Following My LDS Surrogate Experience and More!


Following my LDS Surrogate Experience and More! I hope to share my experience and perspective with you. My adventures starts back in September of 2011, and I hope you can follow along and be a part of my journey! I follow one successful and one unsuccessful attempt at gestational surrogacy. Also, make sure to visit my Intended Mother's blogs (with a link to the right) The purpose of my blog is to educate people all over the world about gestational surrogacy and a little about the LDS Church's position regarding surrogacy. If you are somewhere in the process, whether you are an intended parent, a surrogate, or you plan to become one soon, I hope my blog can help put some perspective in your life. Please feel free to leave comments. I have the opportunity to be involved with such a unique and special experience. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I also plan to express my love for the Gospel throughout my scribblings. Thank You for visiting!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An Update Preceding a Handful of Updates

Hello to all my friends in the Surrogacy World!

I haven't been very good about posting or updating here, but I have a few things I wanted you to know.

I have joined the United States Air Force, and will probably be leaving for basic training in the spring...

I receive hundreds of emails and and messages from people all over the world asking questions and looking for advise when it comes to surrogacy, and the LDS position. 

I have been thinking about updating my blog with a few posts regarding some of the more frequently asked questions, and I hope to offer some general advise and perspective for those of you trying to figure out where to start. 

I want to have these posts up before I leave for basic, so that I can be helping other's while I'm MIA at the same time...

Here are some commonly asked questions:

How do I get started? Whether it's with a friend or family member, or through an agency, there are several ways to go. I'll try to touch on this 

Were you worried about being attached to the baby? Was it hard to hand the baby over?

How did your husband feel about the surrogacy? How did he react, how did he handle it?

Was your extended family supportive?

What is your relationship with the baby's family now?

Questions about medications and injections during the pregnancy...

Questions about how insurance works during the pregnancy...

Contracts, compensation, fertility clinics, lawyers, laws within other states and countries, private vs agencies, the fine print...

These are just a few of the things I need to address in order to be a valuable resource to you.

If you have other things you'd like addressed, comment on this post, and I will do my best, (in my beautiful chaotic life) to give you some helpful and insightful posts here in the near future. 

To all of you struggling with infertility, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope that you can find peace and joy in your blessings. To all of you who are considering carrying a baby for another family, there are no words to describe the experience and the journey. It is such a neat thing to be a part of. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the end...

Everyone in the world seems to be on my blog. I've got over 5,000 views just in the last 2 days alone, from countries all over the world. 

United Arab Emirates? What even is that?
Hong Kong
United Kingdom

I feel like this is the end of my blog. I don't know how much more I'll have to say... and this isn't how i wanted to end my blog. I'm upset and angry and confused. I don't feel like thinking about what's happened. I don't feel like talking about it. It just sucks. And yet there are thousands from all over the world waiting for something. What is it? Are you all following this journey waiting for the next bit of news? Are you just interested in being a gestational carrier and are looking for information? Are you friends that stay anonymous? Are you accidentally happening across my blog, and not even giving it a second thought? Are you childless mothers searching for hope? I don't know what you need me to be. I don't know what you're looking for from me....

We got terrible news yesterday. We're not pregnant. It's most likely a chemical pregnancy, which is another way of saying a really early miscarriage. The embryo just didn't make it. My numbers from all my HCG levels are starting to plateau, and the doctor is expecting the numbers to start to drop. We technically have another blood draw on Monday, a week from yesterday, just to try to know a little more about what's going on. Is this a dangerous ectopic tubal pregnancy? Is this simply a chemical miscarriage? AM I ACTUALLY FREAKIN' PREGNANT?? My numbers on Monday were 72.8. It took 72 hours to go from 65.7 to 72.8. That's where the numbers aren't so much "rising" as they are "plateauing." 

I was getting so bloody frustrated with the fertility clinic. So was Corey. They would call one day and be all, "YAY YOU'RE PREGNANT!" And the next day it was, "Things look bad, we're concerned." And then "NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, YOU'RE PREGNANT!" and then, "You're not pregnant at all, you miscarried." But the entire time they took us on this roller coaster ride, they wouldn't answer any questions. Not one.

What does this mean? Can't you just get in there with an ultrasound and see what the crap's going on?? Are we pregnant or aren't we?? You can stick a vaginal ultrasound up there willy nilly days on end before the transfer, but then two solid weeks after the transfer when we need to find out some information, you can't stick one up there?? We were just confused and desperate. Corey was angry and crying and told the nurse to call back when someone could answer some questions. Dr. Conway wasn't even working that day, and she finally called from home on her cell phone to address questions that desperately needed answers. 

I would rather you just tell me we're not pregnant at all then have no answers at all for days on end. YEARS ON END! It was absolutely maddening. 

Dr. Conway at least explained that they wouldn't be able to see anything on an ultrasound until we had higher HCG levels. Good. That seemed like it was really hard to explain. That's all you needed to say. We just needed to know there was or wasn't something more we could be doing. We just needed to know something!! I was devastated. And I knew that what I was feeling couldn't even remotely compare to what Corey and Randy were feeling. I didn't feel like I could justify feeling hopeless and full of despair, when I wasn't the one that lost my last chance at having a baby. 

