Monday, December 31, 2012

20 weeks

HALFWAY!!! I can't believe we are halfway through this pregnancy. It has flown by and I am soooo excited for what's to come. T & R are on their babymoon and I can't wait to hear about their trip when they get home:) They did a good job of spoiling my family for Christmas. We also had a great Christmas, (actually 3 of them;o)

How am I feeling physically? Heartburn is my biggest complaint (which responds well to Tums, though seems to be increasing in frequency). The weird tongue thing I had with my daughter seems to be getting worse slowly, but it isn't too bad, yet. The eye twitch seems to have gone away. I finally feel like I look pregnant, which is fun.

Doctor's Appointment: My next appointment is January 7th. It will be a long one, with the comprehensive anatomy u/s followed by a regular OB appointment.

Weight Gain: IDK- About 2 pounds, I think (I don't remember what my starting weight was on my home scale, so I will have to do a comparison, next time I go to the Dr.)

Sleep: I am a tummy/side sleeper. So far, I can still sleep in my comfy position- on my tummy with one leg bent, so slightly off to the side. When I can no longer sleep on my tummy, it will take some time to adjust. The waking up to empty my bladder at night has started, but luckily it is 0-2 times per night and not too disruptive yet. I have also started remembering dreams, which is not so good because it means my deep sleep is being interrupted. Overall, not too bad.

Mood: This is a busy time of year. With me being pregnant and DH studying for his big engineer's test in April, I feel like I have been a little moodier than usual, but the spirit of the season helps:o) DH was able to take this past week off, so that has helped us get organized and be more relaxed.

Movement: Definitely feeling more movement the past week, or so. He seems to be most active after dinner until bedtime.

Exciting Moment(s): Feeling more movement:o) We discussed our birth plan which was fun because I got to learn some of the things that T & R would like to have happen when their baby is born. Things like who is going to cut the chord, what his last name will be, who will hold him first (I think this one may still be under discussion;o).

Milestones Achieved: 
Gummy Bear weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)
He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).  (Source: thebump.com)

Next Milestones/What I am looking forward to: My next OB appointment and "20 week" u/s is January 7th, where we should get confirmation that all is well and confirm that Gummy Bear is a he! Hopefully, movements that I can feel will be increasing over the next few weeks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

18 Weeks

Sorry, this is a couple of days late. It was a fun and busy weekend!

How am I feeling physically? Heartburn is my biggest complaint (which responds well to Tums, though seems to be increasing in frequency). The weird tongue thing I had with my daughter seems to be getting worse slowly, but it isn't too bad, yet. The eye twitch seems to have gone away. I finally feel like I look pregnant, which is fun.

Doctor's Appointment: We got the results for the genetic testing and it came back negative:o) My next appointment is January 7th. It will be a long one, with the comprehensive anatomy u/s followed by a regular OB appointment.

Weight Gain: IDK- I haven't been on the scale recently.

Sleep: I am a tummy/side sleeper. So far, I can still sleep in my comfy position- on my tummy with one leg bent, so slightly off to the side. When I can no longer sleep on my tummy, it will take some time to adjust.

Mood: This is a busy time of year. With me being pregnant and DH studying for his big engineer's test in April, I feel like I have been a little moodier than usual, but the spirit of the season helps:o) 

Movement: Still feeling a few flutters here and there.

Exciting Moment(s): Finding out that GB is a BOY! 

Milestones Achieved: Head to rump, your GB is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that I'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born.  (Source: thebump.com)

Next Milestones/What I am looking forward to: My next OB appointment and "20 week" u/s is January 7th, where we should get confirmation that all is well and confirm that Gummy Bear is a he! Hopefully, movements that I can feel will be increasing over the next few weeks. We have also started the paperwork for the Pre-Birth Order that will put T and R's names on the birth certificate and legally confirm their parental rights.


18 Weeks


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry Christmas. . . A little early!

Ever since I scheduled the "20 wk u/s" for Jan 7th (which is 21 wks, by the way), I had been thinking about finding out the gender of the baby before then. I knew T and R wanted to know, but I wasn't sure how badly they wanted to know, so I slyly asked. On a 10 pt scale, I got a 10 and a 7:o) Then the wheels started turning. I called the place I went to when I was pregnant with DD, and scheduled the appointment for Monday, December 3rd:o) I wanted this to be a surprise, early Christmas present from us, so I wanted a clever way to tell them the news. My first idea involved shipping a gift, but after I found out how much shipping internationally is, I had to come up with a different idea. The best I could come up with was a mini slideshow. I think it did the trick! I sent it to them as a video, but have included it below as pics of each slide.






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Did you make your guess?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No peeking!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I bet some of you could tell from the picture:)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Are you dying to know for sure?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here it comes!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Drumroll, please!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Did you guess correctly? Well, I know 2 of my Aunties got it correct. Obviously, we all just want a healthy baby, but it is fun to know that Gummy Bear is a HE:-D And even more fun to not have to wait 5 more weeks to find out. Pretty soon, he may even have a name.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

16 Weeks


How am I feeling physically? Well! No real major symptoms. I have had some very mild round ligament pain (from my uterus growing), heartburn (which responds well to Tums) and my lower abdomen feels fuller. The weird tongue thing I had with my daughter seems to be starting, but it isn't too bad, yet. The eye twitch seems to have returned:(

Doctor's Appointment: I had my 16 week OB appointment on Tuesday. Now starts the ho hum appointments: weight, blood pressure, urine dip, GB's heartbeat on doppler, questions (which I rarely have any). They are pretty quick appointments and should be similar until we get near the end. This time I also had to do the blood draw for the 2nd tri genetic testing. Everything looked good and we should get the results from the genetic testing in a couple of weeks.

Weight Gain: 1 pound

Sleep: I am a tummy/side sleeper. So far, I can still sleep in my comfy position- on my tummy with one leg bent, so slightly off to the side. When I can no longer sleep on my tummy, it will take some time to adjust.

Mood: good, excited to see how excited T & R are about their baby.

Movement: Still feeling a few flutters here and there.

Exciting Moment(s): Nothing too exciting these past two weeks, but stay tuned!

