6908954799_814288d5fb_zHello Lovelies,

First and foremost, thank you all for being such an understanding group of chicks. This has been a crazy-ass time and I was seriously thrown for a loop with my emotions this cycle.  I still don’t know if this IVF worked or not. We haven’t made it to our test date yet. I can say, however, that I’m ready to start sharing again. I’ve gained enough distance to breathe and not feel overwhelmed by it all.

Still, to be clear: I request no private Facebook messages. As I said, I truly don’t know if anything took this time. I will not give you information via Facebook that I have not already posted here. If I don’t contact you with information directly I can promise that reaching out will not help you.  Restrain yourselves, please. Thanks, much obliged.

When I left off I’d just survived my egg collection and knew that 6 of the 7 mature eggs had fertilized. Now, let’s talk about embryos! I found that this was the most intense part of the IVF process for me. Once the eggs are collected from your body and put in a dish to fertilize it’s all out of your hands. At my clinic you get a phone call each and every morning where they update you on your tiny embryos progress. After our egg collection we had six embryos in a very early stage of development. At this point things got REALLY emotional.

I had six embryos. I had six mini babies. I knew all would not survive the full process… Cue melt down.

I had to do some serious soul searching at this point… which I will cover in a future post. But, suffice it to say, it was so much harder to imagine these tiny embryos and not know what they were doing all the time. So here is a run-down of the number and growth of our embryos leading up to transfer.

Get ready...Here comes the science!! Click To Tweet

Day 1 after egg retrieval: From the 7 mature eggs 6 fertilized and were at one cell. At that point these one celled embryos were called zygotes. The sperm and the egg have merged into a combined one cell with two nuclei (the brain of the cell) one from the egg and one from the sperm.

Day 2: We had 5 embryos dividing. 1 embryo was still at one cell. Once the combined sperm and egg DNA start dividing and they are no longer zygotes. They are now known as a whatever-number-of-cells embryo… so on day two I had 5 multi-celled embryos.

Day 3: We had 6 embryos dividing again. 4 of them had eight cells and were rated excellent quality. 1 had three cells and was rated average quality. 1 had two cells and hadn’t progressed enough to be graded. They are all still known as however-many-celled embryos…

Are you keeping up so far? Good. It’s about to get a little more complex… Click To Tweet

Day 4: We had 4 embryos dividing. 2 had arrested. All 4 that were left were excellent quality and had reached the morula stage. Here is where things get really interesting! To make the jump from an 8-cell embryo to a morula (16-32 cells) a few things have to happen: First, the cells need to be sound enough in their own DNA to keep dividing. You see, it’s at this stage that the cells stop being powered by the eggs own mitochondria (power house) and start to be driven by the mitochondria that are now located in the baby’s own DNA. So making it to this stage is no mean feat and shows that the embryos DNA was functioning properly so far.

Day 5: We had 4 embryos still dividing. 3 at blastocyst stage and 1 slightly behind. This is a big, big deal! Huge! In order to become a morula the embryos had to figure out how to keep themselves going under their own steam, but to become a blastocyst the cells had to figure out how to differentiate! They must change from being all the same type of cell and start to become two distinct types: cells that will become the placenta and cells that will become the baby. It’s very cool to reach this stage! A lot of potential baby embryos don’t make it this far. This means that ours are strong.

Day 5 was also our transfer day.

We transferred back 1 high quality blastocyst and right away were able to freeze 2 more. Click To Tweet

Day 6: There was a final embryo on day five that was not far enough along to freeze so the lab chose to culture it one more day to see if it would still be going strong. It was and was frozen as well! Yay!

Summary of the IVF cycle: 7 mature eggs. 6 fertilized, and of those 6, 4 survived the entire process. We transferred ONE (day 5 hatching AB blastocyst, for those of you that get what that means) back into my uterus and have 3 frozen now (day 5 BA hatching, day 5 BB hatching, and day 4 AA). This is amazingly good news!

