This year has been one of the most joyful and peaceful Christmas seasons in my adult life.
I have loved having my family close and it's been beyond amazing to have so much hope and happiness all around. Magic has been everywhere and it has felt really nice to just sit back and soak it all in this month. Truthfully, I can't bear the thought of it ending.
So it won't.
I had a really good conversation with Dr. H last Friday night when he called to tell me that he had to unexpectedly leave town due to the illness of his aging father. Unfortunately, he would not be able to perform our transfer but he was kind to call and we had a great conversation about what would happen from that point forward. He had just briefed his associate, my former Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), and although he would be on a plane when the report came out from the embryologist, he promised to get a briefing as soon as he landed on what took place. I very much recognize that this isn't what most people experience with their RE and I feel immensely blessed to be in such capable and professional hands.
On Saturday morning Mr. Thompson and I went in for our 3-day consult with his replacement Dr. B and the Embryologist, Dr. R. With 7 of the 16 fertilized eggs being "excellent" & "good" quality embryos and the rest being "fair" or "poor"...we had some important decisions to make.
Transfer at Day-3? Wait and see what made it to Day-5?
Last time we only came out with 2 Day-5 Blastocysts despite so many eggs... so this time we were understandably a little more conservative. We went back and forth because different doctors do different things and certainly have different opinions based upon different experience.
Dr. B had an opinion and would have waited until Day-5... but I kept asking what Dr. H would do.
If we went with a Day-3 transfer, Dr. B would have transferred 3 embryos... but I kept asking what Dr. H would do.
In the end we decided to transfer 2 embryos on Day-3 and freeze the remaining 5 good ones so we could have future options.
Yeah, that was Mr. Thompson's decision and it nearly floored me when he said it in the doctor's office. You heard me right, Mr. Thompson wants future options.
After all, it's what Dr. H would do.
So we transferred two embryos - a 12 cell and an 8 cell. With a wink, Dr. R (Embyrologist) told us we were doing exactly the right thing (and oh by the way he said, Dr. H would NOT have transferred 3!).
The best part was that while we waited after the nurse prepped me for the transfer, Dr. R opened the door to the embryo lab in an obvious display of holiday spirit and walked us through all of our petri dishes and step-by-step of the assisted hatching of the chosen two. He put his microscope on a TV monitor for me, and from the lab (a few steps from the operating room and where I could see him) we watched the whole process on the big screen from his microscope. The Assisted Hatching was way cool and I can't tell you how many times the groovy Dr. R said, "Isn't this righteous?!" like a giddy five-year old on Christmas morning.
After he was done and while we were waiting for Dr. B to come in so Dr. R could suck them up into the catheter for transfer (which we also later saw as well), I asked Dr. R about his new incubators which Dr. H had told me about over the phone. That was when Dr. R did something that surprised us all by inviting Mr. Thompson to come check it out. The nurse's jaw dropped and she incredulously whispered, "I haven't even been allowed back there in that lab!". Mr. Thompson got a first hand look and saw the new gazillion-dollar incubators, which are some of the first of their kind in the US. They keep a pretty tight control on the lab so this was cool. (Don't worry Mr. Thompson was "suited up" and sterile.)
Our transfer ended up going without a hitch with Dr. B so now we wait...
In a perfect world this is what we are waiting for:
1 Day Past Transfer (DPT) - The embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula (not sure how this works with ours because they were already a 12 and 8 cell...)
2DPT - The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst
3DPT - The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
4DPT - The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus (Today!)
5DPT - The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
6DPT - Implantation continues
7DPT - Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
8DPT - Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
9DPT - Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
10DPT - Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
12DPT - Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy (January 3!)
As far as those future options, we froze the remaining 5 excellent/good quality embryos and let the remaining "fair" and "poor" continue in the lab to see what would happen. Dr. R called this morning with a report and we had another 3 "fair/poor" embryos change their mind and make it to a Day-6 Blastocyst, so those went into the freezer on Christmas as well.
Wow! 2 transferred and 8 frozen. Can you believe it?
All is calm. All is bright.
1 day ago