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!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And Now We Wait....

So last Friday, Hope went into the clinic for her egg retrieval. She went in at 6:30am, and the anesthesiologist knocked her out ‘til noon. They were able to retrieve 22 eggs. I went to see her later that afternoon. She looked so tired when I got there, but we visited and I got a chance to spend time with her mom and sister. I had such a nice time, and Hope had a small gift for me! It was ever so appropriate. Pregnancy Tests : ) along with darling drawings from her girls, a movie gift certificate, and kit kats! I loved it. It was the perfect gift.

Her little girls even wrote my name! Cute huh

I made sure to take pictures of their phenomenal play house before I left. I totally wish I had a playhouse just like it when I was a little girl.

This was the front, and you can see the basket attached to the pulley that can be reeled up to the fort! How fun is that

America's cutest front porch, complete with mailbox and birdhouse!

Sofa made by hand, with matching valance and curtains! See the cute little pillow! Mop, and vacuum are in the corner... there is even electricity. They thought of everything!

Kitchen, cupboards, table and chairs, shelf with china, and that little white circle on the wall is a pipe that makes it possible to talk to the kids upstairs!

The fort upstairs. There is a telescope and a treasure chest on the other side, and that opening straight ahead is the balcony that leads to the slide!

The view from the side...

and pictures of their beautiful yard

We said our goodbyes. We won’t see each other again, at least not until we have a baby! It was hard for me to say goodbye. I truly hope that wasn’t the last time I will ever get to see Hope.

We found out a few days later that out of her 22 eggs, only 8 survived. Out of the 15 that were frozen from a previous cycle, 9 survived. That was to be expected. So we had 17 embryos, and we had to wait to find out if any of the embryos were good enough to actually transfer. The doctor and nurses were optimistic, and so was I. Hope and her husband said it perfectly when they said they were cautiously optimistic. We are all trying to not get our hopes up too much. The transfer was to take place 5 days after the retrieval, so I sat around and impatiently waited for Wednesday, November 2nd.

The day of the transfer finally came. I wasn’t nervous at all. People kept asking me if I was nervous or anxious, and all I could say was, “I’m SO ready!” I didn’t have any butterflies at all going into the clinic. I had waited and prepared for this day for what seemed like forever, and I was just READY. A good friend of mine dropped me off at the clinic because they didn’t want me to drive home. They had me show up a half hour early so I could take a valium. The valium was supposed to relax me, but I never felt the effects of it at all. They wanted me to have a semi-full bladder, and I worked hard to drink just the right amount and go potty at just the right time so that I wouldn’t be doing the potty dance before the transfer. While I waited in the waiting room, I called Hope. She was sitting by the phone waiting for the phone call from the doctor telling us how many embryos we had. She was so anxious. We figured that since they hadn’t sent me home, there had to be at least one good embryo. We talked for a moment, and then I let her go back to staring at her phone. I got my comfy tissue paper blanket around 1pm, and I waited. And waited, and waited. What was supposed to be an all around hour and a half visit to the clinic turned into 2 and a half hours (which was a bummer for my ride) My nurse came in and found the right position for my tummy ultrasound so the doctor could see what he was doing on the inside. We visited for quite a while, and she kept saying over and over, “We all have such a good feeling about you.” “Your lining is truly thick and spectacular, I can hardly believe it!” and “Your bladder is EXACTLY where we want it!” All of those are things that I of course wanted to hear, but she said it over and over which of course only gets my hopes up even more. I told her that I still wasn’t feeling the valium, which surprised everyone. It was a good thing I wasn’t nervous at all. The main reason for the valium is to make my body and muscles relax during the transfer, and it was easy enough to relax on my own. I spent a little while on the table alone while I waited. I was thinking about everything, and I was wondering how many embryos we would have. Only one? Would there be at least two like we hoped? If there are more than two, they will most likely freeze the rest for a future attempt. I remember the clinic telling me in the very beginning that they never transfer more than two embryos. And then I had a thought. I kind of wish they would be willing to transfer more than two, that is, if there were even that many available. It seems like such a waste of a good embryo to just not use it and freeze it away. Hope has spent so much time trying to make this all work, without any success at all. I just wish we could give her all the odds. A moment later, Dr. Faulk walked in. He had a huge smile on his face, and he was bouncy and full of energy. He sat right down and said, well we have 3 fantastic embryos! And a fourth that is good, but a day or two behind the first 3. He was so thrilled with how well the 3 embryos were doing! My stomach did a flip flop :) It was wonderful news. He handed me a picture of one of the embryos!

He still needed to call Hope and tell her the news, but he stopped and looked at me very seriously. “Vanessa. Hope has not had any success. We have worked so hard to get here, and I want to give her every possible chance of making this work. What do you think of transferring all 3 embryos?”

I practically jumped right off the table when I said, “Absolutely! You practically read my mind!”

