Monday, October 12, 2009

Embryo Growth Report {Part II}

Saturday, 10-10-09 (Day 25)

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): It's hard to consume large quantities of food when your ovaries are the size of oranges.

Ciprofloxacin (500mg, oral pill): I've transformed from a shotaholic to a pill popper.

My bathroom counter looks like a pharmaceutical center.

Dostinex (.5mg, oral pill): Check.

PIO (1ml, IM injection): Ouch.

This afternoon, we headed to the pumpkin patch with our nieces and nephews. As usual, my husband and I were the only couple present not toting an adorable baby or toddler, but we had a great time all the same. It was sort of therapeutic to watch all of the little ones stomp around the humongous pumpkins, ride in the cow train, and play with the animals.

And not being able to ignore the symbolic-ness of hanging out in a pumpkin patch, I picked out 5 small pumpkins for our 5 precious embryos that I hope are still growing.

And then I found a tiny 6th one, because I'm not giving up hope that our 6th little egg may still fertilize and grow, catching up to the rest.

Sunday, 10-11-09 (Day 26)

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): I know they aren't inside of me anymore, but I'm still eating for the 6 of us, possibly 7.

Ciprofloxacin (500mg, oral pill): Why in the world does this pill have to be so big, when all the other ones are so small?

Dostinex (.5mg, oral pill): I wonder if this little guy will thin my lining? I better start drinking more POM juice, just in case.

PIO (1ml, IM injection): My poor behind is covered in little blue bruises and tiny red dots, and it feels like someone literally kicked my butt.
Or punctured it several times with a large needle.

Embryo Report: I don't think I've ever been as nervous as I was today. I sat through Sunday school and church services, checking my phone every few seconds, waiting for it to light up and bring me the news I've been waiting for.

But we all know a watched phone doesn't ring.

The only thing keeping me sane was the constant reminders from friends and family, via text message, e-mail, and in person, letting me know that they were praying so incredibly hard for our precious 5-possibly 6-embryos. I spent the entire morning and early afternoon shifting through moments of peace, and moments of wanting to puke. Moments of knowing God is in control, and moments of the blinding memory of what happened the last Sunday I was impatiently waiting for a call.

I tried to decide in my head what state of news I would be OK with. Which phone call outcome would qualify as a success, which would be just average, and which would bring me to my knees. Would 3 embryos growing be enough, or would I only be satisfied if all 5 of them were growing? And if all 5 were in fact growing, would the amount of cells they housed determine my happiness?

And then I realized I don't even know how many cells there supposed to have on day three anyway.

So I had to stop and catch my breath several times. Remind myself that God is watching over them, and He loves them even more than I do. Deep down I knew that over thinking and over analyzing weren't going to make my phone ring, and they certainly wouldn't help my little pumpkins grow and divide cells.

I had to remind myself to drop it like it's hot.

Even though it wasn't easy, I managed to keep my sanity until the phone rang at 2pm on the dot. But the second I heard that metal maroon communication device ring and saw the screen light up with the 916 area code, I lost it. And just as I was afraid the long awaited call would be transferred to voice mail I picked it up.

I don't remember how the conversation started, but I do remember feeling the knots in my stomach and looking down at the white of my gripped knuckles. I also remember trying to wrap my head around the miracle of the 6 embryos the nurse was saying that we had growing in culture. And before I could think to ask about their grades and amount of cells, I was speechless.

And that does not happen often.

I had already concluded that if we had all 5 of our current embryos survive, it would be a miracle. But God is good and he answered our prayers, and not only did He decide to keep all 5 of our pumpkins growing, but He allowed the 6th little one to catch up to the rest, blessing us far beyond our expectations.

It started to sink in as the nurse continued with the report and scheduled our five day transfer for Tuesday. 3 of our embryos are 4-celled and grade 2, 2 of them are 6-celled and grade 2, and our little rockstar is 6-celled and grade 1 (on a scale of 1-3, 1 is the best).

We are still fervently praying, because we aren't completely safe yet. With only one of our embryos graded at a 1, and only having 6 cells as our highest count, we aren't completely out of the woods. Conflicting reports say that by 72 hours after retrieval a healthy embryo should have anywhere from 6-10 cells, and we are at the bottom of that "should-be".

