Surrogacy: Second Embryo Transfer

***If you want to watch the vlog of this day scroll down to the bottom!***

This past Friday I had my second embryo transfer! I am with a new family, it didn’t work out with another transfer with my previous family so they released me from our contract. I feel this time around is going by so much better and faster! From agreeing to work with another to the transfer was only 6 weeks! That’s very fast considering everything that needs to happen from start to finish.

The day of the transfer my two year old decided to wake up 3 hours earlier than normal and since I knew I would be sleeping pretty much the next 3 days because of the mandatory 72 hour bed rest I let my husband sleep in. I got my little guy and myself ready for the day, equipping ourselves with everything green!

It is all superstitious about the green but why not play along? It’s fun! And it gives successful vibes all around, it can’t hurt! We all had green socks on, my little guy and I had green shirts and I had green underwear also. My little guy also had green shorts on but he had a mouth full of peanut butter and started laughing and yup it went all over his green shorts! Here we are all ready to go!

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The office is about an hour and a half drive so we put on Toy Story 3 for our little guy and packed a few snacks for him too. I also made sure to bring a water bottle because I needed to empty my bladder out 20 minutes before arriving at the office and then start to sip on water, they want your bladder to be semi-full.

Since he woke up so early he crashed pretty quickly and slept the whole way there and then I also had our bear lucky safely buckled in. The wonderful lady that I have been working with for her surrogate planners sent me him for good luck!

We got there in good time, about 10 minutes before we were supposed to arrive. They took me in the back while my husband took our son to go play in the halls for the next hour and a half. They had me sit on this heated bed and explained the procedures, signed paperwork, and gave me a Valium to calm my nerves and to also calm my uterus for the transfer. Then they asked me to undress from the waist down, gave me a gown to wear and socks too. After taking the Valium I heard the nurses giggling about how cute my husband was on the other side of the curtain. Then when the nurse came back to see how I was doing the receptionist came in to ask the nurse how long the procedure was going to take because my “boyfriend” was asking, I corrected her and told her he was my husband. The nurse then said to try and get my husband’s phone number so they can text him when I was done. They both giggled and had big smiles on their faces. I wanted to say something but I was already loopy from the medication and I knew that my husband would handle it and he did! He refused to give them him phone number and told them that he knows that I will text him when I am done, love him!

The next time I go into the office I will be filing a complaint on the nurse because of how cold, unprofessional and rude she was. I went in there so excited and she was an absolute buzzkill. After they put me in the OR room for the transfer(they sometimes use an office also but the OR was available) they draped warm blankets across me for comfort, put my legs in stirrups and the embryologist came out to greet me. She said the embryo looks great and that it survived the thawing process(20-25% don’t survive this process) and that it looks great! I asked what the grade is and she said it was a 4BB which means that it’s an expanded blastocyst, cavity larger than the embryo with thinning of the shell and the inner cell mass quality has several cells loosely grouped and the trophectoderm quality has few cells forming a loose epithelium. In English it means that this is a very good embryo and it’s a girl!

The IVF doctor came in then and got me all ready for the transfer the procedure is just like a pap smear. He inserted the catheter into my uterus, an ultrasound machine was also used to make sure the catheter was in the right spot. My “lovely” nurse was using the tranducer and couldn’t find the right area the doctor told her repeatedly it’s not in the right spot so she kept on pressing down harder on my stomach. She was pressing down so hard that I was gripping the edges of the bed and pushing on the stirrups, the doctor saw my discomfort and grabbed the transducer from her and placed it where it needed to be, guess what: no pain. After they found the right spot on the ultrasound he released the embryo into the catheter with a needle. The embryologist then took the needle from the doctor and checked under the microscope to see that it was gone and it was!

Next I lied there for 30 minutes, after the time was up my nurse came in with a wheelchair and wheeled me to my little room to get dressed and then wheeled me downstairs where my husband met me out front.

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I had to go to the bathroom so badly so the first stop was at a McDonald’s nearby.

