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Introduction to Me – The New ANU Blogger

Introduction to Me – The New ANU Blogger

· Surrogates · No Comments

Hi!

Welcome to the ANU Fertility Blog. My name is Marcy and I’m the new author for ANU’s blog. As such, let me introduce myself and share my story with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as it was to live it!

My husband and I have 3 beautiful, perfect children and we had them in a 2.5 yr time span. When our youngest hit 2 yrs old, I decided I wanted another one. My husband, not so much. The chaos of three small children in such a short span of time is overwhelming. Since him and I couldn’t agree on expanding our own family, I began tossing around ideas of how I could satisfy my maternal desire to bear children, but not bear children for us. Giving my own flesh & blood up for adoption wasn’t an option I would consider, the only other option I could come up with, was surrogacy.

There were so many questions running through my mind and not a lot of answers. None of it would matter anyway if my husband wasn’t going to go for it. I approached him one day and said I wanted to talk to him about something. I was cooking supper and he was right behind me. I had nerves…what if he said no? What if he reacted really negatively? I was terrified…but I forged ahead. I asked “How would you feel if I became a surrogate?” and he pondered it for a moment and said “you’d get to be pregnant, I couldn’t get you pregnant…and we wouldn’t have to keep the baby?” I told him “yea…” and he eagerly said “DO IT! Please do it!!” and that was that. It was decided I would apply to be a surrogate!

The application process began. First, I had to go through a phone interview with someone from ANU Fertility Consultants. Questions about my birth history, my mental health, my physical health & medical history, my family history and questions about my support network. How did my family feel about this? My husband? My kids? What were things that I was willing/not willing to do in regards to being a surrogate? Things such as selective reduction? Would I abort a baby with Down’s Syndrome? How many embryos would I allow to be transferred? Was I willing to carry twins? How many transfers was I willing to go through if one or more transfers failed? And the list went on…

Once my profile was completed, the next step was to be paired with a set of IP’s (intended parents). Pairing is something that ANU helped me with. They looked at my profile and preferences then tried to find a couple whose desires were similar to mine. Then they, typically, introduce both parties via email and then each side has 2 weeks to get to know one another and decide if the pair is a good one or if they’d rather choose another surro/set of IP’s. My case was slightly different.

In January of 2016 I had been with my surrogate agency for about a week and I was paired with a gay couple from Australia. It was a whirlwind of events that lead to us actually meeting them during their visit to Canada instead of an email introduction! My contact at the agency, L, called me one afternoon while I was shopping in Costco. She informed me she had the perfect couple for me, they were from Australia, and they were in the city as it so happened! Would I be willing to meet them that day? Their flight home was leaving the following morning, this was our only shot to meet in person!

I asked her if they would be willing to come for supper. The thought of going to a restaurant with 3 kids while trying to have an intellectual discussion, isn’t my idea of a good time. L wasn’t sure how comfortable they would be with the idea of coming to a strangers home (who can blame them??), in a strange country but she called them and asked anyway. Her call back to me was filled with good news, she informed me they were totally ok with coming over! This was really happening!

I decided to make Chicken Parmesan for supper that night. It was a freezing cold day and some hot food sounded comforting. They arrived at our home around 5:30pm and they weren’t what I had pictured. They were tall, slim, quiet, respectful and very laid back. My kids took to them immediately! They even brought a wonderful bottle of wine with them. I won’t say no to a nice glass of wine! While I was cooking, B offered to help with anything he could. Cut vegetables, place stuff in the oven, heck, he even offered to wash dishes! His offers of help resonated so much with my Mennonite roots.

We all sat down to a wonderful supper and enjoyed such great conversation. Turns out, we have a lot in common. They love gaming, so do we! They understand computers, my husband works in IT. They are familiar with obscure gaming systems & games…my husband is into all the old geeky stuff. It was like a pair made in heaven. Even when it was bedtime for my kids, they sat down next to us on the couch and joined in story time. Both of them even participated in bedtime prayers! I was so impressed with them and how respectful they were of us and how we do things in our home. I was absolutely smitten with them and the concept of carrying their baby. They left our home 6 hrs after arriving and it was like saying goodbye to old family friends we had not seen in 10 years. My husband and I felt so right about them, we knew as soon as they left, that we wanted to be their surrogate family. I was filled with excitement and nervousness! What if they didn’t feel the same way? I wouldn’t be able to find out their answer for a couple of days at least because their trip home was about 28 hours long and I was on pins and needles the entire time I waited.

A few days later, L informed me that B&N had contacted her and shared with her that they really liked us! They wanted to move forward with us as their surrogate family! I was over the moon. They are some of the nicest people I have ever had the opportunity to meet and felt privileged that they chose us too.

Once we were officially paired, the clinic screening process began. It had two parts, medical screening & psychological screening. I did the medical screening first. I was emailed requisitions for bloodwork from the reproductive clinic in Toronto – things such as testing for HIV, any sexually transmitted infections, my blood type and hormone levels to determine where in my cycle I was. Once those results all came back to the clinic, I was booked an ultrasound and a physical at the clinic itself, in Toronto.

