Pregnancy Test Results!

***To watch the two videos of the results scroll to the bottom!***

Sorry to everyone who has been following my blog on this surrogate journey. I should have updated way sooner but I was busy with vlogging it on my YouTube channel. Last Wednesday (3/31) I got a phone call from the IVF office to confirm that I’m pregnant! I was glad that it wasn’t a day later that they called (April Fool’s Day haha). My HCG number was 125 which was lower than what I was expecting but still a good number! Then I had a repeat test yesterday (Monday) and the number soared to 1536! Which is great! That number is supposed to at least double every 48 hours for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. This number can tell a lot about the early stages of pregnancy.

If that number was to start off low there would be concern that it’s not a viable pregnancy and that the embryo didn’t fully implant into the uterine wall, this is called a chemical pregnancy. Low HCG numbers could also indicate an ectopic pregnancy.

For the number to rise as high as it did in just 5 days is a really good sign, so good that I don’t need to do another blood test, they scheduled my first ultrasound for the 19th of April! Which is two weeks away, it’s going to be a long two weeks. Ever since I started this journey with the parents I am with now I had appointments or blood drawn at least once a week and now two weeks of absolutely nothing is going to feel weird!

My other thought, and two other experienced surrogates brought this to my attention. Is I am wondering since that number jumped so fast in a short amount of time(doubling time was 33 hours) is if the embryo split and resulting with twins. I have to say I would be pretty upset if it was twins because of the jump in statistics of the risk to have twins. I would be rather just have one, which is why I was very glad when they only transferred one embryo. But at this point it is out of my hands, and if it is twins I am in God’s grace and I know that He will take care of me and these girl(s) that I am carrying.

 

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: Last Uterine Lining Check

***I also vlogged about all of this, scroll down to the bottom to watch!***

I had my last uterine lining check done and everything looks great! It was very satisfying to see how happy the doctor looked with how my body is progressing with the medications. Especially because this doctor intimidates me haha, he is very nice but his bed side manner is just very strict, maybe because he just has so many things going on in his mind; but, he is one of the best if not the best in the business so as long as everything works out he can treat me however he wishes. He said that my lining is beautiful and is at a 15mm. They like for it to be at least an 8mm, I asked the nurse if it helps more for a successful transfer and she said that yes it does, to what extent I’m not sure but I think it makes sense that a thicker wall is more likely to keep the embryo inside. The doctor also told me that the thickest it can get is 20mm I still have 8 days left and I’m hoping for a 20 before the embryo transfer! I’m doing so well on the medications that he even lowered the medication that I am taking to help thicken the lining. I won’t know for sure how thick the lining will be before transfer because this was the last ultrasound.

After the quick ultrasound I met him in his office and he went over the medication protocol for that day and up to the day of transfer. After the transfer he will give me new instructions for protocol of medications. The medications from Sunday to the day of the transfer which will be Friday goes crazy. I will be on 7 different types of medications both muscular injections and oral tablets.

I am still drinking my pomegranate juice which I truly believes helps significantly. I remember last transfer I believe my lining was at a 12mm before transfer and now it sounds like it’s going to be at a 20mm. I started drinking it the day I started the Delestrogen, which is the inject able medication that helps thicken the lining, at 8 ounces a day. I have also been in communication with other surrogates and they too confirm that the POM juice helped them with their lining. Today was the last day of my estrogen patch and also for taking Lupron. I have blood work two days before the transfer and that’s about it until T-Day!

I am getting so anxious and very hopeful, the last transfer I had back in August went very smooth but this one is going even better. My body responded well last time to medications but this time my body is doing even better this time around. It is very discouraging when i hear about other surrogates who have had embryo transfers just recently and their results come back negative or that their blood is showing the pregnancy hormone but that the embryo just didn’t make it and then worse yet is when there is a strong pregnancy hormone and the levels are great but then at the ultrasound the technician cannot find a heartbeat. Hearing all of this really makes you hope that it’s not going to happen to you but it also gets your mind to accept that that might happen. I had a hard time in the weeks leading up to this one with just a lot of doubt and especially because I had a failed transfer before. I have been praying for peace and God has provided that, this week I have been feeling very hopeful and more at ease.I have a good community of surrogates and others who have been through this process, who are supporting me with their words of encouragement.