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I have read that other surrogates eat McDonald’s french fries to help clog things up in there so the embryo sticks. Again, it’s all completely superstitious but I haven’t had McDonald’s in over two years and I wanted to join in on the fun! After we ate we were on the road again and it took 3 hours to get home because it was right in the middle of rush hour. I was so happy when we finally were home. Now I am on bed rest until tomorrow afternoon. I’m catching up on videos and blogs for the most part and enjoying my semi mini vacation. I will find out in 10 days if the transfer was successful or not, but I may or may not test before then haha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surrogacy: Uterine Lining Check

If you read my last post I briefly went over why I have been absent from my blog for so long and part of the reason is because my surrogate journey lately has been on expedite. To do a quick catch up of what has been going on: I was released from my 8 month contract with my last intended parents at the end of January. The contract wasn’t supposed to end until March but the IPs(intended parents) knew that there wasn’t going to be another transfer before then or if ever, they didn’t want to keep me waiting anymore. I had been so frustrated since I found out about the unsuccessful transfer because we had not a close bond but at least some sort of bond but after the sad news there was no communication for 3 months. I finally received news the day before Thanksgiving where my IPs were in the thought process of another transfer and nothing had changed, they really wanted a boy and at the last retrieval there was only one boy embryo available. There are girl embryos still available that have been frozen but their hearts are set on a boy, which is totally fine! I just would have liked to be in the loop a bit more, like once a month even just a one sentence email stating that they haven’t reached a decision to either go with the girl embryos or are trying to get the egg donor(they only wanted to work with the one egg donor, it was someone that they knew) to donate again to try for a boy again. I had to wait 5 months to finally be released so I was sad because I really got along with the IPs but also glad so I can move on to help another family.

I was matched almost immediately with another set of IPs, they don’t have any children right now and have been looking for a while. They also want this baby born this year so they have put a rush on everything. There is one frozen girl embryo good to go, contracts have been signed; all we are waiting for is for my body to respond to the medications for the embryo transfer! Which is scheduled for March 18th, 16 more days!

Today was the first ultrasound since I started Delestrogen which is used to thicken the uterine lining, creating a nice cozy  home for the embryo to stick. My nurse told me that the thicker the lining the better the chances are for there to be a successful transfer.

I am also taking a prenatal, baby aspirin (to have more blood flow to the uterus), and Lupron which is to shut down my ovaries temporarily.

I woke up this morning at 4:30am to leave at 5am to beat traffic, and I did! My appointment wasn’t until 8:15am..that’s how bad traffic is, I had to leave 3 hours early to get to my appointment on time. I had another ultrasound just 6 days ago and I left 2 hours before the appointment and I was 40 minutes late…I made sure that that wasn’t going to happen again. After I got my Starbucks and banana nut bread I turned on the Blackmill station on Pandora(yes I am white and yes I love techno), and headed south for the hour and a half drive.

The doctor was very pleased with how my body is responding to the medications, the lining needs to be at least 8 mm thick to attempt an embryo transfer and mine was already between 11-12mm. The last cycle I had at this appointment I believe my lining was at an 8. My secret is pomegranate juice! I didn’t do this last time but this juice is known to thicken lining and help with fertility, I have been drinking 8 ounces a day since the last day of my period and it’s working! It could be that my body is just responding better to the medications this time but I’m giving credit to the POM!

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One tube of blood was taken to test my hormone level and the doctor gave me this next week’s medication protocol which is similar to last week’s. Then he told me that he wants to see me in one week. The appointments are so short lasting only about 10 minutes. As of right now we are right on track for the embryo transfer!

I also vlogged today with everything to do with my appointment, check it out below!

Surrogacy: Unsuccessful Transfer

I had my first embryo transfer at the end of this past August, I found out only 12 days later that the transfer was not successful. I was in complete shock at first when I heard my doctor’s voice on the phone sharing the news. I told him that I didn’t believe him that I was having pregnancy symptoms that were identical to when I was pregnant with my son. Since I went into a nearby clinic for my blood to be drawn for the first pregnancy test, he wanted to make sure and asked for me to drive to his office so his phlebotomist can do the blood withdraw. I showed up as soon as the office opened the next day and received another phone call that afternoon with the same results. For the next week I went through a lot of emotions starting with self blame, I was mad at my own body for not making this pregnancy happen.

