It begins!

3/27/18 was a huge day for me.

  1. It was my last day of my day job that I’ve had for almost 4 years. It wasn’t exactly a choice I wanted to make but unfortunately the attorney that owns the company imposed a new contract that proposed a couple of very ridiculous rules and liability issues. For my family’s safety I couldn’t sign it.
  2. Medications started again!! My IPs and I are 1 step closer to bringing a little miracle into the world!

20180327_193516

Feelings toward this new chance at a little surrogate baby:

I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. I know that there is only a 60% chance of implantation and the chance of miscarriage after. I know that I’ve now joined the ranks of women that experienced a miscarriage after 8 weeks. BUT I also know that this is a new chance. A new life. A new beginning.

Feelings toward my new job situation:

I’m nervous. That’s for sure! But it’s funny how as one door shuts, other doors open. In the time that I’ve known that I will have to quit that job my doula business took off, a friend offered me a very part-time job with her company, another friend’s business is getting busy and she’s been reaching out to me for help, and most recently the possibility of another friend needing help just popped up. I think things are going to be ok. I pray things are going to be amazing! I already love all the time I have to be home with my kids and not having to put them on their tablets so I can work 9-5. My stress level is no longer up in the rafters somewhere. Which in the end will help with surrogacy too!

❤ Bye for now!

 

New Protocol

This morning I received my new medication protocol! It was an interesting thing to find that the schedule almost perfectly matches my last except for it being exactly 5 months later.

Five months? Has it really been five? Sure doesn’t feel like it.

This time I am feeling much more confident about the medications. I know that I am perfectly capable of giving myself whatever kind of injections they tell me to!

Over all I’m excited for it to start again. But I’m also nervous to get too excited. Like if I get too excited I’ll only be let down again. I know it’s irrational and that I did everything right last time. I know that it wasn’t my body that failed to carry the little guy. In fact, it kept trying to grow him for 2 extra weeks. But I think that’s what makes it worse. I know that I’m capable of this process but I have ZERO control over what the embryo does.

Fingers crossed that it all works out! Here’s what’s coming up:

  • Med start: 3/27/18
  • Lining checks: 4/6, 4/13, 4/18
  • Transfer: 4/24/18
  • Pregnancy blood test: 5/4/18

Love!

Stephanie

Bittersweet news

After waiting and waiting and waiting, round 2 has finally started! I got super close to my doctor’s office giving me something to kick start my body again…. sure glad that didn’t have to happen!

Next step is starting birth control again (in 3 days) then getting an ultrasound to make sure my uterus is still looking good. If so, when my next cycle starts I will start the medication protocols again!

My excitement for this process is bittersweet, though. Sure, I’m excited that we can start again. But today would have marked 20 weeks with the little guy. I would have been halfway through the pregnancy, halfway to the time I got to deliver him into his parent’s arms.

I am praying that this next chance will work out. But honestly, I am a bit afraid. I’ve never felt this before toward pregnancy. Mine have always worked out so well, so easy. The fact that he passed mere days after I saw him growing so well on an ultrasound is heartbreaking. The fact that I didn’t know for weeks is scary to me. What if it happens again? What if I don’t know. What if, what if, what if.

But what if it ends the most perfect way? What if I have a normal, easy pregnancy? What if I get to watch a little miracle baby look up at his/her parents for the first time? What if I get to see two people go from a couple, to a family? That’s the “what ifs” I am going to try to focus on. This is a new chance, a new situation, and a new life.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me!

❤ Stephanie

A new beginning

After the tragic and unfortunate miscarriage last month, I got some fantastic news around New Years: my intended parents are ready to try again!

So what’s next, you ask? Well, good question! Now that the bleeding stopped (only took 11 days!) I’m waiting around for my menstrual cycle to start again. I feel like it will soon, but no one really knows until it happens. When it starts again I will need to have another saline sonogram (this is just an ultrasound that they inject a small amount of saline into my uterus so they can see better in there) to check to make sure everything still looks good. Then more waiting. When my next cycle after that starts, they will begin all the ultrasounds to make sure my lining is doing the right thing. At the end of that month, there will be another transfer!

My intended parents have 4 embryos left but I have no idea what quality or gender they are. The last little guy was a 6AA embryo which had the best chance of sticking and growing. I really hope that the next one will be awesome too!

I received the results from the POC testing back a couple days ago and was disappointed that they didn’t find anything to explain the miscarriage. POC testing is where they take the Products Of Conception and genetically test them to see if there was a chromosomal abnormality that happened somewhere during development. I was told that it is not unusual to not find anything but I was really hoping for some kind of closure to the unfortunate event.

I’ll check back in as soon as something new happens! Thanks for sticking with me!

The sad reality

Miscarriage.

The topic is almost taboo to talk about but is an unfortunate reality for 15-20% of all pregnancies and a bit higher than that for IVF pregnancies.

I am now part of the statistic.

Here is my story:

Yesterday morning I started cramping. It is not an all together bad thing but when I started spotting around 10am, I knew something was up. When I had bleeding a few weeks back, everything turned out okay so I wasn’t really too worried. Around 1pm, though, the bleeding picked up and my midwife’s office got me into the earliest possible appointment (4:15). When I finally got the ultrasound the OB confirmed that the baby had stopped growing at 8.5-9 weeks and there was no heartbeat. It was likely due to the progesterone injections that I did not miscarry sooner. I went home with a heavy heart and an uneasiness about what was going to happen next.

