Tag Archives: appointments

32 Week Bumpdate and the Blood Pressure Annoyance

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The past two weeks have seriously flown by. I can’t believe this is a 32 week update. It makes me realize there won’t be too many more of these and I’ll be doing a delivery post! ūüėÄ

The only significant news to report is about my 32 week ob appointment this week. Belly buddy¬†was¬†measuring right on track and had a strong HB of 133. Everything with me was good also EXCEPT my blood pressure was elevated. The doctor said it’s not of major concern at this point, but I’m supposed to start trying to “take it easy” more and resting in the evenings. I also have to start checking my BP twice a day at home and bring those numbers with me to next appointment or call if it goes over certain point. I’ve never had blood pressure issues before, so this really caught me by surprise. I’m determined to do anything I can to have a safe and healthy remainder of my pregnancy and deliver this little guy when he’s fully baked!

My AMAZING SO (significant other) has been just fantastic and supportive. I couldn’t ask for anything more and appreciate how she goes above and beyond to try and take care of me and make sure I’m resting and taking it easy as much as I can. My daughter has been away at sleep away camp this week (I miss her like crazy), so that’s made it easier to start getting into the routine of resting in the evening and not trying to do as much. I feel guilty that my SO and my daughter will have to do more around the house so I can get that evening rest, but I know it’s worth it and we’re in the home stretch! We’re all really excited for the IPs to arrive in a month and await the arrival of¬†their son!

My little cutie on drop-off day at camp. I can't wait to pick her up and hear all about her adventures!

My little cutie on drop-off day at camp. I can’t wait to pick her up and hear all about her adventures!

This week I¬†was also able to preregister for the hospital and schedule my labor and delivery tour (June 19!!!). I’m very eager to see the maternity floor and meet the social worker so we can go over everything together. They will get a copy of our contract and pre birth order (the legal document signed by the judge that establishes the intended parents’ legal rights and parentage to their baby) so that they’re prepared for the special circumstances of this delivery. ūüôā

I’m starting to think about delivery more and getting my list together of what I want to pack to bring. Any suggestions?

It’s been nearly nine years since I delivered a baby, so it feels a little foreign to me. On the bright side, I don’t have to bring near as much stuff since the IPs will be in charge of all things baby! So, car seat, baby clothes and bibs won’t be on my list.

Bumpdate:

How far along? 32 weeks

How big is baby:¬†About 4 lbs (about the size of a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in my¬†uterus. I’n¬†gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to the baby.

Boobies? Bigger and fuller

Stretch marks?¬†No new ones. Yay! I’m using the amazing all-natural products my IFs sent me from France.

Belly button In/Out? In, I have a deep one 

Wedding ring Off/On? Off, hello swollen hands

Symptoms? Insomnia. Frequent pee trips. Carpal tunnel in my hands at night. Crazy dreams. Always hungry. More easily tired. Back sore more often. Some sporadic swelling in feet and hands.

Sleep?¬†Sporadic- the wrist/hand issues at night make it hard as well as vivid dreams and peeing often. It’s getting more difficult to sleep.

Miss anything? Sushi and sleep without numbness in my hands. Bras that are comfortable. Clothes that fit.

Movement?¬†Yes! This little guy is making his presence known often. Some times I think he’s practicing kickboxing or soccer. I can feel his little hands or feet pressing into my stomach and then moving away again.

Food cravings?¬†Anything lemon, icy drinks, steak,¬†grapes, sushi (which I can’t have).

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope 

Labor signs No! And let’s keep it that way!!!!

Happy or Moody most of the time? Happy! A little more emotional sometimes.

Best moment this week: Dinner and a movie date with my SO

Thirty one weeks and ready for the pool!

Thirty one weeks and ready for the pool!

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A Small Scare and We’re Halfway There!!!

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Wow! It’s been a month since my last update. When I started this blog I vowed to myself that I would ALWAYS post regularly. Fast forward to this past month and things were crazy and my blog suffered. So, let’s get all caught up.¬†

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TMI WARNING: The following gets a little personal, so you can skip ahead if that stuff bothers you.

