Babies on Ice.

Frozen embryos.

 Whatever you call them, freezing extra embryos for a later cycle is now the next step in my journey to becoming a mom. A FET, or frozen embryo treatment is when embryos frozen from my previous IVF cycle in October are thawed and placed into Uohdee.

I have had many emails asking…so as I understand it this is how the whole process goes.  On the morning of the freeze (back in October) the embryos were loaded into a small straw, and placed in the cooling chamber of a controlled rate freezer. The embryos are cooled slowly to maximize water extraction from the embryo and to prevent the formation of large ice crystals that can damage them (freezer burn  of your potential future children= bad). The entire process takes several hours and the frozen embryos are then stored in liquid nitrogen at –1960° C.

Embryo thawing is a reversal of the freezing procedure. The embryos are removed from the storage tank and are warmed to room temperature in 30 seconds. For the next 30 minutes, the embryos are stepped through four different solutions until the cryoprotectant ( the chemical used in the freezing solution to protect the eggs) is gone and all the water has been replaced.  Thawed embryos are ready for transfer to a uterus about 40 minutes after their removal from storage.

And the second big question… We have about 70-80% chance that our embryos will survive the thawing process (it is typically lower but thankfully our embryos were the highest quality which tends to lead to higher chances of survival).   An embryo is said to survive if at least half of its cells are alive. For example, if an 8-cell embryo is thawed, and 4 cells are alive, that embryo has survived the thaw.  It is my understanding that this process will be taking place tonight.  The doctor’s want to see the embryo/s divide their cells at least once after surviving the thaw before they have the embryologists perform the assisted hatching (make a tiny hole in the outer layer of the embryo to increase chances that it can implant) which will be done an hour before my scheduled transfer. 

I should receive a call in the morning to let me know if we have any survivors-and keeping everything crossed-I should be in bed resting tomorrow afternoon with the potential of being a mom this fall.