Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Results are in

I hope you have all enjoyed the suspense. I have not. The waiting is just below torture in my book. But here is to a few more minutes of suspense while I fill you all in on the details.

Bed rest was bliss. I thought it was going to be difficult sitting on the couch not doing anything for 4 days but besides missing my family like crazy I loved catching up on Grey's Anatomy and knitting baby hats in hopeful anticipation. The windows were open and the breeze blew the chimes outside the window. It felt like I was on the beach, well I kind of was...just not sitting on the sand. F cooked some awesome meals while I was there. I loved being taken care of for 4 days. As a stay at home mom you don't have opportunities to lay around and watch your choice of television and be waited on and cooked for. Even though it was so nice to hang out with T and F and be waited on, by the end I was ready to come home and see my family.

All week I had planned on taking a home pregnancy test on Thursday morning before I left. I really wanted to be able to tell T and F in person that they were going to be parents. So Thursday morning came and I was so excited I woke up at 5:30. I knew this was a little early to get a positive pregnancy test but it wasn't impossible so I still had high hopes. I took the test and then started video taping. I wanted to get my reaction and the answer on tape. I was shaking as I looked. Not Pregnant. What?? Really? Those two little words hurt. I was so disappointed even though I knew it was early. I had played it over and over again in my head how things would go and how I would tell them that morning. And now I couldn't. I spent the rest of the morning outside reading while T and F worked. I counted down the hours until we could get on the road. I just wanted to hug all my boys.

We headed out about 2 and anxious to get out and away from LA traffic. I had to be in Visalia to pick up a fundraiser by 6. Well with all of the traffic I made it by 7. Luckily the awesome fundraising chairperson took care of things until I could get there. We finally made it home by 9. It was a long day. Travis was so anxious to find out if I was pregnant he talked me into taking another one that night. I had bought a box of 5 tests and he assured me he would buy me more when we ran out. I warned him it was still early but he didn't care. Once again I took the test and pushed play on the flip recorder. Once again not pregnant. I was more prepared for those words this time so it was not as disappointing.

Oh to sleep in my own bed felt amazing. Having to go back to giving myself injections, not so amazing. I thought it would get easier but in fact a brain doesn't really like allowing a person to inflict pain on their own body. Every time I would get up the nerve I would stop myself. I finally just sucked it up and did it Thursday night. I did it again all of Friday and then told Travis it was just getting too hard for me to do it myself. He said he would try and we grabbed an orange to practice. He decided he was just going to do it. I told him all I needed him to do was poke the needle in and I could push the oil in. He did it perfectly and oh what a sigh of relief to know that he could now help me with that. You're a stud babe!

That night (Thursday night) I tossed and turned all night anxious for the morning just so I could pee. Is that weird I was excited to pee? I don't think so. I had told F that I didn't have the heart to tell her everyday that the test was negative so we had agreed that if I didn't call her it meant I had gotten a negative test. I took the test that morning and once again started the flip. I didn't give it enough time before I looked so I kept watching the blinking timer that they have on the digital tests. It felt like forever. Through the screen of the flip I saw Pregnant. I had to look closer because I didn't have my glasses on and I was sure I just missed the "Not". But it was real. It actually said Pregnant. I ran down the hall hoping Travis was still home. He was walking across the kitchen and with tears streaming down my face I told him I was pregnant. I can't remember the feeling I felt when I found out I was pregnant with my own children but I'm sure the feelings were close. I wanted to do something special to tell T and F but I just couldn't hold it in. I called them at 7 and the first thing F said was "No Way!" I said, you two are going to be parents. We all were still in shock that I was pregnant and that we knew so soon. F called Dr. H and asked if we could move up the blood test since we have already had a positive home test.

I didn't want to share the news until we were a little more sure that this baby (babies) are staying. I had a blood test on Monday and my level was at 142. Higher than average and a number to feel good about. We were all still holding our breath until we got the numbers back today. T and F had a previous experience where they found out they were pregnant and then knew they were losing the baby once they saw the second set of numbers. That wasn't the case this time. Today the numbers needed to double and they came back as 414. Everyone took a huge breath, a breath we had been holding since April 10th. We have another blood test on Friday and then an ultrasound hopefully on May 3rd. On the 3rd we will find out how many babies are in the oven. I will soon put up a survey on my blog to let you guess how many you think are in there.

We don't know what will happen tomorrow or next week or in 9 months but we are continuing to pray in God's will. We are grateful for this first step and praying that he will bless us in the rest of this journey.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Transfer Complete

It wasn't shocking that I couldn't sleep night before last. I was getting ready for the biggest day of our journey so far. I tossed and turned until about 4:45 until I finally gave up and came downstairs. I started a movie and tried to relax. The rest of the house started waking up about 6:30 and the excitement of the day started growing. We all enjoyed a nice breakfast together and then finished getting ready. We had to leave the house at 9:30 to make it to the surgery center by 10:15. As we were getting ready and leaving we were still holding our breath hoping the doctor would not call. A call would mean there was a problem with the embryos during the thawing process. Before we left F presented me with a beautiful jeweled necklace she had made for me. I was so touched by her gift and taking the time to make it for me.

