Saturday, 5 July 2014

Drum roll, please...

The fertilization report is in, and with it comes what seems to be an answer to our previous crappy fertilization rates.

It was my shitty eggs the whole time.  11 out of our 12 donor eggs fertilized!!


Yet again, this is even more than I dared to hope for.  We were shooting for 8, which would have been a solid 75%.  To have more than that...well, it puts me in the scary position of actually starting to feel an emotion I haven't had in a while: hope.  The pessimistic part of me keeps intruding into my happy thoughts, saying that things have been going so well up to now that the other shoe is bound to drop sometime.  I've been doing my best to shut it up with sightseeing and beer.

This development also means that M and I may have to do some serious talking over the next few days on a subject that hasn't been an issue for us in the past: whether we transfer one or two embryos.  I have to admit that the idea of having our family all in one go is sort of appealing, especially at the ripe old age of 38.  But I've read about enough twin experiences from my fellow bloggers to know that there's almost always some sort of complication, and while things have almost always worked out well in the end, it can make for some scary times.  A single embryo transfer would avoid that, and we could always come back for a sibling later if we have anything to freeze.  I'm open to input here, so have at it in the comments.  Especially you twin moms.  Would you do it again if you had the choice?

After getting our fert report, M and I headed out for some more Prague exploring.  We thought we'd try some shopping in Wenceslas Square, but discovered it to be very touristy and cheap there so we wandered through and kept on going to Josefov (the Jewish Quarter) where we window shopped the fancy stores (Gucci, Prada, and the like) and picked up a few small souvenirs.  I had the best traditional Czech meal of our trip so far, roast duck leg (pečená kachna) with braised red cabbage and potato dumplings, then we strolled back along the river to our hotel.  Right now we're pretty exhausted, so to finish off I'll post a few pics of some of the sights we've seen the past few days.

Prague castle

St. Vitus' Cathedral (facade under renovation)

View of Prague from the castle grounds

National Museum building, also under renovation

Spanish Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter

The Old-New Synagogue, also in the Jewish Quarter 



28 comments:

  1. Wow that's fantastic!!! I am so thrilled for you! Yes please let yourself be hopeful. I would be too! I hope that the embryos grow very very well. I don't know what I'd do if I were you. One? Two? Yeah I would be leery of complications too as most of the REs I have talked to always talk about giving me a healthy singleton pregnancy. I guess the norm is to transfer two to three if it were your own eggs. But since this is a donor who is much younger, the chances of the eggs/embryos being normal are a lot greater. So... you have to think about if you can handle twin pregnancy. Yeah I am no help here. Anyhow, would LOVE to visit Prague some day. Your meal sounds wonderful!

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  2. Wow! As if a trip to Prague weren't amazing enough, it seems there's a fantastic chance you could be going home with the ultimate souvenir (or two)! There's definitely something appealing about twins, but you're right, being part of this community makes us all too aware of potential complications. It's a tough call, but I'm sure you and M will make the decision that works best for you. Can't wait to hear how your superstar embryos progress!

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  3. Congratulations on your fertilization report! I thought I'd chime in because I'm a new mom of twins (they just turned two months!) My boys were born at 35 weeks 4 days. My pregnancy was really smooth until about two weeks before my boys were born. I developed gestational diabetes mid way through my pregnancy, which was easily manageable through diet. After being on diet restrictions for so long during fertility treatments, modifying my diet for GD felt like no big deal. At about 33 weeks though, I began to get early signs of pre-eclampsia, and it was really scary by week 35. My blood pressure and pulse were high and the swelling in my body was terrifying. I was miserable and really scared. It got to the point where I could barely walk. That said, I survived, and even though they were born early due to the pre-eclampsia, my baby boys were born healthy and strong, both over 5 lbs with only a brief stay in the NICU. My recovery has been slow but smooth and I know everything I went through was worth it -- scary, but worth it! Having never been pregnant with a singleton, I don't know how it compares to a singleton pregnancy. I can say that my twin pregnancy was really great until 33 weeks and then things got very rough very fast. I also just found out that I have retained placenta which is more common in twin pregnancies (though still rare in c-sections, which I had). So, unfortunately, I have to have a D&C next week. I joke that it's not only difficult for me to get pregnant, it's difficult for me to get un-pregnant! In my experience, my doctors warned that twin pregnancy does make you more at risk for certain things, and I experienced several of those things. However, I'd do it again because I'm so thankful to have both of my little boys. Because twins are considered a high risk pregnancy, and because I'm 37, I was carefully monitored along the way, which was nice. I'm not sure whether my comment would make you more or less inclined to transfer two embryos, but I wanted to be honest about my experience. It was tough, terrifying, and wonderful, all at the same time. I'm incredibly thankful to have made it through safely with two healthy babies.

