HCG- 6 weeks post D&C

This post contains crazy TMI female cycle info. Feel free to skip. I only provide it because my google searches were fruitless and annoying!

A couple of reminders and info in case this is the first thing you’re reading: We were 11 weeks pregnant in our surrogate journey (I was the gestational carrier) when the baby’s heart stopped and we all decided to do a D&C.

Here are my dates on the decline of HCG (again, without betas, I am guessing here based on tracking on pee sticks).

Dec. 5 2017 Dr. declared miscarriage.  We were probably just at the peak/height of HCG.

Dec. 7 2017 D&C

Dec. 8-19 NO bleeding. Not even a spot after the procedure.

Dec. 19-22 spotting (brown discharge like the end of a period)

Dec. 23 “I think I’m dying” blood clots then nada (bleeding stops). Earlier in the day I peed on a test and it was faint but very much still there.

Dec. 26- I would swear a trillion times over that I ovulated from my left ovary?!! But who knows. Pee stick 3 days before was blazing positive still (though not as strong as the control line) which means HCG was probably in the 100 mil range. Give or take. Sources are NOT reliable on whether or not it’s possible to ovulate when HCG is still in your system. So who actually knows?!?

Jan. 4th- HCG still registering on pregnancy test. But ever so very faint. I am 4 weeks exactly from the D&C.

Jan. 5th- I start my period. If I DID ovulate when I thought I did, that would mean my Luteal phase was only 10 days. 🤔 no worries. I’m definitely not trying to be pregnant.

Jan. 5-12th- heavier period than normal and much longer than normal. The last few days were more than spotting but very brown.

Tonight- 2 days shy of 6 weeks post D&C and my pee stick looks like this:

To the untrained eye- this would look negative. But zoom in on that sucker a little and you can see the faintest little hint of a line. So- I would bet, if I were a gambling woman, on two things:

  1. My HCG is probably in the teens right now.
  2. Next week, on Thursday, if I were to get a beta drawn, I bet it would be under 5 (which means NOT pregnant) OR, since I won’t get a beta, my pee test will be 100% not registering. 🤞🏻🤞🏻

So- there all that is.

Patience has never been my strong suit. Perhaps that’s the lesson here- I’m being tested by the universe right now and until I can just “let go” I’m going to keep getting really shitty and tough situations thrown at me?

I get it.

I give! I give!

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It’s almost more than I can bare…

We had to say goodbye to another fur baby within 48 hours of my Luna pup.

Our house is super quiet. A maddening quiet. The silence is painful.

Rue came into our lives 6 years ago.

Let me back up.

Jesse, when he moved in with me, had an old lady pup named Shelby. She was the third dog in my family (in addition to my two weims). She was old and he had already been told by a vet before he moved back to OK that she was sick and she probably wouldn’t make it another year. But we were hopeful and while she laid around quite a bit, whenever table scraps were available she had no problems being the first to snag them.

But, the summer after Jesse moved in, Shelby really started to slow down. Then, Jesse took a weekend guys trip to the lake and his fur baby, Shelby, decided that it would be a good weekend to go. She stopped eating completely. She secluded herself outside and it took everything in me to coerce her back in and to hold off until he returned.

Jesse came back on Sunday and on Monday, after a long night of watching her struggle, I skipped school and went with him to the vet. It was time.

It was the first time I ever saw Jesse cry. And it was so hard. There is something about a strong man weeping that breaks me apart. He was almost inconsolable.

But time heals all wounds. He has a tattoo of her paw print over his heart. She was his first “ride or die” and while my two crazy ass dogs were around, they were just that. MY crazy ass dogs. HIS dog was gone and his heart hurt. (Blended families are tough y’all… even with Furry babies!)

We got Ellie 6 months or so later. She was supposed to be our dog together, but she is a total Daddy’s Girl (She allows me to pet her occasionally when he’s not around 🙄).

So, once again we were a 3 dog family. (our engagement photos on the front porch of our steps. Shiner, on the left, is less than thrilled to be posing. Luna’s ready for a nap. And Ellie’s just sitting there like a good girl- showing off.)

Then, a year after having to put Shelby down, he and his guy friends were at the lake again. He had taken Ellie with him because she would just whine and pout if she had to stay with me.

But, as the guys were hanging out at the lake, a red dog came sauntering up and just plopped down right next to Jesse like she belonged there all along and had finally found him. The personality and looks were strikingly similar to Shelby- so much so that Jesse was almost taken aback.