I couldn't shake the feeling that I couldn't do this again. I couldn't be the last chapter in someone's heartbreaking story. The ending that they didn't want to remember. The ending that they wanted to forget. I've heard lots of intended families say that if it didn't work out, they wouldn't want to stay in touch with me. They would just want to forget. That never seemed like it could even become a reality, because after all, everything will always work out right? Nothing can go wrong. Everything will go right. Well when reality sets in, and your the nightmare ending to someone's own personal hell, that kinda sucks. And I decided I just couldn't do this again. I couldn't fall in love with a family, with another intended mother, and grow to trust her and care for her family, i couldn't invest everything I had physically, emotionally, mentally into helping another family's dream come true, just to have it ripped out from under me. Out from under them. To have that friendship mean nothing. To lose someone you care about, someone who trusted you. 

I could hear Corey's voice tremble on the other end of the line. I knew her tears covered her cheeks, and she was trying to keep it together for Jaxston. She didn't want him to see her hurting. She wanted to protect him. She's a good mother, and it showed. Why do these wonderful women all over the world miss out on the chance to love God's children. Why do they get denied the chance to love and cherish and protect these precious souls. There is so much evil in this world. There is so much danger, and hatred. Confusion, destruction, neglect. Children who don't know love. Children who live in fear. Parents who don't deserve these sweet innocent children have them. Parent's who could offer the world and who deserve these children can't have them. It just doesn't seem fair, it doesn't seem right. 

I posted this on facebook the other day. I know most of you get sick of hearing my opinions and ramblings on facebook, you probably don't want to hear repeats here on my blog. But what I had to say here is something I keep thinking about. Maybe it can help someone out there somewhere...

I know everyone struggles with trials in their lives. I've had more than my fair share of trials myself. And I'm learning more and more each day that friends and loved ones carry heavy burdens. I have friends with mental disorders. PTSD, depression. I have friends that suffer from eating disorders. i have friends that struggle relentlessly with infertility. I have friends and family that struggle with their faith. I have friends that struggle with financial stability. Friends that struggle with their marriage, custody battles, infidelity. Sickness, pain, terminal illness, death of loved ones, deployment, addiction, abuse, loneliness. Insecurities, and low self-esteem. Friends without love. Friends that no longer know how to trust. Friends that have lost hope. Faith. Friends struggling though their education. I am constantly reminded of their pain and suffering. My heart goes out to them. I have learned to give my suffering away. To give it to the Savior, who has already suffered for my pain, and my sins, so that I don't have to. He is the only one who can truly know what we are going through. He offers us peace, love and refuge from our own personal hells. He asks us to fall to our knees. He asks us to endure to the end. He never gives you more than you can handle. And although you cannot see it now, he is working on you, as he does a diamond. He is polishing you and making you the person you are meant to become, so that you can reach your full potential. I wish I knew how to help every one of you. I offer my love, and a listening ear. I hope to in some small way, lighten your burdens. And I hope you will offer the same for me. Life is a hard thing to experience. But it can also be beautiful, and full of joy. I love each and every one of you. Be strong. And trust in the Lord with all your heart

I feel so helpless today. Corey called. 

Bless her heart. 

She was able to make me feel so much better. I told her how I was feeling and she was able to say just the right thing that made me feel better.

That's not right. It should be me comforting her. I was trying, but what do you say to someone who might feel like they have nothing left? That this is it. The end. I am grateful that Corey and Randy got to be my intended family. I'm grateful that with both of my journey's, I was blessed with families that were true, honest, trusting, trustworthy, deserving, and just plain good. There are worse endings. She wants to stay in my life. She doesn't want to pretend I never existed, and I'm grateful for that.

I've never publicly went into detail about my past life. I've always wanted to write a book, or somehow share my struggles and trials with the world. I've always hoped that my past could change someone else's future. I've never really known where to start, or how to tell my story. I tend to be a very honest person, and I tend to over share. I can make people uncomfortable. I talk to much. I probably talk so much that you all lose interest halfway through my rambling.

I only share a small part of my past with you right now because I want to illustrate a small part of how I can empathize with loss. I have no hesitation to share more, I even yearn to do so, but like I said, I don't know how to share my story, and I would simply need all the time in the world to even begin to illustrate what I've been through. If you're not interested, please feel free to skip the next paragraph.

