Category Archives: Waiting

Still here. Still Pregnant. Still waiting.

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I thought I would pop in and give a quick update. I know I always get concerned when my pregnant friends don’t post in a few weeks.

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I’m still here and still very much pregnant. I’m also still waiting on the results of the genetic tests from January 9th. Which means… I’M FRUSTRATED!!!!

They told us to expect results within a week to ten days. Unfortunately, the lab is backed up and there was also the MLK, Jr. holiday in there. So here we are, waiting impatiently.

My doctor assures me the extra time is absolutely no indication that anything is wrong. She said regardless of the results, the time frame would be the same. Still, it’s hard not knowing. My IFs have been as amazing as always. I feel terrible that they’ve had to wait longer than we thought. I know they’re anxious to hear that their baby is healthy. PLUS we all want to celebrate knowing the gender, but that is, of course, secondary to receiving a good bill of health. So we wait. and wait. and wait. And we cross our fingers and toes and elbows that the waiting will soon be over and we will be on to the celebrating.

Aside from the frustration and anxiety of waiting, I’m feeling very well. I hit the 13 week mark on 01/22/15 and said good bye to my first trimester!!!  I’ve developed some food aversions and stronger food cravings over the past few weeks. I ordered a tuna melt at dinner with the kiddo last weekend (a personal favorite of mine) and took one bite before deciding there was no way I could eat it. It didn’t make me nauseous, it just was completely unappealing. I was so sad because I really wanted to eat it… My little belly buddy apparently didn’t’ agree, though.

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So what does my belly buddy like? Bagels. Cheese. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Steak (a food I rarely ever eat but I’ve been craving it like crazy!). Milk. and did I mention bagels? 🙂

Back to the waiting I go. Tell me what you craved and/or couldn’t stand and distract me for a little bit!

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The Five Week Mark

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Things have been delightfully uneventful this past week, so I thought I would keep this short with a few picture updates. 🙂

I came home from errands the day after our second beta confirmed pregnancy and these beauties were waiting on my doorstep. The note had me a little teary eyed.

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My IFs are getting married shortly before Christmas so I wanted to send them a little “happy” as a Christmas gift. This ornament seemed perfect! The hats have their names on them and snowflakes say “Merry Christmas” in French.

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I hit the five week mark on 11/27 so I made this little collage for my IFs. I’ve only gained a few pounds since starting cycle meds but nothing fits comfortably because of the medicine bloat! :-/

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I had my third beta on Friday, 11/28. That was a worrisome event because they forgot to fax the results to my RE’s office so it took a couple extra hours to track down the results. We’re thrilled with the number and can’t wait until the ultrasound to see how many belly buddies I have on board! I also found it interesting that all of my HCG levels started with a 4. I’m going to take that as a sign of luck!

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That is my week in a nutshell. I hope you all had a wonderful week and a Happy Thanksgiving (for you American followers). I get a break from appointments this week (woohoo!). I may not know what to do without someone taking blood from me. Lol. Our ultrasound is scheduled for December 8th. How many babies do you think I’m carrying?

The Numbers Game

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Please, No Tricks, Just Treats!

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I sat in the waiting room on Halloween morning at my monitoring clinic and kept repeating that mantra over and over in my head… “No tricks, just treats. No tricks, just treats.” 

This was the first appointment to check my lining post-period and since starting estrogen. My transfer is still 11 days away, so I knew going into the appointment that I still had time for them to adjust my protocol and fluff up my lining.

I’ve been preparing for pregnancy by taking my vitamins, staying active and drinking a daily smoothie a friend gave me the recipes for that she calls her “get preggo smoothie”. 🙂 I’ve also heard certain yoga positions can  help with blood flow in the uterus, which will help with a fluffy lining, so I’ve been doing that, too!

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I started my Estrace pills (estradiol) on Oct 23rd (2mg, 3 times a day). I went for labs on Oct 27th and the results came back good. They then started me on Vivelle patches (estradiol) (2 patches, change every 72 hours) that evening (Oct 27th).

So far I haven’t experienced any really noticeable side effects. Knock on wood and say a thank you prayer! My partner says I’ve been hormonal, but I think that’s really more attributed to nerves! (I politely reminded her it’s NEVER okay to tell a woman trying to get knocked up that she’s hormonal. 🙂 ) I did feel a little warmer at work yesterday- almost sweaty, but not quite. I checked my temperature just to be certain I wasn’t coming down with a cold and it was in the normal range. Odd.

So, back to my appointment this morning!

First they took my blood and then we got down to the business of the vaginal ultrasound. I’ve gotten accustomed to Mr. Weenie Wand, but I still think he owes me dinner after all this action!