This time around I feel more educated about the process and exactly what the medications are doing to my body. I also know the realty and chances of the success of an embryo transfer. With knowing everything that is going to happen I feel much more at ease so my body is also a lot less stressed. The last transfer I was so bitter towards having to have a shot and sometimes two shots a day(twice a week) in my butt for all of this, I thought carrying the child was enough of a sacrifice but then to also add shots into the mix I really didn’t have the right attitude. When I found out that the transfer wasn’t successful I actually missed the shots because the shots represented that there was a baby. This time around I don’t mind the shots at all, I can honestly barely feel them, I think what helps is that my body is so relaxed. I’m also a lot less stressed because I know everything that happens during the transfer and what has to happen afterwards. At the last transfer I didn’t have much sense of what was to happen and I didn’t find out that I was supposed to be on further restrictions after the transfer(3 days bed rest) and then I can’t lift anything heavier than 5 pounds and I cannot walk for more than an hour at a time. I found all of that out the day of the transfer. I was annoyed with the agency for not telling me all of this and I really think they need to tell the surrogate absolutely everything that they will need to be doing; but, I also understand that the agency has only a certain amount of women on their staff and there are many surrogates that they are communicating with. Maybe make a huge packet of everything that is to happen?

All in all I feel much better and much more confident this time around, please send a prayer for me!

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!

I’m Back!!

 

The worst blogger award definitely goes to me! I would like to apologize first and foremost for taking such a long break but I do have many good reasons for not blogging lately, most due to being uninspired and overloaded with life. (It happens!) Before you make your verdict of whether I am guilty or not for receiving forgiveness of my absence let me present my case of why I have been sucking at keeping up with my blog.

School

School: If you ever want to challenge yourself try having a family, working and going to school all at the same time. To add some spice do all that while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. This alone was enough to send me into a corner and cry because of all the stress that comes with this. I’m in a Bachelor’s degree program for Criminal Justice and every 5 weeks I finish a class and start a new one. It’s an awesome program, but I just found out that I have a lot of units to still complete on top of the program to fulfill the state’s requirements for graduation. Being that I am a transfer student from another state 6 classes aren’t being counted towards requirements and I have to complete a certain amount of units within this state to graduate. This was a major bummer and I have been dealing with this lately as to how to quickly complete these units and the cheapest way possible. I definitely found the cheapest way: completing them at a community college and the quickest way is to overload my schedule with classes so I can graduate by summer of 2017. For all of this to happen I am starting this summer by taking 4 classes on top of the program so this summer I will be taking 5 classes. Even though this completely sucks by this summer I won’t be working at my current job anymore so I can stay up late to get all these classes done. It’s not too bad, I was able to do the 5 classes a semester and working a 45+ hour third shift job before so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Work

Work: I got a part time job at a retail store and the shifts are early morning, VERY early morning.  We share a room with my toddler and he doesn’t fall asleep until late at night so I’m only getting about 5 hours of sleep the days I have to work and then the days that I don’t work I still have to go to bed early for the next day. Two days have to be taken off to be able to do anything because you are either tired from that day of work or you have to go to bed early for the next day of work. I definitely do recommend this schedule but again I see it as a blessing that I was able to find a job that fit around the Hubs’ schedule so we won’t need someone to take care of our little man.

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Surrogacy: This happened just recently, but I was released from contract from my last intended parents at the very end of January and was immediately matched with new parents. I have a transfer date of March 18th so a lot had to happen before that date but thankfully everything that needed to be done has almost been completed. I will be posting an update on that as well 🙂

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Vlogging: We just started vlogging at the end of December and we love it! It’s a lot of fun to keep track of what is going on with our lives through video and being able to share it with the world. As much fun as this is it requires so much time with planning out the videos, gathering what we need for the videos, filming, editing, uploading, and sharing the video. I want to be able to keep up with both our vlog and my blog but bare with me I won’t be perfect at this! Here’s our latest video! Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

 

money

Money: With doing all of these fun blog posts of crafts, recipes and other creative visual content I had to purchase all of the supplies of course and this can get rather expensive. We’re trying to pay off debt and buy a house next year so blogging comes last on the list of expenses. BUT we are in a much better financial state now so we can afford doing some fun upcoming blogs!

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Gym: On the days I’m not working my husband and I are working up a sweat and this takes up our whole morning until the Hubs has to go to work.

