Saturday, March 19, 2011
Faith and Hope
Today is Aaron's and my 6th wedding anniversary, so it seems appropriate to post today. Above you'll see our blastocysts (that's what embryos are called after 5 days) that were transferred on Wednesday. It truly is amazing. The one on the right is a full blastocyst. It's about 200 cells. The darker mass of cells on the right is what will form the baby. The smoother cells to the left form the amniotic fluid. The thicker cells around the outside for the placenta. How amazing is that?!?!?! I could stare at this picture for hours and marvel at the intricacy, the ingenuity, the beauty. This picture was taken a couple hours before the transfer, and when the transfer was taking place we could see the one on the right emerging from it's cellular cocoon, "hatching" as they call it, and sliding out of its shell. A 5 day transfer like we were able to do this time has a greater likelihood of success, as they are able to choose the most developed embryos for transfer. In our case, on day 5 we had 3 embryos, one at the full blast stage (the one on the right) and two that weren't quite there (like the one on the left). After much thought and prayer, we decided to transfer 2. I'm really glad we did, because the next day we got some sad news. The 3rd embryo never developed into a blastocyst, and thus could not be frozen. So it's these two we're praying for right now. Aaron suggested we call them "blasty" and "cysty". I guess I'm more poetic, as I've decided to refer to them as "Faith" and "Hope" from Hebrews 11:1: Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
The days leading up the transfer were crazy! Our surrogate and her family came into town on Sunday, expecting a Monday transfer and then a return to Portland on Tuesday. On Monday we got the news that we had enough embryos to wait until a Wednesday transfer. Thus "Lisa" and her family stayed in town for the Wednesday transfer and returned to Portland on Thursday. I felt so bad about the change in plans, but Lisa was great about it, and their family made a mini-vacation out of it. Perhaps best, Aaron and I got to spend a lot of time with them, dinner on Sunday and Tuesday, hanging out on Wednesday. It was wonderful. Tuesday was the hearing in the Senate committee...and let me tell you, that's a whole different blog entry coming up! The "Anti"s for our bill were out in full force spewing rhetoric that made me cringe. What was supposed to be a quick hearing lasted about 2 1/2 hours with a half an hour prep before. But, as I said, that's another blog entry. If you'd like a preview, another woman has already blogged about it: here.
The transfer itself was more uncomfortable this time. Lisa has to have a full bladder, and this time it was VERY full. The pressure of the wonderful "duckbill" holding things open, the tube for inserting the blasts, and the ultrasound wand pressing down were a bit much. And yet, I got a flash forward to 9 months from now. Lisa was grimacing and I reached out my hand and held hers. It felt so natural, and boy does she have a grip! I'll have to exercise my hand squeezing skills! It was wonderful to not just be an observer and watch our little embry-babies make their journey into her womb, but to really be in the moment with her. Breathing with her, following her lead, supporting her, and being actively involved in the process, not just a passive observer.
So now we wait. Next Friday is the date when we will get word. Until then, we pray, and hang on to faith and hope with confidence and assurance.