Around the 18 week mark I had a scare. It was evening and I was folding clothes in the bedroom. All of a sudden I felt a dampness between my thighs. I thought I must have somehow peed myself a little. That had happened once or twice (very small amount) when I had sneezed too hard or laughed too much. Oh the untold joys of pregnancy!

I went to the bathroom to clean up and when I removed my pajama shorts my heart dropped. My panties were soaked with bright red blood. I couldn’t breath for a moment because of the feeling of panic gripping my chest. I took a few deep, calming breaths and got myself cleaned up. I put a pad in my panties and went to lay down and call my doctor’s after hours service.

I left my message with the service and waited for my call back. I also immediately messaged Samantha (our interpreter/friend/surrogacy helper extraordinaire) to get her input. She was a great source of calm and we talked through things.

I wasn’t experiencing any pain, nor had I at any point… no cramping or aches. Good signs we thought. I laid in the bed on my side, very still, and waited for the doctor’s call back. The entire time my brain was going crazy. What could this mean? Was I miscarrying? How could that be possible? Everything had been perfect and uneventful so far. I had just seen the baby on an ultrasound a few short weeks ago.

I rubbed my stomach and talked to the baby. I told him he needed to be growing big and strong in there for his daddies… that he had so many people who already loved him and couldn’t wait to meet him.

A short while later, though it seemed like hours, the doctor called me and we talked it all through. She asked me questions about my symptoms such as amount, color and texture of the bleeding, any heavy lifting recently (of course not!), feeling any pressure at all in my uterus, etc.

We were in the middle of a “winter storm”, so she didn’t think driving to the hospital would have any benefit at that time and would just create undue risk. Based on our conversation of the symptoms, she advised me to continue laying down, drink as much water as possible and monitor my bleeding. She said if I started feeling any pain or pressure or bled through a pad in less than an hour to call her right back. Otherwise, she’d see me at her office for an exam and ultrasound the next day.

I didn’t get much sleep that night. I tossed and turned and worried. I got up every hour to check if I was bleeding. I was scared. How¬†would I ever¬†tell my IFs if something was wrong? This was their dream. Their perfect little baby boy. How could we get this far and then something be wrong? It didn’t seem fair or possible. I cried a little and prayed a lot. Samantha and I decided to wait until the appointment before we talked to the guys. We didn’t think it would benefit anyone to worry them before we knew anything concrete.

The bleeding subsided after a few hours and by morning there was just a little bit of blood when I wiped and it looked like it was leftover from the night and not fresh.

I breathed a little easier, but I was still terrified. I counted the minutes until I could go to my appointment.

Sitting in the waiting room, I watched the hands tick by on the clock. Finally, my name was called. I sat in the exam room and waited for the doctor. After a short wait she came in and we talked it all over and then she had me get up on the exam table so she could use the Doppler to listen for a heartbeat.

I held my breath and said a quick prayer. Then, I waited. She spread some gel on my abdomen and moved the monitor thing around. 1 second. 2 seconds. 3 seconds. Please, be okay. Please, be there.

Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. 

Oh, thank God!

There it was. That precious, perfect heart beat. It was beating away just like it should be. A few tears slid down my cheeks. I finally breathed.

Next came an ultrasound. Everything looked fantastic! The baby was measuring right where he should be (a day ahead still, actually). The placenta looked healthy and no issues. Basically, everything looked picture perfect normal.

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I felt the biggest wave of relief wash over me.

The doctor looked over everything and agreed that there was nothing to be found wrong. She told me that sometimes this just happens. It could just be hormonal fluctuations or a broken capillary due to the increased blood volume down there. Whatever the cause, the baby, my uterus and cervix all looked very strong and healthy. She told me to take it easy (pelvic rest, no exercising, etc.) and would see me back in two week instead of four to recheck that everything was still fine. Also, if I had any more bleeding or any pains to call her right away.

