About Me

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I'm Alison, a thirty-something, married, mother of two girls, with a passion for animals of all kinds. My family adopted our goofy, lovable dog {Charlie} from a local shelter. It breaks my heart to know there are countless animals out there being mistreated {to say the least} and I would love more than anything to help even one animal find a loving forever home. Think adoption first. Find a local animal shelter or animal rescue... don't buy your next pet... rescue him/her!

Friday, December 28, 2012

We made it!

I am excited and relieved to say that we made it past my "black out dates"!  I did not spend Christmas Eve or Day in the hospital and that makes me very happy.  I did spend those days incredibly uncomfortable and swollen... but I'll take that over a hospital room any day.  I was able to get up with my husband and our girls on Christmas morning and see their faces when they looked to see if Santa had come, and that was what I was afraid to miss.  So... now these babies can feel free to come any time.  Did you hear me babies...ANY time now would be great.  I am HUGE!  ; )  We've made it past 37 weeks now, which is wonderful for twins, and I am just waiting for something to tell me it's time for them to make their grand entrance.  But, if nothing does happen, I will be checking in at the hospital Wednesday morning for a scheduled c-section (bright and early, might I add...5:30am!).  4 more days to go!
My NSTs have shown contractions, but not regular enough to be "active labor" and at my OB appt yesterday there had been no change to my cervix since my hospital visit a couple weeks ago.  Still 1.5cm and 50-75% effaced.  So, there's nothing saying I will go into labor before our scheduled date, but we all know that it doesn't necessarily mean it won't happen.  I've seen people be 1cm at an appt, and that night go into labor and check in at the hospital at a 5.  You just never know with babies!  They will come when they will come...or when we decide it's time.  On Wednesday.  ; )
I hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!  It looks like J&T will be daddies in 2013 after all!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Let the countdown begin!

We officially have a date!  Not that it necessarily means anything, because as we all know, babies make their own schedule... but, if all goes according to plan, these babies will make their grand entrance on January 2nd, 2013!  With the (estimated) size of these babies and the contractions I have every day, there are many people betting that I won't get to that date, but you just never know.  I went in to my scheduled c-section at 38 weeks on the dot with my last surro-twins, so it is possible... though every pregnancy is different.  At my OB appointment today, she measured my belly (fundal height, like we talked about in the last post) and said, "yep, they are still growing!" they don't seem to be slowing down any time soon in that arena.  ; )  I'd love to just blackout any dates between December 20th and 26th, and then let the babies come whenever else they'd like- but since there's no blackout option, I'll just have to take my chances.  I'll start twice-weekly NSTs (Non-Stress Tests) this week.  These are where they monitor the babies' heart rates and any contractions I have for about 45 mins to an hour, as well as a quick ultrasound to make sure the amniotic fluid levels around each baby are good.  It's a good thing these didn't start sooner, since we're up to 3 appointments a week now!  My schedule is filling up.  : )  Plus, add in the fact that it is the Holiday Season, and everything gets that much busier.  I hope you are all having a great beginning to your Holiday Season!
Any guesses on when the babies will come and how big they will be?  Let's hear 'em!    

Thursday, November 29, 2012

33 weeks and wow!

Are these babies growing!  I had a super quick check up with the nurse practitioner today and when she measured my fundal height she said she was surprised and that these girls had grown quite a bit.  The fundal height measurement is when they measure from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus (as felt by pushing slightly on your belly).  With a singleton pregnancy, the measurement is usually close to the number of weeks you are in gestation.  With a twin pregnancy, however, there is no "right" number- they only use fundal height to track a steady growth pattern- no matter what the number.  So, back to my visit, this number had apparently gotten quite a bit higher since my last visit.  We heard the babies' heart beats (130s and 140s) and did another FFN test due to the contractions I'm still having (it came back negative again).  Our visit was cut a bit short because the ultrasound technician was ready for me, so I moved along to her room to have a look at these girls.
It appears that the fluid levels have evened out a bit and neither baby has a lot more than the other.  They are also pretty similar in size now, instead of the 20% gap in size we recorded about 5 weeks ago.  We couldn't get a view of either baby's face, as they were both being incredibly camera shy, but the ultrasound tech was able to tell me she could see lots of hair on both babies!  I've never heard of seeing the hair in a ultrasound, so that was a surprise to me.  Once the tech had everything she needed, she told me the size and gestation estimates, based on all of her measurements.  Both babies are measuring 35+ weeks and about 6lbs each!  I think it's safe to say that these girls can slow down a bit in the growth department if they plan on staying in there until 38 weeks.  I don't know about carrying 2, 8lb babies!  I know it's only an estimate, but still... they are looking very good in size.
I, on the other hand, am looking pretty big in size.  I no longer walk, I officially waddle, and it's hard to put on my shoes.  Luckily, I live in southern California and can wear flip flops every day, even in December.  ; )  I'm still being told to take it easy, stay off of my feet, and lay down as much as possible, although with the holiday season here that is increasingly difficult.  I did finish all of my Christmas shopping early, though, so there will be no more big shopping trips for me.  Now to figure out how to wrap it all when I can't sit on the floor or reach very far in front of my belly.  lol

Thursday, November 15, 2012

31 weeks and counting...

