Monday, October 8, 2018

The Highs and Lows of Sibling Journey #2

Oh man... so:
  • Transfer date was Sept 4
  • By 9dpt I was getting anxious and thinking I'd ask her to take a home test. My therapist and I talked about it and decided that there was no point in making me more anxious than I needed to be for the next 5 days
  • On Sept 13 in the morning I asked her to take a test, and sent me this:

  • I cried and cried happy tears. I couldn't believe it. What luck! This really works. We're going to have a sibling and it was as easy as that. Wow.
  • She sent this after to both B and I:

  • On Sept 17, her hcg was 853. Great number!
  • On Sept 18, it was 2133. Awesome!!
So we are so happy thinking this is easy, we got this, making plans for around a May 23 birth, etc, etc.

Then:
  • On Sept 25, she texted me at 5:45am asking "are you awake?" Not good, I thought... (and yes, I was awake). She called me saying there's been a lot of bleeding that morning. Luckily, I had gotten her into an OB for the 6 week appt so we were able to get her in that day for an ultrasound. The doctor said if she were to miscarry it would likely happen in the next 24-48 hours. So we set out to wait.
  • A few days later, by the weekend, no bleeding, so we were feeling hopeful though cautious.
  • On Oct 2, I went to FL for the 6 week ultrasound appt which they wanted us to keep.
    • I had planned my 25th high school reunion that weekend before, then had an all day meeting and dinner that Monday and the early flight on Tues so I didn't have a lot of time to process any of this which was probably for the best.
    • When I landed in FL, I got all kinds of hearts and sweet texts from friends and I just about lost it there. Had to go sit down after we deplaned and just cried. (I was kinda surprised no one came up to me to ask if I was ok but I was also ok enough to not need that).
    • N and I decided we'd go spend the afternoon on the beach while we anxiously waited for the 3:45pm appt time. It was as relaxing as it could be. Hardly anybody at the beach. We got food from Wh.ole Fo.ods and just enjoyed being outside and catching up, went for a walk down the beach and then felt badly that we'd be showing up to an appt all sandy.
    • We went into the office feeling all hopeful with the nurse who had seen N last time. N had to go pee in a cup and I sat in the ultrasound room and looked up at the monitor with her name on it and then started crying again. The not knowing is so, so hard. These anticipated feelings that you don't know what to do with.
    • The nurse started her ultrasound, was very quiet and I just knew. She started measurements without saying anything and I knew that she should've been saying "there's the heartbeat!" But no. Just quiet measurements until she said "I'm just taking measurements for the doctor to talk to you". Ugh. Not good. But I didn't know what I was looking for either. The quietness was the worst. Why couldn't she have said "there's no heartbeat" to not keep us guessing.
    • Then she brought us into another room to wait for him. It felt like that took forever and I could only think, what if N had been here by herself? How awful to wait that long.
    • He came in and said something like no heartbeat, can't be 100% sure, but 99% sure. We'll do two hcg level checks to be sure. There is a sac but it's just debris and blood. That should all come out naturally. Then he kept talking. Too much.
    • We then left and called/texted people in the parking lot. That was a bummer. We were so bummed out, disappointed and sad.
    • We were trying to figure out what to do next. We had decided earlier that we'd go for ice cream after the appt that way we could either celebrate or drown our sorrows. We didn't feel like it but thought it would be better than going home.
    • I have to say, walking into the ice cream place and saying "what the biggest size you've got" was so fun. The guy said the biggest container fit 3 scoops and I said "that's not enough" so we bargained for 5 kiddie scoops instead. Being unencumbered by how many flavors you can get it so amazing! It's very empowering especially after having no control over this other situation.
    • We sat outside and had our ice creams and really only got halfway but it was so fun to have all these flavors in our cups. 