I messaged my IFs to let them know what was going on and assure them everything was still just fine. It was such a relief to be able to have a positive report to go along with the scare. I can’t even think about what I would have done if it had gone otherwise.

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I spent the next two weeks taking it very easy. I worked from home so that I didn’t even have to make the drive to work. It was a wonderfully boring two weeks with no more bleeding.

The follow up appointment fell right at 20 weeks so they went ahead and did the anatomy scan at the same time. There was my little French belly buddy wiggling around in my tummy! He was perfection, as always. They measured and looked at his heart, brain, spine and all those other good bits. Everything was right where it should be and looked healthy and complete. Hooray! I happen to think he has the most gorgeous brain ever and I love his little profile.¬†I’m convinced he’ll be smart and handsome like his proud daddies.¬† ūüôā

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So that’s been my crazy month. Today I hit twenty-one weeks, so we’re officially past the halfway point. ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

The guys¬†have been busy preparing their son’s room. I loved seeing¬†pictures of it. It’s absolutely adorable and I know this little belly buddy¬†is going to LOVE it when he gets older. It’s bright, happy and fun, just what I imagine his life will be like.¬†

Oh, Baby!

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It’s been a slow¬†few weeks. After the early loss of Twin B, I’ve been anxious for my next ultrasound so I could see that the baby was still thriving and growing as he or she was supposed to. I tried to stay busy with holiday preparations and enjoying time with my family, but it was hard. I’ve had no morning sickness at all. That’s great… but it also means I don’t have that daily (awful) reminder of, “Oh hey, yup, you’re still preggers!”

I’ve been tired, a little moody (my partner may say a lot moody, lol), peeing often and have breast changes… still, it’s easy to attribute those to the meds. So I waited and waited for my monitoring appointment.

Finally, today, December 30th, came. Same usual routine. Blood work. Pee. Undress from waist down. Feet in the stirrups. Insert Mr. Weenie Wand. Deep breath.

Oh, baby!

There he/she was. My little belly buddy was right where he/she should be! There was no mistaking it. I took a slow breath. Okay, lets get down to the measuring.

Good heart beat. Check!

Good size and position. Check!

Good sac size and measuring at right stage. Check!

Everything was perfect!

What I hadn’t expected was how developed the baby would already be at only 9 weeks + 5 days (but measuring at 10 weeks even). You could see even see the tiny hand and feets!!! My belly buddy was an active little thing. It was beyond reassuring to see his/her little arms and legs just moving about. And that precious heart beat…. insert the teary eyes here.

As soon as we were done I sent my IFs the good news and pictures and I could just imagine the sigh of relief they each took. I know as emotionally invested in the success of this pregnancy as I am, they are so much more. This is their life’s dream.

Now I feel like I can relax some. We’ve almost made it to the 12 week mark which is what I’ve always been told is the time when the risk of miscarriage goes down to 1% or less. I am waiting to hear from my RE this afternoon. I believe they will have me decrease my meds and/or stop completely! (Insert the celebratory dance here.) It’s hard to imagine a life without daily injections, pills, patches and suppositories.

My next appointment is January 9th with the OB. They will be doing a non-invasive blood test to check for genetic issues and can also tell the gender if the IFs want to know now!

I hope you all have an amazing NEW YEAR. Have you made any resolutions? Mine are to focus on a healthier work/family balance, keep¬†active and stress less. One great benefit of being pregnant is that “lose weight” doesn’t need to be on the list. HA! ūüėČ

Baby 1

My little belly buddy. She/he is head down and you can see the little arms and legs. ūüôā

Transfer & the Two Week Wait

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Flying into Vegas on Monday, November 10th, I felt surprisingly calm. All through the weekend leading up to my trip for the transfer, I’d felt nervous excitement. I’d double checked my packing list and suitcase five times to be sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. Now, watching the the lights of the city come into view, I felt calm and a sense of purpose like never before.

