Arrested

My early stage blastocyst stopped development and arrested.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to go to bed as soon as I can get away with it so I can cry and feel sad about my lost opportunity in private.

8 cycles, 2 blastocysts.

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Not Quite

Today is day 5 of my embryo’s development. I feel like I might be jinxing myself by writing, so I considered waiting, but I promised full disclosure about my journey.

I was told this afternoon that it has passed the Morula stage and was now something called an “Early Blastocyst” which means I needs to develop some more and expand before its considered a blast worth freezing. In women under 40, more than 90% of early blasts make it to blastocyst but in women over 40 because there are more occurrences of chromosomal abnormalities, sometimes they arrest at early blast. I will know more by Thursday.

If it arrests, well ok. It was probably an alien, if it doesn’t then I’m 1 step closer!

5 more days of Provera and Estrace and then a few days before a new cycle begins.

Hatching

I am in shock.

To call it shock is probably an understatement. I am also thrilled. I have no idea how I’m going to write this post in a way that makes sense.

Because Molly’s teeny tiny miracle didn’t arrest. It slowed way down in growing, and they thought it would arrest, hence the call on 6/4 informing me that it died. Maybe because it was immature and was taking some time to catch up or maybe it was just napping. I don’t know what embryos do, and I’m not educated enough on this process to give a logical answer so I’m just going with napping. But it caught up, and eventually wound up on time!

I’ve been a “joy” to be around the last 4 days. And by “joy” I mean a total assclown.

She kept an eye on it, took care of it, and today I have been informed that its is a grade 6AA blastocyst! The reason it was given the grade 6, is because its got so much energy and is so happy, it’s already trying to escape from its little shell and wants to implant right away.

It will be frozen, and I will continue to do retrieval until such time as Dr Yelian tells me its time to transfer. How cool is the idea of a hatching embryo you can actually see pictures of?

I don’t even know what to say really. The part that just makes me smile like a lunatic is the term “hatching”.  Because its only used when the embryo has a lot of energy and determination, if you know.. cells can be determined.

So without further ado, here is blastocyst number 2. My second little goldfish! A bundle of cells that beat incredible odds thanks to Molly!

Announcement

I have a really exciting announcement for those of you interested in the protocol I am using for IVF. Dr. Frank Yelian Director of Life IVF Center has agreed to do a Q&A session online a live chat, tentatively scheduled for May 18th, at 7pm Pacific time.

I know it’s not an ideal time for those of you on the East Coast, but you don’t have to be a patient to take part and its free. I will send out more details and the link to it, once I have a general idea of how many people might be interested. Please let me know if you are interested in attending so that I can make sure there is room for everyone.

In the meantime I want to give a huge shout out to Molly, the amazing embryologist at the clinic I go to. Shes incredibly sweet, really kind-hearted and has her own blog that you can find here: Joy of an Embryo Sitter. Have a look, she’s really busy but you can learn a lot about the different stages of embryos from her blog. Plus she deserves some nice comments and encouragement, since she works in this world day in and out.

Everyone that is a nurse or works in the lab wears these green scrubs, and you can always find her with a big smile in her green scrubs, with sock monkey slippers on. Love that!

A few weeks ago when I was feeling so sad, she was kind enough to email me and ask me if I wanted a picture of my 1 Blastocyst. Of course I said yes. Because I’m feeling a little sorry for myself today, I thought Id share it with you. Its rated as a 4AA quality which is the best rating this clinic give out. (I think)

1 blast might get me pregnant, but I don’t want to transfer unless I have 2 or 3, having to start from zero after a transfer stinks so I’m trying to hedge my bets. Plus I’m not getting any younger, so better to collect eggs while I can. Looking at it makes me feel a little better. So here is my little goldfish:

I am not affiliated with Live IVF Center in any way other than being a patient there. I am not employed by them nor am I compensated by them.

Superstitious

Tomorrow at 9:30am, on what will be CD5, *see freak show* I will be having my 6th egg retrieval.

