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The lone embryo

Posted Apr 23 2009 5:26pm
Our doctor, Dr. Hannam, just sent us a letter yesterday confirming how many embryos we have left frozen. We started with 20, back in June 2003, and as of today we have one good embryo left. One. So it's taken us 16 kidsicles to get one baby on the way - not great odds for that one lone embryo. In case you're thinking my math is off (and yes, that is always a possibility with me), keep on reading.

We do have another two embryos frozen, but the quality of these sucks. One is only a 4-cell embryo (on day 3, when ours were frozen, they like them to be around 8-cells), and was graded a "4" (on a scale of 1-4 for our clinic, with 1 being the best), and the other one is a "4-cell giant"...We apparently have a giant embryo. Hmm. No one, including our doctor, is quite sure what that means.




This is a picture of a "perfect" 8-cell embryo on day 3. We have one of these beauties left.


















And this is a picture of a "not-so-perfect" 4-cell, fragmented embryo on day 3. Essentially these are less likely to implant and continue growing properly.














Thinking of that one healthy-looking embryo - all alone in its little straw - kinda makes me sad. That could be a baby, our baby. But doing another surrogacy cycle for one frozen embryo borders on crazy - the chance of a successful result (pregnancy) from one embryo is somewhere around 10%. Which makes the difficulty of finding another carrier, and paying all the expenses, not all that appealing.

So I actually don't really know what to do about this. We pay $250 per year to keep it frozen, but I can't wrap my head around what else to do. Destroying the embryo (another choice is to donate it to research -- no thanks) doesn't feel like a good option to me at this point, but seriously, are we going to keep it frozen indefinitely? He/she would DEFINITELY have freezer burn at that point : )

I suppose for now we'll just do nothing. We'll keep it frozen, and worry about what to do later. It would be so much easier if I could just pop it in my uterus and see what happens. That way I would feel like we genuinely gave every last one of our kidsicles a shot...

This of course all leads into the "what are we going to do about baby #2?" People have told me to just focus on #1, which is great advice, but not all that easy to do for a planner like me. The truth is, we don't have an answer yet - we need to explore all our options.

The one thing we're absolutely certain of, is that for us, having one child is not an option. Our family simply won't be complete, and we want to make sure baby girl Brown has a brother or sister. Seeing as she's the "miracle baby" we have to make sure she has some healthy competition in her future!
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