Drops of Colostrum!!!

I asked God out of completely desperation and frustration, to give me any sign that all my pumping and hard dedication was not in vain. I needed to know that I had a chance of nursing my baby.

After almost four weeks of taking several herbs, a drug, manual expression, and pumping every two hours, I finally got drops of colostrum!!!! 🙂

I usually can get a drop when I express manually, and one or two drops out with each pumping session.
It’s a start! WAHOOO!!!!

Advertisements

More Contractions!!!/Daddy’s Tender Heart

Alice hadn’t had any more contractions since last Friday, but last night, she finally started up again. She said they were lasting a minute and every 10 minutes apart, SWEET!!

Is this it?? Gordon and I spent the night getting legal requirements ready, and getting the bag packed for the baby. I was surprisingly calm, but daddy, Gordon, was having some serious anxiety. I kept trying to figure out why he was so anxious, cuz I thought everything was going smooth, and Alice said she was comfortable.
He finally said, “Last time we had a baby, things didn’t go smooth at all. You were out of it, but I remember a little too clear.” …..
Because our baby mamma was an hour away, Gordon felt even more like he couldn’t know that Alice and the baby were okay.

I just listened and tried to comfort him. I could completely understand where he was coming from. It was cute to see him so concerned.

This morning, I talked to Alice. She said the contractions stopped last night. I’m glad the contractions stopped if it’s not the day, so she can stay comfortable. Whenever baby mamma and baby are ready.

We have an appointment with our OB, Dr. Draper today, and he might want to check her!!! How exciting!!
WOW! Time’s flying.

We’re Almost There!!!/39 Weeks/Starting Some Contractions!!!

Okay, back to the surrogacy pregnancyNOW!!!

We are 39 weeks and some change!!!

Last Friday, Dan, Alice, Gordon, and I took our girls to Jungle Jim’s. It’s like a mini-mini lagoon, for small kids. I couldn’t believe Alice was going. Less than a week away from being due, and she’s still partying like a rock star. Gordon jokingly tried to get her on one of the rides to put her into labor. lol

Of course she never got on any ride, but she thinks she might have overdone it. That night around 11:00, she started having some contractions, three minutes apart!!! She said they didn’t last very long, maybe just over an hour. But freakn’ exciting!!!

Making Sense of It All

Now that we were pregnant, I felt myself relax a little. I was able to breathe, and take the much-needed break.

So much of being pregnant didn’t seem like a reality. I found myself wondering was it real? Or was it all a dream?……There was nothing for me to do, and it felt like the process was over.
Our surrogate mother obviously wasn’t around us all the time, and when I was not with her, I easily forgot what was going on, the reality of it… I wanted to follow her around like a lost puppy…

Strangely, my mind played tricks on me………….What part of all this made sense?… Not much when I thought about it……..Pregnancy thru surrogacy wasn’t something that I had ever experienced or personally known anybody to experience before. We were feeling our way through a completely unknown experience.

I continued to try to connect with my baby/babies. And continued to struggle…..I finally decided to stop judging myself for how I thought I was supposed to think, feel, or connect to this experience, and that maybe it was okay that I was feeling so awkward. I gave it the possibility that it wouldn’t make or break my relationship with my baby/babies. That they would understand and know that I loved them anyway 🙂

I was barely able to get off all the hormone medications three weeks after the egg retrieval, and I could feel that they would take a while to get out of my body completely. My heart still wasn’t doing well, and the crazys still had their time with me, but it didn’t feel as intense.

I focused on reviving myself and strengthening my heart… I felt better about the whole thing…….At least for moments at a time…

Here We Go, Ready Or Not…

“We only need ONE to survive, babe” were the sweet words of my husband. I repeated those few words through my head like a skipped CD. I continued to focus on God, faith, peace, and love. If these were the eggs that might create my baby/babies, I wanted them to know how much I loved and appreciated them…..I wanted it to be a beautiful environment for their (the embryos) inception.

The decision had been made. What a relief and yet so final….

