Friday, May 8, 2009


I had more blood tests on Wednesday. Everything's still looking good, however my E2 (estrogen) levels did drop from 867 to 324. They want them above 300, but because it's close I'm adding a tablet a day (Estrace) to my tummy patches. My P4 was perfect at 58.2 (59 last week). They didn't seem worried about my drop in E2 and even left it up to me to add the tablet, which I will, just to make me feel more confident. Apparently the levels can fluctuate depending on when you change the patches. I'd just done the 48-hour-patch-change-around an hour before my blood was taken so perhaps that was it. I sneakily added a third beta (pregnancy hormone check) to my other blood tests, just for reassurance. It was 3980 and doubling time is 38 hours, still well ahead of the necessary 48 hours. Here it is graphed out:

We're still very nervous and hesitant to get excited. Perhaps after the ultrasound it will all seem more real, but for now we're holding on for dear life.

It's amazing how much of a numbers game this really is. With both CCRM cycles combined, these are the numbers that finally got us to this, albeit early, point.

Eggs Retrieved: 41
Eggs Mature: 30
Eggs Fertilised: 22
Embryos Successfully Developed to Blastocysts and Biopsied: 7
Embryos Normal: 2 (1 per cycle)

It seems like we scraped through by the seat of our pants. It took forty-one eggs to get just two normal embryos.

The five abnormal embryos all had mistakes on just one chromosome each:

Embryo 1. 47 chromosomes, an additional 12th chromosome
Embryo 2. 47 chromosomes, an additional 13th chromosome
Embryo 3. 45 chromosomes, only one 19th chromosome
Embryo 4. 45 chromosomes, only one 22nd chromosome
Embryo 5. 47 chromosomes, an additional 22nd chromosome

In all likelihood none of these embryos would have implanted at all, but if they had, it would have lead to a miscarriage. Interestingly, most of these five abnormal embryos were graded more highly than the two normal ones. Had we not tested, we would have transferred by embryo grade and it wouldn't have worked until we transferred the lower grades, ie the normal ones.

The questions still remain over the failure of our previous local cycle. We had seven blastocysts from that one cycle. If we had two normals in seven blasts in Denver, surely we had some normals in seven blasts from the local cycle, too? We know that three of the seven were lost during the fresh transfer, due to trauma (dilation of the cervix, spasms). But were all the normal ones in that batch? The remaining four were transferred from frozen. Judging by the beta numbers from the frozen cycle, one implanted but then didn't make it over 100 beta points. The pregnancy was lost at 5w2d. Knowing what we know now, these are the possible reasons:

1. The normals really were in the fresh batch of three that were lost for mechanical reasons.

2. Transferring normals with abnormals somehow compromised implantation of the normal embryos.

3. My Protein S deficiency, which causes blood clotting, compromised successful implantation.

4. There were no normals in the local cycle (hard to believe).

Obviously we will never know for sure and now we're firmly looking forward, not back. However, we've learnt a great deal from our trials and tribulations, which has undoubtedly helped us get this far.

I want to finish this entry by acknowledging that many of my blog friends and real life friends aren't where we are yet and I'm rooting for all of you. Mother's Day is a particularly hard day for everyone who's going through infertility and I'm sending strong thoughts of support to you. Please let this be the last bad year for all of us.


  1. long-time lurker here. Thank you for posting the numbers - as someone who's considering ccrm (and who's been through multiple failed cycles), it is really helpful to see.

    congratulations on your bfp! those are some really outstanding betas!


  2. Great numbers!!! Happy Mother's Day to you!!!!

  3. Wow, super interesting, thanks for sharing. Congrats on the great numbers - do you think there may be two in there?

    I am so happy for you.

  4. I know! I can't get over why prior cycles don't work but the cgh cycles do...? I wish I felt like I understood it better b/c I'd feel more confident about our upcoming FET, you know? I am confident but terrified of a BFN or another m/c. Terrified. Oh well...none of this can be easy. Happy belated mom's day - soon-to-be mom:-)

  5. Congratulations on your great news!

  6. Je pense que toute la cruauté est une relique de aprshlogo. La haine, la brutalité et la colère aussiessay que conduire à une auto-destruction progressive.