I got pregnant with my son when I was 14 years old. I was young and foolish. I kept my son, and he was the only thing in my world that made sense. My family didn't know how to deal with my defiant, stubborn, reckless self. My son's dad was 16, selfish, and certainly not dedicated. It's okay, I look back and I understand that he was young himself. How much can you really expect from a 16 year old pizza delivery driver/football player. Well a few years went by, and we were pretty off and on. I learned that we would probably make better friends than boyfriend and girlfriend. I learned that when you're 14, and you say you want life to be a certain way, everyone you know will hold it against you if you grow up and want better things than you did when you were 14. I learned that a 16 year old girl that wanted to be a family, despite knowing there was no life here for her, would be accused of being emotionally unstable when she found out her child's father was chewing tabacco, drinking regularly and cheating on her. I learned that people you called friends will turn against you in a heartbeat, and will turn an entire town against you in order to get what they want. When my son's father decided he wanted a different life than the one my son and I had to offer, I fell apart. I was angry, lonely, confused and desperate. I was too stubborn to go home to my family. I was too prideful to admit we wouldn't be a family. Yet I was miserable being with him. We only knew a life with no love. I knew a life with no emotional support, no dedication or commitment. No strength, no faith. Just misery. Just selfishness and an every growing realization that it could never work. We liked each other at 14 and 16, and that was it. A child resulted, but that was it. When he decided it was time to move on in life, I didn't know what else to do, other than be confused and lost. I just didn't want to start over. Being surrounded by a sad, depressing loveless life was better than going into the unknown. I was scared of the unknown. Even though deep down I knew that moving on and being rid of him was the best thing that ever could have ever happened to me, I was still young, and i let my emotions stay too close to the surface. I threw a fit, and I rebounded. My son and I moved out, and I tried to start over. I was working graveyard in a nursing home, and trying to take care of my son on my own. I wanted to prove something, I just didn't know what. I made the second biggest mistake of my life and I rebounded with a loser who ended up being dangerous. I didn't know he was dangerous. I was young and naive, and he was a devious, dangerous sociopath and pathological liar. I got pregnant by him, and felt stuck. I hardly knew anything about him, but was now pregnant with my second, and had nowhere to go. My son's dad took my son from me. I was accused of abusing my son, I was accused of knowingly putting my son and myself in a dangerous situation. Once I learned that there was something to be worried about with the new fling, I left the new guy without a second thought. Friends that took me in and gave me a place to stay were my saving grace. Despite my small hiccup of bad judgement, and not because I was a reckless partying drinking teenage mom who needed to be on one of those stupid tv drama's, I lost my son. I was young and naive to the ways of the world, and I was taken advantage of. From that point on, I couldn't be trusted with my son. I couldn't be trusted with children. People I nannied for accused me of beating their children. I was accused of taking advantage of elderly people in nursing homes. Oh my goodness, It just continued to spiral out of control. I was a good person and a good mother. I put my son before myself, I loved without holding back, and I made myself vulnerable because I trusted those around me. That is why I lost my son. A nasty custody battle ensued. It went on for years. The chance to be there for my son's first day of school, to see him dress up for every Halloween in his entire childhood, to be there when he lost his first tooth, everything was taken from me. The only thing that got me through my 14 year old hell was taken from me. My childhood had been taken from me, and it all seemed to be worth it as long as I was able to dedicate my life and care for the only person who truly loved me unconditionally, my son. He was 3 years old when he was taken from me. I had a little baby girl, right after he was taken. I lost my will to carry on. I felt hopeless, like God had abandoned me. Everyone that had been a part of my life; the only life I knew, turned their back on me. They slandered my name all over town. I had to start a new life, and they wouldn't even allow me to do that. Then there was a day. An ordinary terrible day where I was allowed to visit my son for 4 short hours on a Wednesday. My son's dad met me in the driveway to exchange our son. I don't remember what was said. I just remember yelling back and forth, angry and hurt. Wasn't I a good person? A good mother? Someone who just wanted to love. All I wanted was a family, and not a broken family. I wanted to spend my life with someone who wanted those things too. Why was I left abandoned and alone. I had been tricked, taken advantage of and left to rot from the inside out. I ran back into the house and got down on my knees and I sobbed. I pleaded with the Lord, and I begged him to show me what I did to deserve this. That's when I knew. I knew that it didn't matter what I did. My life would never be whole again if I relied on anything but the Lord. I could be a millionaire, with everything including my son, but none of it would matter without the Gospel in my life. Without my Heavenly Father and Christ's Atonement. I knew then what I needed to do. I needed to go back to Church. My testimony grew from that moment on. I moved away, worked towards my GED, started college, was hired as the assistant manager of a video store. Most of all, I became active in Church again. I strived to do the things that would please my Heavenly Father. I continued to fight the custody battle. I met Clark, my husband, while he was serving his LDS mission in Washington state. I was a nanny for a friend, and he knocked on the door to visit the family that lived there. Over the next year and a half, we grew to know each other on a spiritual and emotional level. Our growing relationship was founded upon Gospel principles. It was centered around the Lord. There was nothing physical to get in the way, and it continued to grow into a marriage founded upon the Gospel. A truth that would bring us an eternal marriage and an eternal family. That's all I'd ever wanted, I had just been young and went looking for a good relationship on a rocky unstable worldly road. The end of the custody battle grew near. My son was taken away from me permanently. There was no explanation for it, there was no justice. My son's dad was content to win the battle, that's all that really ever mattered in the first place. He reveled in his victory. He celebrated the separation of mother and child. The whole town did. It was sick. I was 21 years old now, yet he held against me a 14 year old girl's weaknesses. He never had to face his 16 year old boyish selfish mistakes. He never had to truly be accountable for anything. He always had his following and his hometown cushion. Who needs to have integrity when you have all that. I lost my son based on lies, honest mistakes, and deceit. I had to move on. I had to find peace in an unjust and cruel world where children could be taken away from good mothers without a second thought. Where people could lie and hurt so ruthlessly and never feel regret or remorse. 

So although I know what it feels like to be a mother, a blessing I've always known since I was a little girl, not yet even a woman... 

I also know what it feels like to wonder how life could be so cruel. I still search for the understanding to know how children can stay in abusive, loveless, Godless homes when so many out there could offer children safety, hope, and unconditional love. 

