Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Fertilization Report

All day I was waiting for the fertilization report.  I carried my phone around the halls.  Took it to all my meetings.  I looked at it, willing it to ring.  I couldn't concentrate on anything today.

I didn't have any information, so I did what any normal person would do, I ran the data to project my outcome based on my donor's past four cycles.

Mature Fertilize
23 18
18 15

We have 15 fertilized eggs.  It is an incredible opportunity to very likely have a baby.
I don't know how to explain it.  I cried at my dear acupuncturist's today.  I was stressed and I was scared.  Look at the variance.

Seeing the numbers below my projection (a simple calculation on averages, not weighted by the cycle number) freaked me out.

  • What if this represents an issue?
  • Why did she trigger on day 9, not day 10?
  • Did my RE see a problem and try to cut it off with an early retrieval?
  • Does this represent a quality issue?

And on and on and on.

Leave it to my acupuncturist to save the day.  She presented it to me this way: I am not in control.  My inner self doesn't like this and is trying to gain control by making targets, setting budgets while stuffing all the numbers into little boxes.

She invited me to stop trying to control this process receive everything as it happens.

It clicked.  I feel really good now.  

Please don't spend any effort trying to comfort me - I just freaked out and wanted to share.  It might help someone to see how I first experienced it and how the change in perspective helped me.

I probably sound like an ungrateful son of a bitch.  I was for a moment when I let myself lose focus.  What a great lesson to learn.

I love my therapist, I mean acupuncturist.

Peace, love and follicles,


The original is actually quite pretty in Excel: formatting, graphs, oohs and ahhs for a nerd like me.  I will send it out to whoever wants to spend time analyzing the daylights out of things she cannot control.

My acupuncturist points out the ratio that counts, M:F or Mature to Fertilize, is right on.

Cycle Retrieve Mature R:M Fertilize M:F R:F
1 23 18 78.3% 16 88.9% 69.6%
2 33 29 87.9% 18 62.1% 54.5%
3 22 20 90.9% 18 90.0% 81.8%
4 33 22 66.7% 21 95.5% 63.6%

Average 27.8 22.3 80.9% 18.25 84.1% 67.4%

Projected   22.7   18.3    

Actual 28 18 64.3% 15 83.3% 53.6%

Min 22 18 66.7% 16 61.2% 72.7%

Max 33 29 90.9% 21 95.5% 63.6%

Median 28 21 75.0% 18 85.7% 64.3%


to Average 0.3 -4.3 -16.6% -3.3 -0.8% -13.8%
to Min 6.0 0.0 -2.4% -1.0 22.1% -19.2%
to Max -5.0 -11.0 -26.6% -6.0 -12.2% -10.1%
to Median 0 -3 -10.7% -3 -2.4% -10.7%


  1. That looks awesome! Don't worry. Relax...


    Sorry. I know. Impossible right now. That's a great report. I look forward to seeing what develops!

  2. Duuuudddeee. You have a brain like mine! It can be quite the anxiety builder, can't it?

    Not trying to reassure you, but damn if I wouldn't be doing a happy dance if I had 15 fertilized eggs waiting to make me pregnant. That's almost twice the max I was ever able to get!

    I have this feeling about you, my dear...just saying. :-)

  3. That is a great report. Awesome. It's your time...

  4. What the hell is that complex looking chart? My eyes glazed over after the first set of data.
    15? Amazing, simply amazing.
    Stay calm, you are so close!

  5. I love you! Your chart warms right down to the bottom of my little geeky heart. :)

    I know it's less than you had hoped for, but we're all hoping that at least 1 of those 15 will be Toddlerina's sibling very soon. You've made it this far and there's not much left to go. You can do it!

  6. Sounds like a roller coaster of a day, but a return to your calm, centered place at the end of it. The theracupuncturist helped, but you also had it in you to find stable ground. Because you're awesome.

    15 fertilized eggs sounds amazing to me. Plenty of fertilized eggs to make a baby, me thinks.

    Keep on the calm project, my friend.

  7. Wow that is an incredible number...so happy for you!!! Thanks for sharing I really needed that lesson from the acupuncturist too! I'm a horrible control freak myself and always like to pretend I can control these things as well, it's a good reminder. Looking forward to your next update:)

  8. 15 is an AMAAAAAAZING number. your odds are EXCELLENT, if i do say so myself. i'd have a hard time not being a control freak during a process like this, so cut yourself some slack. waiting for the phone to ring with important news is one of the hardest things ever. i've almost lost my mind several times during that wait (hubby will say that i HAVE lost my mind during those times). hang in there!!! xoxo.

  9. 15 is amazing. We had 15 at our fert report which turned into 15 blast embryos. I am so hopeful for you. FYI- that chart is something.

