Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby Via Gestational Carrier Journey Update 8

January 7, 2013
Today Jessica and I both had an u/s. Everything went well for both of us and was informed to start my follistim the next morning.

January 8, 2013
I started my follistim today. I had to inject 150 units in the morning and then another 150 units 12 hours later for the next couple of days until my next u/s.
January 10, 2013
Today I got another u/s and also got my estradiol checked.

January 11, 2013
Got the results of my estradiol back and everything with that and the u/s looked good. I now needed to start taking the ganirelix in the morning with my follistim injection and then inject 150 units of the menopur in the evening. I hate the menopur. I had no issues injecting the others but this one hurt, drew a good amount of blood, and burned. I also managed to screw this drug up, and not just one night but two. This drug is a mixing drug and somehow I overlooked the fact that I needed to mix two vials of the powder and so I underdosed myself both of those first nights of taking it.

January 12, 2013
Early this morning Dereck and I hopped on a flight headed to MN. We were supposed to have an u/s at our RE's office the next morning, but it got switched to Monday instead.

January 14, 2013
The next u/s to check my follicles and blood draw to check my estrogen levels again was at 8:45am at our RE's office. At this appt. we learned that I had 3 large follicles that were already matured and then a few other little ones. Our RE reviewed those findings and one of the nurses called to tell us the news. Apparently since we had 3 follicles ready to go we had to make a decision. We were told that we need to either do the egg retrieval with 3 follicles on Wednesday or cancel the whole cycle and hope that next time we get more follicles. I started crying instantly hearing this news. I know that the quality of the eggs, and the embryos, is more important than the quantity, but 3, how can I only have 3 follicles? I have read so many blogs about this and so many seem to have 10-20 follicles. Ugh! My RE said he was surprised I reacted so quickly to the meds, but did say though that he feels we have a good chance since our reason for doing IVF is different than most. We also know that I could get pregnant and also could carry a healthy pregnancy. I hope he is right and everything goes well, otherwise we have to start over in another couple months.
So since we decided to still go ahead with everything, I needed to do my HCG injection this night at 10:30pm so that 36 hours later we could do the egg retrieval. I also no longer needed to do any of my other injections. That was kind of a waste of a lot of expensive meds I don't need anymore. Oh well.

January 15, 2013
Today Jessica had to get an u/s to check her lining. She wasn't supposed to get another one until Thursday, but since are we doing the egg retrieval 4-6 days sooner than planned, they needed to make sure she is ready for a transfer. She told me the u/s went well but would need to start taking 12 estrace tablets a day, versus the 2 she was presently taking, to make sure she is ready for an earlier transfer.
Today I also started taking my doxycycline to help prevent infection from my retrieval.

So it looks like tomorrow is now retrieval day versus the coming weekend. I should be sleeping but instead I am up late typing this. I think it going to be hard to sleep tonight anyway as tomorrow is such a huge day for us. Once morning comes I can have 16 ounces of water 3 hours prior to the retrieval and that's it. We have to be at the clinic by 9:30am and the retrieval will be at 10:30am.

Wish us luck! I'm scared!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Fundraiser

Finally writing about the fundraiser that our friends helped us put on back on November 10, 2012 to help us raise money for the gestational carrier process.

I was surprised by how many businesses donated items for the silent auction. I was worried that a lot of places wouldn't donate since we weren't a nonprofit and they couldn't write their donation off. Their were many places that didn't donate for that reason, but so many others that did just because they wanted to help us. There was a wide variety of items donated; home made quilts, lots of gift cards to restaurants, autographed childrens books, a breast pump, wine and coffee baskets, snowmobile jackets, framed photographs, massage certificates, homemade childrens play kitchen, Banana Republic leather bag, baked goods, cabin weekends, fishing charters,  eye dr., dental, and photography gift certificates, coach sunglasses, handmade jewelry, and so much more.

On top of the silent auction we had mystery bags people could buy for either $10 or $25 with items of equal or greater value in them. There was a table set up that had various items on it along with some baked goods for sale, and there was a live baked goods auction. So there was lots of of items for purchase.

My good friend Liz also put together a chili cook off. I believe there was 8 or 9 teams that all made different kids of chilis. There were winners for the best overall chili, the most unique chili, and I think the best team. So in between people visiting with others, bidding on items, and what not they could purchase either one big bowl of chili or a bunch of small cups and sample a bunch of different ones. At the time of purchasing their chili each person got a couple of tickets so they could vote on their favorite in each category.  

