Synchronizing Cycles/Important Medications/Inch and a Half Long Needles!

With the help of the birth control, Alice and my cycles were synchronized. (I guess it is good for something, lol)

The doctors put us back on Lupron shots, which shut off the connection from our brains to our ovaries. This way, the professionals could completely control our hormones without interference from the normal process of the body.

She was also put back on Progesterone injections. Progesterone is one of the reproductive hormones normally produced by the ovary after ovulation. It is needed to prepare the endometrium (uterus) for implantation of an embryo.

I forgot to mention earlier, that the Progesterone shots were not the little needles that we used for the lupron shots. Through the two previous cycles and for three weeks, Alice had Progesterone shots every day. She had to use one and a half-inch long needles and have her husband stick it in her glute muscle. Ya, you guess it! Right in her ASS!!! And then, if that’s not bad enough, he had to pull back the needle to make sure it wasn’t in a vein. If it was, he had to pull it out, and do it again. The medication has to go into the muscle, not a vein. Inch and a half, holy hell! That’s freaky!

Here she was giving it a third try for us. Another three weeks!

She told me that through the previous cycle, she had a few times where she almost passed out while her husband was giving her the shot!!!!!!!

Along with the Lupron shots, I started back on Follistim shots. Two simple belly shots, compared to Alice. The Follistim is a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), the hormone that stimulates the ovaries.
The new super-boost injections that the doctors put me on was called Ganirelix Acetate. It also stimulates the ovaries, while preventing eggs from being released prematurely.

I made up my mind that I could push through one more cycle, and would give it all I had.

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Astronomical Costs!!!/Starting AGAIN

The year came and went. Here we were in 2010, the beginning of another year. And starting into another cycle.

January 6th, Alice and I stopped birth control. PHEW!!!! And a few days later, we both started back on our fertility injections.

Each time we started the invitro-surrogate process over with a new cycle, we had to front $3,000 for medications, and $1,500 for labs. We were now $38,000 into it. Only $13,000 more than we planned on….Good shit! And none of it guaranteed a baby!!! If we didn’t get pregnant, we wouldn’t get any of the money back, either. WOW!!!

This amount did not include the three insurance policies/premiums ($250 a month) that we had been paying for our surrogate mother since June 2009.

I felt like we were in way over our heads, and it seemed to sneak up on us. I felt scared to make to next move, for fear of losing EVERYTHING!!!

The Waiting Game/Holiday Break???

I started back on medications to calm and quiet my ovaries AGAIN, and Alice and I both started back on birth control AGAIN…… Stupid birth control! I felt like it was controlling my life….I wasn’t myself when I was on it.

The doctors had mentioned that they had one more drug they could add to the mix right at the end of the next cycle. It was supposed to super-boost everything, but could be dangerous. They stressed that this would be the last cycle that they would recommend. If it didn’t work next time, they didn’t have any other ideas……

As Alice and I waited again for our bodies to regulate so we could start another cycle process, I tried very hard to forget about all of it for a minute… I wanted to just BE with my family through the holidays and enjoy what I DID have….I had completely exhausted myself, and needed a serious break…………

Right at the beginning of the surrogate process, I had committed be present with my daughter and to stay conscious about not pushing Destynee aside while we were trying to get pregnant. I felt like I was staying pretty focused on her during the preliminary work and during the first cycle, but I realized that through all the stress of the second cycle, I wasn’t as present as I wanted to be with her.

In the back of my mind, I was scared about what the final outcome would be, but for the most part, I was able to reconnect with my adorable daughter, Destynee, and my amazingly, supportive husband, Gordon.

I managed, at times, to find peace about what was going on. This time I embraced the month and a half break for my ovaries. I continued to support them, and through inspiration, gave them what I thought they needed to be strong.

Alice and her family spent Christmas with us. We had a great time and were able to talk a lot about what we were both going through.

Second Round/Try Again….

Same routine and same medication, only this time, the doctors increased my dosage. They wanted to again monitor my ovaries close to watch for signs of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. It was another $3,000 for all the medications.

I had asked the doctors for a different birth control, letting them know that I was affected badly from the previous kind I was on. They were very willing to change birth control, and it did seem to help. I still had my bad days, but the crazys weren’t as intense.

