The Embryo Transfer!!!/We made it!!!

(I knew that there was still a chance that none of the embryos would attach and survive, and that if they didn’t, the 7 month long, excruciating process and 40k would be lost…..)

The room we were in had a big screen TV in it, and in the next room were our little want-to-be-babies. The tech magnified what was going on in the next room, and they had it up on the screen so we could see. As he syringed each embryo up, along with the fluid they were in, I had butterflies throughout my body and wanted to scream with excitement!!! Calmly, I watch as he brought them into the doctor, and the doctor transferred my three little embryos to the warm, loving environment that had been carefully prepared just for them, our surrogate mother’s uterus.

We had finally made it to this point, and now had a two-week wait to anticipate whether we would get to continue on this miraculous journey.

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Two or Three???

God had assisted us up to this point, and we knew that it would take a greater power to take over the process from here. I wanted to implant three embryos, so that our chances of having at least one baby survive would be more likely. Putting in three embryos, didn’t mean that three would take. We were planning on implanting two, and planning for two babies surviving. I was afraid with three that I wouldn’t be able to be there for the babies like I wanted to. And even more scared that I couldn’t physically take care of three babies.

I also knew that I would willingly and ecsatically accept one, two, or three beautiful babies with a smile on my face, and that God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle. If all three did attach and survive, we were all four willing to do what it took for their safety.

The four of us discussed, and Dan and Alice assured me with details of scenarios, of what could happen, and what they would be willing to do if each happened. Dan jokingly said, “If you guyz have three, you can just give us one!”

A peace came over the room and over Alice, Dan, & me. I started becoming more clear, and felt like God was guiding us all. We had made a decision and I felt good and at peace with it.

WE CHOSE TO IMPLANT THREE LITTLE EMBRYOS!!!

Another Decision???/Dan To The Rescue!

January 25th, 2010 The Embryo Transfer!!!

Alice asked me if I wanted to be there during the embryo transfer. I was thrilled!!!

She obviously wanted her hubby there, so they met me at the clinic. There weren’t anymore decisions to be made, so Gordon went to work. I didn’t think I would need him, and he wouldn’t be in the room anyway………….Or so I thought…..

The doctors had been telling us throughout the 7 months of trying, that they would only implant two embryos at the most. We wanted twins and Alice was ready to carry twins, she’s an expert on that, hehe:)

When we got there, the doctor came in and told us that because the embryos were just barely below normal in quality, we had the choice to transfer three embryos…..What the heck! We had already discussed in detail our options and made the big decision, and now things felt out of control all over again. I called Gordon, but he seemed to be in the same overwhelming dilemma. He knew we were on the same page, so he trusted my decision….I didn’t want to make the decision:(
I felt numb…………. I didn’t want to deal with anything else.

So many risks and unknowns. Would three take? Would they be early or full-term? I had the experience of the NICU before, and just wanted to experience the normal, stay-at-home, in bed, enjoying my baby/babies for two weeks like everyone I had seen. I wanted to be able to actually hold my baby…
Would Alice have to go on bedrest, and not be there for her girls? Could my heart handle three, I didn’t want to take on more than I could handle and enjoy…………….

There was so much loudness in my head, I wanted to run away and cancel the whole thing. I had been on so many hormone drugs, I didn’t feel stable or sane at all. I really didn’t feel like I could make anymore decisions.

We sat in the small, dark room, waiting for an answer. I had a thousand swords flying my way. As I stared off in a blank, Dan and Alice started talking about it. They were wondering what the answer would be, and at the time same being very supportive.

Holding back the tears, I started telling them my concerns and fears, cuz it was again a decision all four of us needed to make. I couldn’t think straight and was mumbling. I couldn’t seem to comprehend anything…..

Dan stood up and very assertively encouraged us to discussed all the facts, details, risks, thoughts, and feelings of all four of us. He completely saved my ass. It was like the “Incredibles”, when Helena grabs elastigirl and says, “pull yourself together”, but in the most loving, caring, gentle way.

It was like he took all my confusion and made sense of it. Thank you, Dan!

The Crazys/Adjusting & Grieving

Destynee was severely colicky, had acid reflux, still on oxygen (which she hated), and had a very hard time sleeping. I didn’t get to recover in bed with my baby for two weeks, like most moms. I was busy traveling back and forth to the hospital while she was still in. Because of the antibiotics I was on, I threw-up for a month. I didn’t sleep for weeks. While she was in the hospital, I was pumping my nipples inside out every two hours trying to get any milk I could, and when we were home, she cried most nights from the colic. The damn oxygen alarm would go off every time she moved when she was asleep. To put it simply, I still had the crazys.

I was so worried that my baby would have to go back to the hospital and be taken away from me again. It was also around RSV season, so I struggled letting almost anybody hold her. I was a basket-case. I didn’t know how to be a new mother, deal with the crazys, and grieve my loss at the same time. I still struggled with the thoughts of leaving Gordon, so he could find someone better. He reminded me that leaving was not the answer and would not fix anything. He continued to support me in ways that cannot be measured.

I can’t begin to explain how I felt about myself and my life. I didn’t feel like a woman, but I certainly didn’t feel like a man. I didn’t know who or what I was…..My whole life I had wanted only one thing, a big family. I couldn’t see past that. That is all I have ever known…My family and siblings are where my friends and support came from…. And now I could never give my precious angel, Destynee, one of the most important gifts in my life (siblings). I could not see or even dream of my future…. Or Gordon and Destynee’s……I shattered my whole family’s hopes and dreams. I took it all away….I was the defect. It was the biggest burden I had ever experienced. I felt responsible for ruining their lives.

Destynee’s Coming Home!!!

