The embryologist called the day after our egg retrieval to give us the day 1 update and let us know how many eggs were fertilized. She said 2 didn’t fertilize, 1 fertilized abnormally (2 sperm fertilized 1 egg), 7 fertilized normally, and 2 were a little behind so they kept them to wait and see if they were fertilized and grew, which probably wouldn’t happen. The doctor told us to expect about 50% to fertilize, so with 7 we were a little above average! We were thrilled to hear this news.
On Saturday they called to give us the day 3 update. On day 3 the embyros are referred to as “cleavage stage embryos.” Apparently the 2 eggs that they kept to watch for growth and fertilization had fertilized and were now growing! So we had NINE embryos still in the race. NINE!!!! 2 were graded excellent quality, 4 were fair, and 3 were poor. Out of curiosity I asked how the 2 that were a little behind ended up being graded and 1 was fair and 1 was poor. I find that fascinating! She told me that day 3 embryos that are graded excellent and fair usually make it to day 5 (so 6 of our embryos), but that we should expect 3-4 embryos (didn’t want to get our hopes up!). At this point we’re thinking that 6 would be great – that sounded doable – but at the same time we were planning on all 9 making it because she told me that the 2 that were behind wouldn’t make it, and they did, so we were pretty much ready for anything to happen. Gary immediately started researching surrogates (in case my uterus couldn’t handle growing 9 babies) and talking about upping his life insurance, haha!
She finished telling me all this, and I hung up and literally started laughing hysterically. I just didn’t expect any of it. Here we were worried about having too few embryos and 75% of my eggs made it to day 3. While we were OVERJOYED at this news, we were also a little overwhelmed at the thought of 9 embabies. Never in a million years did we think we would even have the slightest opportunity to worry about having such a large number of embryos. I was having visions of being pregnant for the next 10+ years straight or my uterus just falling out and dying. But at the end of the day, we trusted that God knew what He was doing and just let Him do His thing.
On Tuesday morning we got our final update. Four embryos made it to day 5 (now referred to as blastocysts) and were able to be frozen!! The other 5 arrested (stopped growing). They say to expect 25% of the number of eggs retrieved to make it to day 5, so at 33% we were beating the odds! Even so, to be honest, 4 is less than we expected given our day 3 update, but 3 of them were graded excellent quality (2 AA and 1 BA) and 1 was graded fair quality (BB), so that was GREAT news! And we know that ultimately, God makes babies, and He will give us however many He chooses through IVF or, maybe even someday, you know, the other way. 😉
The Lord has been faithful and kind to us as we’ve traveled this often bumpy, always unpredictable, extremely emotional road. He has given us abundantly more than we deserve, and we’re SO unbelievably excited to finally be done with this first step of IVF and to have 4 frozen little babes waiting for us. We’re filled with joy at the thought of them – what a gift they are already. Lord willing we’ll get to meet every single one of them on this side of heaven. Our first frozen embryo transfer (just 1 embaby) is scheduled for the end of July. It can’t come soon enough!!!