Friday, September 27, 2013

What To Do???

The agency just emailed me to let me know the clinic asked for another ultrasound on Tuesday and estradiol. She said she told them I am paying out of pocket and already out $500. She told them they had the report showing the lining of 7.4 and that should be sufficient. She is trying to fight for me to be with these IF's, but it may not be enough.

I don't know if the clinic is aware that I did estradiol with the 7.4 cycle. If they are, I don't know why they're asking me to do the same thing again. And it seems a little late to start estradiol this cycle. I don't even have any and it requires a prescription. What good can it do for only a day or two, and already midway through a cycle?!

This sucks.

Here We Go Again...AGAIN

Ultrasound was this morning. And I measured a whopping 4.04 mm.

Is it possible to be mad at a uterus? Because I am.

Believe me when I say I was a hot mess on the way home from that appointment.

I really don't know what to make of all this. I'm on day 12 of my cycle, and the last two months I've ovulated on day 13. But the nurse said my ovaries looked very quiet and it did not look like I was going to ovulate any time soon. However, there's no blood work being done to confirm whether or not I'm ovulating, and she said something like the average woman under the age of 30 doesn't ovulate two months out of the year, and that it's possibly even more frequent for someone over 30 (I'm 32). So am I just not ovulating this month? Because if I'm not, or it's too early in my cycle, than this ultrasound pretty much doesn't tell us anything.

All I know is that I REALLY like these potential IF's. I think we could be an amazing match, and I really hate to lose them because their clinic won't approve me. I'm still really hoping the clinic will take into consideration the fact that I got up to a 7.4 mm last cycle on estrogen meds. I hate that I can't do real medicated mock cycles without being matched and under contract. I just want to be given a chance to do the larger dose of estrogen, or try a different method like patches or injections. Time and time again, surrogates have told me that the oral estrogen tablets didn't work for them. They only responded to another method, and I haven't been given a chance to even TRY another method. The nurse today even told me their clinic doesn't even use oral estrogen, because it just doesn't work well.

It'd be different if I had difficulty with fertility in my own life, but I didn't. At all. No miscarriages and no difficulty conceiving. I got pregnant on the first try with both of my girls. We joke that if my husband bumped in to me in the hallway, I'd get pregnant.

Last month's ultrasound proved that on the right dose of medications, my lining does respond. Using another method might work even better. I hope their RE can see that. I wish so bad that these IF's were with Dr. Doyle, since he's already approved me and is ready to work with me. I just don't know what else I can do. This is all so upsetting and frustrating.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bisexual Pride Day

Did you know today is the 15th annual International Celebrate Bisexuality Day? I had no idea! There's even a beautiful (and clever) flag! Who knew?! I asked my favorite bisexual about it, and she had no idea either, so that made me feel better. :)

According to Wikipedia, Celebrate Bisexuality Day activist Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas explained, "Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. I too have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person."

So today, on Celebrate Bisexuality Day, we celebrate the "invisible majority!" Be proud of who you are!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Here We Go Again!

The agency has given me some info on a a set of IF's that are anxiously awaiting becoming first time Daddies! They sound great, and really sweet, but because they are using a different fertility clinic from the one that already approved me (which was Dr. Doyle at CFA), I have to wait for their RE to approve my records. Which is proving to be a little difficult.

After reviewing my records, he wanted to see the ultrasound results that showed I got up to a 7.4mm. So we sent them. Then he requested that I get ANOTHER ultrasound done, between CD10-14 of this next cycle and performed at an RE's office. I agreed to do it, even though I'm paying for it and these home remedies are not cheap, but I like these guys and I want to do whatever I can to fulfill both their dream and mine. But I am feeling a little discouraged, because it seems like maybe this doctor doesn't trust my uterus. And I'm not as confident this time because I'm not taking any cycling medications.

