The longer our assisted fertility journey goes on, the more I realize how this is all just one big waiting game. We started our first IUI treatment one year ago and at the time, I thought by the end of 2017 I would be pregnant. While every cycle has its own set of testing, injections, procedures and results, there is a TON of waiting in between it all.
We have just finished our third egg retrieval cycle for IVF.
Finding out we had 17 eggs on retrieval day was shocking (in a very good way). Finding out the day after that out of our 14 mature eggs that 12 fertilized, left us completely mind blown and while we have learned to celebrate the small victories, it was only just that – a small victory. You see, we then had to wait 5 more long days for our final results.
Of course, I immediately started comparing this cycle to my first two retrieval cycles. On day 3 (post-retrieval) for cycle one we had 100% of our fertilized embryos make it. By day 5, on cycle one, we had 1 blastocyst we did a fresh transfer with and we froze the other on day 6. For cycle two, we lost one embryo between fertilization and day 3 but we had 3 embryos frozen on day 6. So at this rate, 50% of our day 3 embryos make it to day 5 (or 6). Cool. So naturally we should have 6 embryos if we are going off that math, right? In our case, right.
We ended up with 7 embryos to freeze this cycle. You would think at this point we would be over the moon. 10 embryos in total over two banking cycles! It’s very exciting but it’s not the last step. You see, we opted to do the preimplantation genetic screening this time (PGS) and those results take between 10-12 days to come back (currently waiting very anxiously). Once we have those results we will know exactly how many embryos we are working with to transfer.
In every stage of this journey, there have been various periods of waiting.
From our initial testing, to being put on hold because of our trip to Thailand (thanks Zika), to finding abnormal cells right before we were scheduled to start IUI. It never really ends. We were the forced to take a break between IUI #2 and #3 for male factor reasons and then took 3 months off between our final failed transfer of 2017 and IVF cycle two in January of 2018. Don’t even get me started on the dreaded two-week-wait between TI, IUI or fresh/frozen transfers. Yes, we will know our current fate by the end of this week.
But the waiting (and worrying) won’t stop there.
We aren’t entirely sure when we will start transfers but anticipate it will be in the coming months. Once we start that process, there will be another two-week-wait to get through and even once we are pregnant one day, there are beta’s and ultrasounds and, oh ya, 9 months to get through.
I think my saving grace through all of this is I like to keep myself busy. From work, to yoga (practice and teacher training) to volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis, I have enough to keep me distracted throughout this process. Nevertheless, there are always good days and bad and whenever we feel like we are getting that much closer, we find ourselves waiting for something else.
Michelle L., alongroadtobaby.wordpress.com