Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Starting Fresh!

I have just officially completed my application for Simple Surrogacy. It was very in depth, and had a lot of open ended questions, which I liked. When I answered my pre-screening questionnaire with Circle back in February, I didn't realize my responses to some of those questions would be used in the profile sent to potential IP's. So some of them I answered very simple and to the point without elaborating or putting any personality into the answer. This time, I knew better and answered each question assuming the IP's were going to read it.

The hardest part of the application was the "Letter to Intended Parents." I didn't do anything like that before, although I did receive a "Letter to Surrogate" when I got the profile for J&S. I have struggled with what to write for the last few days. I must have started typing and then deleted everything about 15 times. Finally, I wrote a short, silly one to take off some of the pressure before I wrote the long, serious one. I hope it was the right choice, but I decided to leave the short, silly one in there as well. Might as well throw it out there from the start that I have a sense of humor and need IP's with one too. :)

          Dear Intended Parents,

          1. Knock me up.
          2. I'll be awesome.
          3. Your kid will be adorable.
          4. My husband will get to tell his friends two men got his wife pregnant while he watched.

          The End.

See? Simple and to the point! Much easier to write than the long one.

So that's done, and now I wait to hear something, hopefully soon. Tomorrow I have a phone call scheduled with Dr. Lavy. I don't have much to say at this point, but I'm still curious (and nervous) to see what comes of this conversation.

I've also been in touch with Dr. Doyle at CT Fertility to get his thoughts on my journey so far. He said his initial gut feeling is that I would do better on more estrogen, maybe for a longer period of time, or even through a different method (patches, injections, etc.). We'll see where that road leads.

Many of you have asked what my relationship with J&S is now. Sadly, it appears to be over. I have not heard from them at all since last week. I had a small pile of gifts here for them and their son for our first meeting, things I put a lot of thought in to, but I never got a chance to meet them in person. I considered sending them everything anyway, but to be honest, I just don't really feel like it. I feel like I was treated like just a uterus instead of part of their team.

And uteruses (uterii?!) do not know how to ship things to Sweden.

This uterus has a more important job to get to!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Homework Break

I am still very hurt and frustrated by my IP's and their doctor being so quick to give up on me. I'm sure it will be something that never completely heals. I'd invested a lot of trust and love into a friendship with complete strangers in another country. I didn't realize awesome surrogates were so plentiful that you could dump one so soon into a journey when things weren't perfect. My heart is definitely aching. I was 100% committed and in this for the long haul, but they gave up on me without trying all we could. But I am not giving up on my dream of being a surrogate. Giving up on my dream would mean somewhere out there, a couple doesn't get the baby they so desperately long for. So I won't go down without a fight.

I'm pretty scrappy. It's a side effect of being short.

I have spent yesterday and today researching surrogacy agencies to find a new one. I love Circle but they are unable to rematch me thanks to the doctor. So I have to find a new one, and it's hard to even know where to start! I chose Circle because the only surrogate I actually know personally used them for both of her journeys. I never even looked at other agencies. So now here I am, relying on the advice of online surrogacy forums. I have been looking for positive and negative feedback, and I just found a forum thread where people were saying who they would NOT use for surrogacy. I was reading it very intently and making notes...so intently that I wrote down one person's warning of "Do not use Amy Poehler" before I realized it was a joke.

I think it's time for a homework break!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


My IF's just Skyped me to let me know that Dr. Lavy advised them to find another surrogate. He doesn't think I'd have a very good chance at a successful transfer with my thin lining. It doesn't mean I can't get pregnant successfully on my own, he just doesn't consider me an ideal candidate for IVF. 

So that's it. My match is "broken" after Skyping every Sunday for 4 months. I feel blacklisted by the RE and my agency won't rematch me because I no longer have the approval of the RE they work with (they only work with 2, and apparently the other one is much stricter).

I am feeling so many things right now, but mainly, I am pissed. I got ONE chance at a medicated cycle, where they made NO changes to my protocol (other than have me insert the estradiol vaginally when I was already half way through the cycle). It seems like we could have, at the very least, tried a medicated cycle again, with a more agressive estrogen amount from the very beginning.

I can't believe this is happening right now. I want J&S to have the family they dream of, and if that's not with me as their surrogate, that's okay. But I finally decided to become a surrogate, and I never even made it to a transfer. I did not see this coming after getting pregnant with both of my girls on the first try. It feels like something I HAVE to do. And I'm being told I can't, when I feel like I wasn't given a real fighting chance.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stupid Fluffy Bunny.

Well, the bunny I previously posted didn't have any fluffy magical powers.

I just had the ultrasound to check the thickness of my lining for our mock cycle (natural, no meds). It only measured 4.87 mm. Pretty much the same as it was when I was taking estradiol before our canceled transfer last month. So now tomorrow I have to go to my OB for an endometrial biopsy.

I am so disappointed in my body, scared of tomorrow's procedure and what it will say, and confused as to why is this happening. What if I can't be a surrogate because of this? I'm sure Dr. Lavy knows what he's doing, but I want to know why other surros are on several estrogen pills a day plus patches plus vaginal supps plus baby aspirin...some even on delestrogen injections. Why did I only have two estradiol pills a day during my medicated cycle?

This sucks. :(

P.S. I do not recommend Google imaging "shaved bunny." Unless you're in the mood for a little internet porn. Then by all means, Google away, my friend!

