December 16, 2010

Not sure how to title this....

The last couple of weeks have been, how do I say, less than uneventful.  November 27th started out as a normal day for me.  I hadn't started to have any symptoms of pregnancy as of yet, but I was only 5 weeks and 2 days at the time.  I spent the day with Josh and the boys and around 3pm I started to feel kind of odd.  I had been having back pain most of the day (I assumed due to a bladder infection I was diagnosed with on Thanksgiving day in urgent care) and around 3:30 or 4pm I started bleeding.  It wasn't a lot but it was enough to have me crying and concerned.  I immediately called our Nurse advice line and was told that if I was bleeding heavily I should come into the ER.  After I was off the phone, I contemplated calling R and C but I knew that if I tried to tell them I would start crying and they would freak out before even knowing if there was anything to be worried about.  So instead I called J, my coordinator at the Agency.  I tried to explain what was going on but it was hard to fight back the tears.  She calmed me down and explained that it could be totally normal.  She offered to call R and C for me and I was so happy about that.  We decided to leave it up to them whether or not I should go into the ER.  The least they could do for me was check my Beta levels and possibly give me an ultrasound to check for gestational sac(s).  J called me back and said R and C definitely wanted me to be seen that night, so off to the ER we went.

It was around 5pm when we got checked in.  The triage nurse explained that the ER was very busy that evening and the chances were good that the dr. would tell me it was a threatened miscarriage and there is nothing I would be able to do about it.  I explained the situation to the nurse and said there were others involved besides me.  She reluctantly signed me in.  When I went back to the room and met the Dr., I was less than pleased with his attitude.  His bedside manner was horrific.  He didn't ask me anything.  He showed no concern for me emotionally.  He did his job.  He told me there was nothing we could do if it was a miscarriage.  I explained that my IP's wanted to have a beta done to make sure my levels were rising.  He was okay with that.  I wanted a vaginal ultrasound and was practically laughed at.  He assured me that we wouldn't see anything on a vaginal ultrasound this early.  I said "not even a gestational sac?" (knowing the answer was yes) and he said "well, yes but that won't tell us anything."  I explained that I wasn't looking for answers, just reassurance.  He then said "Well, I can't guarantee your insurance will cover it." and I said that was fine; my IP's would be willing to cover it if my insurance didn't.  More laughs and a "well, we can order any test you want if they're paying!!"  I cannot believe people like that are allowed to practice.

So, now I wait.  He orders the bloodwork and my beta comes back at 8,372.  Awesome!!!  Even a little high!  I waited another hour or more for the ultrasound, which was understandable as they had to call in a tech.  I'm glad for this as I didn't want that Dr.s hands near me.  The ultrasound tech was AMAZING and probably my favorite person I've ever encountered at that hospital.  She showed care and genuine concern for my situation.  We did the ultrasound abdominally and didn't see much so we switched it to vaginal.  She then showed me what she saw.  One gestational sac and one yolk sac!!  YAY!!!!  A baby!!!!  I was thrilled but couldn't help but feel a little sad as well as confused.  We had beta numbers high enough for twins and really thought we had twins.  ***NOT FOR THE WEAK HEARTED---->(Later that night I passed what I believe to have been the other baby.  Without going into too much detail, I know that what came out of me wasn't "normal" and if there was still a gestational sac in me as we saw on the u/s, this had to have been the other one.)

After the ultrasound I waited another hour or more to see the Dr. again.  It turns out there was a shift change!  Thank goodness!!!  The new ER doctor was 10 times more amazing than Dr. Douchecanoe.  He was pleasant, explained my u/s results, what to expect in the following days, etc.  He genuinely cared about me and my physical AND emotional well-being.  It made me feel as though my concerns were real and valid.

I called R and C when I got home and told them about the ultrasound.  They were sad that there was only one baby and that we lost the other one, however, it's hard to be completely devastated when you know you can still have one very healthy baby.

That is our hope anyways...

November 27, 2010

The joys of POAS


Peeing On A Stick.

Sounds like fun right?  RIGHT!  I think I have peed on approximately 65 pregnancy tests in my life so far.  (I just peed on one this morning!)  It sounds crazy, I know.  But once you do it, you're addicted.  And when you have POAS pushers (a.k.a, the ninja's) you have no choice but to POAS multiple times a day. 

