Family, Random Act of Kindness, Surrogacy

I Should Really Explain….

You know how you get in to that slump where you don’t want to write, answer emails. The slump where you no longer answer the phone; because you just don’t want to talk to whoever is on the other side of that call, because you would be required to answer so many questions that you are at the point of pure, utter exhaustion because you’ve had to answer them over and over and it never seems to sink in, so they continue asking.

Guy’s third birthday is approaching sooner than later, I’ve yet to finish his second birthday letter. I’ve yet to contact IARC with all those wonderful things I want to suggest to help with gestational carriers. I think I was their most determined to have a baby GC. I was so determined that even when there was the suggestions put out there that I may not be the one, I disregarded all of them because in my heart, I knew I was the one meant to have a baby for R&G.

I’m still in that slump where I just don’t know what to do or what to say. I’m trying to get the understanding out there that none of my issues pertain to Guy. He, R&G were there to help me fulfill something I also wanted to do. What is more selfless than having a baby for someone?

I also keep reminding anyone who asks, that even knowing this specific outcome, all of my medical issues after his birth, all of the complications since then; that I would undoubtedly follow the same path!

I may have saved a little more here and there, I may have cut back on all of those dinners out, I may have done a number of things different on my end just to be prepared. With all of that, I still would have gone through the entire process. I still would give up my body, my health, my inability to do a lot of things now that used to be second nature so that Guy was born. So that R&R continued the process with me! They are my chosen family and forever will be. We began this process as strangers, became friends then became the sort of family you just can’t live without. The type of family that you are excessively happy when they send a message or you see their name pop up on your phone. They are my forever family!

I don’t get to spend nearly as much time as I’d like with them, but will be seeing them again in December. They will be coming back because Guy will be a big brother. We will have a month or more where we get to spend together. A month to where I can learn enough Hebrew to understand what Guy is trying to tell me, what he is trying to ask for, what he is seriously upset about because I can’t understand what he’s really saying.

I’m going to be back again. I’m going to write and try to figure this all out. I want to be useful to other GC’s that are going through the process, have finished the process, or who were never able to complete the process because of the heartbreak over and over again.

Surrogacy

Home test…..

I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait the entire two weeks before I took a home test. On day seven I broke down and used one of the over priced digital home tests. After about 20 seconds, it had PREGNANT in big bold letters! I needed to let Ronen and Gadi know mere minutes after the test. I let them know it is t a definite until after blood work and an ultrasound.

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Surrogacy

Happy Implant Day…..

I traveled to CT on July 3 to be on call to have the implant either the 4, 5 or 6. Since the doctor will use a three, four or five day implant and it was a fresh transfer, I needed to be there longer than on a frozen transfer. The flight was flawless and thankfully I flew into Newark rather than LaGuardia again. If I never need to go to LaGuardia again, it will be too soon!

I got a rental car to drive from Newark to Trumball CT and everything went better than expected. I got to the hotel and sent an email to another woman who was staying at the same hotel, getting implanted on the same time schedule also working with IARC. This was her first implant and really didn’t know everything that was expected and the time frames involved. I have to admit, I though the cycle that Dr. Doyle uses, is quite long and uses more medications than other doctors I’ve worked with, but I have no complaints.

The woman and I discussed how we both thought the process would be much shorter than it was, but that everything happens when it’s meant to be. I originally thought I would get pregnant on one of my first transfers and here I am seven years later still not carrying a pregnancy to term. I need to remind myself over and over again that everything happens when it’s meant to and to just be patient. It’s so hard to do sometimes but I do believe it will happen when it’s right.

I ended up getting implanted with two perfect embryos on July 5. I was so used to other doctors being insanely tardy, that I was shocked when Dr. Doyle was exactly 1 minute late. He told me in our first meeting that he runs a really tight schedule and he feels bad whenever he is late.If my first implant is any indication of his timeliness, I’m definitely on board!

I had Ronen and Gadi on Skype the entire process. A nurse was holding my phone the entire 20 minutes I was in the room. She was laughing that her arms were getting tired but she never let the phone drop. It was so important that Ronen and Gadi be able to see everything that was going on since they couldn’t physically be there. All in all, it was the most relaxing implant procedure I’ve ever had.

