I’ve been vacillating between relief that we cancelled the transfer and heart-stopping fear that maybe we made the wrong decision, I would be left with no embryos, I’d have to start again from scratch, I’ll be at least 41 now having any babies (was hoping to just sneak in a whole pregnancy before my next birthday in April). I began to feel human on Saturday evening, typical, a few hours after the transfer should have taken place, so I was grinding my teeth a little at the timing. But the rational part of me knows I’m not out of the woods yet, as mild as this OHSS is.
I walked around with my mobile glued to my side all day today, waiting for the embryologist to ring. I was just stepping into the shower when the call came, so I had to run to my bedroom for a pencil, wearing no clothes on my bottom half. Luckily for her, the embryologist wasn’t aware of my pervy state of undress. “So we have the results and you got one…” (oh, shite, only one out of 17) “…two, three…,” (tease) “…four, five excellent embryos to blast stage on Friday”. I don’t know if she was doing this for effect or literally counting them down the phone, but either way – relief. “And we had another look today, and there was a sixth. So you have six high-grade embryos, excellent. Well done!”
They don’t grade the embryos with numbers, she explained, but just have very strict criteria about which embryos to keep at all. Anything abnormal looking is discarded. I don’t really understand what role the Eeva time-lapse test plays in the selection if that’s the case. I guess it means they discard even more duds than they otherwise would have spotted.
I have a million questions about the freezing process, which I know next to nothing about. For example, when they say we had five great blasts on Friday, what was the story with the rest – did some of them die off or were they just developing abnormally and so not to be trusted, or a mixture of the two? If I hadn’t got some good ones, would they have lowered their standards and made do with some not so good ones? Would they have kept all the runners-up until today, Sunday, even if I had got to transfer yesterday or would everything have been done and dusted by Saturday, meaning I wouldn’t have got number six today? Is number six not as good as the others because it was slower to get to the finishing post? Is there any truth in the comment I read about female embryos developing more slowly because they are more complex and fertility treatment therefore favouring male embryos? Have they just discarded the 11 non-runners now? What percentage of the six embryos may not make it when taken out of storage?
I didn’t think to ask any of these questions during the call but I’ll run some of them by the nurse during my OHSS scan tomorrow.
I’m very relieved. I have no comparison but I think six decent embryos out of 19 eggs is a pretty good showing for 40 year old eggs. And let’s not forget the sperm donor, who did a fine job.
In other news, after six weeks the hormones finally got the better of me today. I was flicking aimlessly through the TV and lit upon a Billy Joel concert from New York Shea Stadium. He was singing “Goodnight Saigon”, with a bunch of representatives of the US armed forces on stage behind him. I think this is a melancholy and excellent song at the best of times but today I couldn’t stop a tear or two rolling down my face.
All worth it though, with a bunch of tip-top embryos on ice waiting for the next phase.