My Trusted OB Is Leaving!!!/Learning To Trust Again

We saw our OB doctor yesterday. He checked Alice to see how far she was dilated. He said, “Um.. I’ll give you a 1 if you want”. She’s maybe a 1 on dilation and not effaced at all! What? I thought she would at least be a 3…???

The important one, Baby mamma, said, “I won’t be surprised if I go over, I feel too good!”
Well, as long as she is comfortable and content, then I’m great waiting a little longer. Hopefully, she can stay comfortable until her and baby are ready.

Dr. Draper said he wouldn’t be surprised if she was still pregnant when he got back in town. He also told us that, being selfish, he really hoped that Alice would still be pregnant so he could be there.

Back in town!!! What the hell did that mean? Our OB, kindly let us know that he was going to be leaving out-of-town ON our due date, and wouldn’t be back for nine days. What the hell kind of timing is that!!

My mind started spinning in way too many directions. A lot could happen!…. I needed him there!!!
Having Dr. Draper at the delivery, was of the utmost importance to me!!! It is a MUST!!!

I tried to talk him out of going, but unfortunately, it was work related and he had to go. He reassured me that he would communicate to the OB team all the birth plan details, as well as the legalities of the unique surrogacy situation. He told me that the most important things, was for baby mamma and my baby to be safe, and that they would be under great care.

Nothing he said comforted me at all! I could not believe this was happening. Why is this such a big deal?? I felt frantic!!!

After we left, I was able to talk to Alice about it. She’s such an amazing support for me!
I realized that the desperate feelings of needing him there, was coming from my previous experience with my hysterectomy.
After my hysterectomy, I had a lot of thoughts about whether the doctors did everything they could to save my uterus.
Because I knew Dr. Draper, and I KNEW that he did everything he could to save it, those thoughts were alot less intense and didn’t have the power to completely drown me in my sorrows. I had a great relationship with him during my pregnancy with Destynee, and after that, he continued to be an important source of support for me.

I only had the hysterectomy experience to compare to this experience, and I felt scared that another doctor wouldn’t do everything they could to make this experience great.

Well, once again I could not control the situation and got another opportunity to put my trust in God. I knew that He would handle it, and asked that He would allow whatever was in the best interest for everyone involved to happen.

10 more days!!! Jeeze! I am so READY!!! On the other hand, that would mean Dr. Draper would be there, sweet!!! We’ve been working on this pregnancy since June `09, so what’s one more week or 10 days……We can do this!

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.

High Hopes/IS IT A Possibility?

So now I had seven eggs (follicles) that were big enough to use, but the doctors needed to check and see if they were all mature.

Estradiol (estrogen) is the primary sex hormone of childbearing women. It is formed from developing ovarian follicles. Labs were done right away to check my estrogen levels. Each mature egg has 200-600, but should have at least 200.

The results took a few hours to get in, so home we went to wait it out……….I tried not to think about it. It was driving me crazy!

The nurse called me a few hours later…….My estrogen levels were only 1180, which meant that five eggs might be mature. Also, if some of the eggs were carrying more than 200 each in them, then some of the five may or may not be mature…??????????

I couldn’t believe we were going through this again. So Fucking stressful!!!!

This was a familiar and extremely uncomfortable place……….

Grow Eggs Grow

Here we were again, our second cycle and in the third week of fertility injections. Again, Alice’s ultrasound showed a very healthy, ready uterus.

My first ultrasound, showed four almost ready eggs, and a few more that had potential. The results were better than the first cycle, but again, the doctors expected more from the amount of medication they had me on. Better’s good, and we’ll take it!

The next day, and another vaginal ultrasound. There was only one more ready egg. The doctors wanted to give it a few more days.

The next day, there wasn’t much change, and the fourth day, it showed two more. The doctors were very optimistic that they thought they could use my eggs this time. They were pleased with seven, and said they had been successful before with only seven.

Gordon kept telling me, “We only need ONE embryo to survive, babe.” He was very supportive, but it was so scary risking all that money. I knew we didn’t have the money to do the process over if none of the eggs survived….

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.

Vaginal Birth or C-Section

Because of two previous open-heart surgeries and my unique heart (hehe, I’m staying positive), my doctors discouraged me from getting pregnant. I told them I had been waiting for a baby for a long time. I asked them if they would support me through a pregnancy. I now have amazing doctors, after several years of ASSHOLES and multiple surgeries. Both my OB/GYN & Cardiologist agreed to be my support and monitor me when I got pregnant.

After my water broke, my Cardiologist told me that he was actually glad that I was on bedrest, because he wasn’t sure my heart would be able to handle being pregnant with much of any activity. Throughout the pregnancy, I have had echocardiograms to monitor how my heart is handling the pregnancy and extra blood flow. Throughout a pregnancy, a women’s body produces about 3x the regular amount of blood. This is why, by the end, you feel like a fiery furnace. My heart is definitely taking a toll, but because of bedrest, it is managing pretty well.

Because of the important, specific details of what needed to happen when I went into labor, every doctor that took over for my OB or that was on call, would come into my room and discuss each and every detail with me. They wanted to know what was going on, and wanted me to know that I had great doctors that knew what to do. It was very comforting and all of them treated me like I was very special. However, I was very clear that I wanted MY OB, Dr. Draper, there for the delivery if possible, and he said he would be there if he could make it.

Dr. Draper knew that I wanted a natural, vaginal birth. He said I would not be able to have it natural, because my heart wouldn’t handle me pushing at all. I would have to have a very heavy epidural, so my uterus would be able to push the baby out.

He said that if I wasn’t able to have a vaginal birth, I would have to be put completely out for a C-section so they could monitor my heart with a Transesophageal Echocardiogram (an echo camera down my throat), and be able to override my pacemaker and defibrillator. He said Gordon wouldn’t be able to be in the room.

I knew that if I had to be put out, then I would miss the first several hours of my baby’s life. I wouldn’t know what was going on, or if the baby even made it…… I tried not to think about it, and just prayed that everything would go good. I was so focused on having a vaginal birth, so that both me and Gordon could be present for the baby.