Well, our good luck streak ran out this morning. We're not below expectations, but we're meeting rather than exceeding.
Based on these percentages reported by the Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut, we should have expected to have 1 embryo at the blastocyst stage after day 5 after having only 80% of eggs be mature (we had 100%) and only 80% of eggs fertilize (we had 100%). If we had roughly followed those percentages, we would have expected to have 2 or 3 following fertilization. Then, we would expect 30 to 50% to make it to the blastocyst stage, which would be 1 to 2 (2 rather than 1.5 (a) to be generous and (b) since half of an embryo isn't exactly a thing).
When the embryologist called this morning, she shared that we had one embryo that made it to the blastocyst stage and could be sent off for testing to see if they are euploid (normal number of chromosomes) or aneuploid (abnormal number of chromosomes). This was lower than we expected and definitely lower than we'd hoped for. From what I am reading (including this website) half or less of day 5-7 embryos are euploid. In our case, that means it is more likely than not that our one is aneuploid. I am hoping and praying for our one embryo to come back euploid. When I think about the numbers, however, a twisted part of my mind tells me that if we have success with our one, someone else will have to balance out the numbers with no success. I know it is not helpful or even rational to think this way.
I have so many mixed feelings. I am happy that we are still in the game, but I feel guilty about hoping for my own success. Even if our one embryo comes back euploid, we still have to see if it would implant following a transfer. It's overwhelming. I also feel guilty for being sad that we only have one while Richard is ecstatic that one made it this far. Ultimately, we ended up where the numbers predicted we would, we were just stronger coming out of the gate.
My clinic ships samples on Tuesday and Thursday but did not ship today due to the upcoming Easter holiday. Thus, our one sample will go out on Tuesday. Testing results follow in 7 to 10 days, so we were told that our next update would be in about two weeks. My instructions following the retrieval included calling on the first day of my next cycle, which I expect will be around the time we receive our next update. Until then, we wait. I have enough to keep me busy over the next few weeks, but somehow I doubt that I'll be able to stay calm the entire time. Hopefully, I'll be able to watch some TV shows or movies when I am not doing stuff for work or school. That sounds much nicer than fretting about infertility.
Overall, we are still glad we made the decision to try with IVF rather than IUI this month. We still stand a chance that we were less likely to have with IUI. We were already expecting to have to do another retrieval, but today's news has cemented that for us. While it's true that it only takes one, it's much more challenging to have multiple children--which was our main reason for choosing IVF over IUI--with just one. In some ways, it's helpful that we don't have to waffle on that piece. The question now becomes when we want to do that, which I suppose we will discuss with our RE. We still have a decent stash of medications and supplies in our refrigerator and bathroom cabinets, and we know what to expect going into our next cycle (whenever that is). I have heard from others who have been through IVF that the first cycle is often diagnostic to figure out how each person responds to medications and what to watch for. While this is a costly diagnostic/learning experience (I wanted to throw up when I paid my credit card bill a few hours ago), we are hopeful for the next cycle. Financially and emotionally, we cannot do this forever, but in the immediate future, we can do at least one more. It's a little like running in that way; you might not be able to make it 10 more miles, but you can almost always make it 10 more steps.
Note that I changed "PGS" (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) to "PGT-A" (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy) because I looked back through our IVF folder and noticed that our clinic calls it PGT-A. PGT-A is the updated name according to this website.
Something that made today great: I cooked a pretty good dinner tonight - we just started Green Chef Meals today.
Time I woke up: 8:45 am
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