I will not delay the drama- we are pregnant.
However we are early, only 4w1d. As many of you know infant loss and miscarriage is very very real so we are still trust God with all of our steps.
Let me just recap a little of what happened over the last week or so.
After my original enthusiasm over the 3 surviving embryos I spoke to the Embryologist (Tom) at the end of the day on 4-25-13. I asked him what the percentages on the form meant. They read like this
Embryo 1- 70%
Embryo 2- 60%
Embryo 3- 40%
Embryo 5- 50%
Embryo 6- 40%
Embryo 8- 70%
“What in the world does that mean?” He replied “Those are the amount of cells that were alive in the embryos.” I was stunned. You mean that only 70% of the blastula’s cells are alive? He walked me through some of the pictures as well as how they determined what embryos “had the potential for life” (that is a whole blog post in its own right) and which ones do not have the potential. Sitting where I am, I am grateful for a man with such wisdom to not transfer something to me that has no chance for life. He further explained the difference between the cells that have separated into the inner cell mass (that becomes the baby) and the outer cells (that becomes the placenta). Both of these two parts have to be forming properly to have a baby. After that I asked him what he would rate the blastulas. He told me B’s or C’s. Those of you who are familiar with fertility AA is the best AB means the baby part looks good and the placenta part looks pretty good but not as good as the AA would look. BB the BA or AB or CC or BC….on and on it goes. They rate the part of the blastula that makes the baby and then the part that makes the placenta. I am not sure why I wanted to know his ratings but I did. It actually shocked me to reality. After the excitement of the previous day I was now praying that God would grant us favor and allow a pregnancy. It was sort of sad though. I was thinking “I don’t know if I can do all of this over again”. I want these babies or this baby for our family and for the genetic family. I want them to have another child- a sibling for their daughter- I want to have another child. I don’t want to be responsible for losing these babies.
Let me tell you a little more about what happens to the embryos when they are thawed. In the past the only way to freeze embryos was by using a slow freeze technique. This results in less than 80% of the embryos surviving when they are later thawed. (Now they use a process called vitrification where they can “flash freeze” embryos with a 98% successful thaw rate.) When these embryos were thawed 3 of them were immediately considered not viable- Embryos 3, 4, 6. Embryo 5 and 7 were not considered appropriate for transfer however they wanted to grow them overnight and then see what they looked like on 4-25 before they made a decision. The next morning those embryos had also retarded their growth (stopped growing) and had darkened. This means that they were not going to be viable in the future. What if one of those had done well? They would have frozen it by vitrification and we would know that it was doing well to be able to thaw the next time.
What if we made the wrong decision to transfer 3?
Well, over the last 4 months we have submitted the numbers to God- He is in the details we believe. I asked Tom (our incredible embryologist) about the choice of three. We ask Dr S about our chances of pregnancy with transferring 2- he told us 50-50 that we would get 1 baby. Chances of twin pregnancy with transferring 2- 30%. Well, those really are not all that great odds (at least we didn’t think so). If we transferred 3 our odds of 1 taking would be better but we might have a greater risk of twins. Paul and I prayed and felt a great peace (remember this is before we knew anything about the embryos) that 3 would be a good number. If we did have twins God was big enough to take care of us. Triplets are really not all that likely.
I listened intently to what Tom was saying and I find it interesting that there is such a clear line between the “viable” embryos and the non viable ones. Isn’t it interesting that exactly 3 survived? Isn’t it interesting that they are so different from the others? I also find if amazing that the very best embryo- the one that was already breaking out of its shell was the very last one that they thawed. It was not even fully re-hydrated when they put it in me. I really believe that God is interested in details. Also, what if we have wanted 2? They would have only thawed Embryo 1 and Embryo 2 and stopped there. I guess we really can’t play the what if game but we would have thought that we still had 6 embryos left when in reality only 1 of those was considered viable. Sure, we can see that now…. I know this sounds strange but when you adopt embryos you just don’t know how they are going to turn out when they thaw. I have a friend who thawed one, transferred one, and got pregnant with one. I guess you never know. I will tell you I KNOW that the last embryo is one we are pregnant with (I just know it). Maybe we will call him ocho :).
Of course, we do not know the end of this story just yet. Since we are very early I covet your prayers for the health and safety of these babies. (We refer to them as plural since we transferred 3.) We pray for normal growth, continued growth, prayers that I would be very sick so I would know that they babies are doing well. We also pray that God would comfort the family that gave us the children (we haven’t talked about it but there must be a slight sense of loss) and bring us close together and in one accord throughout this time.
So, my lab today was 190- anything above a 50 is pregnant but I would have been shocked if I wasn’t pregnant. I am already craving my pregnancy stand by of mashed potatoes, I have cried (a lot), I have heartburn, feel a tightening or firming of my lower abdomen, I have a few more pangs of mild cramping, and am nauseated (already-really???). I couldn’t imagine that all of those and other things could just be in my head!
Next step? We will retest the labs on Sunday and look for the 190 to double. That will tell us that things are proceeding normally. If not, well, God is in charge of that as well.
I would love to leave you with my favorite scripture- one that we pray over these babies-
Psalms 139: 13-16
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
He knew me, He knows these babies by name….He calls them by their names!
Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!