Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Obsession With Home Pregnancy Tests

And this is what surrogates know. You will have the urge to pee on a stick (home pregnancy test) pretty much as soon as you arrive home from the transfer. Of course, that would be dumb. And last transfer I tested early and got discouraged by the negatives. So this time I was pretty good and waited until I was 5 days past a 5 day transfer. I used a First Response Early Response because they measure the very least amount of hcg in your system. I couldn't really see anything (even with my reading glasses), but Molly swore she saw a super squinter. So of course I posted it in my surro groups and some others saw it, some didn't.

The next morning I didn't even need my glasses to see the faint line. I was ecstatic. But I kept peeing, of course. And peeing some more to be sure the lines were darkening. And they did. Not as much as I would have liked (everyone wants a super dark line, don't they?), but luckily our clinic does that first Beta HCG at 8 days past transfer, so it's not as long to wait.

So last Thursday morning, I went and had my blood draw. Luckily, I was leaving that morning for a trip to Ohio to visit my sister, along with my daughter and two grandsons so I was too occupied to worry much before they called. And when they called the nurse said she had "good news." My Beta was 36.9, which after seeing all the Beta posts in the surro groups seemed low, but the nurse explained that with early Betas they see a wide range from the teens to the nineties and anything over 5 was considered positive, so I was squarely in the middle. The most important thing was that it continued to double. Next Beta would be Monday at 12 days past and should be at least 150. So much pressure!!

I tried not to worry about it too much or let it be my only thought. Being at my sister's house certainly helped and we really didn't have much down time. I took another FRER on the Saturday before to be sure my line was getting darker.  I realize to anyone who hasn't been through IVF, this obsession with peeing on sticks seems odd (my sister and daughter kept telling me so), but trust me, it's a real struggle. I was pleased to see the line had darkened.

I took one more digital test the morning of the 2nd Beta, just to see that reassuring "pregnant 1-2 weeks" pop up on the screen. I had to go to a hospital near my sister's house to have the blood draw, but they assured me they'd do it STAT and fax the results to my RE. We went to this huge international grocery store after so that definitely distracted me. Then I came home and took a nap, but by four I still hadn't heard anything. So I called the hospital and they said they'd make sure it had been faxed. Then I called my nurse at my RE's. Nope, they hadn't gotten it. She called and had them fax it and then the NC called with great news. Beta was 198. My number had more than quadrupled. I was officially pregnant!!

I was positive I was this time. I felt crampy for the first three days, which didn't happen in December and is supposed to be a good sign. From day three on I had indigestion (thank heavens for Pepcid being on my "approved" meds list). And my boobs have gotten more sore with every passing day. My three year old grandson is murdering them most of the time. He's all knees and elbows when he climbs in my lap. And I pee constantly. Like constantly. The exhaustion didn't hit til Monday, but boy is it kicking my booty too. I knew I was pregnant this time, sure enough to tell my IM even before the bfp, but it sure is great to have medical confirmation.

Our heartbeat confirmation ultrasound is set for May 13th at 10 am. I'll be 6 weeks and 5 days. I'm so excited to see, and have them see, their little bean. I know my IM will relax a little then. She's got some genuine and well deserved trepidation right now. And I just want her to be able to relax and be happy like I am.

Finally, here's a picture of the near final pee test group. Missing are the three I did in Ohio. But you get the point. Lol.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Transfer day!!

So... transfer day was last Wednesday, April 15th. My IPs took me to St. Louis to have the transfer. I teased my husband before hand that if I got pregnant, I'd be able to tell people he wasn't even present for the conception. He said that was good, he was going to tell everyone it wasn't his, that he suspected it was P's (our IF). Bwahaha!

We had a good drive down, stopping about an hour away to buy me a humongous Coke Icee with which to fill my bladder. Having a full bladder is the worst part of the whole thing. So uncomfortable once they start messing around down there!

