Yep, 28 eggs retrieved this morning at 8:15am. Can you believe it? Love it! I'm so excited that we got so many...I hope hope hope that the ICSI this time gives us a better fertilization rate. If you remember last time, they got 17 eggs but only 7 fertilized the first day like they were supposed to. Somehow an extra four fertilized after that, but Dr. Z told us they weren't really on a good track, so 7 out of 17 is not optimal fertilization...thus the ICSI this time.
Now, the other side of this is that last time my estrogen levels right before retrieval were around 1600. This time, they were 3200 (two days ago)! So that means the eggs we do have are more mature, or more viable...or at least making their presence known more to my body. They say that it should be about 200 per mature egg for estrogen levels (which makes sense with only getting 7 fertilized the last time). So I'm thinking we're looking at about 16 fertilized this time...hopefully!!! Oh my gosh that would be amazing. AMAZING.
The hard part is what happens after fertilization. I was so happy and naive the last time around when we had 11 fertilized and looking good at day 3. We actually started talking about transferring 1 instead of 2. I thought all was well and we'd for sure get to freeze at least a couple. Fail. On day 5 we ended up with one low grade and one very very low grade...basically they both looked like day 4 on day5...all of the others were still sitting in day 3 zone...on day 5. :( ICSI doesn't help with that. Nothing helps with that. After 3 days, the embryos have to survive "on their own" basically, they can't fall back on anything. It's either that they're strong enough to divide and make it to blastocyst glory or not. Ours weren't going for gold...except for one. One beautiful little slow embryo who made it to blast AFTER they transferred him into me...after they counted him out. He made it to blast, he even snuggled into my uterine lining. He stayed there, he held on with everything he had, through everything we put him through. Stopping the progesterone and estrogen, methotrexate... twice, cytotec...everything. He still hung on. We finally had to let go...but I'll never forget our embryo...our baby, who tried so hard.
Starting over is hard in a way. I haven't really let go of that- you can see it in the way I write I think. I'm too scared of letting myself get happy. This cycle has been amazing, really. Women would die for a cycle like this. Yeah, there have been some ups and downs so far- uterine fluid, OHSS possibilities...but I mean, 28? That's amazing. Yet I'm sitting here thinking of our little one- all of the ones we lost. How excited I was, and how incredibly defeated I was. Over and over again.
I was blissfully naive then. I thought if you had great embryos on Day 3, you'd have great embryos on day 5. I even thought if they retrieved 17...you'd end up with something to freeze...anything to freeze. Now I know that I'm living on borrowed optimism. Stolen optimism really. Who knows what's going to happen.
But I'll think of our little one and know that anything is possible. Anything. There's hope in that...along with worry, fear, and doubt. There's still hope. 28...amazing!