Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Red & Itchy. And a Prayer.

So, yesterday I started thinking there really must be something wrong with the vivelle dot patches I've been using. My stomach has been itching like CRAZY ever since the last time I changed them out on Sunday. I really took a close look and noticed under the patches my skin is red and puffy, and a red welt was moving across my lower abdomen... I felt like I'd rolled in poison ivy or something! I called and left a message at Cooper and Becky called me back to say YES it was an allergic reaction and I should discontinue the patches and just maintain the delestrogen injections. So, 1 done!! My estradiol levels have been pretty high, so I don't think they're worried about that being affected adversely.

On an unrelated and very sad note, a friend of mine through SMO and also a fellow "A Woman's Gift" surrogate lost the surro-babe she was carrying yesterday at 14 weeks... I am so stunned and just devastated for her and her wonderful IPs. I cannot understand things like this, and I never will. I think you have some sense of relief and trust that all is fine once you see a heartbeat, and especially when you enter the 2nd tri... to be reminded so painfully how fragile life is and that there are no guarantees just hurt a little... a lot.

Christine, I'm thinking of you and praying for you, your IPs, and your family that you will find comfort and hope at the end of the day and that you will find peace knowing Baby G is in heaven, happy and healthy... I'm thinking of you.

Monday, November 27, 2006

1st OB Appt Today - November 27

Well first let me do the quick catch up! We left last Wednesday for Tennessee to have Thanksgiving with Kenneth's family - it was really nice and their home is just beautiful (it was the first time we'd been there). But, I was SO exhausted the entire time!! I napped a ton.

We came back on Thanksgiving evening, and I rested up to head out EARLY Friday morning for the shopping mania! I had a blast, and was completely worn out by about 8:30 am. I napped quite a bit that day too! We had dinner here with Kenneth's other grandmother that night - more Turkey!! :)

Saturday was a blast - a few local surrogates and IMs met at "On The Border" for lunch. It was great to chat and hear where everyone's at. Everyone is at such different places in their journeys. It constantly amazes and fascinates me to hear how surrogacy has touched so many lives in so many ways.

Sunday we shopped some as a family and mostly took it easy - more napping was involved! :)

Today, Monday, was my first OB appt. They squeezed me in, and I had to wait FOREVER to actually see the Doctor! Apparently my iron is a little low, at a 9. I'm to increase my intake of iron rich foods. I had thought it weird that I've been craving red meat so much. I'm not usually a big fan of it. Dr. Green said everything feels right, and did a PAP "while he was down there" since I'm due in January anyway. We got our ultrasound scheduled for the 6th, and I have another lab appt scheduled on the 5th, and then I go back on the evening of the 7th for an "OB Class". Then I have my "1st OB" appt scheduled on the 18th - that one is all the labs and talking and probing! :) I'm not sure how many more lab appts Cooper will want on top of those. Hopefully not too many more! I should have about 5-7 more weeks on injectables.

I should get my blood results from today back in about 3 days, I am interested to hear what the doubling rate is at now. I still think there's just 1 babe, but there could be two!! It's fun to play the guessing game until we have our definitive answer on the 6th! :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Beta #3 - Up Up And Away!

hcG - 1264 (doubling time increased to 1.8 days)

Progesterone - 110.99
Estradiol - 5,734 (YIKES)

They decreased my patches from 5 to 2, I will have my first OB appt and labs done again on the 27th, we'll see if my estrogen is down to a more manageable number! The pregnancy nurse (Becky) at Cooper was very happy with my numbers and was fine with the results taking a few days now that the appts will be at my regular OB's office.

I can't wait to get our first u/s scheduled! T&I want me to aim for 7 weeks, so somewhere around Dec. 5-8. I will feel SO much better once we see a heartbeat (or 2)!!

That's it for now!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Beta #2!

YAY!!! Feeling SUPER excited now! I went this morning for Beta #2, labs came back just a few moments ago.

Estradiol: 955
Progesterone: 71.87
hcG: 388.5 - 15dp3dt!!

That's a doubling time of 2.05 days or 96% increase (anything over 66% would have been just fine)! I called my IM and passed on the news - she was thrilled of course that everything is going well. She alwasy asks how I'm feeling, and I was happy to report I'm nauseated and tired! :)

She was laughing about my e-mail I'd sent yesterday in which I indicated my breakfast choice had consisted of pickles and chocolate milk. That is what sounded good! :) My sensitive stomach has made some funny choices.

Last night, I had a bowl of Crispix, and then 2 helpings of macaroni and cheese, and cheesecake for dessert. Do you see a pattern? I am loving my dairy!

