6dpt

Here we are just a few days away from the first beta test (3 1/2 days to be more precise). I’ve still been having on and off cramping. I think I’ve been more sensitive to smells as well, or at least I have a heightened sense of smell.

Other than those couple things I feel totally normal. I think I mentioned before that all of these things can be caused by the hormones as well so any “symptoms” at this point don’t mean much.

Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long on Thursday to get the test results. The waiting is seriously so hard! I just want to know what’s going on in there! I’m sure the IFs are counting down the days to beta too. 9 days doesn’t seem that long until you’re waiting for something like this! Then, if that result is good we’ll be waiting for the next test to see if the HCG level is rising appropriately. If it’s negative we’ll start looking at a new transfer date. The other thing that’s a possibility is a low number which may indicate a chemical pregnancy which is when the embryo implants, but then stops growing for some reason. In that case there’s usually a follow up beta to make sure the number is dropping. Please send some positive vibes that we get a good result on Thursday!

Hurry up and wait is the name of the game!

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3dpt

We’re at 3dpt (days past transfer) now. The husband and I flew home yesterday and it was great to see the kiddos again, they were pretty excited we were home. We brought them little presents so that made them even happier 😉

I’m feeling pretty good. My back if feeling much better. It actually felt better yesterday morning when I was finally able to get out of bed. I’ve had some cramping off and on which is totally normal…it’s also totally normal to not have cramping so it all means nothing LOL I’ve had heartburn which I only get when I’m pregnant, but not usually until I’m 20+ weeks. I read today that the progesterone can cause it, plus laying down so long is probably a contributing factor. I was also exhausted when I got home. You would think that after being in bed for a day and a half I would be all rested up. Apparently not, I didn’t take one nap while on bed rest, but within an hour of being home I crashed hard on the couch. It didn’t even keep me from going to bed at my normal time either.

I’m so glad to be done with the Medrol (steroid)! I started sleeping better as soon as I stopped taking it. Right now I’m just taking the PIO everyday and Delestrogen on Mondays and Fridays. The skin on my hips where I inject is definitely toughening up because I rarely feel the needle pass through the skin anymore. I do, however, have two very sore injection sites. It feels like having a sore muscle or bruise. I typically try to walk after the injections to disperse the medication. Obviously I couldn’t do that for a couple days so the area got a little lumpy and sore. I’m back to walking after them so hopefully that helps.

5 more days until beta!!

1dp5dt

What does that mean? It means we are 1 day past a 5 day (old embryo) transfer. While I’m stuck in bed until tomorrow morning I thought I would hop on and do a post about transfer day since last time I didn’t sit down and write one until 16 months later LOL

It was nice that the transfer was in the early afternoon as it gave us time to go to breakfast and get in a walk before I was confined to the hotel room. My arrival time at the clinic was 12:15pm. So, per my instructions I emptied my bladder an hour before then and started drinking a liter of water. Now, last time I panicked when I arrived at the clinic and my bladder didn’t feel full so I chugged another water bottle and ended up having a traumatizing time during the transfer with a full bladder. I was determined not to have that happen so I only drank the amount they told me too and didn’t worry that my bladder didn’t feel full when we arrived at the clinic.

The clinic is across the street from the hotel we’re staying at so that was really nice to just walk over there. When we arrived we were told to go to the second floor and the girls at the desk would have a paper for me to sign. The paper I needed to sign was just saying that I had someone to escort me back to the hotel and stay with me for an hour and a half after (this is because they administer valium).

I was taken to the prep/recovery room and the very nice nurse went over instructions and gave me the valium to take. I got into the hospital gown, the awesome shower cap type thing, and booties. The transfer room is a sterile environment. The nurse scanned my bladder and said it didn’t look very full, but that we were waiting for the valium to kick in so we had time anyway.

I laid down to relax for a bit. The embyrologist came it and verified that we were only transferring one embryo and checked the names on my bracelet to make sure they were transferring the correct embryo. She said they had thawed the embryo about 20 minutes earlier and it looked great. It had picked up it’s cell reproduction and was ready to be transferred.

