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Monday, April 30, 2012

Can you say hormonal...

Ugh....I am so ├╝ber sensitive today and I just want to cry really ... I totally know it is the hormones messing with my system and double that up with my monthly cycle and you have a complete mess at hand.

It has been just been a tough day and I feel like I just have not gotten enough done!

My micro quiz went so so ~ I got 9/10 which is good ... but I really thought I knew all the answers.  Guess not!  Midterm is Friday ... so it is cram time between now and then.

My oldest dear son is struggling with some school work.  If you ask him, "it has all been turned in" ... but according to an email I received from his teacher this evening well ... not so much :-(  I hate grounding him ... but the kid will not do his work .. what to do what to.

I also received an email today that was clearly not meant for my eyes.  It made me a little sad ~ not really anything bad or unpleasant but still made me sad ... again I blame it on the hormones.

To top it all off, our kitchen sink is clogged, the garbage disposal is leaking and a lovely puddle found a home in my kitchen cabinet below the sink ... ugh!  The warranty on the disposal is out so between running kids to school, studying, doing laundry, getting groceries, and going to class ... I needed to also make a trip to Home Depot for a new disposal.  It has been purchased and is just awaiting the plumber, who will hopefully arrive bright and early tomorrow morning to rescue us all from the stinky mess of water backing up into the sink. 

While at the grocery store, I totally realized that Mother's Day is right around the corner and this year it falls on the 13th ... yep you got it, another pinch on the heart strings.  Mental note, gotta get all my cards written to some very special mothers I know. 

Anyway, needless to say that I am exhausted ... tonight was pizza night for sure .... and I totally deserved the chocolate dunkers that came along!  Now off bed ... good nite.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Almost done with doxy...

I have just 3 more days to go on my first round of doxycycline....yeah almost there!  I also finished up my birth control pills Friday night, so that is also one less thing to worry too.  My menstrual cycle started today and hopefully this will be the last one in a loooong time.  Come on baby making :-)

Taking microbiology during this round of IVF treatments has been rather interesting.  Certainly I have research and read about the various medications used for reproductive purposes before but never to the extent that I am now.  We are currently discussing antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, among other things in class, and I find it really interesting to actually be able to understand better how these things work chemically within the body....interesting stuff.

I am loving the micro class - I find it extremely interesting.  My midterm is coming up on Friday ... and I am trying to cram lots of study time in as I really want to do well.  The kids on the other hand can't wait until I am done with the class - they think I have become obsessed (ok ok more obsessed than before) with them washing their hands before touching everything in the kitchen and really around the house .....You know what, studying microbiology will make any parent more obsessed with cleanliness ~ I dare you to try it!  You will then understand what I am talking about, the comments "but mom I only touched one frog" while coming in from the yard ... or "but I only wiped my nose" while coming out from the bathroom" will make you cry out the standard answer ---- WASH YOUR HANDS before touching anything!!!

...now off to wash my hands ~ as I am sure that if I cultured my computer keyboard I would be thoroughly disgusted at what might lurk there!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Grey's Anatomy

I love this show and have been a big fan since the series started....but tonight's episode left me feeling .. hmmm .. well really like I just received a punch to the gut.  Part of the story line tonight involved a baby in the NICU - this story line has been developing for a while - but the end of it came tonight and it made me cry....dang TV!

The baby died of NEC ... it was like watching a train wreck ... I know I should have looked away - turned off the TV and gone to bed.  But I had to watch.  I know the show is just a depiction of life - but geez tonight's episode felt so real.  A rush of emotions flooded over me as I watched the scenes unfold and listened to the words that came along... it felt like dejavu.

While I was not at the hospital during the final hours for little J, I can imagine the angst and sadness my IP's felt watching their sweet little one battle against something that was so much stronger than him.

I hope our sweet guardian angel J is somewhere out there watching over his twinkie brother.

Abstinence...

