4 DPT and Feeling Hopeful!

We called the clinic today to find out the fate of our 4 remaining embryos. The four that were developing too slowly at day 3 but which they kept until day 6 in case they developed enough to be frozen. Unfortunately none of them made it 😦 It was disappointing news but the two that were transferred on Tuesday were way ahead and so we feel that they must be the special ones and keep praying for a BFP! 

We asked why they hadn’t used ICSI. Apparently they don’t on the first attempt, especially as the sperm was fine. We were just unlucky to have a low fertilisation rate and this couldn’t have been predicted. We will definitely insist on ICSI next time, whether it be a second attempt or (hopefully) returning for siblings. 

Since the transfer I have been a lot more bloated and a little crampy. My boobs are also super hard! It could be the medication but we’re remaining hopeful and there is no way we’ll make it 14 days before testing!!

What Happens After an Embryo Transfer?

Of course we’re trying not to read too much into it, but the below time-scale is useful to know! This is for a 3 day transfer only though, although a five-day is the same just a couple of days ahead. 

By the way, do you count days past transfer, starting the day after transfer or the same day as transfer?!

 

3-Day Transfer

Days Past 
Transfer (DPT)
 Embryo Development
 One The embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula
 Two The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst
 Three The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell 
 Four The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
 Five The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation 
 Six Implantation continues
 Seven Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop 
 Eight Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream 
 Nine Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted 
 Ten Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted  
 Eleven Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy 

 

Day 15 & 16. It all happened all of a sudden!

Day 15 & 16. It all happened all of a sudden!

Monday:

This was two days post egg collection. We spent the whole day attempting to do a mortgage application, which seems to be impossible at the moment, which worries us as the longer it takes, the more chance we have of losing the house 😦

And then we spent the whole evening, Googling about how to convince the clinic that we want two embryos transferred, which is notoriously difficult thanks to the ‘one-at-a-time’ policy that the government is trying to implement.

We knew that the embryologist would phone the following morning to update us on how our six embryos were doing, but we were still convinced we wouldn’t be going in for the transfer until Thursday- day 5.

Tuesday:

08:20, the embryologist phones with the update. Out of the 6 embryos, only 2 had developed fast enough to make it to blastocysts/day 5. Those 2 had 8 and 9 cells and the remaining were; 2x 5 cells, 1 with 4 cells and 1 with 3 cells. They gave us a choice; either have 2 embryos transferred at day 3 (the same day) or 1 on day 5. However, despite the one-at-a-time policy they actually recommended the first option because even thought they had a lot of cells, they were still grade 2 (as some cells were fragmented). So before we knew it, we were off to the clinic for an unexpected transfer!

This whole journey has been a real eye-opener for us. We went into it so naively. We really thought that because we are still (just) under 30, are healthy and have no known fertility problems, that it would be a walk in the park. That we would get loads of healthy embryos and have all of the siblings from frozen ones (we want a big family). It hasn’t been like that at all. First we thought that 18 eggs was bad, then we accepted it was fine. But then only 6 fertilised, which was still okay. But then to hear that only 2 of those were strong enough was upsetting. We were disappointed that we went from 18 to 2. But we need to stay positive. The remaining 4 embryos will stay until Friday (day 6), to see if they develop enough to be frozen, so there’s still hope for them. And even more exciting is that, while I’m sitting here typing this, the two strongest are inside me, hopefully becoming a pregnancy! 🙂

Here’s a summary of the transfer.

We went to the clinic and both put on a gown as M came in with me for the actual procedure. I then proceeded to drink 4 bottles of water to fill my bladder. We went into the same room that M had her eggs collected in. The embryologist came in to confirm the plan. And then they started. A speculum was inserted and then they cleaned the cervix with something and the embryologist came in with the embryos in a long thin tube and we watched them being inserted via ultrasound. I can’t remember the exact details as it all happened so quickly and we didn’t know where to look exactly, it was quite confusing! The worst part for me is that it was SO uncomfortable! Firstly was the fact that, although I was used to opening my legs frequently for scans, there’s nothing quite like opening your legs, having your vagina opened wider than you knew it could go, then the bed being raised to eye-level and then having a massive light shining right at it!! But worse than that was having a completely full bladder at the same time, not being able to squeeze tight and having the ultrasound pressing right on it!! I have to admit that my concentration was wasted on trying not to wet myself in the embryologists face rather than what should have been a magical moment! It was the absolute opposite to relaxing! Afterwards I kept asking them if they had put the embryos in the right place, as if me trying to control my bladder had somehow blocked them. They assured me they had 🙂

And fortunately we got a picture to show for it! Our first scan photo! The embryos are difficult to see but they are roughly where I’ve circled it. We love this photo so much!

