Monday, December 21, 2015

Third Trimester Update

29 weeks! Where has the time gone?

Well these days Nugget is rockin and rolling in there. 
I swear this peanut is every bit if not more active than my two kiddos. I can actually see it wiggling around in there as we speak. 

And speaking of seeing it, we had our 4D ultrasound last week. Little stinker was cozied up to her placenta and was playing Tarzan with her cord, so we didn't get the greatest views. But the ones we got were adorable. He or she had the sweetest little cheeks and nose. And he crinkled his little face up when I popped some Altoids. They must've been curiously strong. 

I also had my gestational diabeetus test, which I totally passed like a boss. I'm such a weirdo. I don't typically have a sweet tooth but when I'm pregnant I actually like to drink that sickening sweet sugar drink. I pounded that beast. 

In other news our holiday travels are upon us. I have roughly 46 hours of driving ahead of me in the coming weeks for my baby brother's wedding. Hopefully my uterus takes a chill pill. Last week I had some gnarly Braxton hicks contractions. One day I was actually timing them because they took my breath away and were 20 minutes apart consistently. But I drank a ton of water and rested and they died down. 

The only other grump I have is my hips. They are KILLING me. I bought a maternity support belt but it doesn't help. I might try another kind because some days I can barely walk. It's way too early for that crap. Come on baby! Get out of my pelvis already. 
Ooh but I am happy to report that my children's book based on our surrogacy journey is almost ready!! My amazing illustrator sent me the cover today...

I'm so in love!!

I'm thinking it'll be just a few short weeks before it's ready for publication! I'm beyond excited. So stay tuned for that. 

Other than that things are just moving at warp speed! Just 10ish weeks left until D Day! I know it's going to just whiz by faster than I know. 

Feliz Navidad! 




Monday, November 16, 2015

Giving Thanks

Time for a quick update! I'm about 24 and a half ish weeks now, which means two things. One: I'm still convincing myself that I'm in the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. I feel pretty good and I'm going to stick to feeling that way until at least 30 weeks. Got it?? And Two: Little Nugget is officially viable. Well I mean it's been viable-ish all along, but the cool thing about this week of pregnancy is that there are children walking around today who were born at 24 weeks and survived. So Nugget is starting to gain his independence from me, and that just puts him that much closer to his Mama and Daddy!

Ok so I am still feeling good, but truth be told my hips are starting to get a little creaky, and I started having a bit of trouble breathing after I eat a huge meal. So basically it just means I've gone back on a bit of a health kick. I got back to the gym and started yoga, and I can't hork down Arby's anymore either. Get your judgment out of here. I only had a few weeks of it. I regret NOTHING.

So it's back to small healthy little protein snacks and some serious yoga moves. I also paid the chiropractor a visit to get my chakras aligned or something. He found that I had two ribs out of place, and once he jacked them back in I could breathe again! Huzzah!

In other news I have grown insane and started a Girl Scout troop. I'm bound and determined to indoctrinate these little ladies and turn them into badass little do-gooders. I also got super overzealous and started training for cookie season. Yes there's training. And no, I had no idea how hard core Girl Scout cookies were!

Funny thing is that cookie season will be wrapping up in early March, which is right around the time I'm supposed to bring life into this world. That should be an interesting time. If anyone feels super charitable you can go ahead and start writing down your cookie orders now. Sunshine can officially take orders January 1st. I'm just saying... I mean whatever. It's for the children.

So thankfully it's been pretty quiet around my uterus. I finally nailed down my doula as well! There's a fellow surro here who is going to doula for us, so I'm really excited. Only thing is she has some prior commitments in the general range of my delivery, so I hope baby cooperates and gets here on a day she's in town. If not we can probably just wing it. This is my third rodeo after all.

Our next appointment isn't until December, and then we start the two week visits! I can't believe we're approaching the home stretch! I swear once that first trimester ends it's just a whirlwind until bebe arrives.

I have had a lot of questions from people lately about me "bonding" with Nugget. Well physically yeah we're pretty bonded. Like when the Nugget rolls over I definitely feel it in the bladder. And I'm feeling love for what this little monkey will bring to his or her family. This is actually my first pregnancy that I can't wait until delivery day. Seriously I get misty just thinking about the moment Baby Mama holds her sweet Nugget for the first time. I just can't even.

But as far as bonding as if it's mine...nope. I can say with 100 percent certainty it's nothing like the bond I had with my own babies. I seriously think that bond begins in your heart, not in your uterus. Sometimes I straight forget I'm pregnant because my thoughts are not consumed with bassinets, and travel systems and onesies and diapers and pediatricians and all the mess that comes along with a new bub. Nope my thoughts are totally focused on Girl Scouts and gymnastics and PTA and all the things my own children are involved in.

I've also noticed that I'm much more relaxed with this pregnancy. I was so spastic with my own pregnancies that I was calling the doctor over every twinge and ache. I think I just wanted an excuse for another ultrasound. I was obsessed with seeing my baby. I think because this one isn't mine I'm just not as curious. I feel protective of it of course. Like I don't go boozing around town and hitting the zipline. But I bet this baby will be so chill because it's got all kinds of endorphins flowing to it. I'm just so happy and content with my little family, and I don't have any of the anxieties that come with the arrival of a newborn. It's kind of liberating.

It also makes this my perfect pregnancy swan song. With Sweet Pea I was happy (OK SHOCKED) to be expecting because we always said we wanted 2 kids. But I truthfully wasn't ready to be pregnant again. I loved pregnancy so much that I wasn't ready to have my last pregnancy come so soon. I was so focused on soaking up every last moment of those rolling movements in my belly that I had a constant feeling of bittersweet anticipation. This pregnancy has been such great closure. I can enjoy the rolls and pokes that the baby sends, but it's not as magical as it was when it was my keeper. It gives me a chance to experience the magic and wonder of pregnancy that I love without the emotional need to soak it in. I guess with my own babies I just felt like I wanted to remember those wonderful moments forever. And with this one I'm just so focused on the end game. I can still appreciate how cool it is to have a living human in my body, but it's such a lovely act of closure and a perfect uterine retirement party.

I actually think about my friends who just aren't sure they're done having kids. In reality they want to be done because the number of kids they have is enough. But at the same time it's hard to gain closure that you'll never do this amazing thing with your body again. I can't even tell you how lucky I feel to have been able to be a surrogate. It's the absolute perfect way to retire your lady bits. (although my fellow surro sisters claim that after I birth this one I won't be able to resist a sibling journey should my Baby Mama and Baby Daddy ask)

But so far so good. I'm loving the pregnancy, and things have gone well. So I'm very thankful for that. It's strange to think that this time last year I was frantically peeing on sticks with anticipation.

And as Thanksgiving approaches I just have so much to be thankful for this year. I'm thankful for my own little family. I'm thankful that things worked out and I have made it to 24 weeks with the little nugget.  It's just very exciting to be where we are now, considering where we were this time last year.

And for that I'm so freaking thankful. 

.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Almost Half Way

Just wanted to first give a big shout to anyone joining from my BabyCenter post! I am still picking myself up off the floor that they asked me to write a guest blog post for them about surrogacy.

Again I've gotten 99% love and 1% weird advice/backlash. Apparently there's a lovely woman who goes around Baby Center blogs sharing her "wisdom." She's 100% certain she'd never turn to surrogacy or any other means of "artificial reproduction" to have children. I'm just sad she won't ever have to make that choice. I know that decision is a super fun and easy road for everyone who travels it.

One of my favorite bits of advice she had was making sure I keep in touch with the baby because it will want to know who its "birth mother" is.  Well the baby's one and only mother will be the one taking her home with her father. She'll be up all night snuggling and feeding and changing her. She'll be the one to kiss boo boos and hold her clammy hand as they walk into school on the first day of kindergarten. She'll be elbow deep in poop. That pretty much defines motherhood.

