CD1

(That’s cycle day 1, which is the first day of a period in case you’re wondering)

Because bleeding started after 5pm yesterday the clinic considers today CD1. This is a little different to what I’ve always read/heard/learned which is that CD1 is always the first day of regular bleeding no matter what time of day it starts. It makes no never mind to me what they decide, it was just an interesting side note LOL

I was supposed to go and have blood work done tomorrow since they anticipated yesterday being CD1, but since they like to have it done closer to CD3 I’m going in on Friday instead. As far as I know it shouldn’t affect when I start my delestrogen as long as my estrogen levels are nice and low on Friday. Right now the plan is to start the delestrogen on Monday to start thickening up my lining. If all goes to plan (I almost made some snarky comment here about how that never happens, but I remembered that I decided to be positive!) I will go to ORM on 9/13 for a lining check to get the okay to go ahead with the transfer on 9/24.

Meds have been going mostly well with minimal side effects. The Lupron, which suppresses my ovaries, had been causing a low grade headache, but that seems to be slowly getting better. However, now it’s making me soooo hot at night. I woke up in the middle of the night the other night with sweat literally dripping off of me. Last night I felt like I was on fire when I went to bed. I didn’t wake up all sweaty again though. It’s funny how side effects can come and go with the same medication. I’m still doing my own Lupron injections (yay me! LOL). They are slowly getting easier for me to do which is great. I would love to be able to do my own delestrogen injections next week, but I still don’t think I will be able to. We shall see.

So while I’ve been on meds for over a week now, this is really the beginning of the cycle (hence CD1 LOL) Fingers crossed blood work looks good on Friday!

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We’re Off!

We are officially cycling for a transfer!! I started meds 2 days ago on 8/19. So far they have been going great. I’m currently taking baby aspirin, doxycycline, birth control, prenatals, and Lupron (injection).

Last night I was finally able to give myself a Lupron injection! This is big for me because I couldn’t do them last time at all. I had such a mental block about stabbing myself with a needle LOL I hear it gets easier so hopefully I’ll be able to continue doing them. The needles are tiny and I don’t even feel them, but I just had to get past the mental part of it.

I take my last BCP on Friday and CD1 should be sometime early next week. Then I will go in for a blood test to make sure my estrogen levels are low. Once they get those results back we will start trying to make my lining nice and fluffy for the embryo. That will include estrogen injections on Mondays and Fridays. I also have my POM juice in the fridge ready to go and I will start utilizing some yoga positions after the blood test results come back.

I also found some bath salts that are supposed to help with circulation. No idea if they actually do that or not, but I do love an excuse to take a nice hot bath. I

The other thing I’m going to start doing is making more of an effort to exercise in the evening whether it be a harder 30min workout video or an hour walk on the treadmill. Getting the blood flowing is what it’s all about.

I’m having pretty minimal side effects from the meds. The doxycycline can sometimes make my stomach feel not great. I take it with breakfast and dinner. It’s hasn’t been bad, I just notice it because I’m hyper aware of my body during IVF meds & surro pregnancy. The Lupron has been known to cause headaches especially if you don’t drink enough water. I have been trying to be really vigilant about drinking a ton of water and so far I’ve only had just minor headaches which I can’t say are from the meds as I was having a lot of tension headaches before.

All in all it’s going great! Fingers crossed it continues that way!

We’re a Go!

Yesterday I received the med calendar for this transfer cycle. I start my meds on Monday (8/19) eek!! I was laying in bed freaking out about the fact that I have two intramuscular injections this time and that my husband won’t always be around to do them for me. The more I thought about it the more I came to the conclusion that I won’t be able to do them myself…enter my backup plan LOL She’s a friend/coworker who lives just a couple minutes from me and she’s already agreed (in fact I think she’s looking forward to it) to come help me when I need it 🙂

