I Need to WHAT?!

30 weeks in, it’s occurred to me.

At the end of this I have to deliver a baby.
I have to deliver a baby.
HAVE TO deliver a baby.
I have to DELIVER a baby
I have to deliver a BABY.

What in the actual fuck were we thinking?!  Why did I just kind of brush off what may well be the single hardest part of this?  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done this twice, I know what’s involved…but damn.  Tonight or tomorrow, my project is to start writing a birth plan.  It will have to be a collaborative effort between Mom and I, with me focusing on my part and her focusing on the time immediately post-delivery when Squiggle and I become two separate people.  The Bean’s was a very VERY long labour and a quick delivery in the hospital, the Duck was an insanely short labour and quick delivery at home.  Who knows what this will bring!  Hell, I may treat myself to some gas!

Mom and Dad feel more comfortable with a hospital birth, and I totally get that.  I wish we had birth centers because it would have been the perfect compromise between a medical and home birth – I just want to be respected.  With that in mind, I think my part of the plan will be focused more on the things I don’t want.  I don’t want to be offered meds.  I’ll ask if I want them.  I don’t want to be told when to push.  I will know or I will ask.  Basically, I just don’t want to be micromanaged, I just want to have some semblance of control.  Then we have to consider that while in labour, a woman is effectively at her most vulnerable, and having extra people in the room, critical though they may be, is terrifying to me.  Mom and Dad are so unbelievably cool, insisting that if I need to do this privately, they’ll understand – but I can’t ask that of them.  They need to be present for this moment, so I need to figure out my shit.  I trust my body, my team, Mom and Dad, Schmoopy… but I don’t trust that the plan will be adhered to, simply based on my first experience.  Not ONE piece of the plan was respected by anyone other than our midwives.  The hospital team ignored every bit of it. Luckily, I have 3 people PLUS the midwives whom I will force to know exactly what is happening, and whom I will demand to advocate for us as I labour (and deliver a baby).

Other than the sudden terror that somehow she’s going to have to come out, things are continuing to be easy and wonderful.  We’ve been spending a lot of time with Mom and Dad, and Mom even bought her first baby clothes last outing!!  It seems to be sinking in for all of us that they’re really really going to be parents, and the sheer joy is a feeling that I will carry forever.  I’ve been doing some shopping of my own and was beyond excited to score Mom something unbelievably special.  I’ve always loved wearing my babies (and other people’s too!!), so I knew I wanted to something special that would let them experience the benefits of an ergonomic, comfy carrier.  Something not too complicated, so buckles were a must.  In the end, I scored a wrap conversion Tula at a Sunday stocking – they post them and the carriers sell out within seconds, so it can be tricky to achieve.  Not only did we score, but the print has a family connection, that I think Mom and Dad legitimately loved.  I wish Schmoop hadn’t found out that their resale value is over twice the (“exorbitant!!!”) price I’d paid – he insisted I could flip it and try to score another.  Ummm no.  Anyway, this beauty will not only help them to bond, but in the cheesiest way ever, it will be like a hug from me for both the wearer and wearee every time they use it.  THAT is priceless.

The time is ticking, slowly, then quickly, then slowly again.  We have 7 weeks to term and 12 weeks to 42 weeks, which is about as far as this will go without medical intervention — so really not that much time at all!  Tick tock, little one.  Tick tock.  Your eviction day approaches and your parents can’t wait to meet you!


Life Beyond the Bump

I’ve started thinking recently about what we’re in for in the next 6 months or so.  We’ll be 26 weeks along in a couple days, so…shit’s about to get real up in here!  It’s become blatantly obvious that I am all knocked up so strangers have started commenting – so for the most part, I just thank them.  It’s easier than explaining a complicated situation AND I hate overt praise.  I hate it beyond explanation.  When people tilt their heads and tell me how amazing this journey is, how wonderful I am, when they CRY, I feel truly awkward.  Don’t get me wrong, compliments are lovely, but this isn’t something I need to be praised for… It was just the right thing to do.  My littles haven’t caught on yet either, which is both a blessing and a curse.  The longer I have to wait before explaining to them, really, the better but I live in constant fear that some well-meaning stranger will be the one to tell them. At 32 weeks, if they haven’t asked, we’ll have to tell them.  We’ve prepared them with books and relationship building with Mom and Dad, so I expect they’ll handle it admirably, but it’s definitely an intimidating notion.

