Saturday, February 28, 2015

POAS #1 (and #2)... Surrogate Side

After our transfer last Saturday, K and I talked about how long we should wait before testing using a home pregnancy test. The clinic has their standard two week wait time for a scheduled blood test, but that is just waaaayy too long to wait; for me at least. K and I both knew we would try testing at home before our beta on March 4th, but when...?

K is a heck of a lot more reserved than I am and said Sunday, March 1st. I had another date in mind; Friday, February 27th - 6 days past our transfer date. We had a positive that early with Charile, but he was also a twin. I decided to take it day by day and see how I felt as time progressed. 

A day after our transfer, I got ill. Coincidentally, I caught some bug that was going around and had a fever, chills, headache and some pretty intense body aches. I didn't have any nausea (thank God), but didn't feel good at all. I really don't like taking meds (and especially during pregnancy or potential pregnancy), but I had to get my fever under control. I texted K and let her know how I was feeling and she agreed that I had to take something for the fever. I took Tylenol pretty regularly and it helped significantly. 

I stayed home from work on Monday and made the fatal error to keep my daughter home with me instead of bringing her to daycare. Well, I take that back. She was an angel and played perfectly and quietly throughout the day, but the fatal part was that she wanted to be fed. She wanted lunch, dammit. I gathered up all my strength to make her macaroni and cheese for lunch and that was when it hit me. Remember when I said I wasn't nauseated at all? Well, the smell of the pasta cooking sent me over the edge and to hugging the toilet. I never did throw up, but it was bad. Bad enough for me to curl up on the bathroom floor and pray. But! That was the only time I felt that way. I never once had another bout of nausea. 

Hmmm... Pregnancy related or sickness related?? Haha! Probably only sickness related, but totally makes your mind wonder!

Well, the remainder of the week trickled on and Thursday arrived. K had asked how I had been feeling and asked me what my gut feeling was. I told her that I thought I was pregnant. As crazy as it seems, I was yawning all the time (to the point of embarrassment during a meeting) and my sense of smell was considerably heightened. I know, these symptoms could very well be in my head, but I've been around this block a time or two (or three). I could also feel some magic happening down there (wink, wink).

So, I told K that I was going to pee on a stick (POAS) on Friday morning. Eeek!

And so I did:

I had heard if you put your ring on top of the test, your camera would have something to focus on and you could better capture the results of the test. It didn't work as well as I hoped...

Well, I did the test, but didn't think there would be anything worth jumping around for since it was so early. But! A very, very faint line did appear. Can you see it?!

Anyway, I POAS again this morning and this is what we saw:

How about that for a darker line??

I think it's safe to say that we are PREGNANT! Official word will be told on Wednesday, March 4th for the blood test!

Eeeek! It still hasn't sank in...!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ready for Spring!

Can't believe Charlie is almost 14 months old! He is walking and starting to talk more and more. We were so happy G could come down for his first birthday party in January it was so fun to see her.  Fingers crossed for good news next week! As G said we didn't have the best news with the number of eggs that were mature, but we are hoping for good news despite these odds. GROW HIP GROW! G is amazing, her kindness and excitement is never ending and we are counting down the days until we learn more about this transfer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

We have a "HIP", folks... Surrogate Side

Our transfer was Saturday and given my past excursions to the clinic (and being late the last time I went), I was determined to not be late. On any normal day, without traffic, it should take about 2.5 hours to get to the IVF clinic from my house. The last time I made the trek, I gave myself an extra hour to allow for traffic; I was STILL late. This time, I planned for an additional almost two hours. I spoke with K the night before and she was like, "Nooooo! It's the weekend and there won't be as much traffic!" I decided to compromise and leave myself the one extra hour (and would totally blame her if I were to be late - hehe!).

That said, K was right. There wasn't any traffic and I arrived a whole hour early. Lol! Not a big deal; I totally rested in my nice warm car until K arrived and then we made our way inside where we chatted and caught up. I tell you, she is like family to me. Our nurse even asked if we were sisters! 

I did things right this time; I wasn't late (!) and I didn't over fill my bladder. (The things you learn after a few times... wink, wink). 

After we chatted a while, we were called back for the procedure. We were set up at a different station as the past two times and had a new nurse. I told K we have a fresh start. The reproductive endocrinologist (RE) came to talk with us about the embryos and expressed that the two that fertilized are good. One embryo was an average 11-cell while the other was a PERFECT 8-cell that was labeled a "HIP". K and I both looked at each other in question. What the heck was a "HIP"?

According to the RE, a "HIP" is an embryo with "high implant potential". We're like, Oooooh YEAAAAHH! This was such great news! After learning that only 2 of the 8 eggs fertilized, this was a breath of fresh air. 