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Wife/Mommy Duties: With being the one who mostly stays home I am in charge of our little man with all of his needs, as well as all meals, the cleaning, the bills and anything else that comes with running a household, but I love it! I wouldn’t want it any other way!

If I’m not pumping iron I’m stocking shelves, if I’m not editing videos I’m making dinner, if I’m not studying I’m changing a diaper, and if I’m not cleaning I’m catching up on what needs to be done that is surrogate related. A lot of good is happening in our lives but it has been kicking our butts and after I have gone to the gym, studied for a test, made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cleaned our home, paid the bills, edited a video; the last thing I want to do is write. It’s not that I don’t love to write it just is not my favorite thing to do when I am so exhausted. I’ll try to type and I will have 5689 typos because I fell asleep at the keyboard 🙂 Creativity goes out the window when you can barely keep your eyes open.

Things are changing though! I am quitting my job in two weeks because we are doing so well financially so I will be able to focus on the things that I love to do!

Hang in there with me and keep reading in the future for: surrogate updates, craft ideas, healthy recipes, life updates, mom tips, pregnancy tips, breastfeeding tips and whatever else I can think of! Thank you for reading!

 

 

We are Now Vloggers!

I have been blogging since this past February and it really opened the door to a very creative world, coming on here lets me store all of that energy some where. With getting to know this blogging world, you come across the term vlogging which is just like blogging but in video format. I was planning on blogging my whole surrogate journey and my road to zenith but why not add video to it too! It would make it so much better to get an actual visual on what exactly goes on in the surrogate process and what’s going on with my road to zenith. My husband and I have talked a lot about doing YouTube channels, probably for about 2 years and last weekend I thought why not start now?! There is no perfect time to start, being that I am in contract but still waiting for the next transfer date to be revealed. We didn’t have the greatest camera but we upgraded that this past week because we really want to invest in vlogging AND we are enjoying it immensely. Hey it might go somewhere, right?! I purchased a low cost video editing program for now, that is probably the next thing we will be upgrading but we still need to learn a lot about social media networking and how this all works before we invest anymore money.

We have been having so much fun with thinking of content that would be entertaining but at the same time goes along with our daily life. Also with gaining comfort in front of the camera, cutting out annoying little sayings like: um, uhh, so and so on. I have been busy with learning how to work the new program, how YouTube works and how to grow your subscriber number.

I think the main reason why I wanted to start the channel is because I looked up to see if there were any other surrogates who vlogged their journey and I couldn’t find any! I thought how awesome would it be to let people, especially women, know the true world of bringing babies to this world for couples who physically cannot? We also are in college, we are parents, we are very much into fitness/meal prepping, were a married couple, gamers and whatever else we can muster up. I hope all of my blog readers will tune in to our channel, subscribe hopefully and enjoy what we upload!

I will still try to blog as much as possible so that I have written and video content of everything, but for right now vlogging has been taking up a lot of my time.

Our vlogger channel name is: The Sanzo’s

You can click on the links below to view! (We only have 3 videos uploaded so far)

Super Mario Felt Christmas Tree

I have been working on this for over a month now. I am so excited to share the end result! I got the idea of a felt tree from Pinterest but came up with the theme of Super Mario ornaments and how to make them on my own. Since we don’t have much room in our apartment we couldn’t get a Christmas tree, so I turned it into something fun for my toddler to play with. Here is the end result:

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Here’s what you need: (1 yard of dark green felt for the tree $5.99, and then one small square each of the following colors: yellow, brown, orange, red, white, tan and green 4 for $1.00. Felt glue $5.99, permanent marker $0.99, fabric scissors $2.99 and printouts of whichever character you choose).

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First I drew an outline of a Christmas tree on the yard of green felt, and then my husband (whose the better artist) drew over my Christmas tree:

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Then cut it out and place on the wall (I mounted mine to the wall with a staple gun).

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Next print out the characters that you want and cut those out and then place the cutouts on the color of felt that is dominant in the character:

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Trace the characters and cut them out: (For the precise lines do your best to draw them on with a permanent marker).

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For the smaller felt parts cut out the traceable part from the character you printed out like this: (Then trace on the right color of felt and glue on to the previous felt part that was cut out)

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I referred to online pictures from my phone to make sure that I got the right colors and the right parts where they were supposed to go:

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Let the glue dry for about an hour and then let your lovable ones play!

Just be careful to monitor them, my little guy already ripped the question mark block apart…Have fun!!