We’re home!! It was a long week but we are finally back in Missoula.
Monday morning was the retrieval procedure. Things could not have gone smoother. My anesthesiologist was fantastic – made the perfect cocktail for me to fall sound asleep. No offense, but I now realize why Michael Jackson enjoyed Propofol so much – that is one yummy drug 🙂 The entire procedure was very quick, lasting no more than 20 minutes. I woke up well-rested and comfortable, although the real excitment came when my nurse told me they had retrieved 19 eggs. YAHOO! Way more than we had expected so we were pleasantly surprised.
Tuesday morning the nurse called to tell me that of the 19 eggs, 17 of them were mature (not sure how though, as I am one of the most immature people I know) and of those 17, 14 of them had fertilized. Kudos must be given to Gabriel’s sperm – impressive!!
So, now we wait…the worst part. The nurse will call me again on Thursday to let me know, of those 14 fertilized eggs, how many of them are dividing cells appropriately and moving towards becoming blastocysts. A quick biology lesson for those who have forgotten from 6th grade.
A blastocyst is a structure specific to mammals and is formed during the embryogenesis process of reproduction. It has 2 parts: an embryoblast, which eventually forms the embryo, and the trophoblast, which later forms the placenta. With all blastocysts, they begin formation on the 5th day after fertilization, and this is the same for all humans, regardless of fertilization occuring within the body or in vitro (which, in Latin, means in glass).
So, technically, today (Tuesday) is day 1 in the process – as the eggs officially fertilized sometime yesterday after the retrieval. The hope is that, by day 5 (Saturday), some or at least 1 of the fertlized eggs will have formed into blastocysts. My reproductive endocrinologist only performs day 5 transfers, meaning that if the structure is not officially a blastocyst by that day, they will be allowed to grow until they are properly formed, then frozen and transfered back into the utureus at a later time (often, 6-10 weeks later). The reason for that is a whole other biology lesson, one in which I don’t feel like teaching right now….Google It !!
It’s strange, knowing that for weeks, I grew these eggs in my ovaries, now they are sitting in a dish in Spokane, hundreds of miles from me in Missoula, with hopes that one will eventually turn into a screaming, pooping and mess of a baby. Strange but intriguing process…one that I am extremely grateful for.
Some might say (and actually, have said) that what Gabriel and I are doing is “wrong” – that is, playing with science to create life. Screw that – we are going to be awesome parents…what difference does it make how we get there. Maybe someday we’ll be able to conceive a child without medical intervention, but in the meantime, I am so grateful for the advances in technology and medicine that have allowed us to travel down this road.
Now if only medicine and technology could be advanced enough to, overnight, shrink the size of my ass 🙂 For now, I’ll take the embryo and wait for advances in ass-shrinking to come after a pregnancy!!