HCG negative!!! FINALLY

Tomorrow will make 7 weeks post D&C and I am finally registering as negative on home tests!!! Yay!!!

Rejoice!!!

Now… moving on.

Advertisements

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!

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.

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.

Amazing News!!!

I have a quick confession.  I am terrible at remembering things!  I mean, my husband’s birthday was yesterday and I damn near forgot to order his present (thank the heavens for Amazon Prime!!!).   Anyway, I knew my medications, both my injection of progesterone and my suppository, were running low, but I thought, “I’ve got time.” But then the day gets away from me (I blame Othello, the book I am teaching my seniors currently) and I kept forgetting to order more.

This morning, I realized as I was placing my suppository that I only had two more.  I needed my script refilled ASAP or I would miss a dose.  I would have called RIGHT THEN, but 7:00 my time is 5:00 CA time and no one would answer.  I put a reminder in my phone to call as soon as they opened.

It was right in the middle of class and I was pressed for time and put on hold.  Ugh.

I had a student take attendance for me and stepped into the hall.  Once I finally got to a person and gave her all my identifying info, she informed me that I didn’t have any more refills and the doctor would need call in another script.  WELL SHIT!?!?!

I got my students reading the play and then emailed the doctor’s office in a panic.  I was under the impression that I was to continue medications until instructed otherwise.  No one had told me to stop so CRAP!!!!  I was going to miss a dose.

Luckily, the nurse at the CA clinic immediately responded and gave me the BEST news I think I have heard all year:

MY LAST PILL, LAST INJECTION, LAST SUPPOSITORY WAS YESTERDAY!!!! 

I am free and clear to just be a normal pregnant person!

The timing of this… following those two SUPER painful injections that still have my backside throbbing… is just… well… just PERFECT.

I promptly ran across the hall to my friend, who is also a surrogate (pregnant with twins for two dads), to share the news.  She hates me now.  hahaha… She still has 3 days of shots to go and is a week and a half ahead of me!  Ha!

I would do a cartwheel if I thought I could!  Man… I’m stoked!

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!

 

Filling in the Past Two Weeks

I am a high school English teacher.  This year I am teaching seniors AP Literature and Composition.  That second word there… lord help me.  They write.  All. The. Time.  They have to.  It’s part of the class title.  PLUS, they need all the friggin’ practice they can get.

Some of you may not realize this, but most teachers who have a full work load teach any where from 5-7 classes with 25-30 kids in each one.  I have 6 classes.  Which means that I have 175 students.  That means, that on essay day, I have 175 essays to grade.  Early on in the year, I spend about 5 minutes per essay.  I don’t do math, but my handy dandy calculator tells me that is approximately 14 and a half hours of grading for ONE essay.  Call me a glutton for punishment, but I make my students write at least 2 analysis papers (these are completed in class and are graded like a rough draft) and then one polished paper where they get to spend time on them and edit them (even though many of them choose not to *eyeroll*) every 6 weeks.  Again, I am no mathematician, but that’s 525 papers to grade IN ADDITION to all the practice stuff we do in class or the other assignments I dole out.  That’s about 44 hours of grading EVERY SIX WEEKS.

Man- I think I was better off not know that.  Yuck. 

So- the last couple of weeks that’s what I spend my free time (if it can really be called that) doing.  And, as mentioned in a previous post, I don’t really have all that much free time to begin with.  I have to use my planning period and often my lunch in addition to the time at home carefully to get these damn things graded, with feedback, and handed back to the kids in a timely fashion.  I also try desperately not to let it hinder my family time too much.  But inevitably it does occasionally.

ALL THAT to say that finding the extra time to blog has been a challenge.

But, for any one out there interested, or any future surrogate/IP, I figure I should share some of the challenges we’ve faced so that you can be “fully informed” of potential issues that could arise on your journey.

For instance, now that we are finally pregnant (YAY!!!), we are officially in uncharted territory.  My husband and I have never done this before and must rely on the wording in the contract on how to proceed.

The contract, of course, dictates what I can and can not eat (no alcohol, no deli meat unless heated, etc.) which is all normal pregnancy stuff and is NOT a problem for me.

