Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out with the old....in with the new

***TMI WARNING***

A New Year, a new uterine lining. Yes the party is finally started in my lady bits, and I'm oddly relieved.

I've been waiting over a week since stopping meds for the show to start without so much as a twinge. I felt morning sick. I got comments from unknowing people about how cute my pregger bump was. And I still felt guilty drinking a cup of coffee. So I decided to schedule an appointment with my general practitioner just to see if we could do a quick ultrasound and see if anything was happening at all.

The only appointment they had was for New Year's Eve, and since I didn't have so much as a twinge I figured why not. But the day before my appointment I felt really queasy all day. I've had HORRID allergies with all the cedar pollen, so I just figured my snotty drainage was doing a number on my tummy. So I chilled out all day with the kiddos and took it easy. Then that night, just before bed I went to the bathroom and saw the tiniest little spec of blood. I might have thought it was a red fuzzball if I hadn't been expecting what was to come.

I figured I'd still keep my appointment just in case. But as I sat in the doctor's office the next morning waiting to see the PA I felt some very familiar waves of pressure in my back and abdomen. They came consistently every 5 minutes, and by the time the PA came in I knew what had started. She said we could schedule an ultrasound to check for a heartbeat, but I knew there would be none.

I did a good deal of grieving at that first unfortunate ultrasound several weeks ago. I started my acceptance that day, so at this point I am just relieved that my body finally got the memo. My uterus is a known hoarder, and I was terrified I'd end up with a D&C. The old girl didn't quite get the memo with my own miscarriage, so almost 4 weeks after my own babies stopped growing I opted for a D&C on April Fool's Day.

My uterus is quite festive like that. D&C on April Fool's Day. Went into labor with Sunshine on Father's Day. Conceived Sweet Pea on Father's Day. Gave birth to Sweet Pea on her daddy's birthday. Now a miscarriage on New Year's Eve. Ain't no party like my uterine party!

I'm not sure how long I should expect this to go on. I haven't been in any crazy amount of pain. It's uncomfortable, and lots of gushes of....loveliness. But I don't think I've started the actual expulsion part because I heard those cramps are legit. And these are bush league. Although since it's been roughly 4 weeks since the little one called Game Over I'm not really sure what to expect. I intended to try and collect...something...so we could get it tested to see what went wrong. But so far I haven't passed anything that could remotely be considered...ya know.

Anyway, again I'm so sad and frustrated that things have taken this turn. But I'm all the more ready for our next attempt. And again I have the most incredible support system. The outpouring of love and support I've received has been incredibly moving. I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life who are there for me at a moment's notice, whether it's bringing me a basket full of pampering, sending me text just to check in, or just letting me vent and say completely inappropriate things.

I know this little one will not be forgotten. He (yep I found out little embie was a he) burrowed his way into my uterus and his mama's heart. He made her a mother, and just like my own angel babies the love they brought for that short little while will remain long after the intense hurt of losing them eases. And it will ease. It never ever disappears, and it shouldn't. But it does ease.

It'll be several months before we're ready to transfer again, but that gives everyone time to heal. Me physically and them emotionally. And as much as this part freaking sucks, it's just the next step in our journey. And I'm oddly thankful for it.

So as my uterine lining would say: Out with the old and in with the new! Happy New Year everyone. Time for a fresh lining and a fresh start!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Little Sprouts

It's been a day and a half since I took my last dose of meds, and all I hear is crickets from my uterus. It's a well known fact that she really likes to hold on to pregnancies regardless of what the fetus decides. But I hope she gets the damn memo soon. 

Game Over uterus. Reset. 

In the mean time I've been plenty busy with Christmas just days away. I called my mom last night in tears because I was overwhelmed. Not just with the baby stuff but with everything. We just got back in town, but when we left things were so hectic with strep throat, class parties, dance recitals, shopping, gift wrapping, packing and breathing treatments that my house was in shambles. 

I'm no Susie Homemaker, and mess typically doesn't bother me. But I wanted it cleanish for Santa and it looked like we'd been robbed. 

On top of that I only had two days until Christmas to whip things into shape, and all the while I was anxiously awaiting a pregnancy loss with no idea what to expect. 

Mom talked me down like she always does. She first assured me that the miscarriage was nothing I couldn't handle. No need to fear it. She's been there twice, and it's like a heavy period. Hers were with her own babies so of course the emotional healing was tougher. But this was nothing I couldn't handle. 

The next morning she showed up with a beautiful basket stuffed with everything I needed. New slippers, cozy pjs, sweet pea body wash, a magazine, chicken soup and some giant industrial pads. The miscarriage care package and it was just what the doctor ordered. 

She then enlisted the girls' help with the living room and we got busy cleaning and unpacking. 

I popped some cinnamon rolls in the oven and we were rolling. In no time my living area and kitchen were back in order and I could breathe again. 

She headed home to get ready for my brother's arrival, so I decided it was time to clue the girls in on the baby situation. 

Sunshine was being a goofball on her new bean bag, so I simply said "hey Sweets I have some sad news."

She sat up and asked if Uncle T wasn't going to come after all. I assured her he was on his way but this was about the baby. 

Sweet Pea patted my tummy "you mean dis baby?"

I asked if they remembered planting their tomatoes and they did. We talked about how some seeds sprouted and some didn't. Then some that sprouted kept growing and some didn't. 

I explained that while the baby sprouted from the egg, it just stopped growing. She sat for a minute without a word, so I asked if she had any questions. 

She asked if the baby would just stay in there. I said no that it'll come out. But its parents wouldn't be able to take it home because it was too tiny when it stopped growing. 

She asked if that meant we would just keep it and I said no. That it's going to be so small we can't even see it. 

She looked sad and said "dang Mom. I really wanted them to get that baby. Miss (baby mama) must be so sad." 

I told her we were all sad and she asked why it stopped growing. I didn't know what to say so I just told her "I don't know Babe. Sometimes that happens and we really don't know why. It's like a puzzle and every piece has to fit just right for it to make a baby."

I'd never told her about my twin pregnancy that happened before she was born. But as I sat there with my sweet girl asking very grown up questions I realized I needed to. Those were her siblings, and their lives mattered. No need to get too deep, but just acknowledge them and what they meant to our family. There's nothing to feel shameful about. They were people. After all I talk about my dad all the time with her, and he passed away 15 years before she was born. 

So I gently told her that once before she was born I had two babies in my tummy. They belonged to Daddy and me, and we were so excited. But one day they stopped growing, just like this baby. So I didn't get to take them home. But the next time I got a baby in my tummy it was strong. It grew and grew and I got to take that one home. I asked if she knew what I named that baby and she proudly said it was her. 

Sweet Pea rested her head in my lap and Sunshine patted my belly. "I guess this baby just wasn't ready Mom. But the twins will be his friend."

"And you can try again right? To grow a baby that they can take home?"

That's my girl. Yep. We will get back up on that horse when the time is right. 

It's so hard to understand why we suffer  heartaches like this. It's gutwrenching and downright unfair. I searched for answers for a long time after my own loss. And 6 years later I found my why. I only hope that 6 years from now Baby Mama will have her own Sweet Pea resting sweetly in her lap. 

Those sturdy sprouts help to heal these wounds that the little seeds left behind. My little sprouts sure did heal my own heart today. For that I'm so thankful. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Time to stop

Tonight is the night. For the first time in many weeks I won't be prepping my needle or lining up my pills. 

We are back from our trip, and on the drive I decided that tonight it's time to stop meds. My pregnancy symptoms have pretty much all subsided except for the occasional dizziness. I saw the evidence on Friday, but I still thought what if? 

Then over the weekend I realized I wasn't sick anymore and I felt pretty normal. Pretty not pregnant. Pretty sad. 

I'm a little scared for tomorrow. I'm hoping the worst passes quickly and that I'll be through the hardest part by Christmas Eve. The clinic said it's hard to say when the bleeding will start because the PIO shots stay in your system for weeks. Ideally nothing would happen until next week after the holidays. But that would mean spending the holidays worrying that every twinge was the start of something. 