    • Her husband was going to cook for us so we went and got fun foods like wine and cheese and filet mignons. I had been eating chocolate chip cookies and tob.lerone all day so we still had that.
    • We got home and got in the hot tub and pool which was fun (hey, this is FL!) and then had a super delicious breakfast. And slept well.
    • The next day, I went with her to get her bloodwork and then went to the airport.
  • Oct 3, I came home and my son and his nanny-share friend were just waking up and it was the best to spend time with them. So cute and just what I needed, plus a nap. That evening, D came over to cuddle with me in the living room, laying himself in my lap and it was just so, so perfect and again, just what I needed.
  • We checked in with each other that week
  • Fri, Oct 5, my doctor called after he had reviewed everything and said that even with a PGD tested embryo, there's still a 10-15% chance that it doesn't work. Blah. Seriously? Why us? After everything we've been through?? Why do we generally have to fit into these low chances of things happening??? 
    • (And after I had posted on my surrogacy group that we were originally pregnant and told my friend IRL, she responded with muted enthusiasm and I know that she felt I hadn't "earned" my surrogacy badge because both times it happened right away for us whereas for her, she struggled a lot, which I sort of understood but still felt crummy about... well, when we lost the pregnancy, and I posted, she had a similar message along with everyone else's and didn't reach out personally which hurt which made me feel like she almost was glad that I had to "earn" this... yucky feelings and I'm trying to work that out)
    • Anyway, my doctor was encouraged for us to try again with N, we just have to let nature take its course and have us figure out when that might be, probably 2-3 months from now.
    • And I felt badly because I know N had really wanted to have her summer with her kids and now she won't really get to (or at least they won't be able to go anywhere outside of FL which she had wanted to do), and she and her new husband had planned a honeymoon in Sept which I wish they hadn't because now I'm feeling badly that it may not be before July or August that she could potentially give birth and I know she's maybe wishing that we could wait a few months to try but I really don't want to; we already waited a few months because they got married in June so I'd rather not keep waiting since if it doesn't work with her, we'll have to find someone new and all of that takes a lot of time... and this is the sucky part about all of this - you can't plan anything because you may have to try again.
Overall, I know these flukes happen but I just thought I could have different feelings about surrogacy and now I think I'm having/going to have a hard time feeling hopeful about the next transfer. I'm trying to stay hopeful knowing that these things happen. But this also still feels so raw right now. I couldn't even talk to friends about it yet. Nothing anyone says to me other than "this sucks" is helping. It all feels like platitudes to me right now.

Ahhhhh... this sucks. And I will be hopeful again but right now, this sucks.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sibling Journey - My Cousin is Our Surrogate!

How have I not posted in a year?!?

Oh yes, I've been busy with our baby! Our miracle baby was born last July with my brother's close childhood friend carrying for us. And every single day, we still can't get over that he's in our lives.

He loves watching the laundry machine in action:



And... I've always wanted more kids, in fact I've always wanted 3, but definitely more than 1, so we started meeting with our doctor again last spring, before D was even born to start the surrogacy process for baby #2 (because it can take 6+ months to get someone through the process plus the gestation period, so I didn't want to wait).

Our doctor advised us not to get started until 6 months after the baby was born so that we could acclimate. He said that will be one of the most stressful times of our lives. (Which deserves its own post but in brief: the first 6 months I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would, I found the newborn stage tedious and felt suuuuuper guilty for not enjoying it more when we had wanted this so badly. I even wanted to go back to work after 6 weeks. I did reach a turning point when he turned 6 months and could do more and now I absolutely love spending time with him.)

I appreciated our doctor's advice but I also knew I wanted to get on this.

So, in August of last year, when one of my cousins was getting married and had a girls weekend away 2 weeks before her wedding, I went partly because I'm super close to her sister who was going to be there and encouraged me to come.  N and I are one year apart, grew up in the same town, went to the same high school, she even did a semester at my college to spend time with me! We've traveled together and have been there for each other, even as opposite as our lives got - she started having kids when she was 23, had 4 of them, went through a bad divorce, meanwhile I got married in my early 30s and proceeded to not be able to start my family.

