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!

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!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Leap of Faith! Or is it a leap of Insanity? ;)

Would you believe it if I told you we are starting another journey!?

Where do I even start!

A handful of you already know…

And many of you followed my last journey with excitement and anticipation.

Here’s a quick rundown of this last year:

-I Found my intended mother on Craigslist in September of 2011 and named her Hope :)

-Announced the beginning of our journey together, & started meeting with the local fertility clinic

-Started Injections in October, (they’re quite pleasant, I assure you ;)

-Finalized and signed our contract

-Met Hope and her husband for the very first time! One of my favorite memories!

-Hope’s egg retrieval, followed immediately by the embryo transfer

-Transferred 3 embryo’s on November 2nd  (2 boys and 1 girl)

-(All this within less than 60 days)

-Experienced the LONGEST week of our lives waiting for the pregnancy tests. (of course I peed on a small country’s supply of at home pregnancy tests before the official blood work)

- Over that next week, one embryo split in half and we ended up pregnant with quadruplets!

- 3 heartbeats stopped and we ended up with one baby, overcame the shock of it, but grateful for a safer pregnancy

-Continued injections well into the pregnancy

-Updates slowed down for a while… just a lot of being pregnant and growing a cute baby!

-Experienced severe migraines for a good while. Nausea visited the whole 9 months per the usual. Struggled with restless legs, severe acid reflux, (discovered Prilosec OTC –liquid gold) developed an incredible pain in my arms which was eventually diagnosed as “carpal tunnel during pregnancy,” etc.

-Hope flew out from Illinois for the ultrasound where we discovered they were going to have a BABY BOY!!

-We could hardly believe it!

-Neared the end of the pregnancy. It all went by quite fast for everyone!

-Started dilating and effacing 3 weeks out from my due date. Everyone was nervous. Hope and Hubby hurried to Utah! Water broke at midnight (on the dot) and we raced to the hospital half an hour down the freeway! Needed to push in the car, our exit was barricaded and we got lost, found the hospital, ready to push, nurse wouldn’t let me push, almost broke the hospital bed, no epidural, worst pain of my life, pushed once and sweet little Spencer was born at 1:06am on July 1st! (if you haven’t read the extended version, you’re missing out)

-6 lbs 4 oz, healthy and beautiful

-Only spent that first day in the hospital, right next to Hope and baby Spencer :)

-Engorged for a solid week and a half. (that was fun too)

-Took Spencer’s pictures, Hope’s husband made the most beautiful video of their journey, and we made lots of visits before they all headed back to Illinois.

-Hope and her husband surprised me with a beautiful keepsake and a membership to the local gym, where I started to get my butt in shape, and ran a 5k marathon within 3 months of having Spencer! It was the first time I’d ever ran more than 25 feet in my entire life. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. I was pretty proud of myself! It was a 5k for Fertility and I have pictures to include at the end :)

-Carpal Tunnel only got worse after the delivery, and I had to have surgery that very same month before the Insurance ended. Both arms had to be done at the same time, handicapped and helpless for several weeks. It was rough, but finally sweet relief!

-When I woke up from the anesthesia after the surgery, my arms were in braces and bandages, but my legs hurt. That couldn’t be right. So when I mentioned that my legs really hurt, they immediately ordered an ultrasound on my legs, and they found blood clots in both legs. Awesome. Luckily they were superficial blood clots, meaning they weren’t in major arteries. I had to be on more injections and Coumadin for the next 6 weeks. They did blood work and came to the conclusion that I needed to be smart about future pregnancies. I would need to be on a blood thinner while I was pregnant or nursing, and I could only be on certain kinds of birth controls.

-I ended my journey knowing it was one of the neatest things I’d ever done in my entire life. It was hard, and I knew going in that it would be hard (physically I mean) but it was the most rewarding and exciting thing I’d ever been a part of. It helped our family financially, and I was able to help another family and bring a beautiful baby into the world.

-So here’s the scoop on our newest turn of events!

