Had my CCRM phone consult yesterday. Sorry I didn’t blog about it sooner – we had the consult then went straight to a party (which was a fun way to celebrate the phone consult!).
So first the good news – they can see us! We are scheduled for our day-long diagnostic appointment on 1/28. That’s a Friday so we plan to then stay in Denver to have a little weekend vacation while we’re at it :)
They will do some new tests that we haven't had yet & re-run some tests we did with our local RE. For example, Dr. Surrey wants to re-test my FSH levels. In the past, my FSH was 12 and 10 is usually the cut-off so it’s high but not uber-high so Dr. S. doesn’t think I have low ovarian reserve but he wants to double check as these things can fluctuate and if I do have low reserve he’ll treat me based on my “ovarian age” rather than my actual age. They will also take a closer look at my uterus to see if there are any problems there that may contribute to lack of implantation. They will also check DH’s sperm for possible DNA fragmentations. Given DH’s age Dr. Surrey doesn’t think that’ll be a problem but better to know now if it is so we can tailor treatment accordingly. So yay! More tests = the possibility of answers as to why two healthy people haven’t gotten pregnant after all this trying and IUI’s.
Assuming all goes well with the diagnostic appointment, we’ll start the first CCRM IVF the next cycle (so we’re looking at Feb to start the cycle). We’ll do egg retrieval at CCRM sometime April-ish assuming all goes well with the stims. They will fertilize the eggs and grow the blastocysts at CCRM because CCRM has the best techniques for growing embryos in the country if not the world according to Dr. S.
Here’s where it gets wacky (you didn’t think this was going to be simple with us now did you?!) – once the blastocysts have developed and look OK enough to proceed, CCRM will freeze them and send them to Chicago. The Chicago clinic will thaw the embryos to do the biopsies for the PGD. They will then re-freeze the embryos while they do the PGD and to store them until the next month when they will implant them. FET will occur at the Chicago clinic. So assuming I get pregnant from all this, our baby/ies will have traveled to at least 3 different states prior to implantation. Fitting for my babies don’t you think!? :)
Ok so you must have questions about all this. We certainly did:
Why are the embryos being shipped to Chicago? Isn't CCRM the best? Why can't they do it?
There’s a clinic in Chicago that Dr. S considers the pioneers of single gene testing. So the Chicago clinic is hte best for the PGD. Which is good. I like working with the best.
Why ship the embryos to Chicago for biopsy rather than biopsy & store them at CCRM?
Dr. S said this ensures that the lab knows which biopsied cells go with which embryos to decrease any chance of implanting the wrong embryos.
Why do the FET during a different cycle?
Dr. S said that is seems that the uterus is in better condition to receive the embryos during the next cycle rather than the cycle in which it’s affected by all the hormone treatments. So he would recommend that for us even if we weren’t doing PGD.
Won’t all this freezing and thawing kill our precious embryos?
Both CCRM and the Chicago clinic have a 96-97% success rate when it comes to thawing.
Shouldn’t we also be doing comprehensive genetic testing given my “old” age?
Interestingly given my age (which Dr. S doesn’t consider “old”) and lack of history of m/c Dr. Surrey isn’t going to do complete chromosomal testing on our embryos at this point. Just the PGD for the CF mutations.
We’re very excited to get the process started! And to have a plan! And to feel like we’re in good hands. Dr. S was amazing! Great bedside manner. Actually answered questions that we asked rather than talk around them like our local RE. We’re excited to work with him!
OK this may be the longest blog post ever so I’m going to stop now. Feel free to ask questions if I’m leaving anything out.