After getting implanted, I went back to the hotel and I was able to nap. This generally doesn’t happen, I generally lay there and my mind is racing and I can’t sleep. Hopefully sleep was the thing I really needed and that the implant works. Two whole weeks of waiting to verify whether or not the implant actually worked. Two weeks seems like an eternity while you are waiting for blood work. I think I will end up using a home test prior to the two-week wait on the blood work. I’m far too impatient to just wait patiently!

Family, Surrogacy

On The Eighth Day of Christmas….

Jayde is still sick so no photos again today. Jayde feels that she got me the perfect gift but I think it’s one of those things that she wanted a little more than I wanted, but then again getting her things that she wants is exactly what I really want. She got me Friends on DVD, Season 10. I can only assume that the remainder of my gifts will be Friends on DVD which is something she’s been asking me for a few years now. I just didn’t want to purchase the box set that is nearly $200. I just can’t justify $200 for a series of DVDs.

Jayde got more useless Hello Kitty items today and more Nestea. Today’s Hello Kitty item was four refrigerator magnets. She once again said “Best Gift EVER!” Who knew that a 14-year-old would like such simple things? I must admit, that I’ve really got the best kid ever. With how materialistic society has made us, it’s so refreshing that I have a kid that would much rather have time than gifts, she’d much rather play board games at home with her mommy than to do mind-numbing useless things that most teens choose to do. I hope that ten years from now, she still holds the same values and appreciates the little things.

Family, Random Act of Kindness, Surrogacy

Implant Time Again….

I received notification that my next implant will be either at the end of December or at the end of January. All depending on the schedule of the CReATe for the holidays. Jayde and I don’t do a “traditional” Christmas so even if I need to travel right over Christmas, all will be good.

Ronen and Gadi are Jewish so they don’t celebrate Christmas “traditionally” either so Jayde and I decided that we needed to have them partake in our “traditional” Christmas. Jayde and I, since she was two, have done the 12 days of Christmas with a little twist. I don’t get her 5 golden rings or 7 swans a swimming but what we do is get each other 12 gifts on a $120 budget. I set this budget 12 years ago now, I figured $10 per day would be sufficient because it would force me to be creative and I knew as Jayde grew that it would force her to be creative as well. There were many years that Jayde went “shopping” and I got some things that I really think she wanted more than I; but as the years have progressed, she too has picked up on my creativity and you’d be surprised at what $120 can get. Jayde is able to tell you each gift she receives during the 12 days, she has an entire day to enjoy it prior to moving on to the next day. Unlike Christmas Eve or Christmas day when kids open a pile of gifts as tall as the tree and don’t remember who they came from, what they opened 15 minutes ago and don’t really appreciate what the gift really was.

Over the years, Jayde has gotten gifts from a video camera to clothing items, from stickers to candy but after each day she says the same thing “How did you know this was exactly what I wanted?” This year is no different from the years past, she will receive some items that are way over the $10 daily spending limit but then on other days she will get something as simple as a bottle of tea or piece of candy. There is one difference this year, I’ve increased the budget to $150 from the 12 year budget of $120. What can I say, shipping costs have increased and the things I know Jayde would really want need to be shipped from some far off land. I’ve had to trade services, use money off coupons and work my magic this year to ensure that Jayde will once again get everything she wants without knowing what it really was that she wanted.

I will be sending our 12 days of whatever you want to call it for Ronen and Gadi to Ronen and Gadi in hopes they too get as much enjoyment from the little daily gifts as Jayde and I do.

December also starts our newest tradition of Random Acts of Kindness. Hoping that even the smallest gesture will encourage someone else to do for others.

Surrogacy

Another Two Week Wait…..

For any of you that have had IVF or that are Surrogates or Gestational Carriers know that the two-week wait is by far the longest two weeks you’ve ever experienced! This time around was no different for me. I had ordered pregnancy tests off the internet because let’s face it, at $9.99 a pop buying them at the store is just far too much. So I got 30 pregnancy tests for right around $20 (including shipping). Now I understand why they were so cheap!

One week post transfer, I began taking a test every morning and every morning only one line appeared. And I really wasn’t feeling “pregnant” either. I wasn’t excessively tired, I wasn’t experiencing food aversion or morning sickness and my bra still fit. The day prior to my blood test, I told Ronen that I really just wasn’t feeling it, and that all the home tests had shown negative. I didn’t want him to be caught off guard when we got the negative blood results back.