I started POAS at 2dp5dt (2 days past a 5 day transfer).  Normally people don't get a positive until around 5dp5dt, but what fun would it be to wait until day 5?  Peeing on day two gives us something to analyze. 

I got my first very very faint positive on the night of 2dp5dt. (above)  Now, do not be alarmed if you are unable to see it.  When you start POAS enough, your eyes will become automatically trained to find the second line.

On 3dp5dt this is what I got:  (it looks lighter than the previous day.  I've discovered that pee sticks do not like my FMU (first morning urine)). 

On the night of 4dp5dt, I took a FRER (first response early result) which is supposed to be the best, most sensitive test.  It was BFN (big fat negative).  I didn't understand how this was possible. So I ripped open one of my digital tests and peed.  Here's the outcome of that one:

I sent this picture to my IF's and got a call instantly!  They weren't together when they saw it, which was a little disappointing, but it's hard to be disappointed at all when you just found out you're expecting a baby!!!


Have I mentioned the Ninja's yet??  (Don't ask where this name comes from; it's a very long story)

A little background:  When I was newly pregnant with Elliot (my now 15 month old), I joined an online community called Babycenter.  If you've never experienced babycenter and you have children, you MUST.  GO!  NOW...I'll wait.........  Isn't it awesome?  I joined the August 2009 birth board.  There were approximately 5000 or more members on this board; all with babies due in August.  Over the first few months I had some encounters with some really amazing (and some not so amazing) women.  15 or so of them (and I) decided to form our own private group to create a smaller, more intimate setting.  I can now say, that two years later, these ladies are some of my best friends.  I've met over half of them in real life (one of them I met when I went down for my transfer) and I can honestly say they are some of the most amazing people I know.  I "talk" to them everyday and have for nearly 2 years.  If it weren't for them, I'm not sure I'd be who I am, and where I am today.

I love you ladies!


Tuesday, the 9th was transfer day.  I was nervous now.  I hadn't had any nervous feelings up until this point.  Lots of things were running through my head, but I made sure to keep them positive.  I truly believe that if you have ANY reservations about it, it's not going to work.  I didn't have reservations, but more questions.  Would it hurt?  Would 1 or 2 implant?  (they transferred 2 embryo's.)  When would I start testing to know?

R&C picked me up from the hotel around 11:30.  The clinic told us to be there at 1pm.  We decided to grab a light lunch at Panera before we headed over.  It was hard for me to eat.  My stomach was in knots and all I could think about was the transfer.  I managed to scarf down half a sandwich and an apple.  I tried to drink a bunch of water because they told me to come with a full bladder.

When we arrived at the clinic I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork.  I was shaking during this.  I'm not sure why, but I was just so anxious!  About 30 minutes later, they called me back.  R & C got up and asked if they were to come as well and the nurse looked at me as to ask "Is that okay?" and I said "yes, they're coming".  We walked into this small pre-op room.  The nurse took my vitals, had me take my meds, and told me to drink 2 full glasses of water.  WHAT??  I had already drank a bunch and needed to pee soooo bad.  I told her I'd drink one.  They were very serious about EVERYTHING.  I mean, yes, it's a serious matter, but wow!!  I went into the restroom to undress from the waste down and put on a gown, then wrap a blanket around myself.  I came out and R & C were in scrubs from head to toe!!!  HAHAHA!  It was great!  We took pictures, had some laughs, etc.  The nurses were still very serious and didn't understand what we found so humerus about the situation.  (We were wearing blue head scrubs for goodness sake!)  A new nurse came and walked me to the operating room.  (Yes, it was an ACTUAL operating room.)  I'd never experienced this before.  Very interesting.  I was instructed to get on the OR table and place my butt near the opening in the middle of the table.  NOT in it!  Just near it.  Then a nurse placed my feet in metal stirrups.  (I still had the blanket on, thank goodness!)  R & C were instructed to stand behind me by my head.  (also good!)

We finally got to meet the Doctor!  Very friendly guy.  He told R & C about their embryos.  He then picked the two best looking ones, one of R's, and one of C's.  2 lab guys went to go retrieve the embryos.  This took about 5 minutes but felt like an eternity, as I lay there with my feet in stirrups, two guys at my head, 3 nurses at my feet, a Doctor on a chair and my lady parts all out for the world to see.  (They could have at least covered me up until the embies were ready!!  Sheesh!)

