After a day off (yesterday) we have more news today.
4 of our blastocysts were frozen today, and they were top quality.
3 are being grown on till tomorrow, but of these three it is likely only 1 might be up to freezing standard. This one is currently a day 4 blastocyst on day 5, so is basically just a day behind and might look better tomorrow.
The other two are more problematic. One hasn’t developed the cells that go on to form the placenta very well, and the other hasn’t “compacted” well meaning, I think, that the cells haven’t really grouped into a ball.
The freezing process for live cells is something I’m actually familiar with – I used to do it in the lab all the time. The way to avoid causing the cells harm is to “flash freeze” them very quickly in very cold liquid nitrogen. That way, there isn’t time for ice crystals to form inside the cells that can damage the cell membranes. This is what they do to the embryos. They are frozen very quickly, and then stored at – 196’c in liquid nitrogen until they’re ready to defrost.
In the meantime I’ve been Googling fresh vs frozen embryo transfer pregnancy success rates. And I’m very confused. Some people seem to think the pregnancy success rates are comparable, while others say frozen embryos stand a lower chance of success. So I’ll ask about that tomorrow.
I got my period today, which means we can also speak to the clinic tomorrow about the protocol and timeline for putting the first frozen embryo back.
It’s been an intense week. I’m not sure if anyone is reading this blog anymore – it’s a bit of information overload right now with a post every day, so I doubt anyone has been able to keep up. But I’ve posted in real-time on purpose, to give people an idea of just how much happens and how fast it happens at this point in the IVF process. This is a big part of the emotional burden of the whole thing – daily news, the emotional roller-coaster, barely time to recover before the next thing hits you, amid the routine of daily life and things that must go on. Hopefully it will be helpful/interesting to some. It’s certainly helped me to externally process it all.
And yes, I’m very happy about our four embryos in the deep freeze. I’m secretly hoping this’ll mean they end up with Frozen powers, just like Toby’s hero – Elsa.