On February 13th, 2013, (tomorrow) Clark and I will celebrate 4 years of marriage together. He loved me when my life seemed worthless. He understood the atonement, and he knew that Heavenly Father had forgiven me. We started our life together and I learned how to rely on the Lord when it hurt so bad I was surrounded by darkness. I learned how to see through the darkness. I look back now and recognize the Lord's hand in my life, every step of the way. He never abandoned me. He only gave me as much as I could handle, and it only made me stronger. My testimony and my faith are unwavering. I want to stand at the top of the tallest building and cry out for all to hear, that Christ lives. He loves us. He tries and tests us so that we may testify of him with authenticity. I would not know the Lord if he had not truly tested me. I have been blessed despite my mistakes. I have been forgiven. I have learned how to forgive myself. I have spent years learning how to forgive my son's father, step-mother, and family. I had to give my hatred, disgust and hostility over to the Lord. I could not live a full life while I was consumed by dark and hopeless feelings of hatred and blame. And if I continued to allow those feelings to take over my life, I would never know true happiness. I doesn't matter if they don't feel like they need the forgiveness, I don't think they'll ever recognize that they ever did anything wrong. They've always thought they did everything right. Which is why they need forgiveness. Either way, I needed to forgive, and give that hate away. I moved to Utah with Clark, where he was born and raised. I love it here. I have the most beautiful life. I have two smart and beautiful daughters. I have the most dedicated, loving, attentive husband I could ask for. I have the best friends, a life full of joy and blessings, the Gospel, and a wonderful son who spends the summers and a short Christmas visit with our family every year. I won't let my past define me. I think back over my life, and it's like watching a movie. I don't know that life anymore. I'm not that young girl taken advantage of and lost. I have found the peace I need to move on. 

I share this because I've spent years needing to get it out. There are so many meaningless details left out. I could never write it all down. But a good reflection, one that might benefit another, is healthy. The real thing I hope you can take away from my struggle is that you can still find peace if you fall to your knees. You can still lead a beautiful and happy life despite the hard parts.

That's what I told Corey today. That I wanted to watch her life move forward and be beautiful and whole.

Randy sent me an email tonight.
I. Sobbed. 

Randy, I hope you don't mind that I'm sharing. This was a wonderful part of my day.

Vanessa -
I know this has be so hard on you the past few days. I want you to know that I will never forget what you have done for us. You gave us hope and possibility when we could see none. I am grateful that we found you and we knew when we started this that the final outcome no matter what it was is really out of our hands.
It is important to me that you know and believe this. The last few months have been awesome and as much as this hurts right now, Corey and I are further along in this process than we have ever been. I appreciate that you were willing to particpate and invest so much of your life and love in this process for us.
We will never understand the plan while we are living it, but we have to trust that this will all make sense at some point and for right now we aren't supposed to get it......
Please take care of yourself and your family as they need you the most right now. By the way, I never give up, so I will always hope for the best and plan for the worst. Try to stay positive and please tell Clark my comments are the same for him. You guys are really truly amazing and you shouldn't forget that now or ever.

Dang it Randy. Now I'm sobbing all over again because I re-read it all over again. You and Corey are so wonderful. 
I feel like this is a good stopping place. I dunno... maybe someone will call me and ask me to consider this all over again. I get emails daily asking to talk more about another journey. 
I want to end my journey with two wonderful families that proved to be more than just good intended families. They have set the bar way too high. 
Corey and Randy, I wish I could have been enough. Thank you for being in such a good place. That's where I would hope for you to be. I hope you can truly find beauty and joy in your future. I hope you can feel whole. I sure love you guys. I'm glad this isn't the end of our friendship.

we'll see what happens on Monday. but I think I'm in a good place...

-thank you friends for following along.
keep in touch <3

God Bless

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blood Tests, Bad News, and More Blood Tests....

What a week!

Corey and Randy were beside themselves and overwhelmed since the moment they first got the news of those little pink lines. It was so fun to be on the other end of the phone with Corey when she was trying to put into words what that news meant for them! She said she was trying to call Randy, but he was in a meeting, and was like, "What's up?" I'm paraphrasing, so forgive me. But she mentioned two pink lines and his response was something along the lines of, "Holy shit..."

HAHA. I'm sorry. I find this extremely hilarious. What an awesome response Randy! It made my day :) If that wasn't really your reaction, then let's pretend it was ;)

Corey said he was speechless after that. She said that he's NEVER speechless. We just had to wait for those "official" blood results come Monday, but we were all sleeping better knowing those lines were still there.

Monday was our "official" blood draw, after getting positive at home test results. I was confident, and ready to rock and roll, despite what the blood draw decided it wanted to tell me. Who needs the official blood draws when things are just going to work out the way you want them to.

Psh. I don't need blood draws to tell me I'm awesome at gettin' knocked up ;)

So Monday went beautifully. Blood draw, phone call, positive results to just confirm what we already anticipated. Whoohoo! It was official, we were pregnant. My levels were a healthy 1476 (my estrogen level) and 22.6 (my HCG #.) They want to see that number "double" within 48 hours.

Hearing Corey laugh whenever she talked and knowing her smile was from ear to ear was Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her laughter was contagious and I couldn't help but giggle at every turn of the conversation. They celebrated with loved ones near and far, and it was so neat to be a small part of their wonderful news. They made their exciting news official with their cute little Jaxston, who is planning to be a big brother in just 9 months!

