Thursday, March 25, 2010

FISH results are back

We got the FISH results back today from the Denver clinic.

This was the test looking just at the X and Y chromosomes, because the Denver clinic worried we may be more prone to polyploidy than, well, regular infertile people.

And while the results are not at all what we were hoping for, we are also not out of the running yet.

In sum, we got three normal, one no result, and three abnormal.

So in only 48 hours, and testing only one pair of chromosomes, we're down to (gulp) half of our blastocysts.

Here's the detailed version:

Embryo #03: Day 6 blast, 4AA: Fertilized with Day 2 ICSI: No diagnosis
Embryo #05: Day 7 blast, 4AB: NORMAL!
Embryo #06: Day 7 blast, 6BB: NORMAL!
Embryo #07: Day 6 blast, 4BB: NORMAL!
Embryo #10: Day 6 blast, 3BB: XXX
Embryo #15: Day 6 blast, 4BB: XXY
Embryo #18: Day 6 blast, 3AB: mosaic (6 cells normal, 1 cell XYY, 1 cell XXY). Mitotic error

All seven blastocysts will also be tested using microarray to check all chromosomes, so hopefully the no result will have a result that way.

There is no way to tell with the XXX or XXY if these are trisomies (just one extra X on each) or polyploidies (a full extra set of chromosomes, including the sex chromosomes). We'll have to combine these results with the microarray results down the line to determine that. But it doesn't matter; they are out of the running either way.

So how are we feeling? I want to tell you I'm happy with these results. That Will and I did fist pumps and are looking on the bright side and know that all will be ok.

But I'll be honest with you. Will and I were crestfallen at the news. We both (obviously, erroneously) thought that these results were going to be almost certainly good and that it would be when we got the the bulk of the chromosomes with the microarray that we would be facing longer odds. We hadn't discussed it ahead of time, but it turns out we were both expecting to get all normals, or maybe one abnormality in the bunch.

You gotta watch those expectations because they will come back to bite you in the ass every time. You would think we would know this by now, wouldn't you? Do we never learn?

As I listened to the genetics counselor's voice message detailing the news, I felt my face drain of color and tears well up in my eyes.

In a desperate attempt to avoid despair, I called her back and she reminded me that sex chromosome aneuploidies are among the most common aneuploidies. OK. Good point.

And she also reminded me that we're not really facing down the prospect of needing 22 more chromosome pairs to be normal (which seems impossible to Will and I since already just looking at one pair, we've lost half of our cohort). She said she's never seen chromosomes 1, 2, or 3 come up abnormal in the results, because these embryos would most likely not even make it to blast stage, so hey, at least there's only 19 more pairs that we need to hope we somehow beat the odds on. Ugh. Not so reassuring, really, but I guess it's something.

I'm extra worried because two of the three normals we got are the Day 7 blasts. While I am so, so appreciative that the lab went the extra distance and cultured and biopsied these (otherwise, we'd have ONE normal right now), I also can't forget that the head embryologist told me to really not count on those two because they were so slow growing and that they were likely abnormal and that even if they are normal, they are basically unknowns in his book (since even Denver doesn't work with Day 7 blasts), and probably less likely to implant after a transfer. Sigh. If that's true, then we're really down to ONE blastocyst that could be our golden child.

Strangely enough, the genetics counselor was actually pleased with the results. She told me that with our history, she'd expected we'd have a number of abnormalities crop up and is thrilled we still have three normals to work with (although she didn't know that two of our three normals were the day 7 blasts).

So despite my tears, I will try to see the world through her eyes. We are not out of the game yet.

All it takes is one. But damn, we are disappointed. Can't we catch a break already?


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  1. I know it's not exactly the news you were hoping for, but three normals is great I think. And maybe the 'no result' will turn out to be normal with the microarray.

    No matter how many times we go through IVF it's a freaking roller coaster every. single. time. Take care.

  2. Oh Mo, that must be so disappointing. Can you remind us what your prior results were - as in, what % of your miscarriages were because of sex chromosome polyploidy. Not sure if applying those same percentages to your 7 would be reassuring, but it might be?

    Regardless, I continue to pray that this works for you. And hear, hear Heather!

  3. That is so much to think about. I so hope that things work out for you. I'd be crying if I were you too, just from the stress of this whole process - it is SO MUCH to go through. Remember that and be patient with yourself. Go out to dinner, get a massage, do things to make yourself feel good. You really do need to be gentle with yourself through this trying time.

    Good luck! You are in my thoughts.

  4. Liz,

    Out of our five losses, two would have been picked up by this FISH testing:

    loss #1: monosomy x AND trisomy 21
    loss #5: triploidy - XXX69

  5. Aw crap, not what I anticipated reading when I came to check on you. I am so sorry it was not the news you were anticipating. I am rooting for the three, keeping you and Will in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. I'm so sorry that you didn't get the news you were hoping for. What a process. I'm thinking of you guys and rooting for your 3.

