradings on the fertilization report print out that she gave us.

I laid down with my legs up.  She cleaned the area to make sure the mucus wouldn’t be in the way of the embryo.  When the nurse placed the abdominal ultrasound wand on my tummy, I could then feel my full bladder.  I was all along worried that I didn’t drink enough water because the full bladder wasn’t unbearable, but the nurse reassured me that it was perfect.  Once Dr. Scrub was ready, the embryologist came in to introduce herself and asked me to verify my name and date of birth.  She went back out of the other “secret door”.  On the big screen, our little embryo was shown.

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It was super cool to watch the camera zoom out and a catheter came into the picture.  The tiny little embryo was barely visible on the screen.  The catheter sucked the embryo into it.

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Moments later, the screen switched back to the image of my uterus.  The embryologist came in with the catheter (I always wonder if she/he had ever dropped it….).  She handed it to Dr. Scrubs.  Dr. Scrubs told us to watch the little white spot that would go in.

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See that little white line in the middle of the image?  That was the catheter.  Once that was done, the embryologist returned to the lab to check on the catheter to make sure the embryo was gone.  We waited for a couple of moments.  The green light of the door was off, which signaled an all clear.  Our transfer was done!

Dr. Scrubs congratulated us and told us to wait for that phone call tomorrow.  I stayed behind for my post transfer acupuncture session.  I was feeling at peace and calm.  I lay there and just enjoyed the moment of quiet for another 30 minutes.

After the session was done, I said good bye to the acupuncturist and thanked her for making the trip over there.  Bob and I studied the “Oocyte and Embryo Status Report”.  We see that our little early blastocyst that we have nicknamed “Kevin” was from a 9-cell with fragmentation of 4 and symmetry of 1.  It actually became a blastocyst.  There are three embryos labeled “EB1” or “early blastocyst 1”.  These are from the 10-cell (fragmentation 2, symmetry 2), 10-cell (fragmentation 3, symmetry 1), and 9-cell (fragmentation 2, symmetry 2).  There is a morula called “MorulaC” from a 4-cell (fragmentation 2, symmetry 1).  All the rest of them arrested.  So it seems like those four will have the potential to grow and be frozen tomorrow.

How do I feel?  I praise the Lord that we had a blastocyst to transfer today.  I am super grateful.  I was at first confused and then a little bit disappointed.  I was expecting young donor eggs to have better “quality”, whatever that means.  And I was expecting to have a more grown or expanded blastocyst.  And I was also expecting that we would have something to freeze today.  However, I have gotten over that.  I might have allowed my “Kevin”‘s day three grading to affect my point of view of its potential.  But I have got to put my trust in this process.  This embryo is from a young egg.  Despite its less than stellar status on day three, it grew to be an early blastocyst.  I am going to embrace this little embaby and pretend that I am pregnant.  Plus, numbers and stats don’t mean much to God.  If this is God’s will for us, He will make sure that this embryo is normal and let it stick.  So my plan is to nurture myself and my body and talk to the embryo for it to stay put because it is really fun to come out eventually and meet his/her hilarious dad.  I am also determined NOT to search online about any information about the embryos and any success stories/failures that could cause me anxiety.  The less I know the better.

So here we are!  Kevin is home.  I will talk to it daily.  I have hope that it will make my uterus its home for the next nine months.  I pray that it finds a good place to implant inside me.

They Are Safely Home!

What a great morning we had.

I woke up and pushed Bob out of bed so that he could go to fitness bootcamp.  I got the license to be lazy and to lie in bed before the transfer.  When he was gone, I continued to lie in bed and started to pray to the Lord about our embryos.  I prayed that Eli would’ve turned into at least a morula if not a blastocyst.  I prayed that Clay would thaw very well.  Then I began to visualize my uterus to be a very welcoming, warm place for those embryos to burrow into snuggly.  Then I fell asleep again.

Before Bob left, he reminded me to remember to fill my bladder.  I totally forgot that I needed to do that!  This cycle has been interesting because I kept on forgetting things.  I almost forgot that we needed to do injections two times!  And now the bladder thing.  I don’t know.  My head just wasn’t there.

Dr. E didn’t update us until after 9am.  I vacillated between being nervous and being calm.  I had a good feeling that Eli had made it further but I just didn’t know for sure, of course.  The subject line of her email was “Beautiful Morula”.  This is what she wrote:

“The 4 cell grade 1 is a “very pretty morula” this morning per the lab director 🙂 Yay!  They are going to thaw the frozen for us for a noon transfer.  See you soon!!”

What a big relief!  I would take a morula any day over an embryo that stops growing.  The similarity between Clay and Eli is eerie.  Clay became a morula on day 4 and was still a morula on day 5.  Here is Eli, a “very pretty” morula on day 5.  I am thrilled that they have the same progression, which means that Eli might just become another blastocyst if we decided to let it grow until tomorrow, day 6.  

