Thursday, 31 March 2011

Mental Arithmetic

It is about now in the UK, just in advance of Clinton cards Mothers day, that every newspaper and magazine has the bright idea to interview mothers and daughters about different aspects of their relationship.

I read these articles with idle curiosity. The fact that I have neither a daughter, or a mother, doesn't unduly upset me in the consumption of my reading matter. But it is only recently that I have become conscious of a little habit I have when reading such an article.

It is one that is so ingrained that it took me a while to register that I was even doing it.

All the articles, as a matter of course, will mention both the daughter's and mother's age; and I will automatically subtract one from the other.

I have to know what age the mother was when she had her child. Anyone who was nine months or older than I am at that point is a win. Anyone who was younger than 34 is a lose. I lose a lot.

But it gets worse.  There are occasions when someone will mention a child, or mother in passing.  For example "That was the sixties and the age of free love so I became pregnant with my first child, no idea who the father was..." I'll scan back to the bit where she says she was born at the tail-end of the war and work out if she was born between 1941 and 1942 and got pregnant between 1960 and 1969 she was between 18 and 28 when she achieved what I have failed to achieve.

Worrying, isn't it?

I don't refer to it as mental arithmetic because I can do it in my head...  Am I the only one who does this?




Monday, 28 March 2011

What a Prick!

I am a knob.  And not for the reason you might first imagine (you know, being self-obsessed enough to write constantly about myself on a blog).

I forgot to tell you about the conversation with my nurse last week. (Again, that isn't the reason why I am a knob - you aren't privy to every conversation, I do try to edit occasionally).

No, I am a knob because in the course of the conversation we talked about the progesterone injections I had in the latter stages of my IVF.  The Doctor was less than convinced that they did much good so hasn't automatically prescribed them for the next round of IVF.

I remarked to the nurse that I wasn't altogether displeased by this because really the needles were massive and they hurt a hell of a lot. It was during this exchange that we realised that I (or more literally the husband) had been injecting me with the needle that was supposed just to be used for the drawing up of drugs. There were, apparently, smaller needles in the pack for the actual injecting.

Have you ever seen a nurse trying to look sympathetic and caring whilst stifling a giggle?

I have.



Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Secret Of My (Lack Of) Success

The one thing that took the edge of the failure of the last IVF was that I am eligible for another shot at it. Specifically, knowing I was funded for two IVFs gave me a safety net.

There is a reason that the NHS fund two shots. You can't 'carry one over' if you are successful first time, but it is an acknowledgment that there is a distinct possibility it won't work. Prior to my IVF I reassured myself that the first go was a foray into the unknown, even if this shot didn't work at least the medical professionals would know why and this could be addressed next time.

Sounds like a plan doesn't it?

Except my IVF was like Mary Poppins - Practically Perfect in every way.

The egg stimulation was great.  A lovely crop of 17 eggs - so no need to change my medication for stage one.

With 12 of them fertilising (70%) there is clearly nowt wrong with the husband's sperm.

The embryo's growth wasn't quite up to speed, but that is beyond my control - maybe there is something the embryologist can tweak but I doubt it.

And as for post-implantation, I've used up every trick I can think of.  Acupuncture, no caffeine, had the transfers on a Saturday and Sunday and didn't go back to work until the Wednesday, I even ate pineapple because it is supposed to help with implantation.

I hate pineapple.

I've played all my cards. I can't think of anything I can do different to ensure that IVF number two doesn't end the same way as IVF number one.

So tell me, have you got any ideas?




Thursday, 24 March 2011

IVF number 2

Before my Doctors appointment yesterday the husband and I were vacillating (as in kept changing our minds, rather than trying out position number 378 from the Kama Sutra). We just couldn't decide when we wanted to attempt IVF number 2.

A large part of me sees my 35th birthday bearing down upon me and the last four and a half barren years weighing on my mind and just wants to get on with the next round of IVF as soon as possible.

However, an equally large part - let us call it an even fifty/ fifty split - just wants a break. IVF is emotionally draining.  It is all consuming, and exhausting.

We couldn't decide the best course of action.

Our Doctor asked us what we wanted to do, and we asked him for his advice.

Because there have been so many delays to the first IVF as a result of my diseased, immovable womb lining which now, finally seems to be under control, he doesn't think we should give it a chance to grow back so recommended we start the next round of IVF as soon as possible.

