Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day

What a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and did I mention that today I got to tell my IPs that they are going to be parents???

I got this beauty on Saturday morning. Five days past our five-day transfer (5dp5dt)

And these loverlies are from today (8dp5dt). We are preggo!!!!!!!!! More importantly, E&J are preggo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Telling E was amazing. It was beyond anything I'd imagined. It was real and it was genuine joy. It is the reason I am doing this and as I was getting my shot today, I focused on that sound of her celebrating and I smiled.

Later on in the day, I got to talk to J and he was so happy. He actually congratulated me and I thought that was cute. Congratulations to YOU, J!!! :) It's your big day!!

It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away.

A Little Q&A, not to be confused with T&A!

Since finding out about the surrogacy, a lot of people have posed questions to me. Some are funny, some are rude and some are down right out there. I think every surro-blogging sister of mine has a Q&A of sorts with the crazy questions she gets. I don't get offended by questions because I try and remember that most people know nothing about surrogacy and it's such a different thing than they've ever encountered. So, I try and answer them as best as I can. If there are any you would like answered, please feel free to post them in the comments section! :) I, or likely any surro that follows this thread, would be happy to answer them.

  1. If it is twins, do you get to keep one? If the answer to this one was "yes," I would've bowed out before it started. We would never keep someone else's baby just like we would never go into your house and steal your child and we would never babysit for someone and say, "Looks like you got your hands full there; do you just want us to keep this one?" So the answer is no. We don't want to keep the baby(ies) nor are we allowed to, thank God. :)
  2. Is this how you're going to make a living from now on? I'm going to stick with the "no" answer again for a few reasons. One, I do not make enough from surrogacy to live on (it's like $2.23/hr if you want to look at it that way). Second, a surrogacy "paycheck" is not guaranteed and should not be used to change your lifestyle. At best, it is about a year of your time and please don't mistake this for resentment. I am very appreciative of the compensation and what it means for my family, but it is not the life-changing amount people think it is. You can easily Google how much a first time surrogate can make and get an average, so I won't spell out my comp. amount here. Suffice it to say that although I am good at having babies, it's more of a hobby than a career goal. :)
  3. What will you tell your kids? We spoke to our 6 yr old about this long before and our 4 year too, but he wasn't too interested. Rach understands that mommy is growing a baby for E&J because E's tummy is sick. Since babies are put into mommies by God (as that is how it goes at our house, feel free to comment but I won't debate that with you) then God is going to put the baby in our tummy to grow and I will take care of it for E. That's what she knows and she is excited about it. So excited that she told someone the other day, "My mommy's having a baby and she's giving it away!" We quickly revisited that topic and set her straight. :)
  4. Won't it be hard to give up the baby? Won't you get attached? This is a question that either makes me feel like I have no soul or that I'm heartless but I know it crosses everyone's mind, so I will explain my feelings. Going into this, I knew that any baby(ies) created would be no more mine than a best friend leaving their dog with me while they are vacation becomes mine. This baby is not mine. Do I get to feel it grow, care for its health and feel it move? Yes. And those things will be amazing. They will be wonderful and I feel privileged that my IPs picked me to do this for them. It still does not make it my baby. As far as the attachment, I love my nieces and nephews fiercely. I would catch a grenade for them (thank you, Bruno Mars)...but would I ever contemplate keeping them when my sister(in-law) or brother(in-law) drops them off? Never. They are not mine. Just because I may care for this/these child(ren), doesn't mean I would feel like they were mine to keep. I hope that helps explain it a bit. Also, it's super illegal to boot! :) And lastly, our hands are full with OUR three babies! Why would I bring someone else's home?? :)
  5. Do you know the couple? Well I should hope so! I'm carrying their baby(ies) aren't I? :) But seriously folks...I obviously know them now, but what you're getting at is, did I know them before the surrogacy? No. E and I talked in May of last year and we clicked but we were not aquainted before then. We met through classified ads on a website and "matched." We were looking for the same things, agreed on the "big" issues and decided to start working together. I'm so glad we did.