So at this girls weekend, someone asked me if we were going to do this again and have another baby, to which I said, we are actually going to contact our surrogacy agency soon to help us find someone. N chimed in and said "you know I'd do that for you, right?" which caught me off guard. She then said, "remember, I wanted to do it the first time around for you". And then it all came back to me... "yes, I said, and remember because there are Zika scares in FL [where she lives], we couldn't do it". To which she said, "well, there isn't anymore".

I proceeded to say "really, you'd really want to do this for us"... she'd been in a new relationship for 4 years, was planning a wedding the following year, I wasn't sure how he'd feel about it. But she was steadfast and said "yes". I told her to make sure he'd be ok and talked through a lot of the annoying process stuff about surrogacy and she was ok about it all.

Two weeks later at my cousin's wedding, she said she talked with her partner and they are on board!

They wanted to time it so that an embryo transfer would happen after their June 2018 wedding so we mapped it all out that she/they'd do all the prep work ahead of time, so the brief timeline was:

  • Nov 2017 - got N screened with the agency
  • Dec 2017 - got N health insurance on the exchange
  • Feb 2018 - N and her partner did the psychological evaluation
  • April 2018 - N and her partner did the medical screening at our clinic in MD
  • May 2018 - N did the mock cycle
  • June-July 2018 - legal clearance
  • August 2018 - N prepped for the embryo transfer which was supposed to be August 31 but got pushed to Sept 4
That makes it all seem easy enough, but there were a lot of hiccups and logistical annoyances which led to my recurrence of depression and anxiety. I ended up back on meds because even though we'd had success with the first surrogacy, it was resurrecting all the pain from my failed attempts and I couldn't rationalize my way out of it. So that part was a bummer and it took me awhile to recognize it because it was happening when my baby was still a newborn and we were into the stressful holiday season...

By Feb when my husband and I were talking about our upcoming summer and I wasn't looking forward to it, I knew I should get back in with my therapist and psychiatrist and likely get back on meds. Which I did. Which was helpful. 

[Side note, I strongly belief no one should have to suffer like that if they don't need to be and there is nothing wrong with taking meds, in fact, I highly recommend them, not as a crutch but so many are reluctant to get on them, like I was, and it can truly make a difference on being more focused and neutralizing how one feels].

Anyway, some of the logistical issues along the way were:
  • Our Agency - they weren't convinced that N fit the 'surrogate profile' because she really didn't. She wasn't doing this as a 'job', she was doing this because I'm her cousin. So we kept pushing and saying we really want her. I took over communications directly with my cousin which was fine but just added more work for me to stay on top of all the logistics. We reduced the agency's role to communicating with my husband on major milestones.
  • The FL Clinic for Monitoring - 
    • The doctor - N lives in a smaller city in FL and the main fertility clinic just wasn't on top of it. The doctor there several times gave incorrect results from ultrasounds (mis-measured her lining several times which would've resulted in us not being able to move forward with her; thank goodness my doctor in MD/DC caught it and asked for images to be sent because we didn't trust this doctor's diagnosis - I still want to report this doctor, how awful to think that he may be disqualifying people for no reason!). 
    • Being organized - The clinic just also wasn't on top of being organized. Once they forgot to send the bloodwork out which made me slightly panic for an extra day unnecessarily. And the worst was that they forgot to send scans on the last appt and closed at noon so my nurse couldn't even follow-up which resulted in us having to move the transfer date when our travel arrangements had already been set.
But ultimately, she came up here and had the transfer on Sept 4. 

From transfer day including the sign at the clinic and shirts I had made for us:



That was a nice day for us to spend together and it's been so nice to have this close emotional journey with her. In fact, that day she said "you know, people say a lot 'I'd do anything for you' but I really mean it."

Here we are as kids, awwwwww:



During the 2 week wait, I was starting to go crazy the last week of it and on Day 9 post transfer I asked her to take a home test and was just bracing myself for bad news...

