The Embryo Update

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Thank you Google images.

Retrieval success!
On Thursday morning I was given a very nice drug cocktail that made the day seem like a dream I can’t quite grasp.  And then Dr. B (with much assistance from my posse of favorite nurses: Kelley, Hilary, and Jeneka) poked my ovaries with a needle and collected 10 little eggs. The good Lord answered our prayers and allowed access to that stubborn right ovary! I did have to hold my breath a few times to help push it into place, and that’s mostly what I remember from the procedure.

Dr.B: Okay, take that big deep breath.
Me thinking: You will hold this breath as long as it takes to get those dang eggs.
Hilary: You can breathe normal.
Rinse and repeat several times.

There was minimal pain, I did feel a sharp stab a few times, but only once I remember flinching and gasping and when they asked if I was okay I said “just a pinch” so they wouldn’t stop. I kept thinking push into the pain that’s how he’s gonna get to them. And he did, 5 eggs from each ovary.

Then I went home in a sleepy stupor and mostly slept till 3 pm. I’ve had a little soreness, a little crampy feeling, more so on the right than the left, but nothing that I needed meds for after the fact. I began my anti-rejection drugs that night and my progesterone shots the very next morning to prep my body to receive back embryos. Now that we’re caught up with me let’s talk embryo development!

Everyday we get a report on what’s happening with our little seeds so I’ll update this same post as we go when I know the next thing so it’s easier to track development. (Sorry if it gets long.) Here’s a chart that might help:

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Friday’s Report:
Dr. Shari, the embryologist, erred on the side of caution and fertilized 8 eggs with ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) and 2 she allowed to fertilize on their own. 5 of the eggs are visibly fertilized -4 ICSI, 1 natural. There was no difference in egg quality or outcome between the different ovaries. Also, just because she only saw the 2 pronuclei stage (image 1 above) in 5 eggs doesn’t mean there aren’t more. It’s a temporary stage so we may end up with a different embryo count over the next several days. That’s why we get a daily report. For now, we celebrate the 5!, pray for continued superstar development and wait.

Saturday’s Report:
Dr.B called to let me know 2 embryos are at just the right stage in development, and 3 are half-a-step behind. He said that’s totally normal and looking good for today. Tomorrow he should be able to tell a little better about quality and whatnot. We just need 2 good seeds for transfer on Monday so we are very thankful. Grow, babies, grow!

Sunday’s Report:
Dr. B called with very good news! We have 4 embryos at the 8-cell stage (3 ICSI, 1 natural), and 2 embryos at the 4-cell stage. If you’ve been following our math you’ll be noticing we got a little baby bonus. He was careful to tell me it is a small bonus, and things can change quickly, but that they’re continuing to monitor growth with hope for even the one-step-behind embryos.

Our reunion is set for tomorrow morning at 7am! We’ll head over to the office a little early and have a conversation about who’s coming home with us and who will be frozen for a later cycle. Assuming things stay on this same trajectory we’ll most likely choose the two best looking embryos for transfer. If something unfortunate happens over night we’ll decide best course of action for success. One of the things I love about Dr. B is that he’s willing to push the envelope, but still approaches things with a conservative heart. He’s okay if we have twins, and he’ll push a little in that direction since we are open to that. But, he worries about triplets for my health and the health of the babies. He wants me to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and healthy, happy babies to show for all our hard work!

In our perfect world we’d obviously like this to be successful on the first go. I want to be pregnant tomorrow, that’s my prayer. We’d also like to have embryos viable for freezing, that would mean a chance at siblings later on in this perfect world we’re thinking of. However, if hard things happen and we don’t get the dream tomorrow having extra embryos will give us a chance to try again without needing to repeat the retrieval process. While that’s not the perfect world it would still be a blessing. So, as you continue to pray for our family you are armed with all our hopes. Thank you so much for your continued love and support! If any babies could be prayed into existence it will be ours. How many kids can say they weren’t just a parent’s dream, but were born first in the hearts of an entire community of family and friends? That awes me to no end.

We are so grateful.

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About Stephanie

I'm a thirty-something wife, a Mama who loves family, dogs & bunnies. A daughter who loves to cook & bake. A sister who loves to sew & knit. A friend who loves to gab & laugh. I'm a christian & a maker of things. I'm a curator of memories, a photographer of life, a writer of stories. I'm a girl who is learning to love the richness of life in all it's fullness. A girl choosing to seek gratitude for my ordinary everyday. A girl learning about choosing to live in joy. Connect with me on Twitter/Instagram/Flickr @BextraordinaryU

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