Tag Archives: doctors

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.¬†

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! :)***

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!” ūüôā13

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. ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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 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