Archive for January, 2010

Vegging Out

January 29, 2010

We are 48 hours past transfer and I’ve been camped out on the couch for two days now. The kids’ room looks like a tornado blew through but over all they have been very chill and helpful. Today, my neighbor stopped by and my daughter announced, “My mom has a baby in her belly and it’s not ours.” She’s a great conversation starter. I’ve been pampered with meal deliveries from some of my favorite restaurants and am stocked up with magazines, books, and movies. It’s a bit hard to fully relax when I feel so good but I am adhering to the doctor’s orders and taking it easy. I’ve had some very mild cramping which I’m hoping is that little embryo getting cozy and implanting into my uterine wall. Grow baby, grow!

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Transfer Complete!

January 27, 2010

Mom and dad to be drove me down to our appointment today; it was a nice time to catch up on our lives and this incredible experience we’re going through. The doctor was a bit behind schedule so I ended up drinking a ton of water during the wait. They like a full bladder for the procedure to get a better view of the uterus but don’t want you to be too uncomfortable. So, after using the restroom twice during the hour and a half wait, I had to fill up again! I imagined going back into a sterile operating type room for the procedure but it was done in an exam room much like the ones used for regular check ups. This one had a small window that opened into the embryologist’s lab. A corner of the counter top had numerous fertility symbols: a stuffed rabbit, Kokopelli, Ganesh, and a laughing Buddha with babies. A silver inlaid wooden cross and a brass bell were placed upon the table next to the bed. I think all of the bases were covered. I first met with the nurse who went over post transfer instructions, then dressed in the gown and booties and took my valium to aid in relaxation for the rest of the day. Mom to be was in the room with me for the transfer. Guided by an ultrasound, the doctor inserted the catheter to get the right positioning and then called for the embryo through the window. We were able to see the little pocket of air surrounding it as it went into my uterus. It was quick and painless. The doctor and nurse then adjusted the bed to a full recline, where I rested for about 20 minutes. After the procedure I was wheeled to the restroom, then out to the car to keep me as immobile as possible. The valium made me a little light headed but in a good way and when I got home, I dozed off for awhile feeling very peaceful. The next couple days will be filled with reading, movies and eating on the couch. My next appointment is on the 1st to check my progesterone and estrogen levels followed by a pregnancy test on February 6th! It is such a different excitement knowing this is not my baby. I can’t imagine the anticipation the parents feel, waiting on this little miracle.

Fertility Noodles and Happy Shrimp

January 26, 2010

While searching bigoven.com for shrimp ideas, I came across a fabulous recipe, Long Life Fertility Noodles and Happy Shrimp, by Jaden Heir, which was perfectly fitting for dinner tonight. Her website Steamy Kitchen.com captured my interest with her recipes, writing and beautiful food photographs. The noodles are said to be good for long life and the pea pods and sesame seeds symbolize fertility. Accompanied by sautéed edamame and veggie egg rolls, and with the company of a few fabulous friends, my tummy was happy indeed. I am getting my house in order and stocking the fridge with quick meal fixes, snacks and juice boxes that the kids can easily access during my two and a half days of bed rest. I have friends and sitters coming by to keep me and the kids sane and I’m looking forward to a little down time. Thank goodness for all of my wonderful friends and family for their support throughout the process this far. Tomorrow is the big day! I finished all of my prescriptions, not missing a single dose. I continue with the daily Progesterone and bi weekly Delestrogen injections through 10 weeks of the pregnancy. My hips are feeling the pain making my hot rice pillow an extra appendage these days. Best wishes to all of my surro-friends transferring in the next couple days as well. Sending out positive thoughts to all!

I did it!

January 24, 2010

I’m not very good at being dependent. So, this morning I decided I was going to try again with the self injection. My last one was the Delestrogen and it was horribly painful and slightly traumatizing. Today was 2 mL of Progesterone in Oil, sesame oil to be specific. Taking the advice of an experienced surrogate, I used the following method:

Intramuscular Injection

· Heat injection site (I used my rice therapy pillow)

· Draw circles in permanent marker of target (I had the nurse do this at my last appointment)

· Heat up Progesterone (wrapped it up in the rice pillow)

· Lay on side

· Relax (I put on some groovy music – Ass Back to Brooklyn “I’m a go left, you can go right” by Orlando Napier)

· Insert needle quickly, then inject slowly

· Apply heat to area

This time it wasn’t bad at all! I am a little sore in both hip areas from the injections and have been using my hot pillows regularly. It’s the kind of soreness you get after walking right into a piece of furniture, the really deep bruising. Three more days until transfer, yay!

Daily Progesterone in Oil Injection – This needle goes into my hip muscle!

Conversations with a Four Year Old

January 22, 2010

My daughter and I were eating ice cream for dessert and I mentioned that I’ll probably want to eat a lot of ice cream when I have a baby in my belly. I craved frozen yogurt and Mexican food with both of my kids. So, our conversation started up again about the surrogacy.

Me:     Next week they are going to put in the itty bitty egg.

K:      Are they going to cut you open?

Me:     No.

K:      Are they putting it in your butt?

Me:    No.

K:      In your mouth!?

Me:    No, they put it in down where my pee pee is.

K:      Ewww.

My son is too young to understand what’s going on (he’s 18 months) but I’ve been talking to my four year old about it since the very beginning. I knew that she’d overhear conversations about it and I didn’t want her to be wondering or confused about anything. She’s more excited about the toy she’ll get to pick out when the baby is born, like she did when I had her brother.