The agency said the RE would be looking for my lining to be above 7mm AND have a triple stripe (some doctors believe that a triple stripe is more indicative of a healthy lining than the number measurement alone). I've known about the triple stripe, but have never had one. I don't think. I'm wondering about the ultrasound I just had done...I thought I saw the center bright white line when she was measuring my lining, and I'd never seen it on my ultrasounds before. It definitely stood out to me. I should have asked if it was the elusive triple stripe, but I didn't. Kicking myself now.

Since I was already on CD2, I made an emergency run to the grocery store to replenish my stock of pomegranate juice, and also pick up things that are supposed to help thicken your lining that I didn't do last time. From now until my ultrasound next Friday, my daily regimen includes...

8 oz. of pomegranate juice
1,000 mg of red raspberry leaves
600 IU of Vitamin E
3,000 mg of l-arginine
4-5 Brazil nuts
Warm compresses
Fertility massage
Lots of water
Orgasms (this article quotes a sexologist...that's a thing?! I do not recall seeing that as an option when I chose my elementary education major...I missed out!)

Whew. That's a long list. But it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to do it, and if it works, well, it's all absolutely worth it. I'm still searching to see if there's anything else I can do. I'm hoping that every cycle I get further away from having an IUD, being on the pill, or being on Lupron will help my lining thicken too. It's so frustrating and I never saw this coming when I decided to start the surrogacy process!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This is Why.

Frequently asked questions I've heard since sharing the news that I'm going to be a gestational carrier....

"Why would you want to be a surrogate?"

"You're doing it for someone you don't even know?"

"Are you doing it for the money?"

If you've wondered the same the things, I invite you to head on over to my fellow surro-blogger Mandy's most recent post, who just found out that she is pregnant with one (or two!) babies for her international intended fathers.

Look at their faces. Read their words. And then you'll know...this is why.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hey Girl....Nice Uterus!!!

Whose uterus has proven her loveliness?!?!?!?!

This girl, right here!!!

My ultrasound measured my uterine lining at 7.4 mm!!! That's the highest it's ever been and would have been high enough by my former RE's standards to do an embryo transfer!

The office was playing the typical elevator music, and I swear this is all I wanted to do as I walked past the nurses....

In addition to the home remedies, I also used the Estrace prescribed for my previous medicated cycle. Instead of using it twice a day, I did it three times a day (which is what the prescription label said anyway). This just goes to show that with a tweak in my meds, we could have gotten where we needed to be to transfer.

As excited as I am right now, it's a little bittersweet too. We could have still been on track for an early October embryo transfer, like we planned. Instead, I am signing on with a new agency and hoping to be rematched soon, and J&S are (I'm assuming) being rematched and will then be going through the entire surrogate screening process (MMPI psych exam, medical screening in CT, etc.) again. But everything happens for a reason, and I will be matched with amazing IF's soon, I know it! I have had weeks of sleepless nights since my match was "broken" and I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight! I am so glad that I didn't give up on my dream of being a surrogate!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Awesome OB and Home Remedies

I saw my regular OB yesterday, who is so supportive of my surrogacy journey (when I first asked him if he'd be comfortable with me doing surrogacy for gay men, his response was so heartfelt--see that post here). I told him what happened with my lining issues, and that I wanted to monitor my own cycle and get an ultrasound done next week to check my lining. He was all for it, told me to stop saying my lining has "issues" since you can't really make that assumption off of one unsuccessful medicated cycle, and that he would be happy to send me for an ultrasound on Monday so my "lovely uterus can prove herself!"

This is probably completely unnecessary since an RE accepted me anyway and the overwhelming majority of the agencies see no problem with me being a surrogate, but I'm really curious just to see. I have to admit, as excited as I am to be taking all these big steps forward, I'm nervous that it will STILL show thin lining on Monday...which means this disgusting crap I've been doing every night didn't work.


That stuff has some pucker power, let me tell ya. I only have to drink a tiny cup, but I can't get through four or five gulps without stopping because it's so tart! I mentioned this to my OB, who said, "Hmm, I had it with a mimosa yesterday and it was fine!" Damn it! That's what I should have been doing--mimosas!!