  10. Yeah that is alot. You can have a football team! Good luck.

  11. Wow, go you with the stats! That is a thing of beauty, even if I don't 100% understand how you got there. And 15 is a huuuuuge number of fertilized eggies! Mazel tov!

    Of course you worry; it's what we do. But these chances sound mahvelous. And I love Augusta's newly coined "theracupuncturist." Sure, it's too long to work in Scrabble, but it's still dynamite. Lovelovelove to you.

  12. Should I be offended that I'm not on your blogroll, btw? Harumph. ;-)

  13. Hot diggity, Roccie. Those numbers look good to me. There is a beautiful baby in there (or two), and he/she is about to board the mother ship.

    The control thing - I think it's right on the money. I am queen of charts, graphs, statistical analyses. I find them comforting but they can also provoke unnecessary anxiety. You acupuncturist is smart. I wish there were multiple versions of her, in miniature, so I could carry her around in my pocket all day:)

  14. I *love* the charts. kind of crazy thing I would do (to try to feel more in control). And I have to say I *love* your acupuncturist. Great that she was able to articulate an accepting and surrendering stance that clicked for you.

    And congrats on a GREAT fert report. 15 fertilized eggs from a donor should be MORE than enough to have yourself a child or three.

    thinking of you.


  15. Nice DATA! *whistles lasciviously at you* I'm so glad the distress over projected vs. actual was temporary. I think it was pretty natural. You've got a lot riding on this, invested in it emotionally and financially, etc. I am hoping for 15 dividing and thriving blastocytes or morulas or whatever they are at this stage.

  16. Was TOTALLY thinking about you guys last night and wondering how you were doing. I was so busy yesterday and just got to reading this now. That data looks good. I won't blather on. But it looks good!! So, my spreadsheet queen...you remain on the receiving end of our super strong positivity, good wishes and good vibes!! Stay calm and breathe. You're almost there. :)

  17. Holy Fagioli! You got 15? I take no small comfort in projecting outcomes based on numbers. I lurve your chart, clearly. Also, sending you all sorts of zen and happiness with warm fuzzy blast growing thoughts.

  18. Thank goodness for the acupuncturist who knows her stuff!

    Good luck with those 15 precious embryos!

  19. If the donor is ready (as measured by hormones and ratio of estrogen to large follicles), it is better to trigger earlier and have fewer eggs, rather than later and more eggs. There is mounting evidence -- judged from from final outcomes (babies) rather than egg numbers -- that it's easy to overcook.
    Incidentally, my own donor triggered on day 7. My daughter, the product of that cycle, is insisting I finish typing.

  20. Hey Roccie...so sorry about your freak out session...totally normal. And if I may as I know you have a sense of humour...I thought I was the only nerd who developed spreadsheets and crunched numbers to try and predict the outcome!! Guess we have something else in common...take er easy...today's day two so just three more days until you have ur beautiful blasts!

  21. I don't have the mathmatical mind you do but I swear I could have written the emotional part of this post when I was at this stage. So frustrating...grrrrr. So hard to know you can't do anything but wait and wait for the outcome. Hang in there, chick! Things will roll fast (but slow) from here on out.

  22. This is excellent news. She is one fertile byatch isn't she? Good thing. I love your chart and suspect that too much Halloween candy might explain the (very very very) small drop in fertilized eggs. Just joking.

    a good beginning.

  23. I'm a geek too. And those numbers look amazing. I know it's hard to manage expectations vs. reality, but from a (sorta) objective point of view, those look great. :)

  24. Geez Roc:

    I never knew you were some amazing mathematical whiz! I'll just nod and pretend like I know what those figures really mean......

    Gotta love the acupuncturist who moonlights as the IVFers' therapist (I too have one of those!)they sure know how to cut to the chase when we get beyond ourselves. A nice little reminder at the right time can sometime avert us from creating our own disasters.

    I am so glad those words clicked with you.

    NB: I'd never think of you as ungrateful...neither should you!

    Really looking forward to the next update!

    LS x

  25. Hoping you will update soon - transfer must be today if I'm calculating right?! Thinking of you!

  26. I get it all. The way you started, the shift in understanding. IMHO IF changes the way you think, for the better. I mean would I be thinking it was so great if I didn't have my little baby? Not sure. But I totally love how I think now. I trust in doctors and science and tell them I'll do whatever they tell me. I've stopped questioning (well, more or less).

    Your thoughts aside (though of course they are important and I'm glad they're full of peace now), I'm sending every good vibe to those embryos. There is a baby in there. There has to be.

  27. Geeks unite!

    15? FIFTEEN???? Friggin' awesome! :-D