Here we are, 31 weeks and moving right along.  I will be having OB appointments once a week and my next ultrasound will be in 2 weeks.  My appointment this week went well, the babies' heart rates were great, as always, in the 130s and 150s.  I have been having more and more braxton hicks contractions (kind of like "practice" contractions) and they tend to come a little more often than they should when I am up and around.  So, I've been told to take it easy, stay off my feet as much as possible, and lay down a few times during the day for an hour or so.  I am still allowed to work for now, since I sit most of the time at work, as long as I also try to lay down a bit in the middle of my work day.  This didn't happen with my last twin pregnancy, so it does make me a bit nervous, but my cervix has still been measuring great at the ultrasounds, and as long as that keeps up- we're doing good!  My OB did do a fetal fibronectin test during my appointment to check for an increased risk of pre-term labor,  but the test came back negative, so no extra worry there.  The fetal fibronectin test is a swab of the cervical canal.  If it comes back positive for the presence of fetal fibronectin, you are at risk of going into labor within 1-3 weeks.  We didn't go into the actual odds of this happening, since my test was negative and we are not at this increased risk.  At my next ultrasound, in two weeks, they'll measure my cervical length (like always) and we'll know more then as well.  Every little bit of information helps to tell us how my body is holding up to this second twin pregnancy.  So far everything is looking pretty good!  I'll get a new picture up soon so you can all see the huge belly!  If I'm not back here before then, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I doubt I'll be blogging much with the kiddos off of school for the whole week.  ; )  Enjoy!    

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just chugging along

Here we are, 28 weeks tomorrow!  Some days it feels like there is still so much time before these babies will be here and some days it seems like it is so soon!  When I think about it in terms of the holidays quickly approaching, it seems a bit closer.  The holiday season is my favorite time of year and it always seems to fly by too fast.  This year I have such mixed feelings because I want to enjoy the holidays and try to enjoy each day so it doesn't slip by, but at the same time I am so excited that we're nearing time for these girls to meet their Daddies that I sometimes feel like I want the time to fly!
The girls are doing great, moving around ALL the time and growing so much that my belly seems stretched to it's max (although I know that can't be true, because they still have plenty of growing to do!).  We still see my OB every 2 weeks and have had an u/s about every 4 weeks.  The last u/s was done at the perinatal center in our hospital instead of at my OB's office because my OB had seen a few measurements she wanted a more accurate view of from the u/s before.  When I spoke to the perinatologist after that u/s, he said that things looked fine with the measurements she had mentioned (and all the other measurements as well) and that the only one he agreed was a bit out of range was baby A's amniotic fluid, which is at a high-normal level.  Still not really anything to be concerned with, just something to watch, since it's not much out of normal range.  Baby B is the bigger baby by about 19% and seems squished up top, since smaller baby A also has the extra fluid, giving her more room to spread out.  We'll see how long she stays squished, though- these girls seem to drastically change position at every u/s, so we never know how they're positioned when we try to find the heart beats at the non-ultrasound appointments.  ; )  They're all over the place!
The Daddies to be are getting things prepared for the babies' arrival and we all recently signed the court documents for the pre-birth order so that the Daddies will be listed on the birth certificate right from the start.  It's always nice to know when that process is complete so that we know the hospital will have the paperwork they need to allow everything to go as planned with the Daddies being the parents and all legal processes taken care of.  Once we get work that all of those papers are filed and complete all we have left is to worry about the Daddies making it here for the delivery!  My last surrogacy went just as planned, my IPs flew in the night before my scheduled c-section (because both babies were breech) at 38 weeks on the dot.  This time will hopefully go as smoothly, but with babies you just never know!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


 I know it's been a while, but I'll make it up to you with some pictures!  I even have a couple u/s pics of the babies this time, yay!  First off, here I am in my lovely, "I took this picture myself, so it's a bit blurry" pic.  25 weeks today with these girlies!

