Friday, December 5, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

After many tears, a great deal of soul searching, and many conversations with each other, friends and family, I *think* we have come to some conclusions about what our next steps might be.

We are very lucky to have 6 frozen embryos from our 1st two cycles. For whatever reason, our old clinic did things kind of backwards and if you had any good looking embryos on day 3, they froze them with the thinking that they can be grown to blast when they are thawed. Here is what we have in the freezer: (scale 1-4 with 4 being the best)

1 @ 10 cell grade 3+
1 @ 9 cell grade 3+
1 @ 8 cell grade 3+ - fragmented
1 @ 8 cell grade 3+
1 @ 7 cell grade 3+
1 @ 6 cell grade 3+

Not bad, right? So, we are going back to our old clinic where these embryos were created and have a consult on 12/17. Our ideal plan (which has been proposed by my docs before) is to thaw all 6, hopefully get a few to grow to blast and transfer the best ones. We have no guarantees that anything will make it to blast at all, but we feel strongly about giving these embryos a chance to grow and thrive. I feel great that some of these embies are from the batch that created a blast or two from the crappiest among them.I also learned they can be refrozen if they look good! FCOM's FET success rates for 2007 were 42%, which is certainly enough to be hopeful about!

Now, I know this plan is not perfect. I know we run the risk of wasting time, energy and resources on something that may never work, but isn't that true of all ART cycles? I am not convinced that there aren't possible immune issues, chromosome issues and maybe even a lab issue, but I am willing to give it a shot regardless. What if it is none of the above? What if it has just been bad luck? What if I am one of those people whose body hates stims, but does much better with an FET?

We feel committed to using these embryos that we created. If it works, not regrets, obviously. If it doesn't, no regrets then either because we will still have options and even more answers.

For now, phone consults with CCRM and SIRM have been postponed indefinitely. If this FET is a bust, we will take that step, but for now, we are trying to muster the energy to give this FET the best shot possible. Honestly, another fresh cycle with all the anxiety and stress that accompanies it, is not appealing to me at all right now. It is not easy and I am not ready for that. I wouldn't cycle again locally and traveling for one day work ups and for almost 2 weeks for stims and ER adds a whole other element of stress to the mix and I want to be 100% sure of my decisions before taking that on. I need to walk through this door first and see where it leads me...

I know I mentioned the possibility of FET with PGD and I think that is off the table for now, unless our dr. feels strongly about it. That is money we don't want to have to spend and would rather hold onto if CCRM or SIRM end up being in the cards. We also decided not to move the embryos to Shady Grove. We think that it is a little risky to move them and they were created at FCOM and did really well in their lab, so why take a chance. Besides missing my polyp, I was very happy with my care at FCOM and to be honest, if feels a little like coming home.

We are not in a big rush, it has been a long year. We may opt for January or February for an FET. We are going to *try* to enjoy the holidays as much as we can handle and try to rest and heal. I am still having a tough time, I am feeling very raw and emotional and broken. I do best when I have a plan though and we are well on our way to one!

In other news, you should head on over to my dear friend, Jill's blog , and celebrate with her! She FINALLY got a BFP on IVF #3! Go wish her congratulations.


Clio said...

that looks like a sound and solid plan. I am glad you and your husband are finding some peace and have this new possibility in sight.
Not cycling again right now seems like a good choice and your body will probably appreciate the break from all these meds.

ashley said...

You are truly an inspiration to us all. You have so much strength and despite your "bumps" in the road, you have not given up. Keep your faith and keep your chin up, I know your time will come.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful and well-thought-out plan. Here's to plans, and here's to better luck next time for us both, Emily.

Just Another Infertile said...

Sounds like a good plan. Six embryos is a lot to work with.

I would want to feel like I've exhausted everything too before going with a place like CCRM. I agree, they sound amazing, but I can't imagine the stress that accompanies traveling and cycling.

They'll always be there if you need them.

Enjoy the holidays.

Jill said...

Emily-I think your plan makes total sense. I know you would've always wanted to transfer the frozen embies anyway, so now seems like as good of time as any. I do understand the choice and I respect and support you in the decision. I'm so sorry if you felt anything other than that from our previous conversations. ((HUGS))

Jill said...

Oh and thank you for the blog acknowledgement. Definitely not necessary, but very sweet. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome plan. And you are right, there are many "if's" in this plan.. but isn't that the case with any plan? And I know of 3 people whose fresh IVFs didn't work but the following FETs took. I am one of them. So I pray to God that you are one of them too! Hugs.

Lisa said...

That sounds really good. I hope that you are able to enjoy the holidays - I feel pretty good about being on a break too.

M. said...

You guys have a great plan. I am constantly in awe of how strong you and Sean have been, and how you guys always manage to come back to a positive outlook. I'll keep praying for you guys that your babies are just around the corner :)

Lisa said...

I'm glad you are taking some time to rest, recoup, and enjoy the holidays. I think you made the best decision to concentrate on your FET before thinking about moving on to another clinic and fresh cycle. And I'm praying that you get your miracle and never do have to move on to another fresh cycle. I'm praying that one of your frosties is the one! Hang in there and stay strong.

Lost in Space said...

Not that my opinion counts, but I think that sounds like a great plan!! It looks like you have some great embryos to work with and 6 is a pretty high number!!

I'm sorry things are still so rough right now. It always seems to take me a month or more to just stop the crying in random places part after a failed cycle. I wish I could just give you a giant hug. Taking a break through the holidays sounds ideal. Take care of you right now. Hugs.

Mo and Will said...


You've got a great head on your shoulders. Your idea of thawing and culturing to blast sounds like a solid one. It is so helpful to come up with another plan after a disappointing loss. Glad to see that you're able to look ahead to figure out the next steps.

Wishing all good things for you.


Bee said...

My thoughts are with you and I want to scream at how unfair all of this is. Having a plan is good though and at least you can set your sights ahead.

Kristen said...

Emily, I think your new plan sounds great. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa said...

Hi E - I tagged you on my blog - if it is a drag on you in any way, just ignore it!!!

I finished my CCRM paperwork last night and I am going to try and email to them and see if they accept it.

Maria (MKC101103) said...

I'm so glad you have such a great plan. I'm a huge proponent of FET's :)

I just have one question...why are they going to do a day-5 blast transfer? I have always heard that the uterus is the best place for the embryos to grow so it's better to get them in as soon as possible (a la day-3 transfers). Just curious, not doubting your decision or anything!!!

Sky said...

Sounds like a very good plan :)

WiseGuy said...

I am so sorry for the pain that you have been going through. I am so immersed into what happened with me, that I forgot that people have had greater heartaches than me. I am so happy that you HAVE embryos that can be used and yes, it is a good plan to first make good of them. Thanks for stopping by my blog and sending my good wishes to you! All the very best!