Destynee came into this world struggling, and fighting for everything she had. She came with such strength and determination, and it paid off.
She came home January 17th, 8 weeks later. She was still on oxygen and had a hard time nursing, but she was home!
The first day home, we stared in awe at our precious angel. She really was our baby, and now we felt it. We are finally parents!!! There was a peace that came over both of us, as we relaxed into our own environment.
We soaked up every second with her, and engulfed ourselves in her sweet spirit.

Postpartum/Depression

Before I was discharged, Dr. Draper sat my husband and I down. He explained, that after everything I had been thru, I had a 96% chance of having severe depression, not just postpartum depression. He gave us specific signs to watch for, and instructed Gordon to watch me very closely. When someone goes into depression that fast, they can’t tell that they are acting or being any different, so it’s important that someone who knows them really well, be aware of subtle signs.

I was cautious and aware of my thoughts and actions. Once a week, a very special social worker would come to the NICU, and talk to me about how I was coping with everything. I was determined to stay in good health for my new baby and my husband. I talked to her about everything, I mean everything…As the weeks went on, I felt less and less okay….

I would spend several days constantly crying. It didn’t matter what I was doing or who I was with, I would cry from the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed. Half the time, I couldn’t even figure out what the hell I was crying about…It was exhausting beyond belief!

I had been in the hospital for three months, still had a baby in the NICU, lost the dream of ever having more children, and recovering from an intense surgery. I felt like I lost my womanhood. I wasn’t sure who I was, and I was very sure that I was crazy…

I often wondered if I was really a mother, if she was MY baby, and what I was still doing there…..I had decided that Gordon deserved a real woman, one who could have more children for him and build his family. I decided that the best thing for them, was me leaving so Gordon could find someone better….I knew that I would have to leave my whole family and never come back…I contemplated it for several days. Inside, I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but more times than not, my right was overruled by the crazys….There was a few days, that I would drive past the hospital. I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew I was going. Several miles past the hospital, I was redirected by God. I was confused as to what I was doing, but my better self knew that my family needed me. My sweet angel still in the NICU; I couldn’t leave her NOW….

When I was having a good day, I knew it was important to tell the social worker and Gordon the thoughts I was having and the actions I had followed through with. The social worker told me that she was actually relieved to know what I was thinking. She said it was a good sign, so I kept telling them. Gordon, on the other hand, was more freaked-out than ever.

Two Months in the NICU/First Experience of the World

We loved spending time with her. Gordon would drop me off in the morning before work, come in to see her, and then pick me up after work so he could see her again. We usually stayed there every night until they kicked us out at shift change (7pm).

Destynee had a really hard time nursing or taking a bottle. She would choke, had acid reflux and A&B’s (apnea & bradycardia) with feedings; it was so miserable for her. I was grateful to have her in the hospital, where things like that could be monitored. At the same time, my heart ached, because all the poking, proding, intruding, and laying alone had to be her first experience of the world. Although I was there with her most of the time, I couldn’t hold her much and I couldn’t imagine what that felt like to her. Abandonment? Rejection? I worried.

I didn’t even feel like I was going to be okay for about 5 weeks, so how could I expect her to. We were surviving together, and that’s all that mattered.
She started nursing full feedings at 6 weeks exactly (38 weeks gestation). The nurses told me that it usually clicks developmentally around 38 weeks, and it did. We had been forcing her to learn something damn nigh impossible, and when she was ready, she got it.
Although most of the staff was very kind and gentle, she experienced things that nobody (let alone, newborns), should ever have to face. I watched and let things happened that I felt I had no control over. It felt like she was their baby, and I just had to watch. I didn’t stand up for her, or for what I felt was right or wrong, because I couldn’t live with something going wrong….I didn’t feel mentally stable enough to trust myself….. I desperately wanted to bring her home.

My Preemie Miracle!!!

As I watched her day after day, I continued to be amazed that I was part of such a miraculous miracle! The doctors gave a 5% chance that she would make it with no complication. 5 percent!!!!! Althought she struggled, most of her complications were normal for a preemie.
The doctors weren’t sure if she would ever walk, because her feet were twisted. The therapist came every few days, and showed me stretches to help straighten out her feet. Within a few weeks, the therapist was amazed at her progression and gave us hope.

She knew what she was coming down to, and I thanked God every second that we were able to have her. I knew that no matter what she had to face, she had our full attention. She is our miracle baby!!!

Holding Our Angel for the First Time!

Dec 8th, Destynee is a week and a half old. She was doing so well that she was able to get off the CPAP and was put on oxygen. Both me and Gordon got to hold our angel for the first time. Neither of us ever wanted to let her go. For the first time, we were able to pour all the built-up love we had been saving inside, for her. It was a huge sigh of relief to be able to hold her, and it was what we were both needing very badly. She brought us a piece of heaven with her sweet spirit.

This precious moment seemed to be gone way to fast……Every time we got a chance to hold her, the nurses would come to either check her vitals or tell us she needed rest.

Her daddy got to feed her the first bottle. It was the first time she was able to get any nutrition orally. The next day, they let me breast feed her. She didn’t do very well, but I didn’t have much to work with.

Shortly after that, she moved to an open crib. She still needed her sleep to grow, so unless she was eating or awake, we couldn’t hold her. She woke very easily, was sensitive to everything, and had a really hard time adjusting because of all the stimulation (bright lights, alarms, people talking, etc).

The Untouchable Treasure/What a Miracle!

Destynee Noel was our greatest treasure. We could touch her soft skin and tell her everything would be okay, but the love that we had for her, had to be stuffed deep down inside us.

As we stared at her, we were overcome with graditude. This magnificant creation of God that we worked so hard to protect, is finally here, and doing so well. Even though we couldn’t hold her, we felt like our family was NOW complete:)