Family Life (82) Surrogacy (66) Rachael (44) So Sayith... (23) Justin (17) Jordan (16) Taylor (14) Elijah (7) Nerdness (3) Adoption (2)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Little Blueberry

As I came back to work on 12/26 the usual question floating around fellow coworkers was “How was your Christmas?”
With every question I paused and thought…do I give them the truth or just the “it was good” response everyone is expecting?

I’ve opted to be very transparent as I work through this pregnancy and surrogacy because:
1.       If anyone I know is considering this I want them to fully understand the highs and the lows so they know what they are getting themselves into

2.       This is new to me (not being pregnant, but being pregnant with somebody else’s baby) and although I am typically resistant to help I know deep down I’m going to need it

So with that being said I told everyone exactly how it went.  It sort of sucked.  I was nauseous and exhausted pretty much the whole time and although I thoroughly enjoyed watching family bond and laugh together I felt like an observer and not a participant.
I was (and am) just not myself.  Over a week with very little food (maybe 1.5 meals worth a day) and constant discomfort has left me exhausted.  My body is tired and weak from lack of nutrition.  My emotions are strained and worn.  My “spirit” is tired of “fighting”. 

I want to sleep all day so I don’t have to feel crappy.  I want to be me again.
The truth is I try to do things on my own and shoulder my own burden.  Justin and my parents are probably the only people in my life I am comfortable asking for “help” from.   And even now the guilt of the amount of work my poor husband has had to do is starting to get me down.

And still I am reminded daily about the amazing support I do have.  God has blessed me with some of the most wonderful friends.  Daily I get texts or calls or messages asking how I am doing and simply just “let me know if you need to talk”.  I’ve had people offer to feed me, clean for me, pray for me, and just listen to me mope and whine.
As I sit wallowing in this odd misery that has been this last week I just thank God that these people choose to love me and call me friend.  I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! And you will all have to forgive me for my lack of responsiveness.  Please know I appreciate all the messages I just have been too exhausted to respond.  And although I GREATLY appreciate your offers of all varieties (literally I’ve cried at some of the messages offering to clean for me or do my laundry or bring dinner for my family), for now I politely decline, because honestly…that’s just who I am.  Determined to make it work on my own (aka with Justin’s help) and unwilling to accept the fact that I could feel like crap for much longer (it has to be better next week right?)

I’m SUPER stubborn and determined to push my way through all of this.
AND now to the stuff you all really care about (I’ll stop being all super depressed-like now).

Monday’s ultrasound verified 1 baby is not growing, but the other is strong and healthy.  There are still the hormones for both babies since they are both still in there and there is a good chance I will not actually miscarry the 1 that is not growing which means the high hormones will stick around. 

My IP (intended parents) are thrilled to know they have 1 healthy baby and I sent them an email yesterday with the following information:
Today your baby girl is 7 weeks and 1 day.  She is about the size of a blueberry and this week her little arms and legs will begin to form. “



Prayer Requests:

·         Despite my lack of eating the healthy baby gets what she needs to be perfect and healthy and have no complications (I’m totally ok suffering as long as she doesn’t have to)

·         That I will miraculously wake up in 2014 completely back to normal (it could happen)

·         That Justin can handle the extra burden being placed on him and my kids can understand why mommy isn’t acting like “mommy”

Monday, December 30, 2013

Irrational Frustration

One of THE most ANNOYING commercials I have ever seen is this car commercial that is airing now.

Santa is asking 2 cars (different brands) questions. The car that is being advertised to you of course answers all of the questions with a yes.

The last question is something like "Which one of you has a starting price the same as your gas mileage".


IF they are trying to say "this is a great priced car" then they are saying "AND we have horrible gas mileage": $16,000 car means 16 MPG.

IF they are trying to say "we have great gas mileage on this car" then they are saying "AND its really expensive": 35 MPG car means it cost $35,000

Its stupid.

Somebody should be shot in the foot.

And yes...I realize I am probably overly annoyed by a commercial which doesn't change the fact that it is a stupid commercial.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Disgusting Things

This will be a list of disgusting things I’ve encountered over the last month or so.

