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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Late Call 

We finally got our embryo update around 8:30 last night. The doctor called between the Lovenox and progesterone shots. Of the 28 embryos that fertilized, 27 were successfully biopsied for PGD testing. The first round of testing should be done today and the second tomorrow. (I thought there were three rounds of testing, but we're scheduled to transfer however many of the embryos (two or three, probably) on Wednesday, so I don't know how all the testing will get done in time. It may well be that we are looking at a day-six transfer, which would mean Thanksgiving at the clinic ...

Evelin is doing better; the OHSS seems to be leveling off and while she's still feeling a bit icky, she is able to move around more than she was over the weekend. The shots are also going well: Last night was the first time the progesterone shot hurt (I must have hit a nerve on the way in).

So, we're keeping fingers crossed and waiting to hear the results of the testing. According to the doctor, what we're hoping to see with the PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) is fatal flaws in about 80% of the embryos. It sounds odd to the hoping to find out that 21 or 22 of the 27 embryos have such severe genetic abnormalities that they cannot survive, but if that is discovered, it would mean we have an answer as to why we've had five miscarriages.

The theory we are operating on -- because all the other testing has turned up either nothing or very slight borderline concerns -- is that despite Evelin's young age her egg reserve is older than would be average for her age. (A caveat: the following is probably grossly simplified.) As women age, the eggs they produce tend to be less viable. Even though both of our DNA karyotypes came back normal, it could be that the majority of the eggs Evelin has left have some abnormality that cannot be detected until they are fertilized and then stop growing at some point during embryo/fetal development.

So, if it turns out that a variety of disorders are present in 21 to 22 of the eggs, we would still have five to six embryos that are good candidates for the transfer. Of those the doctor's will pick the two or three that look like they are the strongest, and then we're ready to go.

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