Monday, July 16, 2007

An interesting turn of events.

So I'm driving to work this morning when Dr. P calls. And believe me, whenever your IVF clinic comes up on your caller ID, you take the call.

"Is this a good time to talk?" he asked, ever polite.

"Sure!" I said. I would hang up on George Clooney, my spiritual soulmate*, to talk to Dr. P.

He gives me an update on the seven 4-cell embryos we had left over after our embryo transfer. (No, they didn't let us take them home in a doggie bag. At Dr. P's suggestion, we left them in the lab to see what would happen.)

"One of your embryos developed into a blastocyst," he tells me. At this point my mind goes all fuzzy, because I thought the chances of this happening were somewhere between slim and none. He continues: "This gives you three options. First, you could let it expire in the lab. [I know that sounds kind of brutal. Those weren't his exact words, but as close as I can remember. Like I said, my mind got all fuzzy.] Second, you could freeze it for future use. Third, you could come in and we could transfer it."

As usual when processing a critical decision, my mind goes blank. "What would you do if you were me?"

"I would choose option three." I realize that this is what I was hoping he'd say.

"When would I come in?"

"Now!" He says, laughing.

What seems like a very stupid question enters my mind, but I have to ask it. "Will transferring this one hurt the other four?"

"Not at all," he says.

So I make a u-turn and drive back to the clinic. All goes well. Dr. P addresses my concern that the five embryos will be jostling each other like some sort of uterine mosh pit. "The relation of the embryos to the uterus at this point is like 5 ants to a football field," he tells me. As the daughter of a couple who had season tickets to every sports team in San Diego, I get this.

And now I have five embryos racing toward the end zone in the fertility equivalent of a Hail Mary: the four transferred Friday, and today's blastocyst, who I have named "Sparky" because of its sheer pluck. According to a chart I found on, at my age, Sparky has about a 7.5% chance of being born. And if we make it that far, let's not talk about the chances of twins (or more). An article about multiples that appeared in yesterday's San Jose Mercury News gave me pause, let me just say.

Luckily, I'm not a math person, and I dropped my college statistics class. I get analogies (ants on a football field). I have to ignore statistics.

* Second only to my dear husband, of course.

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