I could be wrong. Maybe I should ask my premie brother if he's constantly in search of the incubator that kept him alive for three months after his birth? I bet he totally is. I know I'm constantly in search of every babysitter I've ever had. Especially the ones I have no memory of because they took care of me as an infant. Psh...riiiigghhhhttt

Anyway enough about trolls! I'm 19 weeks! Almost halfway done, and it's hard to believe. Baby is the size of a mango and thumping around like a little grasshopper. Apparently it can also hear now, which is so lucky for this child because I'm really into 90s rap songs right now, and I'm a really good singer. I'm also starting to get some Braxton Hicks already, which is totally fine and normal. It happened with Sweet Pea around this time as well, so I'm just guessing my uterus is working out and getting swole for delivery day.

Other than that things are thankfully quiet around here. I'm prepping to host my baby brother's engagement party, which is just crazy weird but totally awesome at the same time. I could not have picked a better chick for him to marry. She's seriously textbook awesome, and I can't wait to have a new sister! Plus she looks EXACTLY like Elsa, so my kids automatically think she's magic.

Next week is officially the halfway mark, so if everything could just continue with the smooth sailing that'd be greeeaaaaaatttttttttt.....

Friday, October 2, 2015

Anatomy Scan

Now that my belly has officially popped, and I'm noticeably pregnant-and-not-just-fat, people are starting to ask the question "Do you know what you're having?!" We went to Italy a few weeks ago (it was absolutely amazing but the experience is still surreal.) and a wonderfully animated Italian woman couldn't stop hugging me and rubbing the bump saying Lord knows what in Italian. The only thing I could make out was "Girl or boy?" Everyone is just dying to know what's in my belly. 
Sometimes I tell them it's a kitten, but most of the time I tell them I think it's a human baby.  
I know they're just making conversation, and truth be told when I was pregs with my own children I couldn't wait to find out. But Baby Daddy has talked Baby Mama into waiting for the "surprise" on delivery day. I offered to just throw up some confetti when their first born child came shooting from my loins, but I think they want something a little more substantial. I thought "Well it's a surprise whether you find out at 20 weeks or 40 weeks. And I like to spread my surprises out. So I was surprised at 20 weeks with the gender news on the ultrasound, and I was surprised at 40 weeks when a real living breathing child was placed in my arms that was all mine to take care of. But hey...their baby their decision. I knew what to look for on the ultrasound, so if I really wanted to know I could definitely sneak a peek.
Then yesterday, as I'm laying there for the anatomy ultrasound, I decided not to look. I always wondered what it would be like to be surprised, but I never had the guts or the will power. I wanted to start calling my kids he or she instead of it, and my relatives needed to know how much pink to buy.
The funny thing is that we bought all "gender neutral" baby gear just in case we had one of each. And I'm also a crazy bra burning feminist, so it shouldn't actually matter if people buy pink onesies for a boy. My own husband looks fabulous in pink and purple, and I'm on a very big "colors don't have genders" kick right now.
So we told the tech yesterday to quickly run over the baby's netherbits. We didn't want to know what he or she was packing down there.
Everything went so great. Baby was measuring exactly on target, and Mom and Dad were overjoyed. I think Mama actually shed a tear. I know I did.
The anatomy scan is always the most fun to me, and this one was no different. It's just so magical to see this little life forming. And they surprised us with a little glimpse in 3D. I think that's what got Baby Mama. She got to see her baby's face for the first time. It was pretty damn moving. It's a very heartbreakingly wonderful thing to be able to watch this woman become a mother. I'm so honored to be able to be there for all these special moments. Surrogacy really is a gift in that you get to witness the creation of a family. It's truly beautiful. 
Little Nugget was kicking around a bit, and it was just freaking adorable.
The midwife met with us and said everything looked great. I got my blood drawn for the AFP, which checks for neural tube defects. And after the appointment Baby Mama asked if I'd like to go to lunch. They wanted to pick my brain about baby things.
Over the largest plate of nachos to have ever been made, I gave them my two cents about the newborn must-haves. I typically tell new parents all you need is diapers, a Moby wrap and a king sized bed. But I expanded a bit to include a car seat and a pack n play, just in case their child actually does that thing where kids shut their eyes for extended periods of time at night. I know they have a name for it, but my kids still don't do it so I honestly can't remember what that's called.
I was flattered that they valued my opinion that much. I think I'm pretty much the most mediocre parent walking around out there, but I guess they think I'm doing something right.
After we chatted it only solidified my feelings that they're going to be amazing parents. Their philosophy seems to be "I'd like to do _______, but we'll see how it goes." That's not rookie stuff. That's level 3 professional parenting right there. I'm impressed. They're way more prepared than I ever was.
Our next appointment isn't for another month, so for now I'll just enjoy these little reassuring thumps the little bell pepper is throwing my way. This week she's the size of a bell pepper. I think I'll keep calling the baby a "she" just because that's what I'm used to calling babies inside me. If it's a boy he can just take heart in the fact that his mother will call him by the proper pronouns once he's on the outside.
And That's it for now! I'll leave you with this picture of our immaculate conception visiting the Pope's house. 
Ciao!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

First Trimester Finale

*YAAAAAAWWWWWNNNNNNN* Oh excuse me I just woke up from my first trimester nap!

I realize it's been a while since I updated, but I've just been hibernating waiting for the worst part of pregnancy to pass. I've never been one of those third trimester "get this baby outta me" people. I'm the person who HATES the first trimester with a passion. It's not so much the morning (read: all day) sickness. It's not the extreme exhaustion. It's not even the fact that this is the portion of the pregnancy where I feel the most "pregnant" symptoms but just look generally jiggly and bloated.

It's the mental anguish.

The first trimester is like a breath holding contest. It's just waiting for that dreaded appointment where you find out everything's not as ok as it seems. Luckily we had SEVERAL wonderful appointments where everything was in fact ok. But the first trimester is just the absolute worst.

So I just put my head down and tried to stay busy while the weeks ticked by. I was lucky enough to have plenty of distractions. We took the kids to Disneyworld. My Sunshine started school (AND ROCKED IT).

But as soon as the dust settled I found myself sweating. I was officially 13 weeks this Wednesday. That is pretty much the undisputed end to the first trimester. Some say it's 12 weeks, but 13 is FOR SURE the end.

So round about 12 weeks this little nagging voice chimed in. We were in Disney and I was sitting in the ice cold gift shops while Hubs stood in the sweaty lines with the kids for the "wild" rides. And it was just too quiet in my brain.

I tried to push that stupid voice out. But I kept having passing thoughts about my 12 week visit with my first pregnancy. The one where I was barfing in the waiting room with my huge pregger boobs and cute little baby bump. The one where they couldn't find the heartbeat with a Doppler, but assured me it was my tilted uterus. And the one where I had the ultrasound that delivered the Worst. News. Ever.

It didn't help that my morning sickness vanished into thin air right on cue at 12 weeks. And I wasn't AS tired as I had been. I did start getting migraines though, which of course my brain started attributing to falling progesterone levels because surely something was wrong.

Things had been going so well, and I wanted it so bad that my mind was being an ass hole.

I saw some other surros say they could find the heartbeat with their at-home Dopplers at 12 weeks, but I swore I wasn't going to stoop to that. I could wait until the 31st.

Then I couldn't. Those stupid worries kept creeping back in and I started itching to know that there was still a baby in there.

On Monday I started to crack. I asked my nurse pal to bring her stethoscope over just to try. I didn't even hear a stomach gurgle, which didn't worry me too much since she said trained professionals have trouble hearing with a stethoscope later in pregnancy.

But that itch needed scratchin. So Wednesday I completely broke. I found an at-home fetal Doppler through a friend of a friend and I decided to give it a whirl.

Before I did I scoured the internet on techniques, tips and tricks. I was determined to have that thing on there for the least amount of time possible just to be safe. It's not dangerous, but if I'm not even eating soft cheese I'm certainly not looking to take risks. I rationalized that hearing the heartbeat would decrease cortisol levels and was the lesser of two evils.

Well the lady lost the charger for the darn thing so the battery was almost dead. I went to Best Buy, but the charger they sold me totally didn't work. So I scrounged through our stash of random chargers and found one that fit the voltage and amps.

I plugged it in and gave it a second before trying. After about 4 seconds of searching I came up empty handed. But I put it down and regrouped.

