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.

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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.

Surgery

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.

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.

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.

10 weeks 6 days Pregnant

I’m currently sitting outside my OB’s office for, what would be in a normal pregnancy, the FIRST doctor appointment.

This, however, is far from a normal pregnancy! I’m carrying a child that does not belong to me but instead belongs to two very special people who desperately want to grow their family but can not do it on their own.

I calculated the other day. So far on this journey I have:

  • Had 100 shots of progesterone
  • Inserted 224 progesterone vaginal suppositories
  • Swallowed 406 estrogen pills
  • Peed on 25 pregnancy tests
  • Had my blood drawn 7 times
  • Had 6 vaginal ultrasounds
  • Twice heard the racing heart of a little boy that I am so proud and honored to keep safe.

And ALL this happened before today where I will finally be “just another pregnant woman.”

My heart goes out to all the women out there that have done all that I mentioned above more times than they are willing to acknowledge. Many of whom are still waiting for their baby(ies).If I could help them all I would.

I’ll be honest- having never delivered with an OB let alone a hospital; I’m anxious because I do not know what to expect. I know I will have an ultrasound and then meet with the doc, but as always, blind corners bring with them nerves so I’m a bit jittery here waiting.

I do like my OB but I am NOT a fan of the answering service they use. It is damn near impossible to get ahold of anyone to ask simple questions and so frequently they will “call me back” but I never hear from anyone and then have to start the process over. Hopefully, now that I am officially a patient, it’ll be better. 🤞🏻

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!

Emotional Mess

Yesterday sucked y’all.  (Man, I have only lived in Texas for two years and that stupid word has already crept into my vernacular.  Damn it.)

I should probably qualify the above statement.  The WHOLE day didn’t suck- just the end of it.

Let me explain.

My husband had to go out of town for work so I was single parenting it.  Not too terrible, just requires a little more planning and arrangement.  The morning was mostly normal except that I did NOT get up to do yoga (I was up too late grading papers that I STILL wasn’t able to finish) even though I set my alarm thinking that I would.   So, technically, I started the day with a failure.  Meh… shake it off.

I got myself ready, got my two babies ready (Monday after a long break… yuck), and we sat down and FaceTimed my husband to say “goodmorning!”  Since husband is usually in charge of breakfast, I decided that the babies needed donuts as a special treat before they returned to school.  Again, the morning went swimmingly.

But, my day at school was rather hectic.  Starting back up after a break is always a bit of a struggle AND we are starting Othello (I LOVE this book but kids are like, “ugh, Shakespeare!”) AND I had to leave early to make sure that I picked my son up from school since the husband was out of town.  It was Go Go Go GO GO!  But I was kicking ass and taking names!

I picked up my son, ran a few errands, and had some great mommy son time.

Then, I got home.

My mom, helping out, had picked up my daughter earlier, taken her home, fed her lunch and put her down for her nap.  As any mom knows, SCHEDULE is LIFE for kids.  Well, my mom is not one for keeping a schedule- in fact, she rarely even knows what time it is.   So, when I got home with Tucker around 4, she was only JUST getting my daughter up from nap (which means Sage did NOT go down at 1 like she should have).  If she sleeps late, she doesn’t want to go to bed on time, understandably. Ugh…

Then, I went to change her diaper, and her bottom was dirty… ugh.

Then I went to get snack ready, unload the lunch pail, clean the coffee maker, and do other kitchen upkeep.  The kitchen was a mess…ugh.

My mom, I really do love her and I know that she is doing so much to help us by watching the kids, but sometimes she makes things harder (kids off schedule, kitchen not clean… little stuff, I know, but it builds).

By dinner time (husband still isn’t home), the little stuff built to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and I unleashed a bit on my mom.  Probably undeservedly- but at the time, I didn’t feel that way.  Fights suck… especially when you will later have to apologize for starting it.  BLEH…

Needless to say, my day had promptly gone downhill (at my doing) and by the time my husband got home to read bedtime stories to the babies, I was ready to lay on my bed and CRY… hard, body heaving, tears.  Not exactly the return home I had planned for my husband.  Sorry dear.

Babies in bed, fighting tears, we went into normal bedtime routine- brush teeth, take ALL the meds, prepare for a shot in the backside.  As I rolled over, my husband noticed this:

I knew that the shot yesterday hurt (the one my neighbor, the nurse, had to give me since my husband was gone and I am NOT the badass that some surrogates are- I CAN NOT give it to myself). But I had no idea that it had left such a mark.

Tears started welling…

Then, my husband tried to find a spot on the opposite side that wasn’t tender to the touch and proceeded to give me my evening meds.  IT HURT LIKE HELL!  I, luckily, do not have the oil progesterone; mine is in ethanol.  So I think what happened is that the medicine started coming back up and burned as alcohol does on a cut (even if it is just the size of a pinhole). Anyway, most painful shot ever!  I screamed in pain it burned so much.  Crazy.

ALL the emotions of the evening erupted from my body and I ugly, snotty, sobbed for a good 5 minutes.  My poor, poor husband felt terrible.

Once I was calm I was able to explain to him that it had very little to do with the pain of the shot and more to do with the failure that was my day.  I felt better after releasing some of the crazy.  Though I still felt like crying a little.

Then, by about 9:30, I was dead asleep.

Bad news- I have to figure out a way to apologize to my mom.

Good News- I am definitely pregnant: a tired and emotional mess.

Edited to add- here’s the damage last nights shot caused: (sorry for my ass— but I’m usually brutally honest so I figure I should share- you can see exactly where the swelling happened and can see that my underwear, which normally don’t dig in, currently are pretty terribly 😩) (also- just FYI, out of nearly 100 progesterone shots, literally- I’m not exaggerating, these last two have been the most brutal. They NORMALLY aren’t bad at all. They create a knot in my backside and it’s sometimes itchy and bruised feeling, but it is NOT that bad. At least for me. All that to say, for those of you IVF people or potential IVF people or potential surrogates out there, they’re not something to be scared about- NORMALLY!)

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!