Friday, December 7, 2012

26 weeks 4 days

Lori had an ultrasound yesterday at 26w4days. The boys are looking great. They were a little shy, so we weren't able to get any good pictures of them. Baby A is weighing 2 pounds, 7 ounces with a heart rate of 130. Baby B weighs 2 pounds, 8 ounces with a heart rate of 140. Lori says they are very active little babies. We are going down for a visit on the 22nd, so we will finally (hopefully) be able to feel them moving and jiving! We will be having a 3D ultrasound, the last one Joe and I will probably attend I believe. We are getting closer and closer to the scheduled c-section date, Feb 22! They are growing so nicely, that we pray they continue to grow and stay put until then!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 1: complete

I knew it'd be tough inducing lactation, but I didn't realize how tough it'd be, mostly mentally. I am struggling mentally to keep this cycle going. At times I feel completely trapped and unable to breath. Then other times, I feel very optimistic and excited to be pumping in order to build up my supply to breast feed the twins. I'm not sure what is my hormones levels talking and what is reality. It's hard to explain, really. I have social anxiety already. I've had it since I can remember, but I was diagnosed with it almost 2 years ago. I was on medicine to get my anxiety under control. I am now currently off my medicine and I can really notice a difference. I have managed without meds for about a year, doing pretty good. But then I started birth control. That messed with my emotions, my thoughts, feelings, anxiety levels, everything. They leveled out once I got used to being on the pills. Fast forward 6 months, to where I am at now. I have been off birth control pills since Sunday basically. I have noticed I am very anxious about this whole breast feeding/pumping thing. When I am pumping, I feel good. I am getting some milk. Maybe a few drops from each breast. Enough to form a small puddle in the bottles. When I am not pumping, I feel like I have a ball and chain attached to me. I have the constant anxiety about timing and having to pump again right when I just finished (or so it feels like anyways). I am trying to have the mindset that if I pump, I pump. If not, it will be okay and I will pump when I can. The recommended amount of pumping is 8 times a day. Now that is extreme to me. I am trying my best to stick to every 3 hours for now. I get anxious thinking I will be pumping every 3 hours for 12 more weeks. It feels like doomsday. I don't want it to feel like doomsday. I am taking it day by day. I am trying to feel encouraged. I know breast is best. But is my goal of breast feeding twins realistic, especially with my disease? I honestly do not know. Joe has been very encouraging and supportive, but is that because he thinks I want this more than maybe I do? I really cannot say. My mind is torn right now. I am fearful that once the babies come, I will be either breast feeding or bottle feeding them all.day.long. I can't do that. I will go crazy. What's a realistic idea of what's to come? How will it all work?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pumping

After several different events these past couple days, I have decided to start pumping. Pray for me. I am a ball of emotions all wound up into one. I will post more after a few days of pumping :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

So much...

To be thankful for. What an amazing past few weeks we've had. To start, the gender reveal party was a huge success. I had such an unforgettable time. As Lori shared, we are having TWO BOYS!!! I had a feeling they'd be boys from the beginning, but thought they possibly could be b/g twins. For the first reveal, Lori had put the color of baby A sex in a box. She wrapped it up and Joe, Clark and I opened the box together in front of everyone. I immediately starting crying when I saw the blue balloons float out. I desperately wanted another boy in our family, especially since our first boy's name had a special middle name honoring my brother who passed 7 years ago. We then went inside where the sex of baby B was the dyed top tier of our "present" cake. What an amazing job the bakery did on the cake!! Couldn't have imagined it any way else. Beautiful. Once again the 3 of us gathered behind the cake. We cut into it and it was blue! Here's where I finally knew what my heart's desire was. Please do not get me wrong... I am over the moon happy! But in that moment of seeing blue, I cried a little for my loss of having a girl. I never realized how I really felt until it became real to me. I'll be the queen bee of a house of boys. I cried when I cut into it, but mostly because I just was so overwhelmed and happy! Many viewed my emotional display as sadness of it being a boy and not a girl. Totally not true. I am just so happy to be HAVING babies that I ultimately didn't care. He was in control and knows the perfect plan for us. He knows we can do boys. We are by no means wealthy. And having 2 more boys will totally help us. We have so many clothes, toys, etc of Clark's that I'm happy they can be used again by the boys. They will be able to share a room all together once they are a little older. They will room with us the first year or so of their lives. That way, it gives Clark some time to adjust to their presence without throwing him right into a new situation on top of going from not sharing the spotlight to now having to "share" mom and dad with two more babies.
I have been asked by many people if we will have more children, especially now with having 2 more boys. I originally kept saying probably not, that I'm completely blessed and thankful to be a family of 5. Also, I'd like to complete this journey before I start thinking of having more because I feel selfish and ungrateful then. I don't want to discredit this journey, this blessing of twins because of a want for more. I want to see how things go in the next few months before their births and then a few months after they're here before I start really being serious again. I'd love to have my little girl someday. Is that in our future? I really don't know. If God allows it, I'll welcome it. But if we are only meant to have these three boys, then I am completely at peace with that as well. I love Lori so much and am just so thankful every day that we are going through this together. I am so blessed and I owe the glory all to Him.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gender Reveal Party!!!!!

