Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shooting Up

So I've spent the last two days shooting up. 

Getting high on Lupron. 

I actually thought about making a video of how the injections go, but then I realized that these injections go into my fatty stomach and that making such a video would introduce you all to that side of me.... and instead decided to just talk about it. Maybe I'll make a video of the butt shots later. That's my better side.

My first injection was Monday night. I actually forgot to do it at first, which is quite funny considering I spent all day worrying about it. I went to bed and laid down.. then sprung up out of bed like a cartoon character and yelled, "I FORGOT TO DO IT!" 

I think my shock scared my husband because he certainly didn't get up to make sure I did it right.

Anyway, so there I am in the bathroom. I prepped my skin with the alcohol swab (OK Yankee Candle, how long until you release an "Alcohol Swab" scent? Because it's that awesome.) and then filled the insulin syringe with the proper amount of Lupron.

Lucky for me the needle was small and not intimating. Even so, I sat there on the toilet and had a mini panic attack. I thought, "What have I gotten myself into? I can't do this! I have to back out..." Then I realized what a hassle that might be, and how many people would be let down because of my fear. Including myself.

So I counted to three (about 10 times) and then I just did it.

And you know what? 
It wasn't bad at all. 
No bleeding. No bruising. No tenderness. 


So last night's injection was cake.

Here's hoping the 5 inch needle muscle injections are a pleasant surprise as well...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Checking in

At my first monitoring appointment. 

First thought...
Isnt it kind of insensitive to use stirrup pads that advertise for birth control at a place where women are struggling to get pregnant anyway? I think they're missing the target audience.

Second thought?
I really shouldn't have let this handsome fella go all the way on our first date. Must work on my restraint....

Today's the Day

I have my first monitoring appointment in about 3 hours.

...you know, Holy Cow...

I've done some Google research on typical uterine thickness this morning. It appears it is usually around 6.5 mm. Well, I am an over achiever and believe myself to be insanely fertile. So I'm setting a goal of a 10mm lining today. ;)  Maybe they'll tell me I don't need those horrid painful shots if my body can pull that off. (Yes, I know that won't likely happen. No need to make me feel all silly and stupid again, pals.)

I'm feeling pretty excited about the whole thing. It's a long time goal that is finally getting real. Real doctors, real injections, real hormone therapy... and in a month, a real baby. Maybe two.

I haven't asked the guys yet how much of my med details they're comfortable with my sharing here, so I'm not sure when you'll see an update. My hunch is that, it's my body and they're super cool.. so I don't think they'll care. Even so, my uterus is now their baby maker.. so I do want to consider their feelings on the matter.

Time to shower!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

God's Got My Backside.

I was just meditating and thinking about how nervous I am for my injection medicines. Not so much the Lupron, because it goes into fatty tissue. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think it will be too bad.

The intramuscular shots though...the ones that go into my backside... I'm terrified of those. Maybe it's because the directions tell me to:

  • Get Comfortable
  • Relax your muscles
  • Take a deep breath
  • Don't vomit. 


OK- I made the last one up. But really, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was on the list. When medical instructions basically prepare you for immense pain, it's scary.

So here I am .. nervous, scared, intimated, overwhelmed and dreading it. Dreading all 7 intramuscular shots.

I was trying to convince myself that no matter how bad the shots were, there were only 7. And then there would be a baby. And then there would be a family. I could do this. I could survive this.

Then I realized 

I was going at this the completely wrong way. 


I believe that God brought me to surrogacy. I believe that God is faithful and will never leave our sides. I believe that the good He has done, and the seeds He has planted, He will see it through. I believe that doubt and deception are the tools of the Devil.

To allow that fear and doubt into my heart is to tell God that I don't trust His plan for my life. It's like telling God I don't trust Him. It's like telling my Savior that I know whats best for me better than He does.

As I often do at these Epiphany moments, I turn to the bible for inspiration. I found this verse, smacking me over the head like an anvil from an old cartoon:


Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
    and He will make your paths straight.


...And This...

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise Him.



So, as I have chosen to do for so many years, I choose to trust God. I choose to trust Him and His calling on my life. 

Because God has always had my back. 
And now He has my backside, too. 

Ey yi yi...

Matbe not so much like Christmas Morning after all....

Its Like Christmas Morning

Look at my big christmas present from HRC.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Thought I'd Be Thrilled

Yesterday was a double whammy in the surrogacy journey department.