That email brought a little tear to my eyes.  No matter the outcome of this cycle, it’s so overwhelmingly emotional to get to this point for a person with diminished ovarian reserve to finally make one or two embryos and to be able to transfer them for a fighting chance of pregnancy and a take home baby.  My heart was filled with gratitude.

Then cued the next step: drinking lots of water.  Started at 10am, I downed at least 3 to 4 eight-oz glasses of water.  I was feeling fine until about 11am.  Five days ago, I was dying for a glass of water but was prohibited from having one.  Today, I was ordered to drink lots of water but not to pee.  The irony of life.

On the way there, all sorts of thoughts came to my head.  What if we get a flat tire?  How would we make sure that we got to the IVF center on time? Do we call my brother to come pick me up while Bob waits for help?  Do we hail a cab and abandon the car? My mind went wild.  Luckily, we got to the IVF center safely without incidents.  Bob was so proud that he got me there 10 minutes early.

We got called back to the transfer room.  At that point, we didn’t have news on how Clay thawed.  I was quite confident that it probably did well but again, there was no way of knowing.  I just knew that we had something to transfer.  Just didn’t know how many embryos.  I was told to undress from the waist down and wrap myself around with a warm blanket.  I was surprised that no one asked us to change into anything else.  I remember reading about other ladies’ experiences of their transfers and vaguely recalled that they had to change into something else.  

This was me waiting with my lucky socks on:

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The nurse checked my bladder and said, Nope it’s too full; it’s making the uterus very tiny.  So off I went to the bathroom to let out some pee. She told me to count at the beats of the Jeopardy song for 12 counts.  I had to do this three times before they got a satisfactory amount of pee.  

Then in came Dr. E with two photographs of the embryos.  Clay thawed 100% beautifully without any fragmentations.  Eli was also without any fragmentations and accordingly to her, looked like it was on its way to be a blastocyst.  

Here is Clay:

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Here is Eli:

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Then it came the procedure.  Must be the Valium talking because I was so talkative and speaking nonstop.  It was a very cool procedure.  And it was so much better that Bob was by my side.  I recently read that the clinic that specializes in mini-IVF in SoCal doesn’t allow husbands to be in for the transfer… I’d be very disappointed if Bob wasn’t allowed to be there.  

I was introduced to a lab technician who emerged from a closed door.  She asked me for my name and how many embryos I was transferring.  After Dr. E placed the catheter inside me, the lab technician disappeared for one minute to retrieve the embryos.  Dr. E said to Bob, “This is a good time to take a video.”  Bob was like… “Uh??”  I turned my head and said, “Hey let me do it!  Give me my phone.”  So I held my phone up to the screen closest to me and followed my doctor’s instruction to start pressing record when the door opened.  The lab technician came back with the catheter with our embryos and we watched the catheter move into the uterus.  It’s truly a very cool procedure.

I remember watching Dr. E on TV on one of the local morning news station, talking about IVF, IUI, and assisted reproductive technology in general.  That was when Bob and I were dating.  When we pulled into the parking lot, Bob said, I can’t believe that we’re doing a transfer today after watching Dr. E on TV a few years ago.

I can’t believe it either.  

I lay there for a couple more minutes.  Dr. E chatted with us and told us what to do next.  I am to rest.  Think lying on a beach on a beach chair.  Bob is to wait on me and get me whatever I want and need. Whatever I need, if he can do it, he’ll do it.  So other than peeing and showering, he is going to take care of me. I would say it sounds wonderful!

Beta test is eight days from now.  It seems like beta day varies greatly among REs.  I’ve seen from 12 days to 17 days.  I will have to schedule an appointment early in the morning before work.

It feels good to be finally at this step.  I know that it is no guarantee.  But this definitely buys us a fighting chance of getting pregnant.  If I don’t get pregnant, I still have the hope that we can make embryos and it can happen.  It may  just take a little while.  We have had so many people praying for us and rooting for us that we’re feeling so so blessed.  Praise the Lord that He has been watching us every single step of the way.  I am going to enjoy the next eight days as this is the most “pregnant” I have gotten in my life.  We are one step closer to our goal of having a take home baby by end of this year.  I hope that this is God’s plan for us.

Thumbs up? Or thumbs down?

Bob and I feel that we have grown a whole lot individually and as a couple in the last couple of days.  This has been such a huge emotional roller coaster ride.  I do not wish this upon anyone.  Infertility sucks.

Dr. E called on Friday to let us know that one of the embryos had been growing better than the other two.  In other words, the other two weren’t doing well.  That one good embryo was a grade one, two-cell embryo, which was where it should have been at on day two.  She said she’d update us the morning of transfer on day three.  Needless to say, I was happy that we had one good one but was a bit bumped about the other two.  One thing I helped myself to be sane was NOT to consult with Dr. Google.  I decided to be an ostrich and buried my head in the sand.  I didn’t look up any information online and just proceeded to have a very good rest of the day.

