Saturday, January 2, 2021

30 weeks and a new year!

Surely no one is sad to say goodbye to 2020. I know I’m not. Welcome 2021, we’re glad you’re here. This will be the year I help another family bring a precious life into the world. With all of the changes and uncertainty that 2020 brought we decided to end the year right. Christmas morning we surprised the kids with a box of Mickey ear balloons and a card saying “Pack your bags, we leave for Disney World in the morning!” We packed that afternoon and left first thing the next day (starting the day with a dead car battery of course). 

We spent the next 7 days in the beautiful Florida sun. We did 4 days in the parks with some down time between. I somehow survived 30 miles of walking (60,000 steps) at 30 weeks pregnant with very little complaining or contracting. My husband and I hadn’t been to Disney since we were kids. Experiencing it through the eyes of our 4 & 6 year olds was nothing short of magical. 

As we head home I am grateful for a safe trip, healthy pregnancy and happy children. 

Putting this here because years from now when I look back I want to remember the crazy start to our journey home. Keys locked in the car, dead car battery, forgotten bag and 30 min detour to retrieve it). My husband the trooper taking it all in stride (more or less). 

Pregnancy update: I feel huge but measure on track (1cm behind I believe). I failed my 1 hour glucose tolerance test and had to do the 3 hour test. I was really dreading it and cried a little when I found out. The intended mom failed hers as well which made me feel a little better. 

Fortunately the test itself wasn’t bad at all. I felt totally fine (even with 16 hours of fasting and a whole lot of sugar) until the last 30 mins when my blood sugar dropped. I passed and was so very grateful. A diabetes diagnosis right before the holidays and Disney would have crushed me. 

I can’t believe this journey is coming to an end so quickly but am looking forward to the moment when the intended parents meet their baby girl and we all get to celebrate an incredible blessing after the strangest year ever. 

Wishing you all a VERY Happy & Healthy 2021.

26 weeks

I was so excited to start feeling Baby Girl move much earlier than Blake. I started feeling her move at 18 weeks. She is now almost 26 weeks now and was measuring 1 lb 9 oz at 24 weeks (42%). We had a normal level II u/s and fetal echocardiogram. Her placenta was initially low lying but that has already resolved and she's already head down!  She had the hiccups during the entire 24 week ultrasound and the intended mom was able to feel her move for the first time. It was so precious!!  I can definitely tell she is getting more excited as time goes on and this gets more real for her.

My girls have decided to call her baby butterfly (fitting as I sit here feeling her flutter away in there).  Blake (4) was sitting beside me on the couch the other day and pushing her belly out. She said "mommy can you put your belly down?"  I said no ma'am I cannot lol. Aside from some mild shortness of breath I don't feel pregnant most of the time until my belly bumps into something or I feel her kick. 2nd trimester has been great. 

We've completed the pre-birth order for the state of SC which declares the intended parents as the legal guardians/parents of this baby. Because it's only done for this state I can't travel out of the state past 30 weeks. We are going to take advantage of our last window to travel and are taking the kids on a surprise trip to Disney World the week after Christmas!  We are SO excited.  They are going to lose their minds. I can't wait. 

Last week I had the pleasure of catching the baby of another gestational carrier. I got to spend time with the Intended Mom as well and was able to help facilitate their birth plan. The intended mom helped catch the baby and her reaction was absolutely priceless. It was a magical experience!!!  

Here are a few pics from the last few weeks. 

Polar Express!

24 week ultrasound

25 weeks

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

16 week update

So grateful to be through the first trimester.  With my first pregnancy I had like 2 weeks of daily nausea then occasional (rare) random dry heaving.  This girl, however, does not like me.  From 4 weeks 4 days until 15 1/2 weeks I had daily nausea. Initially like 8 hours day then down to 3-4 hours a day with Bonjesta (prescription unisom & B6). It was rough!  I've probably vomited 6 times total but the nausea was frequent and relentless. I feel like I was living in a pepto commercial (nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea). I think I can finally say I've made it to the other side!