Everything was perfect. Yes, yes, we technically needed another blood draw two days from our first blood test to confirm rising HCG levels, but nothing to worry about. 

So we blissfully waited for Wednesday, not a worry in the world. And of course, a blood draw at 8:30am means you won't get the phone call with results until 5:30 that evening. We all began to get very anxious about the phone call. By the end of the day, Corey thought I might have gotten bad news and didn't want to call her and tell her. That's what happens when I'm a little too honest in my blogs. I let out my secret that I don't want to be the one to deliver devastating news. But in all fairness, I hadn't received a phone call yet myself. You better believe I was calling the clinic like every hour. I was about ready to drive my butt down there and show up in person. I WANTED OUR RESULTS.

We finally got the call. The nurse practitioner said they were very concerned with the numbers. She said that 48 hours from our last draw, the HCG # was only at 35.7.

It went from 22.6, to 35.7.  That's not what they wanted.

I asked what that meant. She said they would need to re-draw blood AGAIN in 48 more hours, but that the rise we got wasn't the rise we were hoping for. There was this knot in my stomach. All I kept hearing was, "We are really concerned. Something's not right."

Shock set in, just as it did with Hope. This couldn't really be happening. I was sick, and totally freaking out. Clark was all over google like white on rice. What could this mean? What could this mean? What does this freakin' mean?? I think Corey was doing the same thing on her end, because she made a comment later on that said something about, "what they were reading." Clark was reading things that said, a 60% rise can be normal. He was also reading things like, you're in danger - you've probably got a "tubal pregnancy." Good heavens. My advice, don't google anything. Google just makes you believe you have heart disease, leprosy, and 4 mental disorders all at once, when you googled, "funny rash and headache." Seriously.

I was just trying to come to terms with the fact this probably didn't work. I was pulling a Clark, and it was for dang good reason. If I just accepted the fact now, and started telling myself that it all will work out the way it's supposed to, and that everything happens for a reason, I could handle the news on Friday when they tell me, "Yup. You're not pregnant, and oh, btw, you're gonna die." Doctor's offices and google can be awfully similar sometimes. 

Corey and Randy seemed to be holding up ok. We hated having to announce the news to loved ones anxiously awaiting results. But when you start your story from the beginning, you've gotta tell the bad with the good. You can't leave the bummer parts out. Hope was always a lot more cautious about announcing news, for this very reason. I get it. 

From the short phone calls and texts, Corey and Randy seemed to be accepting the news, and doing the same thing as me. Preparing themselves for the worst. It was inevitable right? You don't get super concerned about HCG levels for no reason. 

So we waited. More stupid waiting. I once again tried to take my mind off of what was just around the corner. 

I was told my Friday appointment was at 9:45am. And Friday at 8:30am, while I'm in the process of giving myself injections, including that ever burning rotten Lovenox blood thinner, I got a call from the clinic that said, "We have you down for 8:45am." Well stink!! I looked like death! I wasn't dressed, my hair wasn't combed, I was a mess! And I had to throw a coat on and run out the door! I walked into the clinic, frazzled, anxious, nervous, hesitant, tired, and thrilled that I looked like I walked out of an episode of "What not to wear" mixed with some crappy "Walking dead" knock off. It was cold outside, I didn't feel good, I had a headache, and I was emotional. Grrrr. I looked over to my left, and there was none other than, HOPE'S HUBBY!!! I'm pretty sure I threw my pen in the air as I threw my arms around him! And out steps HOPE! I started sobbing. If I'm going to run into anyone on the Planet, anyone at all, I'd like it to be baby Spencer's parents. I didn't have to have hormones and no make-up to make me flood over with emotion at the sight of them. I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I love them. There's no one in the world I would rather have been with at that very moment. We had dinner plans in just 24 hours, but running into them unexpected was just too much. Hope had to head back for her blood draw, and I was attempting to sign myself in. I couldn't see, I was still bawling. I looked up and had the receptionists crying. They handed me tissues. One asked me, "Were they just a wonderful couple to work with?" And I just started sobbing even more. 

Keep it together Vanessa. Sheesh. 

Hope's Hubby sat in the waiting room with me. It was so great to just sit and visit. They're just so great. That's the thing. They're just old friends. Friends. Genuine friends. The kind that you can not see for the longest time, and when you finally get together, it's like no time has passed at all. You just pick up right where you left off. Those friends are hard to find folks.

He asked about Clark. I told them that we bought a new car this last month, something I hadn't announced yet. We're super excited and have it completely paid off. We lost our cars to semi trucks and old age. It's not necessarily new, but for us, it's a Mercedes Benz and it's our baby. I shared the news, and we talked about my photography, Cafe Rio, and just life in general. He said to me, "Thanks for our little guy. We sure love him. He's sure a happy little guy :)"

I could barely hold it together. I sure love seeing their updates, and all their pictures with baby Spencer. I know they love him. I don't need them to tell me. It shows every day. Man they're sure great. 

Hope was in and out, after her blood draw, and before her paper blanket. She was finally finished with her appointment, and even after my blood draw, we all sat and visited in the lobby for like, ever. 

I had nurses, phlebotomists, and strangers I'd never even met smiling at me, and excited to comment on my emotional reunion that took place at the front end of the clinic. I apparently made quite an impression, and word traveled fast :)

I did happen to tell Dr. Conway personally that I wasn't about to wait until 5:30 today to hear the results from the test. I begged her not to make us wait like we did Wednesday, especially since now we were all waiting to hear bad news. She assured me they'd call when they knew something. 