I chuckle a bit every time I look at my cycle calendar.  Today is day 4 of my med cycle and tomorrow will be last day of birth control pills.  This also means that abstinence will begin starting tomorrow and continue through the day of beta draw.   The word ABSTINENCE is noticeably marked on the calendar ... and this is not something you want to miss the date on as a surrogate...getting pregnant for yourself when you are trying to have a baby for someone else.  BIG no no!!!

Well I have the super easy recipe for abstinence ~ just have a hubby that is working in a state a few thousand miles away!  Easy peasy .. here I am happily abstaining - no problem!!!  

Day 4 of meds and we are cruising along.  The doxycycline was kicking my butt the first two days ... nausea and a bit of a blah feeling.  Yesterday was much better ... other than being a little extra sleepy, I am doing good so far.


Monday, April 23, 2012

One down ~ many to go...

..and so it has officially begun.  Day 1 of our protocol has been carried out successfully.  The Lupron injection went well ... the doxy on the other hand, is going to get me!  Nausea is slowly setting in and I am pretty sure that an early bedtime will be in the cards for me for the next 10 days to combat the icky feeling.  Doxy always have this effect on me so it is not unexpected.  As for the Lupron, with my first surrogacy I got lots of headaches but none of significance with the second, so hopefully the third will be all good too.

 ... 9 more days of doxy .... I can do it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let's freak out...

Ok well maybe it's only me ... but still I am just going to have a little personal freak out so bear with me.

Reality check; am I really getting ready to voluntarily poke myself with tons of needles????  Even the really freaking long intra-muscular needles???  Well ... the answer is YES!!!

We start Lupron tomorrow - and that is only the warm up as far as needles go.  The Lupron needles are small and the injection goes in my belly; the big injections will be coming up soon enough and they will be planted right about the top of my derrier...and hopefully they will continue for far longer than the Lupron cycle, because that would mean our transfer was successful.

Needles and all .. I am utterly excited and a bit nervous too of course.  These injections are all for a very very good reason ... stick one ~ bring it on!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun day...

I had such a great day on Tuesday ... a lot of fun in the Californian sun :-)

I got up really early (and I mean really early .. like 3AM early) jumped in the shower and set everything out for the kiddos to get ready for school.  Then I headed off to the airport. 

I got to spend the day with A&S and their son.  I have really been looking forward to my visit and it was good to finally meet them in person.  Flying out to meet someone you have never met before is huge and a little bit nerve-wrecking ... what if we could not stand each other...or what if our chemistry in person was not good ~ luckily neither was the case.  As soon as I saw A in the airport - my worries just melted away.  She is exactly as sweet as I knew she would be and S and L are awesome as well.

We had a fun day both out and about and also just hanging out at home - they were so welcoming and sweet.  It was really nice spending time together and I truly appreciate getting to know them all better.  I never felt uncomfortable or awkward visiting with them - we have shared so much of our lives via email in the last couple of years, that it was almost like visiting someone you have not seen in a really really long time. 

With this meeting, we are embracing a brand new chapter in our friendship and the beginning of a very exciting journey.  I feel like we are a great fit to be doing this together.

Surrogacy is a beautiful thing.  Through surrogacy I have met some incredible people ... this includes A&S (and L) and I am really thankful for the beautiful day spent with all of them. 




Picked up my medications...

Let me tell you, it is one big bag!!!

So many things go into an IVF cycle, lots of advance preparations and lots of medications.  Are there risks with these medications - Yes.  But to me the risks are worth it.  Anything we do in life carries risk and this is a calculated risk that I am willing to take on.

My "goodie" bag contained all of the following...it is almost like Christmas in April!

Lupron, Aspirin, prenatal vitamins, delestrogen, progesterone, endometrin, doxycycline, medrol.... wow that is quite a bit.  Each and everyone of these present an important component of my IVF protocol. 

We are excited to get started...Lupron, prenatals and doxy are up first on the menu starting early next week.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy...

