I managed to pick up a pretty nasty spring cold thanks to my lovely La. This means we are both sick, which is really the worst part of catching sickness from one another. La is a beautiful, amazing, brilliant caretaker. . .when she is well. When she is sick, she is bratty and needy. And this is fine when she is sick and I am well, but doesn’t work out so well when we are both down for the count. Needless to say, when people ask if we ever want to get pregnant at the same time (which happens ALL.THE.TIME.), the answer is a resounding NO. (I did just find a blog of two women who DID get knocked up simultaneously – doing reciprocal IVF for them both, which is quite poetic, and seems to be working for them. So, its not a universal eye roll) 

So I was awake but hating life at 7:45am when the clinic called with the results of our PGS screening. I could also hardly talk through my dry mouth and snot filled head, but that’s ok cause I didn’t have to talk much.

Of the 8 embryos sent for biopsy, four came back normal. FOUR. This seems like an awfully high proportion of good:bad, but once again, no one* seems to be worried, so I am trying to also not be worried. Of the four that are normal, one of them has a lower ‘confidence rating’ on an abornormality, which means, according to the embryologist, ‘that wouldn’t be the first one we put in’ but that it also didn’t mean we wouldn’t transfer it. Of the four good embryos, two are XX (one of which is the lower confidence embryo) and two are XY – meaning because we are not choosing, our chances of getting a boy (or, I should say, a baby with XY chromosomes who is likely to be assigned male at birth) are slightly higher. My mom probably doesn’t need to know that.

Of the four that were abnormal, one had so many problems it almost certainly wouldn’t have even implanted, one had trisomy 21, and the other two had other trisomies that I wasn’t familiar with. All abnormalities came from the egg – which of course will give you a complex even when the embryologist tells you this is common since the egg is older and a more complex structure in which more things can go wrong.

So, mostly I am glad we did the PGS, since without it we had about a 50/50 chance of having an embryo transferred that would have miscarried or had some other issues. The attrition in this process is astounding though. From 53 eggs retrieved, 29 mature eggs, 21 of which fertilized, 12 of which grew to day 5, 9 of which were able to be frozen, 8 of which were biopsied, four of which are chromosomally normal. 7% of the harvested eggs turned into (we hope) viable embryos (if my math is good. so, maybe less actually)

Now, I’m going to finish some e-mails and try and blow some snot outta my brain.


19 thoughts on “Chromosomes!

  1. You know, biology is a tricky thing. That’s why most IUI attempts take multiple cycles as well. Even with exact timing, the genetics easily go awry. Don’t take this math personally. It’s not something you can directly control, and a lot of it likely depends on things you had no control over in your life. You’ve got 3 perfect little bundles of cells, which is great!

  2. Out of honest curiosity, and I completely understand if you’d prefer not to answer, but why did you decide to do the testing? I ask because my RE basically told me there was little reason for my husband and I to do it, but now I’m wondering why he would have lead us away from it. We only had 6 eggs retrieved, 4 fertilized, 2 transferred on day 3, for which our beta is Friday, and none to freeze, as the remaining two didn’t live to day 5. I guess I’m worried we should have done this testing, so just a little curious. Thanks and best of luck to you both!

    • I’m happy to share why we chose to do PGS! There were a couple of factors: 1. We knew we were going to only do a FET, not a fresh transfer, because I have PCOS and the risk for OHSS was so high. 2. Our donor is 47, so his age was a slight concern for the doc. 3. Cost wise, at our clinic it is cheaper to do the PGS than to do a second FET. (In our case, the package with the PGS was 1.5K more and a FET is 4K) so it just made the most financial sense. Our clinic does encourage PGS even in younger first time IVF patients because it increases success rates so much – for my age group, it goes from 45-50% chance of success to 65-68%.

      • Very interesting, and thank you so much for sharing. If this cycle doesn’t take and we end up doing another, I’m definitely going to inquire further.

  3. I love the detail in which you have shared the IVF process on your blog, it is so fascinating what they are able to do. I’m so excited for you and La! Are you looking at June for the transfer?

  4. As you know I was shocked at how few viable embryos I was left with by unfreezing time (TWO!). Not saying I understand exactly where you are, but letting you know it was pretty shocking and eventually very upsetting to me. Feel better soon!

  5. Why is it that so many straight folks think queer couples should be pregnant at the same time? We got that question a lot too. I know it works for some people, but that just seems like there’s a lot of ways in which it would be tough (having two people with crazy hormone swings at the same time?? having both partners recovering from birth at the same time with two newborn babies to take care of?????) I’m just not sure where the idea comes from.
    Also, so excited for you guys that things are moving along!

  6. How do they do the testing? Does it pose any risk to the developing blastocyst? I’m curious as well, as DW miscarried our first FET. We have 3 5-day blastocysts remaining, and if the risks are negligible, I would’ve liked to do the testing (and save the heartache from multiple miscarriages). Thanks for sharing all of this.

    • The cells they biopsy come from the trophectoderm, which will eventually become the placenta. From what we were told from our doctor and embryologist, there is no damage to the blasts. Natera did our testing and while the info on their site is arguably biased, I did find it helpful.

    • Thanks for normalizing this! I know I should trust my doctor and nurses when they say that, but hearing other people affirm it makes a huge difference.

  7. that sounds great to me! Especially since the other side is that any you don’t end up transferring you have to decide what to do with. Sometimes when people get huge numbers of 5 day blasts I just think about how hard that decision must be, and how easy in some ways it was to only ever get as many as we could transfer. Sucked, too, of course, but there’s a positive side to everything, and you know you’ve got perfect little blasts just waiting to turn into perfect little babies!

  8. I have discovered your blog today, and have tried to catch up on as much as I could. Good luck! I hope everything works out for you two, you guys have been through so much! My wife and I have been ttc for the past 6 months with a known donor and fresh sperm. We just recently found out that I have PCOS without any cysts so our OB started me on provera and we’re just waiting for me to start bleeding so that I can start the clomid. Can’t wait to read more!

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