By the time I got home at 5:45, things were moving along very fast. It was honestly a bit frightening how much blood there was. I was not nearly prepared for it. Luckily my mother-in-law was here to watch my toddlers while I spent the next hour in the bathtub. At 6:15pm, the hardest birth I’ve ever experienced emotionally happened. It was not at all like the births of my children. Where it hurt but there was a happy cry at the end. This was horrifically silent. And pushing didn’t help because there were no contractions behind it. So I squatted there, covered in blood, watching as the sack of the little boy I was so excited to carry slowly came out.

I’m heartbroken for his parents. They are heartbroken for him. It’s an extremely sad situation.

A sad reality of pregnancy and IVF and surrogacy.

And now of my life too.

Week 10 and the big gift

I’m now 10 weeks along and this little guy is a little over an inch long and has fingers, toes, and his brain is putting together a lot of things. I can’t feel him yet but he’s kicking around like crazy in there. I really hope that this pregnancy I wont have an anterior placenta (the placenta is attached to the front side of the uterus so it sits between the baby and your belly). My keeper babies all had anterior placentas and I wasn’t able to feel their movements until around 20 weeks compared to 16-18.

So what is the big gift, you ask?! I’M ALL DONE WITH SHOTS! Today is my first day without having to stick myself with a 1.5 inch needle. <insert happy dance> Now I just get to be a pregnant woman!

So far, so good with symptoms. I was worried because other surrogates have talked about worse symptoms with their surro-babes than with their keepers. I had two different episodes of nausea and occasional mild heartburn for 2 weeks but that’s all gone away. Which is on par for pregnancy for me – a major reason I even decided to be a surrogate – because it’s an easy process. My births have also been quite quick and easy so I’m hoping for that for this little guy and his parents.

One symptom I am having though is that I already look pregnant!! Not big enough for people to ask out of fear that I am just gaining weight. But people who know me can certainly tell!

10 weeks

 

Stay tuned for weekly updates, muses, and thoughts! Next week I’ll be talking about my plans to birth with Hypnobabies again!

Ultrasound #3 – a little gummy bear!

Am I really 8 weeks along?!  Baffling.

Little Guy is doing wonderfully in there. His growth is perfect. He’s measuring exactly on time which makes my guess date (Estimated Due Date – EDD) stay the same – July 12, 2018.

I love how excited his parents are. Their reactions to seeing the ultrasound pictures is exactly why I wanted to do this so badly. I am looking forward to seeing them hold him for the first time – it’s going to make labor and delivery so very worth it.

What I am most excited about this week is that now I have been released to my midwife and am done with the fertility clinic. They were great in the beginning but had absolutely atrocious communication skills once I was actually pregnant. It was like they did their job getting me pregnant so now I was some kind of annoyance to deal with.

My first midwife appointment is tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to it. This midwife is the first for the hospital and she is doing so many things to change the way they treat maternity care there. I am hoping that she will be open to allowing this little baby’s parents to catch him when he’s born (if they want to).

Good bye until my next update!

Ultrasound #2 – 7 weeks, 1 day

This ultrasound had some exciting news!
Baby Boy is looking fantastic and the SCH that I have has gone down significantly. So significantly, in fact, that they have taken me off pelvic rest restrictions so now I can finally just be a normal pregnant woman!
Baby Boy is measuring 9 mm (the normal size of a 6 weeks, 6 days old embryo) and his heartrate is 141 beats per minute. I got to see his little arm and leg buds even.
This week I’ve been getting a little bit of heartburn, which is not normal for me so it is my first official pregnancy symptom. My jeans are also starting to get tight. I have a feeling that I’ll be showing and moving into maternity pants sooner than I did with my first three pregnancies.

My next ultrasound is at 8 weeks (November 30th). See you then!

Ultrasound #1

This morning I had the first ultrasound of three before getting released to my midwife. This is the ultrasound where we make sure that there if a baby growing in there! My numbers were looking good so I had high hopes.

And I wasn’t let down! The little guy was immediately visible by the ultrasound tech and has a nice strong heartbeat of 122 bpm. He’s growth is perfectly on schedule and almost everything is great. (we’ll get into the “almost” in a moment. In the meantime, check out that adorable little tadpole!)

ultrasound 1

Now for the “almost” part. I found out that the reason I was bleeding before is because I have a rather large (like 2+ times the size of the gestational sack) subchorionic hematoma (SCH). See photo above – the big dark area to the left of the baby in its sack. Basically when the baby borrowed in and tapped into my blood supply, it broke some capillaries that bled quite a bit causing this blood mass. The tech said I was no longer bleeding and that it was clotted over, so that’s good. I’ve been ordered to rest and not do any exercise for a while longer. (Which, if I’m going to be honest, I am not complaining about!)

Stay tuned! The next ultrasound will be November 24, 2017!

Beta #3 and bleeding!

My morning started off well. My oldest daughter and husband were home from school/work today due to Veteran’s Day. She really wanted to come with so we went and got my blood drawn. It wasn’t until we walked into the door at home that things went south.

While standing in the kitchen I suddenly felt like I was going into labor – like I had been stabbed in the uterus. I thought “Hey, I’m not bleeding so all is well”. I don’t know if I jinxed it or not but within five minutes from that point, I felt myself start bleeding.

What followed was a scary couple of hours where I was told to go on bed rest and let the fertility clinic know if I started bleeding a certain amount (which I didn’t luckily) as we waited for my beta result. I had the shakes and a lot of cramping for most it.

I finally got the call at about 12:30 letting me know that my progesterone was low but my HCG levels were at:

1738!

The fertility clinic said that it is normal to have bleeding in early pregnancy and seeing as my numbers are good they scheduled my ultrasound for November 16th, 2017! Unless the bleeding picks back up again heavily, they think that everything is fine.

It was a scary day. But I am so glad that everything turned out ok!