Then I realized that in the office they always use gel. I didn't have any gel on hand so I went MacGyver style and slathered my belly with Astroglide. So. Sexy.

I let the Doppler charge for a bit and gave it another whirl.

Within 3 seconds I heard the faint familiar gallop of little heart hooves. I had my phone at the ready and recorded it for Baby Mama. Then I shut it all off and put it away. The whole thing took about 12 seconds, but it reassured the CRAP out of me.

There's still a baby in there!!! Hooray!!

 I sent it to Baby Mama and confessed my neuroses. She just laughed at me for being a nut and thanked me for caring so much.

I'm like dude if I was babysitting an earthside baby and I wasn't sure where it was...I sure as hell would do everything I could to find it.

Later I started wondering what the beats per minute rate was, so I rolled the tape and asked Sunshine to count to 15 while I counted beats. I did the math and came up with 112 BPM which is NOT GOOD.

Then I got some sense and used a timer app on my kindle instead of a 6-year-old who is engrossed in My Little Pony. This time I came up with 160, which is just perfect.

So my neurosis is gone. But Nugget must have picked up on my crazy because that afternoon I was sitting in the recliner and my dog snuggled up in my lap. It's a known fact that this kid's parents are big time dog lovers, so naturally she is too (yes I'm still going with she). As soon as Daisy snuggled up to my belly the little bean thumped!!! I've had two kids. This was not gas. This was the very discernable baby thump!

It literally feels like someone takes their thumb and middle finger and thumps your uterus from the inside. It was just little and tiny and just once. But I got the message.

You're in there little gummy bear. I got it.

In other news we got the Harmony test done. The Harmony test checks for trisomy issues, but it can also tell you the gender. HOWEVER....Baby Daddy is still in the surprise camp, so I checked the little box that said please don't tell me. Will power people. Will power.

I got a call in Disney that they ran the test, but the results were inconclusive because of  "too many DNA variances"

So all you people who don't understand gestational surrogacy pay attention. That means this baby is 100% not genetically mine and the testers were like "Well effing eff! It's a kitten!"

I kindly reminded the nurse that I was an IVF patient using a donor egg, so she sent that information back to the lab and they reran the test. They called a few days later and everything was negative! Which is positive. It means baby doesn't have any trisomy issues. Whew! (Although some of the most wonderful people I know have Trisomy 21).

So our next appointment is Monday. We should just have a heartbeat check and I'm not sure what else. I'm pretty sure we won't have another ultrasound until 20 weeks. I think they sometimes do a nuchal translucency scan around now, but I'm guessing the Harmony test made that obsolete.

So as for now I'm enjoying the absence of barfy feelings and getting some energy back. Which is great because I just started a new job!

A totally rad friend from college and I reconnected this year over book publishing. I just celebrated the one year anniversary of Naked Salsa (shameless plug), and she published her first children's book Sebastian Scouts (oh what's this I found? a plug!).

She apparently found my sarcastic wit and crude humor quite endearing, and she invited me on board with a totally rad business consulting firm called Intelivate (plug pluggy plug plug).

I love it because I've written such straight laced pieces for so long (which I'm totally thankful for dear editor!!) that it's fun to mix it up and use my snarky voice.

So that's the news on my end. Pretty good things happening around here. I'll update again on Monday after my appointment so you know that I'm still awake. Sorry for the long snooze. But we're out of the first trimester woods, so it's time to CELEBRATE!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Midwifery

Well we met with the midwife and things went fabulous! I think Baby Mama and Baby Daddy felt better after seeing that the practice is down the hall from the OB and across the parking lot from the hospital. 
Also it wasn't in a grass hut. 

They did all the medical history song and dance, and the midwife asked about our story. Baby Mama is a horrible witch and started saying all sorts of ridiculously nice things about me. And I was sitting right there!! Pregnancy hormones and all. 
She's lucky I was able to choke back the tears with some wise cracks. Otherwise it could've gotten ugly. 

At the end the midwife noted that since we'd had an ultrasound at the RE we didn't necessarily need one. But she could do one just to be sure of dating etc. 

Baby Daddy said he was good and that seeing the heartbeat last week would suffice. But I knew Baby Mama wouldn't be seeing her peanut again until 20 weeks. And although I'm a little wary of ultrasounds there's a lot to be said about the mental health of a first time mom who won't be getting reassuring baby kicks. 

So I stuck my big nose in their business and sort of told the midwife that I was happy to submit to one if they wanted to. 

She said we'd just do a quick one to be sure of dates. 

I asked if I should just disrobe behind the curtain and she looked at me crazy and said nah we'd try over the tummy. 

Holy crap no weenie wand!!!!! Small victories folks. 

As she looked around I explained that my uterus was installed backward, and it proved to be a little tough to see. But then little peanut wiggled onscreen and it was glorious. We could see it starting to look less like a blob of mashed potatoes and more like a person!

Again she wiggled a flipper at Mama. 😊

As we were leaving the office Baby Mama said she actually got a bit choked up this time. She's played it cool until now but I guess the little flipper wave hit her right in the feels. 

I'm sure plenty of mamas remember the first ultrasound their hearts jumped in their throats. Rates up there with the first smile. 

I've always said surrogacy was a one time deal. I don't know any surrogates who only did it once by choice. But I figured I was just weird. It's a bucket list check and I'd be done. 

But if delivery day is anything close to the overwhelming joy I felt when Baby Mama lit up at that doctor's office...I might be in trouble. I can definitely see this being a drug. Nothing I've ever done in my life has felt this big or brought this much joy to another person. 

So that was last week and today I went in and gave the blood thirsty midwives all the AB+ I had on hand. 

Our next appointment is at the end of August, and our next milestone is in 2 weeks! 

END OF THE FIRST TRIMESTER!!! 

Such. A. Big. Deal. 

My morning sickness is letting up a bit but I'm still pretty tired. But I'll be ready to hear that sweet heart beat at the end of the month. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Graduation! Martinis all around

Welp we are officially graduates of Reproductive Endocrinology. We had our final appointment with Dr. B today and it was beautiful.

We saw little Gummy Bear, and she was wiggling about like a little dancing queen. Baby Mama saw her heart just fluttering away. I'm not sure what they clocked it at, but I thought it was somewhere around 160? Maybe it was higher. Either way, Dr. B was super happy with it. Babe was measuring 8w6d, which is actually about right. I think we're truly a Friday week change, but they put us as a Wednesday week change.

When little Gummy got still and we could make out her sweet face a little bit I said "Say hi to your Mommy!" and she totally wiggled a paddle!

I almost fell off the table, and we all squealed.

It was such a great visit, and they officially dismissed me to midwife care. I brought up the midwife with Dr. B again, so Baby Mama and Baby Daddy could get her opinion on the practice. Dr. B had great things to say about midwives, which made my little heart happy. She said for low risk normal pregnancies midwive care has a lower mortality rate for pregger and baby. So that's exciting. And she said this practice is very conservative. They refer to OB at the slightest worry, and since there are OBs working closely in the practice it's a seamless transition.

I'm so excited that we've made it this far. We have our first midwife appointment next Tuesday, so until then I'll be just munching bean burritos and downing smoothies. This little Gummy Bear loves some protein and fruit. 

Speaking of fruit... I read that the baby is now a fetus and is the size of a grape! Which does not exactly explain this bump...

Baby Mama said her email said green olive. I guess that's one hell of a martini! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ultrasound Graduation

Hey kids! Sorry about the delayed update, but I've been in a war against my eyelids and they are winning. This kid is an extreme hcg producer. Like gifted for sure.
I was never this sick with my own little keepers. This sickness and exhaustion is unrivaled, so kudos little hippie baby! You're advanced.
We had our 8 week ultrasound just one day shy of 8 weeks on Tuesday, and everything looks absolutely fabulous.
There was a bit of a mix up with our appointment...I.e. they didn't have us on the schedule and the doctor wasn't even in the same city. But I did a little...ehem...gentle nudging and got them to schedule us with another doctor. I might have sweetly explained that they probably shouldn't stress my IPs out with this repeat ultrasound, since the last time we went in for a repeat ultrasound they got the harrowing news that their dreams of parenthood were dashed to bits. Ya know...no pressure or whatever. But maybe give me the wand and I'll take a gander myself.
But thankfully they found another doc to peek in and little gummy bear popped right up on the screen with a sweet little flicker of a heartbeat. 163 beats per minute and measuring exactly on target at 7 weeks 6 days.
I'd show you pictures, but honestly they all just look like mashed potatoes anyway. Baby Mama thought it looked like a T Rex, and she's not far off. All babies look like a T Rex at this age. I'm not convinced they aren't part T Rex in the third trimester when they're stomping around on your bladder and ripping your stretch marks from the inside out.
Sweet blessings.

