U/S Update! 8 weeks 2 days!

Baby is doing just great!  I got the IP’s on the phone and they got to hear all the stuff the doctor said as well as see the little one on the screen.  TECHNOLOGY IS JUST SO COOL!

Baby is measuring right on schedule, 8w2d.  Heart rate the first go round was 187 and the second time was 174.  The doctor showed us the arm buds, the head, and the bottom.  It’s such a miraculous thing! He told the parents that the heart was “very robust” and that there is “absolutely nothing to worry about as of right now.”  Yay!

PS- I was freaking nervous.  I can’t explain it.  My heart was racing the whole time in the waiting room and I couldn’t keep my foot still- the nervous energy needed out!  But, as soon as the doc came in and got things situated, he said, YEP… there it is!  I was able to take a deep breath.  Whew.  Hopefully I will get a call from the CA Clinic today that releases me to my OB/midwife team. fingers crossed!

 

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BETA numbers…

On Wednesday, 9dp5dt, my Beta was 146. This is a good solid number but last time it was 197 or something like that. So it was lower. Which doesn’t mean jack, and I am totally aware of this… but it didn’t calm my nerves. I, having peed on all the sticks in the state of TX, knew I was pregnant but I had really hoped that there would be something that would make me say, “whew, okay. There’s nothing to worry about.” 

But I am beginning to think that I won’t have that moment until there’s a heartbeat for the IP’s to hear. 

Though, after I got news of the second Beta, I did feel a little pressure lift. My numbers more than doubled!!! The second draw on Friday, 11dp5dt, was at 505!! The first time they didn’t quite double. 

This chart is used pretty regularly on one of the surrogate boards I participate in and helps women who are worried. 

So- beta numbers are good and the IP’s (I sure love them for listening and being on bored with my concerns) ordered two additional blood draws. So I will go again on Wednesday and then again a week after that. Then two days later the 6 week U/S!!! It seems a lot sooner this go round!

Bragging for a minute…

This morning was my BETA draw… and while that is important and this blog has mostly turned into “the adventures of a surrogate” blog, it is still, technically called “Monika’s Musings,” so I am at liberty to talk about whatever is on my mind.  Bare with me… it does come full circle I promise.

I have previously posted about the hectic schedule that runs our family (no I did not grammatically screw that up- the schedule runs us! NOT the other way around). From the second the alarm sounds in the morning my husband and I are in a critical, minute to minute rush to get things done or get people where they need to be and any break from that routine can make things a bit crazy.

For instance, this morning, in order to make it to my appointment at 8:00 I HAVE to leave the house at 7:10 (I chose the clinic closer to the school where I work so that I wouldn’t have to miss work too often).  But my husband and I tag team the morning- he gets breakfast ready while I get kids ready.  We eat together and then help the kids get their belongings and themselves loaded into the car. I drop them off and he manages the two separate pick ups.  We are a fine tuned machine in the morning.  But again, today, due to the circumstances, my husband had to do most of that on his own including both the drop off and the pick ups.  (Though, in my defense, I did still get the kids dressed and into their seats at the table, I just had to peace out immediately after that to get to the appointment).

Jesse not only manages all of that with grace and ease, the dear man also made me a “to go” breakfast so that I wouldn’t be hungry all morning!


I have caught myself one of the best men on the face of the planet.  Seriously!

I often find myself in conversations with other women who are ragging on their husbands for an assortment of different issues.  They don’t help clean the house, they aren’t very helpful with the kids, they don’t seem attentive… the list goes on and on.  And in those situations I just have to sit there quietly and shake my head.  I can’t participate in the man-bashing… my husband is amazing.

I am not saying we don’t ever disagree or miscommunicate- we do.  I think all marriages do/will. But, by and large, I feel luckier by the day to have him in my life.  He is my perfect match.  He is my anchor.  He is my equal.  I love, honor, and respect him more today than the day I married him.

Which, coincidentally, happens to be 5 years ago this Friday.

A little back story.  When we were planning our wedding ceremony we wanted to do something that was a little more unique than the typical blending of the sands or the unity candle (I am not dogging on these BTW, they just weren’t for us). My husband and I opted to do a Wine Box Ceremony (which you can read more about here).  The gist is this: on the eve of your nuptials you write a letter to your spouse telling them all the reasons you love them and appreciate them and then seal it in an envelope.  Then during the ceremony you seal your favorite bottle of wine inside the box along with the two letters.  My dad, who married us, told an amazing anecdote about my grandparents generation- “The Fix It Generation” (when something breaks, they fixed it, they didn’t discard it and buy another) and then explained in the ceremony that if, over the next few years, our marriage seemed to be breaking, or we ended up in a fight so large we were considering the prospect of discarding the union, we were supposed to break open the box, share the bottle of wine, and read the letters we wrote one another and remember why we married one another, why we fell in love, what we value about the other person.  In short, if we felt like we were breaking we are to remember to fix it!