At my OB appointment this week we also had a quick u/s.  They'll do them from now on every 2-4 weeks, depending what they want/need measured.  This week at the appointment I was 24w5d and babies measured 25w3d (a) and 25w6d (b)!  They are estimated to weigh about 1lb 13oz (a) and 1lb 15oz (b)...they are clearly over achievers in the growth area, just like my last surro-babes (who were 6lbs 13oz and 7lbs 10oz at birth)!  I'm glad that they are nice and healthy, but I'm hoping we don't go too far in the over achieving here... there are two of you in there!  lol
Here are a few u/s shots we got, not the best, but it was a pretty quick u/s, so I was happy to get any!
(This first one isn't labeled, but it's Twin A)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The "big" ultrasound

People usually refer to the 20 week ultrasound/growth scan as "the big u/s".  I think a lot of that is because you usually find out the gender of the baby/ies at this u/s, unless you have had one done at a private u/s studio.  Also, with most singleton pregnancies (without complications) this is the time you see the most of the baby before it is born and may be the last u/s you have before giving birth.  However, we knew the genders of the babies going in (and the u/s confirmed, 2 girls) and with a twin pregnancy there are a lot more ultrasounds to come.  This may still be the longest one, but we'll see a lot more of these girls before they make their grand entrance into the world.  Still, this u/s was special- J&T were able to come down to attend the u/s and it was the first time we had seen the babies since our last u/s at 12 weeks, so they had grown a LOT!  I don't have any pics to share, unfortunately, since J&T snatched them all up to take home (of course!), but I'm hoping they will scan a few and send them to me so that I can share them with you.  Everything looked great with the girls- but we weren't able to get the right shots of baby B's face/lips/pallet because she was being camera shy.  We'll try again next time on that.  They like to have those shots to make sure there is not a cleft lip or pallet.  Heart rates were both in the 130s/140s through out the u/s and the babies measured as follows:  baby A measured 21w1d, 14oz and baby B measured 21w4d and 1lb.  Today we were 20w5d.  My cervix "of steel" is measuring above average for carrying a singleton (in the words of the u/s tech), so things are looking great.  They want to make sure there is no cervical shortening too early, because that is what's holding everything in there nice and cozy.  ; )  From this point on I'll have OB appts every 2 weeks and an occasional u/s (I'm not sure yet how often those will be).  They're thinking I may be a bit anemic & getting dehydrated here and there, so I'm upping my iron supplement and adding more water (or trying to, at least) to my daily routine.  Let me tell you, it's harder than you'd think to drink so much water every day!
Hopefully I'll get some u/s pics to share soon, and I'll try to keep up with some growing belly shots here and there, too!  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A belly pic!

Here I am, 20 weeks 1 day.  Not the best pic, but it is 11:30pm and I am ready for bed.  I thought of taking the pic last minute, so I figured I better do it before I forget again!  Not much to update on the babies, I haven't had another appointment since my last post.  We have the 20 week ultrasound and an OB appt on Tuesday, so hopefully I'll have more to share then (and maybe some u/s pics if I'm able to get a copy or two from the Dads).  Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Two little turnips

According to BabyCenter, these two little ladies are now each about the size of a turnip.  I don't know that I've ever really seen a turnip, but ok!  We are 17 weeks 3 days today, and chugging along.  The "big" ultrasound at 20 weeks will be just after Labor Day and J&T will be here, which is exciting!  It will be the first time they see me and their babies since we were 12 weeks, at our last fertility clinic appointment (and only T was there, so it's been even longer for J).  Surprise, surprise- my belly has sure popped out since then!  I'm sure at 20 weeks it will be even bigger.  We've also talked about doing a 3d/4d u/s so they can have a DVD to share with friends & family.  I've never done one of those at a private u/s place before, so it will be a new experience!  Things are going well, at my OB appointment this week both babies had heart rates of 155ish.  They were so similar that my OB took a quick peek with the u/s to make sure we got both heart beats separately and weren't just finding the same one twice.  The babies are really close together, but usually with the doppler, we can tell them apart because the HR varies.  This time it was just after lunch, and they were both pretty active, so HRs were about the same.  I love it at this point when I can feel some flutters here and there, but then on the doppler you can hear them moving around with those swoosh sounds while listening to the hearts beating away.  Based on the flutters, I'd guess that I'll be feeling little kicks and movements within a couple weeks or so.  I wish my IFs would be able to feel them from the outside when they're here for the u/s, but 20 weeks is just too early for much to be going on from the outside.  At least they'll be able to see the girls on the u/s and see what a typical OB appt is like (super quick, lol!), since I have both scheduled back to back the day they're here.
I do need to get a belly pic posted one of these days, but I just keep forgetting!  I will remember soon... or at least I keep telling myself that.  ; )  One or two more appointments until I start going to the OB more often, like every 2 weeks, so I'll have updates (and maybe even belly pics) for you more often too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's been too long!