  7. While I wish all 6 had been 100% perfect, you've made it past this very big hurdle and still have 3, and that's pretty darned good. I'm wondering about the Day 6 4AA too - is it out of the running? With no diagnosis, will they test that one again?

    I agree with Kait. You've been going through so much, not even counting your history, but just with this cycle. It's normal for every bit of news to be extremely emotional. Don't give up. After losing 2 pregnancies and 3 total babies to chromsomal issues and with an AMH of .01 (not a typo), I was 100% convinced that I had no normal eggs left to create a good embryo and was told so by my first RE. My crazy 2nd RE convinced me to try one more time and somehow, against all odds ans stimming for EIGHTEEN days (when all his colleagues wanted to cancel me on Day 10), my body and RE seem to have eked out the (seemingly) one remaining healthy egg I have left. You do have good ones in there, even if the ratio is tougher than other people. I'll be sending you all the good mojo I can that one or two of these embies are the magic ones.

  8. Oh Mo, it is so hard to get news like this. And I fully understand you not feeling like shouting from the rooftops with joy. It is such a mixed blessing, knowing they are abnormal before transferring them is a good thing, but finding out you have less in the running is hard to hear, at any time.

    And don't fully count out the no result embie. I've read of many that come back normal on the second test, so maybe MA can give you a good answer for that one.

    (((HUGS)))) to you and Will as you digest this news.

  9. Aww crap - I was hoping that would be a positive lens on the result, but it is just kind of neutral. (I hope I didn't give you something else to worry about.) Were the other 3 unknown cause?

    I think, believe, and hope, that one of the 3 (or 4?) remaining ones is the one for you! And what hope you will have if you get a golden embryo out of this, right?

    One thing I have learned through this process, although it seems I am going to keep learning it for a while, is that IF science only takes us so far. Sometimes the day 3 slowpoke is the best blast, sometimes the 'extra' 'crappy' embryo they throw in with the two perfect ones sticks and you get triplets. I mean, no disputing the chromosomal issues, but I still think there is hope for your day 7 blasts despite the embryologists thoughts about them.

  10. Liz,

    Thanks for stopping back by. Actually, we have no genetic info on two of our losses, so 2/3 of our losses would have been picked up by this sex chromosome testing.

    so that IS something sorta hopeful to chew on. And I appreciate your help in trying to find the positive lens on this.


  11. I'm sorry the results were not what you were hoping for. And you are right, expectations are a killer:(

  12. I'm so sorry for the disappointment. I'm hoping out some hope for those day sevens. Stranger things have been known to happen. Keep your chin up.

  13. I understand your disappointment. I am a little surprised and shocked too.

    You aren't out of the game yet. There is still hope as long as you are not at zero.

    I know that this information is going to make the rest of your wait so hard. I can't imagine. I am the most impatient person when it comes to this stuff.

    Take care of yourself and keep busy.

    And the sevens are not out..just uncharted territory.

  14. I like what Liz said -- you really never know. A friend of mine did IVF with a blast that none of the doctors thought had a chance because it appeared to be of really poor quality, but it was their last chance (financially) so they went through with it anyway. And now they have a baby girl. I really hope they are wrong about the prospects for your day 7 blasts and you really do have 3 or 4 chances left.

  15. Mo, I'm sorry that the results weren't more positive. But you still have 3. And maybe 4! I agree with Megan: Day 7 blasts aren't bad, they just are a new frontier! Just think, you may be personally pushing the boundaries of medical science to be a future help to other couples!

    I'm thinking of you both, and hoping that the the microarray results are stellar for the remaining embryos.

  16. I can't imagine your disappointment right now, combined with the NY six not making it. I am still really hopeful for the remaining three.

    I keep thinking that atleast they are weeding out the abnormals and sparing you another heartbreak of loss.

    I am praying for the three and that it results in a successful pregnancy. Hang in there. We are all rooting for you and Will!

  17. Disappointment seems like a natural response to me, too. But three--and possibly four!--is more than a small bit of hope. I'm pulling for you, that the microarray brings good news.

  18. OK, that is not wonderful perfect news, but it's not the worst, either. You still have 3 or 4 to work with, and hey - remember that research you did on day 7 blasts? Hang in there. I'm sorry you're not fist-bumping, but I hope you're not weeping tonight either. There's definitely still room to hope by my standards, anyway. Thinking of you two. Call if you want to rant.

  19. Hi, here from ICLW. And wow, that is a lot of info. I'm so sorry the results weren't what you were hoping. But like people said above, you've still got 3 or 4 to work with here. I'm praying for you, and hoping as hard as I can one of those IS your golden baby. Best of luck!!!