Saturday was supposed to be transfer day.  We were getting ready to go to my pre-transfer acupuncture session at 8:30 when Dr. E called.  Unfortunately my phone had been acting up lately and her phone call went straight to voice mail.  She emailed me for me to give her a call.  It can’t be a good thing when your own RE wants to talk to you right before transfer, right?  When I called her back, she was about to begin a retrieval.  She promised to call us back after the procedure was done.  My heart was pounding so hard.  I was trying to guess what the news would be.  On our way to acupuncture, she called us back and said we have to discuss how the embryos were doing.

Here is the gist of it: the one good grade-one embryo was still a grade-one.  However, it was a four-cell embryo rather than at five- to six-cell.  Dr. E said that she had one patient with a pregnancy resulting from a four-cell embryo with a day-three transfer eight years ago.  In other words, it’s very rare.  It’s not impossible, but rare.  So the pregnancy success rate with a day-three four-cell embryo is low.  What we could also do was to wait until day five and see if the embryo turned into a blastocyst.  If it did, then the implantation and pregnancy rates would increase greatly.  However, since it was only a four-cell embryo on day three, the chances of it becoming a blastocyst would still be low, but not as low as getting pregnant with a four-cell embryo on day three.  Our job was to make a decision two hours before the scheduled transfer and let her know.  She also mentioned that the lab we are using is very good with culture so the embryo being cultured at the lab will be as good as being in my uterus.  She said that letting it grow to day five will give us a lot of diagnostic information for the next round if it doesn’t work for this round.

One of the other two embryos decided to join in the race and turned into a two-cell embryo on day three.  Dr. E said that miracles do happen but we probably wouldn’t think too much about this one embryo.

My first instinct was to let the four-cell embryo grow to day five.  Bob’s first instinct was to put it back and see what happened.  There were so many what-ifs.  We had to go into my acupuncturist’s practice, apologize for being late, talk to her, talk with each other, and go out to pray.  We prayed and talked some more.  It was almost the toughest decision that we had to make when all of our hopes and dreams for this cycle are riding on this one tiny embryo.

I had been trying to be strong in this whole journey since things were going quite well for us.  I finally couldn’t hold my tears and cried like a baby.  Why does it have to be so hard?  Why couldn’t we just have a couple of embryos that looked fine so that we could put them back?  Why did we have to struggle with a decision that could mean baby or no baby?

Bob wanted to give the embryo a chance in my uterus instead of letting it die in the lab.  We decided to go ahead with the transfer.  I went inside to get my acupuncture done while he called Dr. E.  A couple of minutes later, Bob knocked on the door and said that Dr. E wanted to chat with me.

Lying on the acupuncture table, tears streamed down my eyes and soaked my ears.  Dr. E wanted to protect me physically and emotionally for the next two weeks.  If we did the transfer and got a BFN in two weeks, the physical and emotional toll on me would be great.  She called this IVF naivete and that we would make a very different decision if we had done a few rounds of IVF already.  If we still decided to transfer today, she would be 100% supportive of our decision.  Dr. E’s words, expertise, and my trust in her helped us decide to let the embryo grow until day five.

In a matter of days, we went from three embryos to potentially none.

While I was in the acupuncture session, Bob chatted with Dr. E about the embryos and all the implications.  The lab normally doesn’t give an update on the embryos on day four but Dr. E would request for one and let us know how they are doing.

The rest of the day was fine.  Bob and I picked ourselves up, went and enjoyed a very good day together.  Sitting in front of the ocean in our car, we talked about our hopes and dreams, what we had to go through to make a baby, and how to trust that God would provide.  My mind has already gone to plan B, C, and D.  Even the words “donor eggs” came across my mind.

Bob kept on joking that at four-day old, his offspring is already like him, being very slow in growing and taking its sweet time.  Got to appreciate a funny husband at times like these.

With a few more tear drops last night, I went to bed thanking God for giving us a great RE.  I prayed for a healthy embryo and for God’s will to be done.  I woke up this morning feeling refreshed.  Bob usually has his phone on mute.  At 8:45, he went and picked up his phone and just happened to see that a call was coming in.  It was Dr. E calling bright and early in the morning!  When I knew it was her, all my muscles started tensing up and I buried my head in the comforter.  I could hear a bit of what she was saying to Bob.  Once I heard the words “great news”, I jumped up and looked at Bob.  He put the phone on speaker so we both could hear the news.  The four-cell embryo yesterday decided to do a bit of a catch up and it is now a very good looking morula!  Apparently the morula stage is where it is supposed to be on day four right before it turns into a blastocyst on day five!  Wow it went from a four-cell to a morula in a matter of one day?!?  Dr. E said that there is a 95% of chance that it will turn into a blastocyst tomorrow!  Talk about a major turn of events.  We went from a 5% chance of it turning into a blastocyst to 95%!  The other embryo also turned from a two-cell to an eight-cell embryo.   It’s a grade-three so quality isn’t as good.  We don’t know what will happen to it.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Dr. E told us to get ready for our transfer at 10:15am tomorrow, five days after our egg retrieval.

We went from a high five, to an okay, and now maybe one thumb or two thumbs.  Will it be a thumbs up or thumbs down?  Only God knows.  🙂  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.