We arrived there in plenty of time. The embryologist brought Travis, F and I back into a room. He handed a picture of 2 embryos to F and informed her that they thawed perfectly. What a sigh of relief. We sat in the room for a little while waiting to get word that the doctor would be in soon. We were all just making small talk trying to relieve some tension. Doctor H finally came in cheery and excited for the big day. She does these all the time but it was nice that she still took the time to make us feel comfortable and relaxed by her demeanor. She got everything ready with the ultrasound and then asked the other doctor to bring in the embryos. She said my lining was perfect and thicker than what the ultrasound reports had stated.

When the doctor returned there was dead silence in the room. We realized that all of the hard work, time and money put into those embryos along with F and T's hopes and dreams were just carried into the room in a catheter. Those are their children and finally it became real that those sweet blessings would be inside me and praying for more than just a short while with them. I didn't realize this procedure would be so emotional but as the doctor pushed the embryos through the catheter tears were running down my cheeks as well as F and both doctors. I can't describe in words such an intimate moment but all I could do was smile and cry at the same time. What a gift God has given this doctor to be able to do this for families and what a gift he had given me in the ability to carry children. I felt God there as if he was handing me his miracles. We watched the ultrasound screen as she released them. All we could see was the air bubble the comes behind them and pushes them out. The tears just wouldn't stop. Once she was done she had the other doctor go and check the catheter to make sure they had both come out. Once we got the all clear I was to lay there for at least 30 minutes to give them a chance to settle. Doctor H gave me some things to do and not do and let me know to contact her if I had further questions.

We came home and I found my way to the couch where I will be spending all of my time until Thursday afternoon when I leave to go home. Travis stayed for lunch and then he headed home. That was hard for me to watch him leave but I am glad he will be home to be with the boys. F and I rested and watched movies the rest of the afternoon while T finished up some work. I think we were all just overtired. Now is the hard part...the 2 week wait. We have a blood test on April 22nd to see if we are pregnant. Luckily I have a whole box of pregnancy tests at home to see if we can get a positive test before the blood test.

45. Family and friends who keep me in their prayers - Thank you so much to all of you

46. Healthy embryos

47. A beautiful new necklace

48. A comfy place for bed rest

49. Being waited on

50. Painted toenails

51. A laptop and internet to keep up on what's going on

52. Science

53. Cramps - in anticipation that this is a good sign (so I've been told)

54. Garden Salsa Sun Chips - my new addiction

55. Chococino - my new morning drink since I can't have coffee

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Transfer Day

The transfer is in 5-1/2 hours and I can't sleep.

Travis and I got on the road about 1:45 yesterday. It is always hard for me to leave the boys. I have so much anxiety trying to get ready to leave, making sure we packed everything, packed a bag for the boys and leaving a list of recommendations, doctor's numbers, medication etc. for the boys as if other people aren't fully capable of watching them. I don't know if other moms do the same thing. I like to think they do so I don't feel so crazy. The drive was nice and didn't feel too long. But it helped knowing I didn't have to leave the same day or the next day like my previous trips. Unfortunately, Travis does have to leave today but I am grateful he was able to at least come for the transfer. Luckily we were listening to a radio station that gave us traffic updates because there was an accident that slowed up traffic through downtown LA so we took the leasurly drive around downtown and didn't have to slow down for very long. I hate sitting in traffic. One of the main reasons I don't live in a big city.

We arrived here about 6:15 and I was so excited to introduce T and F to Travis. They practically knew each other from how much I talked about each of them, but to finally meet in person was awesome. They took us to a Mexican restaurant which is, since my first visit, my favorite place ever. I have been dreaming of the chicken tacos and raving about them for months. We had a nice dinner together talking and getting caught up. Then we just came back to the house and relaxed with a movie. It was a really nice evening. Then bed time comes and I was exhausted but of course tossed and turned all night until 4:45 came around and I knew I wasn't getting any more sleep. So now here I am trying to write a blog on very little sleep.

So today we have one more obstacle to overcome, thawing the embryos. There is always a possibility that they will not be healthy once they have been thawed but once again this is out of our control. There is not much we can control in this whole process and that makes me a little crazy. But then I step back and think, should I really be in control of this? I think I would rather trust God with his miracles than myself. I would screw it up for sure.

We should here from the doctor this morning if there is anything wrong during the thawing process and then we will head down to the surgery center for a 10:30 transfer appointment. I get butterflies just thinking about it. As I sit here on the comfiest couch in the world, which I will also be doing for the next four days (lucky me) I think back on these last 4 months and am overwhelmed by the support and prayers from family and friends. When I made the decision to become a surrogate I didn't know the reaction I would get and I was afraid to tell people. I prepared myself for negative feedback but never expected the amount of support I received and am continuing to receive. This has been an amazing experience that wouldn't be the same without all of you who came along beside me. Thank you to my family and friends who have graciously accepted the job of watching and loving on my boys while I have had to travel, go to doctor appointments and now be away for 5 days. And thank you to all of you who have prayed and are continuing to pray for me, my IPs and our journey. God willing, this is only the beginning and I am excited to share this process along the way.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sunday is Transfer day

Yesterday was such a fun, exciting, crazy, hectic day. Can a day really be all those things? I say yes. I had an ultrasound scheduled for 9am and blood work at 10:20. My ultrasound that I had on Monday showed that I wasn't quite where my doctor wanted me to be so she wanted another one. For those of you who don't know, we are artificially preparing my body to get pregnant. This means making the uterine lining thick enough so the embryos will have a nice cushy place to land and implant.