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  4. I am also a very new mom to twins... twin girls born 6/23/14. We were lucky enough to get pregnant with twins on Clomid so we did not get to IVF or have to decide about transferring embryos ect. Even though I am only 12 days in and it has been hard (really hard at times) I would do it all over again in a second. I did however get very lucky with my pregnancy- I made it to 39 weeks with no complications and went in for induction which unfortunately failed and therefore ended with a C-section which wasn't my desire but resulted in healthy me and healthy girls so I have come to peace with it. The biggest challenge so far has been breastfeeding 2 but we are finally getting the hang of things at almost 2 weeks. Sleep is still quite a rarity in our home but with a very supportive husband it is doable. The average gestational age for twins is 36 weeks so not all twins end up in the NICU or result in pregnancy complications. It's a tough decision but if I could choose now I'd say I'm so happy with how everything worked out for us.

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  5. Do you know yet what day you'll be transferring? My RE advises 2 if a day 3 transfer and 1 of day 5 for your first transfer. So happy for the good news about the fert report! I've been stalking all day!

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  6. I am 38 and we transferred two.. I am currently 36w 5d with two boys. I haven't had any complications, I'm just big and in pain but I can deal with that. Every pregnancy is different though. I would 100% do it the exact same way again. All you hear is the bad stories of twin pregnancy but I'm "advanced maternal age" and have done great. They will be born next Thursday via C section because baby A is breech but I am fine with that. Good luck choosing what is best for your family! What a great number!!!

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  7. Yay!!! that's an amazing fert report!! congratulations!

    I always transferred 2 whenever I did IVF, but that being said, now that I have a baby I can't count how many times I was glad it wasn't twins. Everything went so smoothly during the pregnancy, delivery and even now (more or less). I feel like after the stress of infertility, I needed an easy pregnancy!

    p.s. I don't see my comment in your last post, I commented from my phone, I guess it didn't work...

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  8. That is AMAZING news and the gif you used had me laughing until I cried!!

    As I've only got one cooking, I can't be of help with you on the transfer question but I hope you come to a decision you're at peace with!!

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  9. First- yay!!! Amazing news!! Second- Prague is beautiful and I'm so glad you're able to enjoy it! Third- the twin thing... And whether or not to transfer two. Such a tough decision!! I always transferred two- always! I did so never really thinking that two would take, but always had a guy feeling that I would end up with twins (if that makes any sense)! My twin pregnancy was picture perfect until the end... I ended up with GD, which really wasn't a big issue for me- I just had to adjust my diet, which was actually something that made me feel better! I developed pre eclampsia very quickly and that's why my babies arrived seven weeks early. I was the one with the complications during delivery and recovery and the babies really didn't have any issues other than the normal things that come along with pre mature birth. So, all that to say- yes! I would do it again in a heartbeat! I would go through what I went through at the end of my pregnancy to end up with what I have now right in front of me... Two healthy baby boys who are miracles and who will be forever friends! My advice is to trust your gut. If something tells you to only transfer one then do just that. But if down thing deep down tells you to go with two- then give it a shot! I truly think you will end up with what you were meant to have... Regardless of how many you transfer! XOXOXO

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  10. It's wonderful to see you so hopeful! And what amazing numbers!
    On the twin question, well. As you can imagine I wouldn't/haven't transfer(ed) two again. But I was probably on the really unlucky spectrum of complications, and it remains to be seen if my body does significantly better with a singleton (so far, so good - knock on wood!). As others above wrote about gut feeling - I never thought I'd have twins. Although perhaps hindsight isn't very useful here. Overall I like Jane's advice, which is the same that my REs go by - if you can make it to day 5, transfer one. Is there any chance of finding out how many embryos previous recipients transferred, and how their pregnancies turned out?
    Fingers crossed!

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  11. Congrats on the awesome fertilization rate. As far as the embryo transfer all I can say is trust your gut. We only transferred one on our donor egg cycle due to the risk of twins and we had a BFN. I can't say I would have done it differently in hindsight though. I agree with Aubrey I truly think what was meant to be will be.