I had my first Progesterone shot this morning. It took a lot longer to inject but so far no bruising or bumps. Thankfully, two of my friends who are in paramedic school are enjoying getting some training in so I don’t have to stress about giving it to myself. Daily injections for ten weeks is a long time though; I’m sure one of these days I will get some courage and do it on my own.

All went well with the retrieval today and fertilization is under way!

The Excitement Begins!

January 21, 2010

I ventured through the pouring rain to my doctor’s appointment this morning. The beach is littered with sailboats that have washed ashore and there seems to be no reprieve in this storm. Although I lived in the Northwest for six years when I was growing up and had to fishtail on a gravel road in driver’s ed, I still don’t like driving in harsh weather. Thunder, lightning and torrential downpours would be considered harsh here in southern California. My lining measured at a 13, which is a good number. I have to increase my Delestrogen to .3 mL get my estrogen levels up a little. Tonight is my last night of Lupron and I start Progesterone tomorrow morning. Yes, the big scary needles going into my hip muscle. I got my drug sheet today with the dates and doses of medication for the next five days. Here’s what my daily drug schedule looks like:

1/21     last Lupron injection

Delestrogen .3 mL

1/22     start Progesterone 1 mL in the morning

Start Doycycline. Twice daily (with breakfast and dinner) for 5 days

Start Medrol (take at lunch) for 5 days

1/23     Increase Progesterone to 2 mL (continue daily until pregnancy test)

1/24    Delestrogen .3mL (continue on Thursdays and Sundays until pregnancy test)

1/27     Day of transfer. Bring valium with me to office.

Doycycline and Medrol are used to ward of infection and suppress inflammation after the transfer. The valium is so I’m nice and relaxed when they put in the embryo.

Mom and dad to be are going in tomorrow to hand over their DNA to make a baby. Wednesday I go in and then it’s up to the doctor, embryologist and my uterus to plant the seed and grow them a little miracle!

Virgin Merlot, Please

January 19, 2010

I will not lie, I miss wine. These rainy days have gotten me in the mood to cook, and with cooking usually comes a nice glass of cabernet. Tonight I made a delicious blended lentil soup with garlic, onions, cumin and fresh lemon juice. While at the store, I decided to venture over to the wine isle and check out the selection of non alcoholic wines. There was only one kind, with three varietals to choose from – merlot, chardonnay or white zinfandel. I obviously went with the red and had low hopes of high satisfaction. I went with the advice, if you don’t have any expectations, you won’t be disappointed. After seeing the movie Sideways, I’ve mentally snubbed merlots for years. This one is by Fre, and has “fresh raspberry-scented aromas and smooth, fruity flavors that will enhance your favorite meals or any occasion calling for a sophisticated alcohol free alternative”. The screw top slightly reduces that sophistication but it’s definitely more enjoyable than a glass of grape juice.

My nightly Lupron injections are now as routine as brushing my teeth but I am still dreading ever giving myself a big intramuscular shot again. I had a nurse friend over on Sunday to help me with the delestrogen as I still don’t have the courage to jab myself again…yet. My next appointment is Thursday to check my uterine lining and estrogen levels. By then we’ll have a clearer timeline for the embryo transfer, we are one week away!

Split Pea Soup

January 17, 2010

It’s a rainy day, the perfect day to make split pea soup and warm French bread. I love cooking in the crock pot. By the time dinner is ready you have forgotten that you were the one who made it. It’s like someone else is cooking for you. Here’s my recipe that my kids and I LOVE. I adapted it from one I found on the Whole Foods website. If you are the meat eating kind, theirs is probably great too. I have my dreaded Delestrogen shot tonight and I’m having a nurse friend over to assist me. Once I get to Progesterone (which will be daily) I want to be able to do them on my own without traumatizing myself. Mom to be has been busy growing eggs and handling her meds well. She has 30+ eggs! T-10 days and counting!

Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

1 (16-oz) package dried green split peas, rinsed
1 cup sliced baby carrots
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 ribs celery plus leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Liquid smoke to taste
6 cups vegetable broth

Method

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given, adding the broth last. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on high 4—5 hours or on low 8—10 hours until peas are very soft. It will thicken up once you stir it and the peas should look almost pureed.


I’m Not So Brave After All

January 14, 2010

Sticking freakishly big needles into my hip muscle is awful. I managed to give myself the Delestrogen shot tonight but it was horrible. When given to me, I barely felt a thing. Doing it myself, OUCH! I don’t know if it was the angle or maybe my muscle was tense, but it was painful. I put the needle halfway in, couldn’t go any further then started again. The second poke was just as bad and I started to feel queasy. Racing heartbeat, nausea, and pain are not a good combo when you have a large needle jabbed into your side. Thankfully these are only twice a week, so I can get help, but the Progesterone is going to be daily for weeks. I’m a little frightened.

Looking Good

January 13, 2010

While sitting in the waiting room today, I was deeply engrossed in my book when they called a man’s name. I looked up and saw a tall, dark, and handsome man walk back into the clinic. Sperm donor? I immediately thought. It seems like they have a pretty easy job. I’m getting used to our weekly routine now. First they do an ultra sound to check my uterus lining. Today it was at 10, which the doctor said was perfect. Next I had blood drawn, three vials this time. Two for screenings that they missed last week and one to check my estrogen level. Then I met with the nurse to schedule next week’s appointment and stock up on supplies. My next appointment is next Thursday; the same day mom to be should be going in for egg retrieval. I got a call this afternoon saying everything looks good. They are leaving me at .025 mL of Lupron and increasing the Delestrogen from .2 to .25 mL. I’m feeling happy, healthy and ready for a baby in my belly!