Pure Excitement!!!!/What A Blessing!

As I sat with the vision of having one baby, I became overwhelmed with gratitude. It was absolutely perfect!!! God knows what we can handle. My heart will do way better with only one baby to care for, I can include my daughter easier with one, and baby mamma will be more likely to carry the baby full-term and care for her twins easier. And we got one!!!

Plus, before we knew how many babies we would have, I had decided that it would be too stressful for me to try to nurse twins; mostly because I didn’t know if my heart could handle being up with twins all thru the nights. With nursing, it’s harder for the daddy to help take care of the baby.
Now that we were only having one baby, I was very excited to hopefully be able to nurse my baby and have that bonding time.

After the incredibly long, hard, invitro-surrogate process, we got pregnant! We’re going to have a baby!!!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, GOD!!! WHAT A MIRACLE!!!

WE AGAIN GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE ANOTHER MIRACLE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES!!!!!!!

Heart Echocardiogram/Cardiac Appointment

I had my heart appointment scheduled for January 27th, two days after the embryo transfer. They did an hour and a half long echocardiogram, a pacemaker evaluation, and then I saw the cardiologist. He let me know that there wasn’t much change from the echo done in June, before the invitro-surrogate process started, but that I still needed to plan for another open-heart surgery very soon. I was excited that the stenosis hadn’t gotten worse from seven months ago, but I was still dreading another surgery 😦

As far as how crappy I was feeling, that had to do with my blood pressure being so low, along with the electrical part of my heart. I was having several heart irregularities and cardiac arrhythmias that my pacemaker was not recording , so my cardiologist put me on a 24/7 continuous heart monitor. I had to wear it for a whole flippin’ month! It was kinda embarrassing and very inconvenient.

My cardiologist felt like my heart was complexed enough and recommended that I find an electrocardiologist. He referred me to a highly recommended physician, that he actually worked with, so the two of them could discuss my case easily.

Options/Statistics/Percentages

From the beginning of the invitro-surrogate process, the doctors told about all the percentages and statistics of what anyone’s chances would be.

They gave us a 60% chance that our surrogate mother would get pregnant. If she did get pregnant, the chance of how the pregnancy went and if the baby/babies survived were the same as for any pregnancy. 60% seemed pretty high to me, but I also understood that it was up to God and it would take His miracle to allow it to happen.

They explained that we could either implant one or two embryos. They stressed that no more than two could be implanted, because of Alice’s healthy, fertile age and the risk of multiple babies. Both could attached or one or both of the two could split, and we could have three or four babies, but the chances were very small for more than twins. They explained that we had the option of reduction if more attached and survived than we wanted. I couldn’t believe that this was a normal routine, like a fart in the wind to some people. To Gordon and I, and lucky Dan and Alice as well, this was considered abortion. We all felt that which ever embryos survived and attached, were God’s gifts to us, and we would not be a part in trying to control their fate.

They gave us a 30% chance of twins if two were implanted. I again thought those were good odds. We had decided early on, that Gordon and I very badly wanted twins and Alice was willing to carry them and do whatever it took to keep them safe and healthy. We were all very excited about the chance of twins. Going through all this hard work and effort, and then getting two out of it!!! That would be such an exciting surprise!

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!!!

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.