Milestones Achieved: Now, s/he's about 4.6 inches long and weighs about 3.5 ounces. S/he's listening to your voice, thanks to tiny bones forming in the ears, growing hair, lashes and eyebrows and forming taste buds. (Source: thebump.com)

Next Milestones/What I am looking forward to: My next OB appointment and "20 week" u/s is January 7th, where we should get confirmation that all is well and find out if Gummy Bear is a he or a she! Hopefully, movements that I can feel will be increasing over the next few weeks.

I started out overweight, so I feel like I still just look fat, but my family swears I look pregnant, so, here you go- my first bump pic:)
16 weeks

Saturday, November 17, 2012

14 weeks

How am I feeling physically? Well! No real major symptoms. I have had some very mild round ligament pain (from my uterus growing), heartburn (which responds well to Tums) and my lower abdomen feels fuller. The weird tongue thing I had with my daughter seems to be starting, but it isn't too bad, yet. The eye twitch seem to have gone away.

Doctor's Appointment: I had the NT u/s Wed. We got great news that all of the genetic abnormalities that they screen for came back negative! Of course, the wigly little Gummy Bear decided s/he wanted to rest during the u/s and wouldn't move into the right position, but the teach got a good enough picture anyways.

Weight Gain: negligible (5 oz between my 2 OB appointments)

Sleep: I am a tummy/side sleeper. So far, I can still sleep in my comfy position- on my tummy with one leg bent, so slightly off to the side. When I can no longer sleep on my tummy, it will take some time to adjust.

Mood: good, excited to see T&R go through this pregnancy

Movement: The past couple of days I have been feeling a few flutters here and there.

Exciting Moment(s): Feeling the first movements and getting lots of great pictures and news to share with GB's daddies.

Milestones Achieved: S/he's probably sucking his thumb and wiggling his toes in there! Kidneys are making urine, and the liver and spleen are doing their jobs, too. And he's growing lanugo, a thin, peach-fuzz-like hair, all over his body -- it will help him keep warm!

Next Milestones/What I am looking forward to: My next OB appointment is Nov 28th. The movements I can feel should increase.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

12 weeks

I have seen fellow surrogates do a pregnancy update in a consistent format and thought it would be a good thing to have here. I hope to do one every other week, for now (and maybe next time, I will start including a bump pic;o).

How am I feeling physically? Well! No real major symptoms. I have had some very mild round ligament pain (from my uterus growing), heartburn (which responds well to Tums) and my lower abdomen feels fuller. My left eye has been twitching a bit, but it seems to be decreasing in frequency. The weird tongue thing I had with my daughter seems to be starting, but it isn't too bad, yet.

Doctor's Appointment: I had my first official pre-natal appointment with the OB/GYN (that other one was the intake appointment) this past Monday, October 29th. It was basically like a regular annual GYN appt- PAP, pelvic exam and breast exam with the addition of getting to listen to the baby's heartbeat on doppler. When it came to this part the NP told me not to worry if we couldn't hear it because GB is so tiny and moving around and they sometimes can't catch the heartbeat this early. Of course, having just stopped the meds less than a week prior, I really needed that reassurance. She ran that little thing around on my tummy for what seemed like forever (probably less than 60 seconds) and, finally, there it was:o) 169 bpm, which is on the high side, but indicates that GB was probably practicing his/her calisthenics:D It was awesome to see the NP for this appointment. I followed her to this office many years ago after a bad experience with another Dr. She did my first two appt. when I was preggers with DD and then she went out on medical leave with Breast Cancer for what was supposed to be 6 weeks and turned into over 7 months. She is doing great now and seemed super excited about the whole surrogacy aspect and asked me lots of questions about the process. Luckily, Dr. K is who I was randomly assigned to back then and we LOVE her, too. I am feeling a little torn. I could split my appts between the two, but I kind of like the consistency of always seeing the same person, so I will probably stick with Dr. K and use the NP as back up:o)

Weight Gain: negligible (5 oz between my 2 OB appointments)

Sleep: I am a tummy/side sleeper. So far, I can still sleep in my comfy position- on my tummy with one leg bent, so slightly off to the side. When I can no longer sleep on my tummy, it will take some time to adjust.

Mood: good, excited to see T&R go through this pregnancy

Movement: I haven't felt Gummy Bear move, yet, but I know from the u/s and doppler that s/he is a wiggly one, so I should probably enjoy these last couple of weeks;o)

Exciting Moment(s): The best parts of the last 2 weeks were stopping the meds and then hearing that heartbeat. Today, we had a Skype date with R&T and it was fun to see their excitement about the progress:o)

Milestones Achieved: Baby’s almost done developing his/her body’s important systems and parts, which means, it’s mostly about getting bigger and more mature from here on out.

Next Milestones/What I am looking forward to: After this coming week, we will officially be in the second trimester! I can't wait to get the daily reassurances of feeling GB move around in there. We have our Nuchal Translucency scan on November 14th. I copied the following from Wikipedia for those who are curious what that is (as I was) - "A nuchal scan is a sonographic prenatal screening scan (ultrasound) to help identify higher risks of chromosomal defects including Down's syndrome in a fetus, particularly for older women who have higher risks of such pregnancies. High thickness measurements are also associated with congenital heart defect. The scan is carried out at 11–13.6 weeks pregnancy and assesses the thickness of soft tissues of the nape of neck of the fetus. There are two distinct measurements -- the nuchal translucency, which is measured earlier in pregnancy at the end of the first trimester, and for which there is a lower threshold for increased diameter, and the nuchal fold, which is measured towards the end of the second trimester. Fetuses at risk of Down's Syndrome tend to have a higher amount of fluid around the neck." It can also detect other chromosomal abnormalities and is combined with the results from the blood test I had done this week. It is only a screening tool and, if anything came back positive, further testing would be needed to determine the validity of the positive. It would start with a more detailed ultrasound and ultimately, amniocentesis is the only thing that can tell us for sure (but, hopefully we won't need any of that:o))

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Dance!!

