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Aug 2, 2016

Moving On Up!


Finally!
As most of you wonderful supporters read over the weekend, we were finally able to close this season of repeat egg retrievals with a life-changing voicemail.

I would be lying, though, if I told you it was as simple as getting a joyous voicemail and living in some fairy tale world where everything goes like it should.

Hell no....this weekend fully encompassed every emotion imaginable.

So let's start at the beginning.
For our third egg retrieval, we did a different protocol that our first two called microdose lupron flare.

Our doctor indicated it was a more aggressive protocol, but could not guarantee I would respond better to it.

But I did.

We retrieved 16 beautiful eggs and my recovery was pretty horrible, but the pain was lessened when we got our first update the next day to say that of the 16 eggs, 11 were mature and 10 of them fertilized normally.

Hallelujah! We were off to a great start!

Then we wait.
The next update is on Day 5 of the embryo growth.
And during these five days, the embryos typically double in cell count each day until they have reached what is called a Morula on Day 4, and then a Blastocyst on Day 5.

During these five days, I had this weird mental shift...almost like a premonition of what could be the future.
Not to sound all medium-ish or well...psycho, but it's almost like I could see the plan that was laid out for the next year.
With every retrieval, it always seemed glaringly obvious that we would have to do another one, and our path was blurry.

But this one was different. I could see dates in the future lining up like they should.

I was starting to have hope.
Real, solid, lift my spirits hope.

I was nervously gaining my footing to realizing motherhood could actually be a possibility in my future, so why not let the hope take over this time?

And then I got my first update on Friday, at work, on Day 5.
I quickly hopped up, shut the door to my office, took a deep breathe, and answered the phone.

The embryologist started talking. I could sense the hesitation in her voice as she told me I only had four viable embryos at this point.
None of them looked good.
They were all behind.
I had (2) Morulas, which is where they should be on Day 4, (1) ten-cell, and (1) nine-cell.

Now, I am used to hearing slow growth.
It has happened with every single one of my retrievals.
But historically, every Morula on Day 5 has failed to keep growing.
And the other two were even further behind, so I really had no hope for them.

I started tearing up.
I sent out a quick email update to the head nurse to inform her what happened, and that I would probably need to move forward with a 4th retrieval.

I called Mark and blubbered to him over the phone.

And then the best part...after I managed to pull myself together, my boss came in to chat about stuff, and I literally burst into tears again in front of him.

Super. Professional.

My depression at this point was inconsolable.

I was so sad and angry and frustrated and nothing could snap me out of the funk.

I got home and sat on the floor, scratching my dogs bellies as they begged for attention.
All the while dreaming about how I was never going to get to partake in my child's wedding.
Never going to watch them grow up.
Never going to see any milestones.

I felt completely hollow inside.

Friday night I went to bed early, but had broken sleep. I couldn't stop thinking about how messed up this whole thing was.
It wasn't fair!

Finally, Saturday afternoon I received the Day 6 update phone call.

She started by saying that I had six viable embryos.

I stopped her right in her tracks.
She OBVIOUSLY had the wrong information.
I only had FOUR the day before, and she specifically told me the others had arrested....how in the Hell could I have SIX?

She told me she didn't want to give me false hope, because while the six were still growing at that point, they were slow.
But then, miraculously overnight, two caught up.
And the other four were still growing.
Ever slowly, but still growing.

Now I had six embryos.
(1) Grade 4CC blastocyst, (3) early blastocyst and (2) morulas.

But again, none of them were ready for biopsy.

Although four of them had made it to the blastocyst stage, they weren't mature enough.
The lab only biopsies if the cells have a maturity level of an A or B, and are mature to a number 4, 5, or 6.

I got off the phone and immediately burst into tears.
These tears were the release of this anticipation, of the all the nerves and all waiting.
My hope returned in the tiniest increment, but mostly I knew we still had to make it through another 24 hours before I had any concrete answers.

Saturday night, I pulled myself together, and we celebrated a little early Anniversary dinner at Shakou.


We snagged a spot at the sushi bar and toasted to six years of marriage and 11 years together.

I got drunk for the first time in over a month that night, and after dinner we proceeded to have a two-person dance-part in our driveway while listening to gangster rap.

I'm sure our neighbors were thrilled.

Sunday to Monday we had planned to stay overnight on the boat.
Sunday morning I packed, but the pit in my stomach would not leave.
This ball of nerves grew with every passing minute, knowing that by 1pm we could receive some of the best, or the worst news of our life to date.

Our boat was in the water, and we were about to head out for a drive down the coast, and still no call.
I bit the bullet and called them instead.

The embryologist spoke, saying there were "a lot of biopsies" today, so she didn't have any final results just yet, but would leave a voicemail.

We took off, heading to Kenosha, and sure as shit, I missed her follow-up call and we had a voicemail.
Once behind the breakwater, I grabbed Mark's hand, and played the voicemail on speaker.


Four made it.

We ended up with (1) Hatching Grade 6BB Blast, and (3) Fully mature Grade 5BB Blasts.
They had been biopsied and their cells overnighted to the genetics lab.

We met our minimum!
I had hoped to bank 5-10 embryos, and with this cycle, we collected five.
More happy tears and the relief that we can officially close this season of egg retrievals.

Also, remember when I mentioned I kept seeing the number four in my life?

Yea.....creepy, right?

So now.....we wait a few weeks to get the final results from our genetic testing.
We're hoping for at least one perfect, normal embryo in the batch.
Any more would, of course, be just wonderful.

In tandem with this, I am finally gearing up for our first FET.
FET stands for frozen embryo transfer.....you know....when I finally get knocked up!

I can't believe I am typing those words!
I am just giddy thinking we still have a chance.
I still have a chance to be a mom!

More updates to come, loves.
Thank you, as always, for reading!

7 comments:

  1. TIIIIIIAAAAAAA! I love this post, so so so much. I cried, I jumped up and down! I am so happy for you guys. and hey, SO WEIRD on the seeing 4's - crazy! I am so excited for this next step for you guys <3

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  2. Oh my gosh.... this is all such great news. Continuing to pray for you guys and your little babes to be!!

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  3. Can't tell you how happy and excited I am for you!!!

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  4. Such fabulous news . . . I am so excited for you guys!!

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  5. I cannot wait for those biopsy results!!

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