Since this isn’t my first time to the Circus, I now have a list of things that I do the day before I go in for one, like a sad professional Baseball Player. Some part of me believes that if I replicate all the things I did the one time I got a Blastocyst, that it will happen again. The logical part of me is, as usual mortified. I’ve made it clear, your sanity and dignity leave you during this process so just bear with me. Here’s my list:

  • Acupuncture
  • Manicure, Pedicure
  • Shave my legs and moisturize since I can’t tomorrow, and I hate feeling like my skin is overly dry
  • Make and eat home-made vegetable soup
  • Eat fruit; tonight’s will be a Korean Apple Pear, because its my favorite fruit now in season.
  • Drink wheat grass juice both tonight and before the appointment *I do it most days but NOT a fan*
  • Shower in the morning again

Don’t ask me why these hygiene things are so important to me, but they are. It could be vanity, or it could be that even though my RE, and 3 other people in the surgery are looking at my vagina in a medical way, I don’t want him/them to think of me as some dirty person that shows up in sweatpants, all unwashed and troll like. In fact retrieval or transfer day is the only day I’m not fully “done up” when I go there. But that’s probably another post for another day.

New this month will be to listen to the meditations of Circle and Bloom of which I’ve skipped from day 1&2 to Trigger shot/Retrieval Day so that’s bizarre.

Like some kind of OCD gone wild, this list seems to get longer and not shorter. What are not included are the things I do every day, all the vitamins, the tea, no cold foods, no cold water, at least 2 or 3 liters of water, any fertility meds that would normally be prescribed to me. Which are none right now, thank you very much.

That reminds me, since my retrievals are now done via my abdomen, I need to put some Advil in my purse because as I have said before at this clinic you get no anesthesia of any kind.

Whats different this time is I am aware that these are the things I can control, and all they really mean is I’m making my intention, trying to put my best foot forward and being optimistic. And that I don’t want to be thought of as a dirty hobo.

Clean mind, clean body, clean slate. New cycle, think good thoughts, have good intentions, put something good out into the world, be open, do good deeds. This has been my mantra since my last tantrum/meltdown.

Yes I’m nervous, and anxious, and worried. No, there is not a single thing I can do to change tomorrows outcome.

Embryos, Costco and Bail bondsmen.

Today my Dr called to tell me if my goldfish has become a tadpole. Yes I’m totally mixing metaphors. Goldfish don’t become tadpoles. But tadpoles don’t really fit in with my circus/carnival theme so thank you for pointing that out.

When I called them, they said when they checked it this morning, it was a morula with too many cells to count easily, meaning it’s almost a blastocyst but not quite.  It’s still compacting. So they are going to culture it another day or so. You can read what a morula is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morula

A day 6 blast is not as good as a day 5 blast but its better than nothing and it is my first blast.

Then while I was at Costco with my husband, they called twice in 5 minutes but left no message (stupid concrete building my phone didn’t ring) So I don’t know maybe it became a blast, maybe something happened. They didn’t leave a message and they are closed on Sundays.

To keep myself from freaking out, I’m going to take a left turn.  Why do people go to Costco on the weekends? I mean seriously, its people that can barely drive a shopping cart much less a car, the parking lot is always a nightmare, people stand like vultures over a tray of toothpicks in cheese and frankly I’m not sure how anyone gets in or out of there without requiring a bail bondsman. But then, maybe that’s just me.

Christmas eve day, after my husband announced he had no gift for his mother to which I said “Wait what? I bought her something months ago” He replied ” I hid it in E’s room and she thought it was for her and wore it to school, so we have to get something else” I stared at him and said ” there are 4 bedrooms in this house, and 2 of them are empty, and both have closets, and you put it in your daughters closet? Really?” Anyhow, we wound up at Costco, where there was a line forming behind some couple and their very slow walking grandfather, because the guy at the door was giving away those booze coupons. I got in the line, stood there for a minute and thought “Why am I in this line? The door is 4 carts wide, and I don’t want any booze coupons” so I proceeded to enter the store.

The elderly gentleman in front of me didn’t like that,  so he came up to me while my husband was looking at the slipper display and said loudly “YOU CUT IN LINE. THERE WAS A LINE, BLAH BLAH BLAH” for about 3 minutes calling me names and generally pointing out what a despicable human being I am. To which I replied “Merry Christmas!” He stomped off, I told the husband that he was going to take me home and he could find his mother a gift on his own. Shocker, all the slippers in his mother’s size were gone anyway.

The point of this story is why Costco is generally Lucifer‘s  Emporium. They are all made of concrete and my phone doesn’t ring when I am inside them.

I will have to wait until Monday to find out what happened. In the meantime, Happy St. Patricks Day to those of you who are Irish by birth, choice or injection. Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, my best friend, my partner in crime and the only person I want to see when I get up in the morning and when I go to bed at night. I love you. Thank you for letting me be the crazy one