Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The early ultrasound... IP Side

The day had finally come for the early ultrasound. Although it had only been a few weeks since our positive beta, it seemed like eternity. We wanted to see what has been cooking in there!  Our intended carrier along with the ultrasound tech was kind enough to let us do FaceTime so that I could watch the ultrasound. We were disappointed we couldn't be there, but it was honestly just like we were watching the screen, love technology.  Unfortunately, my hubby had a work emergency and had to leave early that morning but I filled him in and the look on his face when I told him I saw the heartbeat was priceless! Although we were sad to hear that one of the babies probably wouldn't develop, we were quickly reminded how AMAZINGLY lucky we were that we saw a heartbeat and things looked perfect, and we know this is common with IVF cycles. A few days later I followed up with my IVF doctor and he said 'despite all the odds and history' we managed to have the best possible outcome. He laughed when I kept thanking him and he mentioned that this was the best call of the day for him. Great hearing that! We also received a mother's day card from our carrier. Love her!

Next ultrasound will be May 29th and after this our carrier can hopefully move on to our own OB!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The early ultrasound... Surrogate Side

We've been waiting for this day to come!  We have so many questions.  We just want to know that all is hunky-dory in there!  Well, our big day has come!!  Our questions will finally be answered -- how many??? is there a heartbeat? how's it lookin'?

I wake up in the morning (feelin' like P.Diddy.... nah, not really - wink,wink) and anxiously get ready for my early morning early ultrasound.  K and I agreed that we would FaceTime the event since she was unable to make the trip out here.  When I arrived at the clinic, I let K know that I would call her as soon as the appointment begins.  We're both super excited (but neither of us let on that, deep down, we're both pretty nervous...).  I hadn't gone to an ultrasound alone since my very first one ever which was when I learned that it was not viable and that I had a molar pregnancy and vowed to NEVER go to an ultrasound alone again; and I hadn't.  But, that's a story for another time!  I pulled up my big girl panties and walked into the clinic.

I am called up for my ultrasound and I ask the technician if I could FaceTime the scan for the mom since she couldn't be here.  She agreed to it - sweet, sweet lady!  I undress and prepare myself on the table/bed thing for my trans-vaginal ultrasound.  When I was "comfortable", I called K and got the camera going.  The technician re-entered the exam room and introductions were made - so cute!

The "weenie-wand" (as I've learned it's described) did it's job and we immediately saw things in there!  The first question of the technician (which really shocked me and K) was, "how many embryos were transferred?"  In awe, I reply, " many babies to do you see in there????!??!?!!!?" (I already secretly knew I saw something that I had never seen before in my own pregnancies...)

Her reply was, "well, I see TWO gestational sacs, but it appears as though one may have stopped developing".  I look at K on the phone and see that she's not upset.  I think it's because we can already see a flittering heartbeat in the other sac... A HEARTBEAT!  WooHOOOOOOO!  We have at least 1 healthy butterball!  After some measurements of Twin A (the baby with a heartbeat), the technician scanned for the heartbeat - 150 beautiful beats per minute.  Twin A measured 7weeks3days -- perfect.  I nearly cried with joy for K&J.

The technician began working on Twin B.  She found a yolk sac and measured it at 6weeks0days.  She was unable to find a heartbeat, but also said that there is a chance that this embryo implanted later than the first and it could be too early for a heartbeat.  She also explained that she doesn't think it is likely that this Twin will continue to grow.  But, we shall see!

I contacted my nurse from the IVF clinic and reported our news and her reply was, "I never say never" when I asked her about the likelihood of Twin B being viable.  She also indicated that the doctor will probably want to have another ultrasound done to track the progress of both Twinsies!  Another peek inside to see the butterball(s)??  Okay, sold!

Oh yeah, and we're due December 29th, 2013.  Merry Christmas / Happy New Year!