However, I still have to take a three week course of birth control before we get into the nitty gritty of IVF. Which lands us directly into the midst of Easter holidays and the UKs tightly spaced bank holiday season and the extra day where we wave flags and ask each other 'how long  it'll last' (the Royal Wedding).  As a result the clinic is going to be closed for a significant number of days which might cause me to miss a crucial scan or blood test.

So instead I am going to do two rounds of birth control.

Which works out pretty perfectly.

I have six weeks in which to try and claw back some sanity, have a re-toxification break (booze-based fun for the next couple of weeks before clambering back onto the wagon), and it gives my polka-dotted stomach an injection vacation.

IVF number two will span May to mid-June. Which, as I always feel healthier and happier in the summer, can't be a bad thing. It will also slot in just before my birthday in July.

Of course it does also go to prove Womb For Improvement's Law is still in fine fettle.  Having been on reproductive standby for so long we finally thought "Sod it" and booked a sleeper train to whisk us from London to the Scottish highlands.

We were looking forward to a few days of tossing cabers, eating deep fried mars bars, drinking Buckfast and Irn Bru, and painting our faces blue before returning to Kings Cross to shout slurred, sweary abuse at the English.

Um ... Anyone want two tickets from London to Fort William leaving on the evening of the 31 of May arriving on the morning 1 of June?



Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

1) When Yoshanta called me to tell me the blood test was negative she told me there was a long waiting list to see the Doctor next. My heart sank but it was to be expected: 6 - 8 weeks is the usual waiting time I've had to endure. But, and this is where she proves just awesome she is, she has managed to squeeze me in for an appointment tomorrow morning. 

And before you ask; keep your grubby hands off her, she's mine. All mine.

2) I decided I couldn't tell my Dad so I asked my Wombmate to call and let him know it had failed and that I wasn't up to speaking to anyone. My Dad sent me a text.

Bless him.

He hasn't quite got to terms with the whole text speak thing. He wrote:

"We all love you and wish you the best. LOL."

I assume he meant lots of love.  But maybe he was just laughing out loud at our predicament.  Either way, it made me LOL.

3) I went to lunch with some friends on Sunday. Their three year old son decided to play hide and seek. He adopted the ostrich "if I can't see them, they can't see me" mentality.

Whenever I've felt a bit down over the past couple of days. I just have to picture the scene that confronted me as I went to see where he was hiding. I walking into the bedroom to see his whole body sticking out from under the chest of drawers, but, crucially, his head was underneath the chest.  Ergo, he was invisible.

4) I'm incredibly lucky that I get two funded rounds of IVF on the NHS. Hopefully they'll have learnt some lessons about how my body reacts to various drugs and IVF number two will be significantly more successful.

5) Finally, all your support. The regulars, the delurkers, the occassionals, the new folk sent over here by blogging buddies.

Every comment means so much. And I am so grateful at how generous you have been at ranting at the universe on my behalf.

Cheers.



Monday, 21 March 2011

IVF by Numbers

From start (15 Feb) to finish (21 March).

Millions of sperms.
59 Injections.
57 suppositories
45 days.
38 pills.
21 follicles.
17 eggs.
12 fertilised.
12 blood tests.
10 different types of drugs.
2 embryos transferred.
0 frozen embryos.
0 pregnancies.


If anyone ever has the audacity to imply that IVF is easy then just show them this post. 

This is shit.





Saturday, 19 March 2011

On Injections

You may remember that I was somewhat apprehensive about the thought of self-injecting prior to this IVF.

Then I did it. And it was fine.

This was the needle I was using for the egg stimulant (Menopur) injection. Note the archaeologist's trick of using a penny to give you a sense of scale - there is a reason for that.



The needle is tiny, it genuinely doesn't hurt.

Next, after egg collection, I graduated onto Fragmin.  The needle is fractionally larger and the liquid a touch stingier. It wasn't pleasant, but it was still eminently do-able.



The real humdinger has been the extra progesterone that I was given on Thursday when I started bleeding.  It is a behemoth of a needle:



Every bit as bad as it looks*.

Whilst the other two injections were flab-based, this one has to cut through my protective layer and go straight into the muscle - hence the extreme length.  But it isn't even the injection that it the worse bit.  I can still feel the bruising from the Thursday and Friday night injection.

The two I've had so far have been plunged into fresh buttocks. Tonight I get the injection in the same place as the first, bruise upon bruise.

I would do it quite cheerfully if I genuinely held onto any hope that it could change the ending. However, it feels like I am bolting this stable door after the horse has long since gone the way of Shegar. I am utterly convinced this cycle is bust.