After our brief consultation about the quality of the embryos, we were brought back to the procedure room where we were joined by, get this, a student nurse who would like to witness the procedure. (Have I not said before that I must have a neon sign on my forehead that reads, pick me! Pick me!!??) 

As I adjust myself on the table and the nurse tries her best to save some of my dignity with a sheet, the entire medical staff (or so it feels like) flock into my room to watch me during the awkward situation. 

Why is it that men get into this field?? The RE was an old man (who is the one who really gets down and dirty during the transfer) and the ultrasound technician (who uses this technology to help guide the catheter to the right spot in my uterus) was also a man. I don't get it.

Anyway, when the embryos were successfully transferred, I got covered back up and could go back to dress and use the restroom. The nurse loved our "lucky" socks!

I made the trip back home with the precious cargo in tow. 

And now onto the dreaded two week wait. Tick tock, tick tock. Our pregnancy test is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4th. Haha, yeah right. There is no way I will be able to wait that long. 

Pee sticks will commence soon!  Ahhh!

Friday, February 20, 2015

K's a ROCKSTAR... Surrogate Side

K's a rockstar.  She had her egg retrieval on Wednesday morning and they were able to get 8 eggs!  She was sent on her merry way with some very important Vicodin and orders to rest.  

As she rested, I awaited a call from the clinic to confirm my next steps for meds (even though I was well aware of what needed to happen, I felt better to hear it directly from my cycle nurse).  I didn't want to be the one to screw anything up!! After waiting a while for them to call me, I called the clinic to request this information.  I left a message a couple of times...  I think my final message got their attention because I got a call back later that afternoon.  

I'm thinking the cause of the delay was that my cycle nurse was either on vacation or out of the office that week since the nurse who called me really had no idea of my next steps.  I pretty much explained to myself my next steps and she just verified.  I was informed that I would continue the estrogen regimen of pills and patches, discontinue the Lupron and begin butt injections; progesterone in oil (PIO).  When the nurse didn't mention anything about the pills (Medrol -- umm, YUCK! -- and doxycycline), I asked if those also began.  She said, "oh yes; start them, too". Good thing I've been around this block a time or two... o_O

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I asked if they happened to know if the transfer was confirmed for Saturday and she told me yes, but they wouldn't have a time yet.  I would find out the time the day before the procedure.  

There is something to say about being a surrogate and having patience...  

I finally got the call for the time of transfer and my excitement suddenly peaked.  It's getting real again!  I immediately log onto Amazon to place an order for pee sticks!

As I was searching for good deals for First Response Early Result home pregnancy tests, I received a text from K.  She notified me of our transfer time (just in case I hadn't heard from the clinic yet) and also shared that out of the 8 eggs that were retrieved, only 2 were fertilized. This was disappointing news for both of us; especially K.  Given the historically not-so-great quality of the eggs, we have chosen to transfer 3 embryos each time to increase our chances that at least one will attach and grow.  Unfortunately, this time around, we don't have a choice of which embryos will be best since we will have to transfer the only 2 that fertilized.  This was heartbreaking for K.  She felt defeated.  But, I made it very clear to her that she is a ROCKSTAR!  There are not many women who could endure all of what she has been through in life.

We. Will. Get. There.  We WILL stay positive!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Cycle update... Surrogate Side

Well, there's been some progress with our next attempt at a sibling for the big guy! I've been diligently taking my meds as directed (only one itty, bitty mistake that wouldn't cause any issues - hopefully! I inadvertently changed my estrogen patch one day early... o_O). 

I went for my monitoring appointment to check the fluffiness of my uterine lining and she never ceases to amaze me. My uterus was on point and exceeded desirable expectations. I was instructed to continue my meds as prescribed and wait for K to be ready for her part. 

K ever-so-patiently awaited the arrival of her period so she could begin her meds to stimulate follicle growth. She's such a trooper; her meds are heavy duty and cause significant discomfort for her. But, instead of complaining about it, she forgets about her own pain and asks how I am doing; always looking out for others! Just like at the birth of baby Charlie! She was always making sure I was okay, comfortable and well hydrated! Lol! 

I digress...

So, she's been to a few monitoring appointments and, although her follicles have been slow-growing (which is quite normal for her), she was told that they can see at least 9 eggs! She was given her retrieval date -- THIS Wednesday morning!

Once she undergoes the surgery for the egg retrieval, they will be fertilized by J's sperm and be left to grow for 3 days. At some point during that time, the embryos will be helped along by a procedure called "assisted hatching". I'm not an expert with that technology, but I guess it helps the embryos attach better to the fluffiness and grow. Charlie was also helped along by that same process.

So, although we have not been "officially" informed by the clinic of our date of transfer, both K and I anticipate that we'll see each other on Saturday adorned in our "lucky socks" for another round!

...the date of this next transfer just HAS to be lucky because I am skipping out on girls' night out to see 50 Shades of Grey (which has been planned for a year and a half)...