I came to the conclusion though that it just wasn’t meant to be, I did everything I was supposed to with the self injections, medications, vitamins, diet and restrictions. It just amazed me that the transfer wasn’t successful because I know I am fertile, healthy and it only took one try for our son to be conceived. Also, every ultrasound visit I had with the IVF doctor was flawless, everything that needed to happen happened and the doctor would tell me how well my body was doing with all of that was being put into it. So why didn’t it work?

On the phone with the doctor with the second results of the pregnancy test, I asked him what the grade of the embryo was(they are graded on an ABC scale, with A being the best), and he said it was grade A. With everything going as smooth as it did from all aspects, it really was just not supposed to happen. I then was given some closure when the phlebotomist told me that each embryo transferred has a 50/50 chance. That’s why a lot of times surrogates end up pregnant with twins because the IVF doctor likes to transfer at least 2 embryos to have a better success rate. But there was only one A grade male embryo from the retrievals and the intended parents had their hearts set on having a boy.

After receiving the news of the failed transfer, I immediately emailed my intended parents to share my condolences. That I wish there was more that I could do or could have done but honestly I did all that I could have.

I wanted to make something for my intended parents, something they could hold on to, to remember this baby by. After brainstorming I collected all that I had during this surrogate process and printed out a poem and arranged it all in a shadow box:

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I was very happy with how it turned out, I received an email from them as soon as they received it and they were very thankful and touched by my gift. After a couple of weeks I emailed them sharing that if they were willing that I was more than happy to go through with another transfer. They thanked me for my willingness and wrote that they are still deciding if they want to do another transfer or not. It’s been 3 months since then and I finally received word from them mid last week that they are still deciding but that it doesn’t look hopeful. The donor they were using isn’t so inclined to do another transfer and they don’t want to use anyone else. There are female embryos available but they really wanted to even the boys and girls in their household. They have until March for there to be a viable pregnancy, if that doesn’t happen then the contract expires unless all parties agree to extend the contract. It takes about 1 month preparation for everything before the transfer and then about 1 month after for a confirmation of pregnancy, so I should know for sure by January if we’re going to try again. I really hope they do decide for another transfer, the parents were wonderful and we get along very well. In my surrogate support groups I would hear other surrogates’ stories of how their intended parents are international and do not speak English so all of the pre-natal checkups are awkward, especially if there isn’t an interpreter. I also heard another horror story of an intended mother living in a different country and when the baby was born she left the United States with the baby without completing the rest of the payments for the surrogate, thankfully she did pay the remaining balance on the last day though. Hearing all of the stories that I had made me very thankful for who I was matched with.

I have yet to decide, though, if these current parents decline another transfer if I want to open my contract up to new parents or not. I didn’t realize how connected I would feel with the parents when I started this journey. It really is an emotional roller coaster, the anticipation starts when the inject able medication starts because then there is a count down to transfer day. Then each check up appointment to check on the uterine lining and hormone levels also adds to that anticipation because you see your body progressing and getting ready to accept their baby. The day of the transfer is just filled with jitters and excitement, it’s a good thing they give you Valium for your body to calm down before. The following days after the transfer are a slow torture wondering if it was successful or not. Then the day comes for the results and you can either receive the most beautiful news that soon there will be a baby or the most tragic news that there won’t be.