So I just hope it starts tomorrow and goes quickly. I don't know what to expect because with my miscarriage I never had a single twinge. I felt very pregnant and morning sick as they wheeled me back for my D&C. This time I'm trying au naturale. 

Silly Baby Mama apologized to me for the timing of all this. I almost bopped her head. No matter what brief pain I experience, it is nothing compared to the loss of a child. 

Anyone who has miscarried their own baby can probably attest that the physical pain didn't hold a candle to the ache of a mother's broken heart. 

So damnit damnit. Again I just hate this part. But it's just an ugly chapter in the story that will make the happy ending that much sweeter. 


Friday, December 19, 2014

Confirmation

Went back in today for the ultrasound this morning and we got the news we were dreading. Little one was the exact same size as the first day we saw it. And it was quiet. 

My poor Baby Mama and Baby Daddy were heartbroken. She'd told me they were prepared, but I don't think there is such a thing. 

I talked to the doc after they left about what to expect. It doesn't sound pretty, but she agrees that I'll be fine to wait until I get back from my trip next week to stop meds. The risks with miscarriage are greater than the slight risk of infection the transfer clinic alleged. 

She also asked if I wanted a collection kit for when I pass the baby. They can do testing to figure out what went wrong. I told them to give it to me, and I walked out of the office holding a sad little box. 

The IPs were torn about testing but they were dealing with a lot. So I'm going to do my best to collect what I can. If they want the answers at least I can give them the chance. I was never given the choice. My doctor destroyed all evidence including ultrasounds that my babies ever existed. I want them to at least have the choice. 

So now more waiting. Once I stop meds it will probably be a few days before I start to lose anything. Then after that we have to monitor my hcg levels to make sure they're going down. As long as they're steadily declining everything's fine. If they stall or I lose too much blood I could end up with a d&c. Been there don't that. Don't care to get the tshirt. 

After my levels go down, which could take several weeks to more than a month, I'll need to have a normal cycle. So it'll be a while before we transfer again. At least 3 months. 

As far as next steps I'm not really sure. I want Baby Mama and Baby Daddy to take time to grieve and heal. This was their child. This baby already had hopes and dreams invested in it, and it's appropriate for them to acknowledge their sadness over their loss. 

So while they decide what to do I'll just be there for support. I've never been in their exact shoes, but I have lost a baby. So I can at least be a shoulder. 

They could potentially do another retrieval on Baby Mama, but I'm not sure if they will. They've been searching for an egg donor, but so far no luck. I can't imagine how hard that decision would be. 

But whatever they decide I will be there for them. Because no matter how it happens, they will hold a baby in their arms. And Baby Mama will be its mother, and Baby Daddy will be its father. 

If this loss has taught me anything its that my love for my kids didn't come from a physical bond. I'm carrying this baby just like I carried my own. But I have no personal hopes and dreams pinned on him or her. I didn't dream about his nursery or think about naming her after my mom. I only hoped he or she would go home with those two sweet people in tears today. 

So I'm sad. I'm beyond sad. I'm devastated for my IPs. But it's not the same as when I lost mine. My own hopes of motherhood weren't resting on this. Hers were. 

So for now I will look hopefully forward to our next steps. When they are ready we will get back in the saddle.

Like I told Baby Mama today, they will have a baby. I didn't get to keep the first two that I loved. But I got to keep the next two. And not that it makes it easier. Not that I am glad I lost them. But had they stayed I would never have my Sunshine and Sweet Pea. After all I got pregnant with Sunshine on my due date with my twins. 

Her keeper will come. And when it does they better give us a pretty big birthing suite. Because there's not a room big enough to contain the love that will wash over that child the first time his mother and father hold him in their arms. 

It will happen.  This is just part of our journey. A really horrible, awful, unfair, bull shit part. But it's a part that only strengthens their love and appreciation for the baby they will one day take home and call their very own. 

They were inducted into an awful club today. A club no one wants to be in, but one that new members appreciate if for no other reason than someone understands. I've already leaned on my fellow sisters. Those who know the pain of loving a child you'll never hold. And I'm thankful for them. Bitterly thankful that we have others to help us weather this storm. 

But their rainbow is coming. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

B.S.

I've contemplated this post, and at first I didn't think I'd write it. But so many people have been asking how the repeat ultrasound went, and you've all been sending well wishes and prayers and happy thoughts. So I decided to just write it to fill you in.

Yesterday I relived one of the most difficult moments of my life. I laid on a table waiting for the grainy black and white screen to show me a reassuring flicker. The screen swirled and I immediately saw the sac with the baby. Whew. I also saw the yolk sac, which I wasn't able to see last week, so I took that as a sign. Then I saw a blink, and then like a jackass I said "Whew! There's the heartbeat!"

But as the doctor zoomed in to get an audio I just heard static. She fiddled with the wand and the machine a bit, zoomed in more and still just the vacant steady whooshing of static. She recorded some kind of pulse, but said it was slower than she'd expect at this stage. I think I saw 114 bpm but I can't be sure. She said it was most likely blood flow from my own body.

My heart sank and the pit in my stomach opened up to swallow it. I've been there before with my own, and here I was lying there with Baby Mama and Baby Daddy silently standing behind me. I don't know exactly what they were feeling, but I have a pretty good idea.

The doctor started to measure and I noticed that all the measurements read 6weeks0days. There was no change from last week. No good heartbeat. No growth. The doctor offered her condolences. It looks like an early loss.

I tried to keep it together until Baby Mama and Baby Daddy left the room, but the second they were out I broke down into tears. The doctor told me there was nothing I could have done. And I know that. But it doesn't make me less sad for those two people out there letting it sink in that most likely they just saw their baby for the last time.

She said she'd send her report to California, so we'd have to wait for instructions from them. The doc said she personally would do another ultrasound in a few days or a week just to really be sure it's a loss. So I got myself together and headed out of the office into the hall.

Baby Mama hugged me and I just broke down again telling her I was so sorry. She told me it would be okay and not to worry. This woman. The mother of this baby was keeping it together for me. I felt awful that I wasn't stronger for them because I'm sure they were on the verge. I'll just blame hormones, but I think it's more than that. I know what that moment feels like, and maybe I relived my own moment a little bit. I just felt so angry and helpless and sad all at once. Miscarriage is just bull shit. Plain and simple.

We parted ways and I sat in the parking lot for a while breaking the news to Hubs, my mom and my sweet friend who suffered two similar losses last year. She told me to come over if I needed to. I halfway wanted to go home and just be alone, but I knew being alone with my thoughts and Google was a recipe for disaster. So I headed her way.

She knew exactly what to say because she's been there, and we hashed out all the details. Why could I see more detail this time than last? Why did I see a flicker? Did I really see a flicker of a heart or just a flicker from the grainy black and white screen? Why didn't they send me for a high level ultrasound? Did my tilted uterus have anything to do with the outcome? Maybe they couldn't measure right or see the heartbeat because it's the reverse of "normal." We compared the two ultrasounds side by side. I don't want to post here out of respect for Baby Mama and Baby Daddy, but there were certainly differences in detail.

We hashed every detail we could, and I told her honestly I almost felt at peace about it. I'd had a weird feeling all week. Maybe the seed of doubt the clinic planted when they said the baby was measuring small. Maybe intuition. I don't know. But I felt something wasn't right. I think another ultrasound is in order to confirm everything we knew, but I felt at peace with everything. It would be okay. They would get their baby, but maybe not this baby. Just like my own kids. I got my two kids, just not the first two kids I started with. It's heartbreaking and completely unfair and well...it's bullshit.

The thing my friend didn't say is "It's God's plan." or "It's for the best." or "It's nature's way of taking care of a problem." Those were the worst things people said with my miscarriage, and I'm sure people said those things to her. So while I still think miscarriage is bull shit, I'm glad I have someone in my life who has been through it and knows just what to say.

We decided to grab lunch just like we did after I took her to her doctor's appointment for her own miscarriage. We opted for enchiladas just like we did after her miscarriage. Nothing like Miscarriage Mexican Monday to make you feel better.