My imagination of what life beyond the journey looks like is a little hazy to say the least.  There are obvious unknowns like labour/delivery and relationships but I try to picture everything else and can’t really make it make sense.  The plan is to pump milk for Squiggle for at least a while… But how long is “a while?”  Will I have the stamina to keep it up?  Will it even work?  While I’ve always been a proficient breastfeeder with no supply issues, I’ve never had too much luck with pumping, nor am I really a fan.  Will it be difficult to get up every 3 hours to struggle to pump for this little sweet pea?  The last thing I want is to feel resentful – really to feel anything other than pure love for her.  I will have the body of a woman who’s just had a baby, but no baby to explain my haggard looks at the grocery store.  Will I be able to handle the awkward small talk from people asking when I’m due – or worse yet the daily strangers like the Starbucks barista or neighbours asking where she is: “I thought you were having a baby!”  How will our days look?  Will I bounce back as quickly as with my own two?  Will I struggle emotionally?  Will Mom and Dad be ok with maintaining our relationship? …and the big one: how fat will I really be?!

There’s no way to know, and that has become quite scary!  Then I read back in my own history, all the apprehension about matching well with Mom and Dad, about transfers and contracts and I realize… The worrying is pointless.  We’ve got this.  There is no reason at this point to believe that it WON’T work out.  Until I’m given a reason to worry, why bother?  It feels as though a weight is lifting as I accept that I am simply along for the ride.  The beautiful, imperfect, messy, terrifying journey has no control mechanism, we must simply roll with it.  At some point, in the interest of candor and cathartic honesty and,I will try to write the fears down and release them but for now, I will try to accept that I cannot plan or foresee what’s around the bend.  All I can do is brace myself, surround myself with love and support, and turn the corner with an open heart and mind.

Actually, all I can do right now is have a snack.  Worrying…tomorrow.

Show us your stuff, kid!

HALFWAY.  We have reached the halfway mark!  How did this happen??

I don’t want to jinx it, but seriously, things have been rolling along so smoothly and easily that it almost seems unbelievable.  I can’t really say that I’m surprised, both my own pregnancies were easy, but I felt as though this time I would pay for that luck.  Evidently, this body just really likes makin’ babies!

At the 20 week mark, just a few days ago, we had our anatomy scan.  Mom, Dad, Schmoopy and I were so beyond excited in the waiting room that we didn’t even hear them call my name.  Whoops.  For me at least, it was this feeling of “just keep talking” so that the nerves wouldn’t take over.  The tech and I got settled and she started working away.  Even though she’d asked me while setting up, about 2-3 minutes into the scan, she asked, “and how many weeks were you supposed to be again?”  Time stopped.  I told her, and she proceeded.  A couple more minutes later, she asked who my doctor at the fertility clinic had been (they share an office).  My heart stopped.  I asked if there was something i should be concerned about, and she said there wasn’t but I was PANICKING.  She finished what she needed with full bladder and let me go relieve myself.  Mom caught my eye in the hall and I yelled that, “everything’s good!” even though it all felt so wrong.  When I went back in, I managed a peek at the screen, and sure enough it said 20+1 days (so fine).  I ahem -accidentally- bumped the screen ever so slightly as I laid back down, just enough that I could see what she was doing.  As I saw Squiggle moving and watched her measuring away, I was finally able to mostly relax.

Mom and Dad (and Schmoop) came in, and got a nice little tour of the little one.  Squiggle, however, was NOT into it, and kept those little legs closed and CROSSED.  Stubborn!  As a result of his/her facedown position, we weren’t able to get a couple measurements we needed, so it turned out we’d have to go back.  I promised to eat some candy on the way so that baby might be more active.

