I haven’t posted in awhile. I am still feeling pretty raw and not really sure what to do with myself at times.
A little over a week ago I got some devastating news. Out of the 6 embryos we sent for PGS testing none of them were normal. 5 had various abnormalities and 1 was “no result”. My RE felt that none would be viable and we have nothing to transfer.
I was completely shattered. I knew they wouldn’t all be normal, statistically about 30-50% are typically “aneuploid”. I had read some studies showing some women, even egg donors, can have higher rates of abnormal embryos than normal but to not have a single normal embryo really shocked me.
Now I feel like there are many more questions than answers.
I feel like the best way to move forward is to treat this like a failed cycle and move forward but I must say this has really shaken my confidence and made me question whether or not this is our answer. It was really difficult to start considering the “what ifs” and possibly confront the future child-free…
My RE didn’t mention the “no reuslt” embryo, I was told they were all abnormal but when I got a copy of the results I found out that isn’t necessarily the case…. Part of me is holding out hope that this little bean could still be normal and that they just didn’t get enough DNA to be able to amplify the sample.
For now I am trying to somehow put this behind me and trying to feel “normal” again. I wish I was in my happy little hopeful bubble. I feel like a wounded warrior already…
If this is all there is,
Maybe that’s ok..
Believing in the Bliss,
Wishin my time away
A tender-hearted sadness pulls me through the day
But that’s alright.
My heart is ok. (The Bliss, The Fortunate Ones)
Connecting with this song today. These last few days my confidence is waning. I think I am probably being overly pessimistic but also probably building up my defences, protecting my heart from an epic fall…Still, I can’t help but feel that aching hope that this is our answer.
I am not unhappy. Am I happy, fulfilled? Some days I would say yes. I love my husband and I do feel this is bringing us closer. I am so lucky to have him. I am lucky for my career and my family, my house, my friends (all though most are far away), my health. Still, it is there in my heart – a longing. I haven’t had the courage to really visualize it yet – to really picture my very own baby…because you know, what if?
Going to try to enjoy the sunlight and channel some positivity as I wait (?patiently) for my PGS results this week….
So, the last few days have been pretty eventful. As many of you already know, the process of IVF is full of ups and downs.
I had my egg retrieval on April 8, it went well – we retrieved 26 eggs, 21 which were mature. We had 19 fertilized with ICSI – which I was very happy about. Unfortunately I also developed early ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and had to go on a “shut down”protocol which means I can’t do a fresh transfer this cycle. I knew going into this cycle that this could be a possibility since I had a pretty vigorous response to medications during IUIs but I was still disappointed as this means I won’t be pregnant for probably another 8 weeks minimum. After the retrieval I had a lot of pain/pressure from my swollen ovaries – finally 5 days later this is starting to settle down. I have mostly come to terms with not doing the fresh transfer but I am still a little sad that I would be pregnant right now if we had been able to….Nothing can ever be easy right?!
On day 3 we still had 19 embryos developing. I was very surprised and happy. I made a last minute decision to do pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) which will involve taking a cell from the trophoectoderm of the blastocyst on Day 5 or 6. This is not technically indicated for my case but even in women less than 35 up to 30-50% embryos are genetically abnormal (less than the full 46 chromosomes). This is a big reason why up to 50% of of transfers do not result in a pregnancy or result in a miscarriage. I hope by doing this we will dramatically improve our chance of a successful frozen embryo transfer
BUT…today I found out only 3 blastocysts have matured enough for biopsy so far (insert expletive). This is much less than I was hoping/expecting so I was definitely disappointed. The only upside is that we still have 11 little embies which are still developing and a few should mature enough for biopsy/freeze tomorrow. The nurse told me they hope another 3-4 will make it. I am anxiously waiting to hear how many little snowflakes.
For now my emotions are fluctuating between fear, hope, frustration and feelings of gratitude. We are getting closer to our goal. I am hoping a little break from this rollercoaster will be a good thing for my mental health. Theme song: Bahamas – Waves
I thought Elle Goulding’s song was a good theme for this post. It’s true, anything COULD happen.
I am finally here on the precipice of my egg retrieval and I’m not really sure what to think/feel. Right now I’m mainly feeling a lot of bloating and tenderness as my ovaries are almost at their breaking point…The have done their part and grown 18 nice little follicles and now I think they are ready for a rest…I knew it would get pretty uncomfortable but right now every time I pee, cough, twist I get deep twinges of pain, I feel bad for my poor little lady bits, they deserve a medal or something…I really REALLY hope I don’t get OHSS…
Tonight we will stay in a hotel close to the clinic and tomorrow is the procedure – have to be there at 0700 sharp. I can’t say I am not nervous – mostly that somehow my eggs aren’t good enough or that none of them are mature or that none of them fertilize and this whole process has been for naught. When those negative little voices start to chatter I try to shut them up and think positively. I have no reason to be so worried – I think I have just done too much reading and researching and now I am not naive and I know that this might not work the first time. BUT, tomorrow is my mother’s birthday so I’m taking that as a good omen. Hoping to make her lots of beautiful embabies for her birthday.
I have been going to yoga almost every day for the past week and I really think it has been helpful. I have never been very good at meditating but when I am able to let go it really is so nice for my brain. Honestly it is so hard to think of anything else during this process…I have totally failed at not becoming totally engrossed in this – gah.
Here’s hoping this is all worth it. Hoping for lots of cute little eggs tomorrow -go ovaries go, you got this!
Thy will be done.
This was the mantra of the yoga class I attended today. I am not usually a superstitious at all, more of a “realist” in general but it almost seemed like it was fate that I ended up signing up for this class…. I got an online coupon for a local studio, I am a very novice yogi and have only done it in the gym. Well I have to say I think this is exactly what I needed. It really felt amazing to stretch, relax and try to connect with my inner thoughts, feelings and intentions. The teacher had us repeat this mantra “Om Namaha Shivaya” (can be interpreted as Thy Will Be Done). I was like, wait, what?! It seemed so relevant to me and what I am currently going through. As silly as it sounds I tried to connect with my ovaries/uterus/possible future babies and really direct all my positive energy and excitement into the process. The only negative side effect is that I found myself getting emotional…who cries at yoga? I blame the hormones. I am definitely going to go back, I think it could be just what I need.
In other news I had another glorious ultrasound and bloodwork appointment today. The ovaries seem to be cooperating and about 12 follicles are growing in relative unison. One little guy is threatening to lead the back by a couple mm but they want me to continue on the same protocol/dose for another 2 days and then go in for u/s and b/w on April 5…I suspect our Egg Retrieval will fall on April 7 if all goes as planned.
Wishing you positivity and strength, happy Saturday.
PS – Am I becoming a yogi?!