So, that's it for now. Feel free to send me other questions that pop up. :)

OH!! Their pictures! How did I forget to put this up?? Here are the babies' first pics! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

No Rain

Life is pretty plain right now. I'm waiting for Weds. when we go get our bloodwork drawn. E has decided (and I totally agree with her) that we should wait for the bloodwork instead of playing the pee-stick game that we thought would be fun. It's much easier on the nerves this way.

Until then, I leave you with a really good song from my youth. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today's blog-brought to you by the letter T (as in Transfer!)

Wow, what an exciting 3 days it has been!! I'm reporting to you, live, from my bed in Dallas, TX. In breaking news, two embryos are snuggling in deep for a nice nine month stay in Chez Cancino. :) The transfer was this morning and it was a quick 15-minute process that made it seem almost too easy!

Saturday morning, we got the call that we had 3 excellent embryos, 2 good embryos and 2 average embryos. My IM called and said we would see them in Dallas on Monday! Al and I dropped the kids off and headed to Bryan/College Station for one last hurrah with the gang.

Sunday morning, we woke up and drove to Dallas on Superbowl Sunday. On our way to Dallas, we had to go through Madisonville. This is where Albert and I started our lives together more than six years ago. We drove right by the Bed and Breakfast where we stayed on our wedding night and had the best ribeye I'd ever had! Luckily for us, they were having brunch so we popped in for a peek at the place.

We got to sit at "our" table and ate the most delicious brunch in the world!!

As we were eating, I mentioned to Al that it was the first time I had ever been there without being pregnant. He said, "Well, you're getting pregnant tomorrow!" And he was right! We snuck upstairs real quick to look at the B&B's old game of Scrabble. Al and I still enjoy playing that game together and I thought we might send E&J a quick message.

("Think Positive" was our new motto for the week!)

We arrived at the hospital, which is a couple of streets down from the RE's clinic, and checked into our rooms (they have guest rooms there). E&J got there shortly after and we all just hung out for a bit. We had dinner at Chuy's (mine and Albert's first time) and became immediate fans!

(Here are E&J, Albert and me. We're enjoying our margaritas!! It was a great "last drink" to have!!!)

So, with excitment and nerves, E & painted our nails green (for good luck!) and somehow got to sleep. We were both up pretty early, but she waited until about 10 to knock on my door. We got some breakfast and then headed to the clinic. Unfortunately, I have a cold today. My nose is runny, my throat is scratchy, but no fever!! So, on with the show. I got to wear a real slammin' outfit:

Then, it was time for the transfer!! The embryologist came in and talked to us about the two embryos they were suggesting we transfer. Everyone was in agreement about putting both in so we went for it. They got me up on the bed and then E, J & Al were put at the head of the bed. They had two monitors to watch. One was for the embryos and we all got to see them being put into the catheder and that was just amazing!!! The other screen was an ultrasound image of my uterus. We saw Dr. C thread that in there and one, two, transferred the embryos into their new little home. I shuffled onto another bed and they wheeled me into a room where we all waited for about an hour. I dressed and then we left. Presto!!

Now, I am on bedrest until tomorrow so I'm taking it easy, reading my Kindle and watching some TV. Our beta is not until Weds., the 16th, but E&J have given me the go ahead to start Peeing on a Stick (POAS) whenever I'm ready! I'm going to try and wait until Friday to do so though. Patience is not one of my strengths.

Until Friday, this is Carmela reporting. Think positive and, good day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Heat is On - Glenn Frey

The heat is on at our house because it's 26 degrees outside and yes, this is Texas I'm talking about. The heat is on my hiney because I'm sitting on a heating pad after my (count 'em!) 4th (really 5th) PIO shot. And the heat is on for our transfer because ladies and gentleman, we are almost there!! The embryos are 2 days old today and tomorrow morning, the embryologist will take a peek at them to see how they are doing. Let me backtrack a little. Our ED had her retreival on Wednesday (2nd) and had 15 eggs. Then, they unfroze the sperm and took 15 good ones. Embryos were checked at Day 1 and 7 of them were growing nicely. They did not disturb them today. So, tomorrow, we will get the call letting us know if we need to head on in for a 3 day transfer or if we can hold out until Monday. Now, I'm no embryologist, but to share a little with you, here is a picture of a 3 day embryo (8-cell).