We were all pretty sad that we couldn’t find out what kind of junk Squiggle was packing.  Mom and Dad were so hyped to see who was in there and now, more waiting.  “Unless,” I mentioned, “we could find one of those 3D places that could tell us right away?”  A flurry of phone calls and we were off to the only one with availability – half an hour later – with me scarfing an ice cream and a whole bag of candy.

The first thing the tech got was a crotch shot. Without any fanfare, or warning, she blindsided us all mid-sentence, “It’s definitely a little princess in there.”  Mom and Dad held it together and just looked excited/shocked/happy, but me?  Tears.  So many tears.  It was just pure love in that room.  (Dad, a couple minutes later, seemed to process and his face just went to pure “oh dear god it’s a GIRL.”  Yes, that’s an actual expression, it’s just science.)  Mostly, though it was joy and incredulity. Our wonderful tech gave us a FULL tour of their beautiful little lady. The only thing that we weren’t able to see was an unobstructed facial shot as little miss stubborn kept sucking on her toes and her knees!  I don’t think I’ve ever been so intimately involved in anyone else’s story, and watching them start to picture, plan, think about names, and really REALLY accept that this is finally happening for them was, in a word, humbling.

As for me, not much to report.  Squiggle has been demanding candy for weeks and I’ve been holding back… After the bag I frantically ate on the way to the second ultrasound, it’s out.  of.  control.  I am a candy junkie, trying my best to control myself.  We’re finally in the middle of the first real heatwave of summer, so I am pretty much living in the pool.  Go raspberry picking, swim.  Kids’ b-day party, swim.  Walk to the car to get the receipt I forgot, swim. You get the idea.  It gives me something to look forward to and – added bonus!- runs down my kids’ energy.  The more they swim, the more they sleep.  So, swim we will!

Oh hey there, second trimester!

Cue the exhale heard ’round the world!  I didn’t realize that I was as nervous as I was until we got here.

Really, there’s been no need to be nervous, everything has been progressing beautifully!  Around 8 weeks, ultrasound revealed a couple pencil point-sized blood clots in my uterus.  Our doctor wasn’t too concerned, but suggested 7-10 days of “light duties.”  Initially, I was delighted to comply!  A few days of hanging out sounded awesome… Except that it wasn’t.  I was bored, and whiny and dependent on Schmoopy for everything.  God help us all if I ever were to end up on bed rest!  If you’re listening, universe, let’s not go there!  Luckily, by the next ultrasound, everything looked good and I was able to go back to life as usual.  Mom and Dad opted for IPS testing, which is really not a huge procedure, an extra ultrasound (yay!) and 2 blood draws.  We have yet to complete the second, but I’m not sweating it.  Every time we see their beautiful baby, it is beyond words.  It’s totally different than seeing my own kids, this is (in my mind) the definition of a miracle.  A little science, a lot of heartache, some snacks and here we are!

This week, we officially transitioned to the care of our team of midwives, and I couldn’t be happier!  Now, this pregnancy has entered MUCH more familiar territory for me and selfishly, I am relieved.  Pregnancy has never been this “medical” in my experience, and I feel like going from zero to IVF was really overwhelming.  Most people who get to IVF have been through more steps in their fertility journey, but I feel like we were thrown in to the deep end!  Now that we’re in familiar waters, I feel much more relaxed.  A couple days ago, we heard the comforting chugging of a racing little heart for the first time and time just seemed to stop.  Hearing my own always made me cry, but watching someone else go through that was a privilege in the most literal sense of the word.  This whole journey has been a privilege for us.

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and puppies in the surrogacy world, our regular lives continue.  Schmoop’s grandfather died (on S’s birthday!), our littles battled a crazy virus, I hurt my wrist and ended up in a precautionary cast for a week (luckily the damage they saw was an old break, and I was freed) and our poor old dog is nearing the end of his days…But through all the storms, we have each other to cling to and we have really emerged stronger from 4 weeks of all out madness.  I’m hoping that we can coast for a while, but as we all know, life often has other plans.  For now, we’ll just do our best to enjoy the relative calm.