For now I am enjoying the holidays, praying about my decision and waiting for the intended parents to get back to me, I really hope that they choose the female embryos; I think that they are meant to raise more beautiful women to be in this world. I will keep you all updated for what happens next, stay tuned and thank you for reading! 🙂

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Truth About Motherhood

Lacking slumber

Mealtime is a battlefield

A messy house is unavoidable

Having a nap is a small miracle

Good hygiene is something in the past

Starting to doubt the ability to be a mother

Purchasing more products to hide those circles

Bites, slaps, pulling of hair, and headbutts are expected

Increasing feeling of distance from the significant other

Waking early and through the night to cries is a daily ritual

But when you…

Hear that giggly laugh

See those chunky thighs

Smell that luscious baby perfume

Receive a sloppy-booger face smile

Taste the food they place in your mouth

Smile in glee after a new skill is acquired

Feel tiny arms draped around your neck

Look back on photos of the time that has past

Twirl around until the ground you fall filled with laughter

Know in your heart that you did all you could possibly do…

Those are the moments that happen to make tomorrow not so scary.

Thank you for reading! Criticism, praise, suggestion, thoughts, questions, please leave them with me 🙂

What We REALLY Want for Mother’s Day

Of course we would love the typical, flowers, chocolates, jewelry(especially this year I would love to receive something that symbolizes I’m a mother 😉 ) BUT, what we really want is:

  • A massage: Either paid and done by a professional or from the touch of the person that we love.
  • A house cleaner: It would be so nice to have the whole house completely cleaned by someone else for once. That way we can really enjoy our day instead of rushing back from brunch to sanitize, wipe, and mop.
  • Fit bit: This has been all the craze lately, I already have two from my last place of employment. They’re pretty awesome, they keep track of how many steps you take and uploads it to your personal account and you get points! Also there is an app where you can compete with your friends of how many steps each of you are taking. It’s a lot of fun!
  • A nap: How awesome it would be to sleep for however long we want to on a Sunday afternoon. No, not with the kids or the dog, completely alone, uninterrupted sleep, even if it’s until dinner. 😉
  • Honey To Do List completed: You know where it is, we would more than anything like everything done on it, that would be the ultimate Mother’s Day gift to us.
  • Something made from the kids: Even if it is a sloppy mess, knowing that our little loves made it for us means the world to us and we will keep it forever. Get crafty! Check out some of these ideas:
  • To go to church as a family and get all dressed up: I know this doesn’t apply to Mother’s who don’t go to church but the ones who do, we want so badly for the wholeThank you for reading! What are you planning on doing for Mother’s Day??

 

Motivation

I haven’t been posting as much as usual lately. Ironic because I thought that with being a stay at home mom I would have a lot more time and I could really get this blog going. I have been sidetracked with so many things, and to be honest I have been feeling quite unmotivated to get up and do anything. I still am doing everything that makes me the awesome wife/mother that I am…haha 😉

But, I thought I would be doing more, I thought I would have started back up on my novel by now and had a lot more followers for this blog. It is in the works but man have I just been feeling blue. I have been looking at my schedule everyday and what I do that is different from when I was working full time. There are some things I notice in my daily routine that I finally realized what was going on. Maybe my suggestions can get you out of your funk, especially if you are another stay at home mom, currently unemployed or are just feeling unmotivated.