Monday had been a very long day sitting around waiting to hear back from the doctor with results and I knew yesterday wouldn't be any different. I tried to keep myself busy so I wouldn't go crazy, but that's hard to do. I kept thinking, if they don't call me back then I won't have time to take 2 progesterone shots today and then it will push our transfer back another day.... I was trying to control a situation I had no control over. This is a big issue that God has been trying to teach me through all of this...let go of control and rest in me. Isn't it funny how we have to keep learning the same lessons over and over again. Geesh!

I finally get a call at 2:00 from the physician assistant and she gives me the sweetest news I've heard so far. You're ready! She went over the rest of my protocol and told me our transfer will be on Sunday. She instructed me to go and give myself a shot when we hung up the phone. Do what, when???? There wasn't anyone who was around to give me my first shot and I needed it right then. I had given myself a shot in the arm before when we were practicing in nursing school but this was different. This wasn't practice anymore and it was in my rear. I was so nervous as I drew the medicine in the needle and made sure to put on the smaller needle for the injection. As I was getting ready a sweet friend of mine calls me. God is so amazing in his perfect timing! She stayed on the phone with me as I geared myself up, pinched a hunk of skin, took a deep breath and poke. I was relieved at how painless that was. Then came the part of pushing oil through a very small needle. It didn't come out easily and I was freaking out a little. I think I even freaked her out because I wasn't saying anything as she tried to ask if I was okay. Slowly but surely the oil left the syringe and went into my body. I did it!!! Well, then I got to do it all over again in the evening but the left side was much harder since I am right handed. On a positive note, one day down and about 12 weeks to go. I just keep picturing what T and F's baby will look like and it makes all of this worth it. I picture the look on their faces when they see their baby for the first time and I am reminded why I wanted to do this in the first place.

So, immediately after I gave myself the injection I had to pack up my candle boxes, the kids and some snacks and hit the road. We needed to be in Visalia to deliver a fundraiser by 3:45. On our way back I had to stop and pick up another fundraiser that had just ended. The kids were wonderful so I told them we would wait for the ice cream truck and they could get a treat. And that was dinner. I felt like I hadn't stopped all day and I was exhausted. Another good friend of mine came over colored my hair and dusted my house. Thank you so much Megos. Finally, I bought myself the groupon for Lasik to have done when all of this is over. Oh I can't wait to see without having to search around for glasses.

It was such a wonderful day amongst the craziness. This is getting so exciting and so real. It has been almost 4 months since we started this journey filled with ups and downs and now in 3 short days I will have their babies tucked away in me. I am praying that God's will is for this world to be blessed by the presence of those sweet miracles. Please keep all of us in your prayers as this has been and will continue to be an emotional roller coaster especially for T and F. I am also trying to get ready to leave my babies for 5 days. It is quite a task trying to get me ready to go and them ready to stay but I am so blessed with such amazing family and friends to help in this process. Thank you all for following in our journey and praying for us along the way.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

So close

So if you have been keeping track I have been a major slacker with my blog. I have been spending my time trying to stay busy and adding pounds to my waistline by the hour. The medication hasn't made me too crazy though, I don't think, but you can ask my husband for a second opinion.

We've made it...almost. The transfer is tentatively planned for next Friday the 8th but as I have come to experience, no part of this whole process can be planned. Things can change even from one hour to the next based on blood and ultrasound test results.

I went for an ultrasound on Thursday and the doctor said I was measuring right where I should be. I have to go back again tomorrow (Monday) morning and if things are still on schedule I get to start the progesterone shot twice a day. Hopefully tomorrow the doctor can let me know if we are still looking at a transfer for Friday. The unpredictability is just difficult when trying to plan babysitting for my kids. We have things pretty much set if I transfer on Friday but if that changes then we are back to the drawing board to reschedule everything.

We all stayed at my parent's house last night for a mock sleepover and needless to say, we are all tired today. The boys did pretty good but Hudson kept rolling over and hitting the wall which was so loud. Also, my parent's dog has a collar that sounds like a little alarm. Every time she moved I woke up. So please, a little grace for this post. I can't really think straight but I wanted to let you know what is going on with the journey.

This week will be full of getting ready for me to be gone 5 days. Also, when I get home I will still need to be on a modified best rest to give the embryos a chance to implant and stay put. Here's to a week of cleaning, laundry, cooking and packing. At least the week will go by quickly. I will update again soon.