UPDATE: The RE's office called to say they'd prefer I have the biopsy done on Friday, since that will be 10 days after ovulation, which is consistent with the implantation date in a natural cycle. Fortunately, my OB's office was very accommodating and rescheduled my appointment for Friday morning. Unfortunately, that gives me two extra days to worry about it! I just want to get it over with!

Ultrasound is Today!

Just got off the phone with the monitoring clinic. They opened at 8am, I called at 8:03. :) they were able to honor my request for a 10am ultrasound, so yay! That means I can finish here at the GI office for Emily, take each of them to school, and then go to the ultrasound with no noisy children beautiful angels in tow. And I'll be done in time to pick the little one up from pre-K and take her to swimming lessons. Whew.

Now think fluffy, think fluffy, think fluffy......

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Big O

Ovulation, that is. Shame on you, you filthy minded person. Who thinks just like me. :)

Last week I was pee stick crazy, checking every morning to see if I was ovulating yet. I'd gotten a very light line on CD13, and then a darkish line on CD14. However, the darkish line still wasn't quite as dark as the control line, so it was technically considered a negative. I texted J&S a picture of my "almost positive" and said I was sure that the next day would be a nice dark line.

So imagine my surprise when I POAS the next morning and the line is barely even visible. Apparently, I wasn't pee stick crazy enough.

Cue surrogate panic mode.

I start emailing and calling my IVF clinic to tell them that I think I missed my ovulation by only testing in the morning (following directions!), and I suspect it was actually the evening of CD13, the night before the darkish line appeared. They wrote back with a "Great! We'll call you this afternoon." Clearly, the multitude of exclamation points and capital letters did not convey that I was freaking out over here!

Finally Dr. Lavy's office called and said they were going to send me for blood work ONLY (no ultrasound) since I never had a definite positive. I went the next morning, Friday, first thing in the morning so they could get the results back right away. Turns out I DID ovulate! Now I have to get in for an ultrasound and possibly a biopsy, no later than this Wednesday. They prefer tomorrow.

Which is where things started to get crazy.

Turns out my monitoring clinic won't perform the biopsy. I don't know why, but I'm assuming it's because I'm just there for monitoring, and not an actual patient. I gave the RE the name and number of another fertility clinic here. Same response. I left a message for my regular OB, Dr. B, (who is already aware of my surrogacy) hoping he would agree to do it. But a few hours went by, and I hadn't heard back.

Cue surrogate panic mode. Again.

If everyone was saying no, what was I going to do? We don't have time to waste. This has to be done at a certain point in my cycle. I even called the OB who delivered my first daughter. Big fat no. I was about to call the gyno I saw when I was a teenager. But he's apparently no longer practicing. Did I mention all this was going on during the first day of school for my kids? And swimming lessons? And ballet? I imagined I looked pretty crazy standing in the corner of the dance studio on my cell phone, explaining about surrogacy and transvaginal ultrasounds and endometrial biopsies.

Right when I was ready to start calling random OB's in the area, I heard back from Dr. B's office. He agreed to do the biopsy (if necessary) Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, I still don't have an ultrasound scheduled. Orders were faxed to my monitoring clinic, but they were already closed. So my RE wants me to go tomorrow morning, but the clinic won't even get the orders until then. Tomorrow is also school (different drop off and pick up times for my daughters), swimming lessons, and a GI appointment for my oldest daughter. Oy vey.

Deep breath. Fluffy thoughts. I can do this.

That's a bunny. I think.
Anyway, it's super fluffy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gotta Love Him

How do you know your husband's right by your side during your surrogacy journey?

When he comes home from a 12 hour day of work, gives you a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and then without so much as a hello, asks "Did you ovulate yet?"

He gets another awesome husband point for trying not to look grossed out when I explained that I hadn't gotten a positive test yet, but I knew I would soon because I'd had EWCM all day.

Google it if you must. And try not to look grossed out. :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

New Cycle, New Plan

Sorry for being MIA this week! I needed to share some information with J&S, and I wanted to make sure they didn't find out through my blog. I was waiting to post until everything had been figured out. 

So for a long list of reasons, I am unable to attempt an embryo transfer in August or September. We are now waiting until October, which I feel really bad about, but I have to take care of my family too. There was a very long list of obligations, commitments, and special events scheduled during the week of the possible August transfer, and a huge fundraising event that my husband and I put on for our special needs daughter during the week of the September one. Since the RE wants to do a natural cycle with me this time, there was no changing the transfer dates. So, we are now waiting until October. Although I am sad to have to put it off, I am excited to have a fresh start for the surrogacy, with nothing else weighing on my shoulders!

My IF's were very understanding, and they told the RE they would like to take this opportunity to do ultrasounds and blood work anyway, to see if my lining looks the way it's supposed to. I think this is a great idea, it only makes sense since we are waiting to transfer anyway! The RE agreed, so I'm supposed to start the ovulation prediction kit on cycle day 10, then I will go for blood work and ultrasound about a week after a positive OPK. I started the OPK this morning (it was negative), and I will continue to test every morning until I get a positive result.

At the ultrasound, if my lining measures 6mm or less, they will schedule an endometrial biopsy. The doctor will insert a long tube and use suction to take a small piece of my uterine lining. This will allow them to see if the lining of my uterus is at the right stage for the time in the menstrual cycle when the biopsy was done. This does not sound fun, so we are going to think fluffy thoughts!!! I'm hoping that by continuing to stay off the birth control pills, my lining will start to look better. I pretty much don't get a period on the pill, so I suspect that may have been the problem last time. So fingers crossed, fluffy thoughts, and I will let you know when I get a positive OPK!