The format of this calendar is not one I’m used to so it seemed a bit overwhelming. Aside from a difference in medication protocol from my previous clinic, I will be only having one lining check and it will be at the clinic itself. The last time I had a baseline ultrasound a few days into my period (and actually a second baseline about a week later) to make sure my lining was thin. Then two more ultrasounds to make sure it was getting thicker. This time I only have one on 9/13 to make sure it’s thickening. It is nice to not have to go in so many times, but this one ultrasound will require a 30min flight to Portland, a 45min train ride, and a 30min flight home. That sounds like a lot, but honestly it’s easier to do that for just one day than to have 3 or 4 different mornings that I have to try to get into the imaging clinic and have the husband go into work late so he can stay with the kids because I go in before they’re awake. This way it’s just one day that he has to do that and I actually should be able to be home in time to pick up the kids. Benefits of a close clinic!

I’ll post pictures of the calendar, but they’ll be hard to read because there is so much information. On Monday I will start taking Lupron (which suppresses the ovaries as we don’t want me trying to ovulate), baby aspirin (I believe this is to help with blood flow to the uterus, although I’m unsure why I would need to start it before my next period), and Doxycycline (this is an antibiotic to make sure my uterus is nice and clean LOL I’ll actually start another round of it just before the transfer). I take my last BCP (birth control pill) on 8/23 which should start a period. I’ll have a blood test then continue w/ the same meds (Doxycycline ends on 8/28) until 9/2 when I start the estrogen injections that are meant to thicken my lining. I do those twice a week, Mon & Fri. Those I will continue until around 10 weeks of pregnancy if the transfer sticks or until a negative Beta test (blood pregnancy test).

On 9/13 I go to ORM for the lining check ultrasound and another blood test. If my lining is thickening appropriately I’ll continue meds. If it’s not then we’ll come up with a plan. There are a lot of old wives tales out there among IVF patients about how to help your lining thicken. The only two I do are drinking pomegranate juice. There’s not scientific evidence that this helps, but it’s full of antioxidants and is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory. I did it last time and I’ll do it again, if nothing else it tastes pretty good (I dilute it with some water though otherwise it’s pretty strong). I’ll drink it from around CD 1 until the lining check on 9/13. I also do a couple yoga poses that are supposed to help with blood flow to the uterus. I came across this website during my last journey and the poses were easy enough so I decided to give it a shot. The one I did the most was the feet up on the wall pose. I would lay there for 5-10 minutes. It was nice to take a minute and relax and feel like I was doing something to help my lining. GC’s don’t have a lot of control over whether their bodies cooperate or not so it feels good to be maybe helping a little.

If the lining check goes well on 9/13 I will start progesterone injections on 9/18. These are also intramuscular injections so on Mondays and Fridays I will be getting two shots in the backside. These PIO (progesterone in oil) injections are to trick my body into thinking it ovulated so it’s ready to accept an embryo. We’ll fly up to ORM and have the transfer on 9/24 then I’ll be on strict bed rest for the rest of the day after the transfer and the next day. That means I will be in the hotel bed with just my shoulders propped up for what will seem like a long time LOL It will be a great time to catch up shows and just hang out with the husband sans kiddos (we don’t get to do that very often at all).

If all goes well (there are so many checkpoints that have to be passed) 9 days after the transfer (10/3) I will go in for a Beta test. This is a blood test where they test for HCG, which it the hormone present when you’re pregnant (that’s what at home pregnancy pick up in urine). If that’s positive I go again on 10/7 and 10/9 for the same tests. The number should be double every 48 hours to indicate a healthy pregnancy. If the test is negative it’s likely that I would stop all medications and wait for CD1 (when a period starts). Then we would try again with a transfer date either late December or early January. It takes a lot of effort and energy to even make it to transfer so of course everyone always wants it to work the first time. That’s not always the case. I’m usually a realist and tend to say “if” instead of “when”, but I’m trying to be more of an optimist. Obviously I know the possible outcomes, but why not just put the good vibes out there? So while I’m cautiously optimistic, I am being optimistic.

Let’s do this!

Contracts Done!

