Today I received a most wonderful email from my coordinator. The IP’s and healthy embryo are ready to enter a transfer cycle! That means when my next cycle starts we will begin monitoring (more blood work and ultrasounds) at a local IVF center. All information will be related back to my primary IVF doctor in California. Hormones will be prescribed. And ultimately, if all looks well, a transfer date will be set for some time in March.
After having been paired with these IP’s since July 2014, finally arriving to this point is very surreal and exciting. It almost doesn’t seem like we have actually reached this stage. I won’t have high hopes to come dashing down again until monitoring starts. But that’s me and a way to keep from going through too many ups and downs.
A fun tid bit, I was also reminded by the IP’s to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and to maintain a healthy diet. With my previous pregnancies I followed a lot of the Bradley method dietary suggestions and birth preparations. I don’t anticipate treating this pregnancy any differently. Plenty of fresh produce and high protein. Greek yogurt and chicken breast are two of my main protein go to ingredients. Time to brush off some recipes and stash healthy snacks for the first trimester starvation mode.
Blood draws (routine venipuncture) are a part of any pregnancy, but when you add in the surrogacy aspect that just ups the ante. I just had my first blood draw in several months and it was a rather pleasant experience. The entire appointment reminded me how big of a difference a gentle phlebotomist can make. It also helps take your mind off of the filling tube when you can pass those few minutes with pleasant conversation. I alarmed my poor phlebotomist when I snapped a picture of my arm in the tourniquet. “What are you doing?!” When I explained that I am in the process of becoming a surrogate and that I am documenting the process on a blog but thought it best to take the picture when there wasn’t a needle in my arm, she responded “oh… good idea.” That led to further conversation and as I left with my gauze bandaged arm I was wished “good luck with the surrogacy!”.
After anxiously awaiting an update I received word that we are anticipating a transfer in March! The embryos are almost ready and are going through PGS.
Genesis-24, also known as Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), is an IVF procedure designed to examine your embryos for chromosomal abnormalities. An embryo biopsy is taken either at day 3 or day 5 and Genesis-24 is used to examine all 24 chromosomes—the 22 non-sex chromosomes plus the two sex chromosomes (X & Y) in time for your embryo transfer. Chromosomal abnormalities can result in aneuploidy (embryos having the wrong number of chromosomes – i.e. extra copy of chromosome 21 also known as Downs Syndrome), translocations (chromosomes incorrectly rearranged), or other chromosome alterations that may be clinically significant. Genesis-24 aims at improving pregnancy and live birth rates by screening your embryos for chromosomal abnormalities and only implanting chromosomally normal embryos.
For more information on PGS visit http://genesisgenetics.org/pgs/