Yesterday I awoke to a fluttering in my belly. The first Big Day: retrieval!
A few hours later, we were on our way to the clinic, DH driving and me gingerly holding upright the contents of a white paper bag. We knew by then Nellie would have had the retrieval, and I thought, The two genetic parties have done their part, and the rest is down to me. I held my hand over my uterus, now boasting an 8mm lining, and relaxed. I can do it.
We’d just sat down to lunch in a Japanese café when embryology called with an update. I was frantically scrabbling about in my bag and missed the call. A minute and a half later, I was listening with round eyes and feeding snippets of data to DH. An extraordinary number of eggs were retrieved — far more than we expected — of which about 75% were mature. So many, in fact, that we were advised to freeze some.
I have never before burst into tears with shock, relief, and happiness before — much less in a public place — but there I was, sobbing and laughing. We have so many eggs we have to freeze some??
Embryology needed us to decide how many eggs to fertilise. We didn’t have much time to make the decision — about an hour — because we got the call just before 2pm and embryology needed to freeze whatever of our eggs (OUR EGGS!) by 3pm.
What a fantastic and unexpected decision to have to make. Certainly the most difficult of our life, given the time constraint. (Don’t forget, on Saturday the nurse and doctor were discussing whether or not to cancel the cycle!) We never thought we would have to consider freezing an ‘excess’ of eggs!
There is no algorithm that will predict how many eggs will fertilise, then how many embryos will make it to Day 3, then to Day 5, then pass PGD. Using averages, we had to quickly decide on whether we would be more comfortable with too many embryos or too few, because it’s unlikely that we would arrive at the exact number of embryos we would like after PGD.
After some intense number crunching, we decided to fertilise enough eggs that will hopefully leave us with 6-8 healthy embryos after PGD. This should be enough for a baby or two this year, and a sibling/s in a couple of years’ time.
This morning we got a call from the embryologist giving us the update on how many embies we have. It’s a good number. We are in good shape. We’ve cleared the first couple of hurdles with loads of wiggle room, and I can’t believe it. Official test date is March 10th, the one-year anniversary of the day I miscarried Bean. Another wink from my lost one.
I have tiny ones on ice, and my budding mama’s heart is already filled with love for and is fiercely protective of them. My chillun are chillin’. And I am so filled with love and admiration and gratitude for darling Nellie I can hardly speak.<
I am — we are — still in shock. But it’s a good shock. For the first time in a year, I feel like things are going to work out. If not this cycle, then the next, or the one after that…