Friday, July 30, 2010

Takes A Little Time

I got a call from the NC today and the ED has 3 cysts so she can't start on her stimulation meds on Sunday. I will admit that I am a little bummed. It's not that I feel like everything has to be on some sort of schedule or that it has to happen quickly, but I was getting quite excited to have a date pretty much set in stone. Lesson learned: There is no "set in stone" with surrogacy. :) So, for now, we are experiencing a delay. The NC was unsure as to how long it will be since you can't really predict when cysts will go away. She said it could be next week or it could be two or three weeks. You just never know. I feel badly for the ED as the NC said she was upset. It's really out of all of our hands though. So, we wait. Do you see the pattern yet? :)

The good news is that I get to decrease the amount of Lupron to 5 units and stay at 2mg of Estrace instead of 4mg. Maybe my "crazy" won't show as badly now!

I haven't spoken to IM yet today. I'm sure she'll be kind of bummed too. I mean, I've only been waiting for a few months now and that's nothing compared to how long my IPs have been waiting. So, if you think about it, say a quick prayer for the ED that her cysts go away, please. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dirty Little Secret

I have a secret! It's not dirty though...sorry to disappoint. I got something in the mail today, but I can't tell you what it is just yet! :) Believe me, this is as hard on me as it is on you. Ask anyone, I can't keep a secret to save my life (write it down in your little mental journal, people!) and it's not because I don't want to! I swear! I just have no filter sometimes and I forget that I'm supposed to remember not to say something sometimes.

What I can tell you is that the hubbs and I are officially on hiatus this week. Yes, I'm talking about a sexual strike! Well, not a strike so much as a contractual obligation not to engage in any sort of behavior for 3 weeks prior to and 3 weeks following the transfer (and/or longer if the OB/RE says so). Is this an over-share? Probably...but I did want to let anyone contemplating surrogacy know what the ins and outs were. So, if you see Al in the next month and a half and he's, just give him a pat on the back and a "buck up little camper" and send him on his merry way. Why is this necessary, you ask? Before transfer, it ensures that the only person hanging out in my uterus the next 9 months or so doesn't belong to me and after is so that there are no "disturbances" to knock the little baby/babies out of there since we want it/them to get in there nice and snug. There are some different schools of thought as to what is and isn't necessary after transfer, but this is what my clinic would like, so those are the rules. Every clinic/contract is different though...just sharing what my situation is.

I start back on Estrace tonight and increase to twice daily tomorrow. The ED has her appt. with the clinic tomorrow and the NC will call me to let me know if we're still on target for her to start her stimulation meds on Sunday. Holy cow! This is becoming more real by the moment! I'm supposed to start PIO the night before the ED's egg retreival. That should be about the 10th. I cannot believe we're just 2 weeks away from that!!! Things are starting to happen quickly now. Poor E, I am sure time is moving slowly for her, but I have more to keep me occupied (med-wise) so at least that takes my mind off of the waiting!

In other news, I have the Lupron Munchies. I am hungry ALL OF THE TIME! This is insane and I need to get back to the gym too, but I am tired a lot. I'm told all of this is normal with Lupron. I do feel a little spaced out and "out of it" at times...Loopy on Lupron the saying goes. What was my excuse before? :) I've gained a few pounds and I'm a little bummed at myself for that, so I need to really pay attention to what I am eating.

The reunion went well! In fact, it was dang near perfect. I had the best time. Here is a picture. My best friend from Kindergarten-5th grade is on the left with her husband. Al is right behind me (I'm in the teal) and one of my best friends (of two) from 5th grade-present is on my right.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peanut, Peanut Butter, and Jelly

I wish making a baby was as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (and as yummy!) It is a good bit more exciting though, so I will give it that.

Let's talk about the embryo transfer procedure for a minute. On (or around) August 16, the RE will be transferring two 5-day embryos into the loverly uterus (do not doubt that it is loverly, the doctor with the white coat said so....twice)

Here is a chart showing the progression of the embryo growth and cell division. Remind you of 9th grade Biology? (I'm feeling quite nostalgic as my 10 year reunion is this weekend.) We are using an Egg Donor so she will start stimulation meds on August 1st. The clinic will then monitor her pretty regularly and check for follicles to determine when they will do the egg retreival. This is predicted to occur around, August 11-13 and then 5 days from the egg retreival will be the embryo transfer...unless...the Embryologist sees that they are starting to fragment and then it could be sooner. We're sort of "on call" after the egg retreival and have to be prepared to fly to Dallas at a moment's notice. Otherwise, if things go as planned, we will just drive. The embryo transfer usually happens around noon and then I will move as little as possible for the next 24 hrs and then have bedrest for a couple of days.