Oh, and double "oh yeah"; I didn't fall off the table with the news of twins... Just thought I'd share that with you, too!  (Although, I WAS pretty shocked...)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Good News....And More Waiting.....IP Side

Following the transfer my husband and I along with family and friends, hoped and we prayed and we waited, we tried not to talk about it but that never works. Secretly I had a great feeling about it this time, but wanted to be sure. For weeks prior, we kept thinking we needed to leave my phone near the bed in case our carrier called or texted with an early HPT result. Classically, we missed the first message we received from her but we laughed about it later, and from there on out she and I became obsessed with those evil sticks. Of course the blood test is the final determination but we kept waiting to receive good news and when we heard the HPT tests were positive and the first and second beta test were strong numbers we were ecstatically happy, yet at the same time feeling edgy for the weeks to follow. We decided to wait a few days longer in the allocated time frame our nurse gave us for our first ultrasound in hopes that we would see the heartbeat. As our carrier is experiencing one perspective of this journey we as a couple/IPs are experiencing another and one that is very challenging to put into words.

How do you thank someone for what they have ALREADY done (and the baby isn't even born yet)? The real answer is you can't. This is a gift that is so beyond gratitude words don't do it justice. She has been so supportive and even with her own family and daily life always includes us. It’s a fine balance because we want to respect her life as well. For an IP couple that communication and also genuine happiness that she has for us, means more than she will ever know. The love and appreciation that we have for this person and her family were felt from the moment they agreed to work with us. We realize (to an extent) what she is committing to. What she is going through physically, emotionally and mentally and even to get to this POINT is pretty magnificent and we won't ever take that for granted. Talk about extreme babysitting!!
So we wait some more, which after 4 1/2 years we have got a little bit better at and we hope all is healthy and going well for BOTH our carrier and future child. Until then, let's hope she is able to have a little more ginger ale or crackers. Fingers crossed for great news next week. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

And, it hits me like a TON of bricks... Surrogate Side

At the initial onset of implantation and when I first started feeling pregnant (around 4.5 weeks), I had a little bit of nausea and sore boobies which was very similar to the pregnancies of my own children.  Then...nothing.  I  mean I still had some sore boobies (I don't think those are going anywhere), but I pretty much felt great.  I would even forget sometimes that I was pregnant.

Well, that all changed two days ago when the nausea hit me like a ton of bricks.  No lie - a ton of bricks.  I am not throwing up, but sometimes think I'd feel better if I did.  The nausea comes in waves; sometimes I'm feeling okay and then 3 seconds later, BAM!  Bleh.  It's pretty comical, though.  This pregnancy is on a whole new level than my own pregnancies.  It makes me wonder if it is due to the different DNA??  Either way, it's pretty cool.  This stuff intrigues me.

I know I need to eat, but nothing is appetizing.  Cooking dinner for my children is like Chinese water torture, I swear!  "Momma, aren't you gonna eat dinner with us?" - umm, no.  Sorry, kids; Momma's lucky to be able to just sit here next to you and not hurl from the smell.  But, enjoy.  Eat up!

Later that evening, I hadn't eaten and was brainstorming ideas of what I could possibly eat that wouldn't put me over the edge.  Thinking about options was even tough.  And then I came across "pizza".  I really wanted pizza.  We don't live in an area where you can get food delivered so scratch that idea.  I contemplated making a frozen pizza, but ultimately decided against it and settled for a meatball hotpocket.  Yeah, not even a close comparison and an awful substitution.  But, I was  able to eat it.  The pizza thing, however, did not let up until I had it for lunch the following day.  Now, I couldn't get close to a pizza even if I wanted to without blowing chunks.

I feel like everything is happening at once all of a sudden.  I can't button my pants any longer and other people are starting to notice my "pooch".  I figure it's just bloating.  I'm only 6.5 weeks along.  And then there's the saying... "you always pop quicker with every subsequent pregnancy."  I texted this picture to K.

Bloating or Belly?  You be the judge.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Extraordinary support... Surrogate Side

So, I've been asked by some to "post more".  Okay... I'll try!  It's kinda tough during this waiting period, but I will do what I can for my followers as they have done so much for me; no, really - you have!  Your support and encouragement means so much to me.  I'm one lucky gal!