It also states that I shouldn’t carry or lift anything over 15-20 lbs.  THAT is tough because my daughter (who is not quite 2) weighs over 25 lbs (SHE’S HUGE Y’all!) and my son is almost 4 so he’s well over that restriction.  NOT holding my kids is tough. Really tough.  I love them and the time of being able to toss them in the air and give them piggy back rides, or just scoop them up and squeeze them is nearing an end.  It’s precious time that I am losing and that makes me want to tear up a little just writing (perhaps I am having symptoms of pregnancy after all???).

Another thing that recently occurred that was a bit tough for me is the travel restrictions.  Our contract states that after a certain week (somewhere around 25 weeks or 28… I can’t recall specifically right this second) we will not be allowed to leave TX.  That of course is much later in pregnancy.  EARLY pregnancy it just states that, once there is a confirmation of heartbeat, we must ask for approval to leave the state from the IP’s, the RE’s office, and the agency.  When we first went over the contract, that didn’t seem that daunting, in fact, I was thankful my husband re-read the contract or I would have completely forgotten.

So, Thanksgiving is next week.  Also, my husband had a work opportunity in FL and we thought it would be nice to drop the kids off with Grandma, hop a plane, and then enjoy a weekend kid free!  Then, return to Oklahoma and spend the rest of the break with family there, eating all the turkey.

So we had a plan.  We contacted the IP’s first (I mean, they are the most important ones!) and let them know what we were thinking.  IM’s most immediate concern was ZIKA but we had done our research and WOULD have NEVER even risked it if that was a threat (even a small one). So she and her husband gave their nod of approval.  That was a Friday.

Then, the following Monday, I sent the email that stated our plans for travel seeking approval from the agency and the CA RE’s Clinic.  I copied the mom on the email just so everyone was in the loop.  Agency said OKAY! with the stipulation that the clinic had to give the nod before we should officially buy tickets, rent car, etc.

About an hour later, the clinic also gave the go ahead!  Yipee!!!  A weekend getaway!  I was getting excited.

Monday night we booked everything.

Then, Tuesday morning, a string of messages flooded our phones.  The IM had asked around and had done some reading and since I had miscarried the previous embryo what she was reading made her nervous.  UGH… I was deflated.  And frankly a bit angry.  I wanted the get away.  I wanted that trip and now it wasn’t going to happen.

I was also afraid that it would prevent ALL our travel for the Holiday and missing Jesse’s mom’s turkey and table settings and family visiting was enough to make me start crying in rage.

Jesse, my loving, gentle, respectful husband, promptly responded to her concerned messages with grace and ease.  He would cancel everything (EVEN though we had all the approval we needed) and didn’t want them to worry.  He handled it like a pro.  I sure do love him.

I, however, needed a bit more time.  Which, again, he tactfully understood.  He let me vent for a bit and then, when he felt the time was right, helped me put things into perspective.

These people are putting ALL their trust in us.
These people have NO real control of what we do with their baby.
These people rely on us to prevent any threat (real or perceived) to their child.
These people have spent a lot of money to make sure this happens, and heaven forbid something go wrong… we would feel terrible!

Ultimately, he’s right and I kind of hate him for it.  But, if the tables were turned, and someone was carrying my child for me, I would hope that they would listen and respect my wishes and politely do as I ask them/her to.

So, all’s well that ends well.  I am over it and, frankly, feel childish and selfish for ever even being upset about it.  I am reminded again of the awesomeness that is this pregnancy, the trust these people are forced to have in me/us, and the amazing people my IP’s are.  I can respect their wishes and do as they ask me to.

I contemplated not even posting this little hiccup, but feel it’s important to be fully honest about the struggles for other’s who may be going through something similar… OR those individuals in the future who are contemplating being a surrogate or potential IP’s  who require surrogates.

So, to sum it up, I think it’s important to have a good, trusting, respectful relationship with your IP’s (or if the tables are turned and you are an IP- pick someone you trust and respect). It’s that relationship that you are developing and working on and it is so crucial to a healthy end goal!

PS- we are still driving to OK to spend the holiday with family- it was just the flying that made IM nervous. So bring on the Turkey!

8 Weeks 2 days… Pre-Ultrasound

We are, today, 8 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  It is the morning of our, hopefully, last U/S for the RE monitoring clinic and I’m nervous.  I’ve been nervous for a couple of days.