I just got the call!! Dr. K says discontinue all meds!!:oD and I am graduated from his care. Woohoo!!!!
Estrogen is over 1000 and Progesterone is 34.4! Go me and GB!

10 wk u/s

This morning, I had what was very likely my last monitoring appointment. Very soon, I should be getting a call from the RE's office, hopefully releasing me from their care and all of the meds, fingers crossed! Baby's size and heart rate were perfect.


DH and I have been trying to think of a nickname for the baby. "It" and "R&T's baby" just aren't working for me. A surro sister called it "Gummy Bear" in response to the above pic and I loved it! It just so happens that R's favorite candies are gummy ones, so it seems rather appropriate:o)

At today's appointment Gummy Bear (GB) was wiggling around. The Dr. had to count the heartbeats manually because GB wasn't holding still enough for the machine to measure it. I felt myself being in awe of the huge developments in this tiny person over the last few weeks. GB started out as a blob on the screen and just 4 weeks later, it is a tiny person with wiggling arms and legs. It really is quite incredible to see!

This has been a crazy few weeks. October 7th, we welcomed a new niece to our family. She lives on the opposite side of the country, so I will have to wait a couple of months to get to cuddle her and I can't wait:oD We went on vacation to Washington state and I celebrated a BIG birthday;o) I love the busyness, but I am glad to have a little down time before the holidays start. My cousin is getting married in 2 weeks and before I know it, Thanksgiving will be here!

I will leave you with a few pics from our vacation:)

A waterfall from the Olympic National Forest
Grey's Harbor Lighthouse
My sweet girl smelling a rose in the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, OR
A sunrise (which I did not actually see;o)
Family pic on the beach

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

OB, U/S #2 and 3 and Great News!

As I was getting ready to type this, I got a call from the RE's office with my bloodwork results and some great news, but I am getting ahead of myself. . .

Tuesday, I had my first OB appointment. It was so nice to be back in familiar hands, even if it was a marathon appointment. DD and I were there for almost 3 hours! And let me just take a moment to brag about my sweet kid. She is almost 20 months old and was an amazing little trooper, even though she only took about 15 minutes of a usually 2 hour nap before I had to wake her up to leave. She sat in her stroller more than 2 hours of the time and played, ate her snack and eventually we pulled out the big guns (Caillou). She was amazing!:o) The appointment started with a chat with Dr. K (a different one) and an ultrasound to confirm the due date. I will say mid-May, but they like to call it May 18th. And we got a great pic of the little bean.


And I got a great video that allowed the daddies to hear the heartbeat for the very first time:o) Next, after a wait in the waiting room, again, I met with the pre-natal clerk, who basically goes over a bunch of paperwork and schedules pre-natal testing and the next appointment. Then, I got to go to the lab for the full work-up. This included two urine samples and 7 (yes, I said 7!) vials of blood and an hour of waiting because my fatness earned me the early pregnancy Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). A lot of people hate the drink, but I don't think it is that bad. The worst part is having to sit around (only 1 hour, in this case; some others have to do 2 or 3). This is where Caillou came to the rescue;o) plus she got to roam a little bit free. Some of the blood test results are in. I passed the GTT and everything else is within normal ranges, so far. My white blood cell count is a smidge high, so I guess we will see if the Dr. is worried about it or not.

This morning, I got to wake DD up and go for the monitoring appointment. They did another u/s, which was a bit anti-climactic, since I had just had one the day before and the pic quality of that one was much better. I also had blood drawn to check my Progesterone and Estrogen levels. My progesterone level is 47 (Dr. wants 25+), and Estrogen is 878 (Dr. wants 500+). Now, for the great news. . . No, I am not all done with meds:(, but, I might call it halfway done:o) PIO reduced from 1.5 cc to .5 cc per day (let me tell you this is the most exciting part, I noticed a big difference in the change from 1.0-1.5- a little burning near the end and increased lumpiness and soreness in my booty, so I am anticipating a lovely opposite effect from this big change:oD), Endometrin vaginal suppositories decreased from 3x to 2x per day, Delestrogen IM DONE! and everything else stays the same. I am also hoping that this is a good sign that when I have my next appointment in two weeks, I will get to stop all meds!!!! I am one happy girl! :oD I don't know how to make the smilie's smile any bigger, but I am thrilled!!! Aside from the positive efects on my booty, it also means my body is playing nice and doing its job and we are that much closer to achieving the dream of making two wonderful guys daddies!!!!

This has been a great week, and now I have to go pack for the vacation we are leaving for tomorrow! My next monitoring appointment is scheduled for October 25th and my 12 week OB appointment is scheduled for the 29th (more like 11 weeks). Fingers crossed that I will have even better news then:o)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Daily Meds

No, you didn't miss this week's u/s. They schduled it for 2 weeks out (which will be the 10th). I am guessing because it is a singleton. It seems that surros with twins do 1 wk then 2. I also have my first OB appointment next week on Monday, which should also include an u/s. I know, I know, I haven't been released from the RE yet. It is a long story. The short version is that we have to do the appointment now, in order to get the first trimester screening scheduled within the time window of the test.

On to the subject of this post. The other day, my sister was asking about all of the meds I do in one day and I remembered that I intended to do a post about it. I think they kind of get pushed to the back burner because of all of the excitement over Betas and ultrasounds. But don't you worry, I am still on them and counting down the weeks until I will be free from the sore, lumpy booty and alarms to remind me to take my meds.

This is the whole day's worth at a glance.
 
 
This is the morning bunch: Endometrin vaginal suppository on top, pills from left to right- estrace, pre-natal multivitamin, folate, DHA, multi-vitamin


Midday group: Endometrin vag pez (per DH), pre-natal vitamin, estrace


The bedtime crew: pre-natal vitamin, estrace, baby aspirin, vag pez, progesterone IM injection (1.5cc), delestrogen IM injection (.1cc every third day)


Most of it is just a minor annoyance/ no biggie, but I have to take one moment to complain that the injections are getting old. My poor booty is sore and lumpy and I can't wait until Dr. K sets me free. End complaining:o) I remind myself daily how much good it is all doing for this very special baby and that is what gets me through.