I relaxed a little while longer and then the doctor came in with the nurse to go over the procedure while the nurse rescanned my bladder. It was more full, but still not very. Funny, I thought that last time I had too much water and this time my bladder wouldn’t fill up. Even more funny that pretty much every day I’m going pee every hour or so because I drink so much water. (Thinking about it later I realized that the day before I had hardly drank anything because I was running around in the morning getting things ready to leave and then with travelling and getting to the hotel I just didn’t drink much water. This all led to me being dehydrated so my body was absorbing more of the water I had drank…oops).

The doctor said to give it a few more minutes and we’d be good to go. A minute later another nurse came in and said we were fine to go. They wheeled me into the procedure room. The embryologist was there with a picture of the embryo up on a screen. She checked the names on my bracelet again then went back to the lab to check the names on the embryo’s dish. The doctor came in and started the procedure.

It’s a really simple procedure. All I had to do was just lay still. He placed a speculum, cleaned my cervix, then, using the ultrasound to see where he was going, passed a small catheter through the cervix and into my uterus. Once he had the placement right he gave a signal to the embryologist who loaded the embryo in a catheter which she brought in and it was placed in my uterus. Easy peasy! Much much easier when your bladder isn’t overfull and the ultrasound tech isn’t putting muscle into the wand (last time she was leaning on me with it, this time, she just placed in on my abdomen like a normal person LOL)

I was wheeled back to the other room where I had to hang out for 30 minutes. After that I was allowed to go to the bathroom. I got dressed and had to ride in a wheelchair across the street to the hotel door. Then bed rest began. I’m allowed to have 2 pillows under my head/neck and get up to go to the bathroom….that’s it. I’m not going to lie, I’m so bored and when I woke up this morning my back was killing me (it still is). I’m struggling to find any position that’s comfortable and am really looking forward to being able to get back to normal tomorrow. Staying in bed for 36ish hours has been the hardest part of this journey so far. Not the meds, not learning to give myself injections, not the sore spots on my hips from the IM injections, this is by far the hardest. Which, honestly, if that’s my hardest thing then it’s been pretty dang easy LOL

So now we’re counting down to the beta test (pregnancy blood test) which I believe is next Thursday the 3rd. My last clinic did a test 5 days after transfer. They are the only clinic that I’m aware of (or that I’ve seen anybody else hear of) that does one that early. So waiting 9 days will be a new experience. Now is the time we all start over analyzing every twinge, cramp, or feeling. The trouble it that we’re on hormones that mimic pregnancy so there’s no way to know if it’s a pregnancy symptom or a med symptom.

For now I’m just ready to get outta bed, get home, and eat some home cooked food (my stomach/GI tract is NOT loving all the restaurant food even though I’ve been trying to have salads and “healthier” stuff). My husband got lucky and there’s a MLS soccer game for our favorite team tonight (we’re like 5 blocks from the stadium) so he and his cousin are at the game right now. It’s his reward for being stuck in a hotel room the last day and a half and playing servant to me. I’ll be watching the game on TV looking for them 🙂

I may take some home pregnancy tests this weekend, but IFs have said they don’t want to know about any results I might get and would prefer to wait for the official test. I won’t be posting anything about it here out of respect for their preference. I was thinking I might write some posts, but not post them and then I can post them retroactively if I want to. We’ll see how it goes.

Keep your fingers crossed for all of us that this little one continues to grow and decides to snuggle in for the next 9 months!

It’s Transfer Day!!!

We got to Portland yesterday evening and had dinner at the airport. We then hopped on the train for the 45 minute ride to our hotel. We got checked in and spend the rest of the evening just hanging out.

I had a little snafu with one of my injections last night. I was doing the delestrogen injection and couldn’t tell if the tip had pierced the skin or not so I made a slight adjust to see it better. The syringe slipped out of my hand and ended up hanging off my hip by just the tip because it had made it just through the skin. It stung sooo much, I had a few choice words and danced around a bit after I got it out LOL I replaced the tip (once they go through the skin it dulls it a little) and did that injection and the PIO injection without further incident.

This morning we’re going to find a place to eat then come back to the hotel until it’s time to walk across the street to the clinic. The transfer shouldbe around 1pm then we’ll come back to the hotel and my bed rest will begin. The bed rest will end Thursday morning and we’ll head home at 11:30am.

We’re A Go!