I am so sorry!  Time got away from me these last couple weeks and I completely forgot to update all of you.  So, here goes.
The last week of June was my oldest daughter's 6th birthday.  6!?  Where does all that time go?  She'll be starting 1st grade in the fall, which still boggles my mind...do I really have an elementary schooler, yep, I do!  For her birthday she opted to go somewhere super fun instead of having the normal party we do every year.  We took her to a nearby water park with lots of fun wave pools, water slides, lazy rivers, etc.  We all had a great day playing in the water.  We also went to dinner at Corvette Diner, a fun restaurant where they totally entertain the kids (and adults, too) by dancing and singing in between taking orders and bringing out your food.  There's also a video game arcade where the kids had fun, but we had to drag my husband out when it was time to leave... I'm not sure who enjoys it more.  ; )
Enough on me and my family, though- you want to hear about these babies!  I had an appt at TFI on July 5th and everything looked great, as usual.  Both babies measured on track, heart rates looked great, and I was told as long as my bloodwork came back fine I was officially released from their care!  Yay!  They gave T a dvd of all the ultrasounds since that very first confirmation of pregnancy, so they have that to share with friends & family for now.  The bloodwork results came in later that day, so TFI called and told me everything was perfect and I was to stop all meds (woo hoo!) and do a follow up blood draw (near me, not at their office) a few days later to make sure nothing dropped too low once the meds were out of my system.  The follow up also came back great, so we are all done with those long drives for short appointments.  I am so relieved to finally be off the meds and done planning my weeks around trips to TFI.  Whew!  Also, getting off the meds and transitioning into the second trimester has made the morning/all day sickness pretty bearable!  It's getting better and better as time goes by, so I think that soon I'll be back to my normal self.  : )  Although, this already protruding belly will be growing sooner than later, so I may not be completely normal, but I have a while before I'll be really huge and unable to do things, like tie my own shoes.  lol
Once released from TFI, I already had an appt scheduled with my OB for July 11th.  That appointment went great, we listened to the heart rates- both in the 150s, not much weight gain yet (good!), and my initial blood work was all normal.  Since TFI had sent my records, including the pics and measurements from my last few ultrasounds, my OB won't need to do another u/s until the 20 week growth scan, which is the longest u/s of the pregnancy. During this u/s, they measure everything on both babies, look at all of the organs, and pretty much do an overall well being check.  It can last about 1 hour per baby.  My last twin pregnancy, I had an u/s every few visits after that 20 week one, so we'll see if the schedule is still similar this time around.  I'll be 14 weeks tomorrow (according to BabyCenter, this means the babies are each about the size of a lemon), so we still have a while to go 'til that one.  My next OB appointment will be just before I hit 17 weeks, and I might start taking some belly pics around then as well, so I'll be sure to update!

Friday, June 22, 2012

There is an end in sight...

Well, an end to all of these 6 hour round trip drives to the fertility clinic anyway!  I went once a week for 4 weeks to watch the SCH, and at the 9 week appointment it was finally gone.  So, now I go up for my last (fingers crossed, because I will scream if they say differently) appointment in just under 2 weeks.  I will be 12 weeks and ready to stop taking all of these wonderful medications (did you get the sarcasm there?) and also very ready to graduate to my OB's care.  I've already started seeing her (my OB), but it will be wonderful when I only have to go to her appointments...15 minutes away from my house.  I'm really trying to stay upbeat, but lately I'll admit I've been a little more frustrated with the fertility clinic.  I plead with them to let me be monitored closer to home because of the nausea I've been experiencing, but they just won't allow it.  But, it's too late for that now anyway- only one more appointment and this chapter of my journey will be closed.  On the upside, the babies are looking great, always measuring on track or a few days ahead, heartbeats fluttering away in there.  At the last u/s (9 weeks) they resembled gummy bears, with their little arm and leg buds sprouting out.  We even watched them wiggle around a bit.  At least one of my IFs has been at each u/s at TFI, so it was nice that they were getting to be there and see it all.  They most likely won't be attending many appointments at my OB, because it is just too far to drive for a day trip.  I've assured them that they will get plenty of pictures from each u/s I have, though- so they won't miss out on seeing these babies grow.
For now, I'm going to enjoy my few weeks off from driving to the clinic and celebrate my oldest daughter's Kindergarten graduation (today) and her 6th birthday (next week)!  Fun times ahead, it's summer!  I see lots of pool time in our future.  ; )

Friday, May 25, 2012

Our first ultrasound...

So, I had mentioned that we had an u/s scheduled, and as most of you agreed, it was pretty early.  5w6d, to be exact, and I wasn't quite sure what we'd be able to see at that point.  When we got there, the doctor explained that there would be 3 things we could see that would be fine... one would be a sac, with nothing visible inside; two would be a sac with a fetal pole inside; and three was a sac with a flutter of cardiac activity starting to show (a very new heartbeat).  So, we were prepared.  And then we saw...