I'm waiting for Cooper to give me a callback to pass on instructions. We have to talk about what is next in terms of appointments and whether I can be released to my OB for future labs and ultrasounds, or if I need to continue on at the clinic. We'll see what they say. I'm really, really happy for my IPs, and so looking forward to our first ultrasound to hear a happy healthy little heartbeat in there.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Beta Day!! I Survived the WAIT!!

The morning just dragged, and dragged, and dragged! My blood draw was at 8:00am, and I was told I could call the clinic at 2pm for results... thankfully there was a long lunch out to help keep my mind distracted, and right before 2 I got the call!!

Estradiol is 1.054
Progesterone 31.09
and the all important hcG Beta: 198.1!!!!

In comparison to some other SMO users who had blood draws on the same day post transfer, this is how my number falls:

12dp3dt (MINE: 198.1)
Singleton: 40, 51, 63, 83, 87, 87, 112, 118.6, 141, 175, 234, 248, 256, 549
Twins: 69, 75, 101, 171, 182, 213, 249, 268, 299, 366, 377, 382, 397, 408, 583, 629, 655

I think it looks like a nice strong singleton number, but we could be surprised with 2! We'll see how Friday's beta looks, how much its increased.

For now I'm feeling excited and relieved. It was wonderful to call my IM and share the good news. Hopefully we'll get in around week 7-8 for an ultrasound to get a peek at what's going on!! :) (That's 3-4 weeks from now, as I am officially 4w0d today!!) I could throw a PARTY!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Beta Tomorrow....

I did not sleep well at ALL last night - I kept tossing and turning thinking about my beta tomorrow and wondering what the number will be... at least my agency director put on the orders that they can release the results directly to me, so I should know by 2 pm or so, instead of the 4:30-5:00 pm timeframe when Cooper usually gives call backs.

I sent my IPs an e-mail with copies if the positive HPTs. IF said how thrilled they were to have the photos of the tests (in his words such a literally "positive" sign!), and they printed them out and showed IMs father (who lives with them) and he was so excited too... Too cute!

I'm starving and nauseated, and nothing here really sounds good, so I have to go riffle through the break room and uncover something to eat. I need to figure out what tastes good and bring some different things with me to work.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's SOOO Positive!!!

I am SO excited to say, that my HPTs are coming up positive, and getting darker. I'm still nervous and anxiously awaiting Wednesday's beta results. But the HPTs are looking really good!!

Here's two, the top from 7dp3dt, the bottom 24 hours later - both "Answer" brand Pregnancy Tests.

This one is from today, on Equate, at 10dp3dt. It's a nice dark positive which I was really happy about - it made me feel much more positive!

I gave myself a break yesterday and didn't test at all. I just enjoyed being pregnant and did my best to trust that everything will work out just fine!

This mornings test was my last regular HPT, I have 2 Clear Blue Easy Digitals left - I've been so nervous to use them, I want to make SURE the word "PREGNANT" will pop up. I am pretty confident now that it will!! :)

I talked to my IM on Saturday and told her the news - she was so excited to get off the phone and tell IF; she kept saying "I KNEW you were pregnant, I knew you were!" I sent them photos this morning of the HPTs so they can see how dark the one from today is.

Beta day is Wednesday! It can't get here soon enough. I'm really, really praying for a nice strong number. Anything over 100 would be good!!

I'm definitely feeling preggo. Morning sickness that lasts into the afternoon, just a general queasiness, especially if I don't eat. And carbs are the only thing that are really going down well, pasta, mashed potatoes, bread, and crackers are all good buddies of mine right now. I sip juice and water all day, and that seems to help.

I will update again soon, hopefully with a great beta number! :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

6dp3dt Today!

I am so impatient! This is day 3 of testing for me. Most people who had 3-day transfers and are carrying twins will get positives TODAY... I have it set on my Outlook calendar to go test at 1pm with the Equate I brought with me! I'll test again tonight if its negative (even if its positive!) Most with singletons will get positives between 7-10 days past transfer (Friday throgh Sunday). I had a very faint positive on an internet strip from last night; though it dried clear. Kenneth saw it too though, so I know I'm not totally crazy! I keep wondering if it was a fluke, or maybe it was just extra sensitive, and today I'll get my positive! I'm still feeling pukey and having uterine twinges... It was sharp on the left side on Tuesday, sharp on the right on Wednesday, and today I just feel occassional tugging feelings left and right... I'm still really hopeful!! :)

I hope this weekend brings an abundance of BFPs! I cannot wait to call my IPs with the good news... I'm so excited for them, and just so hopeful that everything is going to work out well!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Monday through Wednesday update