I headed to pick up Sunshine at school. I've decided not to tell her anything yet. I am going to tell her and basically be honest. Sometimes when babies are really tiny and just starting to grow, they just stop growing. It's like when we planted our tomato seeds. Some seeds didn't sprout. Out of the ones that sprouted some of them just stopped growing when they were only tiny. Then there was the one seed that took hold and grew into our beautiful green plant. I will tell her all this when the time comes, but for now I need to get my thoughts in order about it all.

We went home, and I collapsed into exhaustion into the recliner. I made some chocolate chip cookies and checked my messages as I ate my feelings. Nothing from the clinic yet, so I gave them a call. No answer so I left a message. My ultrasound was at 8:15, it was now 3:30. What the crap. I sent an email for good measure.

As I sat there snuggling my kids I remembered to be thankful for them. Those pregnancy hormones have really shortened my patience the last few weeks, but this was a really big smack in the face of how lucky I was to have these two little patience testers.

I got a call a little while later from the clinic saying she still didn't have results but she'd put in an email to the monitoring clinic asking for them. As I gave her a rundown of the ultrasound she said there's no point in doing another ultrasound because hearts don't just stop beating then start again. I told her the other RE recommended one, and she said they must have measured something then that they thought might be a heartbeat. While we're talking about it she said the monitoring clinic was on the other line and the RE wanted to talk to her before she sent the report. I let her go and sat tight.

When she called back she said they'd measured what they suspected was my blood flow, but wanted to do another ultrasound on Friday to be sure. She also said the yolk sac looked enlarged, which signaled a problem with development. "I don't want you to be optimistic about Friday's ultrasound. It's basically just to give closure and reassurance," she said. She told me to prepare to stop meds Friday afternoon, and to prepare to miscarry after that. Merry Frickin' Christmas.

I told her I understood and that my hopes were nowhere near high for Friday. I was making peace with this being the end. But then I did something terrible. I googled.

I'm so so so so stupid. Google access should be illegal for pregnancy. Nothing good ever comes from it. I started googling if a tilted uterus could affect an ultrasound, and the response from Dr. Google was overwhelmingly YES. There were way too many cases of no heartbeat at 7 or 8 weeks and then finding it again at 13 weeks. There were too many cases of the baby "not growing"  but then catching up again at 10 weeks.

This did two horrible things. It took away all that reassurance I felt after talking to the Cali clinic. And it also made me doubt my own decision to have a D&C when I saw that my twins were measuring 10 weeks and no heartbeat when I was 13 weeks. Again... it should be illegal. I put the last thought out of my mind because had I done things any differently I wouldn't have the two beautiful children that light up my life. But that first thought kept creeping back.

The dilemma I'm in is that come Friday if we don't get a heartbeat they want me to stop meds. That's basically saying pull the life support plug. I can still wait to miscarry naturally, but pulling those meds is not even giving the pregnancy a chance to progress.

I don't expect a miracle Friday, although I will be hoping for one with everything I have. I am realistic that this pregnancy is probably over. There are definitely signs pointing that way. But there are a few signs that are just too questionable for me to feel comfortable pulling the plug. I just wish there was a way to wait another month. If it were a "normal" non IVF pregnancy I could wait. I could just wait to miscarry naturally. But this decision has to be made Friday. Going off meds is saying we are done.

But when I step back and look at everything I realize this isn't about me. This isn't about what I should've done with my own miscarriage. This is about someone else's baby. This is about their decision of what to do. Do they want to be drug through a month of torturous uncertainty just to be disappointed in the end anyway? I realized that what I really want Friday is answers for them. If this pregnancy isn't viable I want them to feel completely confident Friday that it is over. I want all or nothing. I want to see a vibrant heartbeat or an empty sac. I want no seeds of doubt. Because those seeds will haunt them forever. I should know. I waited a week for another ultrasound and the only thing that lets me sleep at night is that I know what I saw. I saw no heartbeats and the babies had gotten smaller, indicating they were deteriorating. That's morbid and horrible, but it's the only thing that lets me feel like I did the right thing. I want that for them.

But as we all know, it's not about what we want. This whole parenting game is so not about us or our wants. And quite frankly this part of it is just bullshit.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Heart Beats

A lot has been going on in the Surro World. If you remember I was supposed to originally transfer in October, but my cycle was less than prompt. So we rescheduled for November.

In October we had a lot of girls in our surro group who transferred, and only one or two got a positive beta. November however seemed to be going much better. Out of our November transfer group there was only one girl that I knew of who didn't get a positive beta. I'm still holding out hope for her. She's had such a rough time, and I know her day is coming.

So I knew of 5 of us in the November transfer group with positive betas. My transfer twin had ridiculous beta numbers so we were all thinking she was probably carrying twins or a toddler. Mine were respectable, but not super high. I was feeling cautiously optimistic just as our clinic instructed.

Then last week things started to take a turn. One of our transfer buds (who had almost identical first and second betas as me) got a less than super 4th beta. The clinic I'm using only did 2 betas, and then the ultrasound. But her clinic had her doing at least 4. Her 4th one didn't double, so they scheduled her ultrasound to see what's up. She waited almost an entire agonizing week, then Sunday she went in for her beta and although there was a sac and a fetal pole, they couldn't find a heartbeat. I mourned for her because I've been there. My heart just broke.

She had to make the choice to schedule a D&C or wait to miscarry naturally. She was 7 weeks along, but just a few days after she got the news mother nature made the decision for her. She began to miscarry at work, and again, my heart just broke.

The next day another one of our transfer pals said her ultrasound showed the same. No heartbeat. She miscarried as well. Then the next day...another. At 11 weeks this girl went in to find that there was no heartbeat. My heart was not only breaking for them and their IPs, but I was starting to get a little nervous.

The first surro who miscarried asked if I'd done a weeks estimator pregnancy test, and I said I hadn't. But being the pee addict I am, I went and bought a two pack. I took one in the Target bathroom, and it estimated 2-3 weeks past ovulation. I did the math and that added up okay. I really wanted to see that 3+, but 2-3 was okay. I'd wait until I was actually 6 weeks according to my calculations and take another. At that point it should give me that reassuring 3+.

Meanwhile I was feeling slightly a little queasy in the mornings if I didn't eat. But nothing major. My boobs seemed a little bigger, and I was pretty tired. Very very mild symptoms, but symptoms nonetheless.

Then one night I was getting ready for bed and I felt a SHARP stabbing pain in my abdomen. It only lasted a minute, but it was intense and it scared me. I decided to take it extra easy the next day, and I emailed my clinic right away. I asked for an extra beta or something that might let me know what's going on. I knew our ultrasound was Monday, but Hubs was leaving town and I wanted to be prepared in case bad news was imminent.

The next day I heard nothing from the clinic, but the cramping didn't reappear. There wasn't any blood so I vowed not to worry. That night my transfer twin told me she started bleeding. I reassured her that almost every surro in our group has reported a 6 week bleed with their very healthy pregnancies. So if anything her 6 week bleed should be reassuring! She was on strict bed rest just in case. I took the other weeks estimator, and it still said 2-3 weeks. I really thought I'd get that 3+ by now. Those things measure Hcg, so naturally I wondered if mine just wasn't doubling. I knew I shouldn't worry, but there was a nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Coupled with the absence of any symptoms....

I also developed some kind of crazy reaction to my shots just after I refilled my prescription with 6 new bottles of PIO. I was still waiting to hear back from the clinic when I realized that my pregnancy symptoms had pretty much gone away. I was starting to get a little more worried, but I just distracted myself. Worrying certainly wouldn't help anything, and my ultrasound was just a few days away. That would be more telling than some passing morning sickness.

I decided not to tell Baby Mama and worry her. The cramps didn't have any blood, and there wasn't anything medically going on that I could pinpoint. It was best to just wait for the ultrasound. If we were going to get bad news I'd rather it come from the doctor. Not from an overly paranoid surrogate.

