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.

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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.

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.

Limbo… again.

This time last year we learned that our friend was pursuing surrogacy to grow their family.

We offered to carry for them in a pretty spontaneous gesture that essentially sent us head on into the world of surrogacy.

In January it will have been a full year that I completed my application.

A lot of the last year had been spent waiting.

Waiting to complete the application.

Waiting to be matched.

Waiting for medical clearance.

Waiting for psychological clearance.

Waiting for contracts.

Waiting for cycles to start.

Waiting for transfers.

Waiting for blood tests.

Waiting for u/s confirmations.

Waiting for shots to end.

But this current wait has definitely been the most angst producing by far.

I’m currently waiting to hear from the IP’s on what steps they want to take next.

The day we found out that the baby’s heart had stopped the CA Clinic called and, in what felt like added insult to injury, basically warned me that they would be advising the IP’s to find another surrogate. In the same conversation, the nurse said that I shouldn’t blame myself as there is nothing I could have done. Seems contradictory to me. It’s not you… but it is you.

So, over the course of the last week I’ve googled lord knows how many times what it means that we miscarried at 11 weeks. Or if other surrogates have been through something similar. Or I’ve tried to find other IP’s who have had their surrogate fail only to be successful later. I’ve read and re-read the card that was sent with the flowers from my IP’s in hopes of deciphering which way they may be leaning. I’ve terribly overanalyzed the silence from them. Are they mad? Are the just reeling still? Should I reach out to them? Or Do they need space? I’m driving myself crazy wondering where their head and hearts are.

I want so desperately to do what I set out to do- deliver a healthy baby back into the arms of their parents and help a family grow. But, as I linger in the limbo, I have to wonder if maybe this isn’t my path.

I don’t know that I have it in me to start again and rematch and I worry that if this clinic won’t use me- will any of them? Could I even help someone else if this miscarriage and the chemical pregnancy from before is enough to have the clinic advise the parents against me?

I 100% want what’s best for these amazing IP’s. I don’t want to bring them any more heartache and disappointment than I have already caused. So if it’s best that they walk away and find someone else, I respect that decision and will hold zero resentment for them making that call. It hurts my heart to think that might be what happens, but perhaps that’s selfish of me. Just because I want to do this for someone doesn’t mean that I can. Maybe I can’t. Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling me to stop? Ugh. I don’t know.

Right now I’m giving them space. Though I am desperate to know what they are thinking.

I’ve written the IM 3 different letters but each time I end up deleting it. No matter how hard I try, each letter had a feeling of desperate pleading to let me be the one to try again and I don’t think that’s fair to put on them. They have hard enough decisions as it stands, they don’t need to be burdened with how their decisions will make me feel.

I do need to figure out what to say soon so I can send the package I have.

So, for now it’s more waiting.

Amazing Students & Amazing friends

I was anxious headed to work today. I wasn’t sure how I would feel… what my students might say… which co-workers know what… etc. What, if any of this, might set me off crying again.

I got to my room and it was straight down to business. I got things organized for the start of the day and while doing so my friend from across the hall, the one that decided to do surrogacy with me at the same time, came in to check on me.

I didn’t want to feel it, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t look her in the eye for fear of losing my shit. I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t fair. I wanted to tell her to get the fuck out of my room.

You see, she’s pregnant with surro-twins. She’s almost 13 weeks into her journey with her two intended fathers. She’s succeeding where I am failing (TWICE NOW) and a part of me is so irate about it.

And then, add on top of that rage and bitter jealousy the feeling of complete shit, dirty guilt for even thinking about being mad at her for something that is no more in her control than it is mine. I felt hot tears begin to well up in my eyes as I re-straightened my desks for the second time just to keep busy doing something so I could avoid her gaze.

Yuck. THIS ISN’T ME.

I confessed to my husband and felt a bit better, but I know that my friend knew something was wrong and I would need to talk to her before the shame of my bitterness would truly melt away.

