10 Little Embryos Sitting in a Freezer…

This is a rough list of most of the procedures I underwent while trying to get pregnant and have a family using IVF assisted reproduction technology. It is a deliberately clinical run down with no mention of the financial or emotional toll IVF had on our lives, our finances, our marriage or our relationships with our families and friends.  A good deal of these aspects of my IVF experiences has been documented elsewhere on my blog should anyone wish to read them.

I have ten embryos in the freezer… and I don’t know what to do with them.   🙁

20/01/00 Missed abortion
04/02/00 TSI 2 eggs (-)ve
18/04/00 IUI 3 eggs (-)ve
09/05/00 IUI 3 eggs (-)ve
16/05/00 IUI 5 eggs (-)ve
04/06/00 IUI 4 eggs (-)ve
13/07/00 Laparoscopy
21/08/00 TVEPU 15 eggs collected (14 fertilized)
23/08/00 Embryo Transfer 2 embryos (-)ve
08/09/00 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
01/11/00 FET 2 embryos (+)ve
25/06/01 LSCD – Live birth – Male 36.5 wks
04/10/02 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
04/11/02 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
09/12/02 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
13/01/03 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
06/03/03 TVEPU 14 eggs collected (14 fertilized)
10/03/03 Embryo Transfer 1 embryo to blastocyst (-)ve
02/05/03 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
04/07/03 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
10/09/03 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
14/10/03 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
12/12/03 Laparoscopy
20/12/03 Post-operative abdominal golden staph infection
12/01/04 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
03/03/04 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
28/01/05 TVEPU 17 eggs collected (8 fertilized)
31/01/05 Embryo Transfer 2 embryos (-)ve
02/03/05 FET 2 embryos (-)ve
11/04/05 TVEPU 20 (9 fertilized – ICSI)
16/04/05 Embryo Transfer 3 blastocysts (+)ve
31/05/05 D&C for Missed abortion
01/07/05 FET 3 embryos to blastocyst (-)ve
02/08/05 FET 2 embryos to blastocyct, and 3 TUI eggs (-)ve
07/09/05 TVEPU 15 eggs (15 fertilized)
09/09/05 Embryo Transfer 3 blastocysts (-)ve
02/11/05 FET 2 embroys to blastocycst (-)ve
01/01/06 Decision to stop IVF until Dad passes away
06/08/08 Missed Abortion

2009 – 10 embryos remain in storage

Total of 23 unsuccessful assisted reproduction cycles with a total of 61 implanted embryos that failed to develop into viable pregnancies.

embryo development frozen transfer

Terms explained:

TSI :- Timed Sexual Intercourse cycle – 10 days of Clomid to get eggs up, Injection of Profasi to cause ovulation

IUI :- Intra-Uterine Insemination cycle – 10 days of Clomid to get eggs up, Injection of Profasi to cause ovulation, sperm collected, cleaned up and replaced in top of uterus

Laparoscopy :- Removal of endometriosis, ovarian drilling to encourage follicular growth, tubal hydration to check for blockages.

TVEPU :-  TransVaginal Egg Pick Up – 19 days of Puregon self injections, Injection of Profasi, 35.5hrs later, follicles aspirated to collect eggs via vaginal wall, under general anaesthetic

Embryo Transfer :-
Transfer of fresh (unfrozen) embryos to uterus adhered with EmbryoGlu, 19 days luteal phase support by Crinone (progesterone) pessary

LSCD :- Lower Section Caesarean Delivery

FET :–  Frozen Embryo Transfer – Thawed embryos monitored to ensure cellular division, 14 days HRT, embryos transferred to uterus, 19 days luteal phase support as progesterone pessary.

Blastocysts :- Embryos that have been developed to a 8-12 cell stage instead of the normal 3-6… usually produces a higher incidence of conception.

D&C :– Dilation and curettage to remove non-viable foetal remains and endometrial tissue.

Missed Abortion:– Miscarriage, feotus failed to continue normal development.

Aotearoa Scallops with Pernod Sauce

I know this amazingly quaint restaurant called Fleur’s Place in Moeraki which is a small fishing village on the South Island of New Zealand, about an hour north of Dunedin.  It’s the most eclectic little seafood place that looks like an old fishing shed with an amazing gourmet menu of creative and unusual local dishes comprising entirely of locally grown produce and locally acquired seafood and meats.  Everything – all the seafood, vegetables, herbs, dairy products, you name it… it all comes from local producers.  I have had lunch there a couple of times now and have met Fleur, the restaurateur, who was a lovely lady that was amazed we had once driven four hours to come have lunch at her restaurant only to find it closed!

Anyway, the last time I was there I had an absolutely divine scallop dish which was so good I had to buy her recipe book so I could have a go at making it at home (which we duly did, but it didn’t turn out anywhere near as nice as theirs!).  Here’s the recipe –

Aotearoa Scallops with Pernod Sauce

Fleur's Place Moeraki New Zealand gourmet restaurant

24 Nelson scallops
1 onion, finally chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
50g butter
200 g belly bacon, cut into lardoons
6 button mushrooms
100ml Pernod
200ml cream

Ensure scallops are clean. Remove sinews and pat dry
In a large frying pan, soften the onion and garlic in the butter.
Add bacon lardoons and mushrooms, cook for 2-3 mins
Transfer vegetables and bacon to separate bowl
Heat pan again and add scallops to cover base of frying pan
Cook 2 mins on one side, turn and add vegetables and bacon back in
Deglaze pan by adding Pernod and allowing to flame
Add cream, cook for a further 2mins and then serve

If you’re ever in Dunedin, make sure you go for a drive and check out the Moeraki Boulders and do yourself a favour by stopping by the tiny fishing village of Moeraki and having a meal at Fleur’s Place… no matter how far out of your way it is, you won’t regret it!