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The ultreasound lady (I don’t know her actual title, oops) was snapping away taking lots of measurements of everything. After a couple minutes she announced that everything looked great and I could go ahead and get redressed. I asked her if she was able to get the measurements and could she PLEASE tell me (okay, really I almost begged).

She announced that I was at an 8!!!

Trying to contain my glee, I said, “Are you sure?”

“Absolutely, that’s why it took a little longer. I was measuring it twice to be certain,” she said with a big smile on her face.

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So, there you have it! We’re at an 8!!!! For those who don’t know, in order to be cleared for your transfer the MINIMUM lining I’ve heard of anyone being approved at is at least a 7. Meaning, I’ve surpassed that and still have 11 days until the transfer, so still time to get even fluffier.

My fingers and toes are crossed that the embro(s) will like my fluffy lining and make a comfy home there to grow, grow, grow!

I immediately messaged my IFs to tell them the news and they were very excited. 🙂

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I’m still waiting to get the official call from my nurse coordinator later today to confirm everything and hear if any changes are needed in my med protocol.

My next blood draw and U/S is 11/4, start PIO on 11/6, and last blood draw before transfer is 11/7. I’m as ready for shots as I’m going to get! I’ve watched dozens of videos, organized my meds, and purchased heating pad and ice packs! Any suggestions or tips for self-administering the shots is appreciated!

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November 11th transfer here we come! 🙂

What Happens in Vegas…

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Las Vegas is my new favorite city!!! Granted, I spent absolutely no actual time in Vegas, but it’s still my favorite city and this is why…

I flew from my home airport in Birmingham to Houston, Texas. Due to bad weather, the plane was delayed landing which meant I missed the connecting flight into Vegas. The airline was, thankfully, able to get me booked onto a later flight to Vegas that night. I quickly messaged Samantha and she contacted the fertility clinic so they could adjust the car service. I’m extra grateful I hadn’t checked any bags! I used my gorgeous new Vera Bradley duffel as a carry on bag. Luggage would have been a nightmare with the delays and flight cancellations. (Picture especially for you, tummymummy11 :). )

photo 1Once I made it into Vegas I found my driver (how cool and fancy is that?!?) waiting for me and he took me straight to my gorgeous hotel. It was late and I was starving, so I ordered a chicken quesadilla from room service and took a quick shower while I waited for it. The quesadilla was yummy, but it was also a fortune! I’m glad I wasn’t paying for that or I’d probably have just gone hungry! Who knew room service was so expensive!?!

Not even an hour after checking into the hotel I was in my comfy bed and out like a light!11The next morning I got up and ready, checked out and went down to the lobby to meet my car service (fancy again!). As we drove to the clinic I was a basket of nerves. This didn’t stop me from admiring the gorgeous scenery, though. All around me were themed resorts and tons of lights, but the sky was clear and baby blue and the mountains in the near distance were such a breathtaking contrast to the cityscape. I could have spent hours just riding around, but we shortly arrived at the clinic.

I immediately loved the nurses at the clinic. The one who took my blood was friendly and funny. There was also another GS getting her blood drawn beside me and we chatted about surrogacy. She’s starting her second journey and also has international IFs! Before I even knew it the nurse had filled her many vials with my blood. I hadn’t even noticed how much blood was being taken because it happened so quickly. I’m certain fertility clinics are secretly supplying vampires with the amount of blood they take!12

My intake coordinator, Maria, took my vitals and then led me back to a room and I donned the dreaded paper gown and hopped up on the table to wait. I stared in slight horror and the ultrasound machine thing beside me. I’d seen pictures of it on friends’ Instagram accounts (my favorite nickname for it is “Mr. Weenie Wand”) , but it was still intimidating.

I thought to myself, “Wow…. they’re putting that where? They could at least buy me dinner first!” 🙂13

Soon, Dr. D and Maria came into the room and the medical screening began. Dr. D was beyond nice. He explained everything to me step by step and kept asking if I was okay or feeling any discomfort throughout the process.  The two procedures he did were a sonohysterogram and a trial transfer. The sonohysterogram involved injecting water into the uterus through a catheter that is inserted into the cervical and uterine canal. During this process the doctor did an ultrasound to look for any uterine abnormalities that could interfere with pregnancy. The second procedure was a mock transfer. During the mock transfer the doctor used the same instruments he’ll use for the actual transfer so he can determine the size of the uterus and best positioning when he transfers the embryos. This helps to ensure the actual transfer will go as smoothly as possible. The entire process took less than 20 minutes and didn’t hurt at all.

2Dr. D showed me the sonogram of my uterus and told me it was a “beautiful uterus”.

For those who don’t know, that’s basically the best compliment a surro can hope to hear! He said everything looked great and perfect to carry a surrogate pregnancy! As long as everything from the lab work comes back fine, I’ll be officially medically cleared!