Classes went on without a hitch. I told each of them how thankful and proud I was that they did what was needed to stay on track and then picked up where they left off going over the plan for the next two weeks and introducing their final project.

My 5th period, though, I was completely overwhelmed. Just as I was getting ready to get class started, a group of girls from the period walked in with a gift basket for me.

I immediately began to ugly cry as the whole class had pitched in to buy the stuff inside and were now lining up to give me hugs. Even now as I write this the tears are falling. I can’t believe they did this for me. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am. I’m just dumbfounded.

I’m also SO thankful that I waited to read the cards until my lunch period as the notes they wrote inside made me cry all over again. And the gift cards!?!? As if the goodie basket weren’t enough, they got me a Starbucks gift card, dinner for my husband and me, and movie rentals “so I can take it easy.” It’s just… it’s too much. I’m so… I don’t even know. I’m just blown away.

THEN… as if I hadn’t cried enough, my next class did the same damn thing!

Flowers and chocolates and lotions and comfy socks and bath salts and body scrubs and anything a girl might need to relax and pamper herself. 😭😭😭

I couldn’t even spit out a “thank you” before ugly sobs took over my body. This class is also my advisory period and we have actually talked quite a bit about the surrogacy process (and many other life topics) and I’ve answered a LOT of questions with them since we get 30 extra minutes together a couple times a week. They are outstanding kids and I am so thrilled that I have had the pleasure of their company this year.

Once we were able to get things back on track, I was interrupted again. This time with another beautiful bouquet of flowers from the English department. The outpouring of love from my students and co-workers is…

its…

Well…

It has left me speechless. I don’t even know what to say except that I felt the love today and it means the absolute world to me.

PS- I talked to my surrogate friend and apologized profusely for my immaturity and bitterness. I tried to explain as best I could about being overcome with jealousy and tried to explain how irrational and stupid I know I was acting. She was so gracious. She, having experienced two miscarriages when having her babies, had felt the same thing with one of her friends. They had gotten pregnant together only she “got left behind” when she miscarried and she felt a similar jealous anger then. I can’t tell you all how much better that made me feel. All of this can be so isolating but reaching out to find connection has proven to be a life raft when I feel I’m drowning alone. I love this friend and appreciate her honesty and help.

Days after loss- A surrogate’s side

It’s been about 5 days.  The flowers the IP’s bought me are prettier than ever.  The blooms are amazing.

Most of the time, the distraction of my family helps keep my mind off the heartache… the guilt… the sense of failure I am feeling.

On Friday, the day after the D&C, my kids went to school as normal so I had the morning to myself.  Laying around didn’t seem like a great idea.  So I cleaned.  The house is practically spotless… as spotless as it can be when you have two kids and three dogs anyway.

I think, much like the first time, this will just linger.  The tear producing waves are much further apart than they were on day one and I assume they will gradually grow far enough apart that I will not cry at all, one day.

I was talking to another surrogate about the loss she and her IP’s experienced.  We’ve decided that this particular situation is VERY difficult.  I certainly do not want to say it is any worse than any other woman experiencing a miscarriage- that is not it at all.  There’s just a level of complication added to this that makes it so strange and hard to navigate.  If it were just miscarriage, sadly, I know many women that I can talk to about that; I have people I could commiserate with.  But the complication of losing someone else’s baby… there aren’t many women that can share that story.  There is no guide book.  There is no one to really provide any direction.

It’s also difficult for my husband.  He mentioned the toll it’s taking on him.  This is not our child, but, from what I have read, many men “recover” faster than the woman.  She was the one that experienced constant reminders of what amazing thing her body was doing (or supposed to be doing) and when the pregnancy ends, she’s the one that both physically and emotionally must recover- there are hormones that must be contended with, and emotional scars, and a feeling of failure.  I have all of those things, but I also have the concern and well-being of the IP’s that I must process.  How are they?  What can I do for them?  How might I show them that I am thinking of them without re-opening a wound they are trying to keep clean and covered?  What do I do in this terrible situation?  It’s constantly there in the back of mind, ALL of this.  And my husband just wants his happy wife and the mother of his children back.