It truly warms my heart when I see an email ping in from some of my favorite people!  I recently got pictures, a CUTE video, and email updates from M&M ... it is so great to be allowed to catch little glimpses into their lives.

The twiblings are getting so big.  They are both totally blond and such little cuties....listening to their little giggles is just great.


Friday, April 13, 2012

It is Friday the 13th...



It is Friday the 13th again!!  11 months ago I was sent via ambulance transport to the high risk ob unit at Legacy Emanuel in Portland....such a heartbreaking day.  The 13th of each month is a little bitter sweet and even more so when it again lands on a Friday.

But today the sun is shining and I actually feel really great.  I am sad that I hear nothing about little N but I am somewhat at peace with that...and have chosen to be hopeful that someday maybe I will.

Many things feel like they are moving in the right direction and I just feel very positive about where my life is taking me right now.  The kids are all doing well ... they are happy to be back home - they are surrounded by friends and I love seeing their happy faces coming running off the school bus, to barely say hello before a row of friends are at the door ready to play.  We are truly blessed with a wonderful neighborhood and great kids around us.

Rio accepted a job in Portland this week and we will now be planning for his transition to come back in this direction.  We are all very excited about that.  The last few years after graduating from PA school has been hectic for him ... the job market on the coast was not the greatest and it took him (and us) on an adventure back to the mid-west for a short period of time.  Truly the setting was not right for us ... and being back "home" in Oregon makes me happy and the fact that Rio is now coming back too - just makes me feel that this is where we are meant to be ....ok ok at least for now ;-)

I feel much clarity in my life with respect to taking a new career direction as well.  Giving up school and the spot in the nursing program in Peoria was hard ... but I am back at it and new opportunities will come along.  There are two accelerated nursing programs in Portland that I am looking at and I feel certain that it will fall into place when time is right.  I feel strongly about pursuing nursing school - it will happen.. it may take some time but it will happen.

On the surrogacy front things are really good too.  I am excited about my trip to see A&S next week ... everything is falling into place nicely.  We are pleased at how it is all moving forward and truly we are letting faith plot the course.  I feel strongly that I am doing the right thing in helping them in trying to reach a dream.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holy moly - we have an official calendar...

I received my official cycle calendar today and we are on target to transfer on Wednesday May 30th.

I am currently already on birth control and prenatal vitamins so that part is easy enough to continue.  Then beginning on April 23 we start to add on the fun!

April 23 - start Lupron injections, aspirin regiment...and the evil evil Doxycycline
April 27 - last day of birth control pills
May 3    - estrodial blood draw
May 7    - start delestrogen injections
May 17  - lining check ultrasound and blood work
May 24  - start progesterone injections
May 25  - blood work; Doxy again and Medrol (yuck and yuck!)
May 30  - transfer day ... woohoo!!!
June 9    - first beta
June 11  - second beta

Since Rio is still in Illinois for a while, I will be doing all the injections on my own.  The Lupron ones are no big deal at all as they are just in the belly...  Truly I do not really worry about the "big" injections either ~ just have to get back in practice of reaching back to my rump!!!  ...and truly since I am really hoping to get into nursing school .. it may even be good practice!!

Let the excitement begin and "may the odds ever be in our favor" :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No news...

Little N will be 11 months old in a couple of days.  I would so love to say that I know how he is doing ... but sadly I do not know.  I have not heard from L since January and I am thinking that quite possibly I never will.  It makes me sad.  It makes me think that regardless of the "meeting of minds" we had on future contact before entering into our contract, you just never know what will happen after it is all said and done.

I know in my heart that L&J are wonderful parents to N and that he is loved by so many.  While I hoped that I would continue to get the occasional peek into his life it seems that it may not happen...still every day, I think of them, hold them close in my prayers and wish them all well.

Maybe in due time I will hear from them again ... I truly hope so.  For now I am having a good friend make a cute little present for him for his birthday and I just hope that they will accept this little gift for their very special little boy.  I will also be sending lots of hugs and kisses along with N's present....and beyond, I will wish that someday I will hear news yet again.
 

