We officially have embryos (they are still just cells, but they are embryos)!
Since the egg retrieval, I have been a little restricted with movement. My ovaries are still huge, it takes a week or 2 for them to shrink back down. I make sure I don’t do too much, to continue to prevent my ovaries from flipping. Until my ovaries shrink back down, I have the risk of them flipping. Other than that, I have been a little sore since surgery, but not too bad. My ovaries being so large and having so many follicles is part of OHSS, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. If your AMH blood levels are high, meaning you have a high egg reserve, then you are at risk for OHSS. I had high AMH levels, not extremely high, just slightly high. Since I was at risk, my doctor put me on a preventative oral medication. I finally took my last oral medication! WOO HOO! Other than that, we just look forward to any embryo updates we get! We get updates on day 1, day 3, and days 5-7.
We started with 32 eggs! Our day 1 update informed us how many of those eggs were mature and how many had already fertilized. We found out we had 24 mature eggs! Out of those 24, 21 initially fertilized. That is A LOT of potential embryos. The 3 that did not initially fertilize were left in the petri dish until day 3, to give them time to fertilize. Sometimes it takes them a little longer to fertilize. We were excited and we felt like we were off to a great start! Then we had to wait until our day 3 update…this is a lot harder than it sounds. I know it is only one day, but that one day is so long! Just waiting to see how many will turn into embryos…… Day 3, they want the embryos to be 6-8 cells. We were hoping at least 10-15 would make it to this stage…but would any of them make it?!? You just never know. At any point in the process, the number can change. Day 3 arrived, and we got the phone call. The embryologist asked if I had time to talk…..YES! OF COURSE! She proceeded to tell me we had a lot of embryos! (ugh is a lot 10 or 15 or???) I was whispering to myself “15…please be 15…please be 15….”……..when the embryologist said we had 22!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!?! 22?!?!? 22 potential embryos is a great place to be! The odds were ever in our favor….. We still do not know how many will continue to grow and how many will end up being “good” embryos (good just means they will survive a pregnancy). We have decided to take it day by day with our embryos and celebrate what we have in the moment. As I said before, there is no guarantee with this process, but we had 22 possible embryos and even if that number goes down to 1 viable embryo, it wont matter….because we had 22 cooking in petri dishes! ….I present to you the shortest basketball team ever made in a petri dish! HAHA! We were so excited with this news! The embryologist gave me a breakdown of our embryos and the stage they were in. We had 16 that were 8-10 cells (over achievers) and they were considered grade 1. The grading system is based on a few things that I am not an expert on, but I know it has to do with how the embryo formed. We had 1 that was 8-10 cells but was grade 2. We had 3 that were 6-8 cell embryos, 1 of them was grade 1 and 2 were grade 2. Then we had our stragglers, 1 that was a 5-cell embryo and 1 that was a 4-cell embryo. The stragglers may not make it, but I was advised to not rule out the underdog embryos. They are constantly changing/growing. For now, we are extremely happy with the number and quality we have. We will find out in a few days how many official viable embryos we have and then from there when genetics testing is done, we will have the 100% official count of embryos….stay tuned for a final embryo count and update!