I discussed with the nurse the fact that I'm having deep muscle cramps, almost like Charley Horses, only in my arms as well as my legs and I think it's a reaction to the progesterone since it didn't start til the shots did. I had bad Charley Horses with all of my own pregnancies as well. They okay'd taking a magnesium and potassium supplement to try to combat it. But so far, I'm trying to do it with foods, just to be more natural about it.

My IM went in with me to the transfer room. They'd changed their protocol and this time we had to wear booties, gowns, and hair covers. So attractive! I joked about my kids teasing me about my last pregnancy being two decades ago. Ungrateful wretches. Then our Dr came in and I told her I'd read a study that suggested laughter really aided in implantation and that the people who'd done the study had gone so far as to bring clowns into the transfer room, which, given my dislike of clowns, would be nowhere near funny! But I suggested maybe a stand up comedian in the corner. She could do pregnancy or period humor. This conversation followed:

DR: I don't think pregnancy humor would be good, because what if the transfer didn't take?

Me: Okay, then just female body humor. There's plenty of that. Also, her husband asked if you could use a little more glue this time.

DR: Sure. We use Gorilla Glue, you know, they're the closest to human anatomy.

Me: See? Laughing!

IM: A few of my friends who knew the transfer was today wished me sticky thoughts.

Me: Yes, the surrogate group wishes sticky thoughts and baby dust.

DR: Baby dust? That's kind of morbid.

Me: Don't worry, it's not made from real babies. Geez...

The nurses were cracking up. My IF said it sounded like a high school girl's locker room in there. Fingers crossed the whole "laughing helps implantation" is true. Because we sure did.

After transfer I laid flat for 20 minutes, then got to pee, dress, and head home. They recommend 6 hours of bed rest, no lifting over 10 lbs, no sex, so Ibuprofen, no heating pads, and no hot tubs or baths. We went to Party Central and bought birthday decorations for their son's party, then to Sonic, then the three hour drive home. The Valium didn't even make me sleepy this time. I went to bed as soon as I got home, but didn't fall asleep til midnight. The progesterone is also giving me some wicked insomnia.

So now we're in the two week wait. Which is killer. Actually, it's only an 8 day wait, because our clinic does 8 day past Beta tests. So my test is actually Thursday morning. I've got some ideas about how it's going to go, but you're going to have to wait until tomorrow to read that blog...


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

And I'm still the worst blogger in the history of blogging. Okay, so, since last post I've been in the hospital, had my lining check, and gotten a transfer date!

I ended up being waylaid by a kidney stone, respiratory virus, and tummy virus all at the same time. Probably because the stress I talked about last time blew my immune system. But four days in the hospital on fluids and enforced bed rest will do a body a world of good apparently. I'm feeling much better and much more hopeful about the transfer. Still hobbling around on that ankle though.

The weird thing about being in the hospital was that my doctor, who is not a fan of my doing the surrogacy, would not order my surrogacy meds so I had to have my hubby sneak them in, and then I had to hide in the bathroom to do my Lupron shots and take my Estrace. I felt like a junkie! Although all of the nurses were super supportive and interested in the surrogacy.

I was slightly worried that the blood thinner shots (apparently a new hospital protocol that no one told me I could have refused) they gave me would hurt things, but my RE said no, they weren't a problem at all.

And at our lining check on Friday my lining was 10.6 and triple striped so my uterus is good to go! I just got off the phone with the Nurse Coordinator and they are retrieving the donor eggs on Friday. I start my Progesterone shots tomorrow night (not especially looking forward to that) and transfer is set for Wednesday, April 15th at 2pm.

I'm so excited. Time to stock up on more pee sticks (home pregnancy tests). Please keep your fingers crossed for us and think lots of sticky thoughts. Hopefully this time is the charm.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Moving forward quickly...

It's quite possible I'm the worst blogger ever, in the history of blogging. I can't believe it's been so long since my last post!! So here goes the catching up... stay with me here...