On the happier side, if we made it to five years without a fight of that magnitude, we were to celebrate by drinking the wine and reading the letters and then put in a new bottle and replace with new letters along with the first ones.

So- we are at FIVE YEARS and I am proud to say that our box is still sealed and its contents happily stowed inside. The sad thing though, is that we have been looking forward to this anniversary for… well… five years.  We were super excited to break that puppy open, drink our wine and read our love notes now with greater perspective…  BUT I CAN”T DRINK. (Insert all the teary emoji’s ever)

And, as if that weren’t bad enough by itself… the clinic does not want me having an orgasm until after the fetal heartbeat is detected.  Do you know what that means?  Here, let me clarify… not only do I not get to drink the wine I have been so looking forward to but I don’t even get to have sex with my husband on this milestone anniversary!!!  Que the tears:

Now, I totally understand that what I am doing is worth it.  And I am so so so happy to be doing this for these IP’s, I think the world of them and I am so happy to be on this journey with them (as is my husband!). But allow me to be whiny for a second, please.  I mean, you see what I mean.  Right?!?

But, again, focusing on this negative stuff doesn’t do me any good at all, so now that it is off my chest, lets focus on the positive (literally) for a minute:

8dpt round 2

Lets hope that this strong line means that I will have a good BETA number and things will work out this go round!  We’ve been on this merry-go-round before though and it didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped, so cross some fingers, toes, what have you for us, will ya?

I will update later today with the actual BETA numbers (mostly for historical purposes but also for the people that might care about all that jazz).

 

PS- for those of you that are allowed to drink and have sex, please consider making a donation to your body of both of those in strong quantities on my behalf, please. Okay?  Great.  Thanks.

8dpt Round 2

I’m quietly giddy.  I am all too aware that this happened before; we’ve been here before… but also- I’m excited.  I can’t help it.

As of this minute, right now, in this present moment- I AM PREGNANT.   There is no denying this:

7dpt Round 2

And, if things go as I know WE ALL desperately want them to, next summer I will deliver a healthy baby boy BACK into the longing arms of his parents!!!  That’s so cool!  Science is awesome.

I think a lot of this happiness that I swore I would reign in after the first failure is prompted by the fact that a few of the other surrogates I follow got to show their IP’s the baby(ies) heartbeats over the last couple of days and I CAN’T WAIT to experience that and all the other milestones that will hopefully follow. I’m pumped!

7dp5dt Round 2

So today, around 2:00 this afternoon, We are officially a week past the transfer. 

Again, obsessive about pee sticks- here’s the evidence of my addiction:


These are the ones I took at night. The first one was 2dp5dt as well, but it was like right at the 48 hour mark 😜 and I was trying to be all stealthy because I knew my husband would get on to me for “wasting money” so early.  It’s kind of crazy- all the tests except that very first one- dried with the tiniest hint of a line. I know that there is a strong chance that they are evaporation lines, but why doesn’t the first one have one? 

Anyway- here are all the tests I took in the evenings:


Again- there are lines on all of them! Much more visible after drying. 

Anyway- I’m really happy that we, IP’s included, are pregnant. I just really really really hope this little one decides to hang out for the long haul. 

I wonder if I can talk to the CA clinic about doing an additional Beta test to make sure things are progressing ok? I should also, maybe be careful with those requests. I have NO CLUE how much that costs the IP’s… 🤔 

It’s such a scary deal- I want to be excited and happy but there’s a little spot in the back of my brain that keeps those emotions in check, just in case this pregnancy ends like the first. And oh my goodness… I’m worried that my IP’s will lose faith in me. Hell, I think I’d lose faith in me! 

But- there’s certainly no good in letting those thoughts run things… I’ll just focus on the good for now. We are pregnant! 3 weeks and 5 days pregnant. (My “pretend” ovulation day being calculated as Sept. 20th.)

6dp5dt Round 2

My feelings after today’s pee stick:


But, again, we’ve been here before so I’m not too overly confident and probably won’t feel that way until after we hear the precious heartbeat around 6 weeks. Crossing all the things that can cross!