Do NOT read this if you are weak (like me…I gag at EVERYthing)

Do NOT read this if you are under the age of 18 (content may be inappropriate for minors)
You probably do NOT want to read this if you are a dude (there will be some girl related things on here you may find inappropriate)

With the warnings in place I shall proceed.  You shall proceed at your own risk.  I WARNED YOU!
1.       When making bacon wrapped turkey you must first rub your hands all up under the turkey’s skin in order to get bacon butter in there.  It feels disgusting…literally pulling flesh from meat and rubbing your hands all up on that birds business

2.       When you are drive heaving for hours on end and something finally decides to make its way out…I could quite possibly be foamy and white.  Like somebody who is puking up bubbles after drinking a gallon of bubble bath (which I did not do).

3.       When your child cannot make it to the bathroom in time to puke in the toilet she may end up just puking on your favorite jacket that is sitting on the floor because you’ve been too sick to put anything away in a week.  I’ll never look at that jacket the same again.

4.       Crinone is a vaginal suppository taken during the surrogacy process.  After it is “absorbed” the excess comes out like thick, extra curdy, cottage cheese.

5.       After using Crinone for several days one must manually clean things out…when you do this after bleeding for several days the cottage cheese looking stuff looks brown and chunky… that is much more disgusting than #4.

6.       When your awesome husband (not sarcasm, he is awesome) is stuck taking care of ALL the housework because you are too sick to do anything some things are left un-done.  Like the week (or 2 week) old things of Tupperware unwashed sitting on my counter… mold has turned to colors I didn’t even knew existed (Hummus turns forest green – who knew)

7.       Un-done things also include cleaning out your refrigerator of old leftovers that are also now starting to change colors.

8.       When I am holding YOUR small baby and you start talking about mold I will gag and maybe puke…which WILL result in a comment from me, “I will throw up on your baby” – don’t worry… it didn’t actually happen…but we were close

9.       Sometimes while throwing up green bean casserole a green bean will get stuck in your nose…that green bean will smell and make you puke some more.

10.   While all your kids have snotty noses from a stupid cold you are more than likely to lay down on the couch only to find your cheek and/or ear in a pile of snot that has been left on YOUR pillow

11.   To a 3 year old it makes perfect since to poop than use your finger as a pre-wipe (you know…to see if you actually need to wipe???) and then sniff your finger

12.   After not being about to eat for a week deciding to make in-n-out your first real meal may sound like a great brilliant idea… however, when you wake up at 12:13 AM to severe cramps and explosive diarrhea don’t be surprised…

13.   Occasionally after a rear end injection the injection site will leak medication and/or blood.  This has resulted in most of my undergarments having polka-dotted stains on the butt

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Once There Was 2

There are so many fun and cool things I want to share with you guys, but honestly I don't have the energy or time right now so I figure this is probably what you guys want to know about most. 

I went home early from work on Friday just feeling sort of icky.  I had been feeling pretty nauseas for 2 days at that point, but still able to eat.  My last “meal” was Friday night and I had to force myself to eat.

By the time I woke up on Saturday I felt miserable.  I was severely nauseous and couldn’t manage to eat much of anything.  I was able to force feed myself a few things gagging and chocking on every bite as I made myself swallow.  Fun… 

Luckily I didn’t actually throw up any of the food I managed to get down me.  Taylor came down with the flu that night so I stayed home with her on Sunday. 

By then she was feeling back to normal, but I still could not get myself to really eat.  Justin brought me home a smoothie which I hoped would help.  It did not.  

At this point I began to worry.  It had been 2 days of dry heaving and very little food.  That couldn’t be good for the baby(ies).  I called in sick on Monday and called the doctor to see if they could prescribe anything for the nausea (I got Zofran…and it’s not really helping).  Shortly after talking to a nurse (who was going to check on prescription) I began to bleed.  More than “spotting” which raised a red flag for me. 

I called the doctor back and they scheduled an appointment for me on Monday afternoon.

We did an early ultrasound and found this: 

That is a picture of 2 babies.  The doctor told me that was most likely the cause of my severe nausea.  He began to look at the babies more closely. 

Baby 1:  She was the correct size for where I was in my pregnancy with a strong heartbeat and seemed to be doing ok despite my lack of food. 