Bed rest may sound horrible to some and I imagine more than a few days of it would drive even the most lazy of people crazy, but I am prepared for some R&R and while I love my children and my life, I am definitely looking forward to a few days in bed with DH waiting on me!! :) Who wouldn't!?!? I have a booked picked out, I plan to watch some Lifetime and indulge in some nice, guilt-free sleep...

I will also start PIO (Progesterone in Oil-Olive in my case) injections and they will continue for most of the first trimester. These are the intramuscular injections that I'm sort of dreading. Now that I am a Lupron-giving fool, I don't feel as apprehensive about it. It'll probably still hurt like hell, I'm not gonna fool myself, but at least I don't want to hurl at the thought of it.

Did you see my ticker? We're getting ever so close! AF came for one last visit and I'm off of the estrace for now. I continue Lupron and start estrace back up on the 28th. Then, the countdown really begins!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Got My Mind Set On You

I got my mind set on you sweet little Lupron!!! I did it, I did it, I did it right...Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I gave myself a Lupron shot. Actually, I've given myself 5 shots...and you want to know a secret? It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be!! In fact, I hardly even felt it. I will admit that I looked down and secretly hoped that my hand had somehow learned the art of sticking a syringe into the side of its body and that was why I hadn't felt anything, but I opened my eyes and discovered that I was inches away from skin and it took 5 tries before I could actually plunge the thing in. Thankfully, I was running late to work and had 3 children to tote across the street so I had to be done with it fairly quickly and made myself do it. Upon the advice of a commentor on this blog (Thank you, Mrs. Knight!) I broke the skin and eased the needle in. Huzzah! I felt nothing! I checked to make sure it wasn't a "trick" needle that collapses, but no, I'd actually done it! Five days later and I'm happy to report that the only real side effect I've had is a penchant for crying. I was a bawling mess on Thursday and Friday and entertaining as it was to my husband, I think it got a little ridonculous after the 3rd bout of unexplained crying. I watched P.S. I love you and got most of it out. Back to business as usual today although I was a tad bit moody earlier. Whether this is from the IVF meds or not, I don't know for certain, but it's nice to blame crabbiness on something, right? :) Nothing some giggles and silliness from my kiddos and hubby couldn't fix! Baby giggles are like magic. Nothing can escape their power.

(This is my very own custom fabricated Giggle-Maker 2010)

And Versions 2004 & 2006 are seen above.

I love sharing these moments with my kiddos and they breathe life into my day. In talking to IM today, she was marveling at the fact that we'll be preggo this time next month and I can't wait to pass this feeling on to them!!!!! It's simply amazing to me that I, being just an ordinary girl, get to be part of this wonderfully extraordinary process. I feel blessed that E&J have entrusted this role to me and I thank them for their faith in me. Did I mention Dr. C remarked, once again, at how great my uterus is? Color me proud, but those are his words, not mine. :) Everything is working out so smoothly and I cannot wait to be in Dallas! (I really need to get through some books so that I can read the wonderful Diana Gabaldon novel, An Echo in the Bone while on bedrest! 3 whole days of Jamie and Claire, uninterrupted. Pinch me, I must be dreaming!)

I take my last Estrace and Provera tonight and wait for one last AF (and she is NOT allowed back until next summer!!) and continue with the Lupron. I start back on the Estrace on July 28th and we have an ultrasound on August 4th to check lining again.

27 days people!!!!! Less than a month!! Let's get knocked up!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just a Spoonful of Sugar (Helps the Medicine Go Down)

I got meds today!!!!! Yup, they shipped me a little box of Lupron and Progesterone!! This feels SO REAL now!!!! I start Lupron tomorrow (and not Friday like I thought!). I also started Provera yesterday for my mock cycle. I can't take the oral tablets for the real cycle, but this will show us how my body will handle the drugs.