As well as this cycle went it was not without its emotional ups and downs.  I spent all day thinking about how many embryos were still alive and how many were going to be there tomorrow or on transfer day. To make matters worse I didn’t know the actual day of my transfer until I was practically on top of it. I found out we would do a day 5 transfer on day 4! This, hopefully, explains why I freaked the fuck out and couldn’t talk about it anymore. I was already thinking about it all pretty much constantly and then other people wanted information and I just frankly couldn’t stand to think about it anymore. All in all a very good outcome for our first IVF. I’ll remind you that having an embryo transferred back does not guarantee a pregnancy. But we were off to a good start. More later… Stay tuned folks.

Glad to be back.
Unpregnant Chicken

*Next IVF Cycle post on our transfer here

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20 thoughts on “IVF Cycle: Embryo Update

  • April 9, 2015 at 9:03 am
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    Glad to see this update! Been stalking you on Twitter to see how you’re doing and was overjoyed to hear that transfer went well and that you had 3 to freeze. Awesome news all around. Keeping everything crossed for more good news soon!!!

    Reply
    • April 9, 2015 at 9:42 am
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      Cristy,
      Yup, so far so good. I was surprised that it was so challenging even with it all going pretty much textbook. Glad to be back.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 9, 2015 at 10:12 am
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    This sounds like a great outcome so far. Thinking of you and hoping for very good new at the end of your wait!

    Reply
    • April 9, 2015 at 3:10 pm
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      Turtle,
      Yup, So far so good! The wait is long and hard. Praying for good things.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 9, 2015 at 10:15 am
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    I couldn’t agree more. This whole thing is such a rollercoaster. I’m so happy to hear of your beautiful embryos. Sounds like an awesome cycle! Will be keeping up with you and hoping for a BFP!

    Reply
    • April 9, 2015 at 3:10 pm
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      Risa,
      Thank you! It was basically text book!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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    Kaeleigh!! Awesome news and I am sending you so much baby dust and love! I can imagine how incredibly intense and overwhelming this process was and am glad you are back and in what seems like great spirits! Praying you get your BFP this cycle sweetie! Love and light!

    Reply
    • April 9, 2015 at 3:11 pm
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      Alia,
      Very very intense. I appreciate your baby dust. Thank you!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm
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    Thank you for sharing☺ Sending you positive thoughts and gooooood vibes!☺

    Reply
    • April 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm
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      Melanie,
      Thanks for reading! I’ll take those vibes. I could use all the vibes I can get!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
    • April 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm
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      Baby Are You Coming,
      LOL well I’m not there yet. But I like your excitement.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm
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    Finally was able to get completely caught up! I’m glad your IVF cycle has gone well so far. Fingers crossed for you! I think about you constantly. Make sure you take care of you!

    Reply
    • April 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm
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      Chea,
      Yay, glad my break helped you out! So far so good.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 10, 2015 at 3:26 am
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    Glad to read your update. It sounds like quite the emotional rollercoaster. It’s good to understand a bit more about the process. So glad that it’s gone relatively well so far. I really hope that this month is it for you. I’ll keep watching.

    Reply
    • April 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm
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      Rachel,
      It was very intense. Glad you enjoyed the science!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm
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    Good to hear that everything has gone well so far! I remember the whole stimming/retrieval/fertilization/transfer time was the most stressful thing ever and it seemed like everything was happening at warp speed, except also like I was always waiting. Awesome embie results, I transferred one 4BA and she is currently kicking my uterus at 19w2d. Hoping this is it for you, with siblings in the freezer to boot 🙂

    Ps. You’re lucky embryology called every day, I got day 1, day 3 and day 5. So nerve wracking. Also, why is your beta so long after transfer!?!? I would be going nuts, I started peeing on things at 5dp5dt ha ha.

    Reply
    • April 10, 2015 at 5:38 pm
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      Infertile Girl,
      Yeah I’m feeling excited for prospects with this embie. Also, right?! What is with that wait time! Unbearable.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
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