Friday, June 17, 2011

So so confused...

I hope this makes sense to everyone, because I am so confused right now I am not sure I can even put everything going through my head into writing.

First the good news: I have two embryos that are growing strong. The embryologist checked them twice today and the last time she checked they were both at 2 cells which is great for Day 1. She is also still watching two eggs for signs of fertilization. Apparently they were immature at the retrieval yesterday and they may have matured overnight and fertilized, but I won't know if they turned into embryos until she calls back Sunday night with an update. The transfer will be Tuesday, 5 days post retrieval.

Now the confusing part. I was under the impression we were doing ICSI again this cycle, that is what Dr. F and I talked about at my WTF, and he never mentioned the possibility that we wouldn't do ICSI (for those who have forgotten ICSI is when they take a single sperm and inject it directly into a single egg). Apparently the embryologist did not ICSI my eggs. Not one. She simply placed the eggs in a dish with the sperm sample and let them fertilize naturally. I don't totally understand why she did this.

Here is what she told me (paraphrasing): Last time she ICSIed one egg and it did not fertilize. Two of the immature eggs (which can not be ICSIed) were left to mature and fertilize normally, one of those fertilized abnormally and one normally. The one that fertilized normally was the one we transferred. So since the fert rate was better when she let the eggs fertilize normally on IVF #1, she decided that should be the route we take this time.

The thing I am having trouble with is this: You can't know off of one egg not fertilizing with ICSI that all of my eggs won't fertilize with ICSI. That could have been a bad egg. I could understand if she had ICSIed half and left half to fertilize normally. But she decided to just let all the eggs try to fertilize on their own. Now we have two embryos growing, and two eggs that we don't know if they fertilized or not. I can't help but feel like if she had done ICSI we might have more embryos now. I even asked her if she could have tried doing rescue ICSI on them (ICSIing the eggs that did not fertilize by the next day). She said she considered it, but ended up not doing the rescue ICSI because if she had done it on an egg that had already been fertilized by a sperm, and wasn't showing signs of fertilization yet, then that embryo would have been essentially destroyed (two sperm can't fertilize a single egg and turn into a healthy embryo).

The thing I am having the hardest time with (and the thing that is making me want to cry every time I think about it) is this: we will never know. It is possible if she had ICSIed every egg we would have ten embryos right now. It is possible we would have zero. If she did half and half we might have a couple more, or we could have the same results. We'll just never know, and if this cycle doesn't work I will also think that had she done it differently it would have turned out differently. That thought is going to keep me awake for the next two weeks.

Now I am honestly not sure I can trust my RE's embryologist. At the very least I feel like the possibility of not doing ICSI should have been brought up at some point before the retrieval so we could all make the decision together. Now I feel like this whole process is even more out of my hands than it already was. I feel like they went behind my back. I just want to cry.


  1. Chrissy- My immediate reaction is that they should have discussed this with you and talked through what YOU wanted to do. I understand that they are the professionals...but they are YOUR eggs and this is YOUR cycle, so they should have discussed the options with you, gave their opinion and then let you decide. That's what I would have wanted. I would have wanted them to ICSI all of the mature eggs for sure, and then do a "see what happens" with the others. Hoping those two embryos continue to grow for you! So sorry this is all so confusing... :-(

  2. I completely understand how you would feel betrayed. I feel like this whole process involves a lot of artistry on the part of the embryologist. I pray she did the best thing, and remember, all it takes is one. GL! I will keep those little embies in my T&Ps.