After the transfer I lied down for an hour in the recovery room. They told us we would be fine to go but we just wanted to be safe. And then we got a taxi all the way home. So weird to be watching all the tourists and workers of central London going about their daily lives when we’ve just done such an amazing thing!

Since then I’ve been on bed rest with M running about doing everything, amazing woman! Of course I’m capable of getting on as normal but we just don’t want to take any tiny chances at all.

This two-week-wait is going to be the hardest part now!

Day 14. We have embryos!

I was at work today, not expecting to hear anything from the clinic as they said they would ring on Monday. But sure enough at 8am, while I was right in the middle of handling passengers, my phone vibrated in my pocket, and I just ran off to answer it, it was the embryologist. 

So…. from 18 eggs collected, 14 of those were mature and 6 fertilised! 

I rang M straight away with the news. Again, we had been expecting more so we were a little disappointed but then we got to thinking, wow, we have 6 potential babies waiting there in the lab for us! And from all of the reading forums and blogs, trying to understand if 6 is a good number, there’s just no answer. No amount of maths or probability can predict our result. If it’s in our destiny it will happen and all we can do is stay positive and emanate positivity 🙂

The lab will call us on Tuesday morning with an update. If it looks like they will survive to day 5, I’ll have the transfer on Thursday, otherwise it’ll be on Tuesday 🙂

And my amazing wife is doing well after collection, still sore down below and she’s got very swollen boobs but other than that she’s not in pain, which is great 🙂 

Day 13: Continued. Eggs collected!

M was in theatre for nearly 40 minutes and when she came back she was hilarious! And smiling thankfully. It was so funny, like she was completely drunk, she was just talking nonsense, I’m not even sure it was English and repeating herself over and over again, asking the nurses if they collected what they needed and how many eggs and kept saying “I did it”, “I did it!”. She was completely knocked out for the procedure and didn’t feel a thing. I guess the nervousness before was all about the unknown (we didn’t understand what the sedation was) and I’m so glad that it went well for her 🙂

After a cup of tea and a biscuit the consultant came it with the news: 18 eggs collected! 🙂 They said that that was really good, but we were initially slightly disappointed after having read so many stories about 40/50+ eggs being collected. At the end of the day, it’s the quality that counts and after 18, hopefully M won’t be in too much pain. So far, so good, we’re back home and tucked in bed and she feels okay, just a little uncomfortable. Oh and the bird’s foot is recovering 😉

After the egg collection I also had a scan to check if my lining is ready yet, on Wednesday it was 6.5mm and needed to be 8, now after increased doses and patches it’s 8.3mm, so that’s another piece of good news! Now I have to start on Cyclogest twice a day (pessaries up my bum). The horrors we have to go through! Gross!

We’ll hear from the embryologist on Monday morning about how the eggs and sperm got on 🙂 And hopefully they’ll make it to 5 days! If they need to do ICSI (if the sperm didn’t thaw well), they’ll let us know today, but so far we haven’t heard anything so it sounds like some good sperm 🙂

Today really made me grateful and glad that we are doing this together and creating our baby together. M’s done her most important part now and is passing the baton on to me. It feels so special ❤

Happy days so far! Wish us luck!

Day 8, 9 & 10. Eggs are ready!!!

All of a sudden it’s all happening!

Monday: M went for a scan, follicles had made an improvement but were nowhere near ready. Maybe egg collection next Monday at the earliest. M started Orgalutron injections. Orgalutron works by preventing a surge of LH and allowing the follicles to develop fully. The injection is slightly more painful than the Gonal-F as the needle is thicker and afterwards the injection site (for M anyway) gets red and little swollen for a couple of hours.

Tuesday: We had a lazy day at home. M’s stomach seems to be getting really bloated and she says she can feel something going on! 

Wednesday: Back to the clinic, scans for both of us. I went first and have been told that my womb lining is thickening up, its around 6.5mm now but needs to be at least 8mm, so my dosage of Progynova has been increased to 5 tablets a day and I now need to wear Estradial patches on my thigh to speed it up because….. woah, M’s follicles have grown massive and she’s ready for egg collection!!!

 

So tomorrow night she will be taking Buserilin trigger injection, having a drug-free day on Friday and then back to the clinic Saturday morning for collection! 

We are so excited!!! I know M is nervous about the collection and I’m worried about the pain for her, just hoping it’ll be as comfortable as possible and we will have some good quality eggs/future chicklets ready for the oven 🙂