I flew to Toronto in February 2016 for the medical screening. I had an internal ultrasound performed looking for things such as polyps, fibroids or anything to indicate that my uterus would not be ideal for a pregnancy. The tech found nothing and the ultrasound results were great! The Dr. performed a fairly non-invasive physical to determine my physical health & capability to carry a pregnancy. We also had a discussion to determine timelines for legal contracts to be completed so that transfer could be performed. His request was transfer on April 8, 2016 and I would have one needle towards the end of February 2016, then medications would begin end of March 2016 to prep my body for the transfer. One of the nurses went over my medication protocol with me, handed me a giant bag of the medications (including needles) and sent me on my way. I flew home a few hours after my time at the clinic.

The next portion of the screening process was psychological. Both my husband and I had to speak with a mental health professional that was provided by the surrogacy agency. The point was to ensure that I had a good support system, we both weren’t experiencing serious mental health issues. Once we both passed that portion, we were considered “cleared” and the plan to be a surrogate went into full gear!

Early April 2016 my husband and I flew to Toronto for transfer. The morning of April 8 I went in to the clinic, they performed the IVF transfer of 1 embryo, had me rest for 30 min in a comfy chair and sent me on my way! It was that easy. Now, it was a waiting game. The dreaded “2ww” (two week wait) as surrogates call it. The 2 weeks until I would go for bloodwork to check my HCG levels. About 4 days after transfer, I started doing pregnancy home tests in the hopes that I would get a positive before the bloodwork. Sure enough, 8 days after transfer, I got my first faint positive on a home pregnancy test. I was elated! I could hardly keep my excitement to myself. I skyped with my IF’s that morning and shared the news. They were ecstatic! Now, the hope was that my levels would keep increasing and the pregnancy would continue as a healthy pregnancy.

And that is exactly what happened. I continued my medication protocol until 12 weeks gestation. After that, the fertility clinic we used in Toronto released me from their care and it was now up to my body to continue the pregnancy. And it did, it did it very well. I had one minor complication at 30w6d – too much fluid and it cause my body to experience threated pre-term labor. My fluid level was back to normal by 34w thankfully. A short 4 weeks later at 38w gestation my body started showing signs of preparing for labor and at 11:28pm that same day, Baby A was born. One of his daddies was here for the birth, the other one was in Australia still, but he got the first flight out that he could! It was such an amazing birth. And a very fast one. From start to finish was less than 2 hours. I was so proud of myself and so happy for my IF’s (intended fathers). They had a beautiful baby boy and I helped them achieve their goal of having a family, there is no better feeling in the world.

My surro baby is now almost 7 months old. He is a happy, calm, laid back kid. He is so very much adored by his Daddies, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents & Cousins. I will be forever grateful that they allowed me to be a part of building their family.

 

 

 

It’s All Work AND Play

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A baby is born of a clean, untouched canvas that will one day endure scars, bruises, bumps, or whatever comes their way, but when they are born, they are literally new. New to their life, new to this world, new to the developing generation, and new to being physically loved in the arms of their parent(s). You try so hard to protect this perfect little being but no matter what, it somehow always ends up that they walk away without a care after a trip, fall, or bump. We, as parents over react more than they do because all they know is love and freedom, they don’t care about anything once they have their parent(s) comfort them and reassure them it is all okay, when come on…deep inside, we are freaking out going, crap! Great, now they have a bruise or a mark…You feel careless as a parent for not watching them closely or ‘trusting’ someone to much or whatever, but we just over react on everything. Don’t deny it haha! I do it ALL THE TIME.

I’ll start off with this – On August 28th, 2015, I returned to Toronto to do another Beta test in hopes that my levels had doubled! Sure enough – my number came back at 1,730! Which is actually 102 over the expected double number! woohoo!! Grow little embryo grow! So, last night (August 30th) I got to go to work! I love my job. Being a Birth Photographer is just the best thing I had ever decided to do, and it’s in the field of obstetrics which I am just in love with. So, off I went to the hospital and as I stood there capturing these perfect moments in such an intimate and beautiful event in our lives, I thought – wow! This is going to be me again in about 9 months! How absolutely thrilling! It’s the beauty of life. I was actually pregnant and going to be going through birth to deliver a child to an amazing couple.

Last night, I learnt a few things too! Our bodies are so amazing capable of doing remarkable things. Like January Harshe from Birth Without Fear (on Facebook) said; “Vaginas do open, babies do come out.” How incredibly true is that! But this mama rocked her baby down and out with amazing glory at her own pace with the help of her incredible Midwife (and assistant midwife)! So, as of last night, I have now learned a new love for Midwives!

This midwife helped the labouring mama while she leant on dad for support and even gave us all a grand ‘tour’ of the placenta once the baby was born! I mean, I’ve never seen so much strength and unity in one room (even for my birth – there was ups and downs but I don’t recall a lot of the working together, just some haze I have unfortunately).I was just simply amazed. Also, last night’s baby was actually a surprise gender baby – which came out a beautiful baby girl! I mean, hello!! I’d go nuts not knowing what I was having haha! (Which my IP’s have made aware that they will be finding out the gender – yay!) so I am just in awe of how amazing life really is. Seeing someone go through so much pain to get such a beautiful reward of a blank canvass they can call their own to raise and love with every ounce of their soul – and that is exactly what surrogacy is like…offering someone that blank canvass to be painted with love and unity.

