For the first time ever, we have blastocysts! For those unfamiliar (my family and friends constantly remind me that they don't have a PhD in infertility-lol), a blastocyst forms when an embryo reaches the 5-6 day development stage. It has ~ 100 cells (give or take) and is distributed in two areas: an outer embryo lining (which will later form the placenta), and an inner mass (which will later become the fetus). During a natural cycle (for you lucky gals), the embryo develops into the blastocyst stage as it is leaving the fallopian tubes and entering the uterus. An embryo needs to have entered into the blastocyst stage once it arrives in the uterus in order for proper implantation to occur.
CCRM called with our Day 5 report and we have 4 blasts that were frozen (vitrified) and biopsed today! We are so happy! Our greatest fear throughout this whole cycle was not having any embryos to thrive beyond Day 3. We never could get anything to make it to blast at our old clinic, and we had a total of 25 embies to work with there during IVF #1 and #2. So at CCRM, we now have 40% of the fertilized embies that have made it to blast! Woohoo!
The embryologist said that they are watching all of the others as well and would let us know a final blastocyst count tomorrow. Not to sound greedy, but we would love to have more make it. It would just give us a greater chance of having more normals to choose from at transfer time. But make no mistake, we are thrilled to have any blasts! Please pray for some of them to be normal! Also, please send lots of positive vibes to our embies in Denver! After tomorrow, the blastocysts' biopsied cells will be headed to the genetic testing lab in New Jersey to see which ones are genetically normal. Then begins the long 4-6 week wait for the results to come back!
The biopsed cells are actually taken from the future placental cells (ie, outer lining of the embryo), not from the inner mass (potential fetus) as occurs in other types of genetic testing. And, all 23 chromosomes are then able to be tested, unlike only 9 chromosomes with other types of genetic testing. Wow. As I've written all of this, I realize it sounds very scientific, so probably boring to lots of people. Therefore, I think this is a good stopping point. :-)
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