First, I got my final and official instructions from the fertility clinic. What to take and where to take it kind of instructions. I expected it'd be overwhelming, but after seeing it all in print  I'm finding myself really overwhelmed and incredibly nervous.

I'm an overachiever by nature and I want to be the best little surrogate I can be.  I know once I dig into the routine it will be simple and that I'll be just fine. But for the next week I have a feeling that the gravity of this responsibility is going to really weigh on me.

The second thing that happened was receipt of my first allowance check. This is a fund that provides a small amount of pocket cash per month to pay for things like childcare during my appointments, gas to get there and the like. It's meant to ensure that I don't incur costs during my journey to help M&T have a baby. It's not meant to MAKE me any money, just offset costs along the way. I knew I'd be getting it.Even so, I'm feeling SO guilty for depositing it into our (surrogacy specific and separate) checking account.

I suppose I've spent so much time preparing my mind and my heart for dealing with the emotions of carrying a baby that isn't mine and the issues that parallel that, that I hadn't given an ounce of thought to the emotions that will surround the financial part of this.

Surrogacy is a beautiful thing. It's also very costly. I really don't like that it costs any set of IPs so much to make a family. I loathe that it costs MY IPs that much, because I love them. I feel protective over them. And I hate that I'm a part of that cost.

I've already reached out to my case manager with my feelings of guilt so that she can reassure me everything is normal and OK. I've also asked other surros for support. They tell me in a few weeks when I can hardly sit on my sore bruised behind that I will no longer feel guilty. 

I know I'll be OK. No need to worry about me. This is an emotional rollercoaster. I thought this day would be a high, and it's kind of a low. I just thought I had prepared myself for all the emotions, and this one just caught me by surprise.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Going to be a crazy week.

One week from right ow I will be gearing up for my first monitoring appointment. Kind of crazy considering I still don't have an appointment time, which means no child care lined up, and no meds in house yet.

Nevertheless, I'm told this is what will happen this week. Appointments will be set. Meds will arrive.

Also this week, my dad is coming for a visit. This will mark the first time I have ever invited him for a visit outside of direct instruction from my grandparents. This is a major life thing for me.

So between all that whirlwind, it's going to be a very busy week indeed. In fact, right now I need to go do some laundry, clean some house, bathe some babies.... the work of a housewife is never complete.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dancing Naked: A Starshine Blog

Here's a look at the first installment of Starshine's Story. She's doing surrogacy the natural way. Letting her body pave the way. 

The doctors finally agreed to let Starshine take on natural surrogacy.
So little Starshine got to work creating an exhaustive list of natural remedies and potions to help thicken her uterine lining. Here's a look at her daily regimine:

Daily Dosage 
3/day Fertility Blend capsules (Daily Wellness brand)
1/day Bromelain capsule (Solaray brand)
2/day Women's Complete daily vitamin gummy (vitaFusion brand)
1/day B-Complex gummy (vitaFusion brand)
4/day Calcium + D gummy (vitaFusion brand)
1/day Low-dose Aspirin chewable (generic)
2/day Vitamin C gummy (Nature Made brand)
2/day cups of Red Raspberry Leaf tea (Traditional Medicinal brand)

1/day cup of Pregnancy Tea (Traditional Medicinal brand)
Dancing Naked Under the Moon
External castor oil with heat pack with Jasmine essential oil.

Most people who want to have a baby just have to ... well, take a "night" off so to speak. Most surrogates take far fewer medications, even though some are injected via needle or vaginal suppository. But Starshine wanted to give this natural cycle the best shot at success as she could.

Pagan Fertility Rite
That meant doing more than taking vitamins and hoping. It meant enlisting the help of religion, spiritual leaders and even the full moon. Want the list of all of these things?

She danced naked under a Harvest Moon. She completed her own Pagan Fertility Rites. She had fertility massage. She focused on her root chakra. She accepted prayers from Christian friends.

If it could help her, Starshine embraced it.


So, did it work? 
That's next week. 

Like a Ton of Bricks

So it just hit me... like a ton of bricks... 
I'm getting pregnant in a month. 
With a baby that isn't mine. 
And I'm not keeping it. 
This is REALLY happening.
In a month.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We Have a Date

First up, my thoughts are so jumbled right now I can't even begin to imagine this blog will wind up being a productive read. Apologies in advance.

The big news is, WE-HAVE-A-DATE. 

I feel like perhaps I should send out "save the date" cards engagement style. 


