Category Archives: embryos

Entreaty to an embryonic ice cube

Dear Snowflake,

I’m not sure if you are still in there and if you are doubt, as you are still no more than a mass of expanding cells, that you can read – but I’ll chance it. You see, if you’ll excuse the cliche,  desperate times call for desperate measures.

It has been eleven days since we first met you, our perfect little cellular ice cube. Eleven marathon days since you moved out of your little frosty igloo and went to inspect my uterus and in one more sleep we’ll find out if you’ve decided to stay. Even though you are so tiny we needed a microscope to see you that first time – your dad and I fell hard. There’s something really special about you compared to those other recalcitrant embryos and you look so much like your big brother when he was your age. You have that same sophisticated shaved truffle look… just a tad icier.

If you decide to stay on and sign the lease on my uterus we’ll get to find out just how special you really are. Speaking of which, I hope the place has proved to your liking. Your big brother dug it and has assured me he left it spic and span but even so have had a bit of trouble renting out the place since. We had a few dodgy tenants passing through last year so we had the place renovated afterwards (just a polyp removed here and there to make it more roomy, nothing structural) but there have been two more since and just like those other recalcitrant embryos treated the place like a hotel and skipped out without even paying the bill. I can only hope they left everything in order – they were a bit snooty and obviously thought themselves too good for the place. In fact, tossers that they were,  I wouldn’t be  surprised if they redecorated the place with a load of garish faux Louis XIV furniture or some such over the top hideousness before they left. If they did, my apologies, but if you decide to stay please feel free to refurnish with anything you’d like… you know, like umbilical cords and placentas and all that malarkey. Oh, the rent is cheap, all you have to do is burrow into the wall and grow and it’s all yours for the next nine months.

I have to admit that the last eleven days have been really hard as I wait patiently to see if you’ve decided to stay. Of course by “patient” I actually mean; obsessing constantly; running back and forth to the toilet to check for spotting every ten minutes; chatting to the icons for a bit of moral support; fretting; saying a few “Hail Mary’s” even though I am not Catholic or even remotely religious – just in case; And searching Google voraciously to find a reason for every twinge.

You see there’s an awful lot riding on you. Not that I’m trying to burden you or anything but you’re our last little embryo, our lucky number seven. You’re also our last hope.

So please think about it. If you decide to sign and stay until the end of the lease, you’ll become part of a family who’ll love you very, very much. And are you ever lucky because we actually know what we’re doing now! You see, before your brother was born your dad and I weren’t so sure how we would handle this raising a child without breaking it business. Would we any good it? And if weren’t, were we talking just talking years of therapy no good or more of a call DOCS cos these two are imbeciles no good? In hindsight, we needn’t have worried as being parents has been the  best, funnest thing your dad and I ever did… and it turns out that we aren’t too shabby at it!

Your big brother and your daddy are my favourite people in the world and if you stay you too will be added to that very exclusive club. Incidentally, your dad is desperate to meet you… he thinks of all the frozen embryos we’ve seen (and we’ve seen loads) that you’re the cleverest and best looking of them all. Of course, you’ve already met me but you’ll get to know me much better if you sign the lease and we can just hang out together for a while. I promise I’ll love and protect you, and that I know all the right mummy moves to make everything ok. I can get references if you need proof –  your big brother can vouch for me!

Darling little Snowflake,  I know it is extremely hard work doing all that thawing, expanding, hatching, implanting , cell dividing and growing and it’s a really big ask but can you please, please stay? You can do it! I have faith in you – you seem like a reliable and clever kind of blastocyst and I promise to do everything I can to help.

Please sign the lease my tiny one, we all really, really want you to stay.

Lots of love,

Mummy
xx

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Is that the time?

It appears that two months have snuck by since my last post and much has been happening in the House of Devilboy.

After four unsuccessful embryo transfers we discovered that something was growing in my uterus… unfortunately it wasn’t a baby. On doing some more investigation Doctor Sickboy discovered a rather large Polyp which has been hogging around a half of the space of my womb. Now, call me crazy but I would have thought that at least one of the 32,000,000 ultrasounds I’ve had in the last seven months or so might have picked something up but no, that would be far too easy.

