We had a phone consult with our doctor on Friday. He was very impressed with our egg and blastocyst count. His exact words were “hall of fame.”
I asked about the 50% DNA testing failure. He confirmed it was a high rate of abnormal blasts for a young donor like ours which lead him to believe that the sperm were contributing to the anomalies. The clinic has seen this scenario before, where a repeat donor has different rates of abnormality with different male partners. (This also likely explains why we had such a low number of embryos with the first donor–three–and perhaps why none of them were successful–we didn’t test them.)
That said, he is thrilled with the number of blasts we have (10) and assured us that they are all equally good quality. He said repeatedly that we have more blasts than we will ever use. Then he asked if we had a calendar, and I had to say no because we’re still waiting on cycle day 1.
Waiting on cycle day 1 (CD1–the first day of a woman’s menstrual cycle) is a contentious topic for infertile couples for a lot of different reasons. For some women, CD1 is evidence of yet another month of failure, spiraling them into another bout with disappointment-induced depression. For others, it’s a shining moment of joy because fertility work revolves around CD1, so it’s arrival signals the beginning of a hopeful timeline.
When we were trying naturally, CD1 didn’t really upset me. I understood from the start that it was very unlikely that we’d conceive right away. Most women don’t. And at my age, I knew it would take some time. So, we just kept trying and waiting. Then we started calculating and tracking, and CD1 became the marker for planning and scheduling.
When it became clear that we weren’t going to conceive on our own, CD1 took on another significance. It became the basis for taking medications and making appointments. When the clomid didn’t work, CD1 was evidence we needed to find an expert.
For the last couple of years, CD1 has been the marker for testing, medication, and procedure schedules. This month is no different–except I screwed it up.
I don’t quite remember what all was going on last month, but I do know that I was busy and stressed and quite frankly didn’t care much, so I failed to note the date of August’s CD1. It didn’t really matter because our donor’s CD1 was much more important. On my CD1, I do remember thinking that I wasn’t too far behind our donor, and I think I made a note about the approximate date a while later.
Unfortunately, my poor record keeping now means I don’t know the projected date of September’s CD1.
It’s now September 22. According to my inaccurate note, I’m late by over a week. I’m fairly regular, but it’s not unheard of for my cycle to go long by up to a week once or twice a year. But I have no way of being sure where I’m really at now.
Part of me, like all infertile women I know, wonders . . . what if? Should I test? Most of me–the vast majority, in fact–knows that I shouldn’t waste my time or energy. While I cannot say that it’s completely impossible that I could be pregnant, it is extremely unlikely. Frankly, I don’t want to be pregnant. If I was, between my poor egg quality and whatever is going on with my husband’s sperm, the pregnancy would most likely end in miscarriage, and it would just mean more wasted time before we can transfer.
Ultimately, though, my poor record-keeping doesn’t matter much. We can’t do anything until CD1 anyway, and there’s not much do to but wait.