I went in for my fluid ultrasound and was shocked to find out I had polyps. I have never had polyps before, like ever. The RE said they were most likely due to the meds from last cycle and made an appointment for the following week, March 9th for me to come back and have them removed. I was not exactly the happiest of campers. I loathe surgery. I hate anesthesia, hate being out of control, just panic about it. But my IM offered to drive me down the day of the surgery and so off we went. Everything went well, and I actually loved the anesthesiologist and his nurse, was only out for ten minutes, and came around really quickly. Mainly because I fight to shake it off like you wouldn't believe. Did I mention I have control issues?

Anyway, the surgery was not painful. I had some light cramping and was exhausted the next day. Unfortunately, I haven't felt well since. (TMI alert) Lots of tummy issues. I can't imagine it's from the surgery, probably just coincidence, but I've had cramps, and lots of loose BMs, lots of gas. Pretty annoying stuff. I suppose it could be side effects of either the Lupron I started on the 14th of this month, or the steroids I started the same day. But I didn't notice any of that the first cycle.

I stopped BCPs on Wednesday, and have my baseline ultrasound and estrogen check on Monday. Fingers crossed we're good to go and I can start my Estrace that day. Then back in on April 3rd for a lining check to be sure we're good for transfer the week of the twelfth.

I'm so excited that we're getting close, but sort of bummed that I'm not feeling as well as I was the first go around. I know a lot of it is stress. My oldest son, the one with autism, was very ill the last two weeks and the stress of him being ill, and the guilt of not being able to be with him round the clock took it's toll. Then my 31 week pregnant daughter and my grandsons (3 & 17 months) moved in while her husband is doing some training with the AF. They'll be here until after she delivers. And while I am super thrilled to have them here (I LOVE those babies), it's a bit of an adjustment.

And I'm not sleeping much at all. It started when I severely sprained my ankle three weeks ago (I'm on week three of six in a plastic splint) and I haven't had a decent night's sleep since. I'm sure the meds are not helping. I'm really holding out for this estrogen to work miracles the way it did last cycle. Fingers crossed.

I want to be relaxed, and feeling healthy come transfer day. So good that those two fresh embies are going to want to hang around for about 9 months...

♥ Spot

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Got my schedule!

Had a phone appointment with my Nurse Coordinator today. She sent through my super color coordinated med and appointment schedule. Looks like I start Lupron March 14th. I don't mind the Lupron shots. They go in your tummy, but they don't hurt. She also wanted me to schedule another fluid ultrasound before starting the Lupron. I guess it's routine to check for polyps after every cycle, but I've never had a polyp before in my life. Surely I would have started getting them by now if I was going to? But the appointment is made! March 2nd I'll breeze down to St. Louis bright and early in the morning to get my fluid ultrasound.

The receptionist thought she was doing me a favor by offering me the "late" appointment--9:15am. And I guess she is, could have been 8am. But 9:15 still means I leave my house at 6am. Have I mentioned I'm not a morning person?

I think the biggest difference this time is that I won't be doing Estrogen shots. At first I was pretty bummed, that shit is like crack, or the fountain of youth or something. I swear once I started those shots I felt better than I had in ten years. But they put me on oral Estrogen this time. Three times a day. The NC said that if I talk to my regular doctor about taking Estrogen after the pregnancy (you know, because it seriously alleviated my fibro symptoms) the pills were what they would put me on. Guess we'll see how they work. So no intramuscular injections until I start the Progesterone shots a week before transfer. I guess less needle is a good thing.

So I'm still just hanging out, but things are definitely finally moving. I'm excited to start the process again and get going.

And my grandbabies and pregnant daughter will be here in about 5 weeks. Woot woot!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Finally, some news!

Evipic Comments for social network site

Well, I finally have some news on the surrogacy front. My IM had a meeting with the RE and she (the RE) felt the transfer failed due to the frozen donor eggs. She said everything on my part looked wonderful (whew!) and that after our failed transfer, she called around to other SHER clinics and found that no one had any success with the frozen eggs from World Bank. I just wish she'd called them before the transfer!