These painful injections just feel like self-flagelation, penance for having a defective womb that no amount of pineapple and Brazil nuts can coax into hanging onto a embryo.

So sure I am that it hasn't worked I've allowed myself a small beer tonight.

But never fear.

Here it is to scale:



*NO NO NO! IT TURNS OUT I WAS USING THE WRONG BLOODY NEEDLE!



Thursday, 17 March 2011

Banned: Fat Ladies Who Might Sing

The heroine of this IVF has undoubtedly been the nurse I was assigned at the start of the process.  Doctors come and go but Yoshanta has been a constant presence. And, call me fickle, but she has replace Eunice in my affections.

She has booked me in for the earliest possible scans so I can get to work on time, bruised me less than the other nurses when taking my blood, and always calls me back within a few hours of me leaving a message.

During the last scan before my egg collection she whispered, "I'm not really allowed to do this, but ..." and glancing furtively over her shoulder she scribbled something on a scrap of paper, "here is my personal mobile number. Call me if you need anything or are worried."

Of course I haven't called it, I don't want to abuse her trust, and she does always respond when I phone the office. This just illustrates how willing she is to go above and beyond the call of duty.

This morning when I went for a blood test she told me about another patient who had started bleeding and assumed it was a period, she got stuffed full of progesterone, got a positive pregnancy test and "should be delivering any day now."  A tale that have been echoed by so many of you in the comments.

If I am honest, my gut feeling is that this hasn't worked. I did a cheeky early pregnancy test this morning and it was negative, and I am still bleeding.

But Yoshanta isn't giving up.  My blood test revealed a progesterone level of 37.

I know!

She may as well have said 1786, or 0.6. It means nothing to me, what it means to her, however, is that it could do with some bolstering.

So tonight I am going to ask the husband to do me in the arse. By which I am referring to not some kind of recompense for my vagina having been stuffed full of suppositories and out of action for the last few weeks, but giving me an intra-muscular injection in my backside. (See the sex gags are back, I'm clearly feeling better).

I'll keep these injections up over the weekend and go in on Monday for blood test, and a definitive answer.

I feel resigned to this not working, but I won't be necking the Guiness tonight, just in case.

And I don't really want to let Yoshanta down.



Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tucking in, or chucking out?

Thank you all for your fridge distractions. I needed them.

The last 48 hours have been hell. I'd rather take no symptoms any day.

It started yesterday morning with some light spotting.  Never has a swipe of toilet paper been so minutely examined.  A google search exactly described what I had seen - light, pinky-brown stuff. Text book implantation spotting.

I allowed myself to hope.

As the day wore on the spotting got heavier, darker and ... um ... clumpier.

If I thought I was coping I was swiftly set to rights when I had an unpleasant work phone conversation. Rather than do what I would normally do in that situation - chalk up the guy on the other end of the phone as a looser and carry on as normal, further convinced of my own superiority - I burst into tears.


And.


                        Just.


                                            Couldn't.


                                                                          Stop.


All afternoon I tried to stem the tears but I blinked them out rather than away and, frankly, made an utter tit of myself in front of everyone in the office.

Which gave rise to the internal debate was this pregnancy hormones playing havoc with my emotions, or common old PMT?

This morning, first thing, the only thing that gave me cause for a little hope was that what I was seeing (and apologies for being so graphic) bore more of a resemblance to mud than blood.

But there was a lot of it.

I went to work.

I tried to ignore my bladder hoping if I didn't go to the toilet I could pretend this wasn't happening. But it was.

When I gave in I saw a full-blown bright red blood.

Day 33 of my cycle.  Three progesterone suppositories a day had failed to stem this tide.

I rang the nurse to tell her I'd started my period, and we'd failed. She spoke to the consultant and got back to me.

I still have to take my drugs, more progesterone, the HRT and the Fragmin injections as normal.

Tomorrow I'll go in for a blood test and they'll decide what, if anything, they can salvage.

I am surprised they are trying, I can't see any ending other than IVF round two for this story.

It feels like the beginning of the end.

But then I never got round to doing that medical degree, so I might be wrong.



Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Frigid

I knew that title would get you over here, however, if you are looking for a discourse on how fertility treatments impacts one's sex lives then I fear you are about to be disappointed.

Eyes may well be the windows to the soul. But you can get a real sense of anyone's life just by looking at their fridge.

No fridge in a home with a child over two will escape being plastered with drawings and paintings proudly displayed.  But even for the childless couple you can tell a great deal.

My fridge is a testament to our infertility (long gone are the days when we tried to hide it from our guests).

