Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Feeling Jaded

As though 9 years of trying to conceive wouldn't get you out of feeling jaded...

But I had. My little miracle, D, is here through surrogacy. It happened on our first embryo transfer and he's 15 months now and amazing. I got my first unprompted hug from him on Sunday and unprompted kiss from him on Monday. What could be better!

And here we were going for baby #2.

And I had worked so hard in these last months as the anxiety started to grow again with putting up a wall between what happened to me and what happened with us with surrogacy.

Big wall.

And it worked. I felt hopeful. I even felt naive!

When N sent us the pic of her positive pregnancy test, I thought, wow, this really does work! We're going to be parents again! I got lost in the innocence of how "normal" people experience a pregnancy. With utter joy and no/little thoughts of the what if's.

It felt so good too. To just feel pure joy. Without all the baggage.

But a week later the baggage was back... with N bleeding at 5 weeks and then the doctor's telling her there was still hope and then no heartbeat at 6 weeks.

So, I'm feeling jaded. I'm having a hard time gearing up for cycle #2 to be a hopeful one. And I'm already a little ahead of myself thinking that if it doesn't work, do I have it in me to find another surrogate and go through all of this again? (And not just this part "it" but the whole vetting process "it" that takes 6ish months and so, so many steps).

B and I have had many conversations about this last cycle. I've gone back to therapy about this last cycle.

My innocence has been stripped and that's just the way it is. Yes, I'll be more jaded going into this next cycle. And I'll have to detach from it a bit. And that's ok. It's about self-protection. I wish it didn't have to be this way.

Onwards with my shield of armor... and lots of love inside for a new little one.

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.

  • 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.