Well, it was 2 strong lines!

I ugly cried that morning. Just couldn't believe it. Still can't.

How on earth are we this lucky two times in a row??

[Another side note: I had a hard time processing this with IMs - Intended Moms especially friends of mine who had a lot of trouble with surrogacy. This experience makes me feel like I got it too easy, like getting pregnant on your first IUI, like I didn't earn my badge of honor... but all that said, I'm ok with it, more than ok with this part having been easy for us. It's just too bad that there is this thing out there that seems to be that unless you've suffered as much as I have, it's hard for me to truly be happy for you without feeling some sort of resentment or something...]

Anyway, her bloodwork came back on Mon, Sept 17 at 853! Super strong and her numbers more than doubled to 2133 two days later! She's a rock star.

I'm going to FL on Oct 2 for the first heartbeat ultrasound and couldn't be happier!

Our little D will have a sibling. :)

PS - And I really do feel positively going into this. I know there's the normal worries that can happen to any pregnancy but I also know that I don't have to carry the baggage of what happened to me into this pregnancy. I can put a wall between what happened to me vs what's happened to us with surrogacy.

It's funny, on her bloodwork day, I told N "If you're still pregnant today, you should go ahead and make the doubling appt on Wed" and she said "you mean there's a chance I'm not pregnant anymore?"

I loved her innocence with it. I mean, yes, there's a chance (hadn't it happened to me over and over and over...), but I wasn't worried about it, I said. :)

Here we go! Miracle #2!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Our Miracle Is Here!

It's a boy! And his name is D.

I still can't believe it. He's amazing. He's adorable. He's such a good baby. He's cute. And he's ours. And in good health. We couldn't have asked for everything to have gone more smoothly.

Well, except our surrogate had some post-delivery complications (which I got super worried about but she somehow just bounced back and was released 24 hours later).

So here he is:



The lowdown:
Where to even start?

The rest of the third trimester went pretty well. L started going to weekly appts with about 6 weeks left because she developed gestational diabetes so I felt bad that she had to control so much of what she did and get pricked several times a day but she handled it like a champ. I went to weekly appts with her and was so glad to because I felt like I could advocate for her.

Here's one of the last weeks:


With about a week left to go she asked if we wouldn't mind if she got induced. They weren't going to let her go past his due date which was July 12 so we said sure, as long as the doctor's are ok with it. I think she was really uncomfortable. On Thursday, she made plans for it to be Monday and then midday on Thurs she asked if we could do Friday instead (turned out the doctor on Friday was one that she liked better than the Monday one; and I knew the Friday one also from all the appts.).

So around 2pm that day, I started FREAKING OUT. I actually cried at work thinking I'm not ready. I can't be a parent TOMORROW. It's too soon... Thank goodness my work colleague calmed me down and gave me a hug and said You are ready. Also, B's parents made arrangements to get on the road super early that next morning so they could be here for the birth.

(B's parents didn't sleep much that night and got up at 3:30am to start getting on the road!).

(B's parents stayed with us for almost 2 weeks and were SUPER helpful).

So I thought I'd leave work early but I wrapped up around 5, walked home and I think I worked out when I got home because I was going crazy. And I was texting with people and my sister-in-law, J, was most helpful to me.

B got home and we got to freak out a bit together. :)

The Birth Day

L had told us that we shouldn't get there right away since she likely wasn't even going to get induced right away so I was in touch with her starting pretty early that morning. She got to the hospital around 8, I got to work out again, she got induced around 10:30am and told me "everything was quiet". I told her we'd make our way over around lunchtime.

We ate at home and then got there (45 mins from our house) around 1. Things were quiet with her. She was alone. Her husband had a meeting and was going to come later or when things were really happening. She was having mild contractions that she said felt like menstrual cramps. She said the doc would be by around 2:30 to break her water to move things along. She continued watching The Office re-runs on her iPad. :)

We went down to the cafeteria to get a bit more to eat and then were up there before 2:30.

