This afternoon at 3:15pm (before actually even doing the transfer) and arriving at 2pm-as instructed-with a full bladder, we met with the Reproductive Endocrinologist to go over the state of our 9 fertilized embryos. Being that I was writhing about in the chair trying to hide the waves of nausea washing over my face causing hot flashes and sweats that were emanating from my overly full bladder, I can’t tell you what happened to 5 of our embryos. I am fairly certain that she did not say what their fate was-and since I am astute enough to pick up on her rushed speech pattern and knew by questioning her I might actually delay the process and end up urinating in the chair or even worse on her when it came time for transfer–I didn’t ask. If I had to guess, they were donated to the hospital per the form we signed off on about inferior quality embryos (BWH is a BIG teaching hospital) so that the up and coming embryologists-to-be could practice only lord knows what on them prior to discarding them.
What I can tell you is that after 3 days of growth after fertilization, the embryo’s quality is assessed in three major categories:
-How many cells there are
-The rate in which the embryo is developing
-The lack or presence of Fragmentation (debri from the dividing cells that has broken off of the cell and are floating fragments inside the embryo).
Embryos three days after fertilization with the best prognosis of not only implanting into the uterus but going on to be a healthy live baby in 9 months are given a score of 1 (they have 6 even sized cells or more, with less than 10% fragmentation). Whereas worst prognosis embryos are scored a 5 (they have less than 4 cells, arrested growth and more than 45% fragmentation).
For visual reference this is a Grade 5 Embryo:
These are Grade 1 Embryos:
One clearly looks like a big hot mess (that is NOT mine! I only create masterpieces!), while the other 2 almost look like abstract pieces of artwork-and well that is because they are! Those 2 beautiful shaped grade 1 embryos are *hopefully* going to be my greatest works of art that I will ever create in my entire life. They both currently reside in my protective care (more to how that came to be in a later post) as I lay here and pray to everything (god, earth, the universe, mother nature, baby jesus, oprah winfrey, tom cruise…the list is long but distinguished) to keep them safely growing and hunkering down into me for a nice long 9 month winter nap.
Also note worthy-on the chance that this isn’t my time just yet (I almost threw up a little bit in my mouth while typing that simply at the mere thought it might still not be my time), we also have another set of two beautiful Grade 1 embryos in the deep freeze!