So I drove home, and when I walked in the door, I told Clark all about the tears and the flying pen, the tissues and the phlebotomist. He was entertained, and excited that they were in town. We're excited for dinner.

So it was time to wait for our phone call. My phone rang around 2 in the afternoon, and it was Dr. Conway's nurse telling me we got the results, and I needed to re-test.

I. Was. So. Confused. 

I was like, "wait, what? I tested on Monday, then Wednesday, they tell me chances are, something is wrong and they're concerned, and so I re-tested this morning. Now I'm waiting for those results..."

She was like, "OH GOODNESS! I'm so sorry! I don't have that information here, my mistake!"

I wasn't worried about the misunderstanding, I just asked that she call me as soon as she knew something. 

She called back like 3 minutes later and told me that the numbers looked great, and i was at 65.1 today.

35.7 to 65.1. We'll take it! I was shocked. I was just expecting her to tell me more bad news. I was trying to wrap my mind around the fact that everything would probably be okay from this point on and that we're still pregnant! They want to re-test again on Monday, just to be extra sure everything still looks great, but so far, the numbers say a baby is growing at a healthy rate. I guess we could get bad news at anytime. We could be told that we lost the baby at 8 weeks, or 6 months. You always have to be prepared for things to happen that you're not expecting. But like I said, for now, we'll take it. I asked the nurse to let me call Corey myself. 

Corey had the same reaction I did. She was just like, "oh wow. okay..." and it really had to sink in. I think for both of us it was like, do we just go back to being all, "Everything is great! We're pregnant! Baby on the way!!" I think we've all had a healthy dose of reality and "what-if" this week. We're cautiously optimistic. We're gonna wait for Monday, but we're back to being hopeful for good results. 


That's a wrap for this week. It's been such an emotional roller coaster. Good, and scary, and good again! I'm going to bed...

but YAY for good HCG #'s today!! :)


I am technically 5 weeks today, as of Friday, February 8th. Our due date is October 12th, 2013! :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Blogging the time away?

Who needs those stupid at home pregnancy tests anyway?

This girl. That’s who.

I made an oath (to myself) that I would NOT take an at home pregnancy test before day 6, after the transfer.

It’s silly to take them too soon, because you’re just gonna get negative results and then get discouraged.

I swore, that no matter how anxious I was, no matter how badly I wanted to, I wouldn’t take one before day 6. That takes A LOT of self control, but I knew that if I stayed busy and kept my mind off the results, I could do it.

And then on day 3, Clark got antsy and said, “just for fun, lets do one. I know it won’t show anything, but lets just do it.”

Damn him. I can’t tell him no. I was like, “Heck yeah! Let’s do it!”

That was that “self control” I was referring to coming through.

Of course there was no way I was gonna get a positive. Not a chance. But did we care? No. We had an insane stockpile of tests that were just waiting to be used, and about as much patience as a 6 year old on Christmas morning. Probably worse.

So I peed, and it was negative. Shocking. Clark, being the (I won’t say pessimist because he doesn’t like that word) but skeptic he is, was like, “I knew you weren’t pregnant. I knew it.”

I understand why he’s that way. It just balances out my “nothing could ever go wrong/Pollyanna/everything is always sunflowers and skittles-personality.”

Whenever he has a job interview, he waits two hours, and if he hasn’t got the phone call saying he’s got the job, he’s absolutely convinced he didn’t get the job at all, and he insists on it for a few days, even though he almost always ends up getting the job in the end. Sends me to the moon every time. He does it because if he really doesn’t end up getting the job, he has already come to terms with it in his head way before he gets the news. Like I said, I get it. Sometimes, if I were a little more like him, maybe I might not get let down as hard as I do when things don’t work out.

We balance each other out well.

So after that first test, we were done for. It’s not like I can say, “Oh I’ll try again tomorrow.” Nope. Every time I had to pee, I took another test. And then I stare at that stupid spot where the line should be appearing just WILLING IT TO BE THERE!

Took like 4 tests on day 3. Negative. Took like 8 tests on day 4. Every single one still negative. Again, shocking. And each time, Clark would say, “I’m telling you, you’re NOT Pregnant.”

Took another 8 tests on day 5. Still negative. I had to keep reminding myself that with Hope, I got results on day 4, but we were pregnant with TRIPLETS at the time for crying out loud! My HCG levels were going to be through the roof compared to this. Do you think knowing that made a bit of difference?

I was out of tests. It was day 5 and I had sworn to myself that I wouldn’t even start trying until day 6! I have the same amount of self control when it comes to buying someone a present and waiting til the actual day of celebration to give it to them. I also have the same amount of self control when it comes to sweets in my house. I blame Clark for all of the madness ;)

So I had to buy more tests. For the love of everything Holy. This is just too hard!

So I tested all day on day 6. Nothing. Negative. Now I was really starting to freak out. I just could not bring myself to tell Corey I had tested and had negative results at this point. Screw that. I’m a huge wimp and I don’t want to be the bearer of devastating news. She had checked up on me, and I told her I was doing great. I started thinking of how I would continue to pretend I hadn’t tested this far into the transfer period. Yeah, like I was gonna get by for the entire 10 days letting her believe I hadn’t tested once. Like she’d believe that. Nobody’s that stupid.

