HCG negative!!! FINALLY

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


Now… moving on.


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!

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!

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.

The D&C Procedure

I should probably post that this is a potential trigger and I will not be offended if you stop reading now.  I hesitate to even post it but I would have appreciated a step by step going in so I share for the women in need of such a thing.

We were 10w6days pregnant when we found out that the heart had stopped beating. I was 11w1d when I went in for the procedure.


I had a lot of worry and angst about the procedure so I figure I will share my experience in case any women out there who, tragically, are experiencing something similar and are wondering what it will be like.

D&C stands for Dilation and Curettage.  Essentially they dilate the cervix and scoop, suction, empty the contents of the uterus.

For my OB, they wanted me to sign paperwork at their office first.  My OB would be performing the procedure and wanted to see me before hand.  I am not certain that this step is ALWAYS necessary so it may or may not be something another OB would do.  So I went to his office the day before the scheduled D&C.

I signed a paper in front of a witness that basically asked for my approval to receive a blood transfusion if necessary.  I was assured that this is VERY UNLIKELY but docs have to cover their rear’s. The waiting at the doctor’s office was pretty short and the OB answered a lot of my questions there.  The IP’s had some specific requests so I wanted to make sure the doctor was aware and he said he would do his best to respect their wishes.

From there, I was sent over to the hospital. My OB’s office shares a parking lot with the hospital so it was just a quick jaunt over for me.  I checked in at the front desk and was eventually taken back to register (which seemed stupid to me seeing as I was just there the day before doing the EXACT same thing to have the second U/S). After the paperwork was filled out, they escorted me back to the outpatient area and I was taken into a room with a very sweet nurse.

She got my weight, blood pressure, temperature etc… all the normal stuff when you go see a doctor. Then, helped me register for My Chart.  Another nurse came in to draw some blood.  I asked why they needed 4 vials and she explained that they wanted to make sure that biologically I was healthy enough to undergo the procedure. The vials decipher my blood type in case of the rare need for transfusion, Vit. D levels, white blood cell count in case of infection, etc.  Just routine stuff I was assured.

The first nurse proceeded to ask me TONS of questions.  Again, all routine health stuff.  Family history, vaccination history, recent medications, any other past surgeries… stuff like that.

Once all the history part was out of the way, she walked me through what the next day would be like.  I appreciated her a lot in this moment.  She started from the very beginning: When you drive up, park out in front where you parked today.  Then check in at the front desk, just like you did today. Tell them you are here for outpatient surgery and someone will escort you back here where you are now.  You will be put in a room that is very similar to this… same equipment on the walls, same sounds etc.  The only difference is there will be a gurney.  Your spouse will come with you for all of this.  Once you are undressed, the doctors (OB and anesthesiologist) will come and visit with you and explain their end of things.  If you have questions, they will be happy to answer.  Once they are all set up, they will come and get you to take you back.  Your husband will have to go to the waiting room.  The procedure will take about 20-30 minutes and then you will wake up in a recovery room.  You will have a nurse there with you to help make sure you are comfortable.  You might have some cramping that is similar to after birth or a really bad period.  Once you are stable and everything is alright, you will go back to the outpatient room and your husband will be brought in.  Once you can stand, go pee, and get dressed, you will be discharged. Do you have any questions?

I can’t explain how much it means to me that she was so precise.  I did ask if she knew how much it hurt or how long recovery would take.  She was very upfront and explained that it “wasn’t all that bad at all” and told me that she had to have it done a few years ago.  For her, she was “back to normal the next day.” That was a relief to hear.

She told me that my appointment was at 1:00pm and that I was to shower with a special soap the morning of and I was not to have any food or drink starting at midnight.  In complete honesty…. THIS was the hardest part of the whole thing and technically the most painful.  Hunger pains suck y’all!

The next morning we kept our normal routine (minus the yoga, I slept in) and I dropped the kids at school.  I went back to the house and decided to finish cleaning and doing laundry to help keep my mind off it all.

At 1, we checked in and things happened JUST LIKE the nurse said they would.  I got undressed, was brought a bunch of warm blankets (it was REALLY cold that day), and Jesse and I sat around and chatted for a bit.  Doctors came in, I signed another piece of paper, this time it was the hospital’s approval sheet saying I was okay with a transfusion if needed and they drew more blood to double check my blood type.  Then they put in my IV which was REALLY hard because I hadn’t had any water in over 12 hours!  I still have a bruise from where she had to put the IV up near my elbow.  Ouch.

After that, Jesse and I talked for a little longer while they got things ready in the surgery room.

And then it was time.  Jesse and I kissed and they escorted him to the waiting area and they wheeled me back into the surgery room.

There were TONS of huge lights on the ceiling and 6-8 people all dressed the exact same way, blue scrubs, face masks, paper robes, hair coverings, shoe coverings.  Each had a particular task throughout the room. Machines were all on my left shoulder by my head but were silent. I was still on the gurney and the nurse that took me back was very sweet and again explained everything.

They moved me on to the surgery table that had a bottom that would drop out.  They wanted me to position myself “kind of like I would sit on a toilet” and then lay down with my arms out in a T position.  They stuck a bunch of heart monitor pads on my chest and, since I was shaking cold, they brought in more heated blankets.  The warmth and the heaviness of them helped a lot.  They Velcro’d my arms out wide on the table and the anesthesiologist explained that in a minute he would give me some medicine that would put me to sleep and that I would wake up in the recovery room with a nurse who would take great care of me.  I didn’t see my OB come into the room, but I felt him. He was down by my feet and just after hearing the anesthesiologist say he was giving me the meds, I could feel him gently rubbing my toes.  It was a comforting gesture.  I blinked once and then again.  The third blink I struggled to open my eyes after and then I was out.