But God has blessed so far, and I have no doubts that He can do even more with these precious little pumpkins that are hopefully continuing to grow and divide cells in culture. There is a possibility we'll get an update on the status of our embryos tomorrow, but the nurse doesn't think we'll be getting another report until the transfer on Tuesday morning.

And so begins another two day wait, hoping and praying that these little ones make it to the blastoycte stage with out arresting.

It just never ends.

Monday, 10-12-09 (Day 27)

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): Now I'm officially eating for 7.

Ciprofloxacin (500mg, oral pill): This horse pills are getting harder and harder to swallow, but I'm hanging in there.

Dostinex (.5mg, oral pill): Only one day left.

PIO (1ml, IM injection): This better be worth it.

The nurse called to verify my transfer appointment for 11am tomorrow, but not to give me another embryo report. The embryologist said it's best to leave our little pumpkins alone as much as possible to help them grow, because the oxygen and light required to check them out may damage them.

And we don't want to risk that.

Even though I have no idea how my sweet little embryos are growing right now, the way I'm feeling is like night and day from yesterday. On this cycle day last time, we received the call that we had no remaining embryos. Although that could still very well be the case tomorrow, I have such a sense of calm after hearing yesterdays results-which I'm classifying as nothing short of a miracle-and we are still praising God for showing us again that with Him anything is possible, and the power of prayer is still so very real.

God has a plan that is bigger than me, and although He may not choose for these little embryos to grow and thrive, He has blessed us so far and I just need to trust that He will hold them-and me-in His hands throughout the duration of this process.

And I'll just keep praying for miracles.

"Take a deep breath, count to ten, and tackle each task one step at a time."
-Linda Shalaway


Dea.nna said...

I don't know you but I am so excited for you. I've loved reading your posts through this IVF cycle. I'm lifting up some prayers for you and your embies. Best of luck!

Hillary said...

Praise God! My eyes filled with tears of joy that you have SIX miracles. I am continuing to pray!!

Brittney said...

What wonderful news!!! God is SO good. I have a good feeling about your cycle. Continuing to pray for you:)

Nicole said...

I'm so excited for you!!! That is truly a miracle.
When you find yourself worrying about quality, remember this (what one of my RE's staff told me last time when I was crying because my two surviving blasts weren't great quality and looked like spitwads): "I've seen a lot of really beautiful babies come from really ugly embryos". It makes a great mantra ;)
GOOD LUCK GOOD LUCK GOOD LUCK!! Funny that Brittney would say that because I have a good feeling about this for you too! :) Sure hope so!

Meagan said...

I haven't been a reader long, but I am so excited for you! I have had you and your family in my prayers and will be thinking of you all tomorrow morning. 6 miracles! God is good :)

Stephanie said...

Oh I am so HAPPY!!! I just LOVE the pic of all the SIX pumpkins!! I have such a great feeling about this! This is your time girl..way to stay so positive suring this tough, tough time!
Still praying hard for all the pumpkins!!

The Wilson's said...

oh my goodness, six little pumpkins! We'll be thinking and praying for all of you tomorrow:)

Kelli said...

Amazing!!!! I am beyond thrilled that all 6 of your embies are doing well! Go God! You're in my prayers and I hope everything goes well tomorrow! xoxo

Sumer said...

Im so excited for you! 6 embabies!!

JackieMac said...

I am so happy for you - all six embryos made it - how wonderful - good luck with the transfer!!!

t.bird said...

it's Tuesday- transfer day?! God Bless!!!!!

Suzanne said...

I'm so excited that you have six embryos! I'm praying for you.

Mrs. Hammer said...

Just wanted to send you encouragement and let you know that many prayers went up for hopefully a sucessful transfer yesterday. God is good!

Lisa said...

I have been stalking your blog for an update!! Hoping your transfer went perfectly yesterday!!!

Anonymous said...

I love that you have the six little pumpkins on your table. I hope they are growing nice and big for their new mom. :)

Michele said...

I'm praying hard for you that your transfer goes perfectly and that you have a BFP to announce within the next few weeks! Thinking of you!