It’s so strange.  In both of my keeper pregnancies, I peed on a few sticks, was pretty confident I was pregnant, and somehow passed the time until I was 12 weeks along.  Then, I was finally able to visit with my midwife to fully verify that there was a little human growing in there.  And, even then, it was done only with a doppler.  It wasn’t until the 20 week anatomy scan that we actually got to see the baby in there!  What a trip that was!

With this pregnancy, there’s been so much attention!  I got to see the little guy tucked in on transfer day.  Then again 4 weeks after that for the heartbeat verification U/S.  And now two weeks later we will hopefully see him again.  So much attention!

But, as I mentioned, I’m nervous.  And it’s disquieting because I was NEVER really nervous before any of my appointments with my two babes.  I think I am just hyper aware of all the things that could go wrong.  And it isn’t just me that would feel the devastation, or my husband, but the IP’s and their family would also feel that sadness and heartache and it’s that pressure that makes me ever so anxious to know that all is well in there.

Tag onto all this that I have ZERO symptoms.  I may be more hungry than normal… but that is really about it and could easily be shrugged off.  I had a couple of days where I felt a bit a nauseous but maybe that was some sort of stomach bug because it has gone away completely.  I did feel like eating all the pickles in the fridge a few days ago but that isn’t all that abnormal for me, pregnant or not.

I am also on a surrogacy board with about 150 women who are in some stage of their surrogate journey and they live all over!  It’s pretty amazing to hear their tales, their success stories, and their complaints.  But, in addition to this, I also hear about their heartbreaks.  Obviously ranging in levels of tragedy, but most recently, a surrogate went in for the same U/S visit I am about to head out for, only to find out that the heart had stopped beating around 7 weeks.  Que tears.

Then, another lady who’s blog I follow had the exact same thing happen.  So, even though the change of miscarriage drops to like .01% once heartbeat is confirmed, it does still happen and that freaks me out.  I hate that for them and I hate that I am aware- so very very very aware- that it could, in fact, happen to us.

I wish there was some way to go back to being blissfully ignorant (yes, I am aware of the painful irony that statement carries coming from an educator).

Anyway, wish us all luck.  My appt. is 9:45 TX time so if you read this and have a second, send some positivity out into the world for my IP’s and also a little for me.

The Appointment…

So the office at the monitoring clinic was PACKED!  We ended up having to wait a bit longer than normal which was agonizing.

But, once they took vitals and had me use the bathroom (empty bladder for vaginal ultrasound), it was all really quick!

It’s crazy how nervous I was getting!  Heart was racing, thoughts were swirling, and apparently it was obvious because my husband kept telling me to take deep breaths.

Then the Doc came in and raised the chair to a ridiculous height (I felt soooo exposed)! Wand was inserted and immediately I could see what wasn’t there last time!  RELIEF!

There was a little black circle in a haze of gray there on the screen and, as the doctor got the wand focused in, you could see a little blob inside that circle.

There’s a yoke sake…

There’s a bit more than a fetal pole…

There was this beautiful pulsing, flashing, heart…

We are ALL thrilled!

The doc said that little baby is measuring a bit ahead of schedule 6 weeks 5 days (we are only 6 weeks and 2 days).  And while he is not THE doctor, it was nice to hear that “all looks well in there.”

He was awesome to let us video and facetime, he printed pictures, and he allowed us to record the sound of the tiny, 120-beats-per-minute heartbeat.  After a bit of conversation with my ever so smart husband, we’ve decided that I shouldn’t post any of the pictures or videos since this is not our little guy in here… but just know that it is a beautiful sound.

Whew!  What a load off.  Hopefully later today I will hear from the CA Doc and get the “offical word” and be released to… ahem… enjoy… um… some of the things I’ve been missing (PS- I am NOT referring to alcohol! And, strangely, don’t really miss it that much). 

Thanks for the positive thoughts and vibes sent our way!  We, as I mentioned, are all THRILLED!
PS- as of 5:30, I’ve been officially released from all super careful precautions and am allowed to act like a normal pregnant lady (no straining, ridiculous lifting, moderate exercise, low impact, careful with abdominal stuff, etc). And, cleared to resume normal marital relations 😉😉!

Scared and Nervous

Sitting in the waiting room is like torture.

Sitting still is hard.

I’m thankful I went to school this morning as my students provided a much needed distraction from fears and anxiousness.

I really really really hope to give the IP’s good news today! Please let it be good news.

Please

Please

PLEASE!