We are done with the contract! Woohoo! I sent in our signatures a few minutes ago. I know IFs were on a trip this last weekend so I’m not sure when they were returning or when they will get their signatures emailed over. I made a note on the email that the clinic needs the clearance ASAP since they already sent my meds and I’m supposed to start them on 8/19 (1 week away!) I was waiting to write an update until I had the med schedule because she said she was sending it to me last week, but then on Friday changed her mind since they don’t have the official legal clearance. I’m hoping I can get it by Wednesday or Thursday, but I don’t know how long it will take to get the legal clearance info over to the clinic.

It’s great to have another thing checked off the list and be moving closer to the actual embryo transfer.

So last go around my husband did all my injections. This time there are some days he will be out of town hunting so I will have to either do the injections myself, or my back up plan is to have a friend who lives nearby come over and do them for me (I think she’s actually pretty excited to jab me with needles LOL) I’m hoping that I can manage to do them myself, but I absolutely couldn’t bring myself to do so we will see.

I’m excited to get home and check out all the meds that have been delivered…what a weird thing to be excited for LOL my fellow surros will totally understand what I’m talking about though! I think I mentioned before that I will be taking a lot more meds this time around and doing more injections that before. I’m really hoping that this new protocol works for me and my body does what it’s supposed to.

I’ll add a picture later of the array of goodies 🙂

Here they are! It seems a little intense, but at least some of the things are just vitamins or aspirin. Can’t wait to get my med calendar!

Here We Go Again!

I’ve been trying to decide what post I should share on Facebook as my “Hey just in case you’re wondering I’m working on being a gestational carrier again!” post. Last time I made a special post when I was ready to share that I was in the process that had lots of info in one place. This time around I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I decided to just do a short post that will quickly get people up to date.

So….I’m in the process of being a gestational carrier again! The hubs and I talked about me doing this again before Colette was born last September (Oh my gosh she’s almost a year old already!). We both agreed that we were okay with me doing this again. We had a wonderful experience with my last IFs and I really wanted to help another couple (I would have loved a sibling journey, but they were one and done). Originally we decided I wouldn’t transfer until Jan 2020, but come this spring I was itching to get started and we decided that I could transfer in Aug, Sept, or mid Oct and that would work in our schedule.

Here’s where we’re at:

  1. I’m using the same agency I used the last go around because I loved working with them
  2. I have matched with international intended fathers again who I refer to as A & O here
  3. The clinic I’ll be using is in Portland which is nice and close to home.
  4. I’ve been medically cleared and we’re hopefully wrapping up contracts in the next 10 days or so.
  5. We have a tentative transfer date of Sept 24th, if everything goes smoothly between now and then we will be transferring 1 embryo. Fingers crossed!

Now you’re all caught up! As always, I’m open to any and all questions you may have about surrogacy. If you don’t feel comfortable asking here please feel free to contact me 🙂 The goal of this blog is to educate and normalize third party reproduction.

Thanks for reading!

Tentative Date Set!

I was able to talk to my coordinator at the fertility clinic yesterday and pick a tentative transfer date! I have to call them with every CD1 anyway so I thought it would be a good opportunity to see if we could talk timing. She said we absolutely could since we’re hopefully almost done with contracts.

She offered Tuesday September 24th. I was hoping for a Thursday or Friday to limit the amount of time off work to save the IFs on lost wages for the hubs and I. Unfortunately the doctor at the clinic only holds times for transfer M-W and that week he only had slots on the 24th. So we went with a tentative date of Sept 24th! That means that I would start meds on August 19th (only 17 days away!) We just have to make sure we get the contracts taken care of before then which we should be able to do. I’m still waiting to hear back from the IFs lawyer to see if they requested any changes or not. I sent them an email on Monday and they usually reply within a few days so I’m wondering if maybe they’re out of town. They do like to travel and explore so they very well could be on an adventure!

I love having a date “on the books”, but I also know that so many things have to go just right to make that date “the one”. I’ll just be taking it one day at a time and doing what I need to so we can hopefully transfer 1 tiny embryo that I hope sticks around until next June!

Have a great weekend all!