Baby 2: She was smaller than baby 1 which is “possible” with IVF (implant on different days), but not that common or likely.  She did not have a heartbeat. Which could be because she was just not as far along as baby 1, but again, not likely.  The most likely scenario was that I was/am miscarrying baby 2, but this is not a for sure thing.   

I have another ultra sound on Monday 12/30 to see for sure what is going on with the babies.

In the meantime I have still been rather miserable.

Prayer Requests:

·         That the nausea subsides so I can function like a normal person (I haven’t been able to do ANYthing since Friday)

·         That Baby 1 stays safe regardless of what is going on with Baby 2

·         That if I am miscarrying Baby 2 that my body does what it needs to do quickly and if I am not miscarrying Baby 2 that my body gets the right nutrients to the baby ASAP.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Surrogacy FAQ

Why/How did you decide to be a surrogate?
Justin and I are done having babies (our kids are CRAZY) and 3 is more than we can handle…seriously…crazy.  I looked into doing egg donation and decided that I couldn’t do it.  Then a good Christian friend of ours started the surrogacy thing and so I looked into it and Justin and I decided that it would be an amazing opportunity.  We could bless a family that has gone through some horrible issues.  We could use this blessing to be an example of Christ to this couple and show them the love of Jesus in a very unique way.  And the compensation would be a good boost for our family to get us out of where we are now (it super sucks).

How do Justin and the kids feel about it?
Justin helped me make the decision and he was involved in picking the couple as well.  I’m not a horrible pregnant person (although very tired and lazy, but let’s be honest…that’s not too much different) and my labors and recoveries have been pretty quick.  The kids are excited.  They understand that this baby belongs to another mommy and daddy that can’t have their own babies.  They understand that I am taking care of the babies for the next few months to help them grow and then we are giving the baby back to their real mommy and daddy.  EX: It’s like when we babysit Sophie.  She stays with us for a little bit, but then we have to give her back to Mrs. Kim and Mr. Matt.

How exactly do you get pregnant (translated who’s baby is it really??)?
The Intended Mother had her eggs extracted and the Intended Father gave his “sample”.   Then that “sample” was introduced to those eggs and some of those eggs became fertilized.  All the fertilized eggs (in my opinion babies) were frozen for future use.  Once the IP (intended parents) found me and we met and we all agreed we wanted to work with each other 2 of those babies were unfrozen and carefully implanted in my uterus.  In the most recent surrogacy the IP only have 1 embryo so only 1 will be transfered.

Who are the parents?
First Parents: Because of my contract I am unable to provide you with the details (for their privacy obviously).  I can tell you that they are a married heterosexual couple that has tried to have their own babies.  They have lost several babies because of a medical condition of somebody involved.  They are a Chinese couple and are actually not here currently.  They are not Christian but desperately wanted a Christian surrogate and because they have chosen me they have begun praying “to my God” for me and the baby (babies) which I think is a great step in the right direction.

Second Parents: They are a married heterosexual couple that has 2 kids of their own.  There were problems with the last pregnancy so they cannot have any more of their own.  They are a Chinese family and do not live in the US.  They are not Christian but desire a very large family.

Third Parents: They are a married heterosexual couple with no kids of their own.  They have tried to conceive and been unsuccessful (they think it is due to stress/health).  They are a Chinese family and do not live in the US, but travel here frequently.  They are not Christian but have such an amazing passion to grow their family.

How can you give the babies up after carrying them and giving birth to them?
I have no doubt in my mind it will be emotional.  I have no doubt in my mind it will be rough.  But I do know these babies are not mine.  They are biologically 100% my IP’s babies.  All I do for them is give them the vitamins they need to grow and the womb to do the growing.  I remind myself of this reality daily.  And although I am excited as I hear news about the pregnancy it is different.  I’m excited for my IP.  Everything in me wants to scream and dance and tell the IP the good news.  THEIR dream is coming true.  THEIR babies are growing.  THEIR family is expanding.  And that is a joy that is very unique and so much different than the joy of carrying my own babies.  It is that joy that drives me to do this again (and now again).