Nothing was happening. The doctor got called away with an emergency. 

We got to meet L's aunt who was there visiting (her mom was on vacation that week... was a bit weird that her mom wasn't there, but then again, maybe not since it's not her baby... but her daughter was going through something major. I kinda wondered if it was maybe because she kinda didn't want to be there so had a good 'excuse' to be away... I'm sure complicated feelings about having your daughter have someone else's baby.) In any case, L's aunt brought gifts for us - both homemade, one from her and one from L's mom, which was super nice and thoughtful.

The doc came and broke her water around 4:20. We gave her and her aunt a bit more time together (while I ate a snack in the waiting room) and when her aunt came out she said L was having harder contractions.

We went back there and her husband, D, was there... I don't know how we missed him. We were glad to see him. L was on the ball and almost in deep trances with her contractions. She was keeping track of them on an app that I went over to look at a few times. I don't remember the details but I feel like they were about 1 min with 2-3 mins in apart. She was still watching The Office ruruns!

By about 5:45 she wanted to get in the bed and the nurse helped her. L also asked for an epidural at that point. As they were prepping it, L also said that she felt like the contractions were getting to be more "pushy". 

They checked her out and said rather than the epidural, what will make her feel better is pushing and getting this baby out. 

Meanwhile, I had changed into a gown so I could be ready to do skin to skin.

L's husband was next to her holding her hand and we were behind him, giving her some privacy. L pushed about 4-5 times. That's it! And then... a cry!

I could hardly believe it. B and I were holding hands behind D and when we heard the cry we were holding hands. Then they said, do you want to see the gender or have us tell you. We said "tell us!" And they said:

It's a boy!

We squeezed hands so tightly and just cried and cried. And said I love you to each other.

It was so meaningful because we knew we were going to name a boy after B's late father (who passed away when he was 12).

The nurse wrapped him up and brought him over to me and was wiping him as she gave him to me. She took pictures of me which was super thoughtful. 

Having him there next to me was unreal. I can't even describe it. It felt so surreal. I couldn't believe I was holding my baby!

Then the nurse handed him to B and I think I cried more just watching my husband who has so wanted this baby hold him. It was incredible. 

The nurse took pics of both of us too which was so super nice.

They then had us to go over to the warming table with him and got him all checked out.

He was born on 7/7/17 at 6:17 in room 7 and was 7 lbs 12 oz. Lots of lucky 7s!

In fact, after he was born, I had been monitoring the clock a little and thought at first that he'd be born at 7, but then didn't want L to go that long but I thought he might've had a 7 in the number. The last I had looked at the clock, it was 6:15 so after he was born I asked "was he born at 6:17?" and they said yes!

In the meantime, L didn't seem like she was doing so well. The doctors were still working on her and she seemed like she was in a lot of pain. Her placenta wasn't coming out and they had to go in a few times to try to get it out. I felt so bad for her. Those were worse pains than the labor pains. 

Her husband was getting exhausted, so I went over to relieve him and stood by L. The doctor brought in another doctor and there was just blood everywhere. I was pretty scared. The other doctor was able to help get it out and get the bleeding to stop. Thank goodness. And L needed lots of fluids.

She quickly recovered and about 45 mins later, started having people come back. First, her brother and sister-in-law, then her friend, J, who took the best photo of us. I just happened to be holding D and he seemed to be looking right at me and it was so profound and moving that I was just crying and crying thinking I can't believe you're here. In fact, for probably a full week or two, I would say that to him each morning. I can't believe you're here. I can't believe you're finally here.

Then we brought B's parents back and shared the name with them as we handed D to B's mom. She was so emotional. In fact, she was wearing her engagement ring necklace from B's dad that day for him to 'be there' with us. So sweet. 