He said, “You realize that puts you at risk of having triplets. There is only about a 3% chance of you having triplets, and we can always do selective reduction if there is any kind of problem. Is that something you are willing to do?”

I was so sure. I felt so good about it. There is a chance that we could transfer 2 embryos, and none of them could even take. We could transfer 2 and then both could take. We could transfer all 3, and none could take, or only one! Or two. Or there is that 3% chance all three could take. It was worth that small risk to be able to give us all the odds. I felt so good about transferring all three.

He needed to call and talk it over with Hope and her husband. So now my waiting consisted of excitement at the thought of transferring all three! I hoped she would go for it. They all talked, and it came down to whether or not they were okay with selective reduction if the situation presented itself. The contract, and all adults involved, agreed that selective reduction would only take place if there is a threat to my life, or the life of the babies. So they left the decision up to me. If I was willing to take that on, then we would transfer all 3. DONE.

They dimmed the lights, they propped me up in stirrups, and we transferred all three embryos. I got to watch it all on the ultrasound screen. I could see the white line of the instrument he used to place the embryos, and I could see the 3 small air bubbles that held them. It didn’t hurt one bit, it was just uncomfortable when they pushed on my bladder (which by this time had quadrupled in size.) Once he was finished, he very slowly lowered my legs, and he told me to hold very still while he slid me up on the table so that I didn’t use any muscles to move. He shook my hand and said, “Make us Proud!” I had to lie on the table for half an hour, and then they came in to give me instructions. I could get dressed, go potty, and then schedule my appointments to have my blood drawn in order to test for the pregnancy hormone twelve days from now. They told me to of course continue my estrogen shot, continue my evil progesterone & oil shot, my prenatals and baby asprin, and I was to start a progesterone suppository every night before bed. I am to spend the next two and a half days sitting or lying down. No lifting or doing anything that excessively works my stomach muscles. I am instructed to then spend the next 10 days without anything that would break a sweat, increase my heart rate, etc. (which will make Fridays and Saturdays at work tough) Before I left, the clinic gave me a complimentary gift certificate for a one hour massage! It was so nice of them, and totally unexpected, and now I’ve got to hide it from Clark ;)

I came home from the clinic, and propped my legs up. I have done my very best to take it easy. I try to sit and fold laundry, sew my tree skirt, dink around on the computer, and nap. It’s real hard with a baby running around. I don’t have a problem getting on my knees and changing a diaper, or letting her snuggle with me on the couch. I can stand up to make something to eat or shower, and when I walk I try to walk slowly. I’ve got one more day to go, but I honestly don’t mind it at all. I like knowing that sitting on the couch is potentially increasing our odds. I spent two days before the transfer cleaning my house so that sitting didn’t make me feel totally helpless and unproductive. I made sure to stock up on food in the house, and my incredible babysitter has spent the last couple days over at our house to help with the girls. They all went to the park today and I was able to rest. She also made fudge : ) My husband has been truly incredible throughout this entire process. From day one he has been so supportive, and excited. He loves to hear what Hope’s newest email has to say, he always asks questions, and he has such a positive attitude about it all. Ever since the transfer, he has made sure everything is taken care of so that I don’t feel the need to move around. He brings me what I need, he’s even at the grocery store right now with the girls. He’s been truly amazing and I am so thankful to have him.

Hope called me at bedtime the day of the transfer. She told me that they transferred two boys and one girl! That was exciting news! I had a dream that we had twins, one boy and one girl. Hope’s husband also had a dream that we had one boy and one girl. We are all really trying to not read too much into the dreams, but it’s been really interesting nevertheless. Two boys and one girl. It’s incredible to me that they can even know the gender. Of course, depending on how many embryos take, we won’t know which ones stay until I’m a good 16 to 20 weeks along. Hope also told me that we have had every chance there ever was. All the odds have been in our favor, and if this doesn’t work, she can be at peace knowing it isn’t supposed to. We did everything we possibly could, and Heavenly Father might just have another plan for her family. Hearing her say that made me feel better.

So now we wait. They will draw my blood at 10am on November 10th to test for the pregnancy hormone. They won’t tell us the results of that blood test. They will then draw my blood again at 10am on November 14th, and that blood draw will officially determine whether or not we’re pregnant! I’ve heard that sometimes it will show up on a home pregnancy test a few days before, so I might just give one a try. But I’m not sure if I’ll actually reveal the results. I would hate to give anyone the results of a false positive. But it’s all so exciting! Hope said this is going to be the longest 12 days of our lives! I think she’s right. Again, we are all trying to be cautiously optimistic, although I’ll be honest. Caution has completely gone out the window on my end. I know that it will make this all the more devastating if this doesn’t work.