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  12. Holy smokes that is an incredible fertilization rate! Wow. Okay, transfer one or two. As a twin mom, I would definitely do it all over again without hesitation. I had a great pregnancy (not to say it was easy, just no major complications), until my water broke at 32w3d. But even that didn't turn out to be a major issue, just bought me admittance into the hospital. However, I then developed pre-e which was no fun at all. My babies were born at 33w2d and spent 19 days in the NICU, but only because they still needed to learn how to eat and keep their body temps up. They are both very healthy. That was our last chance at having a baby, and I am so incredibly grateful for having twins. I admit, we always wanted twins, but I was scared when I first got pregnant with them because of all the higher risk that comes with a multiples pregnancy. Even though we had a rough go of it for a couple weeks, I would so gladly do it again for the end result.

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  13. I'm 39, using my own eggs, and my RE transferred 4 embryos on day 3--that's all there was left. 2 implanted, and 1 died at 8 weeks. So now i"m left with a singleton at 16 weeks. I was disappointed about not having twins, but after reading about all the risks of multiples, I'd rather have a healthy singleton born at term than 2 babies with possible lifelong problems. This is also my very last try. I think if you waited until day 5, it would help make your decision easier. A lot of this waiting time is also for weeding out.

    --V.

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  14. Wonderful report! So happy for you! Ahh the big question of one or two embryos! Such a great problem to have! As you know the success rates of DE are high so the chance of twins is good. I love my twins. I am so happy they have each other and are 100% genetically related to each other. I am so glad that our family feels complete. I love them both to pieces and can't imagine life any other way. BUT that being said, we had lots of complications and scary moments. They arrived at 29 weeks. We spent two months in the hospital. They had every scan in the book and a lot of them were scary. They couldn't eat or breath on their own when they were born. They are doing well now but we will be monitored by high risk docs for two years. They both have heart murmurs and my daughter needs a cardiologist follow up and an opthamology specialist. All the girls in my support group who had twins had early deliveries and long stays in the NICU but thankfully no long term health issues. These are things you need to think about and you will make the right choice for your

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  15. OMG!! This is awesome news!!! I could not be happier for you.
    As far as how many... you know my viewpoint on that I think. I am all for the one and done option when it comes to IVF. I don't know when or if we'll be in a position to afford another cycle in the future and I really would like two children so for us 2 at once is appealing - then again we're dealing with my crappy DOR eggs, his low motile sperm AND my (soon to be) 36 year old uterus so the odds of two (or three) taking are pretty darn low. What an amazing place to be in!! What an incredible decision to have to make!!

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  16. Oh my goodness! That's awesome. I'm so hopeful for you. It 's a different ballgame when our crappy eggs are out of the picture. Prague looks amazing. I'm only going to transfer one because I'm mini and don't have room for two. LOL. Plus, I don't have to travel to a different country for a transfer. That being said, if I were you I would probably transfer 2. But you have to listen to your heart. Can't wait for your next update!

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  17. That's such a great fertilization rate! Woohoo! hoping lots of those embryos grow! As for transferring one or two, I have no direct personal experience of twins. Hypothetically, I wouldn't have *complained* a twin pregnancy (freaking amazing that it can happen at all). Having said that, I'm very glad I'm not pregnant with twins, simply because knowing it was a higher risk pregnancy would be soooo stressful. But that's me, and I'm anxiety-prone. :-) I don't think there's a right answer that applies to everyone - but I would go with the option that is most medically/scientifically sound for your particular situation, rather than deciding emotionally. Hopefully your doctor can give you some really sound advice there.

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  18. We've done 4 transfers (3fresh, 1 frozen) and we put back 2, 2, 3 then 1. The results were BFN, BFN, BFP(m/c), and BFN. The only reason we put in only 1 for our last round is because we only had one left. Out of 3 fresh cycles we fertilized well but none ever made it to freeze except for that one. I do believe I'm in the same boat with crappy eggs. That's why we are moving on to donor embryos this round but we will still be putting back 2 and I'm 36. Hope that helps. I'm not comfortable at all putting back one after 7 years and 3 m/c and $70,000 down the drain.

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  19. Oh my gosh this is the best news ever! Having that many fertilize is the reason you paid the BIG BIG bucks my dear.