    ICLW #105

  20. That IS hard news, and I can understand why you feel deflated. But I am taking heart in what the genetic counselor said- about sex chromosome aneuploidies being among the most common. I am hoping that this is the end of the not-great news and that the rest of the results give you reason to hope. And, hey- I wouldn't give up on those day 7s, either.

    Sending strength and hope to you guys, Mo. I so wish this were easier.

  21. I'm pretty familiar with that whole expectations and ass biting thing. I am so sorry Mo. But 3! maybe 4! I am thinking that is really great to know some are ok via the first screening. I would have been terrified to get those results.

    that being said, it also sucks rocks. It sucks because say 7 would be better. I totally get that.

    But in this moment, you have a triad or quad of hopefuls and that does indeed rock.
    As I've said in other ways

    and that is a very very good thing.

    Thinking of you and sending love.
    Wish I could buy you a decaf and talk a while with one of our favorite brooklynites.


  22. You got a lot of normals if you think about it. I think your results are fabulous!!! :)

  23. I have been following your blog for a couple of months now. I just wanted to say, I am praying for you guys. I truly hope this works for you. Hang in there.

  24. It's so hard when there is just 1 really good one to work with, to keep up the hope, and find the positive vibes again. I'm sorry, I'm sorry it hasn't been an easy road for you.

    All it does take is one though....just one to make it all the way....keep faith in that.


  25. I know you are terribly disappointed, but, keep your head up! You've gone this far to lose hope now.


  26. *ouch*

    That is kind of rough news. I hope you are surprised with good news from the microarray analysis.

  27. Hmmm, as others have said, while not the news you may have been wishing for, it's not the worst news you could have gotten either (does that cover the spectrum?!)

    Maintain cautious optimism that the microarray brings its own favorable news. I will be willing the universe for it.

  28. Mo,

    You (and Sprogblogger) are such an example to the community (e.g. me) about keeping hope alive in spite of really tough circumstances.

    This is going to be a long 6 weeks to hear the results!


  29. sorry it wasnt the news your were wanting! ((hugs))

  30. This is so hard. Please take care of yourself.

  31. So sorry that you didn't get better news. I'm going to hod out hope for you that those that are normal now are still normal after the rest of the testing, and that iy turn out that the sex chromosomes have already revealed all the abnprmal ones. Wishing you fortitude and patience as you await the results.

  32. I wish the news were a bit better, but I'm crossing my fingers for those day 7 survivors. Of course, I hope that this all is academic, and that one of those embies becomes a take-home baby. Good luck..crossing my fingers for you.

  33. I'm sorry about the disappointing news. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you guys and hope for more good news to come your way. ((Hugs))

  34. I know that's not the greatest news BUT it seriously is not the worst.

    I always feel that ANSWERS and INFO are all good; at least you know what you're in for and are not going on blind hope (although you two are long past that :))

    Still, this crappy IF is ALWAYS a rollercoaster emotionally so take good care of yourself - chocolate cake, bubble baths, retail therapy and if all else fails, a good kickboxing class to get rid of the stress!


  35. Sigh. I know that, speaking just for myself, that just the fact of knowing helps a little. Even when it hurts a lot.

  36. I'm sorry that the results were not as positive as you might have hoped, but echoing the other women here, 3 is still 3, and a 7 day blast is just an unknown, not necessarily a negative.

    You and Will have been remarkably strong and resilient through everything -- this cycle, previous cycles and losses -- I'm impressed as all hell. Know that we are thinking about you from the other side of the park.

  37. Oh, Mo! I missed this post yesterday. Wasn't expecting news this soon. Wish I knew what to say to make it better. I do think Niobe is right. Knowledge helps, even when it hurts. Those abnormal blasts will not be miscarriages. For that, I'm grateful. And you're still in the game.

    Big hug!

  38. I'm so sorry that it's been disappointment after disappointment lately. Just think of the narrowing down as eliminating some more potential disappointment down the line.
    Hope is such a two faced biatch. The more you hope the more you have to lose, the less you hope the less you feel like you can continue on.
    Take care of yourself through this, I can't imagine how draining it is.
    Sending you good vibes

  39. Hi Mo, just a suggestion; because Denver don't grow blasts to day 7 and have never transferred a day 7 before, they have no data as to their implantation potential and so while the CCRM expectations may be low, this may not be borne out in reality??? Am hoping you still have 4 to play with. Hang in there and I hope your MA results come SOON xxx ps: I too have had had disappointing news from the GC and my heart goes out to yours; it is beyond difficult and I did find the GC I spoke to curiously upbeat even though the news was bad. It did not make me feel any better xxx

  40. Sorry it wasn't the news you were hoping for. Wishing you all the best of luck.

    ICLW #33

  41. Hugs to you and your DH. Let's just try and keep thinking positive....I know, I know, easier said than done.



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