Blast-babies have checked in!

After a full-moon-crazy clinic yesterday, I was happy to come home and celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival quietly with the hubby with some moon cakes. What better way to prepare for transfer? Of course, I woke up 2 hours before I needed to and couldn’t get back to sleep.

My acupuncturist had warned me about long wait times for transfers at my RE’s office. Despite a crazy busy morning where they had 2 egg retrievals before my transfer, I was whisked back for my pre-transfer acupuncture treatment right on time, and thank goodness I’d popped the Valium just before we got there. The RE followed soon after, saying they would be transferring the 2 best blastocysts, and had 4 left to freeze! He said the remaining 16 embryos showed fragmenting and are not viable. More on that later… The transfer itself went very smoothly, starting off with a vaginal wash. They then used a trans-abdominal ultrasound probe to visualize my uterus as the catheter went in. Once again, I’m amazed at how little I feel with these procedures in the hands of a true expert! Once he was satisfied with catheter placement, he called the embryologist in, who gave him the vial containing our 2 blast-babies, and in they went! The acupuncturist returned to give me another treatment, and I passed out for probably another half hour while my hubby sat close by, busying himself on his laptop.

Finally, the embryologist came in to show us pictures and explain the numbers. At 24 hours after retrieval, 20 out of 23 eggs had fertilized, 5 by ICSI and the remainder by regular IVF – impressive considering sperm morphology was our issue, but counts have always been great so I guess there were enough in the sample that managed to do their thing. By later that day, 2 more had actually fertilized though I don’t think those made it very far. He wanted to make sure I wasn’t disappointed by so many not being viable, explaining that for a woman 35-37 years old, they expect 30% of the embryos to make it to the 5-day blastocyst stage. So at 6 out of 20 (or 22 if you count the late fertilizers), we were right on track. I forgot to ask what the breakdown was of ICSI vs. IVF in our 6 keepers, but honestly it doesn’t matter to me at this point. I just want at least one of these guys to make themselves at home for the next 37 weeks!

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Blast-babies starting to hatch!

It was also really interesting to compare to the pictures of the 4 less highly-graded but still good blasts that will be frozen, as well as the 16 that didn’t make it. I’m happy he gave us pictures of all of them to keep.

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4 blastocysts to be put on ice 

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16 non-viable embryos – mostly fragmented, looks like one didn’t start dividing

Isn’t science amazing?? I don’t know how I’m going to survive until my beta 11 days away! That’s 2 days after I anticipated 😦 I do have a few FRER tests at home, so we’ll see if I have the guts to test next week. I’ve already made sure the HCG trigger is out of my system with the last of the ovulation tests I had (might as well put them to some use). I’m also supposed to re-test my thyroid next week, so am debating whether it’s worth asking the endocrinologist to add a beta to that, you know, in case I need to bump up my levothyroxine dose 🙂 I’m now 6 hours through my 36 hours of bedrest, and trying not to go crazy from boredom. Books and TV just aren’t appealing to me right now – I’m thinking a nap may be in order! I’ve also been restricted from exercise for 10 days, though I think yin yoga should be OK. Need that and meditation to keep me going through the rest of this 2ww!

Feeling good!

And no, I’m not pregnant. For the first time in months, seeing my temperature drop and getting my period didn’t send me into a cascade of tears. Emotionally, acupuncture and herbs have definitely helped! Not to mention my BBT chart showed definite signs of improvement – no more zig-zags at the beginning of my cycle, and a nice strong luteal phase with no temperature drops until 13 days after ovulation. Not to mention I hardly noticed any PMS symptoms and my period started without me feeling exhausted, even during a 2-hour workout. I had a good progesterone level 7 days after ovulation, and will be getting some more hormone levels checked in a couple days, just to make sure everything is looking good.

The husband also very graciously submitted a sample for semen analysis, and though motility has room for improvement, everything else looks quite good. So he’s on his own supplement regimen too. I’m truly thankful for him – he’s always been with me every step of the way, from back when I was dead set against having children to now. Couldn’t ask for more in a partner.

Pins and needles

4 cycles with good timing and nothing to show for it so far. When my temperature dropped yesterday, I went to work feeling pretty depressed. I even started requesting an appointment with a gynecologist to discuss possible testing, but was told we hadn’t been trying long enough to justify it. After a friend mentioned it over the weekend, I started researching acupuncture and how it might help us to conceive (http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/acupuncture.htm). When I started looking for local acupuncturists, I found one who is just around the corner from my office, who came highly recommended by local Western fertility specialists. She’s even certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine – I had no idea there was such a thing! Talking to her by phone yesterday helped me feel so much better. Even if it doesn’t directly improve our chances, I could really benefit from the stress reduction. Looking forward to my first visit with her this weekend.