I was so nervous about everything going well. Would lots of people show up? Would they have fun and want to stay? Would all the items go? I was also nervous about the questions I could get asked and wondered if people would expect me to get up in front of everyone and speak about what we're doing. Luckily, none of that was an issue. There was a huge turnout. Dereck and I got around and talked to everyone we could and thanked them all for coming. All of the mystery bags and silent auction items went and the chili cook off was a hit. A bunch of people even left cash donations. It really was a great night and showed us even more just how lucky we are to have such wonderful people in our lives. 

In case anyone is wondering, the fundraiser raised approx. $12,000. So between this fundraiser and the GiveForward one that Liz did last summer, that many of you donated to, equals close to $20,000! I still can't believe it.

Thank you again to everyone for your support!
lots of gift baskets and pictures on the silent auction

some of the baked goodies for sale

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I love Dereck's family for always remembering my babies. Here is what they did for them for Christmas at the cemetery. I can't wait to go visit their graves when we go back and see family after the egg retrieval/transfer stuff. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baby Via Gestational Carrier Journey Update 7

December 20, 2012
During those couple of weeks since I had got those first horrible prolactin results, that made me want to kick and scream and throw a tantrum, I did everything possible to help lower my levels before the next test. I took the Dostinex my RE ordered. I ate a diet high in zinc and B6. I avoided artificial sweeteners, limited my caffeine intake, and stopped taking my antidepressants. I pretty much did anything and everything that my Dr. and Dr. Google told me to do that had the potential to lower my prolactin. Well folks, I got my prolactin checked again and the results were AWESOME! Just a few weeks prior they were at 132.5, which was way out of range, but now they were at 2.4! I was so worried that it wouldn't even be close to the 20 range, which is what it needed to be at or below, but 2.4, holy crap, its like a Christmas miracle. I was literally jumping for joy. That is exactly the news I needed to help me get through the holidays.

December 27, 2012
It was finally time to get my labs done for infectious disease, so that is what I did that morning, and then shipped them to MN.
About a week earlier I had received a huge packet in the mail regarding all the meds that I was going to be taking, a calender of when to take them, and other paperwork with the rest of the stuff we needed to get done before we could proceed. I had a phone appt. with one of the nurses at our fertility clinic to discuss those meds and the calender with me. I feel like I am going to screw this up. It is a lot.
After my appt. I called one of the specialty pharmacies, on the list I was given, and ordered my meds, all $3200 worth of them. I will be injecting Follistim, Ganirelex, and Menopur. My HCG inj. is Pregnyl, and if needed I will still need to buy and inject Lupron. I also had to buy Doxycycline to prevent infection after the egg retrieval.

December 28, 2012
Jessica's meds arrived and she started them today.

January 2, 2013
Our IVF payment was due, all $12,035 of it.

January 3, 2013
Contract is finished, signed, and a letter was submitted to our clinic stating that we are working with a lawyer and have a contract in place.
This was also the last day that I took my Northindrone- birth control.

January 4, 2013
My meds arrived! My meds arrived! This is really going to happen isn't it! Yikes! I seriously have a lot of respect for the women that have had to go through this process more than once. It really is a lot to take in!

Tomorrow Jessica and I will both be getting an u/s to check everything out one last time before the injections begin. If everything looks good the injections will begin Tuesday morning and evening for 10 days. The plan is to fly to MN on the 12th and get the rest of my u/s at our clinic there. The egg retrieval is planned for sometime between the 19th-21rst depending on how things go. Then hopefully the transfer will be 3-5 days later. So if all goes well Jessica will be pregnant by the end of this month.

I was starting to really get annoyed with my clinic, but it looks like things may just work out after all! I will do my best to keep everyone updated through this process but this next week is going to be a busy one and then we will be off to MN for another busy week ending with hopefully a very successful egg retrieval and then transfer. I know many people have gone through the gestational carrier process and even more have done IVF, but I am scared! If this doesn't work then we have to wait another two months until we can do either another egg retrieval or transfer again. If everything does work out this time though, then holy cow be prepared for the next 9 months of me freaking out at the chance of anything and everything going wrong.

Wish us luck that all goes well and we have a healthy living baby(s) in our arms by next fall!

"Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent."

