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 Last Monday it cleared out that old outdated lining to make way for the fluffy fabulousness of this season's IVF transfer lining.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!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shanks

I started my Saturday morning lying face up on my bed asking my husband to shank me in the gut. Quick and dirty please.


I've known this injection bit was coming for a while, and I've actually been pretty excited to open that big ol' box of needles and get crackin'. It means that transfer day is coming! I wasn't nervous all week, and in fact I was pretty anxious to get going Saturday morning.

I opened the box with the needles and took out one prepackaged little bitty teeny tiny syringe. 


I popped the cap on the little glass vial of Lupron as I read and reread the instructions. Seemed simple enough. Just pop the top on the vial, rub it with an alcohol wipe, pull the syringe back past 20 units, jab it in the bottle, inject the air then draw up just a little more than 20 units in the syringe. I thought I'd do the whole flick the syringe and squirt a bit out of the top like they do in the cartoons, but apparently you just squirt a bit back in the bottle until you get to exactly 20 units and no air bubbles. I guess that makes more sense than spraying hormone juice all over the kitchen.

Once my syringe was locked and loaded I swabbed my gut with the alcohol wipe and prepared to inject. Whew. Ok. Here goes...ok ok ok ok wait...I decided I should probably lie down on the bed so I could see better. My gut protrudes, but not quite past the boobs, and I needed a clear shot.

My target ----> (0

My instructions were to inject on the parenthesis if the 0 was my belly button. No big. The needle was such a teeny tiny little thing. Not intimidating at all....well it wasn't until I was poking my belly with it. I grabbed some gut skin like I was told to help get it on in there, but my belly is so squishy that the needle just kind of bounced a little. It was plenty sharp, but just watching that pokey part touch my skin made me lose my nerve a bit.

I'm not a needle-phobe by any means, but I'm no heroin junkie either. I just wasn't sure what to expect quite honestly, so I enlisted help for the first injection.

Hubs was laughing in his Lazy Boy as I trudged into the room still holding the full syringe.
"I told you you couldn't do it yourself! It's creepy."

I told him thanks for the vote of confidence and to get his keester in the bedroom. He looked a little gray as I lay down. He moved in for the kill and I sat up quickly "WAIT WAIT!!"

"Holy crap!! Don't do that!" he scolded. Apparently not a good idea to make sudden movements when someone is coming at you with a shank.

I just needed to remind him to go in at a 90 degree angle. That's all. The instructions clearly stated to do it at a 90 degree angle.

He looked at me and rolled his eyes. I think I spooked his nerves a bit.

He got his game face on and pinched some gut. A few seconds later he sat up.

I told him not to worry about hurting me. The needle was tiny. He showed me the empty syringe. I didn't even feel the damn thing. After a few seconds I felt the injection site stinging just a bit, so I knew he didn't just squirt it on the ground or something. I thanked him for his services and assured him that I could do it myself next time. He laughed and told me there was no way he could do it himself. It was kind of creepy.

But I made it through! I had him do my Sunday injection as well, but Monday morning he was at work so I was on my own. I started to psych up a little more, but then I remembered that Baby Mama had to do all her own injections since Baby Daddy was deployed at the time. If she could do it, I could do it.

Not to mention the fact that the end goal of all this is to have another unmedicated birth. The needle looked less scary.

I read a tip from my fellow surro sisters that ice-numbing the injection site helps, so I tried that. It was easy breezy. I'm now on day 4 of injections and it's going totally fine.

Every morning I take my crazy cocktail of birth control, prenatal vitamins, baby aspirin, folic acid and a cold shot of Lupron. Tomorrow is the last day of the birth control, so then I'll be down to a smaller cocktail. 



I'm a freak about drugs, so I was pouring over the pamphlets and asking Dr. Google what the risks and side effects of all these drugs are, and to my suprise the list is actually pretty short! The BCPs and Lupron actually have some health benefits believe it or not. The biggest thing is that Lupron basically sends me into menopause. I can expect mood swings, hot flashes...the works. Since some of the other wonderful women in my life are going through "the change" I figure now is as good a time as any. Solidarity sister!

So far I feel normal, but this is one of the reasons I'm keeping this blog. I'd like to have a record of when exactly I went crazy. Because I know it's coming. I'm thinking maybe by next week I'll be a raving lunatic, but Hubs already knows this is coming. He actually had to go to counseling with me before this whole thing got off the ground to sign something saying he knew the crazy train would pull into the station. He bought his ticket, so he'll just go along for the ride. Although I have a feeling he'll be working a lot in the next few weeks...

I think the biggest tool we have is awareness. Awareness that no matter what sort of Exorcist garbage spews from my mouth in the next few weeks it's not me. It's the meds. And it's not him. It's the meds.

But so far so good! I think Baby Mama and I will have some girl time next week, so that's exciting. Our counselor warned me that not all Intended Mothers are looking for a new BFF. And I've seen a lot of surrogates talk about the very business-like relationship they have with their IPs. So I'm trying to keep that in perspective. But I genuinely like both of them as people, so I'm good with whatever kind of relationship they'd like to have. I think there has to be some human interest level for people to entrust you to care for their child for 9 months!

Well so far so good with the jabbing. My first baseline ultrasound is next week to check and see how fluffy my womb is. I'll order the feather down duvet this week and maybe get a nice plant or something. Just make it nice and inviting for that little embie to snuggle up.

T Minus 4 weeks and counting to T Day!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flyin' High

Just a quick update because I can't contain my excitement!!!! I just booked my flight for the transfer!!!! I booked one that will potentially let me meet up with Baby Mama and Baby Daddy on our connecting flights! And they asked if I wanted to fly in a few days before transfer, so we can have some breathing room before the big day. I'm so pumped. This is home for IM, so I'm going to get a totally backstage tour. It has to be serendipity that we're transferring her little embryo in her home state, and I'm hoping to birth him or her in Baby Daddy's home state! It's totally meant to be.

I

AM

EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I just can't hide it. Wooohoooooo!!!

I start my jibby jab injections in two days. Holy crap. Holy crap.

It's so real!!!!! I'm so pumped!!!

Baby dust is in the air!!

As we speak my cousin is at the doctor's office awaiting her blood test results. She and her hubs have been trying for years to get pregnant with no luck. After battling PCOS and a host of other issues, they decided to try IUI. And I just have the best feeling.

She said she was making dinner last night and almost barfed. Win.

I'll let you know how my first injections go Saturday. After a whole lot of freaking out because I didn't know what the heck I was doing, I went back through my emails and found the step by step instructions for the teeny weeny needles I have to use for the Lupron. So now I feel like a nerdo for freaking out. It's really not that big of a deal at all.

Except that it IS a big deal because....INJECTIONS MEAN TRANSFER IS NIGH!!!

Plus to add to my squealing, Baby Mama is talking about coming for a visit next week! I'm planning an elaborate girl's day hopefully featuring a junk food screening of Baby Mama with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Watching a ridiculous movie about surrogacy seems like the proper thing to do.

She may decide to back out of the whole thing after watching it with me. But it's a chance I'm willing to take. I'm hoping she'll decide we need to have a Wii Karaeoke jam session instead.

EEK!

And sorry for all the exclamation marks and capital letters. My journalism professors are rolling over in their barstools.

BUT I AM EXCITED!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Frozen Embryo Transfer

We got our new date for our Frozen Embryo Transfer...and yet all I can think when they use that term is this...

This is my life now. Making embryo collages. 

SO EXCITED!!!!!!!