Monday, March 22, 2010

Final embryology news before heading off to microarray

I just heard from the director of the Denver embryology lab. None of our six frozen embryos from our second IVF cycle survived to blastocyst. The embryologist just said that it is so hard on them to be frozen and then thawed and cultured that he wasn't surprised. I am fairly strongly regretting sending them and wish we'd just done a blind transfer here in NY, where at least they could have been inside me. Probably none would have made it still, but it stings. Those embryos were three years younger than we are now. I've always held out hope that they might contain our magic bullet of a normal embryo, always seen them as an outstretched hope and safety blanket, that as long as they were there, we weren't completely at zero. But now they are gone. So I'm grieving their loss, more than I thought I would, and am filled with fear.

On the bright side, we have seven blasts from this 6th fresh cycle. The embryologist cautioned me that two of those, since they became blasts on day 7, are almost certainly abnormal. He said they cultured them out so we could at least get some information, which I deeply appreciate. And that if they aren't abnormal, the chances that they could implant are very low. That in fact, they have never transferred a Day 7 blast before, so it would be a total unknown for them. Weird that we're taking even the Denver clinic to places they've never gone before.

So...we've got 7, but somehow after talking to the head embryologist, it feels more like 5. Which I'll take, and please don't get me wrong, I'm really grateful for...but emotionally it's feeling like our chances are dropping right and left.

I started to ask the head embryologist how often this many blasts come back all abnormal, but then I stopped myself. The answer is that it doesn't matter how often. Even if he said that it rarely happens, having five miscarriages in a row rarely happens, but we've accomplished it. The somber tone of everyone we speak to there, all the calls from the head embryologist and the near daily contact with the genetics counselor, the taking our blasts to day 7, the attempts to expedite our sample - all speak to me that we are not being viewed by the Denver clinic as a typical case. So no comfort to be had there, whatever his answer on "typical" would have been. We will just have to wait it out.

So where are we at now? We have seven blasts frozen, each in an individual straw.

Let the testing commence. We will be doing two types of analyses:

We are doing sex chromosome FISH testing on all seven blasts and will get the results Weds. They *won't* tell us, though, what the sex of each blastocyst is, just that each one (hopefully) has both sex chromosomes present with no polyploidies or monosomies. Apparently there is a clinic policy against sharing the genders before transfer. The FISH testing is taking place in a lab in Maryland, so some of the cells from each blast are shipping off there today.

We are also doing microarray comprehensive chromosome screening, which will be looking at all 23 pairs of chromosomes, including sex chromosomes. This lab is in New Jersey.

We're doing both the microarray and FISH because apparently the microarray will not detect a polyploidy. And since we've won that lottery before, they don't want to tell us a blast is normal if it in fact is not. Usually the risk of a polyploidy is approximately 1 in 1,000, but because of my cancer history, they think I might be more likely to have repeat polyploidy than is typical.

The results from microarray generally take four to six weeks. I know the folks in Denver are trying to expedite things for us, because our history has been so dismal, which I appreciate. And I've read on IVFconnections that some folks have heard results back in as early as two and a half weeks. So we'll see how long it takes to get some news...

So, the waiting begins. Cells from each of the surviving seven blasts are shipping from Denver off to labs in Maryland and New Jersey as I type this.

A little bit of news coming on Wednesday.

And then the big reveal in the next month and a half or so.

Feels so tenuous, the hope. The waiting.

This is hard.

Mo

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53 comments:

Heather said...

I'm sorry...My heart hurts for you. But I am glad you're getting all this testing done. Hopefully it will clarify a lot of things...

Hugs

Heather said...

So sorry your NY 6 didn't make it.

Seven, or even five, is nothing to sneeze at. I hope the testing goes quickly for you. I feel like an IVF cycle is nothing but waiting.

Just curious, what is the difference between microarray comprehensive chromosome screening and CGH? Or are they the same thing? I know my own clinic does CGH testing on day 3 embryos versus blasts, but maybe they are the same thing?