He mentioned the other day that there have only been two times in our marriage that I have cried so hard he was worried about me.  And, both of those times were when the surrogacy pregnancies failed. I do not want to call this pain a burden, but I do think that my husband might view it that way.  And I do understand that- our family is complete, these worries amazingly didn’t plague our family… when we wanted kids, we luckily got them without ANY complications.  And now we are taking on someone else’s struggle- which we knew.  I, so naively, didn’t think any of this would happen.  I thought that I would have a transfer, get pregnant, have a pretty uneventful pregnancy, and give this family a baby.  I was so terribly, terribly, wrong.

I don’t know where this journey goes now.  And I don’t even know if I will have a part in it.  I deeply hope that I will. The desire to help a couple grow their family is still, very much, a part of my dream and my passion.  But it isn’t up to just me (there are the IP’s, my husband, my family that must also be considered).

Day after horrific news

I thought that I could make it to work today. I thought that the distraction of having to keep 175 students on target would be welcomed. My students (Seniors) are aware that I am a surrogate and have been mostly up to date with the pregnancy since I have had so many appointments (they do not know anything about the IP’s, just general- “this is not my baby” info). I figured that if I broke down telling them the tragic news they would understand and being the amazing kids they are, we’d get right down to business and the day would fly by.

Perhaps it was a terrible plan from the onset.

Perhaps it was the blog post retelling before my morning started that brought it all to the forefront.

Perhaps it was the very sweet message my best friend teacher pal sent me.

Perhaps it was the frustrating call to set up the D&C before I walked in the building.

Perhaps it was a wicked combination of all of these things, but I made it up about 3 steps before I had to retreat to the empty stairwell cave and ball my damn eyes out. The sloppy messy snotty cry where you can’t talk and your body heaves. I wanted to collapse to the ground, but knew I needed to calm myself down and gather myself.

10 deep breaths, a quick, “you got this. You are fine. Settle down.” And I made it to the third floor and to my classroom.

Kids were already waiting and one said, “are you alright? You do not look well.”

To myself: thanks assface.

Out loud I replied that I had gotten bad news and would explain. She immediately hugged me. I immediately felt bad for thinking she was an assface.

After the bell rang, I weakly gathered their attention and it was then that they all saw the wreck that is Mrs. Whitsett (I realized in this moment I probably should have stopped in the bathroom before starting class to check my make up. Oops.). I got about two thirds into the sentence, “yesterday I had a doctor appointment and we got…” tears start welling and my voice begins to quiver “terrible news.” It was here that I straight up started crying and somehow stammered out the rest: “I need to have a procedure tomorrow and will not be at school the rest of the week.”

I took a second to breathe and settle back down. It took me longer than I wanted and I struggled to fully compose myself. It was there I realized I had made a mistake. I wouldn’t make it the rest of the day and no one needs to be forced to deal with my emotional wreckage, but especially not my students.

When I was calm enough, I explained that I needed them to continue reading Othello so we wouldn’t fall behind and that I needed to get sub plans together.

The amazing kids that they are did just that. They started reading. Someone even picked up my role of reading the stage directions, without being instructed. They would stop and ask questions for clarity and they worked together as a class for the period to struggle through Shakespeare. (My heart beams with pride as I write this.)

I was able to get lesson plans squared away, notify the powers that be, and make a quiet exit from the building. I feel better knowing my kids will be fine in my absence and knowing that we will not be terribly behind on Monday when I return (finals are just around the corner).

I decided to head to the doctor’s office to fill in paperwork and then head over to the hospital to do pre-op registration and get my instructions. All of which the lady on the phone, before school, instructed me to do.