I finally heard back from the clinic and she told me to try not to worry. An extra beta wouldn't be super accurate at this point, so waiting for the ultrasound was our best bet. She offered me a new option for my progesterone, but I told her I'd try a few tricks to try and work it out with the injections since I have 6 bottles of PIO. I think I'd been warming the oil in the heating pad for too long. I stopped warming it and the pain was much better.

Finally Monday morning came, and I met Baby Mama and Baby Daddy at the clinic. They had to leave at 5 a.m. to make it for our appointment since our monitoring clinic only does ultrasounds in the morning. So I'm sure they were wrecked. But they looked adorable as always and we chit chatted in the waiting room until they called us back.

Once in the room I got my Sweet Pea settled in a chair and everyone else left while I dropped trou. Once they came in I think I held my breath until the ultrasound screen started to swirl. The doctor explained that at this stage it isn't uncommon not to see much. We might not see a heartbeat today and that was ok. I squinted and again realized I wasn't breathing. I exhaled and there came a little clear spot that she told us was the yolk sac. I didn't see anything in side though, and my own heart skipped a beat. She adjusted the wand a bit and a little flicker briefly made an appearance. I don't know if I shrieked out loud or just in my head. But she went back and there it was. The sweetest little jelly bean flickering with the tiniest little heartbeat.

I remember the moment I heard and saw my own kids' heartbeats. And this was no less magical. It was different though, because my happiness wasn't for myself. I was just overjoyed for Baby Mama and Baby Daddy. The little bean was too soft-spoken for us to hear, but we could definitely see that little flickering heart clear as day. I finally breathed a big sigh of relief. I know we're not out of the woods, but seeing that heartbeat sure does feel good.

I held it together until I got to the car and opened up the tiny box Baby Mama gave me. It had a beautiful pair of blue earrings that made Sweet Pea squeal. I was just so relieved and excited and grateful for them that I let the tears flow. Apparently Baby Daddy and I had that in common. Baby Mama was too happy to shed a tear. Glad one of us kept it together!

So now I think we'll be released to an OB. I'm shopping around because I want to deliver at a hospital that will be the best happiest setting for them to meet their baby. I'll wait to hear from our clinic in Cali as to our next step, but for now I'm quite happy with the little bean's progress.

My heart is so full.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Milestone

It's been almost a week since we got our positive beta and I'm still smiling. I can't tell you how touched I was that Baby Mama offered to guest blog the announcement. I'm still so giddy for them.


However over the weekend I was secretly getting nervous. I continued to pee on sticks after we got the positive beta because I really needed to see that line darken. Truth be told I was a little disappointed in a beta of 38. There's no rational reason for my disappointment. I knew it would be positive, and 38 is a perfectly respectable number. The norm is anything from 5 to 426. That's a pretty broad range, and 38 is perfectly fine. Anything over 5 is positive for pregnancy. Still...I just figured our numbers would be higher.


I didn't want to worry Baby Mama or Baby Daddy because there was nothing to worry them about. The first number actually doesn't mean much except that the pregnancy test is positive. The real tell-tale sign would be our second beta. The HCG levels need to basically double every two days. So Monday's blood tests would really tell us how deep that embie was snuggled in. We needed to see around 105 in order to believe the pregnancy was viable. No pressure.


Everything was fine over the weekend, except that the stupid line didn't darken. It didn't get lighter either, but it wasn't at its darkest and I couldn't figure out what the heck. My transfer twin (not sure if I've mentioned her. She transferred in California on the exact same day I did at the EXACT same time. Weird.) So she mentioned that I might be diluting the test because I was holding it in the pee pee too long. Umm yeah I was holding it in a good 15 seconds. The max you should do is 5. So the next morning I did a quick 3 second dip and waited....


UGH...still not darker. I tried not to actually worry. I just got a little irritated. So that afternoon at Sea World I smuggled a First Response test into the park and peed on it in the bathroom. This was a mid day pee right after drinking a ton of water at lunch, so not the most concentrated. But as I peeked in my purse at the Beluga show...


BAM! That puppy was DARK.


I relaxed a little knowing my repeat beta was the next morning. It would only be about 24 more hours of waiting.


The next morning on the way to take the kids to the dentist I called the clinic here to make sure I was good to come in at 9:30. Well I wasn't. They never got my orders from the Cali clinic! And the Cali clinic wouldn't open for another two and a half hours. UGH


I kept calling the clinic and emailing on the chance that they'd get back to me, and around 10 a.m. I got an idea...


I had a copy of my orders from last week in my email. I'm not saying I did, but I MIGHT have doctored that baby in photoshop to show a new date. It was the same dang test that we were supposed to do. I was just saving the Cali clinic some trouble, right?


I emailed the orders over to the clinic here and they called and said I had 20 minutes to make it to the office. I live a good half hour a way in good traffic, and yet I somehow loaded the kids in the car and made it in 25 minutes without speeding or running any red lights!


When the nurse took my blood she explained that because it was so late in the morning we wouldn't get results until around 4. uuuggghhhh again.


I busied myself the rest of the day with about a hundred (ok 4) neighborhood kids at the house. We baked cookies and played in the play room, and I was just about to email the clinic here to see if they'd faxed the results when I got a call from California.


They got the results back and I was on edge until she told me that our numbers came back at 147! That was definitely higher than they had to be,  but not ridiculously high to signify a problem! They were absolutely perfect in my book! I'm so proud of little Embie for getting nice and cozy in there.


Our next big milestone is on Dec. 8. The ultrasound. I'll be a little over 6 weeks at that point, so we're hoping to actually detect a heartbeat!! That's one of the most reassuring and exciting parts of this journey, so I'm very excited about it. I've decided not to be nervous about this one. I know even if we don't see a heartbeat at that ultrasound it doesn't mean anything. Embie could just be taking his or her time, and that's just fine with me. But on the off chance that Embie is on track...his or her mama will get to hear the sweetest sound there is. Once you get a heartbeat at 6 weeks the risk of miscarriage goes way down. At 8 weeks your chances go even lower, and at 13 weeks they really plummet. Still..you're not out of the woods until...well you're really never out of the woods. Pregnancy, childbirth, childhood, adolescence and even adulthood is ALL so delicate.


It's all life, and as we all know life is very fragile. All you can do is celebrate every victory. I'm convinced that's why we celebrate birthdays. It's another milestone each year to remind us how lucky we are to be here. And that's what each pregnancy milestone is. It's a celebration. No matter what happens I will keep celebrating the positive!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dear Embie

Tonight's guest blog comes to you courtesy of the famous Baby Mama:

Dear Embie,

Today is "T-day”+ 10 and everything has slammed to a crawl.  

The past 10 days have actually gone by quite fast, considering.  As you might imagine, I’ve been doing everything in my power to stay busy. I’ve cooked more in the last week than I probably have all year (to the point that I’ve broken my crockpot).  The house is spotless (except for the ceiling fans which I’m tackling today soon).  The dogs are WELL exercised and fed (I made them homemade dog treats) and I’ve even started the now famous Gilmore marathon on Netflix on Crystal’s recommendation. All to keep the “what ifs” at bay. 

But they still sneak up on me.  During my morning coffee.  Whenever I see a baby in the grocery store.  Right before I fall asleep.  Oh, and in the shower.  I’ve had some really good crying jags in the shower.  

It’s been hard to know whether to cry tears of joy or sorrow.  I am, of course, overcome with joy that we’ve come so far.  Knowing that you’ve been snuggling up in Crystal’s “fluffy” uterus has taken the stressful weight of almost two years of ups and downs to get to this point off of my shoulders.  You’re safe in there - and it’s all up to God and nature now.  But we still have milestones to hit, Embie, and I vacillate between wanting to be the crazy-excited-momma-to-be and the gotta-keep-my-head-on-my-shoulders realist that I am.  And so I cry for the “what if” that I just don’t want to think about, but need to, just to prepare myself. 

Today, there just doesn’t seem to be enough to distract “Daddy" and I from the impending phone call.  It’s dreary and raining and he doesn’t feel good, and apparently I've run out of ways to “nest”, so we’re shuffling around the house, trying to squeeze by the huge elephant in the room that’s taking up all of our space and oxygen.  I’m getting desperate, I'll admit it.  I’ve read and re-read all of Crystal’s texts (and lack of in the last few days), and triple analyzed them.  It’s getting me nowhere, other than I know she knows. But we wanted “official” so...

