Home » FET#4 » FET#4: The Little Embie that Could?

FET#4: The Little Embie that Could?

Embryo transfer was yesterday, but I’ve been struggling to post about it because I feel like I am in shambles.

The day started off perfectly. I woke up early, saw that DW was still asleep, so we cuddled a bit and I fell back asleep for a bit too (sleeping in is such a guilty pleasure for me). When I woke up again, DW surprised me with a vanilla coconut milk decaf coffee in bed, and a curious little box (seriously, so many gifts lately!).

It was a jewellery box.

And in it were the most stunning diamond earrings.

My jaw dropped.

While I am not immune to liking expensive things, DW and I have been somewhat frugal with our money because of “project baby”. Several years ago, I had mentioned that I loved diamond earrings, but that they were too expensive, and well, maybe on our 10 year anniversary, we could look at some for me. Each year, at Christmas time, DW asks me what I want, and I say diamond earrings. It’s almost a joke now because I knew that I didn’t want puny little ones that you get for your niece, but sizeable ones you buy for your WIFE, which are way too expensive for two gals working in the public education system.

But she did it. She went and bought them.

And I love them. But I do feel a bit guilty because of the extravagance, as the weight of them is heavier than the big-ass diamond on my engagement ring. I’m also not a materialistic person, so well, yeah. But I love them. And I am so touched by what DW had to overcome to purchase them (she is even more minimalist than me. She asked for a set of saw attachments for her reciprocating saw for Christmas).

Anyway, after the shock of my pre-transfer sparkling diamonds, we showered and got dressed to leave for our transfer.

All was good, I wore a very lesbian outfit to meet Little Spark: long-sleeved thermal shirt and tights, a sleeveless cotton dress on top, Christmas socks, and Blundstone boots. It didn’t look pretty, but my goal was to stay warm, as it was below freezing temperature.
Christmas socks.

We got to the clinic, settled in and changed, and waited.

One lady went in before me, but then was soon escorted out and told that they would rearrange the schedule and see her later (I think her bladder wasn’t full enough for the ultrasound?). I went in next, hopped on the table, and was ultrasounded. My bladder was too full, so they asked me to go let out a full cup and come back. Just as I was climbing off the table, the embryologist came to the door and said she needed to talk to the nurse. The nurse walked out of the room with me, and I could overhear some of the conversation she was having with the embryologist. There was a problem with an embryo. (I didn’t think this was that significant until later).

After peeing, we waited for the RE for 50 minutes. In that time, I had to pee two more times. The ultrasound technologist kept imaging my uterus, I think because she was bored. There was a poop in my descending colon that was creating shadows over my uterus, so we had fun making fart jokes. The poop looked like glitter on the screen, which pleased me.

Sparkly diamonds, glittery poop, Little Spark is coming home.

When the RE finally arrived, he looked at our stats, made some random small talk, and then transferred Little Spark back to his/her rightful place: my womb.

Do you see him/her? Right above the arrow.

Because I hadn’t heard back from him about the Cipralex, I decided that between my legs was right time to ask him about it since we had his attention. He laughed, asked what it was for, I said “It’s an SSRI, I am having some anxiety and trouble sleeping”. He laughed again, looked at DW, and said, “She doesn’t look stressed! Just drink some wine!”, totally dismissing my mental health struggles, and the months of work that it has taken to be able to even talk about it with my family doctor.

I felt humiliated, and DW was PISSED. “Wine? I hope not!”, gesturing at my PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) belly, legs still in stirrups, exposed ass facing the RE.

He then stood up, shook our hands, and left. In every single previous FET, he would rant and rave about how excellent the quality of our embryos were, and how we’d end up with twins. This time, no such optimism. In fact, when I asked about what he thought of the embryo’s grade, he just pursed his lips, and bobbed his head side to side, “It’s o-kay”.

All was good, I was giddy even despite the stupid Cipralex exchange, until I found out the grading of our embryo post-thaw.

Last FET, the embryologist explained that we had two good/excellent 5AA and one fair 5BC blastocysts, and that he only recommended transferring one if we were planning on using the 5AAs. So when they were transferred, they selected one of the excellent blasts and the fair blast, leaving an excellent remaining in freeze.

Well, that excellent grade blastocyst did not thaw very well. When re-graded post-thaw, it was graded as a 4BC. My heart just sank when I heard this, and all day yesterday, I tried to resist googling what this meant for our chances of success.

I was already bummed out about only having one blastocyst to transfer. Now I find out that it’s of fair quality. Fair = bad. It went from being a 5AA –> 4BC. What. The. Fuck. All of our other embryos have improved grading after thaw. Most of them were graded as 5BB or 5AB, and then ended up re-graded after thaw as 5AA.

My willpower for avoiding seeking advice from Dr. Google is weak. So I started frantically searching things like “4BC embryo success”, as I just really needed to hear some positive stories. Instead, I find shit like this, which tells me that my prognosis is poor:

From: http://www.oregonreproductivemedicine.com/about/laboratory/embryo-grading/

And the general consensus in frantic IVF forumland is that usually C-graded anything isn’t generally worth freezing because of how poor of a prognosis it has for implantation and pregnancy.

