Thank you for all of the calls, texts and emails over the last few days. Yinz guys sure know how to make a girl feel loved!
My Mom & Jerry took excellent care of me on Friday and Saturday. I’m proud to say I was a stellar patient! I watched almost the whole first season of Game of Thrones and basically just laid around. I must say…it’s hard to be lazy when you don’t feel sick! Quite the opposite…I feel great! The bloating is slowly going away and would probably be non-existent if I haven’t been eating everything in sight! I read something online (yes, I did…let it go) that said you’re supposed to make sure you’re getting enough to eat so your body doesn’t think it’s starving. Something about being well fed will create an environment where your body thinks it’s able to carry a pregnancy…blah, blah, blah. Basically, I eat when I’m bored…and laying around is boring. But not to worry, I’m whipping us (yes, us…I make Jerry eat with me) back into shape with some healthy meals this week. I’m going to do myself any favors gaining 10 lbs during this process.
So I realize I didn’t get into too much detail about the actual Embryo Transfer. If you have to go through this at some point, know that besides the full bladder thing, it’s the easiest part. At least it was for me. Jerry was allowed to be in the room with me, they play soothing spa music and it’s actually quite peaceful. It’s not painful, just some pressure. And we got to see our little guys all tucked away in my uterus via ultrasound after it was complete.
I also forgot to mention that, because of my age, Dr. S recommended we use Assisted Hatching as part of our process.
So, what is Assisted Hatching? Let me explain.
After an egg is fertilized in the laboratory, the cells begin to divide. During these initial stages of development, the embryo is contained in a layer of proteins known as the zona pellicuda. In order to successfully implant into the uterine lining, an embryo has to hatch out of the zona pellucida and attach to the walls of the uterus.
Assisted hatching is a newer lab technique that was developed when fertility experts observed that embryos with a thin zona pellucida had a higher rate of implantation during IVF. With assisted hatching, an embryologist uses micromanipulation under a microscope to create a small hole in the zona pellucida. This happens on the fourth day of embryo development when the embryos contain an average of six to eight cells.
The embryos are stabilized by a holding pipette, and on the opposite side a small pipette containing an acidified solution creates a small defect in the zona pellucida. The embryos are then rinsed to remove any excess acid solution and returned to the incubator for a few hours before transfer into the uterus.
So, with that, I think we’re up to date!
In case you would like to follow along at home, here’s what is happening with our little embryos
|Day Past Transfer (DPT)|
|Sat 5/11||One||The embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula|
|Sun 5/12||Two||The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst|
|Mon 5/13||Three||The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell|
|Tues 5/14||Four||The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus|
|Wed 5/15||Five||The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation|
|Thurs 5/16||Six||Implantation continues|
|Friday 5/17||Seven||Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop|
|Sat 5/18||Eight||Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream|
|Sun 5/19||Nine||Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted|
|Mon 5/20||Ten||Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted|
|Tues 5/21||Eleven||Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy|
|Thurs 5/23||Thirteen||Blood test to detect pregnancy|
I’ve been asked whether or not I’ll be taking a home pregnancy test (HPT) prior to the blood test. The answer is…I’m going to try not to. There are a lot of false results that you can get from a HPT and I won’t be doing myself any favors getting worked up one way or the other. So I”m going to try and wait until Thursday. But to know me is to know that I am THE most impatient person on the planet. So, we shall see :).