Well….I was wrong! The first hCG was 33. The doctor here reminded me that anything over 5 was considered “pregnant.” I need to have an additional hCG in two days to ensure I’m actual pregnant. I stopped at Target on my way home from work and purchased an actual pregnancy test, you know the $9.99 kind that digitally read “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” Sure enough, it read “pregnant.” Now I’m wondering why the tests purchased online were indicating negative? I did another home test the following morning (the one’s I purchased online) and it said negative again.

Second blood test went from 33 to 73 and since the blood test was on a Saturday, I was told I wasn’t going to get the results until Monday. That just didn’t work for me. I started calling the lab pestering them about what my numbers were and they weren’t willing to release the information to me in any way. I called Dr. Liberach’s office in Toronto and wouldn’t you know it, I missed the nurses that worked on Saturday by about fifteen minutes. How could I get the results before Monday? I would most definitely not sleep the entire weekend if I didn’t know if they had increased, decreased or stayed the same.  I was having lunch with a good friend and she suggested we call the lab and she be a “nurse” for the day. Brilliant! So there we were, sitting in her car nervously dialing the local number for the lab. The nurse at the lab indicated she had faxed the information to Toronto and Minneapolis and that since she had, she had fulfilled her job. Well my friend, lets call her “Audrey Nelson” said without hesitation “I’m the on call nurse and I’m required to get a verbal read.” There was a moment of silence on the other end of the line and then the nurse said 73. Why didn’t i think of calling and saying I was my nurse? Nurse Nelson, you are a genius!

Now to wait until Monday for my third blood test. Monday’s results were much the same, they went from 73 to 112. Since there wasn’t a clear double in numbers, I’d need to be poked again on Wednesday. I was already at the hospital with my dad on Monday so I didn’t need to travel far to get the blood drawn. Dad had a heart attack on Thursday but didn’t tell me anything about it until Saturday. He had too much stuff to do to go see a doctor. On Saturday afternoon I talked to my mom and she told me that dad still didn’t feel well and I should do something about it. I got in my car without hesitation, made the drive to their house 40 miles away and demanded he go to the doctor. I believe I even said to him that I needed him to go because I didn’t want him dead. Now I didn’t know for certain if he really had a heart attack in the previous days but from the symptoms he was explaining, I was pretty sure it was more than just “being tired.” Hours after sitting in a private room in the emergency room, dad was taken to the Cardiac ICU because his heart enzymes indicated he really did have a heart attack. Dad kept telling the doctor “I don’t think I had a heart attack” and the doctor reminded him again that the only way his enzymes could be elevated was if he had a heart attack. Dad still wasn’t hearing it. Call it selective hearing or dead batteries in his hearing aid, but he wasn’t having any of what the doctor was telling him!  A few days later, dad was able to go home with the understanding he needed to attend cardiac rehab and do a stress test in about a month. No surgery planned “yet” but there is still the possibility, we will know at the end of September.

Wednesday finally rolled around and I had yet another painful poke. The phlebotomist commented on me looking like a domestic violence victim which I thought was pretty funny. I get stabbed with the smallest of needles and it leaves a massive bruise. The bruises don’t hurt, they just look awful! hCG went from 112 to 294, ultrasound is on August 30th!!!!

Surrogacy

Second Implant….

Late in July, I flew back to Toronto and let me tell you from the moment I stepped into the airport it was a mess! The initial flight was delayed by about two hours. Not a big deal, I would just read a magazine at the airport. I was sort of trapped there since I had my dad drop me off and he was now heading back home (40 miles from the airport) and everyone else I knew was working since it was 11am on a Thursday. The two-hour delay quickly turned into a five-hour delay and then the flight was canceled.

We were all herded like cattle down the stairs back to the counter to “see” if they could get us on the next flight or if it would be the following day. After standing in line for nearly an hour and a half, I got up to the counter and was told that they could get me on a 4:45pm flight through Minneapolis that would get me to Toronto at about 1am. I did a little sweet talking and told the agent why I was going to Toronto in the first place and she told me to move to the end of the counter on the left and a different airline would get me on a flight through Chicago in 30 minutes and I would be in Toronto at about 10pm. I’m so glad I can be nice when necessary!