-Baby Spencer just turned 6 months old! Clark and I were planning on moving forward with our own family right away. We started trying to get pregnant just 3 months after Spencer was born. We didn’t clock the moon or anything, we just weren’t trying to prevent anything. We talked a lot about our situation, and whether or not having another baby right away was the best decision (mostly financially.) When Spencer was 4 months old, we began joking about another surrogacy. It was definitely what you would consider “light conversation” at the time. We kept going back and forth, but we finally came to the conclusion that having another baby right away probably wasn’t the most responsible thing to do. Which was a hard conclusion for us to come to, because we were ready to continue our family. We still didn’t know if having another baby for someone else was the best idea either. My biggest hold up was obviously the being pregnant part. That’s no secret. Remember, I was still only 5 months postpartum. I hadn’t had much time to be normal again before considering not only having another baby, but having another baby that wasn’t even mine. It was a lot to wrap my head around. Even for all the money in the world, I wasn’t quite ready to make that commitment again. Then we got to a point where we figured; well we aren’t going to have another one right now, we should go ahead with another journey. It was after a lot of praying and talking and considering and more praying that we finally came to the decision to do it again. For all of you skeptics (I’ve talked to lots of you, so I know you’re out there) We, of all people, know exactly what goes into this. We know the risks involved, the added discomfort of pregnancy, etc. Incase you forgot, this will be #5  for me. My mom tells me I have a short memory… haha. I just laugh. My mom has the same kind of pregnancies as I do, but my memory isn’t as short as she might suggest ;)

Hope and her husband weren’t quite ready for round two with us. So I put an ad out on a few surrogacy sites to test the water. My email was flooded with responses from around the country. I had two mothers that very morning that wanted to move forward with me. But there were several things different about this second time around. First, I didn’t have medical insurance like I did the first time. That’s huge in the world of surrogacy. I also had the potential for developing blood clots during pregnancy, and there were a few clinics around the country that wouldn’t work with me. I also never knew how many crazies were out there! I’m sorry, but you wanna go lookin’ for crazies, you either go to the welfare office on a Monday, or you put an ad out for surrogacy. It goes both ways. Intended parents have the hardest time finding normal carriers! I have been on that facebook page for local surrogates where I live. They are all in different stages of their journies. Searching, matched, transferring, pregnant, delivering, etc. They all have different stories and experiences. I learn more and more each day, between that facebook page and the surrogacy sites out there, that my first journey was ONE IN A MILLION and truly a fairytale journey!

So I perfected my profile and my ads. I found a great couple that I would have been more than happy moving forward with! We had a video conference, but her and her husband were new to the idea of surrogacy and just getting their feet wet. They decided they needed to take a little more time to do their research. What surrogates are compensated, what’s acceptable in a contract, how it all works, private vs. going through an agency, etc. At least I’m assuming those were some of the things they wanted to look more into. So I continued my search. I went at it for weeks, weeding through potential intended families, but I came to the conclusion that I just wouldn’t find another Hope and her husband. My first journey was just too good to be true. It was the perfect fit. The perfect match. It’s like finding another spouse. Hope and I understood each other, we loved each other despite faults and weaknesses. We made sense. We believed the same way, we wanted the same things, we lived similar life styles. And it was like love at first sight, because we never gave it a second thought once we were matched. K, do you see how all my cheezy analogies work when it comes to finding the right match? Now imagine losing your match, and having to start all over!

After seemingly wonderful matches and not so wonderful matches, that same family that needed a little more time emailed me! It was completely unexpected. I was working at Cabela’s at the time and my life was insanely busy during the holidays. I didn’t get a chance to respond to her email before I got another email and a text all at once! She was eager to reconnect and hopeful that I hadn’t been matched yet. Clark and I were excited to hear from them and everything fell right into place! We officially matched on December 3rd. OFFICIALLY :) Whoohoo! We were all eager to move things forward right away. There is SO MUCH that has to fall into place before things can work. The Utah Fertility Center was willing to work with me again despite the risk for developing blood clots. So that’s where we started.

My new intended family is awesome! Her name is Corey, and her husband is Randy. They have a 5 year old little boy named Jaxston, and one of the saddest stories leading up to their search for a surrogate! They live in Wisconsin, and I love them :) I’m so excited to be working with them.

So I will never be able to do their story justice, but here’s a little background on their journey so far.

-From January 2011 until December 2011, Corey and Randy attempted 3 IUI cycles (intra-uterine insemination) all of which were unsuccessful. Corey also had to undergo laparoscopy surgery to remove cysts and spots of endometriosis. The surgery caused her to lose a great deal of her eggs. In the new year 2012, they decided to pursue IVF (in-vitro fertilization) In March, they transferred 3 five day embryos.