-Mignon McLaughlin-

Friday, January 4, 2013

Liam's 2nd Birthday

Yesterday was Liam's 2nd birthday. I remember last year on his first birthday and just how emotional it was. I remember dedicating three straight days to just working on his scrapbook and being with him and all of his things. I also remember all of the crying. This year was so different. I still miss him and wish he was here with us, that will never change, but it wasn't nearly as emotional. I thought about him all day and really wanted to do something special for him. I had gotten these pillar candles a few years back that I never got around to using and about a month ago my grief group lady gave me these wax sheets for decorating candles. So for his birthday I decorated a candle just for him. 
I love you little buddy

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years and Other Stuff

New Years- Last year New Years was a sad, yet hopeful time. I had thought a lot about how just a year earlier we were in San Francisco awaiting the New Year in which Liam would be getting fetal surgery. We were so full of hope. 2011 definitely wasn't how we envisioned it. Then I got pregnant with my daughter, hope was returning, but I wished more than anything that my son could be here. Last year I had made a different sort of New Years resolution. It wasn't about trying to lose weight or eat healthier. Instead it was just that even though I was intensely grieving my son that I was going to try to be the best mom that I could be to my little girl. Ugh! Here we are again. Another year has ended with 2012 proving to not be what I expected it to be either. I don't know what to think of 2013. Right now I would say I am hopeful, but I am also incredibly scared to be too optimistic for the fear of getting my heart stomped on again, especially right at the end. 2013 please be better to us than the last couple years have been. Actually, maybe I should make a New Year's resolution to get caught up on my old blog posts and be more consistent with blogging. Also to finish all of the projects I want to do for Liam and Evelynn. That sounds pretty good.

I Believe Contest- We did not win the "I Believe" video contest for free IVF. I want to thank all of you that voted for us though. We did make it into the top 10, but the judges from the Sher Institute and the winners of last years contest did not pick ours. That is okay though, the winners well deserved to win. Free IVF would have been nice, but the Sher Institute is not the fertility clinic we have been working with, and so if we would have won, we would've had to switch clinics and start over. Or use them as a back up clinic if our cycle fails.

Getting Pregnant Again- I wrote in my last post that we ended up going to my work Christmas party. After the party ended Dereck and I stayed up for another couple of hours and talked. We rarely talk about me ever getting pregnant again, but that night we did. As much as I want to get pregnant again and finally get the ending that I want, I keep holding out this hope that our carrier will have twins for us. Boy and girl twins that is, and then we will have at least two living children, and if we want more we could always try again or adopt. I am asking for a lot I know. He voiced his concerns that he doesn't ever want me to get pregnant again, ever! I have tried to think about how he must have felt both times I went into surgery with our babies, but all I really know is how I felt. He told me how scared he was both times and how horrible it is just to sit in a room wondering what's going on and if he will lose me and the baby. Even worse is the fact that he was alone both times. He was alone during the fetal surgery and then again when I went in for the emergency c-section. Then after everything had happened he tried to be strong for me. To this day I still feel like he did all the fighting for Evelynn. I was so upset and mad and exhausted from everything. Dereck was too, and yet he fought for her. He argued with the doctors to give her more time. He made so many of the decisions. I still wish I could've been their more for him. I know how scary it would be for me to go through another pregnancy, but now I know more of his feelings toward just how scared he would be as well.

New Job- I finally got around to getting another job. I love my main job and have been there for a little over 5 years now, but it is only part time. In the past I was always able to pick up a good amount of fill in shifts at other clinics so it was never much of an issue that I wasn't working full time. The plan was also that when we had kids I would most likely end up staying at home with them for a few years, and if I needed to work then my part time job was perfect to have. After Liam passed away I was kind of grateful that I wasn't working more hours than I was. I remember reading so many blog posts from other blm's talking about how they were heading back to their full time job and I wondered how the heck they were able to handle full time when I cried the majority of my first weeks back, and I was only working around 24-30 hours. On top of the crying, grieving is just exhausting, and so between that and working I was so tired. As time went on I considered trying to get more fill in work again, but was so scared of starting a new job with new people, new equipment, and new work protocols. What if people asked if I had kids? What if there were tons of pregnant people there? What if I had a bad day and couldn't stop crying? What would people say? What would I say? I had enough of these questions at my present job and those people new me and my situation. I then got pregnant with Evelynn and we all know what happened from their. I was scared again about getting another job, but I knew I eventually needed to because as I've said before, getting a gestational carrier isn't cheap. I have been working at this job for about a month and a half now and things are going fairly well. It is not a lot of hours, but every little bit helps. Only one person there really knows my story and that is the guy that helped me get the job there. People have asked if I have kids and so far I just say no. I still hate saying no, but it is what it is. Hopefully in the months ahead I will be able to share with everyone the birth(s) of our baby(s). Then we can get into it, as I suppose people will be curious about how I didn't look pregnant nor did I adopt, but yet I have a newborn.  
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