This blog truly doesn’t have any specific meaning behind it, I just felt the need to brag about how awesome clients are and how much I love my job as a Birth Photographer! And how proud I am to be carrying a baby for an amazing couple <3 being a surrogate is awesome!! And I sooo want it do it a few times haha! Anyway, rant off! Have a great night 😀 I am off to bed!

Lots of love Xx

Positively Thrilled!

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I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly excited I am to write this portion into my surro-journey. I’M PREGNANT!! That’s right! Our IVF transfer was successful, and as of today, I am ‘4 weeks’ pregnant according to my clinic!

Funny thing is, I’ve known for a while…I could legitimately feel it within me. At 5dp3dt (5 days past 3-day transfer) I was sitting on the floor with my daughter and I took hold of her and picked us both up from the floor and as I stood, I felt this sharp stab in my uterus that had a bit of cramping after, and that’s when I knew it had worked. I had been confident from that start – and don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t always work so someone can be as cocky as they want but I feel for those surro-mamas out there who have had failed transfers, it doesn’t make you a failure, it happens. So, I knew in my heart and according to my body that the 3-day embryo had taken its place comfortably in my endometrium, I was excited.

I tried so hard no to POAS (Pee on a stick) but finally, on Day 7, I went to Wal-Mart and got a pregnancy test and peed on it. I was shocked to see the faintest line!! It was a + sign! The hardest part, was NOT telling my IP’s (because I was informed in my contract that I wasn’t allowed) and man was it ever hard. I kept testing everyday (except day 9 because I was really busy) and it gradually got darker! I was so relieved and happy but scared at the same time. All I want, is to see my IP’s have a healthy happy baby, and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

Well, I kind of broke down and went a little rebellious (whoops) on Day 13 and messaged one of my IP’s and told them how I already knew I was pregnant and then after being asked if I had tested, I sent him a video of the test I had taken that day! It was a FRER (First Response Early Reader) and within moments, it popped up two bright pink lines. He was soooo happy!!! And that was the moment I knew that this was going to be an amazing journey! Well, today is 14dpt (14 days past transfer) and I had my First Beta test! I got to Toronto and did my blood work and got a new stock up of my oh so lovely medication *not* and then headed to my step-sisters to pick up my daughter.

Originally, I was informed that it would be about 2-3 hours before the result would come in, but I had called them about a half an hour later once I arrived at my step-sister’s apartment to inform them that they had actually given me the wrong gage of needle head for the replacement and that the one they gave me was huge and left a huge hole in my rear end – ya…ouch, but it had to be done, i’m not risking anything! Well, they told me that they were actually out of stock of the gage I required (wonderful.) and to go to a pharmacy and exchange the size, but the nurse also caught me before I hung up saying that she had my results.

I had everything crossed at this moment, I was praying that they were good numbers and that the embryo was doing okay! And music to my ears! I was told that my Beta was 814 (which is great for being 14dpt) but my progesterone levels were low. So there was a mixture of good and could be better news. They explained that my body may have been having a hard time taking in the progesterone so they increased my Ethyl Oleate dose from 1 mL to 2 mL a day, and 4 vaginal progesterone suppositories instead of 3. Oh well! So I have to add a bit more into my body, it’s worth it! I’m just thankful that the embryo took and is doing great! That is all I want! So here I am, encouraging ‘Embie F’ to grow!!

Once I got off the phone with the clinic, I FaceTimed my IP’s who were also in their vehicle and I told them I had a question. I started it off with “Are you ready to be dads?” their response was synchronized with a “YES!” and I had the biggest smile on my face as I said “Well, congratulations! You’re pregnant! You are going to be dads” – they literally were speechless with excitement! You could see it in their faces on how excited they were, it melted my heart! I cannot WAIT to see them as parents, they are going to be amazing!

So, I go back in 2 days and have more blood drawn to see if everything has doubled and if my progesterone has adjusted itself properly! Hopefully it has! So I want to say this – DO NOT GIVE UP TRYING! It will happen, sometimes and unfortunately, it takes time! Anyone going through infertility or who has gone through it, can tell you that. The wait is worth it, I promise. Thank you guys for following my blog! I’ll update you more often once things settle a bit in my world. For now, it’s all about ‘Embie F’ and his/her journey into making their appearance into this world in 9 months or less!

 

Lots of love, Good night Xx

An Embryo Of Love

11868732_147881085547697_1651321248_nThere is so many forms of love out in the world, that we, as human beings, know and understand. On August 12th, 2015, I learnt a new form of love…the love of life itself. Of course, I knew that I loved life before hand even if it has it’s really down moments where you have to step back and go, wow…like, really? Does this really need to be happening right now? But that day, I learnt love for such a simple, yet complex, little embryo. Their embryo, that was about to be placed into my uterus so it can embed itself into my endometrium, and make it it’s home for the next approximately 9.5 months.

