T-minus 8 days… oh lord 8😩

Ok- so ladies who have to get shots in their ass, LISTEN UP.

Two days ago my ass hurt! There were visiable bruises and knots on both injection sites. It hurt to lay on my sides or even on my back! It was never unbearable, but I was sharply aware of my back side ALL the time. 

Then I did that yoga which really got my blood flowing and worked my muscles. And guess what!?! The pain in my ass is gone! The knots are better (though not completely gone), the bruising has disappeared, and the injection sites are no longer painful to the touch!!!! 

I swear, working out helped! 

If your rear hurts–work it out! Get your muscles moving and it’ll help move the hormones around and lesson the pain! I feel like a new woman! (This may be a no brainer, but when you are told not to get your heart rate over 140- you might not know how to balance all of it and I really think yoga is the key. It’s a good workout but it’s slow moving and smooth- not josteling or jerking or hard on your body like running.)

Anyway- I’m currently sitting in our welcome back teacher meeting on the first day of professional development and obviously it’s riveting πŸ™„. I should probably get back to semi-listening to all this critical information that has stolen the last days of summer πŸ˜‘. 

PS- if any administrators out there are reading- please try this practice. It is something I do myself, in my classroom, but requires brutal honesty. Ask yourself, “Is this critical? Do I NEED my teachers/students to do/know this? Will they be better teachers/students/humans/people having heard this? Am I just trying to fill time?” The key, again, is brutal honesty. Good teachers (and our students) are trained to spot bullshit. And if any of their bullshit radars get set off your message will no longer do whatever you intended it to do and your audience will then be pissed or worse yet, TOTALLY DISENGAGED. That is all. Good day. 

T-minus 9 Days…

I am sore! That yoga yesterday was great! I had begun to miss that feeling! Seriously- try that yoga!

Today’s distractions entail:

  • Watching Daniel Tiger so my kids have a decent idea of what to expect today when they meet their teachers.
  • Watching a second episode so Sage knows what getting a shot is all about (if you have small kids, I HIGHLY recommend Daniel Tiger. It prepares my kids for real life stuff and makes me a better parent).
  • Bribing my kids so that I can brush their hair before we go out in public. The benefits of having my mom watch the kids the last two years is that it didn’t matter what they looked like! πŸ˜‚ 
  • Wrangling kids into the car (I HATE car seats).
  • Doctors office for a shot for Sage 😩
  • Meet the teacher(s) immediately following Doctor’s office
  • Lunch
  • Nap time for Sage/Learning play for Tucker
  • Show time and snack
  • Then pool time or play time or something
  • Then dinner out while my dad puts the babies to bed!

Whew. I’m glad it’s filled though, because otherwise I’ll just sit and stew and be cranky (which is NOT my norm!).

Hope everyone else is enjoying the end of summer! Or, if you’re one of the unlucky ones that don’t get a summer, I hope you’re having a good week!!

PS- my backside isn’t nearly as bruised feeling. I honestly think the exercise helps circulate all those hormones and disperse them throughout the body! 

PPS- MY KIDS LOVED THEIR TEACHERS AND THEIR SCHOOL! Both were sad that we had to leave! That makes this momma’s heart so happy! 

T-minus 10 days…

I found a yoga video that feels like more of a work out!!! I always sweat during yoga and most of the videos I’ve been using are an hour long or more. 

I have been doing the p90x yoga (WAS doing the whole p90x set since the start of this year until the clinic put my whole entire life on hold, grr) but usually it’s only done once a week. Doing the same routine daily???? NOT recommended! Can you say BORING?!?

Anyway- this last week I’ve experimented with some other videos and have enjoyed them all. I just like yoga generally, especially first thing in the morning. But, I also feel like I’m losing some strength (p90x does a lot of push-ups/squats/pull-ups etc.). 