I did my (apparently) usual 1st trimester bleeding around 6 1/2 weeks. Fortunately my subchorionic hemorrhage was small and I only had one episode of bleeding.  Otherwise this pregnancy has been uneventful. Life however has not. 2020 has continue to act all 2020 and my mom had a heart attack on July 4th back in Ohio. I was there the next day and able to be with her in the hospital. Then back a month later to help her through a quintuple bypass. Seeing my mom intubated and sedated then struggling to breathe or move was tough. Fortunately she's got 6 amazing daughters who helped nurse her back to health. We are so blessed she has made it through like a champ and is well on her way to recovery.  

I've finally come to terms with the bump (willing to admit it's baby and not just extra mom). I haven't gained any weight yet and for that I want to thank the nausea and my hate for all food. Don't worry, baby girl is growing just fine!  Pretty sure I caught her sucking her thumb on ultrasound yesterday!  So cute!!


Kids thoughts on surrogacy: 
Brennan (6 yo) - just wants to hold the baby when she comes
Blake (3 yo) - wants to babysit - She also asked if we could name the baby Beesia. No idea where she came up with that but she likes to pretend to be a dog and wants us to call her that too. Little creative silly minds.

Looking forward to our anatomy ultrasound in 4 weeks. And so excited the outpatient visitor policy has changed and the intended mom can come with me!!!!

edited to add:  spoke too soon. wrote this post then 5 hours later had to pull over while driving home from work to puke for 15 minutes on the side of 385. yuck.

Monday, July 27, 2020

March 3rd we got the protocol for transfer number 3 in April. 

March 18th we got an email from the RE that all cycles were being suspended due to COVID 19. We were so sad but also realized it was for the best.

We decided to take advantage of the break and started a monthly Lupron injection in case my endometriosis history was a factor in our first two transfers failing.

Daily Lupron was no big deal. Monthly Lupron, OMG! The menopause symptoms were crazy. Hot flashes and night sweats like you wouldn’t believe.

Then May 20th we got some good news. Cycles were back on! We were scheduled for a June 23rd transfer.

Prenatal vitamins, DHA, vitamin D, baby aspirin, steroids, antibiotics, Estradiol Valerate injections, Estrace suppositories, Crinone suppositories, lovenox injections, an endometrial “scratch” and..... WE ARE FINALLY PREGNANT!!!  

Surro baby due March 11th - the IP's (Intended Parents) are so excited!! I'm so grateful to be on this journey with them.
It's still super early but we've had a few very reassuring ultrasounds. Now please help us pray this little bean keeps growing!!

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Transfer #2 outcome

Exactly 4 years ago today I was celebrating my rising Beta HCG and anticipating an ultrasound to see my little ones heart beating for the first time. Today while snuggling my little girl and feeling that same heart beat against my hand my mind started drifting off. I started wondering if I will ever get to see a little baby growing inside of me again. Despite a beautiful lining, great hormone levels and what we all thought was perfect cycle timing another perfect little girl embryo decided not to stick. My HCG was negative and we are all devastated. We have a call with the IPs reproductive endocrinologist (RE) on Monday to figure out next steps. We planned from the beginning to give it 3 tries so we will give it another go in the coming months. Please pray for strength and peace for everyone involved. This has been a roller coaster of emotions and at times has been really hard to remain hopeful.

My sister sent me her daily devotional the morning of our confirmed negative. While it’s a lot easier to pray for God to grant my heart’s desires I intimately know that He is running the show. Praying for trust and faith in His plan.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Transfer Day

Transfer is done! Everything went very smoothly. We implanted 1 genetically tested, expanding baby girl. Now we wait and pray that she sticks. Going to take it easy the next few days and try to keep my mind off of testing. Bloodwork scheduled for February 27th. Stick baby, stick!! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Lining check, bloodwork, med changes

Had our lining check and bloodwork yesterday.  My lining with our failed transfer was around 7mm. This time it was up to 10mm. A nice fluffy bed for the embryo to implant. My estrogen level was also a little low last time around. This cycle it was much higher. I feel really reassured by my body's response to the new protocol and even more hopeful that this one will stick.

I've moved on from Lupron and start Crinone suppositories tomorrow. I'll keep doing estrogen injections every 3 days through first trimester if this little one sticks. I will also be starting one last antibiotic and a medrol dose pack. With my vitamins and supplements we will be up to 7 pills and 3 suppositories per day plus an injection every 3rd day. Glad I'm pretty organized and can keep it all straight.

We head out of town Sunday night for a Monday morning transfer. Prayers are much appreciated!!