6 days after the transfer, Corey was rushed to the emergency room with the worst pain she’d ever experienced. They admitted her on and off for weeks at a time, not knowing what the problem really was. They finally got the results back from the embryo transfer. Another unsuccessful attempt. Negative. She experienced 104 degree fevers off and on  throughout the insane rollercoaster of being admitted and discharged time and time again. They found internal bleeding. They found internal fluids that weren’t supposed to be there. Their fertility doctor abandoned them. Corey became septic and they weren’t sure if she was going to make it. The hospital told them this was above their heads and they were on their own to find a surgeon that would take their case. Randy called every surgeon in the area and no one would help them. The risk of malpractice lawsuits was too high, and they couldn’t find a surgeon willing to clean up another doctor’s mess.

Randy was finally able to get an appointment with a reproductive oncologist. The doctor informed them that Corey would need a full hysterectomy and that he would do his best to remove the infection.

Corey underwent yet another surgery, and the doctor was able to save her uterus, but she lost most of her ovaries because the infection grew to 12cm. The endometriosis and scar tissue from the infection fused the bowel to her uterus and other organs, which obviously wasn’t good news. During the surgery, a colon surgeon was present in case they needed to do a bowel resection. The doctor later told them it was the worst infection he’d ever seen.

Corey was finally released and home from the hospital when she once again, became very sick. She went back to the hospital and they had to do a blood transfusion and upper GI endoscopy to try and discover the problem. This all went on from March until May of 2012. She was finally cleared from the surgeon in August and had finally made a full recovery. (Please note – a full recovery from all that still resulted in the inability to carry children. So what is a full recovery really?)

After everything that happened, Corey and Randy now have 2 frozen embryos from the original IVF cycle.
Because of the infection that resulted, she will not be able to attempt any more egg retrievals, and there’s no good chance of carrying a baby herself because of all the scar tissue.

Bless her heart.

So here we are!

They came across one of my ads online. They enthusiastically read my blog, they talked to me initially, took some time to explore all their options, and reconnected with me excited to move forward!

Like I said before, we matched on December 3rd. In the month of December, I applied for private medical insurance through Blue Cross. Corey was in touch with several attorneys from both Wisconsin and Utah, where we finally got on the right track and finalized the contract. Signed, notarized, done! I don’t have to do another psych evaluation since I’m using the same clinic and they already have it on record. Corey and Randy completed their psych eval shortly into the new year! They booked their plane tickets, I started my injections and medications, I’ve been attending my weekly ultrasounds and blood draws, and their two frozen embryo’s were shipped to Utah!

Whew! That all took place within the last 45 days! I thought my first journey went fast! In comparison to all the other journey’s I follow, mine were both extraordinarily fast!!
Which is awesome. There’s enough of a waiting game when it comes to all this without dragging out the pre-transfer details. Corey has been spectacular! She’s on the ball and pushes hard to keep things moving. Corey and Hope visit and exchange information, Hope has been so helpful and wonderful!

Which brings me to Hope! One of my dearest friends. They’re coming to visit! I can hardly wait! I keep in touch with Hope just as we did before Spencer was born. I love to video chat with her and see cute little Spencer. He’s getting so big! He gives slobber kisses and has his first tooth! Hope has been wonderfully supportive of my new journey. I had gotten so frustrated and was to a point where I gave up trying to find another wonderful Intended Family. No one compared to Spencer’s family. I called her on more than one occasion emotional and frazzled. I don’t think she’ll ever really understand how wonderful she is, and her hubby. Man we sure love them! Clark misses them too. Hope’s mother-in-law, Beverly Nelson, won the State Mother of the Year Award in California in 2012. I’m not surprised. She raised a wonderful man who is now the father of baby Spencer! But Beverly is writing a book, and asked me to contribute a small bit on being a surrogate mother. (or gestational carrier, which is technically more accurate) I wanted to share what I wrote because writing this little blurb gave me a chance to look back over my journey with an emotional perspective, instead of a factually based perspective. I was able to reflect on what carrying baby Spencer meant to me, and I’ve been given permission to share what I contributed to the book! I hope this can be taken in the spirit it was written….