I am also thankful that so far this pregnancy is very similar to my first pregnancy. My symptoms are pretty minor. Sore breasts, mild fatigue, nausea when I am hungry and heartburn. We will be 8 weeks on Saturday!!!:oD Next week is going to be a busy week with 2 doctor's appointments and leaving for vacation for a week and a half (and my baby sister is scheduled to give birth to her second child on Sunday, the 7th:o)). Hopefully when we get back, I will have my last appointment for Dr. K and he will set me free. After that, I hope to start doing a pregnancy update post every other week.




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1st Ultrasound

There is one little baby nestled in my fluffy uterus:D We are all really excited to have reached this milestone, but know there are many more to achieve. I haven't gotten my blood results, but no one but my booty cares about those anyway;o)
For those who are not skilled at ultrasound translation. The bean shaped thing in the lower left is the gestational sac. Inside there you will see two crosses (if you look really closely), which are at each end of the baby (to measure). It measured 5.1 mm. The other whitish area (or the bottom half of the whitish area inside the sac) below the crosses is the yolk sac. I have another ultrasound scheduled for next Wednesday and we will get another peek:o)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beta #3

3097! Still doing well. DD was nice enough to share her cold with me this week, but luckily, it wasn't too bad. I definitley have some mild pregnancy symptoms, but nothing major. Next Wednesday we have our first ultrasound (u/s) to confirm heartbeat and see how many heartbeats. I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beta #2

431! That is a good number and puts my doubling time well within the 48-72 hour desired window. I will go back again in 1 week to repeat labs. Woohoo! We are headed down the right path:D

Monday, September 10, 2012

Beta

The numbers are in. . .

Beta hCG=240, which means I am definitely pregnant. No big surprise there;o)

Estrodiol=716, which is good.

Progesterone=18.8, which is a smidge low (RE wants it in the 20s), so they upped my PIO dose to 1.5 cc.

Overall, great news! I go back again Wednesday and we want a beta near 500:)

Friday, September 7, 2012

POAS Chronicles!

We are cautiously optimistic, as we anounce that we are pregnant!!!!

This POAS can be a little nerve wrecking. I got the first super faint positive on Tuesday and it has gotten pregressively darker since then (with the exception of yesterday, which was only a smidge darker, if at all). 4 tests under our belts and the guys feel like it is safe to share here:o)

We have a few more milestones to hit before I will feel like I can sit back and enjoy the ride. The next milestone is Beta hCG, which will be Monday and Wednesday. Monday's number is important, but Wednesday's is the bigger one because they want to see the doubling time. The want it to double within 48-72 hours. In the meantime, I will keep POAS!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

PUPO

We waited and waited for the call this morning to see if the transfer would be today or Thursday. Finally, about 9:30, the nurse called and said that it was decided to move forward with transfer today. All 4 embies were still looking good and good quality, but they wanted them to stay that way. We got on the road for the one hour trip to Pasadena. Let me just say that HOV lanes are my best friend! Even at 10 am, the traffic was yucky part of the way.

We got there about 10:30 with our appointment scheduled for 11. We sat in the lobby for just a few minutes before they called us back to the procedure room where I got to sit, half-naked, on a thinly padded metal table for an hour! T, R and Dr. K came in, hugs all around and we got down to business. I got pics of the embies:

R's embies
T's embies
 They transferred one embie from each guy to my "beautiful uterus" and then I laid there for an hour, which was interrupted in the middle by everyone insisting I empty my bladder (I wasn't uncomfortable, but I went:o)) It was nice to have the three men there to keep me company and it has been awesome to get to know these guys a little better. I feel lucky to be working with such wonderful guys who genuinely care about me and are so excited about this big step in their lives. One of the many funny moments was the looks on their faces as the nurse said to keep all meds the same and proceeded to list each one and its frequency:o) Yeah, it is a lot, but I am getting in a routine with it all and it isn't so bad.
Sorry it is upside down, but you get the idea. My uterus is in the upper left quadrant and the 2 little white lines are the embies:o)

Side note, we have 2 PIO injections under our belt:o) The actual injection is better than the Delestrogen, but it is a much larger amount and has left my booty a little sore. Tonight will be the first one on a sore side, so should be interesting.

Since we are on a roll of dates, today is my other aunt's 41st wedding anniversary (she also struggled with infertility, never tried IVF, but did eventually get pregnant).
And our first Beta test is scheduled for September 10th, which is DH's birthday (though I will be POAS before that).

I spent the rest of today on the couch and will be doing the same tomorrow. Think sticky thoughts for us and soon we will know that 2 little babies are growing in my tummy:o)

Fertilization Report

Egg retrieval happened Saturday.

8 eggs were retrieved

6 were mature

4 fertilized normally (2 Ts and 2 Rs)

Not great numbers, but it only takes one (or 2):o)

Monday evening we met the guys for our first REAL date! We had dinner at a super yummy mexican restaurant and then went for a walk on the beach (so romantic, eh?;o)) Miss Haley was a bit of a booger, but the guys thought she was pretty sweet:o) T and R brought her a cute pair of Hunter galoshes from London. She was walking around the living room in them tonight. It was soooo cute! She kept wanting to put them back on! 


Friday, August 24, 2012

Egg Retrieval!

Egg retrieval was originally projected for today, the 24th. Based on the ED's response to meds, it was moved to tomorrow, the 25th. I am actually pretty excited about it being the 25th, as I see it as a lucky day.

You see, my aunt's 50th birthday is that day:o)

You say, a relative's birthday, no big, but wait. . .

This particular aunt struggled with infertility for years and eventually turned to IVF. You wanna know what happened?

It worked on the first try!!!!!!!!!!

And that is exactly what is going to happen for T & R:o)

I was lucky enough to get pregnant easily, but I know several who weren't so lucky. To my friends and family who have struggled to conceive, you are a big part of my inspiration. Every time I think about the pain and knots to come from the lovely PIO, I remember that there are people out there, including T & R who would be willing to endure even more for that precious gift. And so, I prepare to start phase three of the meds.

