Day Three Report: Twelve 8-cell Grade 1 Embryos

Yesterday was Labor Day.  Both Bob and I were home.  Yesterday was also the day to find out how our 17 fertilized eggs were faring.

I am not going to lie.  I was super nervous.  I had a reason.  At our last donor egg cycle with our frozen egg, all 10 eggs thawed and fertilized well.  The day three report was horrible as there was no grade one embryos.  Everything was grade two to grade four, from 4-cell to 10-cell.  We ended up having only one early blastocyst that we transferred and one day six blastocyst that was later transferred.  They resulted in one chemical pregnancy.  It was hardly a good cycle.

Yesterday I had this fear that all of the embryos somehow had died.  It was super irrational, I know, but I couldn’t help having these thoughts.  We have been traumatized for so long, it was hard for me to keep these thoughts out of my head.

I had so much nervous energy that I started cleaning the floor, tidying up things, and folding laundry.  Yup.  I clean when I am angry or nervous.

Bob wasn’t too much better.  He was super distracted while working on an assignment.  I checked my email every three seconds.

Dr. E’s email came after 11am.  Once I saw her subject line, I knew we had good news.

She wrote on the subject line: Gorgeous!!!

This is her email:

“Good morning!

We have GORGEOUS embryos this morning!

We have 12 embryos that are 8-9 cells and grade 1

1 = 7 cell grade 1

1 = 6 cell grade 1

1 = 8 cell grade 2

1 = 6 cell grade 3

1 = 4 cell grade 3

Next report will be on Wednesday

I expect approximately 8 blastocysts or more on day 5 = Wednesday

More news to come!

:)”

Wow!!!  Out of all of my own egg cycles and that one DE cycle, we have NEVER had ANY 8-cell grade 1 embryos.  It is out of this world to have 12 of them!  Looks like all 17 embryos are still dividing, with the 12 8-9 cell grade 1 ones that are leading the pack.

Praise the Lord for answering our prayers!

I was grinning from ear to ear.  My shoulders were finally down.  It was the best news ever!

I know that we still have a way to go.  First we need to have some blastocysts tomorrow.  Then we’ll have to test them to see which ones have normal chromosomes.  But we are definitely heading to the right direction.

My dear friend Jane is right.  Maybe we will need to come up with a bunch of embryo names this time.

Day Three Report

The phone call came at 3:30 when I was seeing one of my clients.  The nurse introduced herself and said that she was calling to give me a transfer time.  It will be Wednesday at 1:45pm.  She gave me the instructions to arrive 15 minutes early, drink water, and take a Val.ium at 12:45pm.  It didn’t seem like she was going to talk about the embryos at all.  So after I told her that I will have an acupuncture session before and after the transfer, I asked her about the embryos.

The nurse really didn’t prepare to give me a report, because she told me to wait for a second while she pulled it up.  I don’t know if it is not the custom to give a day three report, or if a day three report is not necessary because we are growing to day five.  She first explained to me that the embryos are graded from grade one to grade four, one being the best and four being the worst.  All ten of our embryos are still there.  There are no grade one embryos.  We have three grade two embryos: 10-cell, 9-cell, and 4-cell.  There are four grade three embryos: 7-cell, 9-cell, 10-cell, and 10-cell.  There are also three grade four embryos: 9-cell, 9-cell, and 4-cell.  When I heard all of this, my mind froze a little and all I was focusing on was that we didn’t have any grade one embryos.  The nurse did give an assessment to each embryo, from above average, to average, to below average.  However, I didn’t write fast enough to note them all.  I asked her if the grade four embryos mean that they are not good to become blastocysts, she said that you’d never know.  Some blastocysts come from grade four embryos.  I thanked her and hung up.  My client, who is on the autistic spectrum, was waiting for me to be done with the phone call.  I really had to pull myself together so that I could focus and finish up the session with him.  But my visceral reaction was so real.  I had been so at peace and calm with this.  All day I was not nervous.  Up until the moment when I was told there was no grade one embryos, my shoulders tensed up and I felt full of anxiety.  I don’t know why but my mind just focused on the negative.  I even started to panic and wondered if we should transfer two blastocysts instead of one.

I wonder if it might have been better if I didn’t know the grading because the knowledge of it only added to my fear and didn’t give me information about whether or not we’ll have a blastocyst on Wednesday.  It’s sometimes true that ignorance is bliss.

After the session, I updated Bob who was at that time busy with work.  Fortunately, my last client canceled so I had the time and space to process this news.  I guess my expectation was that these young eggs should give us some grade one embryos.  And I was probably expecting a textbook case.  With higher expectation comes disappointment when the expectation is not met.  My mind automatically went to the worst: we don’t have any normal blastocysts to transfer.  I had to stop myself and again focus on God, on His unchanging nature, and on His power and might.  He already knows the outcome of this cycle.  What I need to do is to focus on Him and Him alone.  And who am I to pretend that I know about grading?  I know nothing about grading or whether these embryos will become blastocysts or not based on their day three performance.  God makes the impossible possible.  Anything could happen between now and Wednesday.  Instead of focusing on the numbers, I should focus on my gratitude that these ten embryos are still growing.  My mind vacillated between my faith in God’s plan and my fear of having a very bad outcome this cycle.

One thing I am really sure is that I will not consult with Dr. Googl.e.  I don’t want to read anyone’s stories about their success or failure with these gradings.  Their stories do not translate into my future success or not.  So I promised myself that I will steer clear from doing any online searches.

Lying there with dimmed lights at my acupuncture session, I closed my eyes and concentrated my energy on the word “gratitude”.  God has taken us this far to this point.  I believe that He will carry us through if this is His will.  I am grateful that some embryos are good quality.  I continue to pray for the perfect number of blastocysts to complete our family.  My tensed shoulders started to relax and my breathing became deeper.  Although now I feel that this is not a sure thing, I know that we will be well taken care of.

My heart is a lot calmer than it was this afternoon.  This journey has not been easy.  Even with donor eggs, it is still not easy.  Worry is not going to help with my situation, so I try to replace my worrying thoughts with positive thoughts.  I continue to pray that God sustains me with peace and calmness that only comes from Him.  And we shall see what His plan is and what the future holds.  Our prayer is that the chromosomally normal embryos will make it to day five.