We also told our families about this journey about a month ago, and the responses were incredible.  Most of the women in my family had experienced infertility to one degree or another or miscarriages along the way so everyone was supportive, enthusiastic and proud of what we’re doing here.  Everyone, would seem, it except my father.  He wasn’t there when we told my mother and so she told him later that evening.  He has not really spoken directly to me since, even when we spent a weekend in close proximity.  I can understand that there may be confusion/concern, this is unfamiliar territory, but I am also not going to chase people to get on board.  This is already happening and I have to respect that some people won’t/can’t understand or may need more time. If he has issues with our decision, I wish he would discuss them with us directly, but if the silent treatment is his chosen path, fine by me.  It will resolve itself or it won’t… I will just hope for now that if or when we see one another, things are civil.

From here, it just becomes a matter of grow baby, grow!  This little peach is loving smoothies and potatoes at the moment, which is particularly funny because Mom HATES potatoes.  If we didn’t KNOW, she’d be questioning parentage!  Baby also continues to be very merciful, I’ve had no morning sickness and actually no real symptoms whatsoever beyond a little bit of nausea a couple times and the 8-11 week exhaustion…Which I think is pretty standard.  The next big hurdles we have are telling the littles – I feel this will be easy, but we do have a social worker at the ready if we need help – and the midway ultrasound.  Mom and Dad are on the fence about finding out the sex, and I can totally understand.  If they decide to do it, I’m going to suggest that they find out without me.  They’ve had to share every moment so far, and while they’re very involved, I think they deserve to have at least one thing JUST for them.  They can tell me when they’re ready after sharing with their families, or they can choose not to.  My official prediction is girl, just based on how I feel compared to my previous pregnancies, but we’ll all find out one way or another.

One day, I suppose I’ll have to share this blog with Mom and Dad so that they can see the other side of their story, but for now… I’m enjoying having a way to record this for myself.  Considering that this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, being able to go back and re-experience it will be priceless later on, when memories fade.  So, when you’re here Mom and Dad, hi!  We adore you and the little one!  Sorry I didn’t tell you about the positive tests right away, I feel guilty that once you read this you’ll know I knew before you.  It was all for good cause though! xox

Another Family’s Miracle

“If we can’t get you pregnant one way,” our doctor told Mom and Dad, “we’ll try another”  In the last few months, I’ve learned a great deal about both infertility and assisted conception, and yet… It still shocks me how many families struggle to conceive/carry.  I realize how completely I took my healthy, easy, enjoyable pregnancies for granted.  In every story of heartbreak, there is hope.  In every “failure” there is a will to try again.  When the options seem to run out, another door opens.  The number of methods, of medication protocols and alternatives is nothing short of miraculous.

Canada’s healthcare system, and even third party insurance doesn’t completely cover these treatments – expensive treatments.  There are usually many attempts and many negative pregnancy tests, waiting lists, painful tests, invasive procedures, failed cycles, cancelled cycles, inadequate embryos, and timed, extremely unsexy sex.  There are fights and tears and heartache.  Well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) family, friends and strangers make hurtful comments out of ignorance, which can be devastating to parents trying to have a family.   Having empathy can mean saying things like, “that must be hard for you,” or  “How can I support you?” not things like the classic, “well my friend did xyz, so that will definitely work for you,” or the worst of the worst: “Just relax and it will happen.”  This is thoughtless, and it completely devalues their pain.  Taking the time to educate ourselves, even just about the basics, enables us to provide meaningful support to our friends who need it.  This is not an easy path to walk.