But I know my IPs were overjoyed and breathed a huge sigh when the doc said everything looked perfectly wonderful. And I was pumped as well. Good to know all this sickness and constant peeing isn't because of a litter of kittens or something.
So we are good to go with our midwife, although our RE wants to give us a proper sendoff next week since she wasn't here this week for the glorious news.

Our first midwife appointment is the week of my 11 year anniversary and just a few days after my 31st birthday. I'm excited for the IPs to meet with the midwife. I think Baby Daddy thinks she might be a witch doctor, which I actually totally and completely understand. I thought the same thing when I was first pregnant with Sunshine. I couldn't imagine going with anyone but an OB.

But two babies later I'm in such the opposite camp. I can't imagine going with an OB again. Not that there aren't good OBs, but for a normal healthy pregnancy I just think you can't go wrong with a midwife. They can do everything an OB can do except slice me open. But I feel like their training is more comprehensive as far as pregnancy is concerned. I think OBs are totally competent as far as understanding all the technical/medical side of pregnancy. But midwives seem to be more in tune with the magic. And honestly after having an OB delivery and a delivery with a general practitioner (who was as close to a midwife as you can come without the CNM distinction)...I have to say I think things were better all around for me and for the baby with my midwife type delivery.
My OBs seemed to always be telling me "I'm not sure you can do this. You have no control over which way this will go. You should prepare for a c-section." And my lady doc just told me "You are doing this. You have already done the hard part. You will do this and I'm proud of you."
I also found out that my current midwife is a former surrogate! So I'm extra excited that she will be understanding and supportive of my IPs. I've heard some OBs can be a little judgy and weird about surrogacy. And I'm not having that. We are bringing a baby into the world, and it's a beautiful thing. Shut your yap.

Speaking of beautiful, my little Sunshine brightened my day today.
She had a friend over to play, and as I was in the kitchen whipping up snacks they sat at the table having a chat.
"Miss Crystal my mommy said you're growing a baby for another family," the friend said.
"Yep that's called being a surrogate. And (Baby Mama and Baby Daddy) are so cool. They just want a baby," Sunshine informed her.
"Well why don't they grow their own baby?" her friend asked.
"Because some mommies like (Baby Mama) have a broken uterus so they need help. So my mommy is helping them so their baby can grow," my sweet Sunshine explained.
"Well my mom says that if you are growing a baby for another family then that means you are a really sweet person," her friend added.
"Yep. My mom is pretty awesome," Sunshine said.
And they sipped their chocolate milk and moved on to planning their paint job in Sunshine's playhouse.
All the feels just punched me right in the nose and I teared up hard. I've talked very openly with both my girls about this journey, but I never knew how much they soaked in. Then in just a few minutes my little Sunshine beautifully and perfectly explained surrogacy like it was the most common thing on earth.
And neither of them questioned the ethics of it all. I know a lot of grown ups who question the crap out of it. They wonder how I could "do this to my family" and what my husband might think. (I think he'd kick my ass if I brought home another newborn. Hell I'd kick my own ass.) But these 6-year-olds get it. If someone needs help you help them. The end.

I couldn't have been prouder and more sure of this journey than I was today. I'm doing something that makes my daughter proud of me. And another family sees the beauty in it. This has sparked a conversation in another home about how some families get creative when they build. I know this family in particular got a bit creative to get that little girl here. So they get it.

Infertility affects so many couples, but it's still a bit of a taboo subject. It's quite probable that either one of them or someone they love will be affected by fertility challenges, and just maybe this experience will help them see that there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It just means you get creative when you build your family. I hope it takes some of the stigma away at least for their generation. I know Baby Mama is a little unsure about what kinds of reactions she'll get if she announces the pregnancy, which breaks my heart. No mother should ever feel scared or ashamed or nervous about announcing such happy news to the world. Her baby is just as valid and wonderful and exciting as anyone else's. Maybe even more so since she's had to walk through fire to get one! She didn't just get drunk and make some bad decisions. This one took some planning.

Sometimes at night before bed I'll troll Facebook for posts where people are spewing hate. And I try to interject a little humor and perspective in there for my own amusement.
I came across a post today about a surrogate in another country who was threatening to keep the baby she carried. It wasn't her genetic child, an egg donor had been used. And it was the genetic child of one of the fathers. But because she carried the baby, her government is trying to side with her.
It's hard for me not to completely berate the commenters on the post who are siding with this woman and saying that because she carried this child she is the mother. Even the title of the article calls her the surrogate mother.
I have news. I am the surrogate. But the mother of this baby is laying in bed tonight wondering if she's expecting a boy or a girl. She's the one going through the emotional turmoil of the first trimester. She's the one whose heart skipped a beat when we heard that little whooshing heartbeat on the ultrasound Tuesday. She's the one who will pull this baby to her breast and love and care for the child for the rest of his or her life.
I am a mother, yes. But I am a mother to two little rascally girls snoring softly in the next room.
She is the mother of this child. And when this baby enters the world, Baby Mama will be the one to give the first kisses and snuggles and love. And that baby will know who her mother is.
I'm going with her for now. I was 100% wrong with my gender predictions with my own kids. Both times I swore they were boys. But I just have a feeling this one's a girl. She's making me sick as a dog, so I'm guessing she's pumping up my hormones. And they say girls steal your beauty, and buddy am I a hot mess lately. My skin is broken out and because I have to constantly eat to keep from feeling sick I'm starting to really pork up. So I'm guessing this is one big beautiful baby girl.
I'll start some belly pics soon so you can watch me blimp right before your very eyes. I will warn you however, that I am the most hideously porky pregnant woman on the face of the earth. I have body dysmorphic disorder, but like the opposite. I think I look like this beautiful earth mama angel goddess when I'm pregnant

but in reality I look like Heffer from Rocko's Modern Life.
 
So next appointment is next Wednesday as we say our goodbyes to the lovely Dr. B. She'll be keeping up with us some since she's bros with some of the midwives in my practice. But I'm sure it'll be a tear filled goodbye as we graduate from Reproductive Endocrinology into the world of Regular Pregs!

Friday, July 10, 2015

6 Week Ultrasound

Our first ultrasound was scheduled for today, and it was shaping up to be the ultrasound that almost wasn't. They kept calling to push it back and reschedule and at one point they asked to bump it to Saturday. I already had Saturday plans in the works, so that wasn't happening. I told them I'd mosey over to the other office if we could do Friday.

So today was the day. I had to take the minions with me since my mom had to grab a last minute doctor visit. That was exciting since Sweet Pea has taken to screaming like menopausal Medusa when things don't go her way. But Baby Mama and Baby Daddy were very sweet with them, and I had a fully charged Kindle in my arsenal.

Dr. B came in looking radiant as usual, and the hunt was on.

I was holding my breath hoping to just see one big beautiful sac and my heart almost fell out of my butt when I saw two black areas. I seriously almost fainted. But Dr. B moved the wand and assured me that there was just one sweet little bean. Snug as a bug in a uterus. The heartbeat was just pounding away, and we even got to hear it!

It was such a magical moment. It's just the sweetest sound there is. We even got a measurement, and little Snuggle Bug's heart was beating 127 beats per minute. Dr. B said at 6 weeks they want to see over 100, and from 6 to 7 weeks they want it over 120. So little hippie over achiever already hit those milestones! High five Uterine Buddy!

I could almost feel the relief wash over my sweet IPs. We all know we're not even close to out of the worry woods, but this is farther than we got last time. Last time that little heart was so teeny and fragile we never even got a good measurement. This little sweetie's ticker was nice and strong.

