I just realized I forgot to post a picture of the four new additions to our family!!
To the left is our September babies and on the right are our June babies. The one in the top left corner is the blastocyst.
I sometimes forget to explain things for my readers. Sorry! A lot of my readers are fellow IVFers and I know they don't need explanation and could explain it for my "non-infertile" readers so much better than I could. But I realize I have left out some important information about what happens after the embryologist injects sperm into the eggs.
After fertilization has taken place, the embryos are transferred to a special growth fluid (media). The process of allowing embryos to develop in the IVF laboratory is called culturing. In order to enable the embryos to grow, the culture dishes containing the embryos and the media are maintained in an incubator where the atmosphere, humidity, and temperature are carefully monitored and controlled.
During this time in the incubator, it is hoped that the embryos will develop normally. Normal embryo development requires a process of cell division called mitosis. The single fertilized egg divides into two cells, then four and so on. Some embryos will not divide at all. Some embryos may divide at a very slow rate which is indicative of a poor potential for producing pregnancy. Some embryos may divide abnormally and start to fragment during their development. These embryos also have a poor potential for producing pregnancy. A blastocyst is an embryo that has developed for 5 to 6 days after fertilization.
Normally, by the third day after the egg retrieval, healthy eggs will have divided into eight cell embryos. Which thankfully we have 7 of now! The reason we have the blastocyst is because on day 3 that embryo had only 5 cells. So they left it in the incubator for a couple more days to see if it would grow more and they froze it's 3 beautiful siblings! By day 5 it had grown and turned into a blastocyst! When an embryo reaches the stage of blastocyst they stop classifying the embryo by it's cell count because it has so many cells they can no longer count them.
Hope that makes some sort of sense! But always ask questions if you have them! It doesn't bother me at all! I will probably post about the transfer process next week after I get my information packet in the mail. But for now we are just so elated! We feel like we can relax and not stress for a little while. We are so anxious for December! Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and encouragement! I love you all!