Aren't they B-E-A-UTIFUL folks!?!? (The Lupron is in the fridge. I took a picture of it, but it didn't show up for some reason, and I was too lazy to go pull it out again)
Now, those of you that know me know I hate needles. Hate, hate, hate them and I get rather queasy at the thought of them. I don't know that a spoonful of vodka would help them go down (For the's not allowed after transfer!!) There are literally hundreds of shots to be taken with each cycle. Some of them are small like the Lupron shot and some are larger like the Progesterone in Olive Oil shots. I'm a little sweaty even posting those pictures. Why would I subject myself to repeated stabbings in the hips you ask? For E&J and their baby. Sure, I'm gonna bruise...and I'm going to get knots. I knew all of this going in. There will probably be days that I cringe and it might take me an hour to get that needle in, but I will do it because it is one of the most important parts of this process. These drugs "trick" the body into thinking it is pregnant and allows the embryo(s) to grow big and strong and "stick." It's a carefully calculated process and must be followed to the letter. So, I will overcome my dislike of needles for my new friends and their dream. I feel that at the end of this, I will be satisfied if I never see another needle again, but maybe I will no longer have sweaty palms at the thought of a syringe? (Ironic as this is, I had epidurals with all 3 of my children and didn't hesitate to let them stick this in my spine!!! OMG, I almost threw up searching for those pictures!! haha)
The reason I share my scare of needles with you is to make you aware of what this process is. It isn't "easy money" and it isn't a quick trip to the doc to get knocked up and then laying around eating ice cream for 9 months. My IPs have so much invested in this, in me. I refuse to let them down and so, speed bump that it is, it is a small and surmountable one. I also share this to let those of you who are wanting to be a surrogate know about as many aspects of surrogacy (or my journey, at least) as I can share. Fear and apprehension are some of the things that go along with it...just like most things in life that are worth pursuing!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)

So, it's not quite that dramatic, but we have overcome some pretty nice obstacles to get to this point. We are one month and four days away from our transfer!!! :) The ultrasound tech/doc took another look at my loverly lining and it was around 11cms. That's a good number apparently!! My morning and evening Estrace is working quite nicely. :) I am learning that I'm still having to stay on top of the NC at the RE's office. I called her twice to confirm my ultrasound appt. and she said she had it written down. I got to the imaging center and they didn't have doc's orders, which they are a stickler for, and it was after 5. I live in a small town, so it wasn't as if I could go the next day and the next week was out because I'm the only one in the office in my dept. all this week. So, I text my other contact there, she says she'll try in the morning. That won't do so I call the call center and get them to page Dr. C since they'll take a verbal authorization/order and I feel like a tool for doing this, but I just simply cannot afford to have this cycle messed up. IM and IF are counting on me and I did tell IM we were a, I did my Hail Mary (and please don't tell me if I used the football analogy the wrong way! haha) play and Dr. C, great Doc that he is, calls it in a few minutes later and I'm one with my ultrasound and the rest of my evening of dinner and a movie with friends! (Eclipse, in case you were wondering.....swoon at Jacob/Taylor Lautner....and yes, I realize that makes me a cougar although I'm told I have 5 years left until I am really one...I can't help it! I really wish they would make him put his shirt back on!)

I should be getting a nice box of meds this week. I start Loopy Lupron this week (Friday) and then we're on countdown until the transfer. I need to get a couple of things ordered for my trip and then I'll be ready to head to Dallas and get knocked up! :)

I haven't written about the weight loss aspect of this journey in a while but I'm proud to say that I'm down a couple of pounds. It's not really that much of an achievement unless you consider not gaining part of the success. Add 2 weeks of bloat-causing hormones to that and it actually is a nice notch in my belt...I've been going to the gym and walking/jogging to try and keep off any IVF weight gain. I certainly cannot be any heavier at transfer, but at this rate, I'll be a little lighter! :) I'm coming into this pregnancy 15 lbs. lighter than I was going into my last and being that it ended in February, I'm fine with those numbers.

So, all in all, things are going well. The IPs have all kinds of crazy things going on with their lives such as moving, school, work, etc. so they've had their plates pretty full these past few weeks. Luckily, they have Wonder Surro on their side!