Saturday, I will get a very short break from shots. I will start Progesterone support with the first vaginal insert (lovingly nicknamed "vag rockets" by surros) at bedtime.

Sunday, I will do the inserts 3/day, adding PIO (Progesterone in Oil) IM injection, and Medrol (Steroid).

I will continue the handful of vitamins daily, estrodiol tablets (thrice/day) and Delestrogen IM injection every third day.

Progesterone is known as the pregnancy hormone and helps maintain the endometrium (uturine lining) and increases the receptivity of your endometrium for implantation of an embryo.

The Medrol, I believe, is used to keep my body from rejecting the embryos and prevent any swelling that may be caused by the transfer procedure. I will only take it for 6 days.

The estrogen and progesterone will continue with possible adjustments depending on my bloodwork until somewhere between 9 and 14 weeks gestation. At around 8 weeks, the placenta will take over production of estrogen and progesterone, which they will see in my blood work and then release me:o) Remember, I am 2 weeks pregnant tomorrow:o)

Pictures, as Promised

This is everything laid out ready to go.

The top one is the larger needle, used to get the Delestrogen out of the vial.
The middle one is the smaller needle that goes in my arse (they are both 1.5 inches long for reference's sake).
The bottom one is used for the subQ Lupron injection (DH calls it "training wheels").

This is a farther out view of all 3.
The "training wheels come off tomorrow! Tonight is my last Lupron injection! Do you know what that means? . . .

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Getting Closer to T-Day

Sorry, I didn't take pics of the needles, yet. The second one wasn't as fun as the first, so we have been focusing on getting in the groove and last night's booty shot was the best yet. Let's just say that I have spent the last week wondering what I got myself into. The Estrogen injections are only every third day and the Progesterone shots, which I will be starting soon, will be every day (I think) until about 10 weeks gestation. I have been trying to keep my focus on the goal: Putting a baby (or two) in the arms of two wonderful men!! With the support of my surro sisters and last night's success, I am feeling better about this:o)
I had my 4th monitoring appointment this morning. My lining measured 11 mm and the Dr. said it looked beautiful:o) I just talked to the nurse from the RE's office and everything with me is great and I am to continue meds as I have been. Her guess is that the retrieval will be a couple of days later than originally projected, since the ED's follicles were a little smaller than desired at her appointment yesterday. She has an appointment tomorrow where it will be determined if she will be ready for retrieval Friday, or if she will go back for another appointment Friday and have retrieval Sunday or Monday. For now, we wait.
We are going to be staying with my aunt and uncle. It will be great to have their support and be in a familiar place. We are taking DD with because it is too much to ask my mom to watch her for multiple days and deal with daycare (which she has been crying when I leave her, which is heart wrenching- good thing she seems to change her tune pretty quickly). My aunt will be able to watch DD when we go for the transfer and we will be able to spend time with her other than that!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meds and Monitoring

The Lupron shots have been a breeze. I really haven't had any side effects. DH thinks I have been a little grouchy, but I think he has been a little grouchy between DD not sleeping normally and work stressing him out. Who knows. Either way, not too bad:o)

Last Thursday (the 2nd), I took my last BCP. AF graced me with her pesence Monday and I had my second monitoring appointment Tuesday. My endometrium (uterine lining) measured 2 mm, which was perfect, since it was shedding. The nurse called Tuesday afternoon and told me I was clear to start Estrogen support and vitamins. Estrogen support consists of Estrace (a pill taken orally) twice a day and an Intramuscular (IM) Delestrogen injection every third day (starting yesterday). The Estrogen is used to thicken my lining for transfer. The vitamins are a prenatal thrice daily plus DHA, Folate and another once per day. The injection wasn't bad at all. It took a little figuring out because you use one, bigger needle to withdraw the medication from the vial into the syringe (because the medication is thicker), then you switch needles to a smaller one for the injection. I will try to take pictures of the needles for my next post, so you can see what is going into my poor booty.

I have my next monitoring appointment Tuesday. They will check my lining and Estrodiol level. The goal is for my lining to be 10 mm or more and show a triple stripe by transfer. Possibly by my appointment, but I will have time if it isn't there yet.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cycle Calendar

The last 2 weeks have been a little crazy. Before we left on vacation, I got my box of meds!
EEEEEK! Luckily, I don't take these all at once. The eight bottles on the right are vitamins. No biggie:o) The bags are full of needles and syringes! The funny thing is that the actual shot part is no biggie to me (though I have heard that the progesterone shots in the booty leave knots and bruises, if you aren't super on top of it). I am a little worried about my poor family who will have to deal with me in these hormonal swings.

I had my first monitoring appointment this morning, which involved a blood draw to check my Estrodiol (E2) level and a vaginal ultrasound to check my uterine lining, ovaries and follicles. The Dr. and staff were pretty nice and I really love that it is so close to my house:D I should hear from the nurse this evening to start Lupron. It is a very small needle, injected sub-cutaneously into the fat of the lower belly. Lupron is used to supress my naturally-ocurring hormones, so they can be controlled through the meds and to prevent ovulation. Hopefully, Lupron will take it easy on me:o) I have my next monitoring appointment next Tuesday, the 7th.

We have a projected egg retrieval date of August 24th, which would give us a 3 day transfer on Aug 27 or 5 day transfer on Aug 29. Of course that date is dependent on how the ED (mostly her) and I respond to meds. I start a week earlier than she does, so I am ready to go whenever she is.

Saturday, we enjoyed a "Skype date" with our IPs. It was awesome to get to talk to them in that casual setting and they got to "meet" our daughter!

I will leave you with a picture of my sweet girl from our vacation to San Diego. I think she loves the beach almost as much as her daddy does:o)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Things are Moving

We got the final draft of the contract tonight, so after we initial the heck out of it and sign it, that is done! The ED is med and legal cleared and our legal clearance should be sent out this week!