This yoga video, however, made me feel like I was getting a workout! I loved it. And I’m pretty sure that my heart rate stayed under 140 (for the most part). 

https://youtu.be/LRRbfcN29mM
If you like yoga and challenging workouts, try it out! If you’re just starting, they have modifications to use, too.

On another note- my kids are nuts today. I’m lucky that it’s cloudy and overcast which means it is also cooler outside today because I do NOT think we’d survive inside. 

These things have helped take my mind off the fact that we’re still over a week away from U/S 😩.

T-minus 11 days πŸ™„

Until I am, cross you fingers, allowed to live life as normal. Not that I’m not being normal. I just mean working out and… you know… sex. 

I just don’t know how healthy it is to take both endorphine producing things away from a person. That can’t be healthy and it just seems mean. Really, really, really mean. 

I will say, however, having my husband indebted to me is kinda nice πŸ˜‰! 

I am, luckily, on the downside of summer break. I’ve still been doing yoga and my kids keep me busy all day. And the start of school is just around the corner. 

This Wednesday, Sage gets her last round of vaccinations (we delayed some like Hep since she was born at home and had ZERO chance of being exposed to it) and then we will all head to the Montessori school they both will attend so they can meet their teachers. 

Thursday is my first day back for professional development crap (I don’t think there is a teacher out there that finds these days worthwhile, is there?!?). And Friday will be the same. My mom will watch the babies for me to cover the gap between my return to work and the lack of kid coverage. 

On Tuesday through Friday the following week- the kids will do half days to get used to the processes. I kind of like that they aren’t just tossing them into the deep end. I think they will probably do some assessing for placement since it isn’t age based but instead skill based classrooms. I will be at the school getting everything situated for the 166 kids in my APLit class. Holy shit- that is A LOT of essays. 😳.

I’m not quite sure why I felt the need to update you all on my schedule for the next two weeks…. perhaps it gives a brief glimpse into the random ways I distract myself from counting down the seconds until full clearance. Ugh. I can’t help it… this is low-key torture 

Oh, and my ass is starting to hurt from the shots. I have a little bit of bruising, two big ole knots, and lots of itchiness (try scratching your ass at a play date with a bunch of moms who stare at you like you’re a leper). 

Also-laying on my back or sides (my preferred sleeping positions) is just a tad painful. I recall reading the stories of women who had IVF or surrogate blogs and thinking, “huh, I wonder if it’ll be that bad for me?” I recall thinking that they might just be overplaying it. But- no. It hurts. Not a lot, but again- without any good endorphines to counteract it and being stuck in the no fun zone- I also just feel like complaining. So I totally relate to those women who were, what I thought, whining. They deserve to whine. This stage kind of sucks. Not even because the shots kind of hurt-but because all of it rolled into one is a big old ball of… meh… I can’t even say it’s terrible. It’s just mildly crappy. 

I just need to whine. Sorry. 

(PS- for any future/current/soon-to-be surrogates- the shots really aren’t that bad. The first 4 or 5 days it was hardly noticeable. I did have some soreness when jogging, but it went away after .5 mile. The knots and soreness do build, though. And I occasionally bump it on a counter or I pick up my kid and catch a foot right on the spot and it makes me wince, but it’s totally worth it and I normally wouldn’t even waste words complaining about it- I’m just having a day)

2nd BETA and waiting…

I just got the news from the clinic in CA that my beta numbers nearly doubled 384 (perfect double would have been 394) so we are “right where we need to be” according to the nurse. 

You want to know what’s frustrating?  I called the satellite clinic I’m working with here in TX to see about the results and after waiting a few minutes and verifying my identity they told me that the results had been sent and I would have to wait to hear from MY clinic- in freaking CA. πŸ™„ I mean, I know that they were probably just staring right at the info and I find it pretty annoying that they couldn’t just share that info with me. Hell- its MY info to know right?!? That’s my blood you analyzed there people! Grrrr… I know that there is probably good reason for it- but I don’t directly know what that good reason is so bleh on them. 