  1. Get ready everyday as if you were going out: Don’t sit around in your pajamas all day, make yourself pretty. I feel better about myself when I look good; I know this goes for most people. Unless you are just naturally gorgeous…I hate you haha
  2. Get some exercise. SERIOUSLY. I know you have heard it thousands of times but it is so true! You have to give to get, just like money, you have to give money to make money same thing with energy you have to give it to get it. Have you ever walked out of the gym and not felt amazing? I haven’t, maybe a little tired but how good is that after-the-gym-sleep?? Freaking awesome!
  3. With getting regular exercise you are now sleeping deeper and better, with that resulting in more energy since your body is better charged.
  4. Cancel the cable: Unless you have self-control, this will really get you to get things going. That TV is the devil, I swear, it sucks you in so deep. And with there being infinite amount of channels, such good TV series and now faster than ever movies coming out on DVD and soon then to cable/Netflix/Hulu or whatever.
  5. Go outside! Just today I went swimming with my little guy and it felt so good to be out in the sun. Complete natural energy hitting your body all around. Even if it’s to go for a short walk, nature just really makes life better.
  6. Make goals for yourself, write them down, and cross them off. BUT! Make sure to keep the crossed off ones so you can look back and see all that you have done! If you have a problem with procrastination, make sure you do the hardest task first, that way you aren’t spending the whole day thinking about it.
  7. Go back to school: There are so many scholarships, grants, assistance, etc. to help you get your degree. Especially for stay at home moms there are a ton of degrees to be had that are available online. The more education that you have the more jobs that are available to you, so you can still give your little ones the best care alongside of making some extra income.
  8. Start fresh everyday: If you didn’t reach your goals yesterday don’t beat yourself up, make today a better day. Get back up on that path and go for the gold again whether it be to lose weight, earn that degree, get that job, run that marathon, write that book… 😉
  9. Check what you are eating also, I start every morning with a berry smoothie bursting with natural energy. This really helps me to jump start my day. Nasty processed foods really make you feel sluggish. I remember eating a piece of pizza in between softball games and I wouldn’t perform my best during that second game I felt so fatigued.
  10. Get a hobby: As humans we love to create, whether it be to create a relationship, a baby, a piece of art, or whatever it may be. This will give you help to channel that creativity, gives you an outlet. Get all of that built up stress out of you with creating something. This blog definitely did that for me, it’s where I go to to let everything out. When I feel a lot of tension I write, that’s my go to.
  11. Kind of like #1 you should make yourself feel pretty by giving yourself a nice long bath, buy some new bed sheets, get a facial, or whatever that makes yourself feel good.
  12. Take a shower every night/day. It might sound funny to some people but moms know this. It’s hard to squeeze in that shower everyday when you have to keep eyes on a toddler. At the end of the day all we want to do is sink in to that nice bed, but don’t! Make sure to scrub off everything from that day. Your skin will thank you and you will feel refreshed for the next day.

I’m writing this mainly because I was stuck in a funk for the last week. I had no idea what was wrong with me until I checked myself and realized that I wasn’t giving enough energy and I would slump in front of the TV. I haven’t been to the gym in over a week and I miss it terribly. But just like I always say, whatever, tomorrow you can hit it hard, forget about today and get going tomorrow.

What are some things that you do to get yourself motivated and to get out of a funk?

 

My Birthing Story

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I was 40 weeks and one day pregnant when my contractions started at around 6am. I knew that these contractions were different than the previous contractions I was getting because they lasted longer than 4 seconds, and I was having bloody show. I remember going to the bathroom and seeing the bloody show and crying because I was so excited that finally my baby was coming! Starting labor was perfect timing for us because I already had an appointment that day with my OBGYN at 10 that morning. The Hubs started to get all excited as we went to the appointment. I didn’t even want to go to the appointment because I knew that I was in the early stages of labor. Before the appointment we packed our hospital bags but left them at home. We went into the office which was just around the corner from us and the doctor checked my cervix. I was one cm dilated, completely thinned out and the baby was very low in my pelvis. She said that labor could start that day or still a week from now. I was discouraged leaving the office because I was so sure that he was coming that day. The Hubs, having awesome intuition, called out of work that night because he had a funny feeling that I was going into active labor that day. We went home and went to sleep, I wanted to get in as much sleep as possible and the Hubs needed to sleep for work that night, I woke up around 6pm with intense contractions. I started cleaning the apartment because I didn’t want the baby coming home to a dirty house, and the last thing I would want to do on the first day home with the baby is the dishes.

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Around 10pm the contractions kept getting increasingly more intense, but I just didn’t want to go to the hospital and for them to send me home. Then the contractions got so bad that I told the Hubs to get ready and that I was going to call the doctor. I told the doctor what I was feeling and she said that I could come on down to the hospital whenever I wanted to. We gathered our bags and drove to the hospital; we had to go through the emergency entrance because it was after hours. They got a wheelchair out for me and pushed me up to the maternity floor. All of the medical staff were very professional and were always offering to help in any way that they could. They also gave us plenty of space for us to work together to get through the pain of the contractions.