Truth is, I had begun mentally preparing myself for a much longer wait. Even so far out as January. Because wouldn't it be cool to be in Pasadena for the Rose Parade?

I was starting to feel like every Monday was, "We'll know something by Friday" and every Friday was, "It'll be next week, for sure." But this time, "We'll know something by Friday" actually meant, "We'll know something by Friday."

I have to note that I feel strongly that this date victory is in large part to the Law of Attraction. The guys and I have been focusing on a transfer that last week of August for quite some time now. It had to happen for a multitude of reasons including some travel I need to be cleared for in late October as well as a blackout date for me in early September. Plus, I really started to focus on the last week of August when I learned another pal might be transfering then as well. The best news is that, as it always does, the Secret worked.

So, what's the big date?
Mark your calendars, Kids... We're shooting for:
AUGUST 24-26TH 

More next time on why there is a date range as opposed to a solid date. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star Shine

Tonight I want to do a little more talking about my surro sister Star Shine. While clearly that is not her given name... it's become a fun nickname and I think we'll keep it. She's tackling surrogacy without hormones. She's going natural, in every sense.

So, what makes Star Shine so special? Lots of things, in my opinion. Besides being an incredibly smart and strong willed mom who brings home the bacon AND fries it up in the pan, she's also a surrogate. She's a surrogate who knew from the get-go that the traditional road was not going to work for her. She's one of those hippie kids raised on all organic foods, only natural medicines and plenty of hugs. "Star Shine" making sense now?

As a result of her upbringing and a few other medical factors, she's always been resistant to all forms of western medicine. They just don't have the same intensity that they'd have on you or I. Because of that, she was fairly convinced the hormone therapy would not yield the types of results that fertility clinics are used to seeing.

Despite telling our agency her concerns when her journey started (more than 2 years ago) they still wanted her to give the tried and true blue method a whirl. Like the diligent solider she is, Star marched forward following her Commander's orders.

One Problem. 
It didn't work. 


After just a short time on injections, her body began to try to force the injected fluids back out of her body. The result was raised red lumps all over her hiny.

The injections are painful enough when your body accepts them. 
Imagine if your body rejected them.

I asked to share photos of the rejection, but there are none. This is because aside from the physical pain the rejection caused, the appearance of her own body led to a emotional pain. She became embarrassed and ashamed of her body. Both physically and emotionally bruised, Star didn't even let her husband see her body.

While the docs like to see a uterine lining of at least 8 mm before transferring an embryo, Star's body went from an 8.5, to a 10, to a 7.5 and finally settling at an ideal 10. Docs went ahead with the transfer despite the unusual prep lead up.

Star Shine in the Flesh 

The transfer failed. 


Some medical mumbo jumbo happened next...  tests were done... meds were changed... uterine linings went up... uterine linings went way down... time passed...frustration and confusion were the vocabulary words of the day.

The air started to stink of finality and defeat.

Star started suggesting they monitor her own body for a natural cycle. Let her rely on the old wives tales and the herbal and holistic remedies she'd been raised on. Do things the way her body was used to doing things.



And then something magical happened. 
The doctors said yes. 



More next week on the wild and crazy things Star Shine tried, and if they worked. 

*********************************************************************************
This is a true and evolving story, much like my own...even if it does sound incredible!
*********************************************************************************

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Time to Set a Date

I was up late with my favorite guilty pleasure "Big Brother." 
Well, it's a good thing I couldn't sleep. 

I JUST GOT *THE* Email. 


The Email from the nurse that wants to talk dates. This is real. The time has come. After more than 3 and a half years, it's time to set the date.

And for M&T, This is the email that sets a different set of dates. The dates they go from dudes to dads.

This email just wanted to know any potential travel black out dates I may have and where I am at in my cycle. The actual dates will be coming soon though. The email said she'd be putting my calendar of events together "in the coming week". So I guess as early as tomorrow... or as late as a week from tomorrow I should know something.

Exciting, exhilarated, relieved.. All rolled into one great big snowball of wonderful. This is what it's all about. It's time to change the world, one (or two) little heart beats at a time.

Meet Mango and Star Shine

I love it when I am asked to write. It strokes my ego. Makes me feel important. So if you want to see something here... just go on ahead and ask.

To that note, I've been asked to write a little bit about two things. 
#1- Our new cat, Mango
#2- A natural surrogacy. 

Let's start with the latter. 