Anyway- so I had to just wait. And as anyone reading this might have figured already, I kind of suck at doing that. I’m actually a very patient person and I LOVE surprises, but with this stuff I can’t seem to let things just hang out there in the universe. 

For now my orders are to continue my same medicine routine (baby aspirin, DHA, prenatal, estrogen x3, progesterone shot @night, and suppositories x2). No running (πŸ™„), no sex (lord help us all), and no “intentional” orgasms (yes, they are different. I even went so far as to call and was told that specifically. I feel like there is some wiggle room with that term “intentional” πŸ˜‚ But don’t worry. I will follow orders even if they are dumb and I hate them). 

My ultrasound is scheduled for Aug. 25th. 

Please feel free to distract me from all this waiting in any way you see fit! 

Legal— the “awe nuts” and bolts

I meant to post this weeks ago but it’s summer and I’m full time mommy to two for a husband who works from home (i.e. Sometimes they have to be QUIET which is a term neither my 3 year old nor 19 month old understand for more than 3 seconds). 

But- I figure if someone who is interested in surrogacy is reading they might appreciate this knowledge. 

First- it should be stated that these are only some of OUR legal restrictions and particulars- they will certainly vary from contract to contract and, I’ve found, IVF clinic to IVF clinic. So, these are just some of the crappy parts of the contract (but, I obviously agree to abide by them). 

  1. THE SEX- we were instructed to stop intercourse when the cycle started (essentially 4 weeks before the transfer). This is to protect all parties involved– I do not want another baby; I want to help grow someone else’s baby! So they essentially limit the chance of that happening by saying, “NO, no matter what!” We were, however, free to enjoy ourselves in other ways- which we did πŸ˜‰ for those four weeks. THEN, the transfer paperwork came through and we were told that once the transfer took place, NO ORGASMS 😳. I stupidly assumed that that was until the positive BETA (9 days). But the bad news of the call we got yesterday verifying that I am pregnant is that I am not allowed to orgasm until the damn ultrasound. TWO MORE WEEKS!?!!! (Now, I am sure there are people/couples out there that are alright with that- I know some women who would do backflips! πŸ˜‚ I, however, have only gone 4 weeks max and that was only after the birth of my babies when the nether parts needed some well deserved rest. So 7 fucking weeks?!? Ha! More like 7 non-fucking weeks?! That’s brutal. I may have to reconsider allowing my husband to be happy even though I’m not 😞)
  2. THE ALCOHOL- duh. No drinking when pregnant. Of course! Though I will admit that I had glasses of wine here and there during both my pregnancies and nursing (I was just careful about when I had said glass). This one isn’t mine though, so sure- not a drop. Okay😒. Our contract though, requested that we stop alcohol when the cycle started. So 4 weeks before the transfer. Ugh. It’ll be like, a year, before I can enjoy that sweet nectar again. 
  3. THE DELIVERY- I didn’t realize this until the contract was in front of me, but surrogate compensation for pain and suffering is stopped once delivery occurs. Which makes total sense. And, since my oven likes to over-cook it’s buns, it never occurred to me what might happen if baby girl shows up early. My job of growing baby is considered done at 28 weeks. Which means that I will receive everything as long as I make it past that point. THIS IS SUPER GENEROUS! My friend’s contract states that her “finish line” is 34 weeks with twins 😬! If she goes into labor before that time the payments end at that point.  Which is ultimately understandable since IP’s would then have NICU and hospital bills to worry about paying. So it makes sense- but is certainly something to be aware of if you’re ever considering being a surrogate OR using one! 
  4. THE EXERCISE- The IVF clinic stated that I was not to do any exercise that would get my heart rate above 140! Again, I assumed this would be until I was confirmed pregnant but again- I can’t exercise until the ultrasound 😩. I might lose my mind a littl with this. I just don’t quite understand the science behind it. Grrr…

No sex, no drinking, no exercising… I’m living quite the lame life. πŸ˜‘
The rest of its pretty straight forward- don’t eat soft cheeses, heat deli meat, stay off meth. You know, be healthy (just don’t exercise πŸ™„).