This week I had to get a blood test to see if I have enough immunity for Hep B and, of course, my number was 9 when it needs to be greater than 10:( No biggee really, I just had to go get a single dose booster and we are good to go (though for a few hours I thought I was going to have to get the accelerated version with all 3 doses in 21 days):)

Hopefully we will get our cycle calendars very soon, which means shots will be right around the corner. I don't know exactly when, but I expect it will be sometime the last week of July! Surrogates have got to be some of the few people that get excited and want to celebrate the start of daily injections;o)

We will be on vacation that week, but hopefully the Lupron (which I think is the first thing I do) won't make me feel too cruddy. As I start the meds, I will try to get and provide here the purpose of each drug.

We also have a Skype date with R and T after we get back, so that should be fun:o)

Hopefully I will have more news soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Onward and Upward

Since the official match a few things have happened. We have started communication with the IFs (R and T), agreed on a transfer window and signed the legal retainer.

Since we kinda missed out on the getting to know you, casual part of the match meeting, I was really excited to get contact information and think about how we can develop our relationship with the guys from so far away. When I first started this blog, I did a Getting to Know Me post. I thought it would be fun for DH, R and T to answer the questions, as an ice breaker, of sorts. It ended up being a really fun way to find out a little bit about each other, even if they are silly, trivial facts:o)

I also gave R and T the address for my blog and asked them how they felt about it. As you can see, they OKed the use of their first initials, but are very private people, so I will respect that and limit the specific information about them:o)

While we wait for the fun to begin, we hope to have a couple of Skype dates, since we all agree that the more comfortable we are with each other on Transfer Day, the better it will be.

In my last post, I mentioned that I thought we would be aiming for a late July/early August transfer, but as R and T looked at their August calendar, between work, personal stuff and those silly olympics (;o)), August wasn't looking so flexible, which is what the transfer window will be. So, they asked us if we would be OK with shooting for early September. Honestly, that was better for us anyways, as DH is taking the PE (the big engineers' licensing test) April 12th, 2013. A July 27th egg retrieval would have given us a singleton due date of April 19th. We could have made it work, but it would not have been ideal. After GG talked to the ED, we bumped it up a smidge, to the last week of August, since she is in school and September would not have worked for her. Overall, I was super thrilled with the way this discussion took place. R and T asked us first, before taking it to GG and GG contacted me to make sure I was in the loop, so it was double information, but WAY better than no information and those open lines of communication among all involved are what will make this successful:o) We have a vacation planned for mid-late October, so hopefully, we will be able to work around that. The slightly earlier date is actually better for that, and should have me delivering after hubby takes his test, even if it is twins.

We have officially started the legal part (the surrogate agreement/contract). I expect this to be a lot of hurry up, wait, hurry up, wait. When the ball is in our court we will hurry up, read, ask questions and when it is in the IFs court, we will sit and wait and wonder. This whole process is very fascinating to me. I am very curious to see this agreement, how long it is and what it includes. There are so many moving parts and it is amazing how it all comes together to create such a miracle!

DH and I celebrated our 8 year wedding Anniversary this week! I feel like I haven't included enough pictures in my blog, so I will leave you with a couple from that beautiful day, 8 years ago!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Houston, We Have a Match!

That's right, you read correctly! We got the e-mail this morning that the guys liked us and want to move forward, so we are officially matched. Now we get to start a relationship with these great guys and help them welcome a baby or babies into their family! Now comes the part where we hammer out all of the details, and, hopefully, we will be ready to have a July Med Start and August Transfer:o)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Match Meeting

So, we had our match meeting this morning via video conference call. It went really well! I felt like we were just starting to get comfortable and the meeting was over:o( Hopefully it was just the first of MANY conversations/meetings. We got a little more information about their families and future plans. They really seem like they want to be involved in the pregnancy, which is the important part to me:o) We also talked quite a bit about communication which is the foundation of this process and its success. Hopefully, we will have a significant amount of time to hang out with them when we all go to LA for the transfer in a couple of months (assuming they liked us and want to move forward)! So, here we are again- did they like us? Hopefully they decide quickly and maybe we will hear something today, otherwise it will probably be Monday. Boo! Fingers crossed:o) If they want to move forward, the next step will be legal, (another hurry up and wait process) but one step closer to making a baby(ies) for this wonderful couple:o) We also took Haley next door to daycare for the first time, while we had our meeting. We have only left her with my parents so far. She did great (as we knew she would):o) She is such an easy-going little girl and I love that:o) I think DH was a little nervous about leaving her with a "stranger". It was pretty cute;o)

Monday, April 30, 2012

1 Step Closer to a Match

Tuesday the IPs got our profile and we found out that one of them was out of town, so they were going to need through the weekend to sit down and discuss it. So, we spent the week anxiously waiting for Monday. This morning, our Client Services Coordinator, Lacey (who will be our go to GG person for the rest of this journey) called. When the phone rang, I totally got butterflies because, even though I think I am a pretty good catch (in surrogate terms), I was still nervous that maybe they wouldn't like us.
The good news is, they LIKED us! They want to meet us! Then she proceeded to tell me that we would have to do the match meeting via video conference call because the guys are in London. Then, she told me they just moved there and will be there for a few years. Bummer, but no biggee:o) One of the things I liked was that it seemed like they wanted to be pretty involved. Does this change that? Will they still be here for the transfer? 20 week ultrasound? any other times? Why did they move? What do they do for a living? The questions were flying through my mind. I asked Lacey a couple of them and can ask the guys when we have our meeting. It was just a shift in our thinking. We had SoCal and all of the things that would mean in our head. A few things will be different, but hopefully most of the journey will be unchanged. Lacey told me that the guys are required to meet us in person before the transfer, which is good. It could be a month from now, it could be in conjunction with the transfer, but we will meet them in person:o) Hopefully, we will be able to schedule the "Match Meeting" for sometime next week. I am sure this is just the first of at least a few things that won't go exactly as planned. Good thing I am flexible. We have always wanted to go to London, maybe this will be a good excuse:o)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Med Clearance