How much are you getting paid?
How rude?! :) But really it’s not all about the money so that is really not that relevant.  I can tell you it’s enough and fair compensation to cover all the time, food, traveling, medications, etc that will be needed over the next few months.  I can also tell you that since it is "not about the money" the money primarily goes towards 2 things - Tithe/Donations and Saving for a Home

Wait, you are doing this for somebody you don’t even know?
Yes.  I am working with an agency.  The agency asks lots of questions to the surrogates and the IPs. 

First Parents: In my case my IP saw my answers and decided we probably weren’t a good fit.  Then they saw a picture of Jordan and her smile won them over.  They asked to meet me.  Justin and I got to see the answer to the IPs questions and decided if we wanted to meet them.  And I did (Justin couldn’t make it).  We talked and asked each other more questions to try and decided if we would work together.  We both agreed it was a good match (after a month or so of thinking, praying, asking friends, reading information, etc).  At any point until the day the babies are implanted either of us could back out of this agreement at any time for any reason whatsoever.  So although I don’t “know” them I have met them, talked to them, and asked them important questions.

Second Parents: I got their information a few days after telling the agency I was clear to do it again.  I met them late one night before they left back to their home country.  Justin couldn't be there because of how late the meeting was and we needed to get the kids in bed.  I told Justin everything we talked about.  I asked some "tough" questions and they were ok with what I wanted.  In the end we decided they were a good fit.

Third Parents: We met them at the agency office and Justin and I just loved them!  They were fun, sincere, and eager to have a baby of their own.  We both left the meeting feeling excited about the potential to work with them.  They seem to "fit" well with us and they met all of our crazy requirements for what family we wanted to work with.  Because of the complications during the last surrogacy we were a lot more restrictive this time.  We are lucky to have a family that meets the criteria AND we get along great with.

If your couple is from China what happens if you have twins? They can only have 1 baby in China, right?
I have made very clear reduction is not an option (removing 1 or more baby to reduce the number of babies in the womb).  This couple is also very opposed to reduction.  From what I understand since the babies are US citizens they do not count against the 1 child policy.

What does the Bible say about surrogacy? 
Well, that is hard to say because there is not a direct reference to surrogacy. There are stories that could be interpreted as surrogacy, but it is probably a stretch AND in those cases they aren’t really the same type of surrogacy this is. You can easily google it and find articles that are pro surrogacy and articles that are against it (make sure you are looking at reputable sources!). Since Justin and I have spent the time to talk through this with people (people we know and trust) and pray about it and landed that it is morally sound. There are decisions that can be made along the way that could make this sinful! Justin and I must ensure we are making all the right choices and basing all of our decisions off of biblical truths, laws, and principles. If at any point we learn are given sound biblical proof that this is not morally sound we would immediately stop (note: if I’m already pregnant I will have the baby then not do it again).  If you want to discuss any of this further or have a problem with what I’m saying let’s talk separately. 

You're doing this again?!
Because we have found this to be morally sound.  Because this is an amazing opportunity to minister in a very unique way to a family who does not know HIM (Christ).  Because the experience was incredible the first time.  Then, WHY NOT?  If all the same is true after this we’ll probably do it again.  I’m not using it, so why not use it to help others?
If you have any more questions you’d like answered please let me know!  I hope this answers some questions you may have already had as well.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Citizenship and Angry Veins

I had yet another blood draw today.  For some reason my veins were not a fan of this and my blood was barely dripping which made for a long process with several pokes on several veins.
Before you go assuming the nurse didn’t know what she was doing or something please know she is the same nurse that always does it and she is fabulous and we’ve never had this problem before.  I love Dr. L’s whole office and staff (and yes I just got defensive).
Sometime between poke 1 and poke 2 I heard a familiar voice and was excited to see JZ (the translator) who was there with another couple.  I said hi as he passed in the hall and he stopped in to say hi and read me a super sweet email from my IP (intended parents).  I really do love my IP.
I have had several people ask me recently about the citizenship of the baby (babies) and to be honest I’m exactly sure how it will work.  Although biologically the babies are 100% the Intended Mom and Intended Father I’m not sure how that works.  I do know sometime before the birth there is something done that gives the IP legal parental rights to their baby.
So since it is all theirs AND they are considered the legal parents my guess is the babies will be Chinese citizens, but that is purely a guess.
For those of you that do not know my IP are from China (born and raised).  Which is one of the exciting parts about this pregnancy to begin with…I get to deliver a Chinese baby!
And just a general update on the pregnancy…
My HCG levels are now at 19,000! That’s a massive jump from last week which is great news.  I have an ultrasound scheduled for 12/27 to hear the little (and rapid) heartbeat(s) for the first time and hopefully get to see how many little ones I have in there.
Also coming sometime this week (or maybe early next) I have a surrogacy FAQ I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks.  All of the questions (well most of the questions) I’ve been asked by people over last few weeks, usually by several different people.  So if you have anything you want to know or questions you’ve been dying to ask please let me know and I’ll be happy to respond!