I had become a mother at a very young age, and that’s the only thing I’d ever really known. I saw people living, growing and having experiences in their lives, but I’d never really had those life changing experiences for myself. At least not the kind you want to remember.
After a life of struggles and heartache, I found peace in God and faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. I tried to live my life centered around the things I believe to be eternal, Family being the most important of them all.
On the most ordinary of days, I happened upon a mother who had suffered heartache and loss, searching for someone to carry her most precious of possessions. A baby she was incapable of carrying herself.
There I was. In a world were I felt useless to anyone other than my own family, having no education, no financial stability, and no real talents, I was able to offer my time, my love, and my ability to carry children.
With a body that finds no pleasure in being pregnant, enduring ever increasing  symptoms that made everyday life difficult, I was able to find strength and courage in knowing that the Lord had blessed me with the ability to have children. Despite how hard being pregnant was for me, I knew that there were childless women longing for the chance to hold just one precious baby in their arms. These women would give anything to have the pregnancies I was capable of. This was something that I had been blessed with that I wanted to give away.
It was an exciting process gearing up for the embryo transfer and the pregnancy. We were beside ourselves at the first glimpse of success as we learned that a baby was on it’s way!
What an incredible thing to be a part of; to develop a friendship and life long relationship with this beautiful family. To share in something so intimate and joyous. To be a small part of this family’s eternity. To give something so special to the most deserving family I’d ever met, the most patient and tender mother I’d ever known.
I was able to have one of the most incredible experiences of a lifetime, and it’s an experience that keeps on going. An experience I thought I’d lost my chance at, years before. Carrying baby Spencer was the most fulfilling thing I’d ever done. It makes me feel like I can do the impossible. It makes me want to wrap my arms around every person who’s ever experienced heartache as a parent. It has helped me to think of others before myself, and the pure joy and peace that comes from loving and giving is indescribable.
I don’t know if I could ever really describe what baby Spencer is to me. “Surrogate Mother” has been the easiest name used to describe what I am to little Spencer, but that’s not technically what I am. Yet “Gestational Carrier” sounds cold and unfeeling. I am so proud of sweet little Spencer. I see him and I know that he’s the best thing I’ve ever done. He’s the very best part of me. I was able to take the best part of me and use that to grow a beautiful baby. What joy that brings me. Oh how I love his family. I will always cherish our friendship. My husband and I adore all the pictures and updates we get on a regular basis. Beautiful sentiments given to me by their family are some of my most cherished keepsakes. I am preparing to be a part of another family’s life the way I was with baby Spencer, and I’m excited to be a small part of their journey, just as I was with Spencer’s family.
As a mother of three, I know what it is to love a child unconditionally. I’ve often heard the love for a child carried by a gestational carrier as that of an “auntie.” I would never describe what I feel towards baby Spencer as an “auntie” sort of love. I never for one moment felt anything maternal towards him either. I knew from the very beginning that he wasn’t mine, and when his mother and father wrapped their arms around him for the very first time, it felt right. So I’m content to be his Vanessa. His first home, his mother’s friend. He’s my little buddy Spencer. While he was growing within me, he was growing within their hearts, and that’s where he belongs.

I know huh. How cute is that!

Little guy on his very special blessing day <3 Wish I could have been there!

So there’s my reflection. And now I’m ready for round two!

Corey and Randy will be here in exactly one week! They want to be present for the transfer, and will spend a couple days with me while I’m on bedrest. They only have two embryos. No pressure or anything right? Oh man! We’ve only got one shot. It was nerve racking waiting to find out if Hope was gonna have a baby last year! But I guess the fact that we could always have tried again was in the back of our minds, even though it would have been devastating nonetheless. So what would that make this? I don’t even want to think about it. We’re just gonna think sticky thoughts and pray that this “good growing environment” they tell me I have will be useful!

So I’ve started the injections and the medications like I said earlier. And the migraines have begun. They are almost daily… but so far they’ve been manageable and only last a couple hours. I’m praying that’s the worst of it. The injections I’m on so far only hurt a little. That good ol’ peanut butter shot of progesterone and oil doesn’t start for 3 more days! I got to the point on those that I was fine with the injection itself, but it was the aftermath pain from the injection that lasted several days that was impossible to get used to! Fun stuff :) My medical insurance was approved on January 1st! Whoohoo! We were all relieved. It’s not always easy to get approved for private medical insurance. Especially with the “risk of developing blood clots” and the fact that it’s a “surrogate pregnancy” or even a pregnancy at all. We are lucky ducks and all feeling very relieved that it worked out.