The embies were finally here!  The lab guy brought them in, and the doctor used the long, needle like thing to insert them into my uterus!  Totally NOT painful at all.  I barely felt a thing.  We got to watch on the ultrasound monitor to see the catheter going in and releasing the embies.  Obviously they were too small to actually see on the monitor but he showed us the air bubble which was the vicinity of where the embies were released.  Then I was done!  (or so I thought.)  They closed me up (haha) and I lay on the table for another few minutes.  Two or three nurses then transferred me to a hospital bed.  (God knows I couldn't move on my own!!  I'd just been operated on!)  They then wheeled me to the "post-op" room where a nurse took my vitals.  R & C stayed with me the whole time and I'm so happy they did.  I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

In the post-op room, I was to lay flat for 30-45 minutes.  The guys and I talked.  We just chit chatted.  Suddenly my face started to feel really warm, which was weird because the rest of me was cold.  I asked the guys if my face was red.  They said yes and it was probably because they had my bed at a decline!  Bwahahaha!!! Obviously they wanted to make sure the embies didn't try to get out! (or fall out?)  I love that R & C found this as hilarious as I did.  After I was done "resting", I was told I could get up, put my clothes back on, and go to the bathroom (WHAT?!  They let me PEE??)  So I did that.  As I walked out of the bathroom to leave, I was scolded by a nurse that I was NOT to walk.  There stood a man with a wheelchair.  I was to be wheeled to the car.  The man with the wheelchair made sure they drove the car right up to me as I was not to take one step.  Wow.  SO, the guys drove me back to my hotel where I rested for the next 24 hours or so without getting up, except to pee.  That was fun!  (not!)

We were instructed that I was to be on strict bed-rest for 3 days, then light bed rest following until I got a positive beta (blood) test.

The "not so fun" family trip

Okay!  I just HAD to update!  It's been killing me not to say anything about my journey these past few weeks. 

We flew down on Saturday the 6th for a transfer on Tuesday the 9th.  Spent a lot of time with R and C and got to know each other better.  The boys just LOVE them and they are soooooo good with the boys. I just know that they will be amazing parents. 

The first night we got there Josh didn't feel well.  He stayed in the hotel while I took the boys our with R and C to eat dinner.  We had a nice dinner at the Rainforest Cafe and Jack LOVED the elephants.  On Sunday Josh was feeling a lot better so we decided to take a drive to the beach (about an hour drive) with the boys and R & C.  We had lunch there and let the boys play in the water.  It was windy and a bit chilly but they didn't care and loved every minute of it.  We got back Sunday afternoon and just stayed around the hotel until dinner, when we met the guys at a quaint little cafe that offered some healthy Mediterranean style meals.  Very enjoyable. 

Monday, possibly my last day of being 'un-pregnant', was the worst day ever!  We spent the morning shopping at the Galleria and got a phone call from C that R was up all night with food poisoning!  Eeep!  Not an hour later, Jack was complaining of a tummy ache.  Uh-oh.  So we headed back to the hotel.  From then on everything went downhill.  Jack was sick, Elliot was sick and I was convinced that I was going to be sick.  By some miracle of God, or Buddha, or Allah, I didn't end up getting sick. (The transfer was set for Tuesday and I didn't want to jeopardize anything by getting sick.)  It was a pretty rough day and evening, but I have THE most amazing husband in the world.  He slept on the pull out couch bed with Jack and Elliot (both of whom were sick) and he let me sleep in the King bed by myself.  Seriously.  What guy does that?  He's truly amazing.  Luckily both boys slept fairly well as did I!! 

November 4, 2010

On our way...

Well, we're on our way to transfer!!!  We will be leaving on Saturday and meeting C and R at the airport when our flight arrives.  The egg retrieval is TODAY and the transfer is set for Tuesday morning.  I'm more than excited!!  I will need to be on bed rest for the day of the transfer and then light bed rest the following 2 days.

I talked to R about what happens following the transfer.  I've obviously never done this before (surrogacy) but I have been pregnant and I know about what happens following conception. Ha!  From what I understand, I would be able to get a positive on a pregnancy test as early as 5 days past the transfer.  This is very exciting for anyone who knows anything about the 2WW(two week wait) and the glory of POAS(peeing on a stick). Well, I explained to R the options we had.  I could take a home pregnancy test and share the results with them immediately, OR I could just wait until the beta test two weeks after the transfer.  R said they would want to know as soon as possible, which made me very happy because I don't think I could stand waiting to POAS.  I also know that when you're a first time parent, believing a stick of plastic isn't easy.  It's more believable when confirmed by an actual doctor.  I assured R that I wouldn't tell them it was positive unless I was ABSOLUTELY SURE it was.  I've examined plenty of pee-sticks to know the difference so I am confident that it's something I can't mistake.