Here’s today’s test. It was taken this morning so it’s technically still 5dp5dt by timing standards:


It’s there and pink! Yay!!! 

And here’s the one from last night (also just past 5dpt):


I have a few more tests and my BETA is Wednesday. I’m hoping for a good strong number for these IP’s!!!

🤞🏻🍀🤞🏻🍀🤞🏻🍀🤞🏻🍀

Technically still 4dp5dt…

Since the transfer was around noon in CA and I live in TX at 2 today I will be 5 days past the transfer.

But, since I am an addict and since the POAS lurker community saw it too, I figured that first morning urine (the most concentrated) would produce a legitimate line.

Problem was that I woke up at 4:30 and needed to pee. In my tired stupor I decided not to pee on the test because then I’d wake all the way up and if the line wasn’t completely visible I’d sit there in the pitch black staring at the damn test and my rest would be ruined! So I relieved myself and got back into my snuggly bed until I was rudely awakened by my kids.

At 6:45 I actually needed to pee again so I broke out the First Response Early Result test:


I know I know I know. At first glance you might miss it. It is uber faint.

But here:


You can see that? Right?

I can, but again, I have years of practice staring at tests that women who “just can’t wait” peed on to see if maybe, just maybe, their dreams are coming true. So I’m a professional, obviously.

So- at what is the equivalent of 9 days past ovulation (4dp5dt) I can say with reserve that my IP’s are pregnant!

It’s funny- my husband (WHO SAW THE LINE 😳) said, “yep! It’s there.” And then later said, “wait?! I’m confused. Should I have been more excited? I don’t know what to do here?!”

It’s kind of strange. Yes, his wife is pregnant BUT it isn’t ours so should excitement be the proper reaction? And, technically we were pregnant before, after the first transfer, and that obviously didn’t work out- so?!!

We are quietly excited FOR THE IP’s, for sure. But, we are also more reserved this go round since there is still a chance this isn’t going to work. Though I quietly send my wishes into the universe that this is it and they will get their 2nd take home little boy in late June or, knowing my body, early July!<<<<<<

Still 4dpt5dt Round 2

If you are unaware- there is an entire underworld on the interwebs that is dedicated solely to the POAS addiction, y’all.

I’d list the websites but for anyone that has been trying to have a baby (the majority of my audience I suspect) it is probably not necessary because you are already aware. And for those of you that aren’t, I don’t want to expose you to that world because- kind of like in the Matrix, Morpheus states that once you swallow that pill “there is no turning back” and it’ll show you just “how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” (Don’t you judge me… I used to teach it in conjunction to teaching 1984)

Anyway- I found these websites back when I first started learning about my body and ovulation and all things conception and uterus and I can now say that I know too much. I blame my Type A personality. 

I know that for many women they just decide one day, “hummm? I think I want a baby” and so they just have sex and BOOM it happens. And that’s awesome for them. 

But then there are many women that try that and keep trying and then start worrying. And reading. That was me. I didn’t get pregnant right away (though I did not truly have to struggle like so many women I know) and in my panic I decided to arm myself with knowledge. 

And, while it is awesome to know my body so well, it also sucked the fun out of the baby making process AND I fell into the aforementioned rabbit-hole. 

All THAT to say that my seedy POAS addict friends on the interwebs who are professional pee stick analyzers say that there is something on this damn test: 


Don’t worry if you don’t see it. The untrained (i.e. Not crazy person) eye might not. For instance, my husband looked at it and said, “no. Nope, not even a speck.” (He has a penis- what the hell does he know about pregnancy!?! Nothing!) 

But- if I’m crazy at least I know I’m not alone. 

4dp5dt Round 2

So- it has happened again. I’m going off the deep end. 

And I think it’s worse that I recognize it happening but instead of turning away from the ledge, I embrace it and just jump right off that fucker anyway. 🙄

So, this go round I swore I was going to wait until Thirsday night (3.5 days past transfer) before I peed on a home pregnancy test (hpt). 

I made it to Wednesday night (2 days) 😬. 


Yeah, there’s nothing there. I’m aware. But I got it out of my system. 

Then, because the more expensive tests were on sale and just sitting around tempting me to pee on them, Thursday morning I decided that I should maybe try one that’s more sensitive because WHY NOT?!? So not even 3 days past transfer I wasted another test. 🤷‍♀️


And because after that dried I thought maybe I saw something and I was now officially 3 FULL days… 

yep, I peed on another one. (At least it was only $.88)


Seeing anything yet?!?