So they've decided to go with a fresh donor, one the clinic has worked with before. In her previous donations they've been able to harvest 28 eggs in one cycle and 35 in the next. What an overachiever! Both transfers have resulted in pregnancies, and both in twins!

Unfortunately, the egg donor was not currently on birth control pills so they couldn't get our cycles synced in time for a February transfer. And the clinic doesn't do transfers in March as that's the month they do maintenance and cleaning. So we are on the schedule for mid April. This means I stay on active birth control pills and will start Lupron in mid March. I don't have a schedule yet.

But since we will be doing a fresh donation and fresh transfer it seems like the odds are stacked far more in our favor. I'm very hopeful about our chances. And, though I will miss the WHC conference in Atlanta due to timing, it's actually not a bad time to get pregnant. I won't be huge through the hot summer months, and will be able to attend a smaller conference I've been asked to speak at in September. It does rule out traveling for Christmas though. Guess we'll be staying home this year, but for a great cause.

I'm excited to move forward, but not psyched about what seems like a very long wait. However, it looks like my daughter and grandsons will be moving in for a couple of months about mid-March while her husband trains for a new career field. That will certainly help pass the time. And with any luck, my son will be home to visit before he deploys in April. Trying to get everything done work wise and the house baby proofed again should make February fly by.

Thanks for keeping up with me. ;)


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Out with the old...

And by that, I mean lining. Uterine lining. I stopped all the meds last Wednesday so my body would shed this great thick lining and we could start birth control pills and get ready for the new cycle. I was worried because it took so long to start and now I'm wishing it never had. I'm not used to the cramping and bleeding. My regular birth control pills have very little estrogen so almost no lining gets built up and I have next to nothing to shed which equals one day of spotting, not several days of scenes from The Walking Dead. Sorry if that's TMI, but this is a blog about pregnancy, which is a bodily function. Skip the gruesome parts if you must, I'm sure there will be many. Anyway, things are happening the way they are supposed to so I'll start bcps again and hopefully, fingers crossed we'll transfer in February or March. And fingers crossed that this time it sticks. My IM is still waiting to talk to the doctor to decide which type of eggs we'll use this time. That will be a big factor in when we transfer again. Honestly, I'm missing the shots. Okay, not the progesterone shots which hurt and make my hips itch and make me think of nothing but sleeping and eating. But the estrogen shots actually seemed to boost my energy and make me easier to get along with. Apparently I need some of that. :)

But stopping the shots caused a massive migraine. It showed up on Friday morning and stayed (way past it's welcome) til Monday morning. It was the awful nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound. Every loud sound felt like an ice pick to my brain and all I could do was lay in my darkened living room. I couldn't read, couldn't sleep, and the TV killed me. None of the meds I have in my house came close to touching it. Turns out migraines are common when stopping hormones. Thanks for the head's up, nurse lady! It was awful, but made way worse by the fact that CJ had an early morning doctor appointment Friday that I drove too. Then he was irritated because we couldn't leave the minute I showed up and had to stay for the appointment. Which meant I got elbowed and hit and he made some really loud noises. But I kept my cool and we managed to get his blood drawn quickly and painlessly for all involved. When we got home Mike took him out on the golf cart and gator for most of the day so I could deal with the migraine. He seemed to have a good time regardless of me not getting to spend much time with him. And Friday night he dragged us downstairs and made Mike build a fire. We just sat and watched it quietly for an hour. That was a win. Then I showed him that we could put the fireplace app on the TV and watch it from upstairs. He fell asleep to it. We took him back Saturday afternoon and I returned to the couch. So much for the weekend.

 It's a new week, a new year. :) And next week I'm going to visit my son in North Carolina and my sister along the way since she's the halfway point between us. I haven't seen him since October and haven't been out to North Carolina since June of last year. I can't wait to see his house though he says it's crappy. Lol. And I'm pretty excited to eat some really good barbecue, collard greens, and fried okra. Also he's taking me to his favorite Korean restaurant which he swears has great sushi!

 If you're a surrogate and reading this, I hope your journey is going well! For everyone I hope the New Year is treating you right.