When I first started thinking about "going live" with my longtime dream of becoming a gestational carrier, I didn't know where to turn.  I didn't know of anyone who had ever done this before (come on, let's be honest - it's really not that common in one's circle of friends).  But, the more I thought about it, I realized that I did  know of someone who had done this before - Andrea, a former coworker of mine many years ago who I hadn't really kept in touch with over the years.  I had heard through the grapevine that she had been a surrogate.  I decided to inbox her on Facebook to first, confirm that she actually had done it and second, get some feedback from her.  She got back to me and offered a lot of great suggestions and feedback.  Andrea was there for me throughout every step of the process and was excited for me.  As much of a great relationship that I have with my IPs, I don't think I would have been able to get through some of this as easily as I did without Andrea.

Upon setting out for this journey, I knew that there would be many appointments throughout the pregnancy since I had already been through it twice before.  But, what you don't realize is the work that goes into becoming pregnant.  There are numerous appointments beforehand -- let's check your baseline levels, let's see if the meds have started working for you, let's measure your uterine lining, etc., etc., etc.  All of those "let's sees" were various different appointments BEFORE a transfer even happened.  That said, I couldn't just arrange them at my convenience.  We were on a rigid timeline and these tests needed to be done on specific dates. Without the support of my job, this journey would not have been feasible.

I have to say that I am very fortunate to work for such an accommodating company who has supported me every step of the way.  Also, my coworkers have made this journey of mine a part of their own lives.  Not a day has gone by that someone hasn't asked me how I was doing, about the next steps of the process or simply expressed their sheer joy of what I am doing.  They have shared that they are just as excited as I am.  They are excited for me to be able to live this dream and give this gift, but above all else, they are excited for the future parents.  They have helped get me through all of this waiting with humor and encouragement.  POAS in the workplace public restroom to re-affirm my initial "shadow" test had the potential to be a bit awkward, but not for me!  I was lucky that they weren't waiting outside the door for me!  My coworkers rock.

Lastly, without the support of my family, I would be lost.  Although, initially, it had been "weird" for them to think about their daughter/sister/aunt/niece being pregnant with another couple's child, they have really opened up to it and have accepted and embraced the incredible gift I am giving. It means the world to me to hear that they are proud of my decision to do this for another family.  (I write this with tears in my eyes...)

To all of you out there, your support does not go unnoticed.  I appreciate every last word you share with me and I will be eternally grateful for such a remarkable group of friends and family who have opened their hearts to welcome my journey.  For this,  I thank you.  I'm one lucky gal.

Friday, May 3, 2013

And, we wait some more... Surrogate Side

Okay, if waiting for the day to take the beta blood test to confirm this pregnancy was the death of me, waiting for our early ultrasound to see how many embryos implanted (there's only one in there, I just know it) and to see/hear the heartbeat(s) is like waiting for hell to freeze over.  Ahhhhhh!!!  Seriously, how are we gonna wait the next 8 months while this little butterball cooks??

So, I went for my follow-up blood test to be sure my levels were increasing appropriately (they should at least double every 24-36 hours) and we passed!  My first beta was 151 and the next one was 490 three days later - reinforcing my gut feeling that there is only one baby in there.  (There is still some chance that I could be carrying twins, but I just don't believe it.  Everyone I have spoken with who have had twins has said that their levels were in the thousands after their follow-up beta.  However, when I gave into my urge to google other people's experience, I was bombarded with twin stories with lower levels.  So, needless to say, I will fall off the table on May 15th if/when we are shown that more than one baby is in there.)

After getting our great news that my levels increased as they should, I felt somewhat relieved.  I wasn't POAS every morning to confirm pregnancy and I was having withdrawals - hey, don't judge! (wink, wink)  The very next day I received a text from my husband, who was home with the kiddies that day.  I took a look only to find a picture of a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  My initial reaction?  "What the heck did he do that he thought he had to get me flowers??"  As I'm processing the possible misfortunes that could have happened while he was watching the kids, my phone rang.  It was my hubby.  I immediately answered the phone and asked who they were from; completely expecting him to say himself.  Much to my surprise, he said they were from K&J!  He read the card and I nearly cried - they are awesome.  Period.  They are amazing and I am the luckiest carrier in the world.

Card:  "We did it! Looking forward to the next eight months! Sending lots of love, K&J"