Can't wait for your bits of upcoming news!

Take care.

Ceejay said...

I'm so sorry about losing those NY blasts. It is tough to just be watching your chances drop off as you go along. It does sounds like you are in the best of hands with the Denver clinic. I really hope the next few weeks of waiting goes by quickly.

Nissa said...

Hi Mo. I'm a fairly new reader and just want to THANK YOU for sharing your rollercoaster ride with me (a complete stranger!). I really can't believe all you and Will have gone through! I'm so sorry for that. My husband and I are in the early stages of our infertility nightmare (mid IVF cycle #2), and seeing you push through is very encouraging. You and Will and your 7 left are in my thoughts, sending many positive vibes your way. Hang in there.

sienna said...

hi mo - i'm sending you good thoughts and prayers!!! i thought my 2ww was tough, but wha tyou're going through is on another level. it sounds like things are progressing well, and i'm KMFC that you'll have that perfect embryo(s) to transfer once all this testing mayhem is over with!!
*hugs*

lastchanceivf said...

I'm really sorry about your NY 6. I know that has to hurt. And I'm sorry about the day 7 blasts. But 5 is still a good number to test and it sounds like they're doing double duty to really make sure normal means normal.
I hate the waiting, and my only wish besides the obvious, is that it goes by quickly and that you can enjoy some living in the meantime. There is so much live to be lived.

mekate said...

oh sweet Mo,
I am so so sorry for the 6. That just sucks and I feel extra shitty for saying it is what I would do (I never every thought the outcome would be this)- hate that in every way for you.
day 7 is an unknown in every way for me. I hope that these folks have crazy luck to go with their big technology and that you have enough normal embryos to put back in more than one cycle.

I'd be insane in your place so I cannot tell you to be otherwise (she said,unhelpfully).
I hate the complete out of control part of this, just tell me which pill to take, which leg to hop on, which vials to juggle and I am on it. make me wait, and I will implode.

so you-- how can I help?
how can we help while you wait?

xoxxo
hugs to you,
and big love,
Kate

Dora said...

So sorry about the NY embies. This is so so hard. Thinking of you lots.

Kristin said...

I'm so sorry about the embryos you lost and all the pregnancies you've lost. I never had to go down the IVF road but I've lost many, many pregnancies and have experienced that pain.

I hope and pray you get good news after the FISH and microarray testing.

iamstacey said...

I'm so sorry about the frozen embies. :( I know it's discouraging and frightning. None of ours even made it to freeze.
But seven new winners, that's awesome! When I read your story I find I'm holding my breath! I can't wait to read the next chapter! I'll be thinknig of y'all while you go through this awful and exciting wait.

Megan said...

I'm so sorry about the NY6. You know I think it's funny when right to life folks oppose IVF. For folks like us every embryo is so so dear and precious and loved and we treat them as such. I'm so sorry for your loss.

I know you feel your chances are slipping away, but we are also in the "celebrate anything that isn't zero" club. I'm still hoping you find a normal one.

I don't have much strength left, but I'm sending all of mine to you while you wait.

CeCe said...

I can only imagine it must be very hard. You two are so inspiring. I'm hoping and praying- and feel confident- that this round is goig to be successful for you.

Phoebe said...

Sending a big hug your way. The whole process is just crappy, especially the wait.

elliej said...

Give it time Mo and you'll feel happier about your 5. What a journey. It sucks. But I wish you the quickest and best of results xxx

TeeJay said...

I'm so sorry about your NY6. That really sucks. I'm really hoping you get some good news Wednesday. This process has been so long and complicated and tedious...I just want you to have some good news. I'm crossing everything for you, dear...everything.

Myndi said...

Oh gosh. I am so sorry you lost those six. I can only begin to imagine how that would hurt. We're going through an FET in a few weeks and one of my biggest fears is that none will survive the thaw.

It's good news that you still have those 5 though. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that they are all hardy and perfect!

Jacky said...