We all struggle along our path, and our strength comes from our ability to rise to its challenges.  Continuing to look up and fight for what we want even when all seems hopeless teaches us to be strong, to be grateful and to be humble.  It must have taken unbelievable strength for Mom and Dad to realize that they needed help, and to seek it out.  Even though they are “getting what they wanted,” it must be gut-wrenching and humbling to watch someone else growing their baby.   When biology said, “Not now,” science and I said, “Yes!”  Being part of another family’s miracle has so far been nothing short of a miracle of my own.  Picturing the moment when all the work and struggles culminate and they are handed their screamy, angry, beautiful baby gives me the strength to continue this incredible journey. This is their miracle, their hope, and their path and I am honoured to be a part of it.

We Did It!

We didn’t have to wait long!  Let me preface this by saying that patience is NOT my strong suit.  I tested 3 days post-transfer and… Nothing.  4 days…Nothing.  5 days… something.  It was so unbelievably faint that I had a very hard time convincing even myself that I saw it.  By the morning of day 6, there was no denying it!  Big, fat, beautiful positive test.  The only problem was that Mom and Dad were still out of town until that evening (Sunday) and I really didn’t want to tell them by text message.

We decided that they would come visit Wednesday night and we would take a test without any high expectations.  Then on Monday, during a phone chat, Mom mentioned that it was possible that Dad wouldn’t make it Wednesday.  So now, I found myself in a bit of a pickle!  I knew that we would get a positive, but I wanted so badly for them to find out together.  So I casually (ha!) suggested that we pre-game the test via skype.  Naturally, they agreed immediately, and said that knowing that it was super early, they would try not to have toooo much hope.  Then Mom confirmed my worst pre-test fear: they had never gotten a positive test.  Ever.  But no pressure, right?

We set up our skype call, and got right down to business with a dollar store cheapie and what I thought was a FRER (the cadillac of pregnancy tests).  Turns out it was a blue dye test, which is much less sensitive… Which I discovered as soon as the test started processing.  Shit, shit, SHIT.  Factoring in the fact that it was evening, I hadn’t held my pee for long and it was a less than stellar test, I was ultra nervous.  In the end, no need, we got 2 blazing positives!  Mom was literally screaming, screeching, crying, laughing, speaking gibberish… Dad was dumbfounded, he couldn’t do anything but smile.  It was seriously one of the best moments of MY life, so I can’t imagine how they were feeling.  Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe it.

On Wednesday, both Mom and Dad did make it to visit, and they brought beautiful flowers, and tzatziki!  I mentioned that I had no appetite but that their little poppyseed seemed to enjoy tzatziki and/or Greek salad.  They went to the grocery store and bought literally every kind they sold!  It was such a sweet little gesture, and we’re STILL eating it!  Our hangout that night was so relaxed, easy and hopeful.  We just yapped, drank sparkling apple juice and ate ice cream cake that I ordered (caption: Thanks for Knocking me up!).   We of course took another pregnancy test, which immediately came up with a dark, no-denying positive.  Mom couldn’t stop staring at it and I couldn’t stop staring at her.

Since then, we’ve had several beta HCG blood test, and levels are steadily rising, which of course means I’m totally knocked up.  6 weeks tomorrow!  Even though this was the idea, and we knew it would happen, it’s still surreal.  For the most part, I don’t really feel much different, but things are starting to intensify a bit.  The exhaustion phase is starting, and for me, it usually lasts a few weeks at least.  With 2 kids, a husband, a dog, a house and a bit of a life of my own to deal with, I expect this will be a fun ride!  This journey is 100% worth it, but I just need to be sure that my kids don’t miss out on anything they deserve… Regardless of how exhausted I am!

At one point during the follow up appointment with our doctor, she, Mom and I were all crying, and poor Dad was just trying to figure out how to navigate the situation.  It’s all the doc’s fault.  She was going on and on about how wonderful I am (really, no bragging!) and I don’t do well with overt praise.  I just get embarrassed and overwhelmed!  In my defense, I have a ton of hormones going on right now.  We have our first ultrasound this week, and I can’t wait to see Mom and Dad’s faces when they see their little one on the screen.  I imagine all their heartache over the years, and the elation we felt seeing our babies, and when I put the two together, it’s too much to handle.

