September 21, 2016
Yesterday we checked in at the office at 6am. At about 6:20 they called us back to get ready for retrieval. They put in an IV and after that things went pretty fast. I remember Dr. Foulk coming in and talking about how we were finally to this point after so long and how he was excited for us that we were there. I don't remember anything after that until I woke up. The anesthesiologist had me sit there for a few minutes while I woke up a bit then had me get up and walk down a hall to a recovery room. On the way we passed a room with a bunch of windows. He said that is where they were counting the eggs that they got, and they got a lot. I went and waited in the recovery room and soon after they let Taylor and my mother-in-law come and sit with me. Dr. Foulk came in after a few minutes and asked how many eggs I thought they got. I said on the scan when they counted they got to 28 and then stopped so I was guessing about that. He then said they got 40. The hope was that about 25 would fertilize and then we would have 5 or 6 good ones left at the end. They told us they would call us the next day to let us know how things were going. I was then sent home to rest. I spent the rest of the day taking a nap and relaxing. I had some pain, but it was pretty manageable most of the day. My mother-in-law came and made us dinner which was really helpful.
Today we got a call from Ammon, the embryologist at Utah Fertility Center. He said that yesterday there ended up being 40 eggs (which we knew), but only 30 of them were mature. When they went to fertilize the eggs, they noticed an unexpected problem with the sperm motility so they had to change from traditional fertilization to an emergency ICSI, which means they had to inject a sperm directly into each egg. They did that with the 30 mature eggs. Of the 30 eggs, 28 fertilized. As of right now, 14 embryos look like they are doing well. The other 14 have not been splitting (growing) as of yet, so we need to see if they do end up starting to grow. It was disappointing to hear these numbers. It is hard to hear that you have went from 40, down to 14 at this point. We are just hoping and praying that some of the 14 that aren't growing start to grow, and that the 14 that are growing, keep growing strong. We are just hoping and praying for the best. It is all in Heavenly Father's hands at this point.
September 23, 2016
The rest of Wednesday and yesterday were long days. We just wanted to know more about what was happening with our embryos, but they only look at them every other day. They are kept in an incubator, so they don't want to take them out too much and hurt their chances of growing in any way. It was discouraging to think that we may have lost over half of what we started with just in the first day. It was hard to think of what could be happening either way. My mind wandered so much thinking about if all of this did work or if this didn't. I got myself pretty discouraged thinking about all the two years of quiet books that have went into this, that could all be gone if this didn't work. I thought of all the hard work, saving, fasting, praying, etc. that has all went into this. It would be devastating not to have it work.
My mother-in-law came over Monday evening and we had a good talk. We had a good talk about faith and how things work out in the Lord's timing. It gave me some really good reminders. A common phrase I hear is, "Have faith that it will work out". A lot of times that makes it sound like you need to have faith to have it work out the way that you want it or expect it to work out. However, what if it doesn't work out the way you want it to? Does that mean you didn't have enough faith? If you had more faith, would you get your desired outcome? That is not the case at all. Having faith is trusting in Heavenly Father's timing and trusting that everything will work out the way it is supposed to, even if it is not the way you want it to. It is something that is not easy sometimes. You want it to work out one way so bad, but it just might not. We talked about a talk that Elder Bednar gave that is called, "That We Might Not..Shrink". It is an amazing talk. There are so many good quotes in it and so many take-aways. He talks about how Elder Maxwell said that, "It is better to not shrink, than to survive". Sometimes we get so focused on surviving a trial that we actually take steps backward in our progress. It is a reminder that we need to be working on growing and progressing through the trials that we are given. Elder Bednar also told a story of a young married couple, and the husband had cancer. They had faith that Heavenly Father would heal him. Elder Bednar asked them if they had faith to NOT be healed. If it were Heavenly Father's will, and he did not heal him, would they have the faith that it was what was for the best? This really hit me hard. If IVF does not work, will I have faith to know that Heavenly Father is doing what is best for us and that it is part of His timing? We have put so much work and effort into this IVF cycle. We want it to work so much. However, if it does not work, will we still have faith in Heavenly Father and know that it will all work out the way it is supposed to? I thought about that a lot late into the night. I re-read the talk multiple times. I have faith and know Heavenly Father CAN make this work, but we don't know if he WILL make this work this time. We need to prepare ourselves and have faith that no matter which way it works out, that it is part of the plan and Heavenly Father knows what is best.
Today was day 3 of embryo growth so we knew Ammon would be calling again today. I didn't expect him to call until a lot later in the day, but he called a little before noon. He first talked about the 14 that were not growing when we talked last. He said that 4 ended up starting to grow, but still only two of those 4 are looking normal. He then said all 14 of our other embryos are still holding on and growing. This was so much better news than we expected. Usually you lose some as you go. We have 18 embryos still, and 16 are looking good right now. They expect each embryo to be at about 6-10 cells right now. Here is the breakdown for our embryos:
1-9 cell embryo
7-8 cell embryos
3-7 cell embryos
5-6 cell embryos
1-5 cell embryo
1-3 cell embryo
It is still normal to lose some embryos between day 3 and day 5 so Ammon said he is hoping we have about 6 good embryos left on Sunday. We won't hear any other reports on them until we go in on Sunday since that is the next time they will take them out of the incubator to look at them. We will be going into the office Sunday in the early afternoon to hopefully get one or two of our embryos back!