Going on a little trip...

I have made my flight arrangements and I am off to meet with A, S & L .. how exciting is that!!

I will be flying back and forth the same day so while it will be a quick trip it will make for a long day.  I fly out at 6:55 AM and will land back in Portland at 11:26 PM ... for sure I will stay the night in Portland as I will not attempt a drive through the mountains alone at that hour.  Timing is really good though as I will be able to make it back to class on Wednesday without having to worry about flight delays.

I am really looking forward to our meeting .. it will be so great to put actual people and faces to our many emails and phone calls.  I am sure that we will have a great day.

Now we just need to get our attorneys in gear and get this contract finalized .. even through I prepared the draft of the contract and know exactly what is in there - it will be nice to have the "attorney approved" version in hand and ready for signatures.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Face to face...

I am so excited!  After almost two years of emails and phone calls ... I am getting to meet A&S in person.  We are making plans for a visit very soon.  Hopefully their time schedule will allow for them to make a little road trip and come in our direction.  Coming up here to will allow them to visit the local hospital and meet with Dr. H ...and of course spend time with all of us.  If time does not allow for them to come here for a visit, I will fly out for a quick trip at some point in April.  Either way it will be great ... I can't wait to meet face to face :-)

It is very exciting that all is moving forward....really I did not think I would ever find myself at this point again.  But here we and A, S and I are all looking forward to what is to come.  Tonight I will be starting the last pill packet for my birth controls pills for hopefully a very long time.  Lupron injections will begin later this month, hormone injections will begin in May, and then we are scheduled for a transfer in the end of May.

Woohoo!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Microbiology...

I was really really bummed when I had to withdraw from school earlier this year.   But I am happy to say that I am officially back in school. 

While running errands in Astoria yesterday, I decided to stop by the college and get the schedule for summer classes...well, it turned out that Spring term classes started on Monday.  Yikes already I am one day behind....so I had to do the scramble to figure out exactly what class to take first to put me in the best position to apply for the accelerated nursing programs here in Portland. 

My preference would be to get back in A&P, but the sequence here does not start until fall term.  So I settled on Microbiology and will now be spending a good part of the next few days catching up and getting ready for classes once again. 

Yeah .. I am excited to be back at it!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ugh...testing is so expensive...

It is really a humbling experience to receive the billings in the mail for some of the various testing required to be a surrogate.  The reproductive clinic requires quite the battery of tests to make sure that any person who will be acting as a surrogate is fit to do so.  While these tests are all important, this is only the first and minor component of surrogacy ... and even here before we make a plan to get pregnant, the costs mount up really quickly.  It saddens me to think about how expensive it all is.

As a woman, the ability to get pregnant and have a baby seems like a "right".. something that should just be able to happen ... but sadly that is not reality for all :-(






   

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I did it!!!

My first 5K is done!!!  C25K mission complete ... woohoo!

This morning I ran in the Run for the Roses downtown Portland.  I was up bright and early as race start time was 7:35 AM.  We were pretty lucky with the weather and the rain held off until after the race which was nice.  It was a bit chilly but the atmosphere was charged and filled with happy runners (..and walkers).  Between the 1/2 marathon, the 10K and the 5K there were about 3,500 participants who finished the race...so lots of people there.  And boy some of those people ran fast!  The six fastest 10K runners finish their 10K in less time than I finished my 5K ... yikes!!!

There were 1,143 participants in the 5K race and overall I finished up as number 329.  In my age group (35 -39), I finished #26 out of 105.  My official run time was 32.57 which equates to about a 10 1/2 minute mile.  I did walk just a tiny bit ... it was a killer going up the steel bridge at the end of the race, so I slowed down to a fast pace walk for a very brief period to get to the bridge midpoint.  At that my legs were killing me, but I finished out the run and while my pace was slow and leaves room for improvement, I am just happy having completed my first 5K run.

...and definitely hooked on doing another one soon!