One thing’s for certain: there will be tears. Oh yes, there will be tears.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

What a weekend!  It was the Bean’s birthday so we had some celebrating to get accomplished before transfer day on Monday.  We enjoyed a little family party Saturday night, then while Schmoop worked on Sunday, the littles and I headed down to get comfy.  What a gong show!  We were going to go to a museum but it was INSANEly busy (thanks a lot, March Break!), so I figured we’d go check into the hotel, then take them exploring.  Unfortunately, there was a St Patty’s Day parade, and the street that our hotel is on runs parallel to the route.  The block it’s on was closed, and I couldn’t talk the cop into letting us through, so we drove about 1/2 hour back OUT of downtown to one of those indoor play places.  Not ideal, but the littles had a blast, so no complaints here.  After dinner, we checked in, just before their usual bedtime, gave them a bath and while Bean immediately crashed out, Duck sang the song of her screamy people until MIDNIGHT.  She’s generally a good sleeper, so this was a pleasant surprise on the eve of something so important.  It was to the point where Schmoop was pushing to leave Bean and I there, drive the hour home and come back in the morning.  This, of course, was the last thing I wanted, so we ended up having a bit of a…heated discussion about his brilliant plan.  It was not what I had envisioned in the least, but we sorted it out, ate some ridiculously overpriced room service desserts and settled in. I was right, there was literally no sleep for me, the longest stretch of sleep I got was 26 minutes – brutal!  Among other things, I was worried about oversleeping, missing my appointment, blowing the cycle and the embryo.  I don’t even know if that’s how it works, but I wasn’t taking any chances.

Of course, away from home or not, screaming baby or sleeping baby, PIO injections wait for no one.  As a result, I found myself doing something I was fairly sure, I’d never do… I found myself hiding from my kids, alone on the floor of a downtown hotel, injecting myself with needle drugs.  There’s one to check off the bucket list!  My mom would be so proud!

Well, after a very (VERY) long evening, we made it to the other side.  This morning, we transferred one beautiful little 5 day blastocyst into its new home – me!  Since Mom and Dad weren’t there, as they loaded him/her up, I suddenly felt like I should say hi!  If it were our own little one, I would have for sure introduced myself, so in their absence this was the best I could do.  I wish I had thought of something profound to say, but all I could think of on the spot was basically “Hey there little one… Your mom and dad are so wonderful and they’ve waited for you for so long.  Why don’t you stick around and you and I can hang out for a few months until you’re ready to meet them.  I promise I will eat all the good snacks and you’ll be really comfortable!” The process itself took really no time at all, and, inexplicably, as soon as it was over and it was time for me to just lie back and relax for a few minutes… I was totally bawling.  Somewhere between sobbing and ugly crying.  I was just a ball of emotion, a total wreck, laughing and crying that “I guess the hormones are working!!!”

Now we find ourselves in the dreaded two week wait before beta testing.  I am an obsessive stick pee-er, so I have a whole bunch to keep me busy while we wait.  I told Schmoop that regardless of whether there were results before bloodwork, peeing on a stick (POAS) gives me short, achievable finish lines, something daily to look forward to and a sense of control in a very out of control time.  Plus, every time I’ve POAS in the past, whether I’ve known that I’m pregnant or known that I’m not, whether I’ve wanted to be or whether I’ve been hoping for a negative for the time being… I’ve always held my breath and for those few moments imagined all the possibilities.  It’s kind of a beautiful thing, and being able to be holding my breath imagining Mom and Dad’s amazing possibilities.

Music and Meds

This week I found myself making a mix tape.  It’s something I’ve always done to settle myself.  Finding just the right tracks, with just the right lyrics in just the right order is very centering for me.  In my own pregnancies, I always had several playlists, but also one mega list that kind of encompassed all the feels that go with growing babies – some happy, some sad, some silly.  I remember EVERY song that played during the Duck’s labour, and the order in which they played.. Crazy, I know.  With the Bean, I tried to make myself a labour playlist that would make me smile at my darkest labour moments.  For sure, Ring of Fire and Push it (among other ill-conceived options) will make me laugh in labour.  FOR SURE.  Nope.  Not 30 seconds into Salt-n-Pepa encouraging me to “push it good,” I was growling at Schmoopy to “turn it the fuck off or I’ll fucking murder you.”  Not my most shining moment.

