Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Diary of an IVF Cycle - Numbers Game

So, I had my egg retrieval on Monday. They pulled out 8 eggs (and pulled is the best word considering the amount of pain killers I've taken since then) and Matt gave them his contribution. I really appreciate how no one (other than my mother) has asked about Matt's part in this process. For some reason his part is a little gross and unnecessary to talk about. Any hoo, 24 hours post retrieval I got a call from the doctor. The message was this (and I'm quoting exactly) "Hi Alicia, it's Dr. X. It's not a medical emergency, but I'd really like to talk to you as soon as possible." At which point I'm lucky my lunch didn't end up on my desk. After 20 of the longest minutes of my life, I got to speak with the doctor. It turns out of the 8 eggs they retrieved, 7 were mature, but only 1 fertilized. Both our parts looked perfect under the microscope, but for some reason they do not play well together. The doctor said there was no reason he could see for that to happen, but they have a plan should we have to do this again about how to try and make sure this doesn't happen next time. The doctor decided to do ICSI (stands for injecting sperm directly into the egg, but in Latin) on 5 of the eggs to try and get us more options for transfer. As of this afternoon, the one embryo we had that fertilized naturally had split into 4 cells (which is exactly where they want it to be at this point) but only 1 of the ICSI eggs had fertilized. The eggs need to reach a certain point before they'll transfer them back, so we won't know until tomorrow if we are transferring one, two, or none (both of our options could die before transfer). They've scheduled the transfer for tomorrow (Thursday) and I'll let everyone know what we end up doing tomorrow afternoon. My dreams of "Matt and Alicia, plus Eight" have been dashed. (Dude, I could totally do her hair a a Halloween costume.) And now I've just jinxed us with identical quadruplets from the one good embryo...

I do feel slightly better that there's clearly something wrong that they didn't see before (ICSI should have like an 80% fertilization rate) but at the same time it's a bit of a pisser. Of course I really shouldn't be that surprised because Matt and I are both seriously independent and I feel like our reproductive parts think they can do this all by themselves and don't need anyone else's help, thank you very much. We are very lucky that we don't actually have to do this by ourselves and have had great support from family and friends. I'd specifically like to thank Matt's mom, who not only gives shots, but is driving me home from the transfer tomorrow and taking care of me while I'm on bed rest for a few days. I'd also like to thank the friends who have emailed or called us during this process just to check in and see how we're doing. I think we're doing better than expected, but I've just had my last drink for at least the next two weeks, so check back next week when I'm losing my mind and can't have a glass of wine.

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