Saturday, August 31, 2013

Un Solo Corazón

One Heart!

One healthy heartbeat!

I work in a bilingual workplace. The wonderful Spanish speakers gave my brain a workout yesterday by really pushing my sub-par Spanish skills. I try to keep it simple when thinking about my responses to their questions. Today, I was happy to report back - Un Solo Corazón (and I even botched that simple phase. Thanks, Google Translate!)

Here is the healthy little baby from head to tail. Baby still has a LOT of growing to do, but this is a really good start!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Something is Growing in there...




Sometimes it's strange what you notice.

I had one morning of nausea with Dempsey around 8 weeks. Other than the pregnancy test and the doctor telling me, I wouldn't have known I was pregnant.

But with this baby, I'm more in tune with the cause and effect. I know that my hormones have spiked. I know why I am so tired.

Yesterday, I was talking to Justin with exaggerated arm movements. I stifle an "Ow!" and proceed to see if there is a bruise on the side of my boob under my arm. "Of course there has to be a reason there is a painful spot on my boob - those things don't just hurt for no good reason," I thought to myself. Sweet Justin looks at me and says, "There's no bruise. Your mammaries are probably gearing up to become a milk factory." [that wasn't an exact, word-for-word quote, but you get the point].

Oh yeah. I forgot that these two attention-getters have a purpose other than filling out a blouse.

I woke up this morning to what felt like a gut punch. My tummy was hurting. My guts had decided to clench up into a ball. I'm happy to report that I am feeling much better by mid-day. However, my cheerios were far less appealing, as were my peanut M&Ms...

My only steady symptom so far is apathy. It's hard to fake listening to a story I have zero interest in. I will not entertain a fake smile to a lame joke. And those baskets full of laundry needing to be folded? Well, until my closet is empty, they are not my concern.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Raging Hormones

I remember teenage angst. Well.

I've been feeling like a caged animal the past week.

It's obvious; I'm pregnant.

I knew it before I tested. I just looked at Justin and wanted to rip his face off. Poor guy never knew what hit him.

He doesn't understand why I'm reacting so negatively to a pile of [his] clothes in the basement right outside of the laundry room. BECAUSE IT MAKES ME CRAZY that he can't 1. put his clothes in the $50 laundry sorter I bought to lessen the hassle of laundry and 2. move the pile five feet into the washer.



 I've been catching up on the 3rd season of Dexter (relax! I've been busy!) and the girlfriend is pregnant and rants at Dex for, well, nothing really. Justin looks at me and murmurs a, "Huh..." I could have thrown a chair at him, BECAUSE IT MAKES ME CRAZY he could even relate that scene to his beautiful, loving wife, awesome mother of his child.




So tonight, when Justin got home, I admitted it. "Honey, I think my hormones may be getting the better of me."
"What would make you say that?" asked a very sarcastic husband.
The reply was less than P.G... because that sarcasm kind of made me crazy...

Work this week may prove to be difficult.

I am prepared to make a sign for my cubicle.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lucky


Sometimes I forget to stop and be thankful.

I started my adventure at the end of April. Matched with the intended parents in May. Screened in June. Started medication in July. Transferred August 2nd and officially pregnant on August 15.

That is amazing.

Do a quick Google search of "Surrogacy success rates." Let me know if you get a direct answer. 

At best, surrogates and intended parents are hoping for a 50% chance at success. HOPING FOR 50% - did you see that?

Being a part of surrogacy support group has been a great opportunity for me. While my partner and family are very supportive, there are some things that you want to share with your surrogate family. They cheer you on for appointments, blood work and pregnancy tests. They also sympathize with you for thin lining, negative pregnancy tests and sometimes, at the very worst of things, surrogacy denial from doctor and agency.

It is hard to revel in a victory when one of your surro-sisters is agonizing after her second failed transfer. It is hard to celebrate the stars aligning for a perfect outcome when one of your surro-sisters was just banned from surrogacy from something she couldn't control - her body's reaction to meds.

That being said, I find myself moving my state of mind back to cautious. I am so thankful that our journey has been so seamless, but I would be lying if I said I'm not nervous. 

Can things possibly stay this perfect? 

YES; surely, they can. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Positive Beta!



I'm positive it's positive!


My beta number was 279! What a super number!?!


It's now totally acceptable to get excited. I'm talking FREAKING PUMPED!


Congratulations, Jason and Michael!

On Edge

Could it be any more plainly stated?

I once had a music teacher that said, "If you aren't [sitting] on the edge, you're taking up to much space." This, of course, my frame of mind wasn't what she was talking about.

Possible reason:
  • Work has been irritating lately. I refuse to say stressful, so I'll stick with irritating.
  • Home has been fine, if you consider falling asleep at 9 p.m. with laundry piling up in the living room, fine (meanwhile my husband possesses the anti super-hero power: selective blindness. For some reason cannot see nor sense the very very very visible chaos forming in our home.)
  • It could be that I was running late with my little one today BECAUSE OF THIS:

video

The real reason is because we are waiting for the beta results.

"What's a beta?" you ask.

Considering the woman that drew my blood didn't want the responsibility of explaining it, I doubt I will do a decent job. But I'll try.

Surrogates seem to talk in code: "My beta was a 416!" What does that mean?

The beta number measures the level of hCG in the bloodstream. In case you don't know, hCG is the hormone the body creates when there is a pregnancy. So, beta measures that level (I don't know the unit of measurement, so it's hard for me to fully understand, but I digress...) to determine if there is a [viable or chemical] pregnancy and, perhaps, how far along the pregnancy is. 