I love my daughter (whom is 8, almost 9 months old) with my whole heart and I would do anything for her just to see her smile, its the beautiful part of humanity, watching the innocence grow and wrap others around it’s fingers, to share and teach us the innocence it possesses. It’s breath taking. Seeing this little embryo that was placed into my uterus made me feel like I was the best person in the world because I was helping someone feel that love because they couldn’t physically do it themselves. I want to say this first though – No matter what is happening in your world and why you have infertility or what your reason is that you are unable to have a child physically and need the help of someone else’s generosity, it DOES NOT change the fact that you are still a man/woman and that you are on this earth for a reason and will have your dreams come true, one way or another. That is why there is generous surro-mamas around the world who want to help, it’s WHY we want to help.

August 12th, 2015 – I woke up at 6:00 am and got myself and my daughter ready to go pick up my amazing friend Taylor who came with me for my transfer, and together we headed up to the clinic and got to travel through the oh so wonderful and pleasant rush-hour traffic (so fun!! – not). I had left a little late and as worried I would be late arriving at the clinic, because I was asked to be there for 10:00 AM even though my procedure was scheduled for 10:30 AM but thankfully, even after dropping off my daughter with my step-sister (and having a quick conversation), we were still able to make it to the clinic by 9:50 AM.

We got into the clinic and I signed it, and nearly immediately, I was in and we went into the back portion of the clinic that I had never been in where I was put into a locker room and given an absolutely sexy paper outfit with the shoe covers for my bare feet. I was asked to take everything from the hip down off and wear the outfit given (including the extra piece to wear as a housecoat so my bare butt didn’t scare anyone). Haha! The best part was seeing my friend Taylor (who is also in her mid pregnancy with her baby boy) all dressed up in a yellow outfit with an adorable mask that made her look like she was a duck – sorry Tay <3 Once we were all dressed up in our duck suits, we were moved to an area that was sectioned off with curtains offering the privacy with a regular chair and an extendable chair you would find in hospitals. We took our seats and I filled out the required paperwork and waited.

Now, keep in mind that I had an incredibly full bladder as requested, but holy moly…I overdid it. I drank two water bottles, and I swear it felt like I had drank an entire case, it was painful. The nurse moved us into the Operating Room and I was put onto the table and was laid down. They clearly were in no rush because Taylor and I sat there and laughed our time away at the most silliest memories, or photos, or whatever we found on facebook – trying to pass the time and distract me from my bladder that was ready to burst. Don’t tell anyone, but Taylor made me laugh so hard I kinda peed myself…SHH!!! *Embarrassing moment*. >face palm<

Finally, one Doctor came in about 30 minutes later and conducted an ultrasound and checked my endometrial thickness. He kept to himself, not saying anything, and according to the ultrasound (which I could have read it wrong), my endometrium was at 15 mm in thickness! Awesome! Hello Fluffy bedding! The Doctor left and we resumed waiting…The nurse came in after hearing us laughing so much just to check on us (which she was happy to see we were laughing it up and staying calm and happy) and I told her that I was in an incredible amount of pain from how full my bladder was – which, for the record, I can hold a lot. I didn’t have the frequent peeing problem during my pregnancy till literally a few days before I gave birth. So she let me go empty it a bit and I peed about a cup out and left it so it wasn’t to bad but was tolerable and still full.

Back to the OR I went, and I took my position on laying down on the table. We waiting some more, before finally, we had a few nurses come in, two Doctors come in, and the embryologist who introduced herself since I was briefly familiar with the other staff. Once everything got going, it all happened fast. It was shortly after 11:00 AM when the doctor had placed the speculum in and was inserting the first catheter while a nurse used the transducer to ultrasound my abdomen so that the Doctor could see what he was doing. He gave the nod to the embryologist and she left the room in the door to my left with the second catheter. About 10 minutes later, she returned and handed the catheter with the embryo to the Doctor and I watched on the screen on the wall down by my feet on the left as he placed the second catheter into the first which was hold my cervix open awaiting the arrival of the embryo.

On the screen, you could see a white line in the middle of my endometrial lining (the first catheter), the big black bulge on the top (my bladder), and then at specific angles, you could see my uterus and my endometrium. Once the second catheter was inserted, you could see another bright white line and then there was a quick flash of light which actually showed as 2 lines (air that was inserted with the embryo) on the ultrasound image and in total you could see 3 lines/dots depending on how you looked at it, and at that moment, 11:17 AM on August 12th, 2015 – my transfer was completed. I was now an ‘Expecting Surro-Mama’. It felt less uncomfortable than a typical pap-smear actually! And there was a bit of slight cramping as I got up to head back to the sectioned off chairs but it wasn’t like period cramping, just “iffy” kind of twinges.

The recovery time was 30 minutes, and within that 30 minutes, I was handed a piece of paper that had the picture of the embryo that had just been placed into my uterus, and a printed screen capture of the ultrasound showing the embryo placed in it’s bedding. I felt so excited. I messaged my IP’s and kept them updated and they were just as excited, even though I think I was more excited than they were, they were more anxious haha! Poor things <3 But I felt proud for doing everything that was required enough to get this far and to have finally gotten to do the transfer to become a surrogate mother for someone – which is something I have wanted to do for a long time. It was a proud bucket list moment for me – a journey. You’d think I just compared getting pregnant and going to be giving birth to someone bungee jumping or rock climbing…haha. I left and got my daughter and together, all 3 of us, we headed back home and I spent the day relaxing with some family. It was amazing.

