As promised, here is our update after keeping all of you in the dark.
We finished stims (hooooray!) and went through retrieval. I finally was able to get all the ‘grapes’ I was carrying around in my ovaries out, the bloat was substantial this time and my husband started telling me that it looked like I was wearing a fanny pack because of it – HA!
The retrieval was a little different this time, the University puts their patients under Anesthesia, as opposed to just a conscious sedation that I was under the time before. It was the BEST nap of my life! Upon waking, we learned that they collected 8 eggs. If I’m being honest, this number kind of hit me like a freight train. I had 19 follicles and had stimmed for 3 more days this time than I did previously and yet, they only collected 8 (remembering last retrieval we got 11). I was so upset but tried to remain as optimistic as possible about this number. The doctor who did our retrieval came in to talk with us and he said that he was hopeful that by Day 5, we would have 1, maybe 2 blasts make it. Again, crushed. I couldn’t imagine going through this again (although, I will if I need to but it is a hard road mentally & physically) and all I could think of were none of them making it and having to start all over again. The day after retrieval we got the update that 6 eggs fertilized but only 5 fertilized normally. So now, we were down to working with only 5 embryos and praying for a miracle that we would get a 50% or more blast rate which honestly, isn’t average or normal at all.
The next 5 days were a bit painful and mostly uncomfortable, I found myself lounging on the couch as much as I could to recover from the retrieval. The next 5 days also were anxiety ridden thinking every time my phone rang it was the doctors office calling with horrible news that all of our embryos had arrested and we didn’t have any to freeze/transfer.
But, we made it through that emotional wait and by the grace of God, we were given some of the BEST news we had heard in a long time. We finally felt like things were looking up for us and that there was the light we had been hoping for. One Day 5, we received the news that we had 1 blastocyst that was expanded with a grade of ‘good’. We also received the news that we had 1 blast they were planning to freeze later that day because they wanted to let it grow just a little bit more and another that they were hopeful about that they planned to allow growing time until the next day, Day 6. Again, anxiety ridden for one more day. On Day 6, we found out we had 2 more blastocysts. Both of them are expanded (which is GREAT) one is also graded ‘good’ and the other was graded ‘excellent’. We feel like we beat all odds. 8 eggs retrieved, 5 fertilized and 3 BABY A’s. This was a major blessing to us. We had over 50% blast rate!
Coming up on this IVF cycle, we were back and forth about whether we would go ahead with a fresh transfer or whether we would freeze all and transfer 6ish weeks after our retrieval. Our clinic’s success rate is about 2% higher with a fresh than a frozen but overall, research shows that frozen transfers are better because it gives your body time to heal and return to normal before trying to become pregnant. I will post another update soon on which option we ended up choosing and when that transfer will be or when that transfer was.