Clark and I were already sick and pretty convinced it probably didn’t work. He kept saying, “It isn’t you babe. You did everything right. It’s not your fault.”

I love him.

I have several surrogate friends who came over for a visit or kept checking up on me. They kept telling me, “it’s still really early. Don’t freak out yet.”

Like it’s that simple.

Friends all over facebook were like, Have you tested yet?!”

So I went and bought more tests. Good night! I had cleaned out both dollar stores within a 10 mile radius, and most of Walmart’s supply. And everytime I had to pee, even a little, I would run and grab another test and then die a little every time I only saw one pink line.

This period of waiting is torture folks. It just is. Like I said on facebook. You wanna give yourself gray hair? Transfer someone else’s ONLY embryo’s into your body, and then wait for the results.

That should do it.

Thursday morning. Day 7. Two little lines appeared on that stupid little test screen. It was the faintest line, and it wasn’t even worth taking a picture of. But it was there right? They say, if there’s any line at all, you’re pregnant. But you take another one just to be sure. In my case, you take a few hundred. Clark looked at the line, and was like, “I TOLD YOU YOU WERE PREGNANT!! I TOLD YOU!”

Haha. He got punched hard for that. But it was hysterical. He was like, “I’ve been waiting all week to make that joke, haha.”


I carried the test around with me all that day. I needed to see that little pink line every few minutes, just to remind myself it was there. I was so worried that the pink line didn’t actually exist, and that I was hallucinating.

So here they are!

I ain’t buying anymore tests.
K that’s a lie. I’ve taken 4 between day 7 and 8, and I might buy just one more like tomorrow or something.

I texted Corey on Thursday, I was so excited. But Clark made me promise that I wouldn’t say anything until we got at least 3 positive results in a row. So I just asked her how she was holding up, and I told her that I was hopeful! But as far as telling her about the positive tests, I wanted to make sure she saw the pictures as soon as she found out! So that’s why you get to listen to me ramble on relentlessly for half an hour just to hear the news!

I know things can change, and we can always get news we aren’t expecting. Believe me, after Hope and the triplets/quadruplets/singleton pregnancy mess, I know those things can happen. But for now, this is good enough for us!


Corey! Randy! Do you see the two pink lines! DO YOU SEE?!  :) 

Friday, January 25, 2013

and now we wait...

  The last 48 hours have been a blast! 

Corey and Randy got to our house around 4:30 on Wednesday, and they were just as wonderful as we knew they would be :) I didn't feel like it was like meeting them for the first time, it was just finally getting together after a long time. Does that even make sense? Man they're tall! That was my first impression haha :) Randy is 6' 6." One of the funniest emails was when Corey was joking and was like, "don't worry, Jaxston was only 7 lbs, so our babies aren't TOO big!" haha. But even Corey towered over me. I've always been 4' 11 1/2"and just barely broke 5 feet in the last year or so... 
but they are awesome. 

They came in and Corey had little gift bags for everyone! She got the girls the cutest little Dora coloring activity sets, gifts for Clark, and for me. 

 The girls coloring and covering daddy in Dora stickers :)

 They absolutely LOVED their new presents :)

The 5 pack of pregnancy tests just kills me every time :)

And Corey gave me a darling bracelet that matches the same one she wears! SO CUTE! I love it.

We visited for an hour before we headed out to dinner. We laughed and visited, and it was just like catching up with old friends. It felt the same way with Hope and her hubby, and that's what we always loved about them. Our friendships were easy. They didn't feel forced or awkward. So we headed to our all time favorite restaurant, TUCANO'S! Oh man we love that place. Everyone ate their weight in food, and then splurged on dessert. Such a fun evening.

The restaurant was really dark, so these pictures were terrible.
I tried to brighten them up, but this is as good as they're gonna get. 

Tucano's is amazing. So yummy! Thank you again guys for treating us to dinner :)

At one point, Randy made a comment about how once the transfer is over, there will be this sweet sense of finality. Obviously there is still that waiting game, but for them, this is the end of their long hard road to trying to add to their family. There are always new options to consider. Adoption, egg donors, etc. They said they felt like a line needed to be drawn, or they would drive themselves crazy always wondering what their future might hold. It made complete sense to Clark and I, and it was really insightful. I've pondered on that a lot since that night. They had the 2 embryos, and they felt like they needed to at least give those a chance before they called it quits. They said, now that the transfer is over, there's no more planning. No more constantly trying to work out the next steps to the next plan. Hearing them say that, I myself could feel this weight being lifted off my shoulders, as if I too felt their burden of constantly fighting this battle of trying to have another child. I know they are putting everything into this journey, and I will be heartbroken if we don't have a positive pregnancy result, but I felt like I could sleep a little better the night of the transfer knowing it was closure for them.


The transfer went wonderfully. Corey and Randy took me to my appointment. We visited in the waiting room for another half an hour waiting for the valium to do it's thing (it never does.) I had to pee so bad I thought I was gonna have to call for clean-up on Aisle 7. But they want you to have a full bladder for the transfer so they can see what they're doing.

