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.