    I can't answer on how many to transfer. As a 38 year old carrying twins, I would definitely feel suggest transferring one, but totally understand if you choose two. This pregnancy has been so much different then my pregnant with my daughter. Whatever you decide, I am so excited for you my friend!!! Enjoy your trip and siteseeing.

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  20. YAAYYYYYYY!!! Congrats on a great report! A+ indeed. Man, it's always a tough call with the 1 or 2 question... personally, I'd go for one, because the moms of twins that I know are just SO overwhelmed with feeding/sleeping/etc. and most say that, given the chance, they'd opt to not go through having two at once again. I guess you really just need to make sure that if you decide to put 2 in, it's for reasons that you're confident about and feel good about.

    So exciting!!

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  21. Whoo-hoo! So happy to hear an awesome fertilization report!

    I'm afraid I have no advice on how many to transfer. When we were discussing IVF with my RE she was firm about transferring two, but that's probably because we were using my old-ass eggs. All I can share that might be of any use to you is my own personal experience with having a singleton. I found one difficult enough to adjust to and was thankful that I didn't have more than one newborn to deal with. But keep in mind that my husband was a complete lazy bastard and did almost nothing to help me out. If you know you're going to have a very involved partner (or other family members), it might not be so overwhelming for you. Whatever you decide, I am wishing you all the luck in the world!

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  22. Wow!!! What an incredible fertilization report! After such a long road, I'd be tempted to do two because I'd be so heartbroken to leave empty-handed, but donor eggs changes everything... such a tough choice, BUT a wonderful position to be in! Excited for you!

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  23. That's an amazing fertility rate. Simply amazing. I'm so happy for you and M!! It's nice that you don't have to be so tense and constantly worried about what's going to happen next. We all want to complete our families using our OE, but I would think using DE takes the worry down by several factors. I would probably want to transfer two in your shoes for a lot of the same reasons, but there are a lot of stories about premature births of twins that scare the crap out of me.

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  24. Congrats! Your fertilization rate is amazing. So exciting! As for 1 or 2, I did 2 embryos for both of my transfers and ended up pregnant with one each time (first time miscarried). While the idea of a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am twin family appealed to me, I'm now really glad to have had a singleton. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy, a term birth and still think that raising just one baby is exhausting and incredibly hard! I'm sure I would love having twins and not regret a thing if that had been the case but when I think about future IVF cycles, I'm pretty sure I'll do one embryo at a time even though it will somewhat lower my chance overall of conception.

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  25. A meelion beelion babies! WhooHoo!!!!!!
    After 2 failed cycles, I was all for twins since I wanted 2 kids and that seemed to be the only way it was going to happen. Now, if I had a whole bunch of young donor egg embryos to choose from, I don't know what I would have done. I probably still would have gone with two since I was 38 at the time. Twins is all I know now and I wouldn't change it (though I will admit to having moments of envy when I see people with one baby and wishing I had my girls one at a time). It's hard, but it's also fun to see them grow up together. I'm even starting to *sometimes* like the attention they get every time we leave the house. The newborn stage was brutal, but now that we are past that it's getting easier. I know I, and several other bloggers had complications that led to early delivery and NICU stays, but I have met many, many twins moms over the past few months and most went to term or close to it. Most didn't have NICU stays. So, while complications can be more likely, it isn't necessarily a given that things will go wrong. So, looking at the good and the bad, and after dealing with an emergency c-section and the NICU, I would still do it all over again.
    I am so happy for you and how well this is going. Can't wait to hear what you decide.

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  26. Aw, congrats, sugah! That's an amazing outcome.

    Well, you know my story---transferred 1 and had a mysterious miscarriage. Transferred 2, and only 1 implanted. If I were to ever do DE again, I would transfer 2. But that's based on my personal experinece.

    Yer in the home stretch, yee ha!
    ~theunexpectedtrip

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  27. That's so great!!! I'm sure it's scary to hope, but you have reason to. I'm going to be hopeful for you :)
    I'm glad you got a chance to explore Prague a little.
    Good luck with your decision about transferring one or two. I'm not qualified to give any advice, but I think I'd personally transfer one. It would be a tough decision though!

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  28. YAY for 11! That's great news!!

    Having one easy child, I have no idea how people deal with 1 difficult child, let alone twins! With such a great fertilization report, I personally would only put 1 back in. But I totally see the merits of putting two in, hopefully having twins and then being DONE.

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