I told them that I was teasing Clark before I walked out the door and said, "Well just think! There's no chance of me coming home and telling you we ended up transferring 3 embryos this time!" haha. I thought I was pretty funny, he didn't laugh as much as I did ;) haha. I also said to him, "You know, we spend all our time trying to prepare ourselves for the fact that this might not work at all, that we don't really prepare ourselves for the fact that this could also easily be twins." We talked about that for a few minutes before it was time for me to go to my appointment. Corey also said they would both just absolutely LOVE IT if they had twins.

When it was time to go back for the transfer, Corey was able to go with me :) We sat and visited and took pictures of each other.

We were anxious to find out about how the embryos did in the thaw. Dr. Conway came in (she's wonderful BTW and I absolutely adore her) we found out that one embryo is doing wonderfully, and the other embryo is just a little bit behind. Still viable (which means it's still worth transferring, we didn't lose it completely or anything) but it's just not as strong as the other. It made me think of Hope's transfer. There were 2 beautiful strong embryos, and one that was still viable, but not as big as the other two. Ultimately, all 3 of them stayed, and then one even split in half, but we didn't keep them all in the end. So in my head I was just thinking, I guess we did originally keep that little embryo that wasn't quite as strong, but not indefinitely. Wasn't sure what to think. But we were both relieved and glad there was at least one good strong embryo. We of course transferred both.

(Oh, we also got the results of that second blood test confirming that I would in fact need to be on either Lovanox or Hepron during the entire pregnancy because of the risk of developing blood clots. The lovnox is an injection once a day for the ENTIRE pregnancy, but it's really expensive. If the insurnace doesn't cover most of that, then plan B is the Hepron, which is cheaper, but it's an injection TWICE a day for the ENTIRE pregnancy. Fun stuff...)

Lights went off, and it seems like everyone and their dog has to be up in your business during the transfer. The valium is supposed to relax you. Not that simple with metal gadgets, a spot light, and male embryologists you've never met. But it's all good. It's part of the game I guess. We got to watch the transfer take place on the ultrasound screen. They have an ultrasound monitor on my tummy and they watch the screen to be able to see what they're doing. They insert the embryos with a catheter (which is why they do a water ultrasound during an earlier appointment to see how well the catheter does during the whole process.) You can see the little white bubbles being nestled all snug about 10mm into your lining? I dunno... I think that's right. Maybe not the lining, but just the uterus. I can't remember. Anyway, altogether it only takes about 5 minutes. They were joking the whole time and teasing me about my modelesque and positively gorgeous "thick lining" and uterus. haha. They were laughing about how wonderful a complement like that is. "Oh Vanessa! Your uterus, and your lining! Simply beautiful! What a compliment!" haha. But seriously, they were all laughing and making me laugh, and I'm supposed to be holding still and - NOT USING MY STOMACH MUSCLES MAYBE?  :)

Inside the circle you can see the white pockets, which are holding the embryos :) k maybe you can't really see. who can really read these things anyway?

So once they were finished, they scooted me up onto the pillow and had me lay there for a solid 20 minutes. Corey and I visited some more. I asked her if it was totally surreal being in Utah and transferring her embryos into someone she didn't really know? We laughed and talked about how crazy it all was, and how she never expected to have a life similar to those you read on all those blogs out in the world! Crazy sauce.

I was finally allowed to go potty. I got the run down of bed rest, "princess days," no nothing anytime ever anywhere. I had started new medications a couple days ago, but that day would be the start of the progesterone suppositories on top of all the shots. (yes my bum hurts, and I sit on heating pads all day long) but so far it's been manageable :)

They took me home, and that's when my valium kicked in. Clark went and got me Cafe Rio, (if you haven't had their sweet pork, you're life hasn't started yet) and I crashed hard before he even got home. He's the best :) I ate, and we watched Criminal Minds before he went to class. (Brionna's sweetheart primary teacher, Aubrey, kept the girls for me for the evening, and another good friend of mine, Sarah, watched the girls the night we went out to dinner. Thank you ladies, you're the best!) I took it easy the rest of the night, and Corey and Randy sent a few texts that night making sure I was doing okay. They left for the airport the next morning (this morning i guess) so HOPEFULLY I will be seeing them again! I hope I hope!

Today has been uneventful, despite the constant meltdowns of a two year old. But Clark will be waking up soon (since he works graveyard) and we plan to have a nice evening as a family.

We all want this to work. What a bummer ending it will be if this is it. Oh I hope this isn't it. They changed how they do the pregnancy tests at the clinic. Instead of doing a blood draw on like day 6, and then another one on like day 10 to confirm that HCG levels are rising, they just do their first pregnancy test on day 10. So my appointment to see if we're pregnant is on February 4th! and that's just the blood draw. The waiting will of course be torture. It's all consuming. Randy has a business trip, which I'm super jealous about. For two reasons. 1) he's going to Florida and it's like 12 degrees out where I'm at, and 2) what a great way to take your mind off the waiting! Corey said they are planning something fun over next weekend to help pass the time and keep their minds off the "what if." I have to stay busy or I'll drive myself mad. I'm so anxious. I'm having my "Princess Days," and I just sit here and stare at a picture of my dumb uterus in my mind WILLING THOSE LITTLE EMBRYOS TO GRAB ON!!

So stay tuned. I'm sure I'll be peeing on sticks in a few days. But I don't know if I'll be announcing those results yet. We shall see.

and think: sticky STICKY sticky STICKY!!