Yesterday morning I went in for my last blood draw before we go to the clinic for the transfer (they will do another blood draw there before the actual transfer). I thought I would have to wait until around 5pm to get the email from our clinic coordinator as that seems to be the time when she sits down to do her emails, so I was pleased to get an email from her at 3:30pm saying that my results were good and we could plan on being at the clinic next Tuesday for the transfer!!

It felt like a huge weight off my shoulders to know that we would be for sure at the clinic next Tuesday since we already had the flights and hotel booked.

I started my PIO (progesterone in oil) injections Wednesday night. These are also IM injections, like the delestrogen, and done in the hip area. I was a little nervous to do these because the liquid can be thick and hard to push through the needle. I remembered to warm it up in a heating pad for a few minutes first and it went in a lot easier than the delestrogen (which I will be remembering to warm up beforehand from now on). Sometimes the PIO can sting when injected, but I didn’t have any trouble with that. I did notice that all throughout the night the area got more and more sore. It would wake me up whenever I changed positions. I worked from home yesterday so I put a heating pad on the area all day long and today it feels better.

I was super nervous to try the injection with my left hand last night. I’m so right hand dominate that it’s not even funny. Not to mention my range of motion to reach around behind me it even more limited on my left. I have been trying to stretch out my shoulders to improve it, but had only been doing it consistently for like a day LOL Much to my surprise the injection went smoother than it did when I did it with my right hand. I think it was due, in part at least, to the fact that I had to used very measured, slow, deliberate movements to make sure my hand actually did what I wanted it to do. I must have done a decent job with the placement too because I have zero soreness in the area today. Today though, the dose doubles from 1cc to 2cc. That may cause more soreness and a knot in the area, but I’m doing a couple things to try and prevent that. The first is doing the injection right before I do my nightly walk on the treadmill to try and get the PIO dispersed. I also lay on a heating pad for a bit before I go to sleep at night. I know from experience though that weeks of nightly injections in the same area will eventually cause the area to be sore with a knot or two. I’m not sure how having a second IM injection on Mondays and Fridays will play into that since the delestrogen hasn’t caused any discomfort thus far. Last time I had soreness and numbness in the area for months after I stopped the injections. It’s all completely worth it though and we would all do it again and again if it gets our IPs their baby!

I also got the go ahead to start a the doxycycline and medrol last night. I was nervous about starting the medrol because I know steroids can cause insomnia and I’m not a great sleeper anyway. Sure enough I tossed and turned until my daughter came to snuggle at 4am. After I took her back to her room I couldn’t fall back asleep. I’m not one to get out of bed when I can’t sleep, I usually just lay there because it’s comfortable LOL I eventually got on my phone for a bit then tried to fall asleep again. I didn’t end up dozing off again until right before my alarm went off. Luckily I only have to be on this through the day of the transfer, so five more doses and I’m done. The next few days are going to be rough though if I can’t sleep. Maybe my body will adjust and I’ll be able to get some zzz’s this weekend.

This weekend we’ll spend getting some errands done (per usual) and getting the house ready for AJ and I to be gone next week. We fly out Monday evening at 5pm and get home Thursday about 1pm. My mother in law is coming to watch the kids so I’ll try to have everything clean and organized for her so it’s as easy as possible to get the kids to where they need to be on time. Luckily the kids are old enough now to help her if she has questions or isn’t sure about something.

Let the countdown to transfer begin!

On Tap For This Week

I have been on basically the same meds for awhile now. Lupron, aspirin, and prenatals everyday, delestrogen Mondays and Fridays. My med schedule is about to get a bit of a shake up later this week.

Tomorrow is my last Lupron shot (only two of these left!). Wednesday night I will be starting PIO (progesterone in oil). While the Lupron was to keep my body from ovulating, the progesterone is to make my body think I did ovulate so it’s ready to accept the embryo. Those are also hip/IM injections like the delestrogen, but these will be every night.

I go in for a blood test on Thursday morning to check my estrogen and progesterone levels. As long as that all looks good I will continue the PIO and start Doxycycline and Medrol that evening (an antibiotic and a steroid). I will continue those two meds in the morning and evening through the day of the transfer. The delestrogen will continue on Mondays and Fridays. The aspirin and prenatals will still be taken everyday.

