Today marks the official conclusion of our first round of IVF. With only three days left in the year, the finality feels almost fitting. After seven weeks of waiting for the conclusion of this journey, the genetic counselor called us today with the results of our PGS testing: Out of the 3 embryos, one embryo tested normal.
I have to admit, I felt a bit shell-shocked with those results. After all that effort, time, and money spent, it feels almost cruel to have only one left. But the genetic counselor reminded me that a 50% drop-off rate is completely normal for chromosome abnormalities. In fact, it is estimated that half of human fertilizations carry the wrong number of chromosomes, which is a leading cause of early miscarriage across all age groups (source).
PGS testing screens the embryo to see if all 46 chromosomes are present, or if an abnormal number of chromosomes are present (too few or too many). Our two embryos that tested “abnormal” were missing chromosomes and were therefore not compatible with life. These embryos would never have resulted in a positive pregnancy, which would have wasted time and emotional stress. Although we are disappointed for the loss, we are happy for the knowledge and it’s precisely the reason these tests are run.
Our ONE remaining embryo is genetically perfect and sporting all 46 of its chromosomes like a champ! We also found out its gender today, which makes everything much more gushy with the feelings. <3
Overall, a healthy chance at life was our ultimate goal and we have achieved that result in just a few months. For this fact, we are ending 2016 on an extremely happy note. We feel grateful for modern medicine and our accessibility to this innovative technology; we feel satisfied with our team of doctors and medical staff whom have supported us thus far; we feel fortunate to have the means to afford these costly procedures; and we feel blessed to be given a 100% healthy chance at pregnancy with this little 200-cell miracle.
My husband was so happy with the news that he even suggested we proceed to transfer and not cycle again. Although tempting, I know that another round of IVF is the next best steps for us, as our goal is to have as many healthy chances at pregnancy as possible. I dread having to cycle again, but I’m happy that I’ll be starting “IVF Round 2” in January as a seasoned veteran, and won’t have to feel so scared. In the meantime, we will be enjoying the rest of our holidays by counting our blessings, which just grew in size today 🙂