When he moved, she followed.

When he went inside, she laid down by the back door and waited for him to return.

There were 4 or 5 other guys there and she didn’t give two shits about any of them, she only had eyes for Jesse (you can imagine how put out Ellie must have felt 😂).

Speaking of Ellie. This random red dog taught our new pup how to swim and fetch and snip at heels (they are both Heelers)- outside of having to share Jesse, they got along really well.

Jesse and I chatted about how she might belong to someone nearby so he should just leave her out that night.

He did, but the next morning- there she was. Waiting for him.

And the next morning after that.

The day they left, Jesse texted: “I’m going to leave her. But I’m going to call back in two days- if she’s still here- I HAVE to come get her.”

I agreed but made him swear up and down that he couldn’t use the whole “we have 4 dogs- we don’t have room for babies” as an excuse. 😂😂

Two days later- we drove back out to the lake and snagged our Red girl. The 4th pup in our family.

We had just finished reading Hunger Games and our favorite character was Rue. It sounded enough like “red” that we figured whatever this lady’s name was previously she’d quickly adapt. And she did.

We had the vet check her out and got her current on shots. The vet guesstimated that she was 6-8 years old when we got her (no spring chicken, but man- fast as lightening chasing a tennis ball!).

Our fur family was complete.

Here’s a shitty picture of us at the dog park (pre kids). Anyone who has owned a weim knows that they’re crazy and you can see their crazy blurs here. We would take them nightly after being stuck inside all day while we both worked. They were our babies. Ellie and Rue (on the rock with me) loved to play hard but would also be calm occasionally.

Here’s one of just the girls on the deck we built at our old house in OK.

I think they are waiting for me to throw the ball.

In June of 2016 we lost Old Man Shiner. He was 13 years old.

Then, two days ago I lost my baby girl, Luna. My Luna-tic, my Silly Goose Goose.

And last night. After a year of nose bleeds and snoring, poor Rue started bleeding from her nose and mouth. We couldn’t get it to stop. She wouldn’t eat or drink for two days. I kept hoping it would slow and she’d be fine because losing another family member just wasn’t fathomable but it was time, again, so say goodbye to a dear, dear friend.

****

I fear making my son’s lunch tonight because who will eat the crusts of his sandwich?

I fear waking up in the morning, who will race to the back door to be let out? Who will bark until I return with food for their bowl?

I fear making breakfast, who will eat the strawberry tops I cut off?

I fear going to bed, who will I trip on to get to my spot?

I fear blow drying my hair in the morning, who will sit between my legs enjoying the warm air?

I fear the silence.

I fear the emptiness.

This house is now three souls less than when we moved here.

My heart hurts.

Saying Goodbye…

She was my first furry baby girl (second pup we added to the family). Her ears were like velvet and the top of her head is the softest thing that ever existed. And her smooth belly had the power to calm any storm if you stopped to stroke it.

She was silver and a touch crazy (what weim isn’t?!) so we named her Luna. And her puppy dog eyes were such a powerful blue.

****

I posted previously about how late last year she had developed a tumor and how it was inoperable. But she was eating and drinking and still occasionally playful (by old dog standards).

Yesterday morning that ended. She was lethargic and while she still ate, she was shivering and just looked sick. Her eyes were red and her ears, her soft, velvety ears, were bright red. She was running a fever.

It was time. Whatever the tumor was and it’s size was starting to have physical effect.

We made the appointment and two hours later my house is a new level of empty and my heart hurts in ways that I can’t put into words.

On the drive home from the vet’s office I was thinking about how, as children, we want nothing more than to grow up and be an adult. But adulting sucks. It puts you in a position to make very hard decisions. Very sad decisions. And as adults we suffer some of the most horrific heartache. Lately that’s all I feel… heartache.

I am not suicidal… I feel the need to state that clearly. I know that I have a beautiful family sleeping in this quiet house and that they need me. But this heartache makes me hurt in ways that make me want it to stop.

The number of events that have caused me to ugly cry in the last 6 months is too many. When’s it gunna give?

The never ending HCG… grrrr

I’m frustrated.  Surprise surprise, I know.

But look:

This is the test I took this morning.

And here is a comparison:

The top test is last week’s and the bottom one is this week’s.  WHAT THE HELL?!?  There’s STILL HCG in my fricking system.