The clinic I'm monitoring at would like to at least see a 50 at the first beta, give or take a few. They would like to see that number double (give or take a small margin) within 48 hours, meaning I will have a second beta next week.

It is also important to know that these numbers, as will every woman's body and pregnancy, are very different and very flexible.

For a more medical and thorough description of the Beta, Click Here.

The numbers will be in by this afternoon. Think positively!







Monday, August 12, 2013

Lines Don't Lie

I'm staying positive.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but things are looking pretty good!

As you can imagine, Jason and Michael are ecstatic. I think it made the two week wait a bit more bearable.

My mom tried to tell my dad the good news, but my dad heard, "Morgan chewed on a stick and it was positive." I can imagine the confusion that ensued.

The beta test is Thursday. They will do a blood draw to confirm a pregnancy. I'll be completely honest, I don't exactly know what  a "beta test" is and I don't know what the numbers mean. I will find out and report back.

Keep positive thoughts coming our way!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What is Crinone?

How awesome are suppositories?

If you follow along with my blog or any other surrogates, you might hear us talk about suppositories. There are many complaints concerning surrogacy medications. I actually have none. Cri-none, to be exact (enjoy that pun...).

When I was first given my medication I was skeptical. No shots; just oral medication and suppositories. "Will that be enough?" I thought. I'm happy to report that yes, it worked perfectly to get my baby tank fluffy for a transfer.

What do these suppositories look like? How does it work, exactly? I was expecting a little gel capsule and some kind of applicator.

Crinone is just an applicator with progesterone gel. The tip to the right tears off and then the gel is expelled with that handy, dandy little air pocket.

I administer this twice daily. I would administer it 10 times daily if it meant not having to shove 3 differently sized needles into my skin, fat, thigh or rear for the better part of four months.





Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Published Author

I'm a "real" blogger!

Here is the link to my "published" article on Circle Surrogacy's blog.

http://blog.circlesurrogacy.com/2013/07/31/surrogate-stories-the-preliminary-stages/

No one is allowed to pass judgement on my low-resolution, facebook-cropped photo. Hopefully I will have a newer photo to add soon.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Transfer Week

It's nice to be home.

As I walked into the office today, several women asked if I was pregnant. Maybe, but isn't it a bit too soon, ladies?

August 2nd was the big day: embryo transfer. I was lucky enough to sucker Beatrice, my surrogacy coordinator, and Dr. Lavy into posing for a picture with me. Seriously, these people are amazing. I have nothing but awesome things to say about NEFI. I am also so sad that some people and surrogates have to experience other fertility clinics that are far less accommodating. Not only are the staff and nurses so sweet and nice (a terribly hard thing to find at a doctor's office), but Dr. Lavy is so personable. His bedside manner stands out far above the rest. Also, special shout out to Grace - my recovery nurse. She won my heart with the Oreo's and Tylenol.

The transfer is difficult to explain. Not because of the detailed procedure, but because of the emotions and feelings. I wasn't sad. My excitement had subsided and I felt nerves in the hours proceeding transfer. Perhaps pressure. Definitely pressure. As I was typing Carpe Diem, I got a text from Justin. The message wasn't anything elaborate; basically "Good luck. I love you." I felt a tear stream down my face. The hormones had finally caught up to me. I felt lucky to have a partner that was willing to let me get pregnant with someone else's baby and turn our "routine" upside down for the better part of a year. I am lucky. But let's be honest, he's pretty lucky he snagged a hot lady that can make this gown look good!


After gown-ing up, I went into the "operating" room. It was like any other "lady" appointment, except I had my mother behind me, my intended parents tuning in via Skype over my left shoulder, a nurse with an ultra sound and a lab coordinator walk in with a foot-long blastocyte-containing catheter for transfer. "The best part?" you ask - Beethoven booming over the speakers during the five minutes that passed. Completion was topped off with a round of applause from Jason and Michael, probably intended for Dr. Lavy, but I like to take a little bit of credit...

Look at those beautiful blastocytes!
Eight embryos were thawed. Seven survived the thaw. Three were deemed acceptably healthy for transfer. Two, the healthiest boy and girl, were transferred.

Michael and Jason were sweet enough to send me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries. Dempsey received a teddy bear for giving up his mum for the week.

In case you were wondering, YES the flowers made it home! It took some creative thinking and packing, but, alas, they made it and are a beautiful addition to my kitchen counter.



I was even lucky enough to bump into two surrogates out of my support group, Chana and Carrie!  Chana is from Cali and Carrie is from Charlotte(ish). How great is it that a support group set up on Facebook can bring total strangers together. I had never met the women, and yet, it was like we were long lost friends.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Carpe Diem

Today is the day!

My mom and I flew into New England on Wednesday evening. We started the morning with breakfast with another surrogate that had just had her transfer. It was awesome getting to know another surrogate in person. After our monitoring appointment I ran Mom ragged strolling the streets of NYC. Staying busy kept me from focusing on why I'm here.

In 45 minutes I will be at the clinic being prepped for "conception" or transfer. It's becoming a little daunting. I try to find words to describe and I'm stooped. Surreal is the best I can come up with. I find myself being extremely short with patience and every now and again I find my blood running cold. I suppose I'm letting the nerves get the better of me.

Dr. Gad Lavy, NEFI
Luckily, my IPs will be joining me via SKYPE. I know they are so excited. I've been in the surrogacy process four months; they've been here for three years.

I KNOW this will be a POSITIVE appointment (enjoy that pun). My baby tank was deemed "gorgeous" yesterday at the monitoring appointment. NEFI has a beautiful way with words. Plus, look at that doctor with those sweet babies; Could I be in better hands?

I'll be back with an update later this afternoon.