We had hoped to hear something about our medical clearance Thursday or Friday, but no such luck:o( I then checked a fellow surros blog and hers took almost 3 weeks, so I had resigned myself to having to wait another whole week, when, this afternoon (yes it is Sunday!), I got an e-mail from the nurse from the fertility clinic saying that Dr. Kolb cleared us and the letter has been sent to GG! YIPPEE! Though I figured we would pass, I think this was the most nerve-wrecking part because we are so close to being able to help a couple build their family. Next, GG will send our profile to the IPs and then, we wait to hear if they want to meet us. Hopefully that won't take too long, but you never know. Fingers crossed that they like us:o)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

IP Profile

Until we are officially matched and I have discussed this blog with our IPs, I can't say a ton. I will say that they are a same-sex couple and they live in So Cal. We really liked their answers to the questions. The first time I read the profile, I liked them, but I wasn't super excited like I expected I would be. I think that I was afraid to like them because I don't want to get attached and then have them not like us back. I have read it two times since and I like them more and more each time:o) I reeeaaaaly hope they like us too! GG won't send them our profile until they get the official medical clearance, so even though we like them, we will have to wait at least two weeks to find out if they like us. Hopefully, if they want to meet us, scheduling the match meeting won't be too hard, since they live relatively close to the GG office.

LA Screening Trip

Let me apologize in advance for the poor pictures. We took our point and shoot camera with every intention of taking pictures, but I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off most of the day, so we only got a few pics, taken by DH with his cell phone.


We started our day at 5 am. Early for me, but sleeping in for DH! When we got to LAX, we found our ride waiting for us. DH was pretty excited to be one of those people who has a person waiting for them with a sign. The driver was very nice and the ride was cushie.

Our first stop was HRCFertility. DH was pretty impressed with this waiting room. It was pretty swanky!
HRC waiting room- this pic doesn't do it justice.


 We had held it when we got off the plane, so we would be able to provide a urine sample, so we got to do that first. Then, I filled out some paperwork and we both had our blood drawn. Next, we met Carrie, the GG liaison, who introduced us to the nurse, who went over the consent form and explained the process and the upcoming exam. Finally, we met Dr. Kolb, who asked me some questions about my health history and other stuff pertaining to my ability to be a surrogate. Then, he explained the uterine exam and the IVF profess. All this talk about the sonohysterogram (SHG) had made me a little nervous because they said there might be cramping, but there was nothing:o) Basically, Dr. K stuck a catheter with a little balloon on it through my cervix, then in went the "weenie wand" (as the internal ultrasound wand is called by many surros- I think the name creates the proper picture, especially given its condom attire). 
Waiting for Dr. K to come back and do the SHG- you can kinda see the weenie wand;o)


He inflated the balloon with some saline and examined all of my reproductive organs. He said it all looked good and I am really fertile because I have lots of good looking follicles. For this reason, he told me not to go get pregnant on him. It was pretty funny, especially since he doesn't know how over-resposible I am, and even more so with that:o) Lastly, the nurse answered any more questions and gave me a prescription for the pill, which I was planning on starting again next cycle anyways, but they will use it to synch my cycle with the egg donor's. The results from the urine analysis and blood work will take about 2 weeks to come back. 



We took a cab to the GG office. Let me just say that I am not a fan of cabs and this trip followed suit. Both of the cab drivers we had were not very friendly and a little crazy with the driving:o( We had about 45 minutes before our appointment, so we picked a restaurant nearby the GG building and got some lunch, which we gobbled up quickly.
We went up to the 13th floor and found the GG office. We sat down with Dr. Bergman for a few minutes, then she introduced us to Erica (Big E) and she gave us a profile of IPs whom they think would be a good match for us! OMG! I figured we would get one soon, but I wasn't expecting it to be that quickly! David took the profile and went for a walk while I did the oh so fun computer test. This test was looonnnnggggg:o( 567 true/false questions! This test is basically a personality test and it also looks for possible flags for depression, bi-polar, conspiracy theories, a distrust for the human race, self confidence, friendships and some other things. It took me a little over an hour. Some of the questions were worded weirdly, so I had to read them a couple of times to makes sure I clicked the right thing. It is also looking for inconsistencies so lots of questions were asked several times in different ways. I am glad it is over, but it wasn't too bad. 
We took another cab back to the airport where I finally had a chance to read the IP profile (which I will talk a little more about later). We called to check on the bambino, did some reading and got dinner. It was a busy day, but I am super excited about the journey ahead! This is the beginning of the first 2 week wait (2ww) and hoping for a couple more of them in the near future:o) 

Friday, April 6, 2012

LA here we come!

Monday is the day we will fly to LA for the last part of the application process for becoming a GG surrogate. It is the psychological (which we have already done part of) and medical screenings. The medical screening will consist of a urine test (to check for drug use), bloodwork (to check for STDs or other diseases that we may not have disclosed) and a uterine evaluation. It is going to be a crazy day! We will leave our house at 6 AM and get back home about 9 PM. Hopefully, everything will run smoothly:o) Then, it takes up to 2 weeks to get all of the results from the medical part, at which point, we will know if we can move forward. The next step after that will be GG sending us IP profiles, and once approved from both sides, another trip to LA for the match meeting! Yippee!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Psych Eval Pt. 1

Sooooo. . . I talked to Dr. Bergman and she is going to be flying in from her vacation the morning of our screening and getting to the office on time will be tight in the best of circumstances. Since we already met this past weekend, she wanted to do the interview part either today or Friday via Skype, so that if she doesn't make it, the formal part will be done. David had just gotten home from work and I had just put Haley down for a nap, so we hopped on Skype and did the interview with the psychologist. It actually worked out perfectly because my hubby has a tendency to waaaaayyy over-think things. Anytime he has a meeting of any kind, he spends hours or days beforehand thinking of every possible question he might be asked and how he should answer it, so this arrangement avoided that:o) We found out that David is atypical, which he is pretty proud of. Overall, I think it went pretty well. When we go to LA for the screening, we will still go to the GG office to meet the staff and chat with the COO and do the fun computer test.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This is getting REAL!