So there I was; A now ‘Expecting Surro-Mama’ for an amazing couple. An excited journey for all of us, and those who are following my blog here! With that being said, I am going to end this blog by saying not to give up, because where there is a will, there is a way! And on August 12th, 2015 – at 11:17 AM the embryo was officially placed into what will hopefully be it’s home for the next few months, but it was also the official start of my journey. Here’s to feeling and watching this beautiful little “Embie F” (I nicknamed it, yes.) grow! Here is to a new found love <3

Find more photos from the transfer, and my Surro journey on my Professional Photography Page, linked below!
https://www.facebook.com/RumblebumPhotography

Lots of Love Xx

Try, Try, Again.

· Intended Parents, Surrogates · No Comments

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Okay, look…when I said I don’t mind needles, I never said I loved them and wanted to have one in my body everyday for the next 12+ weeks, LOL. Take this number to mind, 88; When I first started the Ethyl Oleate shots, from the first day to the last day, it would be 88 individual injects. Ouch?

So, I went to my appointment on Friday, August 7th, I got the medication and I was told to start it on August 8th. So, there I was, woke up on the early morning of August 8th, looking like a ratty rag-doll that had lost themselves in their bed over the night, and up I stumbled to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, was hilarious. I felt so sexy.

I gathered all the stuff I needed for the new morning routine, including: The needle, the separate and thinner needle head, the alcohol swab, the Ethyl Oleate fluid that is safe contained in a pill bottle, the Progesterone suppository and then the pills (Doxycyline, Estrace, and a prenatal). I was going to videotape the first time doing it, but due to a very demanding (but adorable) 8 month old…I couldn’t do it in the time span she gave me before beckoning for me.

I took out the Ethyl Oleate fluid and put it on the counter as I ripped open the alcohol swab to clean the top of the bottle containing the fluid, and then put it down to use shortly after. Next, I took out the needle from the sealed package and pulled the bottom part back so that I now had about 1.5 mL of air in the chamber. I proceeded to stick the needle in the top of the bottle (justy barely in the bottle since the fluid levels would lower as fluid went into the chamber, that way I didn’t get any air bubbles) and flipped it upside down and slowly pushed the air into the bottle, then withdrew the fluid until it reached 1.5 mL again. This was another way to prevent air bubbles. So, I pushed some of the fluid back into the bottle so that I had exactly 1 mL of Ethyl Oleate and I tipped it back down and pulled the needle out.

I put the Ethyl Oleate back into the pill bottle and went back to the needle. I recapped it and put it down and removed the other needle head from the package. I twisted the *pink* needle head off and replaced it with the *blue* needle head and safely discarded the *pink* needle head. I took the alcohol swab and wiped at the spot on my body I was going to inject and then, the fun part. So here I am, a little confused by the paper as it looks like they pointed to the diagram’s hips, so I chose a spot and slowly pushed the needle into my back up by my hip…wrong move. So, I’m a dumb*** and put it WAY to high on my body, as it is an intramuscular injection and I am great with the knowledge of reproductive systems but the rest of the body, forget it, haha!

So, I injected the fluid into my hip and removed the needle, and watched as all the fluid poured out of my hip – more like, my fat. Lovely…first attempt, fail. So, I went a little lower after going thorough the whole process all over again and finally it stayed there. I put a bandaid on it after recapping the needle and discarded it. I was actually quite sore afterwards but that is because I later found out that YET AGAIN, I put it in the wrong part of my body…for the love of the gods.

So, for those who are going to be do the shots, here is my advice to you; Take your finger and go from the top of your butt crack and then make a straight line to the outter part of your butt. If you press, you should feel like you are pushing a muscle, THAT is where you are supposed to inject your Ethyl Oleate shot…Why couldn’t that have been explained to me, that is so much easier than trying to find out where the heck they are outlining on a dang diagram of some skinny woman on the paper. Sheesh! Then of course, I inserted the suppository, and took the pills and went on with my day.

Anyway, everything went well after that, I learnt how to do it and now do it every morning with no problems! I also alternate between sides because it helps to reduce swelling, pain, and bruising! Some needles down, however many to go.

Lots of Love Xx

Bye, Bye, Bikini!

· Surrogates · No Comments

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Want to know what is incredibly sexy? A woman wearing a bikini with a billion holes on both sides of your rear hips/back. I can see it now, someone coming up to me while I am swimming or at the beach and saying “Excuse me, I don’t mean to pry, but have you thought about getting help for that?” – as they point to the holes in my hip regions, thinking I am some sort of druggie on something that is injectable (which I have no freaking idea what I could compare to since I’ve never been on any drugs, including marijuana, in my life…ya, no thanks).