Monday, December 16, 2013

HCG, Injections, and Thyroid Hormones

So on Wednesday last week I got the confirmation that at least one of the embryos implanted decided to stick around. 

My HCG levels were at 968.
The doctor also noticed my Thyroid Hormone levels were sort of high (2.7) and wanted to get them lowered so I started taking some medication that I can’t remember the name of right now.
The worst part about this medication is I have to take it as soon as I wake up with only water and I can’t eat for an hour after I take it.  Hello pregnant woman…you know what makes morning sickness better? Eating something in the morning.  You know what you aren’t allowed to do? Eat something in the morning.
Then on Friday I had my blood drawn again and found out my HCG levels were up to 1962.  They are going up and that’s a good thing.
So it seems like the baby (or babies) are doing fine. Yay
I have another blood test this Wednesday to again check my HCG levels and make sure they keep increasing.
GOOD NEWS: I am now doing the Crinone twice a day (progesterone in a non-injection form) so I don’t have to do the progesterone injections anymore!  Now I only do the estrogen injections every 3 days.  YAY!
Prayer Requests:

·         Perfect and healthy baby (babies)

·         Rest for me (I’m exhausted)

·         Nausea (that it stays manageable)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Results Are In

I got a call from Dr. L’s office with the results of the blood work.
I’m a little bummed that the injections need to continue until Friday when I have a 2nd blood test.
But I’m VERY excited that my hcg levels are high because there’s a baby in my belly!!!!
YAY Baby!!!
I’m a little bummed I won’t get the chance to hear my IP (intended parents) react, but I’m thrilled that they will wake up in China today with a message from translator with the good news!
What next?
PRAY PRAY PRAY for perfect healthy babies (or baby).
And selfishly pray that early pregnancy treats me well.
And that the Dr. approves me switching my medication so I can do less injections (I’ll know Friday).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1 Day To Go

I figured with only 1 day to go that my 1 thing should be to tell you what I feel like tomorrow will be.  I’ve been on all these hormones for a few weeks now and the problem is the possible side effects of the hormones are the same as early pregnancy or the same as somebody who is about to start her period.

So here is a list of things that one may experience during early pregnancy and info about when and if I’ve experienced them.  I’ll let you make your guess before I announce the actual results tomorrow:
DISCLAIMER: This may be TMI for some of you so you may not want to read this post.  I warned you.
·         Spotting and/or Cramping: I had some of this a day or two after the embryo transfer.

·         Tender and/or Swollen Knockers: I woke up this morning and I felt like I got punched in the boob.  Maybe I did (it wouldn’t be the first time Justin elbowed me in his sleep).

·         Fatigue: Since I started the injections

·         Nausea: Off and on since I started the injections

·         Frequent Urination: Since I started the injections

·         Constipation: Off and on since I started the parental vitamins

·         Mood Swings: A few here and there since I started the injections

·         Headaches: A ton right after I started the injections, none since then

·         Elevated Temperature: I don’t check it so who knows

·         Super Smell: Nope
So really all that to say it’s just too hard to tell since my body is being pumped full of hormones right now.  I can tell you the painful chest is new and that in my first 3 pregnancies was my indicator I was knocked up.  I’ve never experienced that side effect outside of pregnancy, but again…it could just be the hormones.

Monday, December 9, 2013

2 Days To Go

1.       I’m fighting every urge in me to take a home pregnancy test.  And the only reason I haven’t is because I gave somebody the extra one I had at home and I’m too cheap to go buy another one.

2.       5 days until HoliDavis.  This year I had a lot of “points” saved up so we have $55 in gift cards (that I got for free!!) to give away as part of the gift unwrapping game this year.  I like to give things away.