As I made the itunes playlist, it occurred to me that Mom and Dad have NO idea what kind of tunes their little one will be listening to!  It is such a connection for me to have baby specific music to belt out in the car.  Unabashedly off-key of course, I have a voice about as sweet as salt, but I make up for it with enthusiasm!  Maybe I should just mail them a copy of it so they can enjoy it while they’re away… (Oh, did I mention they had booked a vacation AGES ago, and by some twist of fate, it starts 3 days before our frozen egg transfer?  yep.)  So I put together the playlist, put it on a thumb drive and overnighted it to them.  The exact second I put it into the mail clerks hands, I was seized with complete panic. What if they think this is stupid?  Too forward?  Will they even listen to it?  Am I being sentimental in a creepy way???  I immediately regretted sending it, surely they’d think I was a weirdo. Mom called that night, a sobbing, blubbery, adorable mess.  I had included some songs that had carried her through hard times before, and she loved it!  The relief I felt was indescribable! Over something so silly!  I think it’s because I really just want to make this work, for them to like me, to make them parents.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get over the wanting them to like me thing, so I guess I’d better just learn to accept that of myself.

I’m also now on my 3rd day of the glorious experience that is Progesterone in Oil or PIO as it’s affectionately known in the fertility world.  Being that it’s in OIL, a naturally viscous substance, it’s super thick (compared to other injectable meds like the B12 I regularly give myself).  It’s suggested that you have a helper to inject it, since injecting your own ass can be tricky!  Schmoopy agreed to try, so I said that I would draw it up – which is really the trickiest part – and I would give him a crash course… It’s not complicated, so surely he’d be just fine.  I laid on my stomach, we iced my butt, warmed the PIO to thin it down as much as possible, I drew it up, handed him the syringe and… HE PANICKED and couldn’t do it.  Meanwhile, I was screaming, “It’s cooling down you asshole, give it, give it!!”  I jumped up, probably faster than I’ve moved in a LONG time, he handed it over, and I did it my damn self, while laughing hysterically.  It took quite some time to get it all in, I’m used to super-quick administration so it was definitely surprising.  We massaged the area (which he was delighted to assist with), and afterward I said that we must have done it right because it didn’t really hurt at all, and I had no idea what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t so bad.

Oh, but it was so bad.  Around 4am the next day, I woke up feeling as though I’d fallen on ice and hit my hip, or, as I eloquently informed Schmoopy, “It feels like I got fucking kicked by a goddamn mule.  This stuff is bullshit.”  Obviously, I know exactly what being kicked by a mule feels like.  Doesn’t everyone?  Day 2’s injection: equally unenjoyable.  Today, I tried heating my butt first, as well as the cursed oil, and then heated afterward as well… I suppose we’ll see if that makes a noticeable difference.  Surrogacy gods, I’m deeply sorry that I scoffed at your drugs.  Rest assured, I’m paying for it.

For tonight, I’m just going to listen to my (actually pretty decent) mix tape/playlist and try not to think of what’s on the horizon 3 sleeps from today.  Probably more like 2 sleeps for me.

It’s Actually Happening…Like….NOW.

To say that the surrogacy timeline has exploded would be the understatement of my life.  We SAILED through the legal, it was far easier than expected!  The attorneys we used work together fairly often, so they were each very cognizant of what the other would want in terms of clauses, so all we had to do was tweak a few words.  Lucky us!

Medical stuff:

The psych evaluation was, as Mom put it, very cathartic.  We touched on a lot of things, way back to childhood, the typical “and how did you feel about that” scenarios. Frankly, overall, we had a fantastic time!  Our social worker was completely lovely and very understanding of the surrogacy process, having been an IP herself.  It was helpful to have her perspective too, as it was like peeking into Mom’s mind a bit.

