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.