We also discussed WHEN to tell people.  This is where I fully submit to anything they want me to do (within reason).  When you're newly pregnant with your first child, many things go through your head.  What if it doesn't stick and I miscarry?  What if there's something wrong?  What if, what if, what if.....Your mind goes to a million places.  It's well known that the first trimester is the highest risk for miscarriage to happen therefore many people wait until the first trimester is over to tell people.  So we agreed that we wouldn't tell anyone until after the first trimester.

SO...if I don't update for a few all know why! ;)

October 22, 2010


The past two days have been two of the most hectic, frustrating days of this journey thus far.

I was working on some homework in the morning at the cafe'.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are busy for me because those are the days I have classes.  I received a phone call from the nurse at the IVF clinic.  She asked me to stop taking my BCP's immediately (today was supposed to be my last day anyway) and schedule an ultrasound for that day!  I was really confused and she didn't really tell me what was going on.  I was supposed to have an ultrasound NEXT Wednesday for a lining check to make sure everything looked good.  I was surprised and confused that they were suddenly pushing it up a week.  I was also very frustrated because a) I had two classes to go to still, and b) I had to drive 30 miles to go to this appt.  So I called and scheduled the appt.  The only time I could get in was 11:30.  I had class until 11 so I told them I'd be late.  It was fine.  On my way, I called J, my coordinator and asked her if she knew what was going on.  She said she did and was surprised I didn't know.  Apparently the egg donor stopped taking her birth control pills last Thursday (which was what her med schedule told her to do) and she was supposed to keep taking them until this Thursday.  So now everything is pushed up a week.  So they had to make sure my body was responding to the lupron and BCP's and that my ovaries were "quiet".

I made there a bit late (ten minutes, maybe?) and the front desk girl reluctantly "let" me check-in.  I waited in the room for 45 minutes (naked from the waist down with only a paper "sheet" to cover me)  The Dr. finally came in and introduced himself.  We got started and it looked like everything was looking how it should.  I then had to get blood drawn for the estradiol test.  By this time it was 12:45 and I had class in ten minutes.  I was not going to make it.  I missed two quizzes and was really upset.  I emailed my professor in hopes I could make them up but have not heard back.  I'm guessing no.

Well, we got the results back and everything looks good with me!  That is a huge plus!  I then spoke with R and C on the phone last night in hopes to get our travel dates nailed down.  The new plan is to go the 6th-9th.  So basically a week sooner.  They will be booking our flights, hotel, rental car, etc.  I am bringing Josh and the boys with for the trip.  We're getting very excited!

On to today.  (gosh, this is a long post!)  I got an email from R asking for our full names and birth dates for booking the flights.  Naturally I asked him what kind of flight times we're looking at.  (If you've ever traveled with kids, you know how much of a pain it is.)  We wanted to be sure we didn't have to wake up at 3 am to catch a 6am flight.  We also wanted to make sure that we wouldn't need to have layovers that would be hours long.  It seemed as though R and C were as frustrated as I was.  Since they are using their miles to pay for our flights, the flight choices were limited.  Which wasn't really a big deal, but we just wanted to try to plan around the choices and choose the best ones for us.  I could tell it was making them frustrated and uneasy, which made me frustrated and uneasy.  It seemed like no one wanted to make a decision or suggestion of what the other should do.  So finally I just made the decision and emailed it to R.  5 minutes later I got a flight confirmation email!  haha. I guess he was just waiting for us to decide.  All is good now and everything is booked, but it's sooo hard when you're trying to be so accommodating because someone else is paying for you, yet you want to have a little bit of a say in the decision.

And to top it all off, I've had a horrible headache for almost 14 hours now.  Along with a sick baby.  And homework.

Please join my pity party!  There's cake! :)

October 11, 2010

Contracts, Meds, and cycling, OH MY!

Well we are currently in the contract phase and let me tell you, it's not fun.  Reading through a 27 page contract and trying to follow along is a lot of work!  There weren't too many things that I disagreed with or wanted negotiated, but there were a few.  So my lawyer made the changes and sent them back to the IP's lawyer.  Hopefully they'll happily accept the changes and we can get the contract signed asap!