A few things have happened in the past week. I finished the Letter to IPs. I had to go get a Glucose Tolerance Test because my BMI is over 30. It was a fasting 2 hour and the 2 I did during my pregnancy were 1 hr, no fasting. Luckily, the lab was a pretty busy place and there were some interesting people to talk to.
Saturday, I went to a GG Meet and Greet. There were a few surrogates in different stages of their journeys and the psychologist from GG (Dr. Kim Bergman). It was really nice to have the time to sit with the women and pick their brains about what they have been through and what advice they have. Since Dr. Bergman will be doing the psych part of my screening, it was awesome to be able to sit and chat with her in this casual setting. It made me feel a lot less nervous about the screening:o)
Monday, I got the results of my GTT, which I passed, YAY!
Then, we scheduled my screening! David and I will fly to LA on April 9th. That is 2 weeks from yesterday! I pretty much got to pick the day within that week, so the 9th is pretty perfect for us:o) My mom will be off work from one of her jobs, which makes me feel a little better, since she will be watching Little Miss Haley for the day. It will be a long day. We will leave super early in the morning and get back pretty late. I don't know the exact times yet because we are still waiting for the insurance pre-authorization before they will schedule the flights. I do know that the psych part will be 10 am and the appt with the RE will be at 1:30 pm.YAY!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Moving Forward

Friday, we sat down and completed all of the paperwork and e-mailed it off to GG! This is getting kinda real (she says with excitement and a couple of nerves)! We should have our pre- authorization for the life and secondary medical insurance in the next week. I have to finish my letter to the IPs, which I am pretty much done with. I just want to get some second, third and fourth opinions, clean it up and ponder a bit more. Then, we wait for dear AF, then off to LA for the screening! This will probably be the second week of April. Then we will start the cycle of hurry-up and wait:o) OMG, I love progress!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Me

I have seen this on a few other blogs and thought it would be fun to do while I am in the holding pattern.
Name: Andrea
Birthday: October 15
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Where were you born: Sacramento, CA
Where do you live now: Suburb of Sacramento, CA
How many times have you moved: 1 house from birth until age 21, then 3 apartments and a house, so 4
Hair Color: Dirty blonde/brown.
Eye Color: Blue
Tattoos: none
Piercings: Just one hole in each ear, though I rarely wear earrings

*Favorites*
Color: Purple
Food: Mexican food and potatoes
Candy: Milky Way or 3 Musketeers if I have to choose a candy bar or something chocolate, but I prefer fruity candies- sour patch kids, starburst jelly beans, skittles.
Movie: My guilty pleasure is From Justin to Kelly, but I like pretty much any romantic comedy including Sweet Home Alabama, Save the Last Dance, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Prince and Me, A Cinderella Story.
TV Show: I watch a little too much TV;o) lol. My current faves would be Hart of Dixie, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, One Tree Hill, So You Think You Can Dance, Survivor, House, Big Bang Theory
Actor: Tom Cruise, Matt Damon
Actress: Julia Stiles, Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl, Reese Whitherspoon
Favorite Author: I LOVE to read. I tend to go for Romances, but some of my other faves include J.K. Rowling, Sophie Kinsella, Stephanie Meyer, Nora Roberts, Suzanne Collins
Band or Singer: Kelly Clarkson, O-Town, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, MJ, Kris Allen, David Archuletta, 98 Degrees, Britney Spears, One Republic, Clay Aiken (1st album), Phil Collins
Song: I have many. I wouldn't even know where to start. See above for an idea.
Holiday: Thanksgiving
Season: Fall
Day of the week: Friday
Store: New York & Company, Carter's, Costco
Restaurant: Carmelita's, BJ's
Sport: to do? Hiking and Kayaking, to watch? Gymnastics
Animal: Dolphin
Flower: Sweet Peas
*Have you ever*
Danced in the rain: no
Tripped and had an embarrassing fall: Not that I can remember
Smoked: Never
Got drunk: Once
Gone skinny dipping: No
Been in a car accident: 4 minor ones- 2 when I was driving, 1 was deemed my fault (though it was really more like 50/50)
Been in love: Yes
Met the President: No
Met a celebrity: A couple of NBA players and I helped deliver flowers to Eddie Murphy's house
Cried over a movie: Yes
Laughed so hard you cried: many many times
Cried for no reason at all: yes, a couple of times when I was pregnant/post partem


*The last*

Thing you said: No, you are going to add it to your signature (helping my sister add Lilypie ticker to her e-mail
Thing you ate: Raisen Bran Crunch
Song you heard: Two World by Phil Collins
Movie you saw: In the theater? Breaking Dawn Part 1 
Music you bought: Kelly Clarkson's newest album
Book you read: just finished Sherlock Holmes and started Finding the Dream by Nora Roberts
Phone call: My sister
IM: I am pretty sure I was in Junior High the last time I IM'ed somebody
Person you yelled at: probably my husband
*This or that*

Pepsi or Coke: Pepsi, but I prefer Dr. Pepper or Rootbeer
McDonald's or Burger King: Burger King
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla
TV or Movies: Both
Colored pencils or Markers: Markers
Sun or Moon: Moon
Day or Night: Day
Pants or Shorts: Pants
Long sleeved or Short sleeved: Short Sleeved
N'Sync or Backstreet Boys: Bacstreet Boys
Burgers or Hot dogs: Burgers
Rock or Rap: neither
Txt or Phone: Txt
Romantic comedy or Thriller: Romantic Comedy
Waffles or Pancakes: Waffles
Peanut butter or Jelly: Peanut butter

*Others*
Do you believe in love at first sight: no (lust, yes)
Have you ever wished upon a star: yes
What other language (s) do you speak: Spanish (kinda)
If you dyed your hair, what color would you dye it: lighter highlites
If you could change your name, what would you change it to: To something that doesn't have a boy's name as a common nickname and that people would pronounce correctly the first time, every time
What's the weather like right now: Sunny and warm for this time of year
What instruments do you play: I play piano (with the aptitude of a 5 year old) and I played flute in elementary school.
Do you talk to yourself a lot: Occassionally
Best place you have visited: Maui
Best day of your life: My daughter's birth day
Worst day of your life: The day my grandma M died
Pet peeves: smokers
What are you most proud of: My hubby and my daughter (and if I have to pick something about me) my patience
What is your goal for this year: Become a surrogate and help a wonderful family grow:o)