Yeah- me neither. 😕

But- new day- new sticks to pee on. 

So this morning I did this one:


And there STILL isn’t anything. Not even the slightest, squintiest, “maybe something’s there” line. So, I can tell myself it’s still early- and I KNOW it’s still early. But damnit. Let this one work— PLEASE UNIVERSE?!? Please please please?!?

So tonight, 4 and a half days past the transfer, I decided that I would just pee on a test every time I needed to go and just embrace my addiction full on (swan dive, if you will, into the deep end).

So around 5 I had to pee:


Yes- that is zoomed in SUPER CLOSE.

Yes- I totally edited the color of the photo in attempt to darken the imaginary line I thought maybe I was seeing. 

So, Yes- I created the line you may (or may not) see. 

Yes- I know I’m nuts but frankly, I don’t give a damn. 


Anyway- stay tuned. 

And, if you would, cross some fingers and toes, and eyes and… well… anything else that will cross- cross that too. Please. 

Cause I NEED this to work. We all do. 

TRANSFER DAY round 2 part II

The worst of my problems right now:


So let’s recap: 

After my cryfest on the plane and then a much needed day without a schedule, my husband and I woke up at 5:20 CA time. Not unexpected- that’s 7:30 my time and a nice sleep in for my normal Monday routine. 

We lounged around until the breakfast was served and then headed back to the room for more lounging. I was so comfy back in bed and the change in my normal routine almost made me forget to take my morning meds!!! 😳 Don’t worry. It didn’t take long to get my act together! 

After a bit more relaxing for me and Jesse getting caught up on some work- we decided to get our workout in so we could shower and dress in plenty of time for the appointment. Jesse went for his run and I did my yoga. 

Our IP’s had a dear family member who lives in the area join us at the clinic. This helped fill the gap left by the IP’s and she was so great. The IP’s talked about her calming presence and how sweet she is and all this held true. It was a bit nerve wracking at first (meeting someone new and the feeling of having to be “on my A game” created a bit of pressure, but that was VERY quickly calmed by her demeanor). She IS very calming and I was thankful to have someone from their family there.  It was nice to talk to her and have a bit of distraction while we waited. 

Speaking of waiting- I stupidly forgot to start drinking lots of water all morning and instead remembered about an hour before the appointment and chugged as much as I could fit in my belly. Last time I was about to burst! This time, when we were back in the room, the nurse asked if I needed to pee and 😬 um, not really. They got my another bottle of water and said we’d probably have to wait for a few more minutes before the Dr. would come in since they need my bladder full. Ugh, sorry! 😩

So we continued to chat while we waited, again, it was nice to have that distraction! 

Then, it was a flurry of activity. The three of us (me, Jesse, and IP rep) were joined by Dr., head nurse, and nurse in training. Then the lab guy! This room is tiny considering half the floor space is reserved for machinery and the table/chair/stirrups thing! We were stuffed in like sardines 😂.

We asked Dr. if we could call the IM and she said that as long as she didn’t have to do the talking, it was fine. So Jesse had her on the phone in a second and the process got started. 

Legs up, lights off! We verified birthdays and names and egg info and then she inserted the speculum, squirted my stomach with goo, placed the ultrasound wand, and inserted the catheter. First, they do a test with just saline and watch on the monitor to make sure they can see what they are supposed to see. Then, it’s the real deal. They bring in the needle like thing that has the embryo in it and insert that. Push the plunger and 💥 BOOM 💥 that little guy is tucked in tight and will hopefully attach itself and grow grow grow.  They double check to make sure that the embryo was ejected from the device and then we were told we were free to go. 

It’s crazy!!!  From the start of the activity down to the goodbyes only about 8 minutes passed! 😳

I got dressed and then said goodbye to IP rep and the IM and Jesse and I were on our way to pick up a lunch to go and then head back for more lounging. 

It’s not quite 5 here and I’m bored. But I’ll lay and lay if it will help. 

Oh- and my kids are super happy after spending the day with my sister. Which makes my heart happy.  

I’m so thankful for her help so we can do this for someone else!!! ❤️ 

Anyway- next on the ticket- dinner. Jesse will run out and grab something so I can continue to lay. 

Tomorrow, dark and early we fly home. 

Thursday I will start my creepy pee stick obsession.  Stay tuned. 😉