Halfway!

First an ultrasound report! We had the anatomy scan on Monday. Baby measured right on track and all the organs and blood flow they checked looked perfect. We also found out that baby is a GIRL! So IFs are expecting a little girl in June ❤

Weekly Update:

How far along: 20 weeks, yay for halfway!

How big is baby: Size of a endive…10 inches (we’re now measuring from head to toe instead of rump to crown)

Symptoms: I’m starting to feel better in the nausea department. I’ve been able to space out the days I take Zofran. I’m starting to get heartburn already so I now travel with Tums wherever I go. I’m also tired, a lot. It’s my constant state of existence and I’ve been struggling a bit with it. I don’t like telling my kids that I’m too tired to do something so I try to power through, but it can be hard.

Movement: I can tell she’s getting bigger because her movements are much more pronounced.

Sleep: I haven’t been sleeping great. It takes a long time to fall asleep and I wake up frequently. This is not helping in the “I’m so tired” department

Food cravings? salads, fruit, hummus and veggies, fruity candy

Anything making you queasy or sick? breakfast, no matter what it is I feel icky after

Best moment of the week? having a great ultrasound and finding out I’m carrying another girl 🙂

Next appointment: OB appt on 2/20

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17 Weeks 1 Day

Weekly Update:

How far along: 17 Weeks 1 Day

How big is baby: Size of a pomegranate …about 5 inches

Symptoms: My nausea has really ramped up this last week because I’ve had to wake up early most days to take the kids to daycare and go to work. The reduction in sleep has seriously impacted how I feel. I didn’t realize what a difference it made until now. Next week Wyatt goes back to school so we’ll be up even earlier…can’t wait

Movement: adding this in because I’m finally feeling some consistent movement! I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long with how active this little one has been on the ultrasounds. Feeling movement is definitely my favorite part of pregnancy. Right now it’s just what I call “popcorn” movements, where it feels like popcorn popping in my lower abdomen, but I know they’ll increase pretty quickly to feeling like real kicks and rolls

Sleep: not too bad for the most part, just not getting enough of it

Food cravings? salad, tacos, nachos, ice water

Anything making you queasy or sick? not enough sleep apparently…getting hungry, eating too much. We’re moving backwards in this department

Happy or moody? Mostly happy, but very tired

Best moment of the week? Having Wednesday off LOL

Next appointment: The anatomy scan ultrasound on 1/20 and an OB appt on 1/22

11 Weeks

Weekly Update:

How far along: 11 weeks

How big is baby: Size of a brussel sprout…about 1.5in

IVF meds: Only 2 more days of meds! I’ve done 116 injections so far and have 2 more to go. I took my last dose of Delestrogen on Monday and lowered my dose to 1/2 cc of PIO. I have 2 more doses of PIO then I will be all done! I take my last dose of the low dose aspirin tomorrow as well so after that the only things I’ll be taking is my prenatals and my B vitamins. It’s going to be so nice to not have to worry about them anymore!

Symptoms: low grade nausea for most of the day. By the end of the day I’m so bloated it’s incredibly uncomfortable. I’m hoping that once I’m off the PIO for awhile it will get better.

Sleep: I’ve a couple nights where I had really weird dreams that have kept me awake a lot. This weekend I slept in late both days (Thanks husband for letting me sleep in). I’m trying to get to bed early, but I have so many things to do in the evenings that it hasn’t really happened.

Food cravings? not too many and the ones I do have are random and fleeting…these include watermelon, celery, pie, cheese its, cucumbers, and cheese.

Anything making you queasy or sick? getting too hungry or too full

Happy or moody? Mostly happy unless I’m tired

Best moment of the week? starting to wean off meds

Next appointment: OB appt on 11/25

7 Weeks

Weekly Update:

How far along: 7 weeks

How big is baby: Size of a raspberry

IVF meds: After my blood work yesterday the doctor adjusted my dosages just a little. I’m now on 1.5mL of Progesterone (was 2mL) and .25mL of Delestrogen Mon/Fri (was .3mL).  I still take the baby aspirin and prenatals

Symptoms: Yesterday was rough in nausea department. It was a combination of kids not sleeping pretty much all night and having to get up early. The short plane ride was absolutely miserable. Once I took a nap in the airport and did some walking I felt a little better. Today I woke up after a good night’s sleep and have felt really good. The only time I was a little nauseous was when I was hungry. After seeing the baby and its heartbeat yesterday I don’t have the nervousness about the lack of nausea and can just straight up enjoy not feeling terrible 🙂

Sleep: yesterday I was exhausted from not sleeping and travelling, but I slept great last night and am feeling pretty good today.

Food cravings? other than yesterday food in general just sounds good. Still wanting popcorn most nights.

Anything making you queasy or sick? not particularly. Every meal after breakfast makes me incredibly bloated thanks to the progesterone.

Happy or moody? mostly happy, just tired

Best moment of the week? Seeing baby’s heartbeat yesterday ❤

Next appointment: ultrasound 11/13

6 Weeks

Weekly Update:

How far along: 6 weeks

How big is baby: Size of a blueberry

IVF meds: 2mL Progesterone daily, baby aspirin daily, .3mL Delestrogen Mondays and Fridays. I had my progesterone check and my levels were nice and steady, but they’re keeping me on the same dose and rechecking when I’m at the clinic next week.

Symptoms: Sunday I wasn’t really tired or nauseous which was nice. The problem was because of that I stayed up too late and utterly exhausted on Monday. Tuesday the nausea returned and has been consistent most of the day since then. Other than that other symptoms are having to pee all.the.time LOL and being super hungry in the evenings even if I’m nauseous. I also wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

Sleep: all the time if I could

Food cravings? they’ve been pretty random. Popcorn, ice cream, cheese, Fruit Loops

Anything making you queasy or sick? not really anything specific, I just wake up nauseous and it comes and goes throughout the day

Happy or moody? mostly happy, just tired

Best moment of the week? Having good weather last weekend

Next appointment: ultrasound 10/23

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!

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!