8-celled embryo

And here is a picture of a 5 day blastocyst.

8-celled embryo

Now, healthy babies have been born from 3 and 5 day embryos (and other days too, but let's not confuse the issue anymore than it already has been). The clinic we're working with tends to lean towards fresh transfers (not frozen) and 5 day embryos. So, that is where we are.

For now, I am enjoying my time with my babies and avoiding packing. I will have to do it eventually though, so I am finishing this up and getting right on it as I can procrastinate no longer! :) (I had hopes that my husband would do it all for me! HAHA One can dream!)

I will check back with our news tomorrow! Sleep well, my friends!

(P.S. A little trivia...I've taken 72 shots, total, so far. Almost all of those have been the Lupron shots though.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We Are the Champions

Now is not a time for losers. It's not a time to be timid, it's a time to jab myself in the hip with an inch and a half-long needle! :) One tiny little thing was standing in my way-I'M TERRIFIED OF NEEDLES!!
And guess what??? I DID IT!!!

Remember how I was going to have my husband do it? Well, he was a willing volunteer but I really have been wanting to get this needle phobia out of the way for some time now. I think talking about it, blogging, watching videos, and visiting with the local surro, J, helped me to decide, "I'm gonna do it." I went to my friend, A's house, and she walked me through it.
She helped me get all organized and lay everything out. I am an idiot and I brought the wrong sized syringe so I ended up having to poke myself twice.

As Amber was pumping me up and talking me through it, she turned to her fridge and was saying, "Just do it and go for it and no hesitation." and by the time she turned around, I had done it! "I didn't even feel it!!" I said. She pushed the PIO in for me so I could feel the sensation of it going in and all was well. "Okay, now you do the next one by yourself so you can feel the resistance" A said. I did the second one and she helped me finish off the PIO, but I feel so much better about all of this now! I read so many blogs about the shots because that was really the only hesitation I had about doing surrogacy. Could I really do this? I knew I would do what I needed to get it done, but the feeling of accomplishment I feel right now is pretty darn great! :)

So, I sit here with my massaging heating pad that I got from Amazon and am enjoying my 45 mins. of guilt-free chair time. :)

Mad props to my girl, A. I love ya and thanks for getting me through this!!! I can't wait to show Al how to do it! I think he's going to actually think it's fun!! :) Now, I just have to be nice to him for the next 3 months! haha

Hello Goodbye

Goodbye, Lupron! Hello, Progesterone in Olive Oil (PIO)!

Last night was my last Lupron shot. Remember my little freak out about having to give myself injections? Well, I'm a Lupron-giving fool now!! :) I could do it in my sleep (and have been rather sleepy, at times, and given it right before I crashed into bed!) Well, my friends, today is a new day and it will be a first for this girl. Tonight, one of my very good friends (I still don't know WHICH one! LOL) will be heading over to help teach Al how to do my shots. I had several sweet volunteers so I'm touched (and relieved) to have so many back-ups! :) In case you're wondering, I'll be on 75mg of PIO a night. :)

Last night, I returned to my house around 11:15. Yes! To quote my dear friend, D's, grandmother, I am a dirty stayout!! :) Haha, okay, not really, but I was out late last night. I met my new friend, J! I'm just going to go ahead and call her a friend because we spent every minute of our 2.5 hrs together talking and getting to know each other! She is an amazing person who just delivered her surrobabe 2 weeks ago!! I thought she said 2 MONTHS because she looked so great, but nope, 2 weeks. Also, she has 4 boys! If I had any worries left about being able to do this with 3 kiddos, they were completely erased last night. :) We had such a great visit, we know a lot of the same people and it was just so nice to sit and talk and enjoy one of my last cups of coffee!

I'll return tonight and let you know how the PIO went. :) Toodles!