So let's keep it that way GOT IT!? I don't want any drama from this little hippie bean. Just nice easy breezy ultrasounds thankyouverymuch.

Dr. B wants to see us back in about two weeks. So we'll have our next ultrasound on my mother-in-law's bday. They reset our due date to March 2, so Baby Mama was asking what my date significance calendar had to say about that. The only thing I can think is that it's right before Sweet Pea's and Hub's birthday. But of course I won't have Snuggle Bug on that day anyway unless it happens to be just the most cooperative child in the world. I'm trying for a Leap Year baby, but I think the IPs just want a baby with a birthday.

So after our 8 week ultrasound Dr. B is going to start weaning me from meds and we will graduate from the RE to an OB at 10 weeks! She told me to go ahead and call to get in with the OB of my choice. I told her I was using a midwife, and she said she's got friends at the office I chose. So I was jazzed at her approval.

I went ahead and called, and I got an appointment the day after my birthday. That also happens to be the original due date for our last pregnancy. I'm hoping that day will be a happy one with wonderful news. I hope it'll help numb the sting.

When I miscarried the twins I couldn't help but feel sad on their due date. But just two weeks later I found out was pregnant and lo and behold I'd conceived my Sunshine on their due date. It definitely brought a silver lining to that dark cloud.

So all is well in baby town! I'm over the moon for Baby Mama and Baby Daddy. And they seemed just as thrilled.

Dr. B said the baby looks like the perfect little engagement ring. Nice round little yolk sack with the big diamond baby sitting on top.

So my next step is to embrace all this morning sickness, fatigue and constant potty breaks. I'll take it all if it means a healthy little bean!

See ya in a few weeks for our 8 week ultrasound! And thanks again for all your prayers and good vibes. It's celebration time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pregnancy amnesia

Holy guacamole am I ever pregnant! Oh dear lord. The thought of guacamole...

BARRFFFF

So at this stage of the game last round I felt totally normal. I had one wave of nausea one day that I wanted to be morning sickness but holy balls. This. This right here is all day sickness. 

I'm so nauseated I have trouble sleeping. And if I can manage to settle my gut for a second I'm immediately awakened by my bladder. I have to pee twice as often as my potty training toddler. 

I'm also insanely tired. Not just like oh man whew I need a second! I'm talking driving down the road and I have to pull over because my eyes can't physically stay open. 

Either I have pregnancy amnesia and just totally forgot what it's like to be pregnant... Or...

Ugh I made the rookie mistake of asking Google why I was so sick and tired. Google is such a dramatic bitch. She suggested what I was already thinking. 

What if it's twins. 

The last time I remember (key word remember) being this bogged down with pregnancy symptoms was with my twin pregnancy. 

Then I asked Google again. And that B got even more dramatic. Apparently there's an increased chance of identical twins with PGD testing. Well uhh yes as a matter of fact this embryo was PGD tested, why do you ask?

I'm just hoping that we have one strong little girl in there. Because Google said morning sickness can be worse with girls. So that's what I'm going with for now. 

There's just one super dramatic little diva in there sending puking vibes up my windpipe. Right?

Guess Friday's ultrasound can't come soon enough!

Here's my last pregger pee stick 
That means I've got enough hcg to say that I'm more than 3 weeks from ovulation. I never got a 3+ weeks predictor test last round. So that made me do a happy dance...all the way to the toilet. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Repeat Beta

Beta number two this morning! Friday's numbers came in at 433, and in a typical healthy pregnancy that number will double every 2 days at this stage of the game. So to be on the safe side we were looking for something in the 1,200 range.

My morning sickness subsided so I got a little nervous and took another test this morning before I left. I say a little nervous because I honestly didn't expect to be sick this soon anyway. Plus I am peeing every 5 seconds so there are good signs.

Let's be honest. I just love pee sticks.

Anyway, the clinic called me back lickety split this morning and said my levels were FABULOUS! 1,802! Progesterone and thyroid look swell too.

Baby Mama was definitely excited for those numbers as was I. We'd talked about delaying our ultrasound until 8 weeks just because everything is so darn fragile in there. But the clinic has their reasons. So our first ultrasound is next Friday! I'll be 6 weeks, and I'm mostly excited with a smidge of nervous. Honestly I'll be slightly nervous until we pass the 13 week mark, but I'm mostly thrilled!

I'm going to keep sending happy positive baby vibes down to my uterus. As are my kiddos. They've both started whispering secrets to the baby (aka my crotch) each night before bed. Sunshine keeps giving life advice like "keep growing" and "don't make my mom sick or she'll barf you out." Sweet Pea just whispers things like "fart" and "butt" and then laughs and laughs.

 It's actually sweeter than it sounds.

So our next big event is the ultrasound next Friday morning! Until then I'll just keep downing my fruit smoothies and sending good juju!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Waffles With Sauce

Well friends I had my blood draw today at the clinic and guess what?

My waffle is pasta sauced.

Wait.

I mean MY EGGO IS PREGO!!!!!!

I've been waiting to post these all week!!

I'm fairly certain I have a full blown addiction. But wow the pee sticks were good to me this round. I of course got positives right out of the gate because of the trigger shot. But they continued to consistently get lighter as the trigger shot faded from my system. Then they got super light as of Wednesday. Thursday seemed to be the same or a smidge darker. Then Friday was definitely darker. Then I started getting those sexy First Response Early Response positives 5 days past transfer. 

This is from this morning in Target after my blood draw. 


My fellow surro sisters knew my beta was today, so they started taking bets on what my levels would be. I guessed 102. To recap, my first beta last time we transferred was 37.

Here's a fun chart to guide you on what's considered "normal" and "average". I'm 4 weeks today. 


The clinic called this morning and said my beta was a whopping 433! My progesterone levels looked fabulous as well clocking in at 36.

I started getting morning sickness on Wednesday night. So I started questioning whether we had a splitter. The last time I was sick this early it was twins.

However I'm just banking on this being one healthy happy snuggly little babe!

Now the crucial part is that the levels double every 36-72 hours. So I have a repeat beta on Monday. I'll keep you posted on the results. But holy guacamole!!! Let's celebrate!!!

I AM OFFICIALLY KNOCKED UP!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bump Day Happenings

In the surro world, Hump Day is Bump Day, and my news feed is filled with beautiful pregger bellies. I figured I'd go ahead and participate with an embryo bump. It's in there for cryin' out loud. I'm going to celebrate with a Bump Day pic!


In other news my hcg is almost tested out. The line was pretty faint this morning. I shouldn't be seeing any positives from the transfer until about Friday, so I don't mind sharing this last little stick update.
The top is the morning of the transfer. Then down to most recent. Dpt= days past transfer

I also had my blood draw this morning to check my progesterone. I'm taking the little hoohah tubes twice a day, and BOY are they less drama than the freaking PIO shot. Anyone who thinks the shot is easier is a hard core B. I'll take the crinone any day over a perpetually sore rumpus.

The clinic emailed this afternoon and said they were very pleased to see my progesterone levels at 38! They only need to be above 20. Boom shakalaka.

Hubs was asking if I felt pregnant this morning, and of course I don't. The little embryo wasn't even implanting until maybe yesterday. I did get sick this morning, but it's just because I took my antibiotic without any food on my stomach. Big mistake.

That's one weird thing is I've been craving fruit and have a serious aversion to anything greasy or fatty. This all started a few days before transfer, so don't speculate. I guess it's all coming from my totally hippie uterus. 

I'm usually the lover of all things fried and cheesy. But I've been dying for fruits and veggies! Smoothies are my life right now. Which I suppose is a good thing since I'm trying to grow a healthy human.

I spent $75 on fruit and veg at HEB today! This child is going to look like the Chiquita banana lady.

So for the next 9 days I'm just going to try and stay very busy and distracted. Father's Day is this weekend, so I'll party with the Hubs. Sunshine's birthday is coming up next week, and she'll be in summer camp in the mornings. So I'll have some alone time with Sweet Pea. I'll just plug away and pretend not to obsess over the pee sticks every morning.