So, this morning, I left my house at 9:15 AM heading to an appointment that was at 11:00 AM, because I knew that I needed to get a head start considering today is the day that the Parapan Am Games start in Toronto, so traffic was going to be an adventure. Thankfully, and despite 12 extra minutes of delays in parking lot traffic (meaning it didn’t move an inch for a bit), I still arrived 40 minutes prior to the appointment. I went to pay for the parking only to find out the bloody thing doesn’t take bills; what kind of machine doesn’t take bills, but takes credit or petty change…for crying out loud. So there I was, gathering all the change I had (thankfully had even some, which I never do) and finally got out the $7.00 and went to put it in, only for it to not accept a dime, I look at it and realize, oh look! an american dime. Seriously…grrr! So I went back to my car and got a different dime and finally it worked. By then, it was now 10:45, I had wasted 25 minutes on running back and forth to my car. Stupid thing.

I got upstairs and signed myself in and waited. At 11:10 AM, I was finally called in. I was brought into the ultrasound room, stripped off my bottoms and climbed up onto the table and away the technician went. It was quick, just a few screen captures and then we were done, easily about 10 minutes. Then, it was more waiting. Once everything was put together, I was brought into a conference room and a nurse explained to me the protocol that was now going to occur, and what I now had to all take…excellent!! We are getting closer.

She explained what was going to happen for the transfer and answered all the questions I had! She was great, as usual. She then handed me the two bags…one with 21 needles, 21 separate needle heads, 20 alcohol wipes, 2 containers of the Ethy Oleate. Then in the other, was 60 progesterone suppositories with a few applicators. I was a little shocked at first, but then I just remembered that this was all worth it in the end!! So, I’m really now a walking drugstore.

So, now, starting tomorrow, I have to do an intramuscular injection of the Ethy Oleate once a day, 3 vaginal suppositories a day, AND take the Doxycycline, Estrace, Prenatal vitamin, and Aspirin. It’s insane! However, what is even more insane, is the size of the damn needles!! *gasp* well…I’ll only do it because I have to, haha! just kidding, I’d do it in a heartbeat for my IP’s, they deserve it.

After being taught how to inject the needle (which I will discuss tomorrow), I asked some more questions about the transfer and also found out that my Endometrium is 10mm, which is great! The average is about 7mm and above, so it was perfect! Hello fluffy bed for my IP’s future baby! Then I left and headed home.

I got out to my car and got in and just sat there for a few minutes; I looked over at the passenger seat and looked at the papers and all the medications and began to tear up. I honestly, couldn’t be more proud to do this for such an amazing couple and I feel they are honestly the most deserving couple I have ever met, they deserve this, and it brought me tears just feeling so happy for them knowing it was just around the corner before the transfer and *hopefully* a healthy pregnancy. I sent a picture to one of my IP’s and showed them how I was just so excited and literally tearing up…the response I got was “Oh thank you. I will cry if you continue”…melted my heart.

So, we are 4.5 days left till the transfer that is scheduled for Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 in the early morning! And I will post tomorrow about how my first intramuscular injection goes *eep*. I wish you all a wonderful weekend and look forward to updating you more on the journey!!

Lots of Love Xx

My Cocktail Isn’t Strong Enough!

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Okay, so, before I got pregnant with my daughter, I was always so quick to jump into “I’m sick, I needs medication”. Then I got pregnant and now, I am all like, “Nope! Don’t need any medication, I am fine!” And I am stubborn as hell when it comes to anything, even for a migraine. Then there is me now…Good grief!!

So, I started off the cycle with the Lupron Depot shot (aka HUGE FREAKIN NEEDLE IN MY BUTT…which didn’t hurt actually) and Aspirin 81 mg once a night, then of course I started a prenatal vitamin , which I have a bad history with as they make me ill, but this time everything is great so far, and I have gone with the Kirkland Prenatals which you can get at any Costco. Then, I went to taking two pills every morning and every night for the Estrace (which makes 6 pills a day) and now starting yesterday morning I started 100 mg of Doxycycline twice a day which brings me a grand total of 8 pills a day! Medication cocktail anyone? You would think I was a walking drug store!

So, I am now taking the Doxycycline (which is an antibiotic) as a precaution to avoid any infections that may occur before or during the transfer, so it is a “just-in-case” medication which I totally understand and am quite thankful that they are taking care of my well being. But, the bottle I was given from the clinic stated what the medication is and how much it is and how many to take a day, however, it doesn’t state whether it should be taken with food or without food, or whatever.

Sure enough, just my luck, I take it with no food (because I wasn’t hungry as well) and within a matter of minutes I got nauseated and felt like puking! I swore it was like morning sickness all over again. Yikes. So I drank a Coke and the bubbles helped to reduce the nausea then asked ANU’s Founder (Lorraine) since she is actually a medical professional as well, and she recommended I eat something with it so I did and it helped a lot! Noted. So, now, I make sure that when I take all the medications, I eat immediately after! I’m going to be eating more than I have the last however long soon so might as well start now!! haha! Here is to gaining weight for the best reasons!