Oh- the other slightly unpleasant part:

These guys—yuck! I don’t have anything in the photo to give perspective but it’s a pretty long little stick and it goes you know where! I use them twice a day in addition to the progesterone shot my husband has to give me nightly. Some women REALLY hate these, but they just require a panty liner everyday which, in my opinion, isn’t so bad! 

******************

I feel it necessary to point out that this is just silly bitching. I am more than happy, thrilled in fact, to be able to do this for these parents. THRILLED! When the IP’s called to celebrate the positive pregnancy confirmation they were so complimentary and so thankful. IM said that I was biologically blessed and believe me, I know it! So I am very thankful that these parents trust me enough with carrying and growing their little girl for them. I almost tear up typing this… perhaps the hormones are kicking in afterall sheeshπŸ™„ (I’m typically pretty even keeled). 

BETA-Β 

I’m sure that anyone reading this is already aware of what a pregnancy BETA test is all about. Hell, just from being on some of the pregnancy boards prior to getting pregnant the first time I was able to figure out that it was measurement of the pregnancy hormone HCG. But, it’s mostly used for women who are using assistance to get pregnant (IUI, IVF, etc.). 

So, women who haven’t had any medical assistance to get pregnant might not know anything about it. 

Here’s a chart I found for a single embryo transfer (AKA singleton pregnancy):


The chart starts at 10 days past ovulation and I was 9dp5dt so 14 (thanks, friend for pointing out my math mistake). The nurse confirmed that I was indeed pregnant (πŸŽ‰) and I found out a little later from IM that my beta was 197 (196.7 to be exact). 

Essentially- I’m on the lower end of the chart which only really means that this little embryo took her sweet time implanting and has been growing quite nicely since! 

I will go back in on Friday to have another BETA done and they are looking for my number to have doubled. So 394 for 16 days past ovulation (dpo).

Now- the flip side to the beta test- as you can see, there is quite a range. Some embryos implant and start growing right away (higher beta #’s) others take their sweet time (lower #’s).  This is absolutely normal and some women (especially those that have experienced loss or have struggled to get pregnant) get anxious and worried and stressed about these numbers. I certainly don’t blame them but I do firmly believe that staying calm and relaxed is so so so important to early pregnancy- hell- the WHOLE pregnancy and especially labor. 

But that’s a hell of a lot easier to say and do having had what many would consider an easy time getting pregnant, staying/maintaining pregnancy, and getting to labor. So I should probably just shush. I know. 

Anyway- good news that we already knew, I’M PREGNANT! 

There was some… cough… umm bad news (for the husband- not the IP’s) but I’ll cover that in my next post. There are some negative sides to IVF and surrogacy that are pretty rough on the sex life πŸ˜‘.

9dp5dt- BETA day!

I woke up at 6 to do yoga and took the last hpt:

Obviously getting better so I’m hoping all the levels look good and that the blood draw shows everything to be where they need to be! (They will check hormone levels- estrogen, progesterone, as well as hcg)
I’m sitting out in my car outside of the clinic- I got here a little early so I went ahead inside. They pulled me back before my appointment time and immediately drew blood. It took all of 5 minutes. Literally in and out. 

I’m glad that I haven’t told the parents even though it seems like they should be the first to know and I hate that they aren’t. Reason being, the lady that drew my blood asked if I had taken a test and when I grinned and shook my head “yes” (because I’m sure she thinks I took ONE test- not ten!), she asked what the result was. When I said it was positive I qualified it by saying that I hadn’t told the parents yet. She verified for me that that is best. They like to know hormone levels and be super certain before getting parents hopes up. So I am doing the right thing waiting, which I knew, but it’s always nice to have someone reaffirm it!

Oh!!! And the IP’s JUST CALLED!!!

