So Saturday eventually rolled around and with it another egg retrieval procedure. My sixth. I’m almost blasé about them now. I kind of love the sedation (although after the last time I made sure to let the anaesthetist know that it would be just good manners to make sure I stayed sedated until after all digits and instruments had been removed from every orifice.)
It was a natural cycle and, despite my late night Cetrotide, it didn’t seem to interfere with the Ovitrelle, because they managed to retrieve one good-looking egg, which of course is cause for celebration because one is better than none. But in this game nothing is really cause for celebration. Or everything is. Because there are so many hurdles. And you have to clear all of them, in succession, to get to where you want to be.
So yay for the egg being retrieved. But then a pause. And then the call the next morning telling me it had fertilised successfully. Which was great, but the plan was for a day 5 transfer, so even though I should have been thrilled when they called me on day 3 and told me it was an 8-cell grade 2 embryo, I couldn’t be happy because I knew that day 3 is not day 5, and I’ve had so many embryos not make it to day 5, and one that was technically a poorer embryo on day 3 last time made a blastocyst when others like this haven’t… basically it’s like those financial caveats – “past performance is not a guarantee of future performance, your home may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments” or something. Only here it’s “quality on day 3 is not a guarantee of quality on day 5, your mental health may be at risk if you do not brace yourself for disappointment.”
They’d told me they’d check the embryo on the morning of the transfer, which was scheduled for 2.30pm, and call me if it wasn’t suitable to transfer. By 10.30 I was climbing the walls with the not knowing, so I called them.
“It’s made a blastocyst. I don’t want you to get your hopes up because it’s not a very good blastocyst, but it’s a blastocyst, so I think we should transfer it.”
To be honest, making a blastocyst that we could transfer was pretty much all I could hope for. So I wasn’t complaining.
Just some FYI here – here’s how they grade blastocysts:
How advanced they are (6 is best)
1. Early Blastocyst
3. Full Blastocyst
4. Expanded Blastocyst
5. Hatching Blastocyst
6. Hatched Blastocyst
What the inner cells (which form the baby) look like (A is best)
A. Tightly packed, many cells
B. Loosely grouped, several cells
C. Very few cells
D. Degenerate cells present
What the outer cells (which form the placenta look like) (a is best
a. Many cells forming a cohesive epithelium
b. Few cells forming a loose epithelium
c. Very few cells
d. Degenerate cells present
Mine was 2Cc. You can see why the embryologist didn’t want me to get my hopes up.