Tomorrow, I have my appointment with the clinic to do my Endometrial Lining Assessment so I am looking forward to that! Then if everything is okay, it’s 5 days from then. These past two months have gone by so fast! But I am very very excited to be blessed enough yo do this journey with my IP’s as I KNOW they deserve this and are ready to complete their family. Anyay, It is an early night for me, I just wanted to quickly update everyone before tomorrow morning!

Lots of Love Xx

Warning; Rare Doesn’t Mean Impossible

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When it comes to anything that can affect our bodies, there isn’t much talk about how it affects us physically and mentally, we only talk about what it is designed for and why we are taking it. Let’s talk about the “Loopey Lupron”. Of course, like anything else, there is side effects, but there is also rare side effects, which typically you think to yourself, “Oh – that won’t happen to me, it’s rare and unlikely to occur” or so you are told. Well, I am just going to put this right here…

Quoted from; http://www.rxlist.com/lupron-depot-side-effects-drug-center.htm
“Rarely, a very serious problem with your pituitary gland (pituitary apoplexy) may occur, usually in the first hour to 2 weeks after your first injection. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these very serious side effects occur: sudden severe headache, sudden severe mental/mood changes (e.g., severe confusion, difficulty concentrating), vision changes, severe vomiting.”

Well, it had been just before the 2 week mark – on my birthday (July 16th) when I had my mother called me from out of province (she was away for work) and told me that I really needed to see a doctor because I was becoming a HORRIBLE person that was nothing but rude and arrogant and was verbally abusing the people around me. I was of course aware that I was more emotional than I ever have been (even when I was pregnant with my daughter) but I just put it to the typical possible side effects. I really put thought it and realized that I was being “satanic” (Yes – My mother referred to me as Satan at that moment). It was dreadful. I never meant to hurt anyone and would never hurt someone physically, but I was verbally and I didn’t realize because I was so all over the place with my moods.

The worst part is, you know when you cry, everything just feels a million times better (when you really need to of course), well I can’t even begin to describe how painfully exhausting it was to not be able to physically (literally) cry. I would have the WORST thoughts ever in my entire life and thing of the most dreadful things that would have otherwise made me cry but I couldn’t cry no matter how much I tried. It was exhausting…I just wanted to cry and I literally couldn’t.

I called the clinic and talked to the nurses and explained how I felt and what was going and she advised me to seek immediate medical attention because what I was experiencing was actually rare side effects from the Lupron Depot shot as it should have been out of my system no later than 2 weeks from the day of the shot. She explained that what I was feeling wasn’t normal and that it was out of my control. So, later that day, I went to the doctor’s and talk to her and talked to her and things got better. Of course, that night, I enjoyed my 21st birthday and had some drinks while my other mom watched my daughter! Hey – I’m entitled to one drink for the first time in forever.

The objective of my blog today, is that when it comes to medical procedures, or doctors, or medications, please do not shrug off the possibilities for rare side effects, as they CAN happen and can catch you off guard, but the best thing to do is take these steps.

1. Identify the problem yourself
2. Talk to someone about it
3. Identify a solution
4. Take action to resolve it
5. Praise yourself for doing what is necessary to make yourself better.

Also, don’t be afraid to say what you need to or be open and honest when it comes to everything, including a surro-journey because it needs to be one filled with trust. Love yourself and others and don’t forget to give yourself credit. Everyone handles things different, but we are all equal human beings. I am happily able to say I am fully recovered and feel a million times better! Especially since as of July 25th, I started 4mg of Estrace twice daily! Hello hormones!! Nice to have you back. ***8 more days till transfer*** (squeee)

Lots of Love Xx

 

I Am Human, After All.

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Ah, Rapunzel and Flynn. This photo literally represents how I feel right now. As mentioned in my previous entry, I had a Lupron Depot shot on July 3rd. I was forewarned by the nurse that it could cause similar symptoms to menopause, including; hot flashes, mood swings (ha! that’s an understatement), absent of a menstruation, etc. It was all fine and dandy, and I shrugged it off like nothing until the symptoms started all flowing in. Today, however, just sucked. Guess who’s uterus is laughing at them? Brat. So of course, I called the clinic and confirmed that it is in fact normal to receive menstruation after the shot (especially a week after), which they assured me it was normal.

While talking to them, I asked what the shot was intended to do since I didn’t exactly know, I just do what I am told. So, Lupron Depot is meant to suppress (or decrease) the amount of hormone I make for a short period of time so that it prevents an ovulation, therefore bringing the hormone level down to low levels (which can result in the mood swings). However, today my body had a different plan! I may not ovulate (that I know of) but boy, oh boy! My body is currently laughing at me saying, “Oh! You were trying to induce a menopause like state by lowering your hormone levels? Here!! Let me help you bring those suckers back up!! Enjoy bleeding for a few days.” – Really, just…really? If Mother Nature was a person, she would have a black eye right now.

As it currently stands, I am experiencing mood swings, and have honestly felt overwhelmed, for nothing. I have so many mixed emotions occurring with my home life, my business, and with the surrogacy journey all overlapping. But, I am saying this openly and honestly, because I am a human being and I will definitely have ups and downs and will definitely have my days where I will just prefer to cuddle my daughter and lay in bed watching Disney movies all day (if she will let me), but that is “normal”. Every single person in this world, has these days, weeks, months, or even years, because we are all the same and no one, I repeat, NO ONE, has never had some form of negativity or darkness in their life that hasn’t influence or affected them. Unfortunately, it is so easily and quickly judged upon when someone has moments like this, and it doesn’t mean they are depressed or need some help, it just means they need someone to talk to or need a shoulder to cry on, it’s simple human actions!