(((Mo)))

I didn't realize that you had to wait until the test results before implanting them. Are they frozen while you wait? Does that affect anything?

I am sooo praying for you guys.

Jacky from MD

Mrs. Lemon said...

I am so sorry for the NY6, but yay for the 7 survivors. I just know you will have at least 3 good healthy blasts in there and will end up with multiples! Go Mo go!

Kait said...

You've been through so much for so long. This process has been insane! You have every right to feel the way you do about the NY6 and anything else that is happening. I hope that this cycle ends in the way you want. You're in my thoughts.

thecalmafterthestorm said...

I am sorry none of your new yorkers made it, but 7(or 5) blasts is just fantastic. I hope Denver is successful with expediting those results and that you hear something in the next few weeks. ((Hugs))

PJ said...

So sorry about the six. It's disappointing when the numbers seem to diminish, especially after getting a really nice retrieval number.

I've learned so much from reading your blog. It's amazing what they can do now.

I like that they seem to be going above and beyond. Five really good ones is not a bad number! Sending you some hope.

RDR said...

I am sorry about the NY 6, so sorry they didn't make it. I am keeping you in my thoughts.

Carrie1074 said...

You and Will are in my thoughts!!! Hang in there!

Brenda said...

Mo and Will--so sorry about the NY6. Even if none of them implanted if they hadn't gone through this extra process, I know that it was a safety blanket that provided comfort.

I'm pulling with all my might for the Denver 7. I wish you peace for the nerve-wracking time ahead...

Pie said...

Big (hugs) to you, Mo. I'm so sorry about the NY 6, I had hopes for them too.

I'm hoping you wait will indeed be shorter than the 6 weeks they quote. From my Jan cycle, it was 3 weeks. I hope that time flies by for you.

I'm not sure I understand the difference in the 2 tests, is it just that FISH can detect poly? Is FISH only on the sex (c.23) chromosome? Or all 23?

Let us know how to distract you over the next few weeks!

gwinne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the NY6. I hope testing brings good news on the Denver 5. Thinking of you.

Rebecca said...

You know, maybe you'll be on the other side of typical this time. With those Day 7s or with the testing of the 5. Maybe all will be normal and better than typical. I so, so hope. It sounds like Denver has managed to overcome some odds here (and doubt!) and I've got every toe and finger crossed that the trend continues!

sprogblogger. said...

ugh. I am SO sorry about the NY6. That just plain sucks. Hoping for the best of news from the 7 (and let's be optimistic and call them 7!) that are waiting on their culturing to be completed. Thinking of you and wishing this wasn't so fucking hard.

Kahla said...

I'm so sorry about the NY6, I can imagine that is devastating. I'm praying for nothing but the best news on teh D7! I'm amazed at what all they can do, I thought we went high-tech with ICSI, I had no clue! I so wish this wasn't so hard and that the wait would fly by for you both. (hugs)

thecalmafterthestorm said...

I am so sorry about the NY 6. I seriously can not get over how many blasts you have on day 7 though, whether it ends up being 5 or 7 I still think that is so fantastic. I am praying you get some great news in the upcoming weeks!

Andie said...

So sorry about the NY6. I know its hard when you feel like all your chances are falling away. You have five good blasts though (with possibly seven) and that is a wonderful result. Lots of strength and healthy vibes to those 7. Am really looking forward to hearing your results, hang in there.

PS. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Pregnant Yuppy said...

Big hugs to you. You have so much strength to go through all of this. I hope that you get your happy ending.

My Endo Journey said...

Sending good thoughts your way!!! I've been keeping up and am wanting wonderful things for you guys!

The Turning Of Paige said...

I'm so very sorry for all you've been through and hoping the best for your future.

Dani819 said...

Shit. I, too, am sorry about the NY ones, and about all the collective advice (mine included) that may have moved you towards a decision you regret. Still, 7 is great. Even 5 would be great. Those are good numbers, and I'm hoping hard that amazing things happen to these 7.

Alexicographer said...

I'm sorry it's so difficult. I hope this gets you where you want to be.