Some of you pros may know what you see in the above u/s pic, but some may be waiting to know what we are looking at... well, you are looking at TWINS!  That's right- those two darks areas with those little circles inside, that means two babies.  And at our early u/s, 5w6d, we saw both heart beats fluttering inside each sac.  Now, what you can't see in this pic is that I also have a small pocket of fluid/blood in my uterus (an SCH) which is not fabulous, but also not horrible.  It's relatively common, and usually the blood just reabsorbs and the SCH is gone.  We will watch it to make sure it gets smaller and fades away over the next weeks.  These things don't usually pose a threat to the pregnancy, but in rare cases they can, which is why they will watch it.  So, all in all, we are doing good!  The doctor first said, "well, I see at least two right now and maybe another..." and I just about had a panic attack for a moment.  I may have held my breath until he said there were just the two.  Whew!  I've done twins before, but 3 is a ball game I'm not sure I'm up for!  But, I am happy to be the temporary home for these two girls for the next 9 months or so.  Ah, yes, did you remember that we know the sex of these babes already, since they were PGD tested?  So, it is my second set of surro-twin girls!  Apparently my uterus has a "no boys allowed" policy.    ; )  We go back next week for another u/s, so I will update you all sometime after that!  Have a great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The results are in...

I went in yesterday and had my bloodwork done.  Just the normal, routine stuff- checking all my hormone levels to make sure my meds are at the right dosages, etc.  Oh, and then one additional test, the beta HCG... that tells us if I'm pregnant or not!  So, the clinic called and let us know that we are, in fact, pregnant!  My beta # was 1365, and it was taken 14 days after the transfer.  I think it's a pretty strong number, but it's in the middle enough that there's no clue towards twins or a singleton.  Sometimes numbers are high and you think it must be twins...although it could still be wrong.  You never know until the u/s, but this number really just leaves us guessing with no real inclination either way.  We have a first, and very early, u/s next Wednesday- when I'll be be 5 weeks 6 days along, a little on the early side for a heartbeat, but it's possible we'll get to see one (or two).  Then the clinic will update me on what comes next (another u/s maybe?).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I know you've all been anxiously waiting...

It looks like I am knocked up!  We had our transfer on 5/1, and my official beta hcg blood test isn't until 5/15 (yes, they are cruel and make us wait 2...full...weeks!), but I have cheated and taken hpt after hpt.  Yep, they all look like the one above!  J&T are happy, but I think they are also waiting to hear it from the doctor directly after the blood test.  Well, really I think they are just waiting for the u/s to know if there is one baby in there or two... I'm anxiously awaiting that news for sure.  I'm thrilled that our first transfer seems to have stuck because, to be honest, I was a little nervous when I found out there were no embryos left to freeze.  It was kind of that "all your eggs in one basket" thing, only they had all their eggs in my basket.  No pressure, right?  ; )

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Transfer Day!

Tuesday, May 1st was the day we had been waiting for...transfer day!  Dh and I drove the 3 hours to the hotel, right down the street from TFI, on Monday.  We got checked in and brought our things to our room, then met up with J&T.  We were all so excited that this was finally happening!  We spent the late afternoon walking around a nearby mall, then went to dinner, and finally returned to the hotel for some rest.  The next morning we all drove together to TFI and anxiously waited to be called in to the procedure room.  When they finally called my name, they had us all come back- we dropped J&T off in a conference area to discuss the embryos testing results and the doctor's recommendations for transfer; and DH and I proceeded to the room to get ready for transfer.  What seemed like an hour went by (it was probably 10 minutes) and J&T came in the room.  There were only 2 embryos left after testing... and they were 2 girls.  So, that was that, the 2 girls were going in.  They both looked fantastic, according to the doctor, so we were still doing good.  It was a little humorous to me, since I had carried twin girls my last surrogacy journey- and I was expecting to carry a boy at some point (since I also have 2 daughters, myself) but, what can I say- I am a baby girl machine.  ; )  The transfer went as planned, and I was wheeled out of the procedure room and down to the car.  Oh, with one quick pit stop to open a gift from my IPs in the lobby...a deep pink MK handbag.  How sweet are they?!  I absolutely love it.  They said it must have been meant to be that they chose the pink bag, and we ended up with only female embryos!  We all went back to the hotel and talked for a while, then J&T had to head home.  J&T had gotten our hotel room for the night after transfer as well, so DH and I were able to relax, get some take out and stay there until the next morning- which was recommended after transfer.  Taking it easy and letting those embryos settle in is my job for the next 2 days or so, then still no heavy lifting or too much activity until at least after the pregnancy test in 2 weeks. Now that the transfer has come and gone we are on to our next stage of the waiting game!  The dreaded 2 week wait to find out if we are pregnant or not.  We'll see how long I make it before I start taking home tests...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We'll call you tomorrow...