Once all those items were sorted through, more waiting!  IUD removal, then waiting for my cycle to start.  It was disheartening when, 4 days later, I had what seemed to be my period, but it wasn’t full-on, more like an IUD period… Light and short and early.  Ugh.  Meaning we had to wait for a better one.  Mercifully enough, it started just a couple days later than what was expected and (TMI alert) it was definitely full-on.  At this point, CD2, there is an ultrasound for a lining check and the tech kept asking if I knew for SURE what day of my cycle it was.  The ultrasound clinic serves mostly patients of the fertility clinic, so I guess it’s unusual for them to see solid results.  The doctor was blown away and confirmed what I already knew – I am made for having babies.  Crazy fertile.  Ready to rock!  Another ultrasound yesterday (10 days later) and we have a date!  ONE WEEK from TODAY, we will be transferring one beautiful embryo, bright and early.

Fun stuff:

I was happy to have brunch with Mom and Dad yesterday, and there is no way I could adore them any more.  They are totally gutted that they will be on vacation on transfer day… Shitty timing, but just the way it worked out so I’m not worried about it… It would of course be nice to have them there, but there’s no sense in feeling guilty – odds are fairly good that this will be their last 2-person vacation for a while!  Might as well enjoy it!  I’ll video the event for them or we’ll facetime, but it will be 4am for them… If they’re anything like me, they won’t be sleeping much anyway.

I can’t believe that this is where we are!  I want SO badly to make this dream come true for Mom and Dad, and will do everything that I can to make it happen…INCLUDING progesterone in oil injections, which I’m told are exceedingly uncomfortable.  Joy. 😛

So, regardless of what happens, life will never EVER be the same again.  Here. We. Go.

Legal-ese and Baby Dreamin’

The day of our medical testing, everything went GREAT!  Bloodwork was good (needed some iron, so supplementing that at the moment), ultrasound was great, and the hysteroscopy was even better.  Apparently, my uterus “couldn’t be more perfect.”  This, I knew, but still, it’s fun to brag about!  The fertility doc gave me the go ahead to call mom and tell her, which was beyond exciting – after years of  “no,” I was the first to give them a yes.  The call was fraught with emotion, energy and all the beautiful possibilities… It was amazing being able to be the one to tell them that we were able to move to the next step!

The hurdles are moving closer together and we are leaping over them very quickly.  Next, we have the psychiatric evaluation, which I’m finding to be more intimidating than expected.  In my mind, I’m well aware that I’m probably NOT a lunatic, but yet I worry about making a good impression!  This is really the last person who has a say, so it’s really important that I’m ready to rock this thing.  I’m sure we’ll do fine – did I mention Schmoopy had to participate in the 2 HOUR session?  Because, yes, he does.  Our sense of humour could cause issues if we’re not careful… There are few filters in this house.

Lastly, the contract.  It should be done tonight, so tomorrow we have to leap that hurdle as well.. What fun!  Really, tomorrow will be a big deciding factor in this journey.  I think that I’m more nervous about tomorrow than even transfer day!  So far, I just know in my heart that transfer day will be a success, especially with their top quality embryos, and my rock star uterus (shameless uterus shoutout!).  What to expect with that, who the hell knows.  It’s impossible to find even a “sample” type document online, so we’re not sure what to expect.  Luckily, Mom and Dad are flexible with contents, and so are we, which means that things should move along smoothly. Fingers crossed that we’ll have this wrapped up by Friday and then we can move on to fun things like drugs and transfers – and ice cream!

Mom has started letting herself dream a little, she admitted the other day when she came by to see us that she even looked at nursery furniture.  When she admitted this, it truly put the whole journey we’re about to embark upon into perspective.  Here is a strong, capable, loving, beautiful woman who has had to deny herself the joy of dreaming about a baby.  It was heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.  Now, I’m trying to deny MYself the joy of dreaming about the look on their faces when Mom and Dad see their baby, the moment they hold that beautiful baby and finally exhale.  That’s the moment I will be living for in the next few months.  So now, we wait some more.