They are so sweet and wanted to call to let me know that “no matter what the outcome of the test is today” they are “so thankful” for what my family is doing for their family. I love these people. So amazing for them to call!

Anyway— back to waiting for official results. I should get a call before the end the day today from the clinic in CA! 

Ugh- I hate waiting. Luckily, where the IP’s are, they will be sleeping through this waiting and I’ll hopefully have very awesome news for them when they wake up! 

No HPT today! Go me!

I was instructed to not get my heart rate over 140 so instead of my normal workouts, I’ve been waking up to do yoga and then my husband and I go for a walk in the evening. I’m thankful to be doing something exercise wise. 

I don’t know much about IVF and even what I know having done the FRozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is just the tip of the iceberg according to what I’ve read. But, from an outside persepctive, it seems a bit counter intuitive at times. 

For instance, the 24 hour bed rest following the transfer- it seems like science might be a bit iffy as to whether this is necessary. It seems like making a woman sit around to stew on whether or not that teeny tiny microscopic little dot might fall out of her if she stands up is just begging for a stressful environment for said little embryo. Let the mom go have lunch with a friend or walk around and distract herself as best she can! Let her laugh and have fun or go to a movie or something! And, from my research, many doctors are now recommending this- it seems to be 50/50- half on the rest train, half on the “continue as normal” train. 

I’m glad that this shift is happening- and luckily the doctor we used for the transfer was more on the latter side than the doc my IM had. IF was telling me that when she had her first transfer the doctors wanted her to sleep with her legs elevated and her head below this hip level. Basically inverted. 😳

Another thing that is frustrating is the working out. Again, I’m pretty sure that the embryo is not going to fall out, so continuing to exercise would seemingly do more to help the mom rather than sitting around. I mean, endorphines are natures high, right?! They are “make you feel good” hormones! Wouldn’t that be a good thing?!?

Again, I do NOT know anything about the IVF/infertility world and I know that I am so so so lucky that pregnancy and getting pregnant was easy for me. I certainly don’t say this to brag- believe me. My heart aches for women who struggle— ITS WHY IM DOING WHAT IM DOING! But it just seems backwards in some places. 

So, all this to say, I’m glad tomorrow is Wednesday for lots of reasons:

  1. I get to take my last pregnancy test! The addict in me is screaming to pee on that sucker!
  2. The IP’s will know and maybe just maybe I’ll learn baby girl’s name!
  3. Hopefully I’ll be cleared to resume exercise as normal.
  4. My husband and I have been instructed not to… um… have any fun. (The first three weeks I could still orgasm we just couldn’t have sex- which I TOTALLY understand [we want to be extra careful that the baby in here does NOT belong to us].  But, post transfer, they have been pretty strict and I am not allowed to orgasm at all (which I also get- orgasms cause uterine contractions which could interfere in some way). So, I’m hoping this will also be lifted! I’m pretty sure my husband is too. (If momma ain’t happy then ain’t nobody going to be happy!)

Just one more sleep… ahhh… sleep (I’m so so so tired! Doubtful that the hormones are causing this so soon; it’s more likely that getting up at 6am to work out and then chasing kids all day has me worn out. [It takes me at least 5 sessions to type an entry unless the babies are sleeping.])

    7dp5dt- I am 3 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

    Today’s test:It’s getting darker each day so I think we are on the right track. 

    Im really looking forward to Wednesday and I am also super excited for the parents to know. 

    I asked IF at the transfer if they had girl names picked out and he said they did, so I’m hoping they will share it with me!

    I’m not a “talk to your belly” kind of pregnant lady but I can be thinking of her by name and, eventually, tell my students and friends when I start showing. I feel like that might help some of the people who don’t understand that this baby is in NO WAY mine so I’m not giving my baby away. I’ll be giving _______ back to her parents. 

    I’m down to one more “fancy” home pregnancy test so I won’t be peeing on one tomorrow (or at least that’s what I tell myself now- hello!?! Addict here!). But before the BETA Wednesday I will!