Thursday, July 22, 2004


Transfer was today. We had assumed we would be able to have enough quality embryos out of the 12 that we would be able to wait for a Day 5 blastoyst transfer. I felt so sure about it that I sent my husband to work this morning, two hours from the hospital. Because I live 90 minutes from the hospital, I had to head out before knowing whether it would happen or not. They called when I was driving on the bridge, half way over the San Francisco Bay. There would definitely be a transfer today. There were quality issues. They would be better off in me than in the lab. She read me the numbers for all 12 but it was hard to take in while I was driving. I immediately called Matt and told him to head over, even though he would never make it in time.

I was starting to get weepy, so next I called Valerie. She cheered me up telling me that my kids weren't happy at some hoity-toity Stanford, they wanted to go to a community college. I told her that they were just like any other caregiver watching my kids, demanding that they be picked up early for bad behavior. She actually got me to laugh again.

At the clinic...
Receptionist: Have a seat. They'll call your name any minute.
Pazel: (Not believing her for a minute, especially because I'm 20 minutes early.) I'd like to get the numbers for my embryos to look at while I wait.
R: We can't release that information without waivers.
P: The nurse just called and told me this information 20 minutes ago, but I was driving and couldn't write it down. I'd just like someone to tell me the same information now in person so I can.
R: I'm sorry but we just can't release medical information.
P: Let me talk to a nurse. Let's pretend I just called in the IVF Nurse Line.
R: (big sigh, these infertile women are so demanding) Just a minute.

Nurse: I'm sorry but we can't give out copies of lab reports.
P: I just want someone to tell me the same information they called and told me 20 minutes ago when I was in my car. I don't need a copy of the report.
N: I'd love to help you but I don't have the report. It must be in the lab.
P: My husband can't be here. I wanted to call and tell him the numbers but I don't remember them since I was driving and unable to write them down.
N: (big sigh, considering it, then...) Just a minute.

Then she actually went and got the report and read me the numbers. I was thankful, but falling down into that big black pit of depression. Why does everything have to be such a battle? Why do they make me be that crying pitiful person when I really want to be happy?

In the room, I reminded myself that stress could cause problems with implantation. I needed to get it together. I needed peace. I needed to remind myself that I could get pregnant. I have a shot. I dreamt of Cancun, the white sands, crashing waves, cool drink in my hand, and night of good sex ahead of me. Deep breaths. Time to shove critical, untrusting Pazel in the closet and pull out Pollyanna.

Luckily I was in the room for a while before the embryologist came in. I was calm, smiling, pretending that everything was fabulous, that I was playing a part in a play. He went over all the numbers with me nodding goofily at each piece of bad news. I asked questions. He seemed so uncomfortable telling me all this. He probably loves being in the lab and hates this part of working with patients, especially ones with bad news. I smiled and said reassuring things to him each time he told me something else.

Out of our 21 eggs, 17 were mature, and 12 fertilized. Out of the 12 that fertilized, there was 1-8 cell grade III, 1-7 cell grade II, 1-6 cell grade III, 1-5 cell grade II, 2-5 cell grade III, 1-4 cell grade IV, 4-3 cell grade IV, and 1-2 cell grade IV. The best embryos have more cells and the best quality, with grade I being perfect. Mine had tons of fragmentation. The embryologist said that this is more common with women over 40. I'm 33.

Dr. Chickie came in and recommended that we transfer the 8, 7, & 6 celled embryos which we did. There was nothing extraordinary about the transfer. I was just trying to keep my calm, happy facade so during the procedure I kept mentioning the baby bird that must be lost in the room (the ultrasound printer made little chirpy noises.) Matt showed up about 20 minutes after it was over, in time to follow me as I drove myself home. At home I took the Valium I had for the procedure and slept for the rest of the day.

I study my picture of the 3 embryos. It's impossible to tell which one is the 6 versus 7 versus 8 because of all the tiny pieces of stuff. Fragmentation. I left my hope on the bridge. I'm back to going through the motions. Laying down and resting. It's okay, I need to rest anyway. I wish I had more of that wonderful Valium. I loved that stuff. I want more. I just want to sleep and dream that everything is fine. I want to go back to yesterday when I had 12 embryos in the lab and was sure we'd make it to blastocyst with more to freeze.

