Throughout this process I learned that the day of egg collection is classed as day 0, day 1 is the day of the fertilisation report.
The day after egg collection was quite tense as I waited on the Fertilisation report. The notes indicated that I would be phoned between 9.30am and 1.00pm. Needless to say I was awake at 5! My stomach was doing somersaults. The call came shortly before 11.30. I had pen and paper at the ready. Of the 17 eggs, 14 were mature and suitable to be injected with sperm. Of those 14, 11 had fertilised. I rang my husband immediately to give him the news. The Laboratory indicated that they would ring again on the morning of Day 3 (Saturday) to assess the status of the embryos at that stage and determine if day 3 or day 5 transfer would be more appropriate. I was advised to commence the Crinone progesterone Gel twice a day from then on but to wait on Saturday (Day 3) until after I had got the call from the Laboratory in case transfer would take place that day. I was also told I could call the Laboratory myself for a status update the following day (Day 2).
I started my Crinone gel though I really did not feel like inserting medication vaginally but it was actually very straightforward and not at all uncomfortable. It was a bit leaky though so panty liners were the order of the day.
The next day, day 2, (Friday 7th September) I duly made the call soon after 11am. I was advised that all embryos had moved on. 9 were doing fine with some ‘especially nice ones’ and 2 others had evidence of multi-nucleation which would mean they would not be viable. I was told that I would be called early next morning and a final decision would be made on the timing of the transfer.
I spent that day keeping my fingers crossed for our little embies, our little FiJays. It was so exciting and nerve-wracking. To date, this has been the absolute closest we have ever come to creating a life!
On day 3 (Saturday), the Laboratory called early, by around 10am. They said the 9 were still doing well and ranging from 8 to 12 cells. They recommended that we hold out for a 5 day transfer which would mean that the 9 embryos would be cultured in the Laboratory to blastocyst stage. A blastocyst has hundreds of cells and is introduced to the womb at the same point of development as a naturally fertilised cell would reach it. Proceeding to blastocyst is not without risk. The embryologist said they would not advise it if less than three cells were present at day 3. There is no guarantee that a strong looking cell at day 3 will make it to blastocyst stage. There is no guarantee that an embryo implanted at day 3 but which did not survive to day 5 would not go on to develop into a healthy baby. Sometimes a day 3 embryo is best placed in the womb at that stage rather than cultured in the Laboratory. Originally the idea of a blastocyst for me was that there may be a better chance of implantation. It is about 50/50 as far as I know although my age may lessen this. As I had 9 embryos I decided to go with the embryologist’s advice and hold out to day 5. I was advised that there would be no day 4 update as the embryos are not disturbed and examined at that stage in the Laboratory. I would have to wait until day 5, Embryo transfer day, to know how things had progressed.
The Laboratory advised me to resume my Crinone gel but not to take it on Monday morning, the day of the transfer. I took it easy as I had been a bit sore after egg collection and I wanted to be in the best shape possible for transfer. I was given a time of 1pm on Monday for my transfer.
I found this weekend especially difficult, worrying if I had made the right decision about proceeding to blastocyst. I worried that I would have any embryos left to transfer on the day. I worried how they were doing. The Sunday (day 4) was especially difficult as I had no contact with the clinic. That evening I went for a pre-transfer session of acupuncture which helped relax me.
There was nothing to do now but try and get a good night’s sleep and hope for the best.