As soon as next week, I think, I will be starting my medications.  There are a lot!  But it's actually not as bad as some other med schedules I've seen so that's a plus!  The worst will be the injections but I'm not usually nervous about shots so I think I'll be okay.  We'll see how it goes.

Either way, we're well underway!  I think we are looking at a transfer date sometime the week of November 15th. 

October 5, 2010

Meeting the IP's

Last weekend the IP's (C and R) flew from out east to the mid-west to meet us! 

We met up at a local cafe' that I used to manage.  A locally owned place that offers fresh juices, organic food, and fresh roasted coffee.  It's like my second home.  A wonderful place filled with wonderful people and awesome, unique food.  So Josh, the boys and I spent about an hour at the cafe' with C and R.  We learned a lot about them.  They are both amazing people.  They enjoy a lot of the same things we do and care a lot about good food and good health.  We live similar lifestyles which is a plus.

The boys started to get restless so we invited C and R back to our house for some tea.  They followed us there.  I was nervous about having them to our house.  I am by NO MEANS a good housekeeper.  My kids are messy.  (They're 3 and 1, what do you expect?)  I tried to tidy up the place before having them over.  The other thing is, my house is tiny.  Like, 700 sq ft, tiny.  But it works for us.  And if someone was going to judge us based on those things, I would feel like it wasn't a good fit in the first place.

Luckily they thought our house was beautiful (and quaint, haha!) and it seemed as though they thoroughly enjoyed their time there.  They brought gifts for the boys and chocolate for Josh and I!  (They had already won us over, but this definitely took the cake!) 

How did they know that our 3 year old loved trains so much?  I think they won someone else over too. ;)

They played with the boys and chatted with us.  It was a lovely time and Josh and I felt really good about it all after they left.

I feel like meeting them was meant to happen.  I'm not one to usually believe in things like that, but something tells me that C and R will become life-long friends of ours.

Why surrogacy?

When I was pregnant with both of my children, I learned as much about pregnancy and childbirth as anyone could.  It became a passion.  I became knowledgeable about everything related to pregnancy and childbirth.  One might say I was obsessed.  I quickly fell in love with the female body and it's amazing power to conceive, house, and expel a tiny human being.  It's all very fascinating to me.

I've since given birth to two of those little beings.  They've become my newest "obsession" but I haven't lost my passion for pregnancy.  After the birth of my second child, I really missed being pregnant.  I told Josh "I want another baby!"  He assured me I didn't want another baby.  I just wanted to be pregnant.

He was right.

Thus began my research on a new topic.  Surrogacy.  Knowing all I knew about pregnancy, labor and childbirth, certainly I could carry someone else's baby, right?

I spent many months researching Surrogacy.  I wanted to be sure I was done nursing my youngest before proceeding with anything so I spent those months learning everything there was to know about it.  When I finally felt it was my time to become a surrogate, I found an agency I really liked and applied to be a Gestational Carrier.  I had a phone interview with the coordinator, who was absolutely lovely, and she quickly accepted me!!  She assured me it would take at least 6 months to match me with IP's (Intended Parents).

Two weeks later I got a call from Jesse that she was presenting my profile to a set of IP's!  I couldn't believe it!  Could it really happen this fast?  A few days later I received another call from Jesse!

They picked me!!!  WHAAAT???

I was truly astonished.  My heart raced and a million questions started going through my mind.  Who are they?  What are they like?  Where do they live?  Why me?

As soon as she told me a little bit about the couple, I knew it was right.  We scheduled a conference call a few days later and I talked to my IP's for nearly 2 hours on the phone.  Within the first five minutes of the conversation, I knew this is what was supposed to happen.  It felt right.

The next couple of weeks were filled with emails back and forth between IP's, Jesse and myself.  A lot of things needed to happen .  Josh and I needed to do some testing: blood work, psych evaluations, etc.  I needed to have a few more tests to make sure my body was a good house for someone else's babe.

Everything checked out and we are now in the contract phase!  We should be signing any day now.

Some say it's a selfless act.  I disagree.  While it's maybe 90% selfless, a little part of me feels like I'm the lucky one.  I love being pregnant.  I get to do what I love while helping another couple add the only thing they need to complete their family: a baby.  Something they wouldn't otherwise be able to have.  I feel truly blessed to be able to offer this to 2 amazing people.