Janie has been sweet. It seems that because of all my surgeries and various procedures this year I am either constantly recovering and/or taking some kind of shots or pills. She came and gave me a kiss on my "owie tummy" to make me feel better. She brought her puzzle next to me. I think in a desire to make it more interesting, before she starts the puzzle she will hide one or two of the pieces. She will then put the puzzle together and act surprised that there's pieces missing. She then asks me to look around while she searches. She goes off to search for it, exactly where she hid it. She then returns triumphant, and puts the last piece in. She loves the extra drama she just created.

Me, I'd rather do without the drama. I'd rather that all the pieces fell together. Instead I'm left with questions.

I'd always assumed that the reason we couldn't get pregnant was because I didn't ovulate regularly because of PCOS and our male factor issues. We were missing the two basic ingredients to make life. I figured that as soon as we put the two together, things would be fine. Now the fragmentation has given me all sorts of questions. I had assumed that during the IUIs, the sperm just wasn't reaching the egg. Now I'm thinking that maybe it was but that the embryos that resulted had quality issues. When we created Janie, there were 6 follicles. I had always joked that Matt's best swimmer arrived and had pick of the six eggs, with the others left alone. What if they were all fertilized, but only Janie's embryo was enough quality to divide and implant? I wonder what it looked like. Did it have fragmentation? How many cells at this point?

Dr. Chickie was of course positive. She asked me about selective reduction, as if all 3 could possibly implant. She reiterated that I was young. What does that mean considering I have the fragmentation of an older woman? That I could just try again? This is the million dollar question. Would we try again? Or would we just accept our one miracle and move on?

Tonight I'm not going to worry about that. There's lots of time to decide. Tonight I'll just stay laying down and resting. I'll act that I'm fine, as if we just put in high quality embryos. This is not the end of the world. This is just more new bad news to add to the bonfire.


Blogger amanda said...

I'm sorry that your transfer was so upsetting. I'm holding out hope that at least one of those little embryos gets their act together and divides and implants, etc.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

*hands over glittery package*
Pazel, I found this on the bridge. It's small, but still very shiny. Grade AAA quality hope if I've ever seen it. There wasn't a lot there, so I added some of mine. I hope you don't mind.....I had some extra.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that was hard. It would have been hard for me too. I would have wanted to punch that receptionist. What makes me crazy is when they say they can't release the information to you, the person that it's about, and the only one that really, really cares. Are they protecting us from ourselves? Please! At this point we don't need that.

Anyways,I'm hoping for you that one of those embryos will cling like mad to your uterine walls and grow, grow, grow.


11:56 AM  
Blogger sherry said...

I almost said, "Just relax..." What am I, an IDIOT???? That's just asking for a very deserving punch in the jaw...

Wishing and hoping and thinking and praying all works out fine for you.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello.....I am thinking of you and wishing for the best...I am even sending some of that silly and ridiculous baby dust your way...I have heard that baby dust helps clear up fragmenty cells. Hoping for the best for you. Sorry for your mixed news. This stuff is so hard....

alexhere from the kitchens of the infertile gourmet

12:15 PM  
Blogger TK said...

it's like a hard slap in the face hearing that your embryos aren't quite the quality you wanted, I know. keeping my fingers crossed that the strong ones make it.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Good luck to you, and try, try, try to keep your spirits up. I'll be thinking of you!

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had a rough experience with your transfer. Sending you lots of positive thoughts that your embryos thrive and prosper. Good luck!


8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was with that nurse and the receptionist?
Add two more to the asshat list.
Hang in there about the embryos, you really never know. From what I've read fragmentation is not a dealbreaker - it ain't over till it's over. And it isn't over.

I think you're right to put the selective reduction problem out of your mind for now - no need to add to the stress you're already under.

Sending lots of positive vibes your way - though if you're in SF you're in positive vibe central : )

Good luck - I'll be crossing my fingers for you,


9:50 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I'm sorry to hear about the quality issue. I hope that the ones they transferred will attach themselves and develop beautifully. Best of luck!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Soper said...

If there is a babydust fairy, and she isn't drunk in a ditch with a bottle of tequila and Jude Law (which is where I think she is whenever I need her), then for you, Pazel, my hope is that she is hovering beside you right now and helping your daughter hide all those puzzle pieces.

12:42 PM  
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