I’m a little nervous about the PIO because it can be more painful to inject and cause knots to develop. I think it has more to do with the fact that you do them every night instead of twice a week like the delestrogen. Repeatedly injecting the same place, even with rotating sides, is bound to make the area sore. I was trying to think about how I will do them when I have to do PIO and delestrogen on the same night. I think I will do them on opposite sides and have the delestrogen go on the side the PIO was the night before so that I don’t do PIO in the same side two days in a row. Keeping track of all that may be a hassle and I will not be surprised if I mess it up LOL

That’s where we’re at this week. I’m so excited to be moving on to the next meds even if I’m a little nervous about the PIO.

I haven’t heard anything about travel plans yet. I’m not sure if our coordinator at the agency will book soon or wait until after the blood test on Thursday. I’m okay either way, although it would make it easier with more notice. I totally understand wanting to wait until we’re for sure going in next Tuesday before booking. Otherwise you’re out the airfare money for two people.

I was trying to think if anything could pop up on the blood test on Thursday that would cause them to cancel the cycle. The only thing I could think of would be if my levels show that I ovulated. When I was in for the lining check on Friday my ovaries were nice and quiet with no signs of my body wanting to ovulate. I’m still taking the Lupron so I really can’t imagine something changing between now and then. Other than that, if either hormone level isn’t where they want it to be they would just adjust the dosage. I’m feeling pretty confident that we will get the go ahead to show up for transfer, but I will be holding my breath until the embryo is transferred and then again until the Beta test (blood pregnancy test) then again until heartbeat confirmation….basically I don’t relax a little until I can feel the baby moving LOL At least I know that about myself and am prepared to deal with it. It’s my type A personality that struggles with the unknowns. Again, choosing to be cautiously optimistic that we will get to transfer next week!

Lining Check Appointment

Woke up at 5:00am this morning to hop on a plane at 6:55 to get to Portland at 7:30am so I could make an 11am appointment at ORM Fertility before going back to the airport for a 3:35pm flight back to Redmond then heading to Bend and picking up the kids from daycare/after school care and finally going back home. (I don’t usually condone run on sentences, but felt like an exception needed to made here 😂)

The running around was 100% worth it though because apparently Friday the 13th is my lucky day and my appointment went great! My lining measured 11mm!! 7mm is the minimum they like to see so we are looking good! The nurse practitioner I saw said that it all looks perfect going forward to transfer. My ovaries were nice and quiet which we need them to be. I have one more blood test on September 19th which will be the day after I start the PIO (progesterone in oil) injections. As long as there’s nothing wonky there we should be green lighted for transfer!!

I’m guessing sometime on Monday our coordinator will start making the travel arrangements for the hubs and I. We’ll finalize plans for my mother in law to come watch the kiddos while we’re gone. Bless her for always coming to our rescue when we need a multiple night/day babysitter. We wouldn’t be able to do these surrogacy journeys without the help and support from both our families!

After the appointment it was such a nice day I walked the 15ish blocks down to the waterfront. I walked alongthe river for awhile before hopping back on the train to the airport. Here’s a tidbit I didn’t realize…Friday afternoons in the fall (probably other times of year too) means a security check in line full of sports teams. There was an entire football team plus coaches, a couple soccer teams, and a volleyball team. Luckily the airport got all the check in lines going and it really didn’t take that long to get through. I grabbed some lunch then watched a movie until it was time to board. I made it back in time to pick up the kids and head home.

It was a long day and I’m definitely ready for bed, but it feels so good to know that my body is doing what it’s supposed to! I’ll still be holding my breath a touch until the blood test on Thursday, but I’m feeling pretty good about this cycle! Of course, after transfer it’s back to breath holding until we know if it stuck or not!

I’m still donning my pineapple shirt and pineapple necklace for these appointments 🍍🍍 they seem to still have some good vibes left

Happy First Birthday!!

Today marks one year since Colette made her entrance into the world and into her dads’ arms! I can’t believe it’s been a year already!

So what does surrogacy look like a year later? It looks like being in the middle of a transfer cycle with another set of IFs LOL I still talk to my previous IFs via email every couple months. They always send lots of pictures and videos which I absolutely love seeing. There are usually pictures of her with various family members and family friends. It’s so amazing to see how many people in her life absolutely adore her. When you’re a GC you think you’re just helping your IPs have a baby, you don’t always realize that you are actually affecting the lives of so many other people. The babies we help our IPs to bring home have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a whole host of people who anxiously await their arrival and a chance to love on them.