Beta is Friday, June 26, which was my due date with Sunshine! :) Baby Mama thinks I'm a weirdo because I always try to find significance in dates. But so far we've had some major milestones land on important days. So I can't help it if I see that as a good omen.

Keep sending those snuggly thoughts. Especially this weekend when I start obsessing more over pee than R Kelly. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Transfer TMI

Keep your pants on boys. This filly can't be bred. 


Thaaatttsss right. As we speak there's a little bundle of life settling in at Chez Uterus. I reserved the deluxe penthouse suite with 100% organic locally grown lining linens. Only the best for this guest. 

The transfer was bumped up from Tuesday to Monday. The embryologist called this weekend mid thaw and thought noon would be a good time to knock me up. 

So I got to sleep in, then get up and nosh on the breakfast of champions
Brisket taco with guac. Ya know...for the iron. Tacos and burritos are kind of my thing with Baby Mama. 

Then Hubs and I dropped the kids off with my mom. They brought her a hand picked bouquet from our yard since today is her bday. Happy Bday Ma! 

Then we headed to the clinic. We stopped on the way for a lucky transfer smoothie (with pineapple of course). 
I had my lucky green shirt and flip flops and my turtle earrings for good fertile turtle vibes. 

The smoothie also helped with the full bladder they requested. This transfer was a bit different than the Cali attempt. 

For one they dolled me up in the sexy hospital gown complete with hair net and booties. I can only assume it's to mimic natural conception. Ya know..because I looked so damn sexy. Of course I'm going to get pregnant in that getup. 

They went with an abdominal ultrasound rather than transvaginal. AKA an adorable nurse used a wand on my tummy rather than my glory hole. 

The other kinda bummer is that they had Hubs and the IPs wait in a little room with a tv. So they just saw the grainy screen and actually kind of missed THE MOMENT just because they didn't know when to expect it. 

So that sucked but was fine. I snapped a pic for them. 
My fellow surro sister pointed out that my uterus looks like the sexy girl on the trucker mud flap but with a short arm. 

Look. 

Yep now you can unsee that. 

Again they had me on the table completely bare assed and I'm crackin jokes like Eddie Murphy. I think the phrase "elbow deep in my vagina" actually came out. 

I'm such a charmer. 

But other than that it was the same drill. They lifted the table so Dr. B was totally eye level with my lady bits. They even had a spotlight. My vag is kind of a big deal. 

Then they double checked the baby straw that they slurped the embie up in and it was gone. So we can only assume that the little booger is snug as a bug. 

Hubs and I grabbed lunch with the IPs and it was quite lovely. Glad it wasn't weird for him to watch while I got pregs with another man's baby. 

Actually I think Hubs found it quite magical. He seemed a lot more interested and was super encouraging. I think last time it was hard for him to really get it since he couldn't be there. He was the same way with our kids until they fell out of me. 

We parted ways and I probably hugged the life out of Baby Mama. But she asked for it. I can't help but totally love a woman who entrusts me with her baby like that. Totally her fault. Boob smashing hugs were all I brought. 

Now the dreaded 2WW. You fertility buffs know what's up. That means I have to wait nearly two weeks to find out just how snuggly this baby is. 

The damn HCG shot I got to trigger ovulation is the pregger hormone. So that stays in my system for up to 2 weeks. 

The only thing I've seen you can do is test it out. So I tested this morning. What I'm looking for is for the line to lighten up for a few days then darken. 

Day one: obviously positive. But faint at least. I'd like to see it get fainter until maybe Thursday or Friday. 

I have progesterone labs Wednesday to make sure I'm producing enough. Then beta is next Friday. Killer. 

This will be the only pee stick you see from me though. At least until we have beta results and Baby Mama knows first. Then I'll post my progression either way. 

So baby should implant tonight or tomorrow. It could take a wee longer since it was frozen. But not by too much. 

They said I can resume business and usual. No lying in bed wrapped in bubble wrap with ice cream and Netflix as one friend put it. 

It was actually quite quick and relatively painless (looking at you speculum). But I will let you in on a very terrifying part of an IVF transfer though. Like very seriously scary. 

Women who have birthed a child know that one of the most terrifying and anxiety ridden parts of delivering a baby isn't the pushing or contractions or episiotomy. It's what happens in the day or days after delivery. The first poop. 

The first poop after delivery isn't talked about much because #1 girls don't poop. And #2 it's so horrifyingly scary that we just want to forget it. 

But I'm here to tell you that the first potty break after an embryo transfer is almost as scary as the first post partum poop. 

It's irrational yes. But very real. 

You see the uterus is like a deflated balloon made of sponge. The insides are all soft and smushed together. And they just slip this spec of embryo dust in there and the cervical gate shuts. 

This does not stop a woman from having the actual fear that she is going to inadvertently shit an embryo. 

I guess Sunshine overheard this brief conversation I had with my mom because she followed me into the bathroom tonight with my phone in her hands.  I inquired as to what she might need and she replied "I'm just waiting to get a picture in case you poop out an embryo."

#stuffsurrokidssay

She did however redeem herself by saying a sticky prayer for the baby tonight. She really seems to get why we are doing this. She wants Baby Mama and Baby Daddy to get their baby they so desperately deserve. 

So send those sticky vibes and say some serenity prayers as we head into the 2WW! 

The excitement and a storm is brewing. And I've always been told that rain is good luck. 

Snuggle in little one! 





Sunday, June 14, 2015

Twas the Night Before Transfer

Twas the night before transfer
And all through the house.
The surro was typing
And clicking her mouse.

The husband was nestled
with toddler feet on his head.
The dog was passed out
At the foot of the bed.

But the surro was writing
For it's all she could do.
Tomorrow's it embie.
It's all up to you.

It's been more than a year
since she first met these peeps
And on the night before transfer
She just couldn't sleep.

The excitement and hugeness
Of what tomorrow might bring
Was too much too handle
It's such a big thing.

For tomorrow she'll head
To the clinic once more.
She'll be racked with excitement
As she walks through the door.

But she's also quite nervous
just a wee tick.
She's just hoping and praying
This baby will stick.

This wee little life
Will be placed in her womb.
As she lays there sans pants
With a fully packed room.

Dr. B and the Hubs
And a rogue nurse or two
Baby Mama and Daddy
An embryologist too.

And our readers in spirit
For you've done your part
Your thoughts and your prayers
Have been in our hearts.

So let's do this thing kids.
I'm ready to roll!
Snuggle in little baby.
And please...
Please just grow.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Drop it like it's hot

My ovaries channeled Snoop last night and they dropped that egg as if it were quite warm. OVULATION COMPLETE!

Had my ultrasound this morning, and my lining is still looking "beautiful." My follicle is now considered a corpus luteum and it is quite deflated indicating that I did in fact drop that egg like a bad habit. And I had some fluid floating around my uterus, which is another good ovulatory signal.

I got my HCG trigger shot yesterday around 3:15. So basically I got a positive OPK (ovulation predictor kit) on Tuesday evening indicating an LH surge, which just means I would ovulate in 24-48 hours. The HCG shot also stimulates ovulation, so yesterday about an hour after I got the shot I felt some light cramping that lasted until about 10 p.m. So I can assume ovulation occurred yesterday evening.

I'm so jazzed the natural cycle worked! OMG...my uterus is so crunchy. I think I'll go buy it some patchouli incense and spring for a pair of Birkenstocks for my ovaries.

So even though this is a "natural" cycle they do give just a wee bit of progesterone to sustain the pregnancy. Lucky for me it does not go in my body via a giant painful horrible syringe. I get the much sexier option of progesterone gel. Suffice it to say this gel is not intended for my hair. 


I'll start the progesterone gel, a steroid and an antibiotic on Sunday. The steroid keeps my body from overreacting to the embryo when they get it in there. And the antibiotic kind of does the same thing just keeping my body in check and bacteria free for the little foreigner.

That being said....our transfer is scheduled for TACO TUESDAY!!!! Woohoooo!!!

I'm beyond excited! The embryologist will call Monday to let us know what time we go in the next day. It'll depend on thawing time and how many other women he's knocking up that morning.