Do you see?


This could be none others than an infertiles' fridge.

Notice the black and white images. One of our blastocyst and the other of my womb at the point of implantation. (And the third of some musicians.)

There is a the four-leafed clover my womb mate gave me for good luck.

Before my first IUI.

Dunno, why I've kept it so long to be honest.

You can't quite read it but at bottom left of the fridge is the list of drugs I need to take, and when.

The red thing in the middle is the wrist band they put on me before my egg collection. Red to signify an allergy.

I've also got my name on it twice (on the off chance I go nappy-headed and forget it).

Phone numbers for anti-social behaviour officials, just in case the husband gets out of hand.

A magnet that use to say "I've never met a calorie I didn't like" which the husband 'hilariously' repurposed to read "I've never met a lesbian I didn't like." It has been on our fridge for years, a rather random Christmas gift, I always forget completely about it until just after my Dad has been to stay.

Then there's a picture of Roy Ayres at whose concert the husband and I got together.

For the third time.

And an invite to a party. Not, thankfully, a GLEE themed one (those are the throwers initials).

So tell me (or show me on your blog - post a link below) what does your fridge say about you?
Is your fridge plastered with no entry signs and a photo of you at your largest to strengthen your diet will power?  Are you a pathological list maker as evidenced by shopping, to-do and birthday lists on your fridge?  Do your friends go on far too many holidays and boast of the fact by sending you back postcards that adorn your white goods?

For the love of all that is keeping me sane.

Entertain me!

Distract me.

Please.



Thursday, 10 March 2011

Who Knew?

In the two weeks leading up to my embryo transfer I was in constant contact with the clinic.

The week before egg collection I was popping in most days for a blood test or scan, getting constant updates as to how I was responding to drugs and receiving encouraging signs about my follicle growth. Then, after the egg collection, my daily phone calls from the embryologist were the highlight of my day, and that includes the day I had lamb shanks for tea.

Now I've been dropped quicker than an East African dictator. (Oh yeah! I do satire).

Sure I'm still drugged up to my cervix (The Shelia, how right you were with your description, "Cyclogest.... the never ending white period" ).  But essentially they only want to see me again once I know whether, or not, I am pregnant.

I was thinking earlier that every major life changing thing that has happened to me someone else has known the result before me.  From the examiner marking my A-levels, the admission officer at my university, people who've interviewed me for various jobs, the estate agent who told me my offer had been accepted.

Clearly many of these people couldn't give a toss as to the outcome, but nonetheless they knew something that would make a profound difference to my life before me.

When I take that pregnancy test no one other than me will know the outcome for just a few seconds, until I to share the news with the husband.

That is kinda cool. 

I just hope the result is a life changing one rather than same old, same old.



Tuesday, 8 March 2011

More than a little prick*

My Dad phones.

"Are you resting?"

"I have been, but I'm just on my way back from acupuncture."

"Acupuncture?!" He spluttered as though I'd just told him I'd been spending the afternoon being thoroughly rogered with a succession of blunt instruments (that, of course, was the previous day's activity).

"Yes." I categorically confirmed.

"Why are you having ... acupuncture?"

"Why do you think?"  (Seriously. Remember he knows fine well I have just had IVF.)

"Well, I hardly think being stuck full of needles is going to help."

Hmmm .... I sincerely hope that isn't true as I have given myself 43 injections since the start of this IVF and have to continue with one injection a day until I know whether I am pregnant.

For those of you who assumed, as I did, the drugs would stop once the embryo's were in, forget it. As well as the injections I'm also taking progesterone three times a day (you don't want to know where that one goes), oh and HRT!

I've had two days off work to rest. I'm quite relieved to be go back in tomorrow as I found myself idly looking for pregnancy apps on my iPhone today.

Must. Distract. Myself.

Testing date 22 March.  2 days down 14 to go.

*Please note the title refers to the plethora of injections, it is not a veiled insult aimed at my womderful Dad.



Sunday, 6 March 2011

We Have Blast Off

My call this morning informed me that one of the embryo's had indeed turned into a blastocyst so I was to come in for a repeat of yesterday's performance.

Indeed the whole process was a bit of a blast from the past. The same staff as yesterday, a similar bladder-challenging wait before the op and even a hole in my sock (which I swear wasn't there when I put them on this morning).

The procedure takes about 20 mins from start to finish.

First they have to check that you really have drunk enough water.  They do this by pressing down on your stomach with a scanning instrument, ostensibly to see how much liquid shows up on the screen, but I have my suspicions that it is to see if your eyes water as you try and control your distended bladder.

