We got eight eggs yesterday, close to the sweet spot of nine that Dr L described to me last week.
First reports today were good. Embyrologist B rang at lunchtime to say six have fertilised. I now have to wait until Saturday afternoon, when hopefully they’ll be at compacting stage, to find out if we’re good for transfer on Sunday. B did caution that we could be looking at transfer a day later if they’re developing slowly, which is fine too.
The other warning of course is that none of them will make it to five-day blast, but I’m cautiously optimistic, with six candidates.
Nobody asked me about this but, when they were cross-checking my details before egg collection yesterday, they said I was down for transfer of two. This was the first I had heard of two embryos being transferred but I’m not going to query it. Last time, they asked me just before the egg collection how many I wanted transferred. I’m going to go with the flow – what will be will be.
B mentioned today that the other two had actually fertilised as well but a bit weirdly – one with three nuclei and one with only one (if I understand the brilliant video below correctly, you’re looking for two nuclei at this stage ie one pre-nucleus from the egg and one pre-nucleus from the sperm).
The one with the three nuclei (because two sperm got through, B said, yikes) led my Googling to this story of semi-identical twins who developed from the same egg, as with identical twins, but from different sperm, as with fraternal twins. They were discovered only because one was born with ambiguous genitalia. According to the journal, ‘double fertilisation’ happens in about 1% of human conceptions, though an embryo created this way doesn’t generally survive.
Human fertilisation is a complicated, precarious and truly amazing thing, even in the lab.
What to expect when they’re retrieving
As with my last egg collection, I have little to report on what you should expect from a retrieval, as I was knocked out for most of it. Improvements on last time:
- It was so much nicer going and in and knowing vaguely what was to come. Last time, I came to in the waiting area pretty bewildered and without a clue how much time had elapsed. This time, I think the procedure started at about 11.10am; I was out of the theatre around 11.35am apparently; and I came to about an hour later with a vague memory of a few people coming in and out of the room and maybe even talking to them. Once they had cross-checked all the details in the theatre, put my oxygen mask on, fixed the oxygen monitor to my thumb and inserted the line, I knew to expect to just drift away when they started pumping in the anaesthetic/morphine. I was still very wound up about being knocked out and they were telling me to take deep breaths, but it was comforting knowing that I would just gently fall asleep.
- Two years older and wiser, I knew not to bother shaving off all my pubic hair. Nurse A told me last week just to “be tidy”. I’m sure people’s definitions of “tidy” vary a lot but I hope I was up to scratch.
- The clinic now recommends taking two Paracetamol/Panadol 40 minutes before you’re due in. They used to prescribe Solpadol but this was making people throw up (very harsh on an empty stomach). I’ve heard people in the room next door vomiting while I’m having intralipids. The Paracetamol rule means you’re not as queasy after the procedure. I was able to eat a small sandwich when I got home and dinner later on (after sleeping from about 3pm to 6.30pm) and felt fine. Last time, I made the mistake of thinking I was okay and threw up.
One disimprovement is that they put the anaesthesia line in my hand, where I have an impressive bump and bruise. Long sleeves like a teenage Goth for me today.