The same day of the last ultrasound, I took a Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) injection at 9:00 that night. HCG induces/triggers ovulation.
The hCG trigger has several functions:

*Induce final maturation of the eggs
*Cause the resumption of meiosis
*Loosen the egg’s attachment from the follicle wall
*Allows for the timing of the egg retrieval

The goal is to perform the egg retrieval as close as possible to 36 hours after the hCG trigger is given. This meant for me that the egg retrieval would be two days later, 9:00 in the morning. Timing is everything, and so important.

Here we go, ready or not!!!

Please Let The Third Time Be The Charm?!?!?

Third week of injections, and again the dreaded vaginal ultrasound….

The first ultrasound showed no response..I was devastated.. The doctor reassured me that they had done the ultrasound earlier than normal to watch for signs of overstimulation with the new medication. I was relieved, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away…

The next ultrasound, I had three good eggs (follicles), and several with good potential…Because this was the final try, I didn’t seem to stress as much. I focused on putting it ALL in God’s hand. I tried to be okay with not getting pregnant at all. It took alot of effort, and wasn’t easy. It took a constant reminder, on my part, to stay peaceful………….

The next day, the ultrasound showed two more, and the biggest eggs had a little room to still be in the safe range. It started feeling like a repeated, bad dream. Very familiar……..I again focused on remaining calm and peaceful.

The anticipation was grualling…Breathe Jess, breathe……

The fourth day, the three biggest eggs were reaching the point of no return………Two more eggs barely made it within the acceptable range. I had seven large eggs…Today was the deciding day, because one more day would cause the three biggest eggs to become not viable (not usable)……………

It was now time to test my estrogen levels to see how many eggs were actually mature……….Labs again and we were sent home to wait for the word……………………………………………….

1,433 was my Estradiol (estrogen) count and the second important number of the day. This meant that if the minimum of 200 were in each egg, then there could be seven mature eggs! If any of the eggs had more in them, then as few as three egg could be mature……..Quite a wide range…How could we ever know?………

Every day felt like a decade…….

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.

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!!!

Loving My Ovaries

As my ovaries returned back to normal size, I could still feel that they weren’t strong. It was like they were begging me for help…I didn’t know what they needed, but I had recognized a pattern that I tend to do with my body. When something doesn’t work perfectly, I unconsciously generate negetive thoughts and feelings towards it. I am becoming more aware of it, and I’m wanting to love my body for what it does do for me.

As I recognized and became conscious of the negetive energy I was sending my ovaries, (because I thought they failed me), I immediately knew that I needed to change what I was doing, thinking, & feeling. I began appreciating them for going thru what they did, and for being strong enough to go thru it again. I sent them lots of love and gratitude.

I instantly noticed a difference in how I felt, and how my poor little ovaries felt.

By this time, I didn’t have a whole lot of time before we could start another cycle of medications. Alice and I had been on birth control again for about a month and a half. I had another vaginal ultrasound to see if my ovaries were ready and back to thier normal size, so we could start the fertility injections again.

My ovaries felt fragile, but according to the doctors, I was ready. I was anxious to start again, in hopes that this would be it. I was very excited to get my surrogate mother pregnant.

Needles, Needles, & More Needles

We both had several shots to take every day. Although the medication did burn and itch the site, the shots didn’t seem to bother me.
Alice on the other hand, had been on this rodeo of invitrofertalization with her twin girls, so she was a little more hesitant. She had kinda build up a slight phobia of needles. Can’t blame her….She managed, with the help of her awesome husband, to receive the poke of the dreaded needles several times a day. You go girl!!!

We were on fertility shots for 2-3 weeks. At the beginning of the third week, Alice would have an ultrasound to see how thick her uterus was getting. I had an ultrasound scheduled each day the third week to see how many and how mature my eggs (follicles) were getting. They had to monitor the eggs very closely, because if any of the eggs were out of range (meaning, not mature enough or too mature/too big,) they could not be used. If the eggs got too big or too mature, they would die off.