So, on Monday T&I had asked me to stay home for that day, on 1 extra day of bedrest, which I was completely happy to do as I've been feeling lousy, and my plane got in late, so I wasn't home until midnight on Sunday! I called and left a message at Cooper Monday morning, the return call I got started out pleasant enough but turned pretty nasty and rude when I explained that I would be going on Tuesday instead of Monday for my labwork, and that my IPs had requested that I not have the ultrasound which Cooper likes to have done 3 days past transfer (to verify the progesterone is doing its job and the lining pattern has converted). I wanted to check and see if they wanted me to increase my progesterone intake just in case, since results would be delayed by a day. The nurse on the line got really snippy with me and pretty much told me if I had any other questions to call Fran (my agency coordinator) and sort of hung up on me. I was pretty stunned. I called Fran and passed along what had happened. By Tuesday night T&I were on the phone with me pretty upset about what had happened and had me relay the story to them. I felt bad then for not calling them directly, I guess I kept wondering if maybe that was just normal or if I was being hormonal and had over-reacted. My IM got really fired up. They don't want ANYONE causing me unneccessary stress, especially right now! They actually sent a note to the director. I felt good that they stood up for me and tried to protect me. It was really sweet!

They are out of town in Wash DC the 8th through 10th, I'm hoping and praying to have a BFP to tell them about when they get home.

I've felt nauseated, crampy, and exhausted for several days now, on Tuesday I had low distinctive twinges on the left, and today very similar twinges on the right hand side. I am hoping and praying maybe two little embies were snuggling in for th long haul!

I had labs done at GRS on Tuesday, when I got my callback Tuesday PM my estradiol was 982, but they only could say my progesterone was greater than 20. GRS doesn't report the number if its over 20. Cooper likes it between 30 and 40, and I remembered from my mock cycle it was in the very low 20's (back when we were at RBA). I suggested I get the progesterone re-done at RBA, since we know they report the actual number and my IPs agreed. I had that done this AM, and this afternoon it came back at 78!! A great number, definitely nothing to worry about. So I'm to continue on my meds as they are currently prescribed.

I called T&I to let them know, they were at a museum, but they were both relieved to hear the number was strong, and nothing to worry about!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Day After Transfer

Still feeling a low achy sensation and it could be too much juice or the progesterone kicking in. But, when I got up at 8:00am for my shower, I was SO tired and nauseated too. I didn’t even get dressed after, I just crawled back into bed. I talked to my husband a little, and then I either fell asleep or was dozing when my IM called at about 9:30am. I can’t stop yawning! I am really sleepy! My IPs leave for a trip on Wednesday the 8th and will be gone for 3 days. There is a mass being held on the 12th for them and their children, so I think they want to be home that day and are hoping for some positive news by then. I keep talking to the embies every time I get up or anything and focus positive images of them snuggling in. I pray this is it! I will start testing Tuesday or Wednesday (4-5 dpt).

Friday, November 03, 2006

Transfer Day!

I am half awake, still drowsy from the valium. At 8:20am I went downstairs and met my IPs in the lobby; we chatted for 15-20 minutes before heading over to the IVF Clinic. I began working on my 36 ounce water bottle!

We checked in and sat in the waiting room from 9:00am to 10:00am; by 9:30am my bladder was full. I drank about 34-35 ounces. They ushered us back, had me change into a lovely paper gown after giving me the valium and having us sign several papers for consent and med instructions.

Then they hurried us along to the “blue” room (blue paint, and a blue clock, and besides the equipment that was it!) I was situated on the table and tilted back. They put the ultrasound goo on my stomach and left me hanging out there for about 10 minutes while they finalized the embryo prep. T&I were at my head, my IM holding one of each of our hands, and IF holding the picture of their three beautiful embryos. We transferred 3 8-celled 3-day old embryos.

The RE put in the catheter, had the ultrasound tech move the view around until she found just the right spot. I heard “perfect” and “very good”! Then they checked the catheter, verified it was empty, and we waited together for about 30 minutes before we were sent on our way! T&I were so careful with me on the ride back to the hotel!

It’s hard to believe I really am carrying precious cargo now! As of this evening, my stomach feels bloated and a little crampy – I hope everything settles down in there so those little babes can snuggle in. Just 3-4 days until that happens – wow!

My agency coordinator called – the embryos were all 8-celled, 2B. Scale 1=excellent, 2=good/average in terms of how round the cells are. Scale A=0-25%, B=25-50% fragmentation. 82B is really good, very strong little embies! (The full scale includes 1-5 and A-D).

T&I brought pasta, pizza, soup, and roast beef with mashed potatoes and green beans by and visited for about an hour and a half. I wore my “The doctor knocked me up” shirt which they thought was funny.