They stayed for quite awhile and in fact, the nurses were going to have us move from the L&D to Mom and Baby. L just needed to go to the bathroom first.

Well, she got up with a nurse and passed out in the bathroom and began to lose a lot of blood again. Not good and super scary. They got her back to the bed and she was white with chapped lips. So scary again and we were just in the way even though we tried to stay out of the way. 

Finally around 9 we got moved over and had rooms side by side. B's parents had left and were staying at a hotel nearby for that night.

Once we all got settled in, L offered to nurse him around 10pm. It was beautiful to watch her nurse him and it only made me a little sad that I couldn't. Actually, that night I could tell he was 'rooting' for a breast and it was hard for me to not be able to offer that to him.

We probably went to bed around 11pm and our night nurse, Tia, was awesome. She told us to wake up every 2 hours to feed him. What a rude awakening! So we had to wake up at 1am, etc. 

The next morning, I remember being sound asleep and waking up to a doctor in our room examining D and B was dressed, showered and had left to get us Star.bucks coffee offsite! How on earth had I slept through that??? I never sleep through anything! I am THE lightest sleeper. But I was EXHAUSTED.

I knew our pastor and our parents were going to be visiting soon. My parents had actually called and said they were on their way. I'm glad they didn't wait for me to call them back! I was in the shower by the time they got there!

It was so great to see them and B's parents, and then our pastor too. L came by. She had texted and said "how is Team Baby B doing [B and D's last name] which was cute. She nursed him again around 11am which was so nice.

My brother, his wife and 1 kid came in the afternoon which was nice. My brother and L are good friends from high school and the whole reason this happened for us, so he was pretty emotional and it was nice to have us all together.

That evening, L left around 6pm. It was weird to see her leave (with her husband and son). It felt pretty empty after she left. She was a HUGE part of Team Baby B. I didn't know what I'd do without her there. It really was a weird, empty, almost helpless feeling. I didn't want her out of the picture yet.

And she wasn't going to be because she wanted to pump for us which was awesome. We rented the hospital pump for her and swung by her house on the way home the next day.

Leaving the hospital with D that Sunday, 2 days later, about 36 hours later, was scary. What are we doing with a baby?! We have a baby! We're responsible for this. It seemed a bit overwhelming. In a good way, but also in a surreal way. 

He's here. Our miracle is here. After almost 10 years of wants, desires, tears, tests, procedures, disappointments, heartbreaks. He's here. Because of science and because of the hugest heart who wanted to carry him for us. 

Surrogacy rocks and our little one is amazing.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

3rd Trimester!

We're into the 3rd trimester and it still floors me! Seeing this picture of L with our baby growing in there is still unreal to me and so miraculous! How are we finally able to be so lucky? How is this amazing woman doing this to make our dreams come true? I am still in awe.


Everything is going well and we've been enjoying putting some of the baby's room together... still a work in progress and will hopefully post some photos next time when it's a little more ready.

It's all so exciting.

I am starting to get what is probably the normal freak outs - all the way from what are all the little things that I still need that I don't have? to how am I going to be a good parent?!?

July 12 is still the due date and we are still excited about a surprise gender in the delivery room!

Next up is planning a hospital visit.

Overall, feeling beyond blessed. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

24 Weeks!

I still cannot believe we have a baby in the oven. It really feels miraculous!

Here's our little one at 20 weeks:


Everying has been going so well and we're on track for a July 12 due data, gender a surprise.

In fact, the only hiccup has been that with surrogacy, you have to get a pre-birth order (PBO) in at around 24 weeks, viability. A PBO is a legal document that states that we are the parents of the baby and that when that baby is born we have rights to make medical decisions. They want that in place in case of pre-term delivery.

Well, we were told last week by our lawyer that Maryland requires you to put the name of the child in this document, which was not a big deal - we've had our names chosen since we got engaged 10 years ago! They are family names and very special to us.

So I put both girl and boy name in this document but the lawyer came back and said it had to be one name which meant we had to find out the gender.