I cannot give myself my progesterone & oil injection. It hurts terribly bad. It is slow and painful and I couldn’t do it myself even if I wanted to. I have to take it in the morning at the same time every single day. So I take it at 5:00am, and Clark has been so very wonderful about giving me my shots. I feel so bad that he has to wake up out of a dead sleep every morning at 5am to stick me. Even on Sundays when we both get to sleep in, my alarm goes off at 5 so he can do my injection. He has never once complained, and only apologizes for having to give me yet another shot. I love him dearly. The Prog & Oil shots have been by far the worst part of this experience. The injections hurt like crazy. And my bum is EXTREMELY sore for three solid days after the shot. And since I rotate sides ever day, it only gives the one side a day to recover. Therefore, I have MULTIPLE sore spots on each side on any given day. The medication is so thick that it just stays in a small lump about the size of a quarter. I spend hours sitting on a heating pad, hoping to disperse and relieve some of the medication and pain. It doesn’t really work. The clinic says it’s normal. My bum is black and blue. It hurts to walk, it hurts to sit. It hurts to sit on the toilet, it hurts to lay down. It hurts to drive because the small muscle you use to push the gas and break pedal makes it hurt. I am in so much pain that I limp around, thinking that there will be some sort of relief if I wait a split second longer to put pressure on my leg. But at the last possible moment I realize that it didn’t make any sort of difference because it just hurt really really bad to take that step. It’s been hard to work with me being so incredibly sore. It was so bad the other day that Clark was putting my shoes and socks on for me and I started to cry. When I drive, I make a fist and keep it under my thigh so that there isn’t as much pressure on my behind, which of course doesn’t seem to help either :( Like I said, it’s been the hardest part of all this. It will all be totally worth it if we are able to have a baby! Hope keeps apologizing for my bum being so sore. I don’t want her to feel bad or be sorry at all. This is all part of what it takes, and it’s truly not the end of the world. I can still work, I still drive, I still somehow manage to pee :) I would take this over morning sickness any day. Only 53 more injections to go… so long as we are pregnant!

The transfer is over. This is it. We will wait out the next 2 weeks, trying hard to not think too much on it all. Hope said she didn’t sleep at all last night, so wish us luck. I keep wondering what it would be like if we were told all three embryos were growing inside me! How stinkin’ exciting would that be?! Obviously triplets would be insane, and very hard on my body. But people manage it. People manage twins too. I won’t concern myself about it unless there is a need to be concerned. I am happy we transferred all that we could. Clark started singing Phoebe’s song from friends last night and made me laugh so hard :)

“Are you in there little fetus? In nine months will you come greet us? I will buy you some Adidas” haha :) Needless to say we’ve been on a Friends kick for a while now.

Clark is planning to post a blog on here soon, so stay tuned for what he has to say! I honestly have no idea what direction he is planning to take, so it will be a lot of fun to read about his point of view. I have the best husband in the world. Thanks for following along friends! It’s been fun, and hopefully there is a lot more to come in the next year!


  1. I'm just wondering, in terms of your religion - what is the difference between creating embryos knowing they won't all survive and abortion? Or having three embryos placed, finding out one isn't doing well and doing a "selective reduction"? They kinda sound the same to me.

  2. Clark, here. This is a great question that deserves a complete answer in a forum such as this one. In answer to the first part of your question there is a gargantuan difference. Abortion is an elective, unnatural and many times unnecessary CHOICE to terminate a pregnancy. Transferring embryos while at the same time knowing they will not survive isn't something anyone can control. It is part of the natural process. Every time someone has intercourse embryos can be created. Whether or not they survive is ultimately what determines pregnancy. With regard to the selective reduction, it is only done (or only will be done in this case) if the embryo or baby in question is threatening the health of either the other baby(s) or the carrier. In this instance, the LDS religion understands that these types of procedures can be necessary to preserve another life. It should also be noted that most of the time the threatening embryo doesn't stand much of a chance of surviving which is why it is a threat to the others. So reducing that embryo simply eliminates the damage it can do to the carrier or other embryos while it continues to deteriorate. It is never a choice that would be made for cosmetic, convenience, or comfort reasons. Only (in the extreme) if it were a serious threat to other lives that stood a chance of thriving.
    Just by way of information, the LDS Church's official position on abortion is that it is not immoral in the case of rape, incest, or the threatening of a life.

  3. Wow Vanessa! this is huge! sounds like those shots are the absolute worst- but you have such a positive attitude about everything! It sounds like you've grown a really great relationship with Hope and i hope everything works out for you! Let me know what i can do to help! p.s. thanks for the tree house pics- that is impressive :)

  4. Isn't that tree house phenomenal! I'm glad you appreciated those :) Those shots really are going to be the death of me. I tried my best to not limp around Church all day Sunday! Congratulations on the news of your little one! We are thrilled for you both <3 I know Taylor missed saying Goodbye to you. He'll be here soon!

  5. Thanks Clark for your perfect answer to the above question. Well put.

  6. Woohoo! I'm sure everyone is looking forward to an awesome post in 2 weeks! Take it easy :)

  7. Thanks Clark. As someone not familiar with your religion at all, that really answer really helped!