So the whole “risk of developing blood clots during pregnancy” thing. What a nightmare. I had the surgery after Spencer, and they said, “You’ll need to be on a simple blood thinner during future pregnancies, and you will need to be on certain kinds of birth controls.” My clinic said they’d still work with me, and we rapidly moved forward. Then they ran more blood tests and came back and said, “Everything looks normal except one minor test. We think you probably developed the blood clots during the surgery itself and not the pregnancy, since anesthesia itself can increase your risk of developing. So probably no need to worry about a risk during a pregnancy.” Sweet! That was good news for me. No worries with this pregnancy or any future pregnancies. Then the Dr. asked me to see a specialist just to be sure. So yesterday was my appointment with a neonatologist? I think? Some kind of specialist anyway. He’s concerned about that one stupid abnormality in my blood work. Something about a Thrombin 3 deficiency. I dunno. Supposedly it is extremely rare to have the deficiency, and even more rare to know that you even have the deficiency. It’s usually pregnancy that makes it reveal itself. So they don’t know much about it. Here’s where we’re at. There is an increased risk of developing blood clots during pregnancy, so we’re advised to be on Lovenox every day of the pregnancy. Which is that “simple blood thinner” I was telling you about earlier. It’s an injection. The good news here is that I went into all this thinking that was going to be the case, so it’s not like I went in thinking everything was normal and then got bad news. Instead, I already had this news going in, and was perfectly fine with it. Then I was told that probably wasn’t the case, and then re-confirmed that it probably was the case. So it’s all good. I drew more blood this morning to just double check that deficiency level, but chances are that it was perfectly accurate. Which is fine by me :) At least we confirmed what we already expected and there were no surprises! The blood clots they found were superficial mind you. One was from my ankle to my groin, and the other wasn’t as big. I’ve assessed all the risks, we have discussed and mulled over everything involved here. We’re still moving forward and we’re still perfectly excited, so I don’t want to hear anymore on the subject of blood clots!

Moving on. As you probably already know… I talk a lot. I have the hardest time putting what I want to say into words. Bear with me and don’t feel obligated to keep reading!

Corey and Randy are positively wonderful. She is so easy to talk to, and that’s so hard to find in an intended mother. When I say she’s easy to talk to, what I mean is that she thinks a lot like me, she’s down to earth, she’s smart, funny and so very sweet! When we’re on the phone together, we just connect. Just like Hope and I. I don’t take that for granted. Her story is so heartbreaking. I know so many women who can’t carry their own children. I have met and talked to SO MANY families struggling with infertility, all encompassing. I wish I could help all of them. But for now, I’m going to do my very best to help Corey and Randy, and cute little Jaxston! Randy’s so great. He’s so involved and attentive. He wants to be there every step of the way. I remember a while back, Corey had called me and made me laugh. She was going on about how Randy was relentlessly reading my blog and wouldn’t leave her alone until she called me :) He’s been there for her every step of the way, through all the pain and suffering she’s been through. He emailed me just to tell me they were thinking of me. Hope’s hubby was the same way. Good men are hard to find folks. I like to believe that mine is the only one out there. But I have met some really great guys that know what it means to be an attentive and dedicated husband and father. I’m so excited to work with Corey and Randy. And they’re literally putting all their eggs in one basket! EEEkkk!!

My own hubby is so wonderful. I’m putting a plug in for him because he does so much for me and is 100% by my side, no matter what’s going on. We make a good team. He takes care of me and loves me unconditionally. He’s my whole world and I get to share every day with him. He was hit by a semi truck a couple weeks ago. It was a scary week for us. It was a hit and run, and we lost our car, but he was safe and was able to come home with only a concussion and a good case of whiplash. He’s my best friend and I can’t imagine my life without him. I’m so glad he’ll be by my side throughout another journey <3

Before I wrap it up, I just want to say, I know for some of you, this seems crazy. A good handful of you have already said so. This is such a neat thing to do, despite the hard parts. I very rarely discuss the compensation side of things, but not only does this greatly help another family, this helps our family immensely. It is a blessing for all involved, and being pregnant is something I’m good at! ;) We are doing this again for many good reasons, and we love your support. We hope you can share our enthusiasm!

So here we go!! Journey #2! It’s crazy! And Exciting! And scary! And fun! And oh so rewarding! We can do it!

Progesterone injections … T-minus 72 hours
First visit from my new intended family!   ..T-minus 7 days!
Transfer of 2 five day embryos!   ..T-minus 8 days!
Followed by the longest week of our lives of course.

Ready, Set – GROW!


Here are the pictures to go along with the 5k for Fertility race :)

Here I am with Katie and Christa! Katie is Hope's sister-in-law (and Clark's piano teacher when he was young if you can believe that! haha) and Christa is Hope's sister! They showed up for the 5k for Fertility and raced along side me! They're the best!

On the far right is also Hope's sister-in-law Karly! (her hubby's sister :)

I'd just like to point out that these pictures were taken AFTER I ran 3 miles. that is all