The flight to Chicago was pretty much the same as any flight I’ve been on, there is someone next to me that doesn’t smell like me (Jayde says I have a smell that only she would recognize and others ask the perfume I’m wearing because they would like some and since I never wear any, it must mean that I smell good), there isn’t enough leg room and it’s either too hot or too cold. We landed in Chicago on time and I now had an hour and a half to waste. I guess it was time to find something to eat that wasn’t the typical overpriced airport food. After I ate, I found my way back to the gate that I was “supposed” to be and only to find out there was a gate change. Walking halfway across the airport to the new gate, I found out the flight had been delayed…..AGAIN! I now would be in Toronto at about 11pm.

Once on the plane, I tried to turn my phone off and all that happened is that it zoomed into a small section of the middle of the screen. Anyone with an iPhone knows you can’t do anything from the middle of the screen. I was able to scroll one pixel at a time from top to bottom so I thought once I made it to the top of the screen, I’d be able to scroll one pixel at a time from left to right to turn the phone off. Nope! The left to right scrolling on the overzoomed screen didn’t work at all. So now the flight was delayed again because I couldn’t turn my phone off. I sat there and laughed and the people around me looked at me in disgust. The flight attendant initially said we couldn’t leave until the phone was turned off but after trying over and over again herself, told me just to put it in my pocket. I wonder what the TWA would think about that?

When I went to put the phone in my pocket, it happened, the worst thing that could possibly happen that day. I spilled Cran-Grape juice on my pillow! This may sound trivial but this action nearly brought me to tears. Those who know me well, know that I’m a bit of a sheet snob and that I spend more on my sheets than I do on my car insurance…..for the entire year! I sat there staring at the purple stain on my pillow in disbelief. My favorite set of perfectly colored sage green pillow cases now had a purple stain that was going to dry and be impossible to get out. Those of you who know me even better know that I’ve got a feather pillow that travels everywhere with me. Yes everywhere! And those of you who have taken the time to listen about my 20 pound pillow will know it’s a very special pillow, that I’ve had it nearly all my life and it was made for me by a member of my family that is no longer with us. She stripped the stem from thousands of feathers giving me a pillow that weighs more than a sack of flour. Jayde has indicated it is the one item of mine that she REALLY wants. Everything else, she can buy on her own.

After I FINALLY made it to Toronto, I breezed through customs because there were no other flights arriving at 11pm. Got a cab and dreaded the 30 minute ride to the hotel. The cab driver was one of those drivers that insisted on talking to me the entire time so I pretended to be completely involved in something on my computer in hopes that me ignoring “why are you in Toronto” types of questions wasn’t too upsetting to him.

I checked into the hotel in hopes of finding some restaurant that would still be open at 11:30 and other than a few bars, I found nothing. Who would think that in Fargo, I could drive a few blocks and find any number of places to eat but in a city the size of Toronto, and being in downtown Toronto, I wasn’t able to find anything? That’s just messed up! At least my implant wasn’t going to be until 11:20 the following morning so I would be able to sleep a bit later and find somewhere for breakfast.

Bring on the water……I drank the required amount of water AFTER I got to CReATe this time, knowing that I could drink it rather quickly and that most likely the doctor would be late. The “required” amount of water, seemed like an entire bathtub full once it’s in my bladder. I didn’t have Ronen or Gadi with me this time to distract me from time passing far too slowly so I listened to an audiobook on my phone. Chapter 1, sit and wait. Chapter 27, still waiting. Chapter 34, I get up to ask how much longer it’s going to be because I REALLY needed to pee! I was told it would be “soon”. Chapter 51 (2 1/2 hours after my implant time was supposed to be) it’s my turn to get on the table. My stomach is ultrasounded and I was told I was “too full” and that I needed to go pee about three cups. How is someone to accurately gauge three cups when they have 40 gallons of pee that needs to come out?

I was shown these two beauties and three minutes later I was back in my chair to finish my audio book before heading back to the hotel for some much-needed food and to stay in bed. On my previous implant, by the time I made it back to the room, I took a few hour nap, this time all I could think was how much I wanted a steak! At 6, I called Ruth Chris‘s steak house to see if there was availability for a lonely party of one (yes I said that). Yes, they could get me a table at 7:15. By the time I hung up the phone, my mouth was watering, stomach growling and I was already counting the seconds until I could head over to get one of what I believe to be the most perfect steaks ever cooked for me. This is my splurge every time I’m in Toronto because personally I think it’s insane to pay close to $100 for ONE meal!