Saturday, June 28, 2014

Baby Pictures!

Well, as expected, our third little guy arrested.  I'm sad but okay with that.  I'm over-joyed with the quality of the two we do have.  As my dad put it, for this cycle our gross was poor but our net was outstanding.  To put it in perspective, another lady going through a freeze-all cycle had 11 eggs, and only had 2 to freeze.  So in the end, she had about a 10th return.  This is really encouraging about the quality of eggs that we did get.

As the title promises, here are our snow babies (this seems to be the trending term for embryos that have been frozen, and I can't think of anything better so, fine...)

I know, you're like but, where is the baby? Well, they're there.  Starting with the excellent blast on the left, you can see the outer rim, that's the zona pellucida, or the egg shell that's not hatched but it's definitely thinned out. We didn't want it to progress too much further as that would mean it would be ready to look for a home in my uterus, and currently my wacko ovaries are not enabling that option, so good thing it's frozen.  Just inside the zona pellucida is the trophectoderm which will become the placenta. Yup, that already happened.  It's not functioning, and it won't function fully, God-willing, until the end of the first trimester, but its building blocks are already there.  Still on the left, between 11 o'clock and 12 o'clock, you have what is in medical jargon called an "Inner Cell Mass". I like to call it the baby, because that is what it is going to develop to be. Yup, you too, were just a wee "Inner Cell Mass". I love my inner cell masses/babies.  The space in the middle is the blastocele or cavity. Same on the right except  BABY is @ 7:00.  Baby looks bigger because this is a full blast and not an expanded blast which is still very much appropriate and high quality just isn't stretched out as much as the one on the left.  Not to mention, this is a 2D representation of a 3D object so not all the cells are going to be in focus on any given plane and she chose the plane where the most expansion could be seen.  So both babies are in excellent condition, both pre-placentas are ready to go, it's just a matter of thawing, hatching, and implanting...which is what no one can ever guarantee...if only...

My embryologist was very pleased for us.  She's excited and thinks we have 2 excellent chances with these embryos.  They look so much better than the one we had 2.5 years ago.  It's hard to imagine how hopeful we were knowing what we know now, but I'm very encouraged.  I'm aware that it's only two, but I remember that I had a chemical pregnancy with a sluggish, low quality blast, and that does bode well for us.  I can't say I'm a hostile environment...BJ might argue...

As sad as I am that two arrested, I'm also pleased that all four behaved normally.  Every woman is born with a fixed amount of eggs and every month she loses 50 or so.  People panic around IVF because it "wastes eggs" when actually it rescues many of those 50.  We do not naturally have enough hormones to support 20-30 eggs as well we shouldn't because a "healthy" triplet pregnancy could practically kill us without modern obstetrics.  Much less a litter...Anywho, of those 20-30 "rescued with IVF support", even in young 20-somethings, there are "bad" eggs with chromosomal abnormalities.  This is why the lady with 11 eggs probably only had 2 to freeze.  They were probably "aneuploid" eggs as opposed to normal, or euploid, eggs.  Aneuploid eggs tend to arrest and quit developing.  That doesn't mean it's not sad, or any less disappointing, but it's better than the unknowing and struggling that my embryos from my biological eggs did.  It's at least, peaceful and understandable.

OMG, I have totally nerded out...I'm so proud of them, I had too, ...OK so what I really wanted to say is that the baby on the left is going to grow up to be a reproductive endocrinologist, and the baby on the right is going to become an attorney/senator who will be acclaimed for helping improve insurance coverage for fertility treatments.  Or they will both be living with me until they are 45, and honestly, since we'll be old, as long as they help out, that's just fine, too!

Oh, and I guess I should credit all this learning to Dr. D, and Susan, our embryologist!

Peace, Love, and Babies that look like pancakes,


  1. So excited for you. By the way, your entire story is inspiring. We've been trying on and off for ten years.

  2. I am sorry your journey has taken so long. I hope you find the strength you need to continue on, and I will be thinking about you!