I seriously thought, last week when I took the home pregnancy test, that this week’s test would be blatantly negative.  BUT IT ISN’T and that’s annoying.  I thought that after my period started things would be getting back to normal (which started the day after my last post), but THEY AREN’T.  Grrrrrrrr.  This is totally TMI but I’ve just finished a for-real, heavier than normal, period that lasted 6 days. When is this stuff going to be gone?!?!

I have read that it can take anywhere from 5-7 weeks for the hormone to leave your blood stream and since we were nearing the point in pregnancy where the number reaches it’s max (we were 11 weeks along), I am sure this is somewhat normal and “to be expected.”  But good heavens!!!  And, this is certainly not scientific, but it looks darker than last weeks?!?! When looking up what could cause that- I’m now learning about molar pregnancies. For fuck’s sake. 😩 (there is a strong chance that the urine sample was just more concentrated than last weeks… so I’m not calling the doctor yet… but good gracious!)

The crap I have learned after these couple of rounds of IVF and hormone injections and now losses… yuck.  Ignorance sure was bliss (I’m sorry, again, for those who read that are struggling to grow their families.  I am not trying to be insensitive.  I guess I’m just a little bitter about how this all played out).

Anyway, that’s all for this bitch session.  I promise to focus on more positive things soon.  Just not today.

Tryin’ REAL hard 2018…

I’m tryin’ real hard, 2018, but damn it all to hell if you aren’t starting out to be the same kinda terrible 2017 was!

I need to preface this post with a couple of things so you girls (well, mostly girls) who read this can get a feel:

  1. I have had 2 glasses of wine and didn’t eat lunch.
  2. I had to take my 12 year old weimaraner, Luna, to the vet today for NOT good news.
  3. I’m on the verge of starting my period (I think) so I’m hormonal as all get out and crabby on top of it all.

So, bare with me as I mind dump all the shit, hormonally driven, from my body.

I took another HPT (home pregnancy test) today.  It looks like this:

This is 4 weeks today from the D&C so my HCG number is just a pinch above 25mil (if I were to guess). And, as mentioned, I am hormonal and crabby.  These are huge indicators for me that my period is nearing.  Typing this, I go from angry pounding on the keys to wanting to dissolve into tears in sadness.  For someone coming off a miscarriage (after 11 weeks of a seemingly healthy pregnancy) this test should bare with it good news (and don’t get me wrong, it does).  I am almost done with this pregnancy and now the whole surrogacy process all together. My life is one step closer to going back to normal.

But, with that, I have a whole lot that I am apparently just now processing.  For those of you who are struggling with growing your family- please forgive me for the whining that is about to commence.  I KNEW when we signed up for surrogacy that my family was complete.  I have a handsome son and a beautiful daughter and both are SMART (too smart, sometimes) and wonderful and sweet and full of energy— the list is endless.  What more can a girl ask for?

But, as the HCG leaves my system, I am having a VERY hard time processing that this will be THE LAST TIME it ever does so.  I am, tonight, fucking heartbroken about it. I’ve spent the last 5 years of my life researching baby/uterus/ovulation/natural birth stuff and been on an adventure the last year of IVF/transfers/hormone supplements and all things surrogacy.  What am I supposed to do with myself now?  I feel a little lost.  And I guess I am mourning the end of my baby making years.  I didn’t have to do that after Sage because I was already in surrogacy mode. So, I’m just sad.  Really sad and I just want to cry.

I do feel better just typing it out, though.

Then, add on to this sadness, the vet visit today.

My 12 year old (or is it 13?!?!) little (not really, she’s 61 lbs) Luna pup is sick.  At the start of 2017 she had a growth on her tail.  It got big really quick and then opened (yuck) but then healed itself and there is just a little scar now where the growth once was.  Later that summer, I noticed another bump, this time on her chest.  We watched it for a couple of weeks and it didn’t seem to bother her so we let it ride a bit longer.  When it started growing in size, I assumed it would do the same thing as the one on her tail, open up and then heal.  So it grew.  And grew.  And grew.  It did open a couple of times and we kept hoping it would heal over, but is hasn’t.  So the week after the miscarriage, we made an appointment to get her checked by the vet (again, FUCK YOU 2017). The vet thought it was a fast growing Mast Cell Tumor and a round of steroids would shrink it and then we could see what our options were.

I took her today and the damn thing is even bigger, almost softball sized.  In addition to this, where it is on her chest makes it very difficult to surgically remove.  AND- she’s an old lady (weim’s are typically 8-10 year dogs, so she’s really old by those standards). ALL of this lead the vet to basically shrug (not really, he was very kind and gentle about it when telling me) but I’ve basically got her on what would be equivalent to hospice care.

