…and when I say we, I mean me, Brian, Dr. S, Dr. R, nurse Tasha, nurse Sarah, embryologists Gary and Erica, ultrasound techs Linda and 2 others whose names I forgot….. It takes a village, right?
For the record, I am not pregnant. Not yet at least.
I never would have thought Brian and I would be a statistic, but we are. There are 1 in 8 couples who suffer from infertility. And we are one of them. We spent ALL of 2014 trying to get pregnant with the help of assisted reproductive technology. Countless diagnostic tests, ultrasounds, and blood work were done. Thousands of dollars were spent. Hundreds of comments, insensitive but meant well, were lobbed at us left and right. 2014 was easily the most trying and difficult year of our entire lives both physically and emotionally. I shared about our last failed IVF cycle back in June. And since our move, we secretly started our 2nd IVF cycle at a new clinic here in Colorado. We didn’t want to bring our families with us on the rollercoaster so we kept it from them….until now.
I don’t know which one it is, but both of these embryos have been genetically tested and only one of them proved to be healthy with no chromosomal abnormalities. So we will be transferring him or her (yes, the embryologist knows the gender because of the genetic test, I chose not to know) in the new year. These tiny blobs of cells weren’t easy to make in any way and making them certainly put us through the wringer! They were the only two to fertilize out of 14 because my eggs are crap. The anticipation of the phone calls from the embryology lab telling us their status was completely nerve wracking. But I am so proud of this embryo for fighting for life and giving us hope. We still have many more hurdles to get through, but making this embryo was the hardest part thus far.
And I am not one of those women who will wait untill they are 3 months along to announce their good news. I am very open about this process and feel that any good news, especially when you are dealing with infertility, deserves to be celebrated. And right now, we are celebrating having a healthy embryo waiting frozen for us in the lab until my body is ready to accept it. I’ll be doing what’s called a frozen embryo transfer cycle where I’ll be prepping my body/uterus with hormones to get it all baby-ready. The process won’t be as scary, painful, or crazy expensive as the last cycle we just went through…but I haven’t done this part before. I do know it involves getting huge needles in my ass full of progesterone everyday for 10 weeks if I do get pregnant in order to maintain the pregnancy until the placenta takes over. OUCH.
Fun fact: The embryologists at our clinic call themselves “the babysitters.” How cute is that?!
I don’t throw the word “miracle” around easily, but this is seriously a scientific miracle. The fact that humans even exist, knowing how difficult the process of conceiving can be, is a miracle. The fact that only ONE of my fourteen eggs retrieved was the “golden” egg that made this embryo is a miracle. IVF is a miracle. Without it, we’d have no way of having a baby of our own. Now we have a chance. Just one, but a chance no less.
And just so you don’t think my embryos are alien embryos, the reason they look like figure 8’s is because they are hatching out looking to implant in my uterus! The top embryo in the pic above is the one I *think* is the normal one only because it looks pretty smooth and clear, but we will know for sure on transfer day, whenever that is. So if you look at the top embryo, the circle on the left side is the part of the embryo that grew inside my egg. If you look closely, you can see a sort of invisible haze around the outside. That’s my egg’s shell. Once the embryo got too big inside there, it started hatching out of my egg. The circle on the left, is the part of the embryo hatching out looking to implant. It’s all one piece. Eventually the entire thing will hatch out. The dark blobs of cells are the baby’s cells, and the lighter more clear cells are the placenta cells. Science is AWESOME!