Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As we come to an end...

This journey started for me in October of 2013. That's when I decided to move forward with Erin and Jose, to help them have a baby. As we ring in 2015 and are weeks, or maybe days, away from finally meeting this sweet baby, I'm left reflecting on what a journey this has been. And left to sort through all the emotions that come with the ending. 

I'm beyond excited. The moment they meet and touch and hold their long awaited baby boy has always been the driving force for me. To see a couple who fought for years to have a baby, finally hold that precious being is the absolute most rewarding gift. 

As a mother to four amazing little people, I know. I know that even on our darkest days I'm blessed beyond measure. Even when I'm completely drained and touched out, I'm the luckiest woman to have these little people in my life. That's why I chose to do surrogacy. To help another woman become a mother. To give her the gift I've been so easily able to have. 

But, excitement isn't the only emotion. I'm not sure how to explain my other feelings. I guess like any major, life changing event, when it's over, it's....sad. It's an odd place to be because a baby is about to be born. A Mom and a Dad and a family are about to be born. So really, it's just the beginning. But for me, the two transfers, the sonograms, the appointments, the meds and injections, the miscarriage, the healthy pregnancy, kicks and wiggles, growing life, that is about to be over. A very long journey to get to this moment we've all been waiting for is just the beginning, but it's also the end. 

I'll cherish these last few weeks or days with Baby Eli. Let my children love on him as much as they want. Let there be kisses and snuggles and, well, acrobats by by two year old on my big belly. Treasure the time I've been able to hold him and grow him. The time we've been able to watch him grow and move from the outside. Soon he will get to meet his Mommy and Daddy and experience a lifetime of love. He's a lucky, lucky little boy. He doesn't know it yet, but he's loved by so many people. And so many people helped bring him into this world. He will have quite the story to learn one day. And I couldn't be more happy to be apart of it. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Surrogacy.... Happiness and Heartbreak

As I sit here 33 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby boy, who will get to meet his parents in weeks, I'm left reflecting on this journey... On surrogacy as a whole. 

In a surrogate group I'm in, a fellow surro still doesn't get that positive pregnancy test, a week after their transfer. It reminds me about the heartbreak. The sadness, disappointment...

With every transfer you hope so badly for your Intended Parents that it will be successful. That in a few days you'll see two lines on that pregnancy test. That in two weeks you'll get a high beta. And that the beta will double with every blood draw. But when you don't, it breaks your heart. 

We haven't had a failed transfer. Both times were successful, but the miscarriage the first time around was just as heartbreaking. To know that embie nuzzled in and then slipped's more than the heart can handle.

Surrogacy is a beautiful thing. But it doesn't come without sadness and heart ache. Most of these parents have gone through fertility struggles, many have endured illness, disease. They have fought long and hard for a precious baby. With every transfer it's a possibility of getting that baby, that family. That dream. 

Hope. Faith. Promise. Love. That's what keeps them going. And the surrogate who also puts her heart, and body, on the line. She walks in the hope and in the sadness with these parents. 

Knowing I helped one sweet couple realize their dream of a family is surreal. I promised my husband I'd only do one journey (well, as many transfers as it took for a baby), but I admit.... This surrogate may not be ready to retire. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's a......


He is perfect! His measurements were spot on and all of his organs looked wonderful!! He was cooperative the entire sono, the sonographer was even impressed! 

Our midwife was there for the sonogram and of course, Erin and Jose were too. And our sonographer is a three time surrogate herself! It was a very special day! No dry eyes. 

Also great news, my placenta is high and posterior. This doesn't usually have a whole lot of significance to most people, but as a student midwife and homebirthing VBAC momma, it was very good to hear. It's always a concern where that placenta has attached itself. 

So, on we go!! I'm looking forward to meeting this little guy in person!! ❤

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another milestone reached..

I haven't blogged in so long!! What the heck? Well, I started a Facebook page, are you following me there? 

Anyway, it's way easier to type out a quick status than write a blog. But here I am.

Today marks 11 weeks of pregnancy!!! And the first day off of meds! Yeehaw! I did 63 progesterone injections! That's one injection daily for nine weeks. There was more progesterone and estrogen in addition to those injections, but we're done! Here's my "I'm DONE" FB pic... 

I feel like this is a huge milestone. This marks the start of a "normal" pregnancy. A sweet baby growing inside my uterus that no longer needs medical assistance to grow, to be... 

We had another big milestone a few weeks ago when we saw the cutest little gummy bear baby AND saw his/her heartbeat!! 

There's that little babe growing away! That appointment also marked the official release from the RE!! We start seeing our midwives now! I'm looking forward to an uneventful second and third trimester! 

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The results are in......

And, we're PREGNANT!!! I went to the birth center yesterday morning to get my blood drawn. We ran the labs stat and then waited. And waited.

Finally, about two hours later, they were in. Our first beta, 10dpt (days post transfer) was 485!!! I'll include a chart below for those of you who have no idea what that number means. But, I'll tell you, it's a nice, strong number! It means baby is growing and seems to be healthy and happy. 

I have to go back on Wednesday for another draw. We're looking for that number to double. Then we set up our sono for next week!!! Next week we'll get to see the baby!

I cannot express how happy my heart was yesterday when getting those results. I know this is the round that Erin and Jose get their already loved baby. I have no doubt this little nugget will continue to grow and thrive. ❤

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 17, 2014... The Transfer

I've been meaning to write about Transfer Day and, well, life keeps happening and I keep not writing. So here it is...