So put your Elsa vibes out there for the thaw. That's our next breath holder. Just making sure the little embryo warms up and snuggles in! Come on baby. Let's do this thing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Like marshmallow creme


Squeeee!!!!! My uterus pulled through!! Lining check this morning revealed this big juicy follicle
That's the big boy making the magic happen. 
There's the triple stripe and the lining came in at....a whopping 9 mm!! We were hoping for an 8, so way to overachieve ol girl! 

Dr. B was very happy. She said they'll run my bloodwork today and get back with me later today with a timeline. I'll probably drop that follicle today or tomorrow. So It'll be next week sometime I'm sure. 

Squuuueeeee!!! I'm so pumped!! Thanks for all the fluffy vibes! I'm positive they helped. 

Here's to hippie crunchy embryo settling into a very naturally luxuriant lining! 


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Absolutely positively

Well this just happened

That's a positive ovulation test folks. That means I'll ovulate in the next 24-48 hours. 

Here's hoping tomorrow's ultrasound looks nice and fluffy! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Seeing Double

So I started testing with ovulation kits on Thursday and BOOM. two lines.
I was so bummed. My period just stopped the night before so I knew there was no way my lining would be fluffy enough for transfer. 

I emailed our coordinator to let her know it was positive and she said they'd just wait to see what Monday looked like. But most likely this cycle is a bust. 

Urrrgghhh. I was frustrated so I posted the pic in my surro Facebook group for confirmation of my pity party. But lo and behold no one showed up. Instead they told me to check the box because unlike a pregnancy test, all lines on an OPK are not created equal! Apparently the test line has to be as dark or darker than the control line in order to signify ovulation! 

I tested all weekend and didn't get a positive. So I let myself feel a hint of optimism this morning as I lay there watching the swirly ultrasound screen. 

Dr. B was still thinking I ovulated since that's what she last heard. But I told her nope. I'm just illiterate. 

She looked for the follicles and it looks like the 4 flares I had last week have calmed down and I now just have one lovely 18mm follicle. Then she measured my lining and it's about a 7. Ideally we need an 8 for transfer so holy crap on a cracker this cycle is salvageable. 

She said she doesn't want to commit to this cycle yet just because of the hairy start. But it actually looks like my body is following protocol. So as long as my ol uterus keeps up the good work we can actually use this cycle! 

My bloodwork from today will be a big indicator of what's going on in there. And I'll keep taking the ovulation predictor kits. Then I'll be back Wednesday for another lining check. 

I'm eating fluffy friendly iron rich foods and drinking coffee because I'm convinced my cuppa coffee a day was the reason my first transfer lining was so fluffy. I avoided coffee last cycle and my lining wasn't happy. Mama needs her java. 

Hopefully I'm going to ovulate late in my cycle like when I got pregs with Sunshine. That'll give my lining plenty of time to fluff! 

Please direct all fluffy vibes, thoughts and prayers to 
Crystal's Uterus
2560 Pelvic Place
Fertile Beach, TX 70115

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Eggzilla

Well Aunt Flo rolled into town Friday night about the same time as my in-laws. What a joyful night indeed. I'm assuming she hitched a ride in my mother-in-law's handbag.

I immediately emailed our clinic coordinator to let her know, because despite the fact that we are attempting a "natural" cycle this time, I thought I remembered them talking about a very low dose of medication. I didn't hear back all weekend, so Monday afternoon I called just to double check.

Well frikkin' frick. They said I was supposed to start a low dose med on day 3 of my cycle, and I was technically on day 4 already. It was just really strange that I started so soon. I'd just finished my Provera on Thursday night, and usually it takes 3-10 days before you're riding the crimson wave.
Anyway they immediately scheduled me for an ultrasound in the morning along with some blood work. Then they could determine how to proceed with my meds.

On the ultrasound they were looking for any follicles that might be ready to mature this cycle. Typically they like to get one good big follicle to grow into a pretty shiny egg, so they planned to give me a clomid type drug to help that along. The idea is that if you get a big fat follicle in there then your uterus typically thinks "Oh shit! Here comes a big one!" and starts getting super nice and fluffy to get ready to catch the egg should it win the affection of an athletic little sperm.

On my ultrasound this morning however, they didn't see one nice follicle. They saw 4! There were 4 plump eggs just growing like nuclear grapes in my ovaries. Two on each side. Jiminy Christmas I don't think I've ever been happier that Hubs got a vasectomy.

Now granted I've conceived twins 3 times naturally. The first pregnancy ended in miscarriage of both twins. Then my next two children ate their twins in the womb when they were only embryos. So I knew that I dropped more than one egg per cycle. Just call me Eggzilla.

That being said we are hoping upon hope that I'm just a crazy Fertile Myrtle. If that's the case, my uterus will just get all nice and fluffy on her own because she's getting amped up to house 4 babies. This would also explain why the synthetic hormones screwed with my lining last cycle. Dr. B thinks that I might just produce a lot of estrogen on my own and my body wasn't able to discard the excess estrogen.

Hmmm...that would actually explain a lot...like a lot. *cough* emotional train wreck about my baby graduating kindergarten *cough*

The other less attractive explanation is that I have four overgrown bowling balls in there because I was on progesterone. This might be the case because progesterone will make you produce a bunch of big eggs sometimes, and also I started my period really super fast after I got off the meds.
So they think this might just be a really weird cycle. It's still a possibility to transfer with this cycle. It'll all depend on my lining fluff.

I'll start testing for ovulation starting on Friday. If by chance I ovulate this weekend, I'll call the clinic to let them know. I'll have an ultrasound on Monday to check my lining, and if by chance it's fluffy enough, we will transfer 6 days past ovulation. If I don't ovulate this weekend, we are still doing a lining check Monday, and depending on its fluffiness they might give me a trigger shot next week to release my follicles.

The idea is to release my follicles when my lining is fluffy enough for the embie. Then we put the embie in 6 days later (since it's a frozen 5 day but also needs a day to thaw). So my body thinks that embie is one of the four follicles it dropped. Ya dig?

Either way I don't think I'll let my Hubs touch me with a 10 foot pole. Vasectomy or no vasectomy I have four desperately single eggs in there on the hunt for a man. I don't want some Evel Knieval sperm motorcycle gang jumping the gap and swimming to the finish line!

So, after my appointment I stopped by Trader Joe's to stock up on leafy greens and vitamin c rich foods. I'm trying to give my body as much of a fluff chance as possible.

If it doesn't fluff up like it should...which is a very real possibility....we will try again next month with the low dose meds she intended for this cycle.

So cross your fallopians and your vas deferens! We need some fluffy vibes this week my friends!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Drop it like a bad habit

Well frikkin' frick. The appointment today did not go super great. Today was my lining check to see if that extra estrogen pill in the glory hole would fluff up my uterine lining a bit more. But all I saw on the monitor was a big middle finger from my pretentious uterus.

Actually what we saw was that my lining was in fact a little bit thinner. Dr. B, being the fabulously intelligent guru she is, deducted that my body is just very sensitive to these silly synthetic hormones. The more estrogen we added the more offended my uterus became.

I've always considered myself a bit of a crunchy gal. I'm not quite full blown hippie, but I do have crunchy granola type tendencies. I cloth diapered, was borderline vegan because of my kid's dairy problems, I nursed for 36 years and I treat recycling like a religion. So apparently my uterus would like to be a bit more natural as well.

Dr. B wants to try dropping this fake ass excuse for a lining I have and start fresh next month with a 100% organic, free range, locally sourced, hormone free lining that has not been tested on animals. So I'll start a med today to get rid of that thin little excuse for a baby pillow.

Once it's gone though we'll start monitoring my natural cycle. She thinks because Sweet Pea and Sunshine seem to be in such great shape, perhaps my lady bits are professional grade and can fluff up just fine on their own thankyouverymuch. The idea is to let my body just naturally fluff up without all the Lupron and estrogen poser meds getting in the mix.

I hated to text Baby Mama with the crummy news today since it's her bday after all. But I think we both had a feeling something was off this cycle. She seemed content with the news update, and I am just going to shift my focus to the end of the year festivities. My baby is finishing kindergarten! As if I need any added hormones right now!

