Yesterday was quite a roller coaster day. When the lab called and told me that of our five embryos, four were only 2PN zygotes (day 1 embryos) I nearly fell out of my chair. I was not expecting that. In hindsight, being blindsided was partially my own fault because I do remember our donor Vicky telling me that they thawed a bunch at her transfer and let them grow. But to be fair, I asked my nurses and RE at least five times over the course of two months about the quality of the embryos and every time I asked no one could give me an answer. In one instance, my RE thumbed through our 100+ pages of faxed documentation without finding the embryo details but generically said "They made it to freeze, so that means they are good. Stop worrying." So I took that advice and decided to let it go and stopped worrying. I just figured they were at least day 3s.
When I heard from the lab person about them, not only did she tell me about this unexpected news, but she did not sound optimistic whatsoever. I was so shocked, I had to run into the bathroom at work to cry and pray. I had to go to a meeting shortly after so I had to force myself to get it together. But after the meeting, I went to my car and prayed some more with tears streaming down my face as I pleaded with God to help them grow and to give us peace. As I came back into the building, an overwhelming sentiment passed over me. It was not a voice speaking to me per say, but I got a very clear message:
Be calm. God has "got this." Stop focusing on the negative and instead, revel in the fact that these babies are waking up after sleeping for over 10 years in a frozen slumber. What a miracle.
I want to believe this was God trying to comfort me and remind me of what is important. It really is incredible that these embryos were waking up. I started to focus on this and began wondering at what point the soul enters the body. Was it at conception? Was it at some point in utero? Could it actually be that God himself is touching our embryos and breathing life into them right this very second? Were angels there holding them in their arms as they transformed? Was my mom there watching over them as they woke up? I have no idea, but it's magical to contemplate and I felt strongly that this was what I should be focused on.
I decided to email our donor Vicky letting her know that they were thawing the embryos and also see if she could give me details on how the thaw process went for her transfer. She responded saying she originally had eight donated to them. Of the eight, they thawed four. Two grew well, and one did not grow at all. The last one started growing slowly so they kept an eye on it and eventually it did well so they refroze it at Day 6. She transferred two leaving us with our remaining five. Four are 2PNs and one is the frozen Day 6 that grew while they watched. This was incredibly comforting to hear. This means only one of these thawed 2PNs didn't survive. While it sucks to lose any of them, I sure like those odds!
I am frequently on online infertility support forums so I posted about our 2PN zygotes asking for information or success stories. I got some very reassuring responses there too! Apparently 2PN embryos tend to thaw the best out of all stages of embryos - even better than Day 3 or Day 5-6s. Yet they still have the same chances at pregnancy. Hallelujah!
The reason for the freak out is because I just can't even put into words the pain that we would feel if we lost these embryos. IVF is no longer an option for us so I can't just go head to the clinic and start a new cycle to make more. And even if we could, it wouldn't make more of these embryos. These snowflakes are special. I've felt strongly that these are meant to be our children. They are the last five that exist anywhere. I have seen hundreds of photos of the little boy who would be these embryos' genetic brother. I've seen him grow up in photos from being a newborn to him now as a four year old. I've pictured what our children will look like, how our holidays will be. I've pictured their chubby little baby legs sitting on my lap while we read a story, their tiny little voices asking me to tuck them in. I know it sounds crazy to say, but I've bonded with these embryos. We can't replace them and it will kill us to lose them. I really don't know how to describe it, but at this juncture, it actually seems much more painful to have them arrest prior to transfer than to transfer them and find out it didn't work.
I have no idea what time the lab plans to call me tomorrow with the update but I will be glued to the phone. I'm going to try to find some way to relax and let time pass so I think I'll go get myself a pedicure or something and start cleaning the house. I want an immaculate house to relax in when we return home on Monday after the transfer.
And as an update to yesterday's PIO post, Kevin decided he was going to take some time off from his Thursday night fire station duties and give me the PIO shots instead so I lucked out on not having to administer them to myself. I didn't ask him to do this, but he volunteered. He said his mind isn't in the right place and he feels strongly that his place is here with me. I just love him, I couldn't ask for a better husband to go through this with.
Before I knew he was going to stay home, I had already started practicing the PIOs on an apple! I was trying to see if I could do it with one hand and be able to pull back on the plunger to check for blood. That part is tricky! I thought you all might get a kick out of this photo.