So, here's how things have gone since I last posted:  I had another appointment at TFI on Monday, 4/23.  Everything still looked great, and (when asked) they told me they were still looking at a mid-week ER for a transfer next week.  Then, like every appointment, they said they'd call me in the afternoon after my blood work was back, to give me further medication instructions.  They called and gave me med doses for Monday night and Tuesday morning, then said the donor would be seen on Tuesday, so they'd call me again with more instructions.  They called Tuesday afternoon and said they were still not sure if ER would be on Thursday or Friday (Wednesday was now out), so they gave me med doses for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and said they'd call me tomorrow.  Ugh.  Really people?  Now, mind you, these meds doses are not changing...every time they tell me to take the same things morning and night.  Then, finally, the phone call we've been waiting for!  Wednesday they call and tell me that they are going ahead with ER on Thursday, so the transfer will be Tuesday morning!!!  I don't have to go back for any appointments before then, which is wonderful, so next time I make the drive up there it will be to make a baby (or two)!  They gave me all of my med instructions for now through Tuesday morning before transfer, which is a record for the most med instructions they've given me at one time, lol, but it's wonderful.  I'm now taking estrogen & progesterone, which will continue on for some time if we have a positive pregnancy test; and also adding in an antibiotic and steroid, just for the next 7 days.  Right now I take 8 pills and one injection a day.  But, it's all worth it to know that I am making the very best little home I can for the embryos to snuggle in and get cozy for the next 9 months.
So now I need all of you for some positive thoughts!  Let's cross our fingers that the egg retrieval goes wonderfully tomorrow morning, and that we get lots of little eggies that will fertilize and go on to make beautiful little embryos, so that the doctors have lots of excellent looking options when it comes time to decide who's going in.  ; )  Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Counting down...

Well, the transfer should be approaching!  I say "should" be because the clinic does not allow me to plan ahead at all!  They will not confirm with me that we are hoping for a 4/25 egg retrieval, all they say is that they have to see how the egg donor is doing and they'll know more as we get closer.  I get that!  I know that it's not set in stone and that you have to retrieve those eggs when they are ready, so things can change...I'm just looking for an idea here.  Since they told T the 25th/30th, I'm sticking with that for now.  I had my appointment on the 11th, which was a baseline u/s to see where we're starting at and bloodwork to set up my medications.  Ok, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking "they'll tell me more once these results are in".  Well, no such luck.  They literally tell me what meds to take for 3-4 days at a time and then call me with more instructions.  Everything looked good at the appt on the 11th, so when they called that evening they gave me instructions through the 16th.  Then they called on the 16th to give me further instructions and to make me an appt for the 18th (yep, 2 days notice for this one).  The appt on Wednesday (the 18th) went well and was actually a little more relaxed than others have been.  I don't know if everyone was just in a great mood that day or what, but it was nice!  We all chatted a bit, then did the u/s.  During these ultrasounds, they measure the lining of the surrogate's uterus.  At baseline you have recently had a period and shed the lining, so it is thin.  This u/s, a week later, showed that my lining is already perfect for transferring!  The doctor and nurse both said "wow" when they measured, then the doctor told me I have a "stellar lining"...fabulous!  I am proud of my uterus, even though I had no control over what it's doing- I just take my meds when I'm supposed to take them and let my body do what it's apparently very good at doing.  ; )  They again told me that they would call me when my blood work was back, then we'd go over my meds for the coming days and my next appt, which after some probing, they said I could expect to be for Friday (the 20th).  Well, that afternoon when I got the call, they gave me my med instructions through Friday, then said that they will call me once they've seen the egg donor that day with further instructions- no need to come in.  Yay!  It's nice to know I won't have to make that drive twice this week.  So, I'll hear from them on Friday and I'm still hoping one of these times they'll actually give me a heads up on when we're expected to transfer.  Since this appt with the egg donor is closer to egg retrieval time, maybe it will give them a better idea of a timeline so they'll be willing to share it with me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Appointment tomorrow

I have an appointment at TFI tomorrow for an u/s and blood work.  The sad thing is the appointment will probably take 15 minutes and my total drive time for the day will be around 6-7 hours!  Kind of ridiculous, but it will all be worth it in the end!  This will make me appreciate my OB that much more once I can finally stop going to TFI and start seeing her at her office...local to me...about 15 minutes away.  But I'm getting ahead of myself, since I'm not even pregnant yet.  ; )  I actually have an idea of the timeline we are hoping for- I didn't get it directly from the clinic, as they do not share much about cycle dates until you're there, or dragging it out of them- but I heard it from T, who did drag it out of them.  We're hoping for an egg retrieval around 4/25 and then the transfer on 4/30!  I'm hoping we hit those dates, or earlier- because an April transfer would be fun- since it's my birthday month!  Maybe it'll be lucky!  Wish me luck and not much traffic for my drive tomorrow- it's supposed to be raining.  Normally I love the rain- when I can stay inside and cuddle with my girls and my DH!  Not so much when I'll be driving all day long.  : (  Fingers crossed everything is looking good!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Every doctor does things differently