The only thing left to do is bug the clinic for the results, and I don’t even have my normal gumption to do that.  Thank God for Crystal.  She’s picked up on my desperation and is calling and emailing and doing the bugging for all of us, even while tending to her own sick child.  How did we ever luck into her? She’s a blessing, let me tell you.  I hope you can sense that - that you’re being cared for by a generous, talented, and crazy funny girl.  That you’re being surrounded by a loving family that is sharing her unselfishly with us and pulling for you. 

She’s even telling our story.  I tried early on not to read her blog; it felt intrusive and I think I was afraid of what I might learn. But she’s capturing it all in a truthful and fun(ny) way, and I’m glad I’m seeing it from her side.  It’s definitely helped me get to know her and her family better, and she’s brought us to tears a few times too - usually when she’s describing the love story that has brought us all here and her own personal reasons for wanting to help.  And here’s the really interesting thing about it: there’s this whole group of people reading along with us and offering their support and wishes.  A whole group of people that we don’t know, who are pulling for all of us.  It’s really quite touching, especially now!

You see, for the most part, we’re keeping you and this journey under wraps on our side for now. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly because of the roller coaster ride of uncertainty.  But it’s comforting to know that it’s being documented by someone who cares, and that a wave of prayers are behind you.  

The phone is ringing and I know this is it.  I answer, put it on speaker, and walk out to be with Daddy.  He mouths “I love you, no matter what.” We hug, and she’s talking and I’m shaking and all I hear is….

“wah wah wah, positive, wah, wah wah”

I’m pretty sure we didn’t even say goodbye.  Just tears and hugs, and giggling, and tears, and smiles, and a whole lot of I love you’s, and more tears. 


It’s later now, and I’m writing you this letter for Crystal’s blog.  I wanted to share our big day with the people who have been following our story through her (especially since she would have told them anyway!), and let them know how much it means to us.  We won’t be telling your family about you until we see them all for the holidays, so it feels a little like cheating… but I’m pretty sure that our beautiful secret is safe for now. 

No matter how crazy happy we are now, we also know that we’ve just entered a brand new set of woods. So here’s the last thing I want to tell you.  Keep fighting baby.  It’s in your DNA, so I know you can do it. We’ll be praying for you out here.

Love,
Mama

What are we waiting for?

I did my bloodwork early this morning to ensure that we got our results at a reasonable hour. No sense dragging this out. Let's get this show on the road.



My appointment was at 8:15, but I didn't go back until 9:30. While I was waiting I called Sweet Pea's doctor because she's been in a weird barfing pattern. I spent from 4:30 this morning until 6 catching barf in wash cloths and hand towels every 5 minutes. This seems to happen every week and then she's fine for a week. Something's got to give. While I was waiting to be called back, her doctor called and said she'd scheduled Sweet Pea for a CT scan.


Gulp.


My heart fell in my stomach a little. But the doc assured me it was just to rule out anything major. I was hardly aware when they took my blood.
 

I finished my blood work and took Sweet Pea home for a cuddle. I knew the beta wouldn't be back for a few hours, and the CT scan wasn't until the afternoon. So I was happy to let Daniel Tiger distract me while we waited. I took advantage of the fact that she wanted to be in my lap, and I rested. And waited.


It was time for the CT scan so I drove back to the medical district just across the street from where I'd given blood this morning. Why hadn't they called? Well anyway I'd send them a note once I got checked into radiology.


Sweet Pea was a champion with the CT. I told her she was there for a photo shoot, and the radiologist laughed when she was making faces in the "big donut" because she thought she was on camera. While I waited outside for the scan, (precautions in case there's a baby on board), Baby Mama texted. I told her about Sweet Pea and teased that this is what she was signing up for. Motherhood is just a constant state of worry. But there must be a reason people keep signing up!


We finished with radiology, and I wanted to head to the new In N Out Burger for lunch. Sweet Pea fell asleep on the way, and when I got there the line was so long there were police directing traffic. I was so sick of waiting. I opted for some bean and cheese tacos while I waited for word from the clinic.


It was a lot of waiting for me today, and for Baby Mama. We did get our results, but for those...you'll have to wait.


I have a very special guest blogger tomorrow. Just you wait.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Morning sickness

Ugh I was so sick this morning. Noooo not like that. More like my snot nosed kid sneezed in my face all night and now my throat is killing me. 

This is the portion of our program where I discover all the stuff I forgot are forbidden during pregnancy. I emailed the clinic for suggestions but they were out. Baby Mama suggested lemon and honey.  And as disgusting as that sounded it was actually effective. It wasn't until after I downed the concoction that the clinic emailed back suggesting peppermint tea. A bit more palatable than hot water with honey and lemon. But both are working equally well.  

I took Sweet Pea to the dr. and they determined it was viral. So that's good news. No strep or flu to contend with. 

And...Today is our transfer-versary! It's been exactly one week since our transfer!! It's been both the longest and shortest week ever. 

Just 3 more days until our blood hcg test! I need to stay busy and I know it'll be here before I know it!! 

Until then I'll just keep telling that baby to get snugly! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pee Thirty

Someone got a positive pregnancy test!! 😝

No not me!! I'm not divulging any results positive or negative until next Thursday. But my cousin...the one who has struggled with infertility for almost ten years...got a positive beta this week! 

Her first round of IUI didn't take, and we were all bummed. But she brushed herself off and got back on that horse, and she's officially pregnant! I'm so happy for her!! She is a very deserving mother. This has been a long time coming. 

As for me, I'm just trying to stay distracted. I think the key is to just stay out of the house so those pee sticks don't beckon me. 

I have plenty to do with my kids' social calendars (thanks three bday parties this weekend). Plus I just realized my book signing is on Tuesday! Ack! Not sure how that snuck up. But il so excited to reunite with my fabulous former editor. 

It is funny I'm hosting a wine and cheese night, when I can neither partake in the wine nor the soft cheese. But I'm a good time sober. So no big.

That's about all I can say for now. As much as I want to beg Baby Mama to come stay with me and obsess over pee sticks I totally respect that she wants to wait. She and I are in different frames of mind. Testing and getting a negative would stress her out. Whereas not being able to test would stress me out. So I'll do my thing! 

Even if I don't get a single positive all week I know I could go in Thursday and get a positive blood test. I'm just looking for good news early. 

I should've just welcomed Baby Mama to parenthood. From this day forward she'll agonize about her child. It starts with the pregnancy tests and as far as I know the worrying never ends. You just have to hold out hope for the best! 😄 a cheerful thought I know. But it's only that way because the potential joy that children bring is equally as intense. 

Well I'm super happy to be home, and I hope to be distracted for the next six days. Maybe I'll start a new Netflix series. I finished the series finale of Gilmore Girls the night of the transfer. So I'm taking suggestions! 

Come on folks. Distract a girl. Those little pee sticks are too damn sexy. The temptation is strong. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

T Day

I remember where I was when I really really decided to become a surrogate. I've toyed with the idea since I was pregnant with Sunshine, but the day I really decided to actually act on this dream I was lying in bed next to Sweet Pea. I'd just put her down for a nap, and it was the first time she didn't nurse to sleep in all her little life. It was such an emotional moment, and I was filled with an overwhelming sense of elation and purpose.

That's kind of how I felt as I boarded the plane Saturday morning. Mom drove me to the airport so Hubs didn't have to wake the girls. I needed to be there at 6 a.m. and I'd slept surprisingly well the night before despite my excitement. I felt a sense of peace and calm. This is what we've been waiting for all these long months. Through the uncertainty over the little embie and the bloodwork and ultrasounds and contracts and progesterone shots. All of this time seemed to drag on and all of a sudden I found myself on a plane to California. 


We'd had some drama last weekend with Sweet Pea's sickness, so I was just glad that I wasn't showing any signs of the flu. The flu could destroy all our plans. Lots of things could. But at that moment my biggest worry was a fever.