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Upon being assigned to a birthing room they checked my cervix and I was already 6cm dilated when we arrived around 11pm. I thought I was in the home run stretch and that it wasn’t going to be much longer until the baby was here, but my body had other plans. The room had a jet tub that I spent most of my time in, the Hubs was right by my side the whole entire time, supporting me, when I needed to squeeze his two fingers to get through a contraction, needed help walking around, and making runs to the kitchen where they had water, juice, Popsicle, etc. While going through the pain he was updating everyone through texting and I was updating my mom and two friends, until around 3am when the contractions started to get really intense that I shut off my phone and asked the Hubs to do the same because I was in a lot of pain and needed his full attention, at that time also I was between 8 and 9 cm dilated.

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Again I thought that it wasn’t going to be long until the baby was here. It wasn’t until 8:00am that I asked for some pain relief. I absolutely did not want to go this route but I was so scared that I wouldn’t have enough energy to push the baby out and result in a c section. This fear came from co-workers and friends who told me their horror stories of having to have a c section or nurses threatening for them to have a c section. They gave me a shot of a narcotic and all it did was take the edge off but it was enough for my body to make that final 10 cm dilation. After about 20 minutes of slight relief my water broke and after that the contractions were almost more than I could handle; they only lasted for about 20 minutes until I started pushing, they got so intense that I was heaving for air. I will never forget how scared the Hubs looked; it broke my heart seeing the concern on his face. The nurses told me to tell them when it felt like there was a lot of pressure down there and that it felt like I had to take a crap. That pressure was intense, I thought he was going to pop out that I started squeezing my legs together. I was yelling to the nurses, “He’s coming out!” the Hubs assisted me to the bed and they put the birthing bar on and took the end of the bed off. I tried squatting at first, which is what I wanted to do, but my legs were just too tired and the position just was not working for me. The nurses then suggested that I try basically doggy style, this worked better and the nurses could easily keep track of how far the baby was being pushed down the canal. Then the nurse suggested the first position she wanted me in which was semi-inclined with my legs way spread apart.
They tried assisting me with pulling my legs apart and I freaked out, I told them that I would hold my own legs. It seemed like I was pushing for a half hour but I actually pushed for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Even though he was very low in my pelvis, I was just very scared to push too hard because I was afraid of the pain but it actually didn’t hurt too much, just a lot of pressure. Finally, my beautiful baby boy emerged out and the Hubs got it all on video. He was placed right on my belly, I looked over at the Hubs who was still recording and I saw him wipe a tear away. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. Especially since I have never seen the Hubs cry before in over 4 years of being together and with how tough of a guy he is, I knew that he fell in as much love with our baby boy as I did. My son only cried for a few seconds until he was placed on top of me after that he was so calm just looking around as they dried him off. Also while I was holding him for the first time he peed and pooped on me haha. I like to think of that as our first “bonding moment.” We let the cord stop pulsating before the Hubs cut the cord. It was a lot tougher than he thought to cut it. As we were waiting the doctor stitched me up inside, I guess my tear was rare because it was inside rather than outside.

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Then, I was able to give him skin to skin for an hour before they took him, weighed him, measured him, etc. I was also able to breastfeed him right away, he latched on so quickly and fed for about 20 minutes. My son’s Apgar score after immediately being born was a 9 and then 5 minutes later he was a perfect 10. Right before they weighed him he pooped all over the table, haha. The Hubs was right there with the nurse through it all already being a protective daddy. He even told a nurse off because how she was handling him. After we got everything packed up in the room, I was placed in a wheelchair with the baby and the Hubs got all the bags, as the nurse pushed me over to the postpartum room, there was a lullaby that played on the loudspeakers as all the nurses congratulated us as we were moved to our next room; where we didn’t leave until around noon on Saturday. Birth was the most extreme pain I had ever gone through but I sincerely have already forgotten the pain and I am ready for our next beautiful baby.

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