The bigger circles are the cells. And all that smaller debris is fragmentation, which unfortunately is not such a good thing prognostically (the embryo on the lower right looks especially ominous).
I'm really pulling for these guys to make it. Truly, I am. But I have to say that as the staff handed me the picture and started oohing and ahhing over it in the OR right before the transfer, I was crestfallen.
When my RE had phoned earlier that morning and said, "Three look better than the rest," this was not what I was imagining.
I had pictured each embryo would look like this:
which is to say, perfect and 8-celled with minimal fragmentation.
Will and I joked in the recovery room that if one of these embryos turns out to stick and become a baby, h/she sure won't be winning any beauty contests. Which of course would be just fine. We just want a healthy baby (and we're not exactly winning any contests either, believe me).
And while I am worried and somewhat disappointed, I am also thankful that we have embryos to transfer at all. That we have our health. That we have each other.
I met a woman as I was waiting for the transfer who only had one embryo to transfer and who three months ago lost her baby at 20 wks gestation due to a fatal heart defect. Ugh. And do you know what she said to me? "My husband and I are just grateful that we got to have the pregnancy and feel the baby move inside me. Even if I never get pregnant again, we will always have that to hold on to."
I almost cried. I'm not sure I could ever find the silver lining in such a situation. But I admire her incredibly for doing so.
I am a lesser being, I think, one sometimes filled with fruitless anxiety and angst. That said, I am trying desperately to stay in the moment and remember that things could, just maybe, turn out ok. Just because they haven't before doesn't mean that they won't this time.
The beta is Monday 12/22. What will be will be.