Once done, your feet go in the stirrups, which in my clinic are more like ski boots, your legs are parted, and a modesty sheet is placed over your bits - for all of about 30 seconds.  Next an interrogation light that wouldn't be out of place in a Second World War film is shone directly where the sun ain't supposed to shine, the sheet is pulled back and you are revealed in all your glory.

And then, then, whilst you are lying flange-out, they prep everything.

The embryolgist pops in from next door to ask your name and date of birth. The Doctor faffs around with catheters and speculums and you mutter to yourself "they've seen it all before, I'm sure yours doesn't look odd to anyone else."

By far the most painful part of the process is the speculum going in and being ratcheted open. Then there is a quick spritz of the cervix and the catheter is in, watched from the outside by the nurse who has resumed her position with the scan tool of torture pressing on your bladder.

Suddenly everything goes very quiet.

Everyone is intent on the screen, watching the catheter find the sweet spot.

They are in place.

The blastocyst is called for.

It is put in.

A g o n i s i n g l y  s l o w l y

It is done and the catheter is passed back to the embryolgist.

A thirty second wait before the speculum is removed until the embryologist confirms the blast has left the catheter.

Again I had to wait for twenty minute before I was allowed up to pee. This time, mindful of this report that my anonymous Berlin-based commenter alerted me to, I listened to a comedy podcast.

So that is it.  I'm done.

Now (apart from taking a bucket load more drugs and another blood test to check my progesterone), I am on my own. I wait 16 days and test.  If it is positive I go in to get it confirmed with a blood test. A negative and we start all over again (they didn't manage to freeze anything so it will be from scratch).

 I suspect, by the posting marathon I've indulged in over the past couple of weeks, you have a bit of an inkling just how much I want this to work.

** Update **
Quite a few of you are asking why I have to wait 16 days before testing. This is because this is the latest time the clinic reckon you could get a false negative. So 16 days post transfer is the earliest test they will take any notice of.  Of course, that doesn't mean I am prohibited from testing a little bit early ...



Saturday, 5 March 2011

One down, one to go

Having had one embryo transfer today and (it is still looking highly likely) another tomorrow I have a great opportunity to take some learnings for today to ensure tomorrow's transfer is just perfect.
  1. Remember that if your appointment is at 12:30 you might not have the transfer until 14:03
  2. If you diligently consume 2lts of water in preparation for a punctual appointment you will be in severe danger of weeing on the doctors' hand (I didn't ... just.)
  3. They don't give you a take home pic of your embryo, so snap one on your phone. (I didn't, but will tomorrow).
  4. Don't wear socks with holes in them. It just looks slovenly.
  5. Maybe talc my clammy hands before going in. I spent the whole procedure clutching the husband's hand, by the end he had those wrinkly fingers you get from spending too long in the bath.  My sister doesn't call me Golum for nothing.
  6. Take your iPhone with you into the ET room otherwise that 20 minutes of full bladder waiting post-transfer will be utter hell (compared to the 20 mins between 14:05 and 14:25 today the two week wait will be a piece of piss, which incidentally was all I could think about for those 20 mins).
  7. Enjoy it.  This could be the start of something very, very beautiful.



Cover me, I'm going in

I have just had 'The Call'.

I am going in at 12:30 to have one top quality grade embryo put back in.

That is the good news.

The not so good news is that my embryo division has slowed right down. Ideally the embryologist would like to have seen one or two at blastocyst stage today, however she was concerned if they wait until tomorrow then they will have completely stopped growing and there would be nothing to transfer.

So her plan is to transfer one today. And then, in an unexpected curve-ball in the WFI plot, they want me back in tomorrow, if any of the remaining little blighters have reached blastocyst stage, for a second bite at the cherry.

I guess this means that I am unlikely to get any for freezing. I'm also trying not to think about the likelihood, or not, of the embryos not growing in the womb either.  But hopefully a bit of tender loving care from their Mum will beat a petri-dish any day.



Thursday, 3 March 2011

Divide and Conquer

Today's embryo report was encouraging.

The embryos are three days old and at this stage they should have been dividing and growing and have reached 6 - 9 cells big.

4 of the initial 12 are only 5 cells in size, so we can discount them.

8 are the right size.

Of this 8, 3 are good to excellent quality (you have no idea how my heart leapt when I heard the word excellent - imagine what I'll be like when they bring home their reports from school. Is that jumping ahead too far?).