With all of the events coming up within the next little over a month, I am sure this won’t be the first or last time I write about emotions and the feeling of being anxious and/or overwhelmed, but I will continue on with my days like normal and shrug it off because every day is a new day, and as a human being, I am entitled to an imperfect past but I will look forward to a new future. Don’t hide who you are for anyone, be yourself and feel the way you feel but don’t beat yourself down all because you have such a bad day. There is always a rainbow somewhere, after a storm.

So, in advance, good luck and I am very sorry to anyone I bark at! I promise it’s just a bark and not a bite (maybe). Now, go be Rapunzel, pamper yourself (like a haircut – pun intended, if you have watched the movie) and become a whole new person once again! Lots of Love! Xx

What A Pain In The Butt! – No, Seriously.

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Let’s talk needles. First thing that comes to mind, uh…ouch? Ha! Oh no, no! I have absolutely no problem with needles at all, in fact, I have had more than 10 pierce my skin at one time, more than once (gotta love those crazy tattoo’d mamas, right?) but good grief, I thought a tetanus needle was long, HA! Boy, was I ever fooled. So, I was waiting for my standard bloodwork and urine analysis to come back which would take approximately 2 weeks time, which unfortunately, left me quite close to the time I was supposed to start my Lupron Depot shot (July 4th) and with Canada Day falling on a Wednesday, the timing was palm-sweating considering I feared that my entire protocol would have to be pushed forward (which would totally suck for me and my IP’s).

Well, luckily, I got the everything is perfect and awesome on Thursday, June 2nd, but only problem was that they only ship the medication within specific days so I was left with no choice but to make the road trip up to the clinic to get the medication myself so that I could take it all on time. Although I felt the complete fear of bringing my daughter with me (well, because it is a fertility clinic – meant for those who are struggling to have a baby) I still went ahead and brought her because I wasn’t just going to drop her off with someone I didn’t know for a matter of less than 30 minutes.

I signed in and waited for them to call me in so I could get the medication required with instructions, and while waiting, I met another amazing couple and their surrogate who were there for an ultrasound to check on their little bub. While we all waited, we chatted and they told me about their journey and I told them how I was just starting mine and they actually played and held my daughter (which they asked)! *whew* I’m not upsetting anyone…there is a sigh of relief. Not to long after, I was called in by a nurse who took me to one of the offices and told me about the medication and that’s when she pulled out the…thing. The longest needle I had ever seen with some seriously advanced design for injection, it had to have easily been 2.5 inches long, EASILY.

Now, originially, I was supposed to take the Lupron Depot on July 4th, as I mentioned earlier, but I was offered the choice of doing it on that day instead, and considering how it was explained and how BIG the needle was, I straight out looked at her and said, “So, does a day make a difference? Cause I can’t push that big *** needle into me…” haha! Good grief!! She laughed, so did I, and my daughter just stared blankly as she knawed on my keys…ugh, teething. She took the needle out of the package, attached the white plastic portion to the bottom of the syringe and then placed it within her hands and rolled it like dough (not shake, rolled). She then twisted some dial on the bottom portion, and very slowly pushed the liquid into the powder tank of the syringe and then rolled it again. Once it was all combined, and there was no chunks left over, she slowly pushed it into the upper tank and clipped off the needle guard. Oh the fun part.

She wiped off the spot she intended to poke me at and then pinched the fat together and in it went. To my surprise, it wasn’t painful at all! It was scarier than it looks but wasn’t painful. She placed  a bandaid on me and away we went. My daughter and I stayed in the lobby for a few minutes longer because I had to change and feed her, and we also found out that the couple I had met earlier, had just discovered that their transferred embryos had actually split and they were now expecting triplets! *Ha…no thank you LOL* I congratulated them as they left and finished feeding my daughter.

Everything was awesome, until about half an hour later, I started aching, and it felt like I had to crack my lower back. It was incredibly annoying, actually. It dissipated, and that’s when I started melting. Driving back, I swore I felt like I was going through Menopause. One second, I was sweating my rear-end off, and then the next I was cold; my poor daughter wasn’t to sure what to think so she just sat there quietly in her car-seat…ha, cutie. So for the following few days, I experienced some irritability, intense hot flashes, and a very sore hip/butt, not to mention my VERY sexy bruise and little red dot. But in the end, I just keep telling myself that this is what I wanted, and what I am excited to do and it is all worth it in the end! So, bring on those crazy big needles if it means my IP’s get a baby (or two…but definitely not three…I like my hoo-haw…LOL).

As it stand right now, I am taking the standard 81 mg of Aspirin to help regulate the flow of blood to my uterus in preparation for the transfer, but I will blog more when I have the chance! I wish you all a happy and safe (almost) upcoming weekend! Lots of love. Xx