I was so upset. In fact, it surprised me how upset I got. I cried a lot when I got home Thurs night and couldn't stop crying till 11pm or so. I thought maybe I was PMS'ing which was adding to all of this.

But when I really thought about it - this was the ONE thing I've had control over, wanting to be surprised in the delivery room. I've always wanted that, long before we had fertility issues, long before I was even married or thinking of having children. 

So not only have I always wanted this but this was also the one thing I've had control over and it was about to get taken away from me.

And the past 9 years of infertility struggles was wrapped up in this whole thing. That I haven't been able to have children the way I want and one more thing was getting controlled for me.

Luckily my best friend kept pushing me that night to talk to the lawyer about coming up with a creative way around this, like maybe she could find out the gender and put a post-it note on that part of the document that we had to sign...

I wasn't hopeful but I did call the lawyer the next morning and she was more than happy to get creative with us. She hadn't realized how important this was to us and said she's never done it other than this way but sure, she could help.

She was even willing to get the legal document done for us, have it sent to her house and then bring it herself to the hospital on the day of the birth! I said I really appreciate that but that was a bit too much above and beyond. 

She then said she could send the document to me as along as I had self-restraint on not opening it AND if I remembered to bring it to the hospital at birth.

I said, first of all, I've had access to the gender this whole time in our genetic testing report and never have opened that link. And secondly, I'm very organized and have been waiting for this baby for 9 years and will have that document packed in my bag ready for that day.

So the lawyer is going to get the gender from the OB's office, leave that section blank on our documents, hand-write the name in after we've signed the documents, then send it to me in a sealed envelope.

Awesome! 

I'm so happy and relieved that there was a way around this for us.

And we've also been having fun getting a bunch of second hand stuff from our friends and from craigslist. We have a glider, a bassinet in our house already. I'm getting the crib, stroller and car seat from a friend today. Only big thing left is the dresser. 

And my best friend is keeping a "baby registry" for us on a google sheet that lists the things we might need and who is donating it to us. 

I guess the plus side of having a baby at 42 is that all your friends are looking to get rid of their things!

I'm so excited. Come on July 12!


Monday, January 2, 2017

It's a Very Happy New Year!

We have a #baby coming in 2017!

Here's my public post from yesterday. It was scary to post this. It still feels like the other shoe will drop at any moment... and I am teary-eyed sharing this but it's out there in the world now and I still can't believe it.
______________________
Happy New Year! What are we most excited for in 2017? Through the gift of surrogacy and our friend L’s amazing heart, we are expecting a new Nats fan! We are still having a hard time finding the right way to describe what feels like a miracle to us. L is helping us to realize a dream come true, by carrying our child and increasing our family by one long-awaited member. We are so humbled and grateful, and cannot wait to meet our baby. And we're going to be surprised by the gender. ETA: July 12.
May your new year feel just as miraculous & abundant with love!
 ❤️








________________________

So, that's the short version. What happened in the last couple of months is this:

Mon, Oct 24 - L and I went to the transfer together and it was really the first time she and I had spend time together just the two of us. I took her to lunch and our car rides were long enough (20-30 mins each) that we had decent time to chat which was good. 

It was nice being in the transfer room with her and really knowing everything that was going on. It also felt weird to be on that side of things and just be an observer. I guess I was more than that, a supporter. 

The clinic gave us both a picture of the embryo and it was fun to see her say 'hey buddy' to it. She has a son so I think she's used to talking that way but it was nice that she personalized it and said that she'd never seen an embryo before. 

I sent the photo around of me, L and the embryo that we took and my mother in law said the same thing - she'd never seen an embryo before. This was pretty striking to me because B and I have seen soooo many of these photos by now that we are so jaded and never got attached to any of them. 

I had told L that I didn't want to see any home pregnancy tests because I didn't want to get my hopes up or whatever. I'll have to go back and look at the exact date but about a week later she texts me early in the morning and says 'are you sure you don't want to see tests?' and I just replied with 'send it over!'