I enjoyed a nice leisurely stroll through the airport and waited in line for an entire lifetime at Starbucks for one last cup of caffeine. The flight was fantastically relaxing, and although I already missed my sweet girls it was quite the treat to only have to worry about finding a seat for and entertaining one person on this flight.

I got some work done on the plane, and I wrote a letter to Baby Mama and Baby Daddy thanking them for letting me be a part of their journey. I don't know if it was the hormones or the early hour, but there I sat bawling on the plane typing a letter with the tiny Filipino lady next to me looking a little worried.

However the plane touched down and I got to my hotel lickety split. I definitely regret getting a rental car because the airport is maybe a 15 minute drive. A cab would have been cheaper, and I had no idea the valet fees would be so rough. Plus everything I could possibly want is within walking distance.

The hotel is GRAND, and I feel like I hit the jackpot. It's got character and charm that you can't get at a Best Western. 

I checked into my room at 9:30 in the morning local time, but I was already hungry for lunch. Luckily I found a delightful little bar that was open and serving hot wings. I had such a craving for wings it was unreal! And this place delivered. I opted for bleu cheese, since it's verboden in pregnancy. Livin' it up folks.

I probably walked 20 miles that first day. I strolled around at my own pace. I went shopping. I booked a pedicure, and I found this amazing hippie grocery store called Jimbo's. They have a juice bar, and I found a pineapple smoothie that I've vowed to drink every day until I leave.

You see there are many rituals and superstitions in the surrogate community. Some of which are silly, all of which I am treating as if they are based on completely accurate scientific data. One such ritual is eating pineapple, which actually does have some scientific evidence backing it. Another is the green pedicure.

The woman doing my toes was a little confused at my color choice, but there are surros out there who swear by the lucky green pedicure, so I now have toes de verde.

Some of you have also seen my lucky green transfer shirt that I made. 

 I'm not sure why green seems to be a lucky color for surrogacy. Maybe the Irish are very involved, or maybe it's just a very fertile color. Either way I'm sticking with it as well as my lovely green flip flops.

While I was shopping I picked up some little turtle earrings since my Baby Mama has a thing for turtles. I'd already gotten them a few little thank you gifts, but I wanted some sort of momento that represented them to wear for the transfer.

With all my good juju set, I just enjoyed my time bumming around the city, and once I was walked out from my 10K I headed back to the hotel and spent the rest of the evening streaming Gilmore Girls on Netflix and eating popcorn and an entire jar of pickles. I added three Brazil nuts in there too, since Brazil nuts are good for sticky uteri. I hate nuts, but I am committed to a cause.

Baby Mama and Baby Daddy weren't getting in until late afternoon on Sunday, so I had all day Sunday to see some sights. I found a FABULOUS breakfast place called Perry's, and I sat at the counter like a grizzled old man watching all the delicious food come out of the kitchen. Best seat in the house. It's like a 3-D menu.

After breakfast Baby Mama texted and suggested I check out Old Town, so I did. I spent most of my day wandering in and out of shops. I found a Kokopelli (the god of fertility) shot glass that I had high hopes of using the night before transfer. But the one beer I didn't even finish was more than enough, so it'll just be for Baby Daddy to toast with if we get a positive beta, or to use after his little nugget arrives. He'll need it more than a Baby Bjorn once the kid hits two for sure.

I headed back to the hotel to rest and catch some more Netflix, but there was a giant festival going on in the street right outside my hotel. I sauntered out, and while talking on the phone to my brother I spotted a free Western photo booth. I know no one here, so the risk of embarrassment was zilch. I told my brother I had to let him go because it was time to get my saloon girl on. Yeeehaw!!

They had free museum admission, and the historian was super informative. She even told me that the hotel I was staying in was rumored to be haunted by two friendly ghosts! HUZZAH!

I ran back to the room to get ready for dinner, and right before Baby Parents arrived I realized I hadn't done my injection! I rushed downstairs to get them to warm my heating pad and then hurried upstairs and administered the quickest PIO shot ever. It actually was the least painful as well. I'm sure it was just my endorphins because I was so excited to see the Parental Units.

I ran back downstairs with a heating pad on my butt and Baby Mama was waiting for me in the lobby. We squealed and hugged and set out.

I begged them to take me to a good local dive, and they totally delivered. We went to the little taco shack where they had their first date and had the BEST burritos. They had pork carnitas and fries and guac and cheese and magic inside. It was heavenly.

Then we walked down the street a bit to a little bar for some drinks and laughter. It was a blast. I just love those two. They're ridiculously in love and adorable and fun. We just had the best time. I was on cloud 9 when they dropped me off at the hotel. We agreed to leave at 8:30 the next morning to grab breakfast before...THE TRANSFER.

How did it get here so soon?! It's not soon. These months have been agonizing for me, so I can't imagine how they feel. But then again it was surreal to think that last night was Transfer Eve. I was every bit as excited as Christmas.

The ghost woke me up at 1:26 a.m...which was weird. It was weird that I looked at the clock, but when you're jolted awake in the middle of the night you tend to look at the clock to see what time it is. So I noticed. 1:26 a.m.

I managed to get back to sleep although I will admit I was a little spooked. Then at 5:15 I got a text from the Hubs that Mom inadvertently taught Sunshine how to spell "shit". (apparently when you let a 5-year-old sound out the word SHIRT...)

Since I was up anyway I took my time getting ready and lounging about. Then I walked over to Jimbo's for my pineapple smoothie. Makes the uterus sticky you know!

The Parentals picked me up and took me to yet another fabulous breakfast place for yet another fabulous burrito. They don't realize this, but I'll eat just about anything wrapped in a tortilla. So back to back burrito meals were just dandy.

We took the scenic route to the interstate and they showed me the first house they lived in together. I was just lining my uterus with their love story. As we got closer to the clinic we quieted down a bit. The drive was beautiful, but I think we all knew what a big moment was coming. There were still some factors that could throw the whole thing down the toilet. The biggest one was would Embie survive the thaw? Only 70% of them do, which are just fine odds....unless you're one of the 30%...

We checked into the clinic, and it wasn't long before they called us back. I'd been chugging water like it was my job because a million people told me that I'd need a full bladder for the procedure. However the nurse told me to empty the tank before I dropped trou, so I was just super hydrated. Still not a loss.

We sat in the little shoebox of a room waiting for the embryologist to come in and tell us how and if Embie survived the thaw, and I was just spouting jokes a mile a minute. I'm sure my IPs were like oh my gosh clown can it! But I joke when I'm nervous or when I'm excited. And I was both.

Embryologist came in with a picture that showed that Embie thawed out FANTASTICALLY!! It was hatching and everything, which is marvelous! He said it was perfectly great, so I went to empty my bladder.

Baby Mama and Baby Daddy waited outside the room so I could strip down, which I laughed about because we're hoping for them to be in the room as I shoot a human being out of my netherbits one day. But I suppose it might be a bit early for a strip tease. They started to ask if they should stay in the waiting room while I went back, but I cut them off and told them to get their butts in there. This was their moment. Bare Assed or not they should be there.

They were so cute. They stood at my shoulder while we waited for the doc. I was still cracking jokes, which is surprisingly easy to do wearing just a sheet. I continued cracking jokes after the doctor came in and told me to spread 'em. I just wanted everyone to feel as comfortable as possible while I was sans pants with a tiny Asian lady elbow deep in my lady parts.

She did the speculum then the ultrasound wand (which is less magical than it sounds) to make sure my uterus was still there. It was and she noticed it was tilted. This wasn't news to me, and she said it has no bearing on my child cooking skills, so she proceeded to let the nurse know that we were ready for little Embie.

A petri dish appeared on the tv monitor and they verified Baby Mama's  name. Then they zoomed in and we saw little Embie getting sucked into the tube of destiny. The doc communicated back and forth step by step with the embryo guy, Bill, and it was very precisely timed. She inserted the catheter, and shortly thereafter Bill came in with a tube full of baby.