The hard part is that, other than the soft-ball sized tumor protruding from her chest, she is relatively healthy and happy.  She eats, she is playful, she is still able to make it outside to “do her business,” and seems fine.  But I’d bet she’s probably in more pain that I realize.  But WHAT DO I DO????  I can’t put her down.  I just can’t.  She doesn’t seem sick.  But do I wait until I KNOW she’s ready?  How will I know?  Ugh… this is just heart-wrenching.

So I’m just sad today and kinda angry about still being dealt a sad hand to play.  Yuck.

Anyway- it’s not all bad (there’s a silver lining somewhere… I am sure I will find it) and I am sure I will feel better tomorrow after a solid night of sleep.

Welcome 2018

I was sitting around on a tame New Years Eve contemplating my last few months of 2017. I realize that a lot of my mental state has been pretty negative from my blog perspective but I refuse to let the really crappy finish of this year taint the whole thing. Some pretty amazing things happened.

  • We paid off $104,000 of school loans in one year and 9 months! In May we managed to become completely debt free! I don’t know many people that can say that!
  • We have managed to save 50% of our income every month which has put us into a safe place not many couples our age have the ability to be in.
  • I got my dream job again- AP Lit with Seniors. And get to teach my favorite stuff to really some really awesome students.
  • My son knows to ALWAYS ask “please” and say “thank you” and my daughter is well on her way to the same polite measures.
  • The end of diapers is so close! Tuck is completely finished (we’ve had 5 successful nights in a row) and Sage only sleeps in one (and will until she is done with her crib- which will be never if I have any say. She’s just going to stay my baby). This is a huge success for 2017 especially since cloth diapering! I welcome doing far less laundry in 2018 by subtracting diapers alone!
  • We have successfully left my kids at “cousin camp” and had my niece and nephew visit us- so summer week long date trips are looking to be something in our future (and my sister and brother-in-law’s)! That will be awesome!
  • We have some prospective family vacations in the works, something we haven’t done in quite some time. I’m very much looking forward to this!
  • We are one step away from pursuing our dream which is what set us on this path in TX and ultimately surrogacy. It’s a bit too detailed to list here, but I will post about it soon.
  • And two of my best dear friends from Oklahoma are visiting here in TX and that is bound to be good for my heart and soul.

There are many things to celebrate from 2017 and I refuse to let a rough finish overshadow all the success.

Welcome 2018! I’m ready for you!

THE END OF D&C… or maybe?

I am exactly 23 days (just over 3 weeks) off from having the D&C and then the scary clot situation which I think was my body’s way of clearing everything out.

I just did a home pregnancy test and this was the result:

I think it’s all done. And I know my hormones are regulating as well because my chin is broken out. I’ve never been so pleased to have acne. 😂

My mood is better and my body feels better (though it never really felt BAD per-se).

Anyway- just an update- it was 3 weeks for the hormone to leave my body and I expect my period will resume in the new two/few depending on when I ovulate.

Updated-

About 5 minutes later I looked at the damn test again:

<

Not quite gone but low enough to know that I’m nearing the end. 😕

Well damn.

We spoke to the IP’s this morning. They really are amazing people and I want nothing but the best for them, but I’m sad.

And the sadness is for a couple of reasons.

  1. I got dumped and that never feels good. AND I can totally see it from their perspective. If my doctor who has studied reproductive stuff for a career told me to switch surrogates I would follow their instruction. I mean, what they hell do I know?! This is what they do for a living.
  2. And I am pretty sure my journey as a surrogate just ended. THAT is what really makes me want to cry. Which I need to explain in more detail.

Jesse and I, back before we knew ALL the absolute shit that comes with surrogacy (I mean, let’s face it- this has been one shitty path- a great match, amazing IP’s, but the rest of it is just a totally fucking failure. I mean two failures really), thought that this would be over and done in about a year or a little over. We thought, ever so naively, that we’d get pregnant, have a breeze pregnancy, hand a precious gift to the new parents, and skip off into the sunset.

We “knew” that it could be hard and trying but, like so many other people at the start of a journey, thought that it would all work out and that it would all be fine. BUT it wasn’t.

Twice it wasn’t fine.