As I've told you before, this is my second time being a surrogate.  I did one IVF cycle in 2009, which resulted in twin girls, born June 2010.  I also had a second IVF cycle in 2011 that, unfortunately, did not result in a pregnancy due to embryo quality.  Both of those cycles were with one IVF clinic (and one set of IPs), but the clinic I am with this time around with J&T is a new experience for me.  Going in to this I figured I've been there, done that and I know what to expect.  Well, just as my title today says, every doctor does things differently.  They all have their own theories and protocols they choose to follow.  This doctor performs a uterine biopsy (or endometrial biopsy) prior to the IVF cycle, in hopes that the lining of the uterus will be more "sticky" for the embryo(s) transferred to settle in and stick around.  So, Tuesday I drove up to LA for my appointment, which included this biopsy.  The doctor informed me that he does not send the biopsied tissue to a lab and he does not perform this for any sort of testing.  I guess that was his way of letting me know he didn't think anything was wrong with my uterus, he simply does this biopsy as a routine part of his IVF protocol.  The biopsy was not fun, to say the least.  It was painful, very uncomfortable, and 4 days later I am just starting to feel completely normal again, with-finally- no discomfort or soreness.  I keep reminding myself that all of this is being done for the right reasons and it will all be worth it in the end, but sometimes when things are not so pleasant, it's hard to remember that!  I do know, though, that once we're on to another step in the process, this will be just another small part of the journey to make J&T daddies.
After the biopsy, the nurse told me when to start Lupron injections, how much medication to use, and gave me instructions on giving the injections.  Lupron is a medication I used in my other IVF cycles, so this was familiar territory, which is nice.  I was given instructions to call the clinic with the start of my next period and they will then schedule my next appointment.  All in all, the good thing was that the appointment didn't take too long, I was in an out in about an hour.
So, about those shots.  My wonderful husband has given me all of my shots throughout each IVF cycle, and I didn't plan on this cycle being any different.  However, tonight he left for work without giving me my shot and I sucked it up and gave it to myself!  It took 3 attempts; the first two times I stood there, syringe in hand, and then put it away.  Finally the third time I just did it, quickly, without thinking too much- because that's when I change my mind.  ; )  Luckily, this was only a Lupron injection, so it's a 28 gauge (also known as an insulin needle) which is very tiny and short (since it is a sub-Q injection).  This will never, ever happen with one of the other injections.  They are done with larger, longer needles and they are IM (intramuscular) injections which go in the rear hip area.  I will never do one of them myself, so my husband and I better make sure he does them while he's home or I will drive to where he is so he can do it!  I know a lot of girls do them for themselves, and that is great, but I am a wimp and it just will not happen.  So, now that medications are involved let's keep our fingers crossed that things go well and we are getting pregnant soon!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pills, vials and needles...oh my!

I got my shipment of meds on Saturday, as promised by the pharmacy, so I thought I'd share what the beginning of an IVF cycle looks like.  This picture actually doesn't even do it justice, because the needles & syringes are all hidden in the back- and there are lots of needles!  Everything from tiny 28 gauge needles to 22 gauge needles for injections, and of course, the "ice cream scoop" (as it's been referred to by many at MFSC) 18 gauge needle only used for drawing up the medication in to the syringe.  You don't want to forget to change that needle and inject with the 18 gauge... it's a BIG needle!  It was all pretty overwhelming for me the first time I got a box full of meds like this, but once I began to use them and know what everything is for, it wasn't so bad.  Now that I've done it before, I get it and am excited to get going (although the shots are still never fun : P).  This clinic (TFI) is a new clinic for me, so I'm sure things are done a little differently, but at least I have some experience and know generally what to expect.  Tomorrow I make the 3 hour drive to my appointment and I'll let you know how it goes!  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Anther update already?

Yep, that's right- I already have more news.  Things really do start moving once those silly contracts are out of the way!  I heard from the pharmacy today and they will be shipping me my medications and supplies tomorrow, which will arrive at my house on Saturday!  Funny how a surrogate is so excited to get a big box full of needles and medications, huh?  ; )  Countdown 'til Tuesday's appointment begins with a busy weekend.  Tomorrow we're doing lunch and a movie with our little girls (half day at school), then Saturday we have a friend's event to stop by, then on to DH's work dinner dance at the bay, then Sunday is a surrogate get together we have once a month with my agency, MFSC... fun weekend ahead!  Hope you all have a great weekend, too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The ball is rolling!

I spoke with the IVF coordinator from TFI yesterday and we scheduled my first appointment for the IVF cycle!  It's so exciting to be getting started!  I'm so happy to be working with these great IPs and can't wait to get this all going.  Unfortunately, they were very strict with the date the appointment needed to be, so my husband won't be able to go with me, and neither will my IPs.  It's not that big of a deal, since there's not really anything to see for my IPs, so it's ok that they can't make it.  I was hoping, however, that my DH could make the drive with me.  I know he won't be able to come to every appointment, though, so I'll just try to enjoy my "alone time" in the car... for 3 hours...each way.  ; )  The clinic said they will ship me my medications soon, and will go over the meds and how I'll take them at the appointment.  They will also perform a uterine biopsy, which I've never had done before, but this clinic does them standard before every IVF cycle.  A little nervous about that, but they sounded like it's no big deal.  We'll see.  Now I'm waiting for them to e-mail me the orders for DH to get his blood test (at a lab down here, lucky him!).  Since he is my husband, he also has to be medically screened before we can start the cycle.  Things are happening and the ball is officially rolling!

