Yesterday was transfer day. Wow what a big day! Our transfer was scheduled for 11:30, so we arrived at 11 for Jenn's bloodwork. After that, we went into the same area where I had gotten ready for my egg retrieval.
This is where they gave me what will hopefully be our first baby pictures (click on image to see both images)! Introducing... Embryo A and Embryo B (I know, not very creative). The embryo on the left was a Stage 1 blastocyst when the picture was taken early that morning. By the time it was transferred into Jenn, it was between a Stage 1 and Stage 2 blastocyst. The embryo on the right was a morula when the picture was taken, by the time it was transferred it was a Level 1 blastocyst.
Side Note: Embryology 101 (by Marc, edited by me)
The morula stage is usually reached by Day 3 after the embryo reaches eight cells. This stage is significant because in order for a morula to become a blastocyst, a large number of genes must be activated and expressed for the *first time.* Morulas and blastocysts are able to actively replicate their own DNA which causes them to grow and develop. The difference between morulas and blastocysts is that blastocysts are able to differentiate (this means the cells are able to form specialized proteins and cell structures that first form the placenta and the fetus, then later specialized body parts such as the heart, lungs, liver, etc.).
There are about five stages of blastocyst development, where a large, fluid filled cavity is formed within the cell and highly specialized smaller cells and proteins are localized at certain areas throughout the cell. The first to be developed are the placenta and the fetus.
Both of our embryos were similar to the early blastocyst stage as seen here. Once in Jenn's uterus, they should continue to expand until they "hatch" and implant themselves. This should have happened later the night of transfer or the next morning (yes, it's that fast!).
Later, on the 7-8th day the embryos will "infect" (Marc's word) the uterine wall for implantation. The embryo will secrete enzymes that will destroy capillaries in the uterus so that it can implant itself inside the uterine wall and latch on to Jenn's blood vessel(s). The destruction of blood vessels will also promote the uterus to make new and more blood vessels for support. (This is why they say some spotting is okay around days 7-8)
**end technical stuff here... on to fun stuff**
Here we are, waiting to go into the transfer room, with our nurse Barb and Jenn's Transfer Day gift basket
We had matching green socks for luck..
and matching green fingernails!
Our embryos were wheeled in the transfer room in an incubator. My eyes burned from trying to hold back my tears. I couldn't believe they were right there!
Jenn's ready to go! Her spirits were so high and she was so excited! Marc and I are just so happy that God chose her to be our surrogate.
This image is difficult to make out, but this is Jenn's uterus just after transfer. They put two bubbles in the catheter which come out as small bits of light. It's how they know the embryos are in there, as they are microscopic. Here, the streak of light can be seen. Our embies are in there somewhere!