White Picket Fences said...

Hold on ...I know it's hard. I can't even imagine how hard it is. I've hardly commented because the anticipation and worry is killing me ...can't even imagine what it's doing to you. You can make it. Just one good egg. That's all. Just one.

tireegal68 said...

I'm sorry those blasts didn't make it even though you had such hope for them.
It sounds like they are covering all their bases but I know it must be excruciating for you to go through all of this.
Sending some strong embie vibes and great genetic results your way:)

Sarah said...

So sorry about the NYC 6, but pulling hard for your Denver 7. Miracles are made in that Denver lab, I know that from experience. I hope and pray that your wait goes quickly, and that your miracle is among the 7. You have done everything you can, so try to embrace hope, scary as it is.

Kate said...

If they couldn't get the NY ones to blast in the Denver lab, I think an FET with them sould have been a waste of your time and money.
Hoping you get a good number of normals in there!

Rach said...

Ohhhh keeping everything crossed for you.

Stay strong.

ICLW
#101
http://thegalwho.wordpress.com/

Gabby said...

i did not know it would take so long to do the testing. hopefully you will be one of the ones on the low end.. 2 weeks would be good.

YAY for Will and how he takes care of Mo!

I keep thinking good things come to those who wait.. i am really hoping good after this LONG wait for you gys!

niobe said...

Sigh. This is really, really hard stuff -- the waiting and the hoping. I'll be waiting and hoping with you.

Another Julia said...

This is like the 2ww turned up to 10. Sorry about the NY 6.
I'm encouraged about the good number of blasts, though. I hope that one or two of them will turn out to be babies. This is one of those times when it really does take just one...my worst response cycle with the lowest embryo count (one) resulted in a day 3 transfer...and my second son. I know I've said this, but it really is all about quality. I hope that you get great news about the remaining embies, and that you can stay sane during the wait. Good luck!

musicmakermomma said...

Well, that is a bummer. About NY. I know that feeling that every day your eggs are getting more decrepit...Argh! Please don't beat yourself up for sending them, you made the best decision with what you knew at the time.

But I think the Big Clinic is taking great care of you - sounds like they are pulling out all the stops to get you information. My heart goes out to you during this indeterminate wait (hopefully < 3 weeks!) take care!

Kansas said...

Well that just blows the big one (about the NY 6). I'm sorry. IF is shitty, but you and will have been dealt a super shitty hand. None of it is fair. So many people (including myself) are hoping for the best for you. We're rooting for you and cheering you on every day. You can do this!
(((hugs)))

m said...

Oh Mo, I'm sorry about the ny6, but feeling so hopeful for your Denver cohort. All these acronyms make me dizzy - I can't imagine they have a calming effect for you or Will. But wow, there is a lot going on here. And it feels that Denver is really ready to go the distance with you, and that, I hope, is reassuring. It always feels good to have people on your team. Cheering you on as part of your team. xoxo.

'Murgdan' said...

I'm so sorry for the ones you lost, including the hope that went with them. But I'm also so excited and amazed for the ones you gained...and hoping you hear some good news on them after this new extended wait. What a wait. Thinking of you.

thewombchronicles said...

Mo, I'm so sorry to hear about the NY6 :( Here's hoping that the next month or so flies by and you get the news that you and Will (and we) are hoping for.

Take care,
Lisa
♥ ♥ ♥

Browniris said...

I hope that the current test results come back with good news. I found reading your blog interesting because we are in the beginning phases of chromosomal testing. A chromosome translocation runs in my family, so our RE thinks that might be our problem. GL!

ICLW

Lavender Luz said...

I'm sorry that it turned out this way with the 6.

May better things come from here on out.

JennaDee said...

I hope everything comes out good. At least get some answers

ICLW 17

nonlineargirl said...

I am thinking of you and your blastocysts with love.

You asked a few days ago how people would feel with the number you got. It is a hard question to answer, but I don't think the number is so important. You just never know what any one of them will do. I wish you the best of luck.

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