Thursday morning I woke up at 4am. Not because my alarm went off or one of my precious nuggets woke me up. I woke up out of anticipation; excitement! My fears and worries were gone and I was just ready to have my womb mate safely inside my uterus. 

I did manage to fall back asleep for a bit, before I had to start getting my nuggets ready and off to school. My mom was taking me for all my appointments, and most importantly, the transfer. Chris wasn't able to get off of work this time, sadly. 

A lot of planning and prep went into setting the nuggets up. Between my amazing friend and neighbor, Marsha, our awesome sitter and friend, Alyson, my mother-in-law, mom, and Chris, my nuggets were well loved and cared for the day of the transfer and in the following days while I was on bed rest. 

Our first stop that morning was the chiropractor. Terry has become such a good friend, that it was only fitting that she give me and adjustment the day of. And a big hug. I have another chiro I love dearly, Kyska, and I made sure to see her the week before. (Everyone has two chiropractors, right? You should!!)

From there we were off to Irving!! I did a round of acupuncture with the same doctor as last time. It was relaxing just as I remembered.

I started getting butterflies as we drove to the clinic. But once I saw Erin and Jose they went away... It felt different this time. More relaxed..more peaceful. I don't know if it's because we had been here before, but it was calm.

My mom and Erin came back with me for the transfer. When Dr E came in he brought so much warmth. Happiness. You cannot not smile when you're in the same room as him. He radiates positivity. He's been on this journey with Erin and Jose for a long time. You can tell how badly he wants this for them. It's just so genuine. 

We all chatted while waiting on the embryologist. We talked about midwifery...the new hospital in Dallas. And then the door opened to the lab. She walked in with the tiny embryo. A possibility. The possibility of a road walked.. Hearts filled. New parents. More love than ever imagined. 

From there we went for a round of post transfer acupuncture. And then home, to snuggle in my bed and rest there for the next couple of days. 

My heart is filled with so much love. I pray and hope that this embryo sticks and grows...grows into a baby. A wish fulfilled. An answered prayer. A possibility that makes the most deserving couple, parents. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Womb mate soon to come!!

^^That?? That is a nice, thickly lined uterus!! Dr E said he expected perfection and was not disappointed when he measured my uterine lining and it was a 9! I do have an overachieving uterus, I quipped. 

Then we discussed transfer date. I've had in my head Thursday for some reason, so that's what we went with. He told the nurse who was scheduling it to be sure they scheduled him to do it...I agreed! I couldn't imagine anyone else doing the transfer. 

So, next Thursday at 2:15, send us all the sticky vibes, well wishes, prayers you've got! I cannot wait for my little womb mate to be transferred!! Eek!!! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We're holding on to hope..

Welp! We're doing it again! I mean, we knew we would if the first transfer didn't end with a squishy, healthy baby. It's just surreal that we're back here. 

I went in for my baseline sonogram this afternoon. My uterine lining was thin and all looked great! I got my meds schedule and set up my next sono for April 9th. If all looks good at that appt, we will transfer mid April!!! How exciting! 

I'll admit that when I woke up this morning I didn't have the same excitement as the first cycle. I was still excited, but now I knew all the unknowns. I knew all the possibilities...I had already walked those roads. I knew that the meds will make me tired, foggy, moody, emotional.. I knew that a vaginal exam never gets better. I knew that the day of the transfer I'll have to go through two rounds of acupuncture and a procedure that requires so much skill and precision (and me being incredibly still). I knew there would be bed rest, missing births, time away from my daily chores and sweet nuggets. I knew that a pregnancy can be lost as quickly as it comes. I knew the feeling of having life slip from my body. I still felt that pain. 

But, I also still remember feeling the warmth...and fullness I felt when that little embryo was placed inside my uterus. I remember how I immediately fell in love. How I felt protective of this little embie trying to borough and find it's home for 10 months. I remember the excitement I felt when that pregnancy test read, "pregnant". I remember why I originally wanted to become a surrogate. How much I wanted to help another couple form a family after I had completed ours the day Finn was born. 

The side effects from the meds, the intrusive sonograms, the anxiety waiting to know if the transfer was successful, and the fear of losing the baby after you find out it was in fact successful are nothing compared to the possibilities. To give the most deserving couple their long awaited baby. To create a family. 

I'm holding on to hope once again. I'm faithful that this transfer will in fact give Erin and Jose the baby they've been waiting for. My heart won't believe anything else.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A new year, new beginning, new hope...

Erin and Jose met with Dr. E last week to see where we all go from here. I admit that I was sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear how it went. Would they still want to continue this journey with me? Would they want to continue at all? Did Dr E decide I wasn't a good surrogate candidate after all?

I was so thrilled when I got Erin's text while sitting at the salon, having my friend Mandy doing my hair. We read the text together and I was so happy to have someone to be excited with. They wanted to continue on...with me!! 

Dr E decided to change up some of my meds and was optimistic! He said at our last appointment that the fact that I got pregnant the first round was a great sign. We know my body can get pregnant through this method and we know the embryos are strong enough to implant. He just needed to figure out a better way to support the embryos growth. So, my meds this time around will be a bit different and we're hopeful that will make the difference. 

I have an overwhelming feeling that 2014 will bring the long awaited baby to Erin and Jose and their entire families.

So, here's to a sticky pregnancy and a healthy baby!!