A surrosister and good friend is currently doing a natural cycle to prepare for her journey. What this means is that instead of using hormones, needles and doctors to prepare to receive an embryo ... she's using old wives tales and dancing naked under a full moon. Literally...

A surrogacy without hormone injections is a unique and rare thing. It's uncharted territory. And in my opinion, it's soooooooooooooooooooooo cool. So from time to time I'm going to talk a little bit about her adventures on this blog. Hopefully it can reach some other people out there and help them too. For now, I'll call this surrogate "Star Shine" because it sounds cool. She can choose her own alias when she's ready.


Now onto cute cuddlies. 
Meet Mango. 

Mango, Our F2 Savannah


Manga in Swahili Means "Traveler" 
Recently Chris and I adopted an F2 Savannah cat. What the heck is that, Mandy? Well, it's a cross between a domestic American cat and a wild African Serval cat. (Read more here)  Don't worry, the thing isn't dangerous and won't eat us alive. In fact, many people makes pets out of the actual Serval cat. This particular kitten is two generations removed from wild and has plenty of domestication. She's recognized as a domestic animal... despite her wild appearance and vocalizations.

Chris and I were drawn to the breed because of the canine features the breed often possesses. It walks on a leash, comes when called, plays fetch and loves water. Plus, we except her to get to just under 20 pounds of lean mass and stand as tall as my knees to mid thigh. It's like cat-dog hybrid. Perfection for us.

Mango Tolerating Toddler Hugs
A Cat Nap.
When we brought "Mango" home we were a little worried about how she'd do with the girls. Given her wild roots, we worried about the hands on with kids. We'd met her once before decided to make her ours, and it was a great start. Even so, introductions were slow.

What we've been surprised to find is that this 5 pound ball of fur (at 13 weeks old...) is a lover. She lets my girls pick her up and carry her everywhere (odd for any cat, underherd of for a Savannah) She follows us around the house and won't leave a human's side. She cuddles up next to all of us like a dog and boy, if her purr grows along with her body, she's going to be a very loud cat.

Mango Loves Being Read To 
It is fun to listen to her vocalizations.  She can and does meow like a normal house cat, but she also "chirps" and has some wild hisses from her wild grandpa. It's been a trip to learn that sometimes those hisses just mean "what's up?" as opposed to "I'm going to kill you."

She already has roughly a three foot vertical leap (from sitting position) and we expect that to top out around 8 feet. She is the best toy I've ever given my girls, and as such is helping me maintain my sanity and get more done around the house.

I feel so lucky to have happened into a breed we would likely never be able to afford if it hadn't been an adoption price. I'm over the moon that she fits in with our family so well. I'm excited to watch her grow and build memories with my family.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rally The Troops. Namely, Me

I promise, loyal followers, that I have not abandoned the blog. There is just literally nothing new to report. Depressing as it may sound, the definition of a "Doldrum" is really spot on right now.

From Wikipedia: Colloquially, the "doldrums" are a state of inactivity, mild depression, listlessness or stagnation.


BUT, I don't want to whine. I hate whiners. And lately I feel like I am nothing but a big ole whiner. It's having a poor effect on my mood and my relationships with everyone around me. As I believe in owning one's emotions and the fact that I am the only one who can control said emotions... No more whining. Even if it means silence on the blog.

I have committed to go to a Surrogacy Together Rally in Downtown Seattle this coming Saturday. I think the basic point is to do a photo shoot, similar to the NOH8 campaign... the photos will be used at a large Rally in San Diego in a few weeks. I'm hoping that being enveloped in the community will boost my spirits.


Monday, July 1, 2013

12,596.

Nope, that's not any kind of hormone level. And while it may feel that way, it's also not the number of days until my transfer... hopefully... 

So what is 12,596? 

It's the number of times 
this blog has been viewed. 

HOLY-COW. 


That's pretty Earth moving for me. When this sucker started about a year ago, I thought I'd have maybe 5 regular readers. A few sporadic ones and the random float in. As of today, my stats tracker tells me that is blog:

  • Has been looked for on Google more than 40 times. 
  • Has reached people on *Every* single continent 
  • Is viewed (on average) more than 100 times a day

It's simply amazing to me that anything I could ever do with my life could be interesting to so many people. I am humbled, and so thankful for all of you who read regularly and are sharing this wild ride with me. 

Additionally, I am beyond touched by the whole surrogacy world that has accepted me with open arms. The friends I've made already and the ones that are to come. The lifelong bonds I have formed with M&T. I am so blessed.