I had talked with Alice to make sure she was really okay with trying again. She seemed very grateful to give it another shot. Well, several of them actually, lol! Another three weeks of injections, several times a day, for both of us…..

Quieting My Ovaries/Can We Do This Again?

The doctors immediately put both Alice and I back on birth control pills. I was very nervous to go back on birth control pills, I didn’t know what feeling unstable would do to me…I never wanted to feel like that again, especially while I was in the middle of such an important and delicate process.

They gave me another medication to calm and quiet my ovaries. My LARGE ovaries needed a long rest before starting again. They were hurting!

Here we were again, waiting, waiting, waiting!
I didn’t know how much longer Alice would want to wait, and how many times she was willing to try. Starting another cycle, meant three more weeks of shots, which she wasn’t a fan of.

The ultrasounds that we had, were not the simple over the belly ultrasounds…No, No, they were VAGINAL ultrasounds, everytime. The continual invasion of personal space, wait, no, more than personal space, private space was almost more than I could handle.

I felt an infection coming on after about 2 weeks of when the vaginal ultrasounds first started. I felt like a few of the doctors weren’t very cautious when it came to infection risk, some didn’t even wear gloves, and most were not very gentle either. By the end of it, I was on just about everything to try and get rid of not only a yeast infection, but an allergic reaction from some gel that they used. I was so miserable:(

It was a dreaded process to have to go through again. All of it!

Every week felt like an eternity, and more that that, I still had my doubts about whether I even COULD produce enough healthy eggs.

Experienced Professionals Make Decisions

The doctors remained cautious. They had run into this dilemma before, but were very hesitant to increase the medication because of the risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and my heart history….

Gordon & I asked God to influence the doctors in which ever way the decision needed to go. We knew that we didn’t have enough experience in this area to make a safe decision.

The infertility doctors wanted to gather together to discuss it before making a decision….

They did not feel confident that I had enough eggs (follicles) to succeed, and they were willing to try another cycle with increased medication.

I had a lot of fears come up about how complicated it all seemed. I didn’t know if my body could produce the perfect results. It was so scary!

We’re Making a Baby!/So Many Details

It took about two and a half months to get all the preliminary work done. Now we could actually start the invitro-surrogate process! We’re mak’n a baby!!!

Alice & I had been on birth control for a few weeks, and would be able to start the fertility injections in the next week. We had another appointment with the infertility center to discuss the plan in great detail. We each had our own special medication that would work with our bodies to create the perfect environment for embryos to be created and transferred safely.

Alice’s injections assisted her body in thinking that it was already pregnant. Her uterus would become thick and healthy, so when the embryos are transferred and placed in her uterus, they can attach to an environment created especially for them.

My injections assisted my ovaries in producing several large eggs. When a woman naturally ovulates, she normally releases one egg. They wanted me to produce and release 8-12 large eggs. WOW!

Example: When the eggs are taken out and fertilized, only about 1/3 of them survive. So if 9 eggs are made, only 3 would survive. Those 3 embryos, because now they’re fertilized with the sperm, are transferred in the uterus, and usually only 1/3 of those survive. So you can see why it’s so important to gather so many eggs to begin with. The eggs also have to be mature. Some of the eggs produced, aren’t mature enough to use.

It was more than a delicate situation, and God absolutely had to be the One overseeing every single step.

Starting Our Medications/Birth Control

The infertility center first put both Alice & I on birth control pills, so they could control and synchronize our cycles. We had to be synched very closely, because once they retrieved the eggs from me, they only had three days to put them into Alice. Her uterus had to be very ready to accept my fragile little eggs.

I was so excited to start. It felt like we had made a huge step in the process. We were now actually beginning the process to make a baby!!!

As soon as I started on the birth control, I started feeling completely insane. I tried to hold it together, and pretend that I calmly had everything under control…..Inside, I was going out of my mind. I couldn’t figure out why I was trying to have a baby while I was so unstable… And strangely enough, I wasn’t sure why I felt so unstable. Like the crazys snuck up on me….I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know whether I could pull off everything that had to be done in order to succeed in surrogacy, in having another baby. I often wondered why I was continuing the process, and at what point I would give up…..