Let’s break it down: 4BC

4: means that the blastocyst has fully expanded, but has not yet started hatching

B: refers to the inner cell mass that becomes the baby- this is a good rating

C: refers to the trophoectoderm, which are the cells that become the placenta- this is a bad rating, and basically means that there are not enough cells and that they are not organized as they should be

Obviously, I want to believe that this will work, but I find it so hard to establish a balance between informed pessimism and false hope. On one hand, I think of the stats and how the chances of a BFP with an excellent single blastocyst transfer is only about 30%. Then I think about how we’re working with a “poor quality” blastocyst, and the stats in my mind plummet to “I should just crack open that bottle of wine now” level. On the other hand, frantic IVF forumland has many anecdotal stories of people who have had live births from 4CC and day three embryos, so it could happen. Plus, during my research of morphology grading and incidence of chromosomal issues, there was less correlation than people believed. So a poor grade blastocyst could still be normal and grow to be a bouncy baby.

These are the thought bubbles over my head, and I have been very upset during the past 24 hours, but haven’t been able to really even express this to DW, because I know she worries about my anxiety spinning out of control, and I don’t want to upset her with what the reality might be for this FET.

I will also admit, that it has also been very difficult for me to post about this because I feel like I’ve put out more negativity this quarter than I would like. But the truth is, that life really does suck right now, and I need your support more than ever. Normally, the TWW is full of (tentative) hope and excitement, symptom spotting, PSOAS addictions, but it is really awful going through a TWW feeling like the odds are stacked against you. Like, the rhetorical question, what is the point.

But I’m still taking it easy, doing stuff around the house, trying to keep myself busy and to think positively.

I am talking to my belly, to Little Spark. Little Spark I love you, and I would love if you stayed. You have a maman whose love is the greatest that I have ever felt, and furry sisters who can’t wait to help you walk, and clean food off your face. You have grandparents who will spoil you, and have been waiting for you for a very long time. Your mama has friends in the Blogosphere, who have been sending you love and kind wishes before you were even conceived.

You can do this Little Spark. You are so strong because you come from me, and together we have overcome my past, which is a great accomplishment. I believe that our strength is greater than my fear, and I will cherish whatever time we have together. You inside me, and my hope inside you.

40 thoughts on “FET#4: The Little Embie that Could?

  1. Hope the holidays make the 2WW swooch by and you get your best Christmas present ever.. little Spark! lots of positive vibes for the 3 of you (Mama et Mamam et Little Spark).

  2. I just want to tell you that I have SO MUCH hope for this little embryo. In this community, we have all seen how sometimes, excellent-rated things go to hell and low-rated things suddenly perk up and exceed expectations. Just look at the myriad of beta results we’ve seen online for an example. Little Spark has all the potential in the world to become a shining star. You will defy these odds. There’s no other choice right now. Rest up. We’re all cheering you on!

    • I just want to add that Catch bought me diamond earrings for Christmas about 5 years ago, and when we moved that summer I LOST ONE. Oh my gosh, the guilt. Still!

      • Oh no- the diamond earring! I hope you find it amongst some unpacked box. I am scared of losing one too, but there is a fancy pinch-release mechanism on the backing that prevents it from slipping off.

  3. I had no idea how complicated embryo ratings are, but I still think Little Spark holds so much hope and so much potential! In an odd comparison, I cannot help but think that everyone in the history of the world has definitely not received straight A’s throughout school, and yet most people are successful. I say the grading on paper isn’t the best indicator of success. I’ll be rooting for you, DW and Little Spark for the next 10 days!
    Oh, and I love the socks and adore that DW gave you such a wonderful gift of diamond earrings! Mr. MPB gave me a set a few years ago and for the first time in my life I lost an earring. Thankfully I found it in the house, but since then I have virtually never worn them as I’m too afraid to lose one again and this time forever.

    • Thank you so much. I know it is still possible, and that grading of embryos is so subjective because things can change all of a sudden. I like your analogy using academic grades vs. success. We saw the therapist last night and she made a comparison to my life- all of the shitty things that happened, and how they could have led me down a really dark and destructive road, but that somehow I defied the odds, and ended up being super well-adjusted and happy (in life, in general, not in this situation). So maybe Little Spark will do the same. I really hope so.

      How did you lose your diamond earrings? Mine have a special pinch release mechanism at the back, so it’s difficult for them to fall out. I’m glad you found yours. You should wear them, as they’re doing no good hidden in a drawer 😉

      • My therapist has said the same thing about me being a remarkable person considering the coping mechanisms I could easily have turned to in my adolescent years. 🙂
        Mine earnings have some sort of screw on mechanism that is supposed to secure the earnings on my ears. Instead, I find they spin all the time, and whenever I attempt to wear them they always seem to come loose. I agree that not wearing them is stupid, but I just cannot seem to risk losing them, so they only come out on special occasions. 🙂

      • Yes, and despite the coping mechanisms, it seems that life is really testing our limits!

