5 Weeks

Weekly Update:

How far along: 5 weeks

How big is baby: Peppercorn

IVF meds: 2mL Progesterone daily, baby aspirin daily, .3mL Delestrogen Mondays and Fridays. I have a blood draw next week to check my estrogen and progesterone levels. I may get to cut my progesterone dose in half if my level looks good.

Symptoms: Tired in the afternoons. I’ve been too tired to walk on the treadmill for the last few days and have been doing to bed early. There are mornings I’ve been nauseous and mornings that haven’t been too bad. I wake up ravenous now which is not my usual MO. I can usually wait until I get to work or back home after dropping the kids off to eat breakfast, but this week I’ve been having to drink my shake in the car.

Sleep: all the time if I could

Food cravings? Popcorn (this is the same as my last surro pregnancy), yesterday I had to have an apple in afternoon. Mostly I’ve been so hungry in the afternoons that everything sounds good. I maybe have a week before everything starts to sound terrible so I’m enjoying the appetite while I can.

Anything making you queasy or sick? no, just a little queasy in the am

Happy or moody? mostly happy, just tired

Best moment of the week? Getting a good 3rd beta number

Next appointment: blood test for progesterone and estrogen levels, then ultrasound on 10/23



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!


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!!


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!

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!

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!

CD 8

For reference, the transfer is supposed to take place on CD28 so we still have a ways to go.

Last Friday morning I had my first blood draw to check my estrogen level.

That afternoon around 3:30pm while we were just wrapping up packing and about to leave for our camping trip I got a call from my coordinator at ORM. She was calling to let me know that my estrogen level was higher than they like (it was 87.53 and they like it under 60) and that the doctor who reviewed my results wanted me to go in the next morning for a redraw…one problem with that…we’re minutes away from driving 2 1/2 hours from Bend to go camping and Monday we likely wouldn’t be home in time to get to the lab for same day results. After some back and forth we decided that I would go to the lab as soon as we got home on Monday knowing that they likely wouldn’t get the results until Tuesday. That would mean that I would not be starting the delestrogen injections Monday night and we would just figure out what to do when we saw the results. It wasn’t ideal, but it was the best we could do with the situation.

In the car on the way to camp I was feeling guilty that I wasn’t able to get to the lab the next morning. I was wondering if I should have sent my husband and kids ahead and joined them the next day after I had the blood draw. I hated to do that and miss out on some of our camping trip. I decided to start looking at lab options in the two nearest cities to our camp site. One was 45 minutes away and the other was an hour. After calling some different places and ORM (then emailing ORM because is was 4:32pm and they switch their phones to the answering service at 4:30pm) I was finally able to find a lab in Hood River (an hour away) that was open on Saturday and could give them same day results. They sent a lab order to that lab and I headed out at 6:50am Saturday morning to get there when they opened at 8am. I was able to quickly get the draw done, stop at the bank, and get gas then drive back and get there about 10:30am so I didn’t miss out on anything with the family.

Because it was the weekend I figured ORM staff wouldn’t be there late so I knew I wouldn’t be hearing the results until at least the next day. We spent a great day at the lake then watching the lawn mower races in Wamic, OR (apparently it’s the largest lawn mower race track in the USA, who knew?).

The next morning I got an email from ORM saying that my estrogen level had been 62 and the doctor who reviewed it okay’d me starting delestrogen on Monday night. 62 technically isn’t under the 60 point cut off, but because it dropped so much in less than 24 hours I’m sure they were confident that my number would be well below 60 by Monday evening.

I had been so nervous about the second test results. I hadn’t had any issues with them being low enough last time so it was new territory. I was very relieved to receive the email Sunday morning saying we could stay on schedule.

Monday night I let my 6 year old administer my Lupron injection which he thought was the coolest thing. It wasn’t exactly a comfortable injection, but it wasn’t bad for it being his first time, and you know, being 6 LOL

My husband was in charge of the delestrogen injection. It’s a much bigger needle (22g 1.5 inches long) and it goes in the upper/outer portion of the glute muscle. The injection itself was almost painless and there was such a small amount of liquid (.1cc) that I didn’t feel much. I didn’t have any soreness or lump at all. It is nice that these injections are only on Mondays and Fridays so there’s lots of time for the are to recover before the next one, especially if I rotate sides. The PIO (progesterone in oil) that I start a few days before the transfer are everyday and a larger amount so the area ends up sore a lot faster.

I have my husband draw a grid on my backside to help him know where to inject the first few times. I have him do it in permanent marker so it stays on for awhile. After a week or so he doesn’t need it anymore, but it’s helpful to start with.

I’ve also started drinking my POM juice, doing these yoga poses, walking on the treadmill, and using a heating pad on my abdomen for a bit before bed. None of these things are proven to help increase the uterine lining, but I figure they aren’t going to hurt and maybe they will make a difference. At the very least it makes me feel like I’m doing something to help since I’m not taking estrogen pills 3x a day like last time. My first and only (as of now) lining check is next Friday the 13th (hopefully it’s a lucky day for me despite the date). If everything looks good we may get the go ahead to schedule airfare and accommodations for the transfer on the 24th.

In other news it was my son’s first day of first grade today! He was excited and nervous as he it moving up to the lower elementary class at his Montessori school. One of my favorite things about the Montessori program is that once they reach lower primary (grades 1-3) they are in the same classroom with the same teachers for 3 years. So while it may take some adjusting for him at first he will have 3 full years there so he won’t have to adjust to a new classroom every year.

My daughter starts her 2 day a week preschool next Tuesday and she is so excited. She’s been ready for school for awhile and was thrilled to go buy new school shoes and a new backpack yesterday. Everyday she asks how many more days until she gets to go to school 🙂

So that’s where we’re at! School starting, delestrogen starting, and a quick trip to Portland next Friday! I’ve got all my fingers crossed that things go fairly smoothly and we can transfer on the 24th! I’m ready to start carrying this baby for my awesome IFs!


(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!

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!