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 😩.

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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! 

    6dpt5dt- yay!

    Today’s test! 

    Feeling confident and hating that I can’t share this with the parents as I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to. 

    And for any one out there that wonders why I don’t- think about this. What IF something goes wrong between now and the BETA test?!? What if I start bleeding?! (I am pretty sure the odds are very slim of that happening, but what if?!) These parents have been through enough heartbreak and have suffered enough. I don’t want to risk adding to it- even if the risk is pretty minimal at this point. 

    But! Yay! And I sure can’t wait to let them know and wish they weren’t so far away. I want to send them stuff and throw confetti- but instead, I will just quietly wait! 

    5dp5dt… relief.

    Alright- so I lost my mind a little. I admit it. I went nuts. But, at least a few of my dearest friends and my sister acknowledged that they were sort of seeing something too. That helped me to feel a little less loony (though not much).

    And then, when my husband, who still smelled like margarita πŸ˜‘, came home I confessed to him what I had done. Luckily he laughed about it instead of scolding me like I thought he might. He also said, “oh lord, you’ve turned into one of them.”

    (Quick back story- I told you I am obsessed with all things fertility/uterus/pregnancy/ovulation/birth- and when we decided to try for kids, I became a lurker of all the pregnancy boards and stared at pee sticks any free chance I could get and maybe, on occasion, would show my husband a post or two that would make him roll his eyes because guys just DON’T get it.)

    Anyway- I showed him my “I think maybe there’s a line but also when I really look there probably isn’t a line” test and he told me I had lost my damn mind. I acknowledged to him that I was already aware and that I wasn’t asking for confirmation on THAT! He obviously didn’t see it. Which is fair. It probably wasn’t there. 

    Before I let him go to sleep, I asked him to promise me that we could go get more tests tomorrow- and at least one “nice test” that cost more than $.88 or $1. After looking at me in disbelief and saying, “you already peed on ALL the other tests?!?” He looked into my best puppy dog eyes and said, “fine, woman!”

    Today- I bought 5 more tests. 3 x $.88 and a two pack of First Response tests ($8.98).

    And then rushed home to pee on them- because I’m an addict. I would have peed on them in the car if I thought my husband wouldn’t divorce me 😜.

    I peed into the frigging plastic sample cup and dropped exactly three drops onto the test and watched the sample move across the window. Again, because I’m obsessed, I know where the test line should be, when I couldn’t even make out the hint of pink residue clinging to it, my heart sank. Damn it. I know it’s still early but I’d really really really like this transfer to work and I’d really really really like to be able to help this family have a little girl! And if this one doesn’t work, there is only one more girl embryo left and it will really totally shake my confidence (and probably theirs too) if we have to do another transfer even though the contract says we will try 3 times and then reassess. 

    As you can tell—- I started coming unhinged a little…. alright, a lot. 

    I re-read the package directions and it said that results could take 60 seconds to 3 minutes so I continued to stare at the damn test- willing it to change. It didn’t. 

    Somewhere around the 3 minute mark, my lovely children that I had distracted with popscicles so I could pee in private must have finished their delicious treat because I could hear them shouting and calling for me because heaven forbid I leave their sight EVER. So I left the test on the counter and glumly went back to the kitchen. 

    I wiped both their faces and hands, removed the sticky mess from the counter, and released them from their chairs (I have to strap them in or they’ll follow me!).

    My son ran off while I texted my sister and then he reappeared in the kitchen asking “what’s this, mom?!” (He’s 3 going on 15 and stopped calling me “mama” about 2 months ago. 😒).

    It was the test! (Note to self, hide your shit!)

    Here’s what I saw:

     Even someone not obsessed with pee sticks can see that! Right?! 

    As a test, I asked my son how many lines  he could see (since he’s 3 and we’ve been working on counting). He said two! Wait, that could totally be a fluke! 

    Remember to point as you are counting and touch each one as you say the number. Try again.”

    He put his chubby little finger next to the control line and said, “one.” Then moved his chubby little finger to the ever so faint line next to it and said, “two.” IF HE CAN SEE IT MY HUSBAND WOULD TOO! πŸŽ‰

     But, sadly my husband was out on a run… so I did what any good addict would do. I went to the bathroom where I had just finished peeing, sat onto the toilet, opened the box of the more expensive tests, tore open the pouch, uncapped that sucker, and held it in place while I willed my bladder to produce more waste so I could pee on another stick. Yes, exactly 7 minutes after having just peed. 

    By a miracle of my kidneys I had just enough to dribble on that damn stick:


    Y’all! I’m having someone else’s baby!!! Grow little girl embryo grow!!!

    But don’t worry… I still have 3 tests and my BETA isn’t until Wednesday… so you can bet your ass I’ll pee on each of ‘um.