The hassle of finding childcare for a 3-4 day transfer trip- TWICE

The totally jacked up hormones (which were not too terrible really but now that I’ve regulated some, I know it was messing with my sex drive and that probably sucks for a husband [my keeper pregnancies had the opposite effect]) and shots in the ass- TWICE

Not to mention 2 weeks of no intercourse pre transfer and then 5 weeks of ZERO ORGASM also probably really absolutely sucked- TWICE

Then there’s the utter heartbreak and devastation and the aftermath of my total sadness that my husband had to deal with TWICE

AND the fact that ALL of that happened and now it’s over just fucking sucks ass. Fuck you end of 2017.

So, for the last year, this dream I’ve been fostering and building and cherishing and protecting and working to come to fruition has just ended. And I guess I’m just processing that.

I think a big part of me wants to try again. But is that the part of me that just doesn’t like failing? Is it really the responsible thing to do? For me? For my family? For our future?

My husband doesn’t think it is. At all. He didn’t even want to try again but was willing to from my insistence and with the qualification that it was only IF the IP’s wanted one more try. But they don’t.

And he has completely logical reasons to back up why he is done:

  • It’s a stress on our marriage (which is already tough with two kids)
  • It is an added stress on our sex life (again- TWO young kids)
  • It is restrictive (see above two and add on travel restrictions, food restrictions, exercise restrictions, and life restrictions- he’s tired of being so limited)
  • It’s dangerous (which is something we shrugged off going in to this, but the other day I passed some clots which were residual from the D&C and it scared the absolute shit out of us both. I think that was the final nail in the coffin for Jesse).
  • It’s not worth it financially, if something terrible were to go wrong (and apparently with my luck, that seems all the more likely)

There were more, but I stopped taking notes because, in true Jesse fashion, his logic trumps my emotional desire to be pregnant again so I have ZERO leverage.

So, there it is. As quickly as it started, it’s almost definitely over and I might just have to be okay with that.

But first, I want to cry about it.

Merry Day After Christmas

We had a great little Christmas here. Very relaxing in comparison to some we have had. We spent the weekend at home except for a few last minute stocking stuffers. And didn’t leave the house at all yesterday. It was terrific.

Santa brought my son a pedal bike. and brought my daughter, who loves to jump on the furniture, an indoor mini-trampoline.

We spent the whole morning gradually unwrapping presents- well, the kids did. Jesse and I just got one another a vacation and a bottle of wine. On the night we open the bottle, we have until the bottle of wine is gone to decide on a vacation and actually book it. We’ve been talking about a trip since we moved to Texas but things keep preventing it from happening (mostly surrogacy and being pregnant, which is still a bit in limbo).

After we ate lunch and put Sage down for a nap, we headed outside to let Tucker try out his new bike.

The first run down the driveway he kept his feet down, like he would on his strider. The second run he balanced with his feet on the pedals but didn’t pedal. The third run he was able to pedal a little. We were shocked.

We had this image of holding him on the bike and helping him steer and running alone side him as he learned how. We thought it would be frustrating and there would be tears and skinned knees. Instead, about 30 minutes after he hopped on, we got this:

It is amazing. Anyone with a little one should invest in a strider. The littlest bikes don’t have pedals so they just learn how to balance. Then, a year later, we got him a strider with pedals and he’s up and riding! HE’S ONLY THREE?!!! I think I was 5 or 6 when I started riding a bike without training wheels.

Sage, not to be outdone, also started showing off on her strider and keeping her feet up downhill. It’s pretty awesome.

I’m going to need a bike to be able to keep up with them. Maybe next Christmas.

We snacked around for the early evening and the kids played with new toys. After bath and PJ’s, the kids went to bed and Jesse and I fell asleep watching a show.

All in all it was a sweet day.

PS- we are also knee deep in potty training. 😬 Tucker is sleeping without a diaper and Sage is working on going to the bathroom during the day. She will sleep in a diaper until we get her out of her crib.

A friend asked why I would ruin the break with this endeavor but both kids asked to start so I can’t tell them no when they want to do it. Their interest is a big factor!

HCG levels…

I had started bleeding about 8 days after the D&C and hoped it was my cycle starting.

It was not. Body is still “pregnant.” But I was pleased to see that it isn’t quite as dark as the control line so it’s hopefully in the low 100’s. I will test again in a week.

Still no word from the agency or the IP’s which I’m beginning to think is a bad sign. Which I can handle. I just would like to know. It’s the wondering that I hate.

Oh, and my poor babies have some sort of virus. Fevers, night waking, snot, and yuck.

I’ll be honest… I’m having a pretty crummy end of the year. 😕