I woke up to beeping and cramping.  There was also a TERRIBLE taste in my mouth and I could smell metal.  The scent was overpowering, bleh.  The pain was VERY similar to the cramps following child birth.  Way more intense than a period but not excruciating.  I should also mention that I rarely cramp during my period anyway.  Physically, my periods aren’t rough.  I do get cranky as hell though, just ask my husband.

I was very groggy and the nurse asked how I was feeling.  She brought in another warm blanket and then checked my blood pressure and asked about the cramps.  I told her that they were pretty intense but not unbearable and she gave me some demerol.  I was in the recovery room for about 20-30 minutes and she asked me again about my cramps.  They had almost entirely disappeared.  I had a GIANT pad between my legs and the nurse checked to make sure I wasn’t bleeding too badly.  I don’t think I was bleeding at all.

She moved me into the outpatient recovery room and they put a blow up blanket on me that was filled with warm circulating air.  It was glorious.  The new nurse brought me some apple juice and my husband.  Both of which made me very happy!  From the time we checked in to the time Jesse was back with me it had been 2 hours.

Eventually the nurse helped me up and to the bathroom.  I expected to feel a gush of blood upon standing, but I didn’t.  And, when I peed, there was just a little bit of red in the toilet.  The nurse explained that I shouldn’t see much more than that for the next couple of days and to watch out for fever. I shouldn’t sign any important paper work for 24 hours and I shouldn’t pick up my kids or anything over 5-10 lbs for a week. Then, I would need to see my OB in about a week to be released for sex and to make sure all is well.

With Jesse’s help, I got dressed, and I was wheeled to the car.

We got ALL THE FOOD on the way home and after kids bedtime Jesse and I snuggled in a watched a movie.

I was 100% the next day and only wore a pantie liner… but I didn’t even spot.  I never had any more cramping and physically I was fine to go to work but decided to follow doctor’s orders and take it easy- more for my emotional state than anything.

I did consider my options very carefully before deciding on the D&C.  I was far enough along that I didn’t want to take the pill that would induce a miscarriage at home- emotionally I don’t think I could handle that.  And, I really didn’t want to wait for my body to figure it out on its own.  It took my body a week to realize the first transfer didn’t work before I started bleeding… who knows how long it would have taken to figure out the pregnancy was no longer viable.  Plus the idea of walking around pregnant but not seemed torturous to me.  The D&C, I think, was quick and virtually painless and has helped me get in a place to be physically better faster which I think has helped me emotionally as well.

So, long post over.  There’s the details.  I hope anyone reading this finds at least some comfort in knowing that it isn’t so bad and recovery time, physically, is VERY quick.

UPDATE- 3 weeks post procedure:

Alright-I’m updating just about 3 weeks post D&C. For 8 days following the procedure I had ZERO bleeding. Then, I started spotting. But it was so light I didn’t even need a panty liner as the spotting only occurred when I was going to the bathroom. I had zero cramping, but this isn’t much of a surprise because I don’t cramp on my period either.

The spotting continued for about a week but I figured that would be the case. I did pee on a pregnancy test and it was still positive so I knew my body was still dealing with it all.


Then, about 16 days after the surgery (can you call it that?!) I was standing in the kitchen and felt a gush. Not wanting to get my underwear dirty, I rushed to the toilet (the feeling was similar to postpartum bleeding so I wasn’t that startled). But, as I went pee, I felt a LOT of stuff coming out so I looked down and freaked out. I think I screamed for my husband. There was a lot of blood in the toilet and a huge clot. Before I could even call for my husband again, I passed another huge clot! And right as my husband arrived outside of the door I passed another one. THREE ENORMOUS CLOTS. my husband, having been granted entrance (we are not an open door couple), looked just as startled as I did.

I felt completely fine (no fever, no cramping, no light headedness, etc.) so we were both worried that so much came out soooo suddenly. Was I hemorrhaging?!?

This is totally disgusting, but I truly worried that I might need to go to the ER stat! So I decided that I needed to know exactly how big the clots were. I reached in and grabbed one of the clots and it was as large as the palm of my hand. 😳 oh god. (After child birth, the parting info from docs and midwifes is essentially to watch your bleeding. Big clots=bad and filling a pad every hour = bad. They essentially don’t want any clots larger than a golf ball. This ONE was the size of three golf balls and I passed 3 of them that were ALL that size!) My husband immediately called his mom (a nurse) and made me lay down and drink some water. Other than being scared, I felt 100% okay physically though I was now hyper aware and could feel the cramping that had started. He showed his mom the picture (all humility goes out the window when you’re afraid you’re dying) and she said it was worrisome but the fact that I felt fine meant that giving it a few minutes was probably okay. I went to the bathroom again and the bleeding had stopped- completely. Not even a spot. Again, feeling fine, we decided, with the advice of his mom, to take it easy the rest of the night and to monitor the situation. I’ve had a bit more spotting but since but as quickly as it happened it stopped. I will do one more update after my next cycle starts and this is all done so it will be complete.

Here is the post about HCG around 2.5 weeks out
Here is the test just over 3 weeks and about 5 days after the clot scare.

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.


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…



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.

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!