So the bad news is that like that other bloody tyrant Pol Pot, Pol Yp been wilfully slaughtering the inhabitants of my womb. I’m fairly sure that unlike under the evil Pot regime, my emby’s have not been forced into slave labour camps and the hugely unpleasant hysterosalpingogram seemed to indicate that no rice paddies had been cultivated. But Yp is guilty of starving them of all important nutrients and bludgeoning them to death as he swings around like a medieval flail.

Our four perfectly lovely and beautiful embryos T2, Frosty, Ice-T and Rocky may as well have been flushed down the toilet along with the thousands of dollars we’ve forked out… for all the hope they had of surviving this genocidal despot.

The good news is that outside forces have stepped in to stop the evil Pol Yp and he has been captured and destroyed. And my uterus has been freshly renovated with shiny pink walls and comfy soft furnishings – ideal accommodation for any self respecting emby.

With nothing left on ice we have started a fresh course of sticking things that are not penises into my body to make babies. We’ve finished with the stupidity drug and the bastard injections and retrieved the nine eggs laid by my funky chickens, eight of which were fertilised. Of those, one is currently doing an inspection of the premises and two have moved into the esky.

Now with fingers and legs crossed all we can do is sit back and wait and hope.

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Filed under embryos, Infertility, IVF

T2

A teensy tiny hatching blastocyst is right now doing an inspection of the pink room to see if the accommodation is too his/her liking.

Just like the artist formerly known as “The Truffle”, this hatching blastocyst looks quite similar to a slice of freshly shaved truffle. Though, in his previous incarnation, Devilboy looked more like a Perigord truffle, this little truffle – who is slightly more developed and compacted – is more reminiscent of the Italian white variety. Not that I’m obsessed with food or anything.

Hatching Blast, for the moment known by the moniker Truffael or T2, is a grade 1 super blastocyst. A blastocyst so perfect that even Dr. Sickboy was impressed. Considering that Devilboy – who in our opinion is unsurpassable in his utter perfection – was only a grade 2, we are extremely excited by this outcome. We can now only hope that Devilboy didn’t trash the room too much and T2 decides its fit for such a superior mass of expanding cells to reside.

Our excitement doesn’t end with T2.

Whilst last time around the other embryos – possibly pooped just from observing Emby Devilboy’s inexhaustible energy or perhaps because they were just lazy arsed slacker embryos – never really made it to blastocyst stage,  leaving us with no fall back if Devilboy hadn’t decided to stick around. This time, they must have put Red Bull in the Petri dish because all of the embryos raced about busily growing to blastocyst stage. Yesterday at least two and as many as four (waiting on confirmation now) of them were big enough and tough enough to move out of the dish. Rugged up in microscopic emby anoraks, they’ve headed off to the Emby Arctic, to toboggan in the snow and play with the miniscule penguins and polar bears until, and if, they are required.

The remainder are enjoying another day of summer, swimming and frolicking in the petri dish and working on their tans, before the scientists decide whether they are big enough and clever enough to can join their teensy, tiny siblings.

With back up embsicles and the sexiest blastocyst of all time checking out my uterine real estate, we’re feeling cautiously optimistic. Regardless I am wisely spending my time eating chocolate, freebasing rescue remedy and googling for any potentially important fertility icons I may have missed… just in case!
 

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And then there was one.

On Saturday we had the embryo transfer. They chose the healthiest and most advanced blastocyst. It was a Grade 2.

Dr. Sickboy and the Scientist were exceptionally pleased with it. (Apparently they rarely give a Grade 1). The other embryos hadn’t quite developed to that stage yet. One was a borderline Grade 2, three were Grade 3’s and then there was the runt of the litter who hadn’t got far enough to be graded.

Had we selected to have two implanted the borderline sea monkey would have been also suitable but unfortunately, even after an extra twenty four hours of development time none were quite high enough quality to freeze. The freezing and unfreezing process takes so much out of them that they have very high standards to attain to make it to the fridge.