3 Days To Go

1.       Next time I’m a surrogate (if this one goes well) I really hope my first trimester is during the summer… the cold makes the medication form lumps and my rear hurts.  I also have the blackest bruise I’ve ever seen on one side that takes up most of the injectionable area so all my shots are currently on one side unless I want Justin to inject into a bruise.  That does not sound fun.

2.       Christmas stockings are for wearing on your feet and sliding across the kitchen floor.  Said.No.Mom.Ever.  My kids disagree.

3.       If Jordan gets caught sneaking a cup of water to bed her first reaction is to drop the cup and run… yes, that happened.

4 Days To Go

1.       When your mom convinces you to buy a 7 foot tree (which is stunning and perfect) instead of a 6 foot tree it is good to remember that the Christmas tree stand you own only holds up a 6 foot tree.  If you forget this then you will see your whole decorated tree topple over and need to redecorate your whole tree.

2.       I really like making my bazillion batches of Christmas cookies every year.  I hope they actually taste good and people aren’t just being nice and pretending.  I want you to enjoy eating them as much as I enjoy baking them.

3.       Christmas Tree trimmings and a rain boots make for hours of entertainment (and cleanup).  The kids made mini Christmas trees with the cut off branches by shoving them in their rain boots, decorating them, and placing them around the house on tables.

4.       In order to decorate the aforementioned mini Christmas Trees the kids first removed several (like 30) ornaments from the actual Christmas Tree… so we got to decorate our tree a 3rd time…all in 1 day.

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Days To Go

1.       In case you were wondering.  Staring at a needle for almost an hour telling yourself “you can do this” does not mean that you can in fact “do this”.  Thank the Lord for Justin and his willingness to do it for me.

2.       When something really hurts my initial response is “Holy Monkey!”... I have no idea why this is my go-to exclamation of choice

3.       Stephanie makes the BEST almond roca.  It melts in your mouth and makes your mouth very happy. 

4.       After getting home from Disneyland last night Elijah asked if he could sleep on the couch.  I told him no he had to get in his bed.  I went to the bathroom and came back out to see him cuddled up on the couch with my blanket totally knocked out.  He’s lucky he’s so stinkin’ cute

5.       Jordan is scared of the dark so she typically sleeps at the foot of her bed (as close to her door as possible) to be closer to the light.  Apparently when Justin tried to move her last night to make her more comfortable she growled at him and moved right back to her spot.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

6 Days To Go

1.       HoliDavis is coming and that makes my heart VERY happy.

2.       I had a coworker several years ago that thought little baby butts were super adorable (I mean seriously they are)…so I thought it was a good idea to google “Baby Butts” while at work to send her a cute pic…the results were butts alright…but not the butts of the type of “baby” I meant.  I’m surprised I didn’t get fired.

3.       In theme with #2(pun not intended) I think it’s the cutest thing to see Elijah’s little bottom in the morning as he stands like a big boy to pee.  He’s so grown up.

4.       I can’t stop eating.  Like I am pretty sure I have not felt “full” in like a week.  I also can’t stop peeing.  So much food.  So much Pee.  And I know those things are not related.

5.       FYI this will be WAY to much information for some of you so skip over it if you don’t want to hear about my bodily functions.  When I get nervous my belly gets upset.  When my belly gets upset I usually need to poop.  Every night as I prep my needle and stare at that 1 ½ inch long needle (or needles) I get nervous…and always have to go to the bathroom right before my injection.

6.       90% of the time I sit while I shower.  Not because I’m lazy (well maybe because I’m lazy), but I just like to sit there for a few minutes and let the water hit my back…its relaxing.  Like a mini massage of deliciously hot water.  And if I’m sitting I feel that more water is hitting a larger area of my body.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

7 Days To Go

Here are my ramblings for today with 7 days until I get the news.

1.       Every muscle in my body aches.  Well not every, but my arms and legs (and of course butt) ache.  Like I had an intense workout.  They’ve been hurting for 2 days now ::sigh::

2.       The proper way to eat a grape tomato is to first squeeze it.  If it is nice and firm toss it in your mouth and bite it quickly so it pops (hint…I’m eating tomatoes right now).  If it’s not firm gag after you squeeze it and throw it in the trash.

