Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A quick word about snow and embryo transfers

Sadly, I wasn't able to get my beta yesterday. We got 7 inches of snow here. In the south 2 inches will shut everything down. We just don't get enough snow here for it to be feasible to invest in snow-moving or salt-spreading equipment. When we do get snow, it usually only hangs around for a day. Case in point, it's supposed to be 45 degrees today. So the long and the short of it is that my gynecologist's office was locked up nice and tight yesterday when I trekked the 4+ blocks through the snow, none of which had melted or been moved (see above), to go get my blood drawn. It was a good walk though. Walking through 7 inches of snow is kind of like walking in soft beach sand. I think I got a pretty nice butt workout.

Okay, I'm sure some people are going to see my blog about transferring 6 embryos and think we are crazy or just plain stupid. Therefore, I am going to go over a bit of history and the decision-making process so that all may see how we made our decision. And believe me, it wasn't an easy one.

Our first transfer which was about 1 1/2 years ago, we transferred 2 embies and got a BFN. Our 2nd tranfer was last fall. We thawed 8 and 4 of them survived. We tranferred all 4. At that point, we had enough information to think that there was no way I was going to get pg. We were dumbfounded when we got a positive beta. My RE had basically given us no hope. We tranferred 4 and we had one attach. We saw the HB at 5 weeks, 5 days, but 2 weeks later it had stopped. We were devastated by the loss, but at the same time had renewed hope. Even my RE changed her mind and said we could do it. We could get pg and have a healthy baby. She was wrong. How often do you hear an MD say that? So with renewed hope we set off to do another fresh cycle. We went to the best fertility clinic on the East Coast. This time, we knew so much more and we meant business.

As previously noted, we got 7 eggs, 7 of them fertilized and 6 of them grew to beautiful embies of 7 to 10 cells. There were 2 perfect 8 celled embies. I started out afraid to transfer 5, the minimum recommended number for my age. Cornell recommends a woman my age transfer 5 or 6. Why? Because the likelihood of any embryos created from the eggs of a 43 year old woman attaching is extremely low. Also, embryologists are still not to the point yet where they know which embryos really have the greatest chance of implanting. There are a whole lot of stories out there of not-so-good-looking embryos that drs don't think have a chance turning into healthy babies. I told my dr of my fears and he reminded me of the low likelihood of HOM's. In my age group, the chance of more than 2 embryos attaching to the womb is less than 10%. Couple that with the fact that any success at all is unlikely at my age and you've got some pretty dismal numbers. According to the CDC, the likelihood of a 43 yo woman conceiving through IVF with her own eggs is only about 11% (based on 2005 data). The percentage of 43 yo women who took home baby was only 4.9%.

So let's see... a less than 10% chance of HOM inside an 11% chance of any pregnancy at all. See what I mean, dismal.

So you see, it's not crazy. Now you may be thinking that we're crazy to try at all. Well, that may be, but we just believe that we will be the exception. Everything we've done has been a surprise to the drs; the way I've responded to the drugs, that I got pg at all. It's been one big exception to the rule after the next.

Let me be clear here. I don't think I would have felt the need at all to make this post if it weren't for Nadya. Bitch. She's going to screw it up for so many that come after us. There is already legislation being put forth in my state to limit the number of embryos transferred (more on that later).


  1. Grrrrr...sorry you felt like you had to post this history.

    YOU know your body. You know your chances. Still so very happy for you!!!

  2. I agree, you are well informed of what the stats and possible outcomes are and your doc seems to really know his stuff. I'm am just thrilled for you and am exited to be able to follow you in this adventure. And hopefully, soon, I may join you.

    Take care,