Making Travel Plans…

Our first ultrasound is coming up at the end of next week.  Originally, I wasn’t planning on attending.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because there’s quite a bit of time and expense involved.  As I don’t live close to the clinic, I’d have to either fly from the Bay Area to LA and rent a car, or fly to SD, borrow a car from my parents, and make the drive (5-6 hours round trip).  Since heartbeats are only a possibility this early (it’ll be 3 weeks and 6 days after transfer), I was going to wait until the 2nd ultrasound 2 weeks later.

A couple nights ago, my dad called me and asked if I wanted to go to the ultrasound.  I said of course I did, but felt that it wasn’t the best use of our budgeted surrogacy funds.  If we had unlimited resources, I wouldn’t even think about it–I’d just go.  But since we don’t know for sure how much this process is going to cost (or how many kids we’re going to end up with), my husband and I are trying to be as fiscally conservative as possible.  In other words, we’re being cheap when we can. 😉

At any rate, my dad said that I was being wise to not throw away money, but he felt it was important for me to go.  After all, it’s the first ultrasound.  And while there are going to be a lot of “firsts” in this process, the ultrasound is one of the biggies.  So, he was willing to pay for my plane tickets and rental car.  In his words, “Your mother and I have spent money on stupider things in our lives. It’s way better to spend it on something important and special, like this.  Consider it an early Mother’s Day gift.”

If I could have jumped through the phone to hug and thank him, I would have.  Not just because he’s paying for my one-day trip to the ultrasound, but because he called it a Mother’s Day gift–something I wasn’t sure I’d ever be fortunate enough to receive.  I know he chose those words specifically to show his support, but I doubt he realized the effect they’d have on me.

And while I didn’t turn into a blubbering mess on the phone, I did have to dry my eyes before running into the other room to tell my husband that he was going to have to get up and take me to the airport before dawn next week so I could go see our child(ren) on an ultrasound monitor.

Choked up in one post, teary-eyed the next.  What’s this once-tough emotion-controlled Marine becoming?

Beta…round 2!

2nd beta draw was Friday, and the number is pretty encouraging:  958.  It was around 72 hours since the first one, which means that our doubling time was good (approximately 56.5 hours).  Based on those things, it sounds like we’re on the road towards a viable pregnancy.

The RE was also kind enough to call me a couple hours after the NC e-mailed me the results.  He wanted to make sure that I understood the significance of the numbers (apparently not everyone researches these things for 2 years like I did), and to see if I had any questions.  Overall, Dr. K’s been awesome.  I don’t think I mentioned before that our transfer took place the day before Easter, which was supposed to be the last day of his vacation.  He came in to the clinic that morning specifically for our transfer, waited around an hour afterwards to make sure our GS was feeling all right, and then left.  Given that I’ve heard of RE’s manipulating cycles so all retrievals in a month are done over a 4 day period, then all transfers done the next 5 days for their convenience, I was really touched that he was willing to sacrifice a vacation day for us.  Although they probably didn’t compare to some of the gifts from other patients, I brought in 4 dozen homemade cookies (chocolate chip and white chocolate cranberry oatmeal) for him and the staff as a small thank-you. 🙂

Anyways, he also told me that if I wasn’t able to make it for the first ultrasound, the clinic would call me during it so that I could listen in.  Not quite the same as being there, obviously, but that’s still better than nothing.  If there are heartbeats at that time (I don’t think it’s likely, since we won’t even be 6 weeks yet), then they’ll even make a recording so we can listen to it again later.  It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I actually got a little choked up by all this.  It’s hard to believe that I might actually, finally, become a mother.

Beta # is in…

It’s 396!

My contact at the clinic thinks twins are in our future.  But if I’ve learned anything about beta numbers over the last 2 years, all they really do is tell you that pregnancy is achieved.  Some women produce lots of hCG (making everyone think they’re carrying multiples when it’s a singleton), while others don’t.  There’s no guaranteed way to tell, aside from waiting for the ultrasound.

So yeah, we’re pregnant!

The journey so far…

Most people who blog about surrogacy, it seems, start at the beginning of the journey.  They write about agency applications, searching for a match, first contact, and then being “officially matched”.  Next come screenings and contracts, followed by appointments and calendars.  After that there’s the excitement (and usually photos) of that big ol’ box of meds and needles arriving, plus all the stuff that accompanies it–like having to actually stick said needles in your body once, twice, and sometimes thrice daily.  Next there’s more appointments, followed by the egg retrieval, fertilization reports, PGD results (sometimes), and then OMG IT’S FINALLY TRANSFER DAY!!!

Not me.

For one thing, I was afraid of making any premature announcements.  So often on the surrogacy message board I frequent ( SMO, a fantastic resource for anyone considering surrogacy), you see people announce their match only to have it fall through during further discussions or contracts.  While there’s nothing wrong with that (ending a match is way better than having a bad one), I didn’t want to worry about the potential drama that could accompany posting about a breakup.  I was also concerned about it falling through in other ways–the clinic suddenly deciding our GS was no longer a good candidate, the donor not responding well, or one of the many additional things that can go wrong.

Above all, though–I didn’t really have anything I felt worth reporting.  After all, a blog with 1 sentence updates or no updates isn’t very interesting.  Since my eggs weren’t going to be used, I wasn’t going to be on any injectables.  That also meant I wasn’t having any appointments, so the clinic didn’t need to be in constant contact with me.  I suppose I could have started writing on transfer day, but I wasn’t at home, with my regular computer.  Fellow bloggers know these things are tricky to set up–especially for those of us who aren’t the most technically savvy individuals.

Suffice it to say that we matched with our GS through a great agency, used another agency to find an egg donor that met our requirements, and the clinic approved of everyone.  Both the donor and GS responded wonderfully to their protocols, and according to the RE the transfer of 2 PGD blasts went perfectly.  There were also quite a few 5-day and 6-day embryos frozen, just in case.

And since tax returns are due today (even though I’m no longer employed by an accounting firm I still had to do returns for us, my brother, and handle the extensions for my grandfather, his trust, and estate), I really didn’t have the time and energy to start messing with this blogging stuff until last night.  Plus, our first beta is being drawn today–so I needed something to take my mind off the anticipation.  Although, given the pic our GS sent us Saturday morning, I have a pretty good feeling that we’ll get decent numbers this afternoon…

7dp5dt

Taking the Plunge…

The title says it all.  2 years after I started reading and following blogs on the internet, I’ve decided to start my own.  Mostly, it’s a way for me to chronicle the journey to parenthood through surrogacy.  I learned a lot about surrogacy through reading blogs of both surrogates and intended parents, and would like to think that I, too, have some useful information to pass on to others going through the process.

I’ll admit, though, that I’ve never been much of one for journaling–unless it was a requirement for school.  I have no idea if this blog is something that I’ll update daily, or only when I have something to share.  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…