It was over in seconds. I didn't even know they'd started yet. I hope Baby Mama and Baby Daddy saw it happen because I blinked. She froze the screen to show us where the catheter let Junior off inside "the pool" aka my uterus. And I just had the strangest surreal feeling. I know there was no actual physical way I could FEEL this embryo, but it was like this wave of emotion washed over me. I was now responsible for this little cluster of possibility. I teared up....then I said something inappropriate and funny to keep myself from crying. 

I texted Mom a few minutes later to let her know the good news. She said it was 1:28 pm Texas time. 1:28. She noticed the time. 

I laid on the table for I guess about 20 minutes with nurses and doctors coming in and out chatting it up. Everyone was so nice. The doc was super supportive of my superstitions and told me to have some sticky rice since she's Chinese. Done.

Baby Mama and Baby Daddy stepped out so I could get dressed and I hope to just hold each other and savor the moment. I cracked jokes the entire time the doctor was in there, but I knew if I stopped talking I'd cry. This is just so huge. Come what may this moment is really really big for them. And I'm just so honored to be a part of it. 

It's all do delicate. There are so many what ifs. But I will celebrate every victory on this journey. Embie survived the thaw. That's a victory. Embie made it in my uterus. Victory. 

We drove around a bit more, and Baby Daddy stopped to get me fries from Mickey D's because again...surrogacy rules and regulations. Then they dropped me off at the hotel to rest before dinner.

It was nice to sit in the quiet. I'm sure they felt the same since I'm such a motor mouth. But I just laid in bed with my hand over my belly just sending sweet loving vibes to the little life trying to take hold. 

Dinner was absolutely perfect. They took me to a very fancy pants place with awesome tacos. And it was just perfect. 

As they dropped me off at my hotel they got out to say our goodbyes. I won't see them again until...I don't know. If the beta goes well on the 20th then well have an ultrasound. So I'll tentatively plan on that. I hugged Baby Mama tight, but I had to let go because the tears welled up. Baby Daddy thanked me. They both did and I thanked them. Either these hormones are a mess or we just did something really major. 

I just wanted to update everyone and thank you for all your support. This couple has no idea how many people are throwing baby dust and sticky thoughts their way and I'm so grateful to all of you.

Baby Mama doesn't want any news until our beta on the 20th, but I'm a pee stick addict. So I will start testing on Friday! Out of respect for her I won't post ONE SINGLE IOTA OF EVIDENCE on the blog until she knows for sure one way or the other. But just send some good vibes my way!

And stay tuned! The eagle has landed. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Karma Coated Tuesdays

First I'd like to welcome all our friends joining us from Scary Mommy! My post about surrogacy has brought a flurry of new readers and I couldn't be happier. Mamamia contacted me and wants to publish the post as well! We're spreading the surro word for sure this week!

Now for the evening news...

My butt is sore. 

Just as I sassily post about stopping Lupron injections and how normal I feel I began my PIO shots. Progesterone In Oil, I'm convinced, is a serum made from sesame oil and ninjas. I did my first injection last night, and it actually went quite well.


The needle is quite intimidating no doubt. First there's the one you use to draw up the oil.


Then there's the slightly smaller gauge needle that you jab into your butt. It made those Lupron needles look like an angel kiss.


I watched about a hundred YouTube videos, some of which were quite helpful. Very matter of fact women assuring me that this won't hurt a bit. Then there's the one I watched where the girl all but called an ambulance for the pain.




After my needle was locked and loaded I put it under my boob as instructed to warm it while simultaneously icing my hind quarters with a cold fruit cup. Surrogacy is nothing if not glamorous and dignified.


I also decided to go ahead and down my cocktail of meds in pill form while I was waiting for things to heat up and cool down.


I thought lying on the bed was my best bet in case my knees got shaky. Plus it takes the tension off my butt muscle. I didn't even ask Hubs for his help this time, because come Saturday I've got to do this on my own anyway. No time like the present to learn. I laid down and took some deep breaths as I slowly inserted the GIANT needle into my haunches. Luckily the dog was right there to supervise. I'm not sure what I'd have done if I had privacy.


It honestly wasn't so bad getting the needle in. The tricky part was injecting the thick solution of oiled up ninjas. It's so thick that it takes a good minute or two to fully get it out of the syringe. It was taking so long I took a break to snap a picture of this giant needle sticking out of my butt. It cracked me up. If you don't laugh you'll cry kind of situation.



I had my hot rag ready for the rub down once the needle was out, and again...if I'd had privacy I wouldn't know what to do. My darling children ran in and begged to take turns massaging my rump with the rag. It's supposed to disperse the oil so that it doesn't form a big lump. So they did that for maybe 5ish minutes, and it was time for bed. I've heard doing the injections at night lets you sleep off any side effects.


So far I felt fine, but I went to bed just in case.


Then ummm I woke up. First thing this morning Hubs kisses me goodbye, and as I go to move my leg I feel the work of the ninjas. They were obviously busy all night with their krav maga training on my butt cheek.


Oh. My. Gosh. It's so sore.


Luckily there's no ugly bruise or itching yet. I've heard that could come soon. But the thought of doing that again every night for the next 10ish weeks is a little intimidating. I think you're supposed to alternate sides, so I guess I'm ok for tonight. But I only have two very flat butt cheeks, so come tomorrow I'm going to have to jab into one of the sore haunches. Yeesh.


Yesterday was a day of Karma. All the things I'd gleefully bragged about escaping thus far have come to pass. The effortless injections for one. But also the hormonal surges.


I'm not exactly bitchzilla yet, but it's more of a tear-filled blubberpuss. Hubs has been saying for a few days that he found me a bit oversensitive, but I blamed that on his penis. That thing plots terribly insensitive things for him to say all the time. I just knew it was the work of his manhood and not my oversensitive emotions.


But yesterday in the recliner my spidey-estrogen senses were tingling. My dear little Sweet Pea caught Influenza A&B, so we spent Sunday in an urgent care center pumping an IV full of fluids in her little body. So come Tuesday she's still on the mend, and just a little pitiful.


She was very sweet and cuddly in her sickly state, and she wanted to climb in mommy's lap and rock. Kid has exquisite taste in music, and requested that I sing her favorite ballad, Wagon Wheel. So as I'm rocking my sweet little love in the recliner, I start "Rock me Doggy like a Wagon Wheel. Rock me Doggy any way you feel. Heeyyyyyyy Doggy rock me."


Oh you're not familiar with that version? The original is fine, but her favorite thing in the world is dogs, so she requested a lyric change. "I not a mama. I a doggy." So as I'm rocking my little doggy singing these ridiculous lyrics I feel the tears start to well up. Normally I'd be trying to hold it together and stifle my chuckling while singing such a ridiculous ballad. However the estrogen took over and before I know it I'm snot crying in the recliner rocking a very confused little puppy.  It is a beautiful song, but come on. Rock me doggy? I'm crying about this? Must be the hormones.


So here we are. November 4. This is the day that I started to go cray cray. I'd like it documented for future reference.


Now for the drama.


I went in for my ultrasound and bloodwork Monday, and I should've known something was amiss when they asked when I was headed to Pennsylvania. Ummm I guess when the Phillies start kicking butt? They said it looked like my orders came from Pennsylvania, but I assured them they were from California.


So they took the blood and sent me in for the ultrasound. This is my last one before transfer, so my fallopians were crossed that everything was fine. 
*note my pedicure is Thursday 

My uterus makes her appearance and just dazzles the doctor. "Oh my gosh look. It's just beautiful. It's perfect."


I laughed. "Oh thanks boo. She's been working out." The doc laughed and said my lining was 8.75 and triple striped. It's just the Ritz Carlton as far as she's concerned. She couldn't speak for the Cali clinic, but she said she would be so thrilled to put little Embie in there. My ovaries were nice and quiet as well. All follicles less than ten. My lady bits were being perfect little sweethearts.


I got my britches on and texted Baby Mama with the good news. We'd have to wait for the bloodwork to confirm it, but it looked like everything was a go for transfer. Now I'd just wait to hear from our transfer clinic on the next steps.