It took about two hours but everyone was so sweet and helpful and answered all of the questions I had patiently and thoroughly.

I got home around 1.

I immediately started cleaning. All the interior windows have been cleaned. The surfaces have been dusted. The rest of Christmas was put up. And I finished vacuuming before bed. Apparently nervous energy makes me need to clean.

In the middle of the cleaning frenzy, there was a knock on the door. I could see before I even opened it that it was flowers. The most amazing arrangement I believe I have ever been given. I started welling up immediately. It smells heavenly as well.

The IP’s sent them with a beautiful note and I cried all over again.

I’m not sure how to express this complicated feeling. But in an attempt, I feel awkward and inadequate. THEY ARE SUFFERING. I should be sending them flowers. Their child is gone. I didn’t send them anything. I left them with grief and sorrow. I left them with tears and dashed dreams. I left them reeling and wondering what is next.

And they sent me flowers.

What do I do? How do I handle this? How do I navigate this confusing path?

Where’s the fucking handbook?! Anyone? I’m open to suggestions— seriously. I know there are some IM’s that follow this blog, how would you hope your surrogate respond in this situation? Please guide me.

This isn’t all about me. I’ve made it that way unintentionally but want to rectify that quickly.

All of this is terrible. So utterly terrible and now, on top of it all, I feel even more awful.

Heartbreak.

I walked in to the appointment nervous but excited.

After signing in and waiting, I was called back for the ultrasound. The technician was very sweet and was perfectly okay with me calling the IM and having her on the phone if it was what I desired. So after getting undressed and situated on the table, I called the Mom. Due to the time difference I knew I’d be waking her up.

We chatted for a bit, basic conversation and waited for the technician to find the baby. He was so much bigger, we both commented.

The mom asked a question, but the technician didn’t answer and I looked to her face to see worry had replaced her smile. My heart began to race. Things went blurry.

I tried to listen to the Mom and converse with her, but the technician whispered she needed to get the doctor. I knew then it was not good news and my body began to shake uncontrollably.

We didn’t wait long, the doctor came in promptly and the technician quickly showed him her concerns.

There was no heartbeat.

The baby was measuring right on schedule, even early. We were 10w6days and the baby was measuring 11w1day. His heart had stopped very recently.

The doctor asked me to hang up and I explained to IM that I would have to call her back.

That’s when the shaking really took over. I had no control. Tears, shaking, shock.

How could this be happening to them again? What am I doing wrong? What could have possibly caused this?

I don’t really recall what happened next. I believe I called my husband and asked him to come.

I know that I called back the IM; I know she knew something was wrong and I didn’t want to leave her drifting and anxious any longer than I needed to. The doctor helped me with that phone call.

The parents asked for a second ultrasound which we all more than willingly understood. The result did not change.

They wanted a second opinion, so my doctor sent orders to the hospital nearby and my husband and I went there to appease their request. I was still shaking uncontrollably.

The technician kept asking me to be still. I think the feeling of shock was wearing off and my body was reacting to sudden decrease in adrenaline. I couldn’t prevent the shaking. My teeth were chattering.

It was, for a third time, confirmed. The baby had died.

I feel sick writing this.

I woke hoping, praying this was all some horrible nightmare and was floored again by the grief that it is not.

I can’t believe it.

I failed. Again.

I know some of you reading this will repeat what everyone else (medical professionals included) have already told me. I “did everything right” and “this isn’t your fault.” But regardless of that bullshit- I set out with a dream to help a family…

a family (like so many others) that had suffered beyond what any family should have to bear…

A family that had a desperate dream to have children…

A family that I care very much for…

I set out to bring them joy and happiness. I set out to bring them something that would never replace or eliminate the suffering, but at least make it all worth it. I set out to bring them a baby and help them grow their family and… and instead of all that… I have leveled them again with suffering and disappointment.

I have hurt them again.

This crushes me.

I have failed.