Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long this morning before getting the call from the office regarding how my eggs did following the ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) process. Ok, before going on, let’s do another science lesson.ICSI is when the sperm is injected directly into the egg to complete fertilization of the egg. This is done when the sperm struggle to penetrate the wall of the egg on their own. Here are a few pictures of the process. The first is an illustration with explanations. The latter two are actual pictures of the process.
Pretty incredible, right? I mean, this whole process is miraculous. So amazing what we are able to do because of science.
Yesterday following my procedure, when I was told that they only got five eggs, it caused me to think back on the last time I had undergone an egg retrieval. This is an excerpt from that time two years ago:
“Later, I couldn’t remember how many we had gotten. I asked the hubs and he said, ‘Thirteen.’ The woman in the bed next to us was also recovering from her retrieval. She said to the nurse, ‘You got thirteen?’ The nurse said, ‘Not you, that’s the person next door. You got two.’ I felt so bad for her. Then she said, ‘Oh. That’s what happens when you get old.’ Aw…it made me totally sad for her. A bit later I heard her talking with her mother. She was telling her that they got two. She said, ‘We’ll have to see how many fertilize. We might not end up with anything.’ Again, my heart ached for her. Infertility is so so hard, and can be that much more devastating when you put so much into trying to make it happen and it isn’t successful. I hope and pray things work out for this unknown woman on the other side of the curtain.”
I never realized that almost three years down the road, I would be the one pondering on my aging body and how few eggs I had. So today I was anxious to hear my report. The nurse said that out of the five eggs they retrieved, three were mature (two were not mature enough for ICSI) and all three fertilized normally. She scheduled me for a tentative Day-3 transfer this Wednesday at 11:30 AM. I am really happy that all three mature eggs fertilized normally. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of uncertainty. All of them could die, or develop poorly over the next two days. I won’t know until I am sitting there in the office, preparing for the transfer, if any survived and how well they have grown. I just keep chanting, “Just one good embryo is all we need.” And that’s what I’m hoping for.