So I waited....aaaaaaaannnnnd waited. Finally around 5 our time I emailed them to see if they got the results. A nurse I don't know emailed back and said they hadn't. Then a few minutes later I got a call from her.


"Can you give me a verbal account of what they found?"
"Sure! It looks like 8.75 and triple striped. She was very happy and ovaries were very dull and boring."
"Oh ok that sounds good. Now your doctor isn't here, but I'll need to double check with her. It looks like we'll have to postpone your transfer just a bit."

"What the actual FCK!?"

"Oh well you're supposed to be on Progesterone for a certain amount of time before transfer, so we'll just have to see. Your doctor actually is out of town right now, so I'll just check with the doctor who is here."
"uhm but wha..wait...huh? Is everything ok?"
"Yes it's fine. I'll call you back tonight or email you to confirm."


That's when I wigged a little. Everything was going so well!! The dr. here was so happy with my uterus! I think they might even be dating! I couldn't wrap my mind around what the crap this lady was talking about. I tried to calmly text Baby Mama to give her a heads up, but I might have been a little more fiery than intended because I think she wigged a little too.


So yesterday morning we both started firing emails and phone calls at the two clinics to find out what went wrong. I finally got in touch with the clinic here, and they'd faxed the records to the wrong number. 

Can I just ask who the eff uses fax machines anymore??? Why not email? We can create a human being in a petri dish, but you transposed fax numbers!? WTF


Finally they get the records faxed and I get an email from our regular nurse in Cali who says all is well and to start my PIO shots that night. Baby Mama and I breathe a sigh of relief and all is right with the world once again.


So now I continue my new med schedule, and in just 3 days I will be boarding a plane to California!!!!! I can't believe it's finally here! I'm just ecstatic! I'm going to get my toes done before I leave because there's a laundry list of superstitions that I fully intend to abide by for the success of this transfer.


Wish me luck! We are in the final days until transfer. If everything goes well I will have a little baby on board this time next week. Whether he or she decides to stay is out of my control, but I am ready and rarin' to find out!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Guest Rooms and Guest Wombs

Whoa baby it's been a whirlwind the past few weeks. I had to reread my last post so I could see exactly what you people know about. Last you heard I'd just started my injections. Well as of yesterday I am stopping my Lupron injections!

So backing up a bit...I had an ultrasound last Monday to check in on my ovaries and make sure they were nice and quiet. I had 10 folicles less than 10 mm on one side and 8 less than 10 on the other side. To those who aren't in the ovary business that's great news and it means it's like a library in my lady parts. Nice and quiet. We want my eggs to stay put and not develop and butt in on our little embie. So my ovaries are behaving. Good girls.


My uterus is also behaving. Last Monday it cleared out that old outdated lining to make way for the fluffy fabulousness of this season's IVF transfer lining. Coming November 2014.

The next day I started the Estrace pills that are supposed to not only fluffy up my uterus but also make me cry uncontrollably and lash out irrationally. So far the only thing I've noticed is that my skin and hair are looking fabulous. I was a little scared that the estrogen wasn't working right and that my uterus was going to be a barren wasteland at my next appointment.

In the mean time the door of my home was revolving. It's funny to me that while I'm preparing the guest womb for embie, I was also preparing my guest rooms for a ton of company! The Hubs was in the throes of work stuff the first week of my injections. He had client dinners every night, so I only got to say goodnight and good morning the entire week. He took off early on Friday so we could pal around before he left for Europe on Saturday. I'm not sure if it's because he was MIA the past two weeks or if my hormones were just aching for some adjustment, but I honestly have not felt crazy. Again...getting a little nervous for my next ultrasound because if I didn't feel hormonal surely that meant that the meds weren't working.

While Hubs was away I had a very special visitor! My Baby Mama came in on Thursday, and we spent the day mainly picking up my kids from school. My mom came over for lunch I'm sure to scope her out and try to convince her that she's normal since Mom decided to come with me to California for the transfer. I don't know that Baby Mama is convinced that my mom is normal, but she's at least been exposed. Actually it went really well. We all went out to dinner, and the kids played and danced to some live music. Baby Mama sweetly twirled my little girl around the dance floor, and we sat outside with a little breeze and just really had a lovely time. It was so natural and normal.

Again, I've heard horror stories about IPs, but my Baby Mama is just the coolest. Then again I've heard horror stories about crazy surrogates, so I suppose she's lucky too. We came back home and after I got my girlies in bed Baby Mama and I plopped down in the living room and watched....Baby Mama!

If you've never experienced this treasure, just stop right now. There's no way to fully appreciate surrogacy until you've seen Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's rendition of the journey. It's fabulous. I doubt my Baby Mama found it as ridiculously hilarious as I do, but I'm in lesbian love with Tina and Amy so that skews my view. I think the movie mainly scared her into thinking I was going to start drinking Big Gulp's full of Dr. Pepper and try and convince her to eat the placenta after Baby arrives. But it was really fun to just pal around with Baby Mama. We really got a chance for some girl time and it was great. Not to mention my kids think she's their new favorite auntie. She got serious points for bringing her dog along.

Just a few hours after Baby Mama headed home my in-laws arrived, and just a few hours after that Hubs caught an early flight from London! It was a whirlwind weekend, and it was great. Sweet Pea had a dance recital and was told to wear her Halloween costume. I asked what she wanted to be and she said an orange dog. She said it like 30 times so...


Super fun weekend for sure. But come Monday morning I was so exhausted I nearly forgot about my ultrasound.

I dropped Sunshine at school and headed with Sweet Pea to the clinic. Sweet Pea cut her eyes at the nurse drawing my blood like she was a sadistic vampire. But once she saw I was fine she happily bounced in the room with me as I disrobed and waited for my ultrasound.

This was the one to determine whether my uterus had changed the sheets and started really fluffing things up for little embie.

Doc came in and grabbed the lubed up weenie wand and asked when transfer was again. I told her we're shooting for the second week in November and she got down to business. She counted the follicles and we still had 10 under 10 and 8 under 10, which is fabulous. Then she looked at the lining and I saw the beloved triple stripe. I've heard of the triple stripe from my Facebook surrogate group stalking. The lining needs to have a triple stripe in order to be deemed suitable for little babies. My lining measured just under 7 mm, which meant nothing to me but thrilled the doctor. She said everything was just beautiful and was already nice and inviting for little embie. I looked it up later and I think 7mm is great for this stage. Some people had successful transfers with 7mm, and it should still fluff up plenty more from here. 

So we're right on track, and once my bloodwork confirmed that my bod is on board, the Cali clinic called to tell me I can quit with the needles this week and just continue with my aspirin, prenatal, folic acid, estrogen cocktail.

I am so excited!! We are less than 2 weeks away from transfer, and so far so good! I'm enjoying my neeedle break this week before sh*t gets real next week. Next Monday I have one more ultrasound to make sure my womb is at its utmost fluffiness, and then...duhn duhn duhhnnnnnnnn PIO shots. PIO stands for Progesterone In Oil, and just to give you an idea that shot entails a very thick concoction that requires one needle to pull it out of the vial and a different GIANT needle to shoot it in my butt. Yowza. This is the shot I've heard leaves itchy knots and painful bruising.

I was telling Baby Mama about the PIO shots during her visit and was feeling a little apprehensive about them until she casually mentioned the FOUR shots she had to give herself DAILY for MONTHS...By. Her. Self. for the THREE rounds of egg retrievals...while her husband was deployed. Ummm I quit my belly aching after that. This is one shot. For 12ish weeks, while my husband is safely at home. So yeah I think I can handle it with my big girl panties.

So a very busy couple of weeks lately, and even more busy-ness to come! I know Baby Mama is getting nervous about the transfer, which makes me oddly calm since there's already someone worrying. I'm able to be the calm one, and I'd say that's probably a better scenario anyway. I'm making it my goal to be in a very peaceful, hopeful place when little embie gets in there. I want to be sending all kinds of endorphins his/her way when she/he decides whether or not to settle in for the long haul.

So keep those fallopians crossed! We are in the final weeks until T Day!! Woohoo!!!