Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bitter Disappointments

Its been a long time since I've updated. I'm going to break my update down into two post so its not too long. So much has happened and emotionally I've been thrown from one end of the spectrum to the other.
So, my FET cycle was progressing perfectly and I had very high hopes of success. The embryologist had decided to thaw and fertilize my 11 frozen eggs to give me the best chance and my transfer date was moved up from May 31 to May 29. I had my last US/BW on Wednesday, May 23 and everything was looking great so I was to start progesterone that night. That evening, right before my shot, the embryologist called to tell me that he had thawed my eggs and that 6 had been ICSI'd.
Wait. Six? What the H happened to the other FIVE?! (That's what I wanted to ask... instead I asked...)
"Only six?"
Embryologist: "Oh. Yes, well, we couldn't find one", WHAT?!... "and unfortunately four did not survive the thaw."
I was upset. I was under the impression that vitrification had around a 90% or better thaw survival rate, and I only got a 60% survival rate? I asked him why he thought we lost so many, and why we had only had a 50% fertilization rate with the ICSI during the first cycle. He gave me a vague, indirect, almost deflective answer about natural selection and how, with the new improvements in fertility treatments, we are breeding more and more infertile people.
Now, I may be a hairdresser, and I may not have a college degree, but I'm not stupid and his answer sounded like a brush off to me.
Still, I comforted myself with the thinking that hopefully the four eggs that didn't survive the thaw were the weak ones that wouldn't have fertilized anyways and that hopefully the six that made it will all fertilize. That was not the case, though.
The next day the embryologist called back to tell me that only ONE had actually fertilized. ONE! Out of six, only one. He told me that they had already started thawing my embryos, which were frozen in 3 straws of 2, and that they had decided to do a day 3 transfer instead of a day 5. He told me he would call me within two hours with further details. An hour later he called back to tell me that the first straw they thawed, neither embryo survived, and the second straw, both survived, but the decision had been made to transfer the next day, on day 2.
So the next day Patrick and I got up crazy early and hit the road. We were both angry. At this point we both felt like there had been a problem with the lab. So far, out of 18 ICSI'd eggs, we had only gotten 7 embryos... a 39% fertilization rate. Out of 15, well, we'll say 14 since they lost one, thawed eggs and embryos, we lost 6 total in the thaw, giving us a 57% thaw rate. Given that both ICSI and vitrification are suppose to have success rate in the 90% range, our only answer was that the lab had done something wrong.... or that there was something very wrong with us.
Halfway there, we decided that it didn't matter. We were transferring three embryos and that meant we had a good chance of getting pregnant. Our goal is to have a baby, and it doesn't matter what happened along the way as long as we get there.
At the clinic we were in good spirits. Patrick had to put on one of those paper jumpsuits and it was WAAAAY too small! He ripped open the seams that the armpits and crotch immediately, and the seam at the butt was so strained I was surprised it held. Not to mention it the legs only reached to his calves and the arms to mid-forearm. We took pictures... it was hilarious!
Pretty soon the embryologist came in, holding what I have been so anxiously waiting for since this started- the pictures of our embryos. Except, he didn't look very happy... and there was only one picture.
Embryologist-"I'm sorry, but I'm really not happy with the results we've been getting from your embryos."
My heart sank.
Embryologist-"Neither one of the embryos we thawed yesterday divided overnight. The egg we fertilized on Wednesday night is only two cells and we were really hoping for four cells today, but it is alive and we feel good about transferring it."
I was dumbfounded. I sat there, smiling and nodding because if I dropped my smile I knew I would break down. He must have thought I was crazy.
He told us he would normally have given us a 40% chance of success with one day 2 embryo, but since it was behind and we had lost so many, he was not even going to guess that high... in fact, he didn't even give us a number.
Patrick hadn't gotten that we were only down to one, and was still optimistic about transferring three, and I had to tell him that there was only one because the others had died. After that, I could tell he was very upset.
The transfer was easy. No pain, no discomfort. Honestly, I think I was numb from the news. I was just trying to keep it together. I was on the verge of tears the entire time but I couldn't name the emotion that was causing them.
After the transfer, they brought us the vial the embryos had been frozen in, and the petri-dish my little "JellyTot" had grown in. That was special. Then we went home, both upset.
The next few days are vague. I know I cried randomly and fairly often. Then I decided to be hopeful. JellyTot had survived when ALL my other embryos had died before reaching this stage. That had to mean he/she was strong. I was optimistic for a while, enjoying the fact that I had a potential life inside me. Patrick even rubbed my belly and told JellyTot to grow while we were in bed at night.
I held off on testing for nearly the whole time. At 9dp2dt (nine days past two day transfer) I broke down and tested. It was negative and I was surprisingly at peace with it. I'd had a feeling all along that this wasn't going to work. I'd just KNOWN that it wasn't our time. Sure, I still did hope that it was just a late implanter and that the test would be positive the next day, or the next, or that my beta would surprise me, but my logical side told me that it was time to come up with Plan B.
Yes, I do still have 2 day1 embryos in the freezer, but given everything that had happened, chances were good that they wouldn't even make it to transfer. Despite my reluctance to do so, I knew I'd have to go through another fresh IVF cycle.
As my tests over the next couple days kept coming up negative, instead of Googling "day 2 transfer success stories", I began researching other options.

To Be Continued....

Please, God, grant me strength to do what needs to be done, and serenity to get through it.

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