3.       A great cup of water is made when you pour super-hot water over a cup of ice.  It tastes better that way…I swear.

4.       Elijah occasionally wakes up naked after going to be clothed.  This usually happens because he wakes up to pee in the middle of the night and drops his pants somewhere along the way…and just never picks them back up.

5.       Taylor lost another tooth (that makes 6…I think?).  She lost it while sitting on the couch and began flipping out and screaming that it just fell out on the couch.  I’m not sure if she was freaking out because this was the first tooth she lost that literally just fell out without pulling on it, or if when it fell out it landed on the couch somewhere.  It’s Taylor…so probably both.

6.       I think it’s odd to take your pants completely off while you poop… Justin (and Sam) think this is mandatory…Elijah is learning from his father ::sigh::

7.       Today during worship practice I nearly puked like 3 times.  Hopefully it’s a sign (or at least just the extra hormones from the injections) and not the beginnings of the flu (coupled with #1)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

8 Days To Go

I have decided.
I have decided that as we count down the days until the pregnancy test I will provide you with random lists of things to correspond with the days we have left.  They will not (or may not) relate to the surrogacy in any way and really will just be random things.

I like random things.
You should too.

1. Nachos are one of my favorite foods in life.  Like the fake cheese kind you get at a snack bar loaded with jalapeños.
2. My right butt check is much less tolerant of pain than my left side.
3. My kitchen floor gets cleaned like once a month…usually right before company comes over…and usually only if the company has kids.

4. Apparently Jordan drew X's all over Elijah yesterday (I say it’s her planned incision places - See #8). At least told Justin that she put the marker away when she was considerate?

5. I had 2 people today tell me my face looked swollen…a good sign? Or I just ate a WHOLE LOTTA turkey and potatoes this weekend while on bed rest.

6. When I get my blood drawn I ask for a butterfly needle because I’m a wuss…I wasn’t always this way.  Only since the one time I was getting my blood drawn and my mom saw the needle and passed out and fell on me and knocked me unconscious with a concussion.

7. In Justin’s sleep last night he woke up giggling like a little girl and saying “Tenchi’s got a girlfriend” over and over and over again.  First of all I haven’t heard that name in ages (WoW peeps should know) and secondly I wasn’t aware my husband would be so excited about Tenchi’s love life.

8. Jordan really likes to watch Justin give me my injections.  I’d like to think it’s because she wants to grow up to be a doctor.  But let’s be honest… its Jordan so she is probably just really excited to watch somebody be stabbed with a sharp object. (If I didn’t think hashtags were stupid I’d put one here about the evil behind that cute smile of hers)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Now We Wait

So on Friday, November 29th around 12:15, 2 embryos (6 days “old”) were placed in my prepped womb.

These 2 embryos have been genetically screened for testable genetic disorders and gender.  So I know they were 2 “healthy” little girls (and yes, I use the word “healthy” very loosely because there is so much more that could be considered non-healthy). 
It’s amazing what doctors can do now!
The procedure itself was quick and easy with nothing more than a slight pinch of discomfort and took about 5 minutes.  Jessica (an amazing person and great friend by the way) was my ride to the doctor and my support and company for the procedure.
I was supposed to take valium to “relax” myself during the procedure, but I forgot it at home (shh don’t tell).  I’m glad I did though; because I didn’t want to be drugged and it ends up I didn’t need to be drugged anyway.  As I watched those embryos get dropped off on the ultrasound screen and heard “How does it feel to be pregnant with twins in this moment” I was just amazed.  I instantly prayed for those little girls and whatever journey was ahead of us.
The bed rest was the worst part.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, getting taken care of for a few days is nice.   But there is something about NOT being able to get up that makes it worse.  Seeing Justin frustrated because he’s trying to do 5 things at once and I can’t get up to even pour my kid a glass of water sort of sucks.  But my hubby is a champ and took care of all 4 of us the whole weekend and even managed to keep our house some-what orderly.
The most stressful part ever was going to the bathroom….I know that sounds odd, but if can just imagine that you know you have 2 babies floating around your insides trying to find a place to attach and here you are sitting over a toilet and thinking…don’t fall out!
It’s not really possible for them to “fall out”, but it doesn’t mean you don’t still freak out.  I read somewhere that the uterus is like a deflated balloon which makes it difficult for anything to get out, but still… STRESSFUL.