I knew she wouldn't be saying that if there wasn't reason to. And I cried and cried when I saw that positive test with a nice strong second line (my second lines whenever I did have them were always faint). And I cried even more at what she wrote: 


A week later at 14 days after transfer her HCG was around 1200 and 2 days later was in the 3000s. So good!

6 Weeks
At 6 weeks, I was so nervous for the heartbeat appt and they were 45 mins late seeing us. But oh wow, I really couldn't hear anything else after I saw that heartbeat and just kept hearing them say "everything looks good", "this is exactly what we want to see", "everything is measuring right"...

Wow, oh, wow! I took a video of the heartbeat and just couldn't stop crying. We'd NEVER gotten to this point. 10 times pregnant and this never happened for us. Can you imagine? And this is 10 years into our marriage and finally. Just finally. 

They told us July 12 would be the due date.

Here it is at 6 weeks, just a white spec in the middle of the embryonic black sac attached to it and the large black oval is the uterus:


I also just had to write on their "hopeful" wall. That's what I've had in my home over the last 4 years. Their is called "believe it's possible":



Thanksgiving was that week and we got to celebrate with everyone and especially B's family who we don't get to see often. They made a big deal about it giving us meaningful cards, a beautiful baby print necklace and a frame that says Our Joy. Along with lots of gender neutral baby clothing from our niece and nephew (who are now 5 and 3). I couldn't stop crying.

Part of that is that I wasn't ready for all this celebrating. I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was still super nervous. But it was also because I wasn't used to this celebrating being for ME. For US. It was truly special. 

And they got to meet L which was so, so nice, and gave her meaningful cards and a gift which meant a lot to her too.

8 Weeks
Two weeks later we're in for the 8 week appt and still nervous, still hoping that heartbeat is there, and there it is! And this time we got to see it with our actual doctor so it was pretty emotional!


Here it is at 8 weeks, starting to look like a baby!



And at that appt, we 'graduated' from our clinic! Momentous! I even got a text from a friend who has been through this to say happy fertility clinic graduation day! Means so much!!



10 Weeks
Then the 10 week appt with L's OB was interesting. I was kinda nervous. And felt like I was going to feel weird there, an outsider maybe, but the doctor said this was the 3rd surrogate situation to come in that day!! Pretty cool! And the best part was actually HEARING the heartbeat. Oh, it was such a great sound. I got so teary-eyed. 

I had the NIPT bloodwork test rushed to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with our baby and really wanted the results before Christmas to enjoy the holidays and put my mind at ease. 

Here it is at 10 weeks with little oven mitts for hands!



And the Thursday before Christmas (2 days before), I got the results early and everything looked good. I had the ugliest cry you can imagine. Got down on the floor because I couldn't stop crying at this milestone. We're here. We've done it. We're almost at 12 weeks and everything looks GOOD. 

You can't even imagine. I got down on my knees and thanked God. 

How incredible. On Wed, we'll be at 13 weeks. 

We're having a baby!! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Here We Are... 1st FET to Our Surrogate

This is happening TOMORROW.

Man, it's taken since May when L came forward to want to do this for us, for her to go through all the screenings, the mock cycle, legal and get prepped for this moment. And it's a big one.

Such a big one that I need to remember to breathe. And go to yoga. And run. And not eat too much chocolate. :)

And I know this once may not work but I'm hopeful and anxious all at once.

It's resurfacing a lot of the old failure and loss feelings and yet I'm hopeful because it's something new we are trying.

I need all the sticky vibes, crossed fingers and toes, prayers and calmness I can muster.

But most of all, I'm grateful we are here.

Friends have reached out, family has reached out, my IM (Intended Mom) fb group is being supportive and so are my church people. I feel so loved and supported that I know it'll be ok.

Mon, Nov 7 will be the pregnancy test. Just breathe till then...