A delightful young lady Scientist (Not Steven-Hawking) called yesterday to let me know and I was surprised by how much it affected me, I was a blubbering idiot for most of the day. Somehow knowing we had a backup embsicle would have taken the pressure off but now it is up to our single gorgeous little truffle to hang in there.

I spoke to the Not-Steven-Hawking again after I had stopped blubbing as the result made me worried about the quality of my eggs etc but she said it was ok and was very reassuring. Not-Steven-Hawking had actually warned us, when they first retrieved the seven, that we should expect only one to two good embryos (which is what we got) and explained that that only about half of all egg collections result in a frozen embryo as they are so strict at Casa Conception.

Not-Steven-Hawking also explained that the reason it seems like so many women have zillions frozen is because many IVF centres do the transfer on day 3 before the emby makes it to blastocyst stage and if I had done mine on that day then all six would have been good enough to freeze. The problem is that the same result would have occurred after the unfreezing as there is a huge dropout rate from that day onwards as the cells burn themselves out doubling and tripling and compacting. It is very hard work indeed to become a blastocyst and they don’t even get weekends off.

Right now with one quality embryo and a two week wait ahead of us that already feels like two years… I am feeling lucky. The day of the transfer whilst we were in recovery discussing how utterly gorgeous and smart our truffle looked and willing it to like his or her new home… we overheard the science projectette in the cubicle next to us being gently told that none of her embryos had made it.

M & I left Casa Conception with mixed emotions of tentative optimism for ourselves and tears for our Casa Conception sister.

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Truffle Shuffle

I miss needles. I know that makes me sound like a raving psychopath but I really miss our daily ritual. I miss having something to do… although that’s not entirely true as I still do have something to do.

My rascally ovaries got themselves all flustered and overexcited during the FSH injections and this is not good. As I mentioned previously it can be quite dangerous and painful. Luckily for me, my case has erred to the side of just painful and not dangerous but it means that instead of getting a couple of progesterone injections after the transfer, I have to do take a more gentle dose of progesterone twice a day for a few weeks in a fashion that is probably best left undiscussed but involves paste, a squirter and my hoo hah. This daily ritual is most definitely a solo act and doesn’t come with cups of tea and sympathy from M who instead runs as far away as he can pulling ‘ick’ faces.

In more exciting news Dr. Sickboy called and tomorrow we transfer. One of the lucky embys will be moving out of the Petri dish and in to  my womb with a view (well, it does reside on the harbour) and hopefully the rest will be big enough and tough enough to move into a big freezer.

At the moment this is what my embys look like.

I think they look exactly like little Perigord truffles which is wonderful because Perigord truffles arejust about my favourite things in the world and simply love hanging about in my belly.

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Six Pack

We have super embryos.

I just heard from the embryology lab and spoke to Steven Hawking (I knew we’d bump into him at some stage) let us know that all our embys are doing really well and are of excellent quality.

On a day 3 check Casa Conceptions scientists are looking for the fertilised embryos to be around 7 cells each… but our little six pack of Sea Monkeys are racing ahead (I always knew our kids would be advanced for their ages) and we have 3 at 8 cells, 2 at 9 cells and one bruiser who, at 10 cells, is particularly sophisticated, clever and tall.

All six get a gold star and a merit certificate and we are very proud… they are such good kids 🙂

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It’s over the fence…

We hit a six!

The Stabber just called to let me know the great news that out of the seven eggs retrieved, six fancied M’s post day spa coiffed and fluffy sperm and have fertilised. She was so please for us… I love, Love, LOVE her!

I knew seven was a good omen and now we have six embryos swimming about out in a Petri dish comparing cells and generally trying to out do each other to see who will be the lucky emby moving into their new room in mum!

The average fertilisation rate is just under 70% so we got a gold star from the Scientist (who incidentally was a young lady and disappointingly didn’t remind me even slightly of Stephen Hawking) for our 86%.

I want every single one of them to make it but we have been told the odds are that only one or two will get to blastocyst stage as there is usually around a 65% drop off rate over the next few days as the embies do their thing.

Hang in there my little embies… we really, really want you all to stay.

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