On Saturday night the Translator (we’ll call him JZ) stopped by with some goodies from the IP as a thank you and “thinking of you” sort of thing.  I loved that there was even a book set for the kids (and a roasted duck, dried fruit gift basket and HUGE box of Danish Butter Cookies)!  I love my IP and I love working with JZ.

I had some minor cramping and spotting on Friday about an hour after the procedure and then some minor cramping again early Saturday morning.  I checked out some surrogacy information online and found that this was “normal” and could mean:

1.       Nothing: they just stuck a catheter into my uterus of course there is some minor bleeding and cramping.
2.       Not Pregnant: early signs of an upcoming menstrual cycle
3.       Pregnant: the embryo(s) attached causing slight cramping and the burrowing into the uterine lining causing slight spotting
So really…it all means nothing ::sigh::
My pregnancy test is on December 11th at 11:00 AM.  I can’t take a home pregnancy test for a head start since I am doing HCG injections which is what the home test would test for anyway.

So for now I continue my nightly injections and assume and hope and pray that I’m pregnant.

Prayer Requests:

·         That the pregnancy sticks
·         That if it is Twins I can carry them well so I don’t need to take extra time off work or cause any health concerns
·         The baby(ies) grow well and healthy
·         I can keep my stress levels down and my energy up
·         That I can be a reflection of Christ to my IP

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Need A Bigger Butt

So in about 4 days (give or take a few hours) I’ll be having the IVF transfer.  I’m super excited! 
I don’t feel nervous and that, to some people, has appeared as odd.  The more people ask me if I’m nervous and then respond “are you sure?” when I tell them I am fine make me question my calmness.
Maybe my calm is just being naïve?  Deep down I assume that everything is going to go perfectly this first time.  When in reality that just isn’t true.  Here is some info I found online (who knows if its legit):
  1. You have a really good chance of success with a surrogate or carrier. If you go this route, you will probably be able to bring home a baby within 14 to 18 months.
  2. Over half of all gestational carriers get pregnant after the first IVF attempt. Those that need a second or third attempt are almost always successful as well.
  3. If you choose a gestational carrier, don’t be surprised to bring home twin babies. Almost half of all gestational carriers give birth to multiples.
  4. Surrogacy may sound appealing, but it is not cheap. If you want to save money, you can manage the surrogacy arrangement on your own, but it will still cost you about $50,000. If you choose to let a large agency walk you through the process, step-by-step, it can cost you up to $120,000.

In reality there is the chance that this wont stick.  Some of the risk was reduced because they've done genetic screening, but because there are frozen embryos that can also decrease the odds. I prefer to think I’m an optimist and that I’m not ignoring the odds, but hoping for the best.

But hope isn’t what is going to make this all work.  But I’ll keep hoping (and sort of assuming) that this will all work out great the first time.
Knowing in the back of my mind that it doesn’t always work that way, but a calm and excited surrogate has to be better than a stressed one.
One of the reasons I even began this journey is because I have a friend that is working through this process too.  She is a strong and awesome woman and today she will find out if her first attempt worked.  So I’m sure she’d love some of your prayers.  If all goes well we’ll be about 2 weeks apart.
And for another topic my rump is painfully sore.  Like I did 500 squats and my muscle is trying to rip itself off my body.
That’s grand.
It’s not Justin’s jabbing skills (seriously he’s awesome), but the massive amount of medication my butt muscles are making room for…that’s my best (unprofessional) guess.  I also think (my unprofessional opinion) that a girl my size should be taking less medication right? I mean I’m tiny, there’s not a whole lot of me to medicate…
Do you think I could make that case with the doctor?

Prayer requests:
·         Tonight is my first double shot (one on each side) and for the first time I’ll be getting an injection on a side that is still sore from an earlier one.

·         My friend gets good news today.  And if not a peace for her and her IP so they can move forward.

·         That, again, the little girls I will be getting transferred on Friday will stick this first time AND

·         They will be perfect, healthy baby girls

·         Through all of this I can minister to my IP and show them my Savior’s love and compassion