5 are average. So they might come good, they might not, but three is plenty.

Because they are doing well the clinic is happy to leave them to develop to blastocyst stage (5 - 6 days), so they will call me again on Saturday and let me know whether to come in for the transfer on Saturday or Sunday.

Either way, I have booked Monday and Tuesday off work in clammy-handed anticipation, and now have to work out what to tell my Dad and step-mother who I had planned to meet for Sunday lunch. ("Sorry, can't meet because a stranger will be wearing me like a bowling ball and conceiving your grandkids.  Don't worry the husband will be watching. Don't have the caviar.")

Getting close now ...






Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Two and A Half Weeks Pregnant?

Call me slow, but it took me a while to work out that the number of weeks you are pregnant is counted from the first day of your period NOT the day of conception.  I used to get so confused reading blogs when folk were going for a six week scan and I knew that their IUI or egg transfer had only taken place a month before.

I can't be the only person who assumed the date was calculated from the point of conception. I wonder how many husbands have become unjustifiably suspicious of their faithful wives when they go for a 12 weeks scan and hastily work out that 12 weeks prior they were on a business trip.

(And I also like to amuse myself with the thought that if Posh and Becks made the same assumption then Brooklyn Beckham should probably be called Essex Beckham, or better Peckham Beckham.)

Therefore, should this IVF work then I am, as I type, two and a half weeks pregnant. That is an odd thought.

At the moment my potential babies are snuggled up in a petri-dish dividing and growing, and out of any harm I can put their way. (See the bottom of this post for the embryo report.)

Which means I am free to do what very few pregnant women have the luxury of doing. Yesterday I had the day off work to recover from the egg collection.  As it happens I felt absolutely fine, so took the opportunity to take myself out to lunch.

I gorged on sushi; raw fish, rare beef nigiri, tempura prawns.

Food that a pregnant woman should steer clear of. (Apparently the jury is out on sushi, but I won't be taking any chances.) It was a fond farewell to some of my favourite foods, hopefully for nine months.

And if some of you read this post cringing, thinking I am making too many assumptions and not used the words 'if' and 'hopefully' and 'fingers crossed' enough, then don't worry. I know there are no guarantees, I know fine well this might not work.  But I figure if I don't get pregnant I won't be any less devastated if I have spent my days thinking it probably won't work rather than thinking positive and deciding it will.

Besides if I told you how many 'last drinks' I've had over the past four and a half years it'd make you weep.

Embryo Update

All the embryos survived the night and are all still growing. They are between 2 and 5 cells big:

3 are 5 cells
1 is good quality
2 are average quality

2 are 4 cells
1 top quality
1 good quality

3 are at 3 cells
2 good quality
1 average

4 are at 2 cell stage
1 top quality
2 average quality
1 poor quality

(I think their grading system is: top, good, average, poor)

He said tomorrow he should have a better idea of when the transfer will take place.

Odd to think one or two of these clusters could be a baby ...


**Clarification**
I wasn’t very clear in my post yesterday when I said that blastocysts have a better chance of implanting.  This isn’t quite right, what I meant was:

Blastocysts have been watched for 2 – 3 days longer than embryos, during this time the clinic works out which the best ones are before deciding which to put back. When there are lots of good ones to choose from on day three then the embryologist can’t narrow down the best ones very easily. So it is better to wait a few more days and let natural selection do its thing, hoping a clear winner comes out at blastocyst stage.

However, if there are just a few embryos and a couple of clear front runners by day three there is no real benefit in waiting for blastocysts, so the best one or two are shoved back into its home for the next nine months as soon as possible.

Sorry if I made anyone panic about their embryos!



Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fertilisation Report

I've just had a call from the embryologist.

Of the 21 eggs, three were immature (making poo jokes I imagine) and one had disintegrated.

Which left me with 17 for fertilisation.




Oh, I can't bear the tension.





Can you?




Exciting, innit?




12 fertilised.

Awesome.

I will now get daily phone calls letting me know how they are getting on, and when the transfer will happen.  I don't know about you but I always use to think the sooner the embryos are back in their natural womb environment the better.  I mean it makes sense doesn't it?

No, apparently not.

There is a much higher success rate if the transfer can be delayed until the embryos become blastocytes (5 - 6 days).

The risk of course is that the longer the embryo's are developing in their petri dish the more chance there is that they will stop dividing and I'll end up with nothing to put back at all.  Which is why it is such a good thing that I have so many to choose from - some will fall by the wayside, but hopefully enough will push on through to Saturday.

We shall see.