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.

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.

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.

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!