After I was redressed Maria introduced me to my nurse coordinator, Sarah. Like everyone else at the clinic, I adored her. She will be my point of contact at the clinic from here on out. We went over everything again and I signed a bunch of consent to treat forms and other paperwork. She told me she would keep me updated and as soon as they have my medical clearance and contracts she will order my meds and set up my med calendar!

I finished up and went outside where my driver was waiting to take me to the airport. The trip home was long and tiring! There were lots of delays because of the bad storms that came through Thursday.

While at the airport I checked my email and had two awesome messages. One from the clinic 4telling me my blood levels had all looked good! The other from Jesse at my agency saying the clinic had said they loved me. 🙂

This made up for the frustration of the travel delays. I finally made it back to Birmingham around 2:00 am Friday morning and went straight to bed.

After a few hours of sleep and dropping the kiddo off at school, my partner and I had the psych evaluation phone session with the psychologist for the clinic. It went very smoothly and I wasn’t nervous at all compared to the first time. I felt calm and sure of myself because of everything I’d learned over the past several months. We wrapped up the session and the psychologist wished us well on our journey.

Now, we begin contracts and wait for the medical clearance! My IFs are anxious to move on so we’re starting the contracts right away with hopes of having them done with in a couple weeks. They been amazing and kind. They’ve sent little messages to check in with me, or thank me again or wish me safe travels. I feel so blessed knowing I’m helping such wonderful guys become fathers!

How long did contracts take for you? What are some things you added or wished you’d added? Help a girl out with any advise you have! 🙂

Beginning Again

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Sometimes the only way to get started is to begin again.

During a surrogate support call I attended, and from an email from the agency, I learned about some unexpected financial complications my journey with the agency would create for my family. I spoke to several people about the issues to see if there was any other remedy to the issues. There wasn’t.

As committed as I was to working with this agency, I made the difficult decision that it was not going to be a viable possibility at this time.

During the time between applying with my first agency and now, I learned SO much more about surrogacy and different agencies. I had no idea there were so many agencies when I first decided to pursue my dream. Based on the new knowledge I have, I am able to choose an agency that will still be as wonderful as the first but that won’t create an undue burden on my family.

I decided to apply with an agency based in Wisconsin. It is smaller than the first, but just as reputable and experienced. I sent an email to the owner of the agency and she quickly replied back with information and an application. One benefit of the frustration I faced getting my medical records the first time was that I had them readily at hand. I completed the application and sent it and everything else requested back to the owner.

The owner is reviewing everything I sent and promised to be back in touch soon.

It’s scary to leave the comfort of the unknown and begin a journey again with someone new. I’ve learned this journey takes patience and faith. It also requires you to go with your instincts and make hard decisions. Leaving my first agency was beyond hard. I was actually fighting back tears as I sent the email. It was a necessary hardness, though. I am choosing to have faith that this journey will eventually lead me to the destination I’m meant for… I know I’ll be able to handle whatever that destination is.

Thank you for continuing to follow me on this incredible journey!

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Sweet Jealousy & the Waiting Game

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Jealousy

I’m not usually a jealous person. Okay, sure, sometimes I do envy Carrie Underwood’s amazing legs…. and I MAY have been known to covet my sister’s wardrobe a time or two… BUT, in general, I am a very content person. I am blessed with so many wonderful people and things in my life.

Still, since my match fell through, I’ve found that little green monster trying to creep into my thoughts.

I see others posting about their upcoming match meetings then a few days later exuberant over a match, and I feel a twinge of jealousy. Why not me? Where’s my perfect match? This really is a VERY quick twinge. It’s almost immediately replaced by complete happiness for them. I genuinely want all of my surro sisters to have an amazing journey. It also made me stop and think about how my own postings about my first quick match might have left others with a visit from the green monster.

A friend reminded me this week that the quickest match isn’t always the best match.

I’m striving to focus on those words this week while I wait, (not too) patiently for word from my agency about parents. Throughout my time with the agency, they continue to be amazing. Jill has been just an email away and empathetic to my feelings. I just have to continue to believe that this journey will get going when the time is right.

In the mean time, we are staying busy with school, work and church. I was just promoted at work and am now enjoying a raise (yay!). I have to send a copy of my new paystubs to the agency as soon as I get them so my file can be updated. My kiddo is LOVING third grade. It’s a big change from second grade, but her teacher is wonderful and they do lots of projects and educational trips, which is perfect for Miss P.

I’m also enjoying the things I won’t be able to when I (hopefully) am able to carry for IPs… sushi is a favorite and so is strawberry and spinach salads with bleu cheese. Yummy! 🙂

What “off limits while pregnant” foods do you miss the most?