Like my sixth cycle of IVF with PGD, which I am about to start, the third cycle was to be our last attempt whatever the outcome, so it was fantastic news that we had got our two best ever embryos.
Here is an excerpt of an excited email I sent to two of my best friends, Vicky and Michelle, just after I had the embryo transfer.
“We have had very good results so far with the IVF. To cut a very long story short, I am not sure how much I have told you about the embryos stages etc but we had a blastocyst and a morula transferred back. Our blastocyst is hatching which means it is ready to implant. A blastocyst is the stage that you would expect on day 5, it will be about 60 cells big and the morula is the stage before, so was close to being a blastocyst.
Last cycle our best one was a pre-morula (stage before a morula) and the other one was only 12 cells big. Last time we did also manage to get a blastocyst but it had myotonic dystrophy and so we couldn't use it.
To put into context how good that news is, in a Chicago hospital (Steve just happened to find their results when he was researching) a normal ivf transfer had a success rate of 37% but a blastocyst transfer had a success rate of 69%. This is definitely our best chance by miles. I hope it works.”
Here is a picture of my womb with the embryos in it. You can’t see the embryos as they are too tiny, they are inside little sacs of fluid and they are what you can see on the picture (the white blobs).
Here is a picture of the embryos when they were in the lab, just before they got transferred to my womb. No. 4 has started to hatch (that’s what the bubble sticking out of it is). It is getting ready to implant in the uterine wall. We assume no. 4 is Dexter because it was the more advanced embryo, it is possible we are incorrect.
Seven days after embryo transfer, I woke up in the night feeling really sick. I went downstairs and lay on the sofa with a bucket by my side. I never was sick, but when Steve came downstairs in the morning, to go to work, I can remember saying “I think something is happening, I think the embryos are still there”. I couldn’t resist the temptation to do a home pregnancy test at this point, but it was negative. I knew it was far too early to do a test though, so that didn’t dampen my good mood.
Eleven days after embryo transfer, I bought one of the really sensitive pregnancy tests that you can do four days early. My thinking was, you aren’t supposed to do a test until day 16, but that must be when a normal test will work, therefore this sensitive one should work on day 12. I decided day 11 was close enough and did another test. This time there was the faintest line you have ever seen. It was almost invisible, but it was definitely there! When I showed Steve that evening, he agreed he could see the line (just about). After that I did a test almost every day until day 16 and the line kept getting darker and darker.
It’s really hard to explain how I felt when I realised I was officially pregnant. At first I got a rush of excitement but it quickly turned into anxiety. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I tried to say to myself, this is good news and we are closer than we have ever been to getting our baby but there is a long way to go yet. It is impossible not to get your hopes up though.
I was well into the second trimester before I relaxed and started to believe I was having a baby. Thankfully, the pregnancy did go smoothly and 8 months after that positive pregnancy test, along came Dexter.