So suffice it to say we won't be transferring this month after all. I know Baby Mama has to be disappointed, but she's taking it on the chin as she always does. That woman is so damn strong. Our time will come, and all these bumps in the road just give her more street cred.

Oh you accidentally got knocked up one night after an extra glass of wine? Let me fill you in on the whirlwind adventure we went through to get junior here! This kid won't have a leg to stand on in the teen years. No angst for you child. You are much too loved.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday the 13th

I double checked and today isn't Friday. But boy Wednesday the 13th seems just as unlucky. 

I had my final lining check scheduled this morning to make sure the ol uterus was good and fluffy. 

So I woke up at 5, not for the appointment, but because of my Mother's Day gift. My dear Sweet Pea bestowed the generous gift of a stomach virus on me Sunday, and although I seemed in the clear yesterday, it came back with a vengeance this morning. 

I pulled myself together and got ready. I even put in my lucky turtle earrings for good measure. 

I hopped in the car to head to the clinic, but I stopped at the end of the driveway to check my tires. Last night I got a memo on my dash that my left front tire was low. It was dark so I didn't use the gauge but I walked around and checked all 4 visually. I pushed on them and they seemed fine. 

So this morning as I'm hurrying to get to my appointment I got the gauge out to check the left front tire just as my dash said. 

Nope. Perfect pressure. Whew! I continued on my way until hubs called me a few minutes later to tell me to pull over. Somehow I left tire streaks down the driveway?

I pull into a parking lot and sure enough my left REAR tire is dead as a doornail. Turns out they'd messed up my tire sensors when I got new tires last time. So it said left front but meant left rear. Joy. 

I was supposed to be at my ultrasound in 15 minutes so I called the hubs to come trade cars so I wouldn't be as late. He was 5 minutes away so I got busy changing the tire. 

And then the heavens broke open. 

So there I was on my hands and knees in the parking lot in the pouring rain jacking my car up. Hubs drives up and tells me to get my crazy ass in his car and go. So I left.

I called the office to fill them in and made it only half an hour late. Luckily this office is absolutely wonderful and didn't make me reschedule. They fit me right in and i was once again pants down on the table. 

HELLO! 

Dr. B came in, grabbed her trusty wand and worked her magic. 

She started measuring my fluffiness and once again I saw the beloved triple stripe. Yay! A super great sign. 

However I noticed she was lingering on the measurements. I caught a 6 on there before she had me sit up. 

Lining was very pretty...but not near thick enough. Not sure why but instead of a fluffy duvet, my uterus was trying to offer walmart sheets and a cot. It was a very cute print, but not fluffy and cozy enough for a certain pretentious future resident.  

Uggghhhh. Soooo we got my bloodwork back and I'll be adding an estrogen pill right up the hoohah! Right where I'd like to shove this whole day. 
I already take 3 estrogen pills orally per day. But I guess Dr. B really wants to send a message. So I'll add one up the lady shoot for good measure. 

What this means unfortunately is we are a no go for Transfer Tuesday. Just tacos next week. 

We will recheck the fluffiness Monday and hopefully with any luck I can start PIO shots. I have to have PIO for 6 days before transfer so this pushes things out at least a week. 

Lucky for us we are working with a frozen embie. A fresh transfer would've been badly derailed. But the frozen embie can wait until its room is ready. 

Le sigh. We are under a tornado watch today until 5, so I think I'll go home, pick up Sunshine from school, crawl into my pajamas and call it a day. 

Wednesday the 13th was a nightmare on elm street. I'm thinking Monday the 18th will be fabulous. It's a special someone's bday. So I'm going to assume it's a good omen. 

Timing is everything and today it just wasn't our time. Wish us GOOD fluffy luck for next week!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Diagnosis

Well the saline ultrasound went swimmingly. Dr. B blew some liquid up in my lady parts to get a good look at the baby baker, and again she used the word "Beautiful."

So voila! Step one: success. The oven is now preheating, and we are less than 4 weeks away from T Day! And already I'm stocking up on pee tests.

Target had a clearance sale and mommy went bananas.

In other news I went to my own doctor because I'd been having some mildly concerning symptoms. Once a month since I weaned Sweet Pea I've been getting a migraine so bad I can't function. The only time I didn't get these headaches was when I was cycling for our last transfer oddly enough. I also have been extremely fatigued.

Like we're talking every day when I'm driving to pick up Sunshine from school I feel so tired I sometimes have to pull over because my eyes are closing narcolepsy style.

I've also gained a crap ton of weight. Like ridiculous. The part that really pisses me off is that I've been hitting the gym way more than I was and BAM...thunder thighs.

So anyway they prescribed some migraine meds and ran some blood tests. A few days later they call and need me to come in to discuss the blood work. Well dr. appointments require an act of God, so I asked if they could just let me know over the phone. I was sure it was at most mild anemia or some crap. The office visit seemed unnecessary. But the little schedule lady was somber and insisted that there was a note in my chart for me to come in to discuss.

Jiminy Christmas. Fine.

Luckily a good pal of mine offered to watch Sweet Pea so I could get the news in peace. So I drive across town, drop the kid off and head in. I wait for a bit, and the PA comes in and closes the door.

"Well it's very rare that I see bloodwork like this."

Oh shit.

"I mean honestly," she says thumbing through the results.

"You are one of the healthiest individuals I've ever seen."

Apparently every SINGLE damn level on that chart was 100% amazing and I'm healthy as a damn ox. Which yeah is super great news, but two hours and a co-pay later they tell me this when I feel like this basically warranted a phone call.

She then discussed my symptoms and diagnosed me with something I basically already knew I had. It's hereditary. My own mom had it. It's called Motherhood.

I'm apparently tired as balls because I'm trying to get my kids to sleep in their own beds instead of just bunking with them. I'm fat because I'm scarfing their leftovers and eating Chick Fil A like 4 times a week just so I have a friggin playplace and a moment to myself while they enjoy the company of someone under 5'4" tall. The migraines are probably half hormonal and half "Sorry women, the children used all your patience for the month, your brain will now reboot."

So anyway basically I just need more wine and sleep and I'll be fine.

Next up...discontinuing birth control Sunday! Woohoo!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hello Again

Well hello again! It's been a while I know since we last chatted, but it's finally time to dust off the ol' blogeroo. Because I got a very special package in the mail this week.


Yes friends I am so very very happy to report that it is once again happy drug time in my world! I actually just finished my first Lupron injection and it's just like riding a little pokey stabby bicycle. These are just the little baby needles. The big mamas don't start for another few weeks.

Ok so to back it up...last I wrote my IPs were on the hunt for an egg donor. For various reasons they decided not to put Baby Mama through another retrieval. The idea is to just complete their family, and to do that they needed another player in the game. Hooray! The more the merrier. Team Baby Makin' welcomes her aboard.

It took some searching, as I'm sure it would for any of us. Trying to scour through the list of donors to find the person who will contribute half the DNA of your awesome little baby is probably quite the task. But after some searching Baby Mama and Baby Daddy found just the right egg for their little chickie to hatch from. And I couldn't be happier for them.

So as it always is in the world of surrogacy it's been a lot of hurry up and wait. Hurry and find an egg donor! Now wait while we do some fertilizin'. Well they fertilized, and once again only one little embie made it to the finish line. But no worries! I started out as one embryo and so did you. That's all it takes. And that little one passed the PGD testing, so we have the green light for transfer!

Now I'm super psyched because I got my calendar and looked at our transfer date. May 19. Would you believe it's the official one year anniversary of our match!? Boy time flies. It also happens to be the adoption date of Baby Mama's beloved super spoiled fur baby. I'm totally certain these are all good omens.

So as of now I'm officially a human pin cushion again, and I couldn't be more excited! I have a saline ultrasound this week to check out my lady bits and make sure the ol' womb is quite recovered from the D&C. I also started weight watchers last week to try and drop some of this baby weight....from the little microscopic tiny baby I had in my body. But also just to get healthy. Since I started I realized I wasn't eating as great as I thought. I want to be as healthy and fit as possible when the newbie arrives in my uterus.

Woohoo!! It's time to get a bun in this oven and get to bakin'!....mmmmm....bacon.