        I understand about the earrings on special occasions. It makes the ritual of wearing them even more special too. I rarely wear my engagement or wedding rings now- mostly because they get in the way, but also because I don’t like things on my hands. So it’s extra special when I do wear them. It’s the same feeling as when we first got them.

  4. We never know what the universe has in store for us. Sometimes, it’s so much more than we expect and anticipate. Lil’ Spark knows that there is so much love to come home to with the two of you as its parents. I’ll be praying that the universe gets the memo and that we’ll all be celebrating with you in 10 days. My heart is with you…

    • Thanks hun. I just feel like we’ve been waiting for so long now. We would be fabulous parents, and have so much to give. (And Hello! 2 teachers = summers off to have fun with kids!) I hope, I hope, I hope. Thank you for your support and for your prayers.

  5. You and the little Spark are the focus of my good love, woo and prayers! Your sweet monologue is amazing, and I’m just sure spark can feel that love and hope and power radiating! I do know that our embryologist said what you uncovered – that grading is a “beauty contest” and doesn’t always translate to anything regarding live birth. Hold on to that! I am holding all of you in light. You deserve this! ❤

    • Thank you so much. It helps to hear what your embryologist said. I am hoping that it works out in our favour, and Little Spark is a diamond in the rough. Wow, that was super cheesy. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. What I love most about your posts is that you don’t sugar coat anything. You don’t pretend everything is perfect but you’re not a negative Nancy. Thank you for that. Anyway, I have read some blogs where the lowest graded embryo is “the one.” Don’t give up hope just yet and no matter how tempting that wine sounds dont do it! Every time you’re feeling down just put your earrings on and look in the mirror. 🙂 wishing you the best!

  7. So our first cycle we transferred a 4AA & 3AB embryo. The second we transferred two 5AA embryos. & the last cycle we transferred a 4BB & 3BB. I currently have one of our lowest graded embryos sleeping right next to me! 💙 don’t lose hope. We’re praying for you!!

  8. I clicked over from MPBs blog.

    My RE refused to grade thawed embryos because they, “just look different and act different than fresh ones.”. They wouldn’t give me photos for the same reason. When we did our FET for my second son, the embryologist gave me a photo on the condition that I not compare it to fresh embryos because, “remember, they’re different from fresh.”. At transfer time, my RE asked the embryologist what they had and he said, “one hatching, one doing not much of anything. It will once it’s where it belongs.”. No one was worried. That cycle worked.

    My friend had 7 frozen embryos and they had to thaw all 7 to transfer one, and it was the worst of them all. She got pregnant and had a healthy baby.

    You never know. And I’m hoping for you that you’re like my friend. 😁

  9. I love that you’re talking to your belly/baby. I firmly believe that helps. I’m sorry the embryo grade isn’t as good as you would hope, but I still have hope for you and him/her.

    Your DW is incredible. Of course, that comes as no surprise to me, because you are, too!

    I’m sending positive energy and love your way (and to your Little Spark, too).

  10. Thinking good thoughts for you. Don’t let those numbers or letters get you down; you’ve got love and lipids on your side. Nonetheless, I hope you’re able to stay busy (or at least hypnotized by those earrings) these next two weeks.

  11. I’m thinking lots and lots of good thoughts for you. I must say this has been a super difficult time for you and I can’t imagine it. But, my thoughts are definitely with you during this next two weeks! (HUGS)

  12. I know the c grading is a hard blow and I’m pissed at your RE and the embryologist for not being upfront with you and the RE for the flippant crap about the Cipralex. That said, I am going to pour all the hope I can into this transfer and the little embryo that could. Go, Spark, go. You have two amazing mamas waiting to love you to bits.

  13. Wishing you all the best of luck with this one! My wife and I are also from Toronto, and are going from IUI to IVF (fingers crossed) in January. High FSH for me, no womb or ovaries for my wife! And no OHIP coverage for IVF means it’s all out of pocket…scary stuff, but we are giving it one shot and hoping for the best. I can’t wait to read your happy ending to your own story!

    • Thank you! The out-of-pocket cost is quite scary, but some of it is covered by OHIP: ultrasounds, general blood work. Good luck to you and your wife as well! Hopefully we’ll all have some babies by this time next year 🙂

  14. I am also sending you some positive spark thoughts. Grow little one, we’re all rooting for you. I have everything crossed for a good outcome despite the grading.

  15. In my humble opinion, any embryo that makes it to day 5 and then goes on to survive the freeze/thaw process if made of tough stuff. I feel good about your chances.

  16. This sounds like a fun transfer, before you found out about the embie quality, and I’d like to think that’s a good sign. Other bloggers have had several miscarriages and ended up with their lowest quality embie becoming their little bundle of joy and I hope that happens to you. The earrings sound beautiful! I’m sorry I’ve been away from the blog world for a couple of days, but I’ve been thinking about you the whole time! Sending you hugs and embie positive vibes.

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