Today I’ve been reminiscing about all the things that were happening one year ago. Each time I look at the clock I think “oh a year ago we were starting Pitocin” or “my contractions were just starting to pick up”. It’s amazing to think that was a year ago already. It seems like just a couple months ago, but at the same time a lifetime ago. I really hope that 10 months from now I’m back there delivering another baby for another wonderful couple. Helping grow families is a little addictive if I’m being honest. Aside from enjoying being pregnant (at least after I stop feeling nauseous 24/7) it’s incredible to be a part of growing a family. There’s a reason a lot of surrogates (I would venture to say most) go on to do multiple journeys.

So Happy First Birthday Colette! You have brought so many people so much joy in your year here. I will always be grateful for the universe bringing your dads and I together to bring you into this world. I have so much gratitude to your parents for letting me play a part in your story. I could not have asked for a better experience and you will all always hold a special place in my heart. Sending you so much love from across the pond on your special day ❤ ❤

Guess What I Did

Finally sucked it up and did my own Delestrogen injection (intramuscular)! It took a long time to work up the nerve and I couldn’t inject the needle quickly like the hubs does it. I had to push it in slowly which made it hurt slightly more, but it wasn’t awful.The angle was awkward and it was difficult to push the plunger down in that position. All that aside, I did it myself!! Have to say I’m pretty stoked about it 😁😁

Holy Appetite Batman!

This Delestrogen is no joke! I started it last Monday and started to notice that I wanted to eat everything in sight by the end of the week. Then Friday night it was time to do another injection…this one was double the amount of the first injection. Cue the appetite all weekend…

Plus I’m super bloated from the meds as well so I’m feeling like quite the little (big) piggy LOL I do not remember having this issue last time around when I was just taking the estrace pills. I remember seeing people in my Facebook surrogacy groups complaining about the med bloat and gaining weight on the meds, but I didn’t notice either of these things. Well I’m making up for it now LOL I haven’t actually gained more than a pound or too, but my pants are snug anyway. I’m still walking for an hour at night after the kids go to bed so that is probably helping in the weight gain department. If this appetite keeps up though man, no amount of walking is going to stay on top of it.

I seem to be having more side effects from the meds all around this time. I’m constantly exhausted (I slept in until 11am on Saturday!!) and have a low grade headache pretty much all day. I know it sounds like I’m miserable, but I promise I’m not! I would do all this and more over and over again to help my IFs have a baby. These are very minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things. It’s funny when people say “I could never go through all that and an entire pregnancy for someone else!” Well then surrogacy is not for you LOL Pretty much every surrogate will tell you that it is 100% worth everything we go through to see their IPs with their baby. Obviously, I mean a huge portion of us do it more than once haha!

I have my next Delestrogen injection tonight. My first dose was .1mL, second was .2mL and the next dose is .25mL. I might even try to do this injection myself. I make no promises though because, to be honest, the length of the needle is intimidating as hell. As I’ve said before I really really want to be able to do these myself as my husband will be out of town for a couple nights not too long after the transfer and again in November (if the transfer works I will be on meds until around mid November). I have a back up plan to have someone come do them for me, but it would be so much easier if I could just do them myself like so many other surrogates do. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I can work up the nerve!

Friday I fly to Portland in the early am to go to ORM at 11:30 for my lining check and blood test. I’m nervous about it since this is a new med protocol for me and I have no idea how my body will respond to it. I’m continuing all my “extras” like the POM juice, yoga positions, and walking. Please send all your spare vibes my way for a great appt on Friday!

In other news, we took the kids hiking this weekend in the mountains. It’s a very easy 1.5 mile trail near a lake that we’ve taken them to before, although I think this is the first time they’ve walked the entire thing by themselves. We’re heading into fall so we’re trying to get out and enjoy the outdoors a bit before we’re confined to the indoors. The weather is supposed to get warm again at the end of the week so maybe we’ll get back out this weekend. It’s tough to balance all the outdoor chores that need to get done around the house to prep for winter with wanting to go have fun outside while we still can. I’m trying to have us do a day of fun stuff and a day of chores, but the pull of fun is hard to ignore!