Monday, March 5, 2012


I had a nice little visit today with the ladies from my agency.  They are so friendly and welcoming, it's no wonder anyone would chose to work with them!  You can tell right away that they love what they do and will be there for you through out your journey.  It feels like we're all friends, it's not just business.  In a field like surrogacy, that's the way it should be.  It's such a personal process for surrogates and IPs alike; it can't be handled in an all-business way.  We're building families here!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The wheels are in motion!

Contracts are signed!  Yay!  We were finally able to get a final draft of the contract and sign on February 27th, so things are official.  I have to admit that during the long wait for the contract, I got a little worried.  There were times I wondered if maybe J&T were changing their mind about having me as their surrogate, or maybe if things with the insurance weren't working out and I wasn't going to be able to move forward.  But, in the end it was pretty much all a confusing and misunderstood situation, and we are fine.  I should have listened to my husband when he told me to stop playing the game "telephone"- where I would call my lawyer, who would call their lawyer, who would call J&T to discuss contracts things and insurance...and the information would get jumbled along the way.  We should have been talking directly, just like we did when we decided to work together!  There's something about the official, legal process of contracts that makes you feel like the lawyers need to be so involved, but the truth is, as long as you and your IPs agree, and the lawyers say it works, it's fine.  So one thing I learned moving forward is: talk directly to your IPs when you're questioning something!  It usually works out better (and faster) this way, and you know that you and your IPs are getting the same information and are on the same page.
As for me, now I'm on to the next wait... waiting for the medical side of things to get started.  I should be hearing from TFI soon, letting me know when I'll need to have my first appointment for the IVF cycle to get going!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Still contracts

Just a quick update, not much to update on since we're stalled out at contracts for the moment.  Apparently we're having some insurance issues and differences of opinion on what the best option will be.  So, we're looking into some things and will hopefully be getting this squared away and moving forward soon.  I'm thinking it shouldn't take longer than 2 weeks or so to get this figured out and taken care of, but don't quote me on that!  I have been wrong a lot lately with time lines... things have been taking a lot longer than I thought they would.  Patience, patience, patience... I need some!


Friday, January 27, 2012


Well, I have to say that this is my least favorite step of the surrogacy process.  The legal matters.  More specifically, the money and "what-ifs".  The contract is typically drawn up by the IP's attorney, then given to the IPs for review.  Once any changes are made (if needed), the contract is sent to the surrogate's attorney.  The surrogate and attorney read the contracts, then go over them together (in person or by phone) to discuss any questions, concerns or changes the surrogate feels necessary.  In our case, my attorney and I received the contract on January 18th, then set up our "phone meeting" to review them for January 20th.  My agency went over the contract and sent my attorney a few changes that needed to be made so that it would reflect the agency's policies as well.  I went over questions and concerns with my attorney, and she noted changes that needed to be made.  Two days later, she sent me the "redline" draft, showing the original contract with any changes she made- so that everyone could review what was different.  Once I gave her the go ahead (the same day) she sent it off to my IP's attorney.  So, those contracts have made it full circle and are awaiting approval by the IPs and their attorney.  Once approved, they can be signed by all parties and we can get the show on the road!
I said earlier that contracts are my least favorite part...well, I'm pretty sure any legal proceedings are not very enjoyable, but when you look at something you are so excited about and that is such a personal and joyful experience, the step where you have yo go over money and "what-ifs" is just not fun.  In any pregnancy there can be complications, so the contract has to cover everyone's bases in any situation.  It brings up questions of financial responsibility and issues of our own mortality, which is never fun to think about... but it has to be done.  I completely understand that these contracts are a very important step in this process and I am glad that we have the lawyers and agency to help guide us through.  It all has to be discussed, from every monetary detail to every complication that could arise.  Hopefully we won't need much of what is said in the contracts to come into play, but everyone can feel a little more secure knowing that if something does happen, we know what to do.
That being said, let's get these contracts signed so we can move on to the next step... and wait some more. ; )

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In-between update

Well, so far I've heard from TFI that they have received my psych eval and everything looks good to move forward (which we pretty much already knew, but it had to be "official").  I also got word from MFSC that the attorney drafting the contract was finished and would be forwarding it to J&T for review.  Once they've reviewed and approved it, it will be sent to me for my review.  Once all of the legal paperwork is out of the way we can actually get down to baby-making business and get some dates lined up for things to begin.  I know... it's not much of an update, but it's something!  I think I should have the contract to review by the end of the week.