That night I walked around the Promenade outside my hotel and savored the sights and sounds. My RE was putting me on full bed rest after the transfer, so I wanted to enjoy the little bit of freedom to roam while I still could.¬†Brick oven, roasted veggie pizza and a lemon cupcake from the famous Sprinkles bakery made for a yummy last supper. ūüôā

IMG_1213The next morning I grabbed a chai tea frappuchino from Starbucks and walked to the Eiffel Tower in the Paris area of Las Vegas a few blocks from my hotel.I made a wish for this to be a successful transfer and tossed my penny. I thought it was a good sign that there was a little bit of France in Las Vegas since my IFs’ embryos were created in
Vegas for a life in France! :

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I¬†arrived at the fertility center and, after having my blood drawn, was quickly taken back to the “holding area” for those having¬†their transfers. I know fertility issues impact so many different women, but it was eye opening to see this in person. There was about five girls in the holding area with me and each one was seemingly very different from the next. I was sitting next to this gorgeous young woman who looked to be about my age. We talked about her IVF story and my surrogacy journey as we waited for our turn. Talking to her reminded me of how much of an honor it is for me to (hopefully) be able to help my IFs start a family they couldn’t otherwise achieve on their own.

Once it was my turn, I undressed from the waist down and was wrapped in a sheet to cover myself. My nurse coordinator had my IFs ready online using the clinic’s live feed so they were able to be a part of the process. It was exciting to see them again and see their excitement. They kept asking if I was okay and comfortable throughout the procedure. I love that about them… their caring hearts and kind personalities.

IMG_1256The actual transfer took less than 10 minutes. I placed my legs in the stirrups, got comfortable and then the doctor guided the catheter into my uterus with¬†the assistance of ultrasound. Once everything was in place, the embryologist brought over the two embryos and they were transferred to my uterus. It was incredible to be able to see them (technically the ebryotic fluid ) on the screen once they were placed inside. It was a little white line where there hadn’t been one before. The procedure didn’t hurt at all. The only part that was uncomfortable was when the nurse was pressing on my lower pelvis with the ultrasound wand thing. You have to have a very full bladder for the procedure to help compress your uterus and make it easier to see everything. It was definitely a struggle not to pee right there on the table. That would have been mortifying!

After the procedure was over, we said goodbye to the guys and the doctor gave me more instructions on aftercare and what to expect next. I was then moved back to the holding area where I had to lay flat with knees up for twenty minutes. Next, I was taken back to the hotel for my¬†my bed rest to begin. Even though the doctor assured me the embryos couldn’t “fall out”, I still basically tiptoed through the hotel to my room. Ha!

I spent the rest of the week resting and trying to stay as relaxed as possible. That was the beginning of the dreaded two week wait, which, for the record, is complete torture! The 2WW¬†is the time in between the transfer taking place and when you have your first beta blood test to determine pregnancy. I originally didn’t plan to take any home pregnancy tests during this time, but the not knowing seems so much worse then knowing something bad.

After being on bed rest for 2.5 days, I was finally able to fly home that Friday. True to fashion, there were plane delays that resulted in me not making it home until very late that night. I’ve never been so glad to be home after being away from my family for the whole week! ūüôā

IMG_1268I made a testing pack with another surro from my agency who had her transfer the same day as me. We tested on Saturday, which was 4 days past 5 day transfer. We both got negatives. ūüė¶ Still, at only 4dpt, we’re not worrying because we know we have plenty of time to get our BFP (big fat positive). I go tomorrow morning (Monday) for my first post-transfer blood test (not beta) to check my estrogen and progesterone levels.

Tomorrow morning will be 5.5dpt, and I plan to test again. I’m really praying for that BFP then. Please continue to keep me in and my IFs in your thoughts and/or prayers! They want this so badly, and the thought of neither embryo sticking is a heart breaking one!

Ready? Set. Go!

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I feel like it’s been forever since my last blog post! In reality, it’s only been 15 days, but it’s been an action packed 15 days. Let me jump right in so I can keep this short and sweet.