So here's my daily/nightly home remedy routine (in no particular order):

8 oz of 100% pomegranate juice
1000 mg of red raspberry leaves (I opted for the capsules instead of the tea)
Plenty of water
Warm rice pack

Seems there was something else...what was it....oh yes.


Every day.


You know, to increase blood flow. Yeah, that's why. Really it is.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Where Have I Been???

I am super swamped planning a fast-approaching fundraiser for my older daughter with special needs, and cleaning up puke and poop from the younger daughter with a stomach virus. Ahhh, the glamorous life of a Mommy!

So, here are my updates, before my rugrats realize I sneaked away for a few moments to myself....

1. My conversation with Dr. Lavy: He said when my lining didn't thicken the first time around, we had several options we could try: Increase the meds, add additional meds, try a different type of estrogen, or try a natural cycle. He chose natural (which, I'm sorry, out of all the options, that one seems like choosing to do nothing), and the results were almost the same. From that, he concluded I am not a candidate for IVF. When I pointed out that we could have tried another cycle with the other options, he said, "You shouldn't have to go through extremes with a surrogate's cycle. It should just all be smooth sailing and work perfectly." Well then. I understand what he's trying to say, but clearly we have a difference of opinion on what is considered extreme. He did apologize for the treatment I received, or lack there of. When I told him I had all these questions and no one could answer them, he said, "You were asking people who shouldn't have to answer those questions. I am the one you should be asking, and I am always available to answer questions. I offered to talk to you that same day." This was all news to me, so I let him know that I tried. That I left a message and email that same day that everything fell apart, and I didn't hear from anyone for two days, and only then it was to set up a phone call for the next week. So by the time he and I spoke, I'd gone a week without any explanations. That's when he apologized, so at least he acknowledged that. But the whole conversation was maybe 5 minutes, and then it was over. I didn't expect much else really, but now I can close that chapter and move on.

2. My application with Simple Surrogacy: Rejected because of my thin lining "issues." Rejected three times, actually. I got 3 separate emails over a span of a few days with the subject line "Rejected for Surrogacy." I guess they wanted to make it very clear to me that I was rejected! Rejected! REJECTED! I got it the first time, thanks!

3. My applications with the other agencies: After applying with Simple, I went ahead and applied with three other agencies to get the ball rolling in case Simple didn't work out--which it didn't, in case you missed the fact that I was REJECTED! :) I really appreciate all of the surrogates that have contacted me over the last couple of weeks to share their opinions (good or bad) on various agencies. One suggested that I get in touch with a well-known RE in Connecticut, Dr. Doyle, who pre-screens your medical records if you're interested in surrogacy. Sort of like working backwards....get the doctor's approval, and THEN find an agency, which should make it easier to apply having already gotten a doctor's approval. He works frequently with one of the agencies I was interested in. This has also been the agency that's been the friendliest, and the most on top of replying to my emails or application. I usually hear from them within a few hours, which is what I liked when I was with Circle. These other agencies are taking 5 days, 7 days, even longer in some cases, to reply. That's a bit of a red flag to me! So I just found out today that Dr. Doyle approved (Approved! APPROVED!) me for surrogacy, and thinks I would have done just fine on a higher dose of estradiol. So I'm 99.9% sure I have found a new agency, and they seem ready to match me right away!

4. My current cycle: I decided at the beginning of this cycle that I would do the home remedies I wanted to try with my previous cycles, and would have if I'd known it was my last chance. So, I have an appointment with my regular OB tomorrow in hopes that he will let me get an ultrasound to check my uterine lining this month. I am paying for all of this out of my pocket, but I thought if my lining was good, it might help me in my quest to be accepted by a new agency. Even though it doesn't look like it's necessary now, I think I'm still going to do it just for curiosity's sake!

Crap! The rugrats found me! I'll have to save my home remedies post for another time!