A Letter from your Embryologist

Dear patient,

I know you are probably scared and I know you are likely confused. How do I know this? Because A LOT of patients tell me this, so I can tell you, you are not alone.

I’m not going to lie, I have no idea how your previous weeks of injections, blood tests, internal scans and doctors appointments have gone. I think about this when I see each and every one of you. I wonder how you can get through it and if you actually get used to it. I wonder if I ever could have done it myself. I feel your pain because I know how it feels to long for a baby and be completely convinced it may never happen.

I know how it feels to stare at a pregnancy test for what seems like hours and then throw it in a bin only to dig it out sever times over the next few hours. I know how it feels to get months of negative tests and finally get pregnant! But I also know how it feels to get to the ultrasound only to hear “I’m sorry but it doesn’t have a heartbeat.”

I’m one of the lucky ones, I know. I have two miracles now and it’s being a mother that made me go out on this journey to help people in the laboratory and I am urged to tell you this.

I really feel for each and every one of you, and I will share tears with you, if you need me to, I will sit in silence with you. You may have a hundred questions for me or may be so confused you don’t know where to start. One thing you need to know- the questions you have are the same questions everyone else has and you do not need to be scared to ask.

Some of my basic advice that patients fine helpful is:

-Don’t become focused on embryo quality, poor embryos make babies too!

-You will likely lose a lot of eggs and embryos along the way. It’s actually common to only have 50% of your eggs fertilize and then out of of those, only a few make it to day 3. Even further, only a portion of those make it to a blastocyst on day 5.

-Prepare for the unexpected. Your success depends on multiple factors such as stimulation, fertilization, embryo development, endometrial development and a lot of patients don’t realize this at the beginning.

However! Please know,

-If you get poor results one cycle, you may actually do way better next time as there are so many things that can be changed.

-If you are freaked out and overwhelmed commencing treatment, know that behind the scenes, we see so many patients get pregnant quickly.

-I’ve seen patients get failed fertilization one cycle and get pregnant the next cycle. I’ve seen patients devastated to only get one egg collected and then get pregnant with that one egg.

The person you are when you walk through those boots into a fertility clinic is not the same person you will be when you walk out those doors, whether you get pregnant or not. Whatever the end of your journey is, it’s going to be okay. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.


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