What’s been happening:

  • 10/10 – Wisdom teeth out (no fun!) and got first draft of contract
  • 10/13¬†– Email from clinic¬†saying test results great and issued medical clearance to proceed with surrogacy

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  • 10/13 (also)- Phone call with my lawyer to discuss contract and a few revisions/changes it needed, revised contract sent to IFs’ lawyer
  • 10/15- Contract back from IFs with a few of their own changes, discussed with lawyer, okay with changes so I signed contract!photo 3
  • 10/16- First monitoring appointment at local clinic for blood work to check starting levels, call from nurse¬†coordinator¬†that all levels are good so meds are being shipped overnight!

Labs

  • 10/17- ¬†Receive med calendar and meds, started period

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  • 10/18- Leave for cruise

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  • 10/19- Started birth control¬†pill

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  • 10/22- Stopped birth control (on it for four days total)
  • 10/23- Home from cruise
  • 10/24 – First baseline appointment at monitoring center, ultrasound was good, everything looks perfect, labs and U/S sent to RE, waiting on call to confirm start of meds.

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See, I told you it’s been a busy 15 days!

My heads spinning right now and it all still feels surreal.

I’ve read other surro blogs and know how lengthy a process legal can be. It amazes me how we knocked it out so quickly. I think it’s a little bit of luck, but mostly because everyone on our team (IFs, clinic, lawyers, agency, etc.) has really been pushing to move everything along so we can have the transfer asap.

The contract was very fair and in good shape to begin with. The few changes I wanted were mostly for clarity sake. I didn’t want to have any possibility for ambiguity that could cause conflict later. I felt the IFs were extremely fair to me, so I didn’t want to stress over a few minor points that made no significant difference to the contract. That really helped us to wrap it up quickly.

As of right now, our transfer date is set for Tuesday, November 11th!!!!

Yes, that’s only like 2.5 weeks from today. I can’t believe that in a few weeks I could be almost three weeks pregnant (two weeks + 5 day old embryo). I already bought a couple (4!) pregnancy tests so I’ll be ready to POAS soon after the transfer! ūüôā

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For my surro friends, how many embryos did you transfer your first time and how many stuck? Also, please tell me ALL of your special transfer tricks… eating pineapple, wearing green, etc. I’m not a superstitious person, but I’m willing to try it for the sake of making my IFs proud papas! ūüôā

*** UPDATE: Just got the call from my nurse coordinator to begin Estrace! Our preparation for transfer is underway!! Lab levels were good and lining was nice and thin like they wanted it, so now we build it to a fluffy one! Did anyone have side effects from Estrace? Just wondering what to be prepared for. Thanks! :)***

I’m Not Crazy…

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That’s the thought that kept running through my head while I waited for my mental health evaluation appointment to arrive.

Sure, I knew I wasn’t crazy, but what if somehow the test said otherwise? What if the Psychiatrist determined I wasn’t really a good candidate for surrogacy? What if she took issue with my relationship? What if…

The day before my appointment I was really nervous and, being the organizer and planner I am, planned everything to the T. My partner finally insisted I relax when I Read the rest of this entry

Medical Documentation Success!!!

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Medical Documentation Success!!!

I got my PAP results in the mail yesterday and emailed them straight to my coordinator, K. This morning she sent me an email that said, “Great news! We’ve gotten all the medical documentation that we needed. You are now ready to schedule your mental health evaluation…”

I immediately contacted the doctor she told me to and my evaluation is scheduled for the end of this month.

Any words of wisdom?!? Fingers crossed this stage goes well also. ūüôā

Medical Appointment- Done!

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I’ve never been so anxious for the date of a medical appointment to arrive¬†as I was for the one yesterday. Well, maybe excluding my own pregnancy related appointments. It was for my annual exam and pap, which were¬†the last big steps before I’m fully admitted into the surrogacy program.

I was sitting on the exam table in the flimsy¬†paper gown (who designed these awful things anyways?) and my palms were sweating. Admittedly, it’s been a few years since I had one of these exams because I didn’t have health insurance in college, so I was even more nervous than I usually would be. I had a million “what ifs” buzzing around in my head while I waited for the doctor to come in. Read the rest of this entry