What a great party! Lisa did an amazing job on all the decorations didn't she?!?! And the babies are.......boys boys boys!!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

20 weeks..

We've *finally* hit a monumental milestone ~ 20 weeks! That means we have less than 20 weeks until the twins arrive!! Lori has the anatomy scan on the 24th, then she packs up her family and heads up to Chicago Thursday night until Sunday!!!! I am so excited to see them all, but most especially her growing belly!! She texted me a picture the other morning, and she really looks to be popping! It makes me so happy :) She also is feeling them move a lot more the past couple days, although nothing on the outside yet. Maybe when she visits, they will show off for their mommy and daddy by moving around so we can feel them! Oh, also some big news. We FINALLY will find out their sexes this upcoming Saturday!!!!! No more 'its' 'baby a' or 'baby b.' The 16 week question mark of their sexes will finally be answered! I am leaning towards two boys. Joe thinks they are a boy and a girl, as does Clark. Lori thinks they are two girls (yes, she does know what they are, but she's been campaigning girls since before she found out). We will be having a gender reveal party on Saturday with all our close friends and family where we will all find out together :) I will make sure to take tons of pictures and video of the party and post them here afterwards. It should be lots of fun.
In other baby news, we have started cleaning up our bedroom and making room for the babies. They will live with us in our room for the first year of their lives. We will be purchasing new cribs for them, as the one that Clark had just seems too big for our needs now especially since we need two of them. So very exciting, trying to stay patient and not run right now to Ikea to buy them! Haha. :) Will post more after the party! Happy 20 weeks to us!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Inducing Lactation

I have been taking birth control pills and another drug to help induce lactation so I can try breast feeding the twins when they arrive. I started them back in July after we were safely into our pregnancy. I noticed the physical changes (heavy breasts, increase in breast size- which all have subsided now). I just recently have been experiencing the emotional effects of them (or I believe they are due to the meds). It started last Monday. People who know me know that I am not an overly emotional person. I don't often cry or anything like that. Clark was playing his batman game with Joe. I kept giving him warnings that it was almost time for bed. When the time came for bed, he had a melt down. He didn't want to stop playing his game, understandable, he's only 3.5. I comforted him and said we'd play again the next time, but it was time for bed. Of course, cue the stalling tactics. He decided he was hungry. He had already had dinner earlier in the night. He wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I refused to make it for him because again, he already had eaten. Another melt down started. He asked Joe and Joe made him one. He had his chocolate milk, regular milk, and the sandwich at his disposal. Decided to fiddle around instead of eating. Kept reminding him to eat because it was bed time. Ate a few bites, then of course was thirsty. Finally he was full and no longer thirsty, I said it was time for bed. Another melt down. I finally somehow got him into his room and in bed. He stopped crying. As I was leaving his room, he called my name. (cue my tears starting to form even though it's been over a week since this has happened, emotional much? :) ) He said the cutest things to me. That boy really melts my heart. I left his room, went straight to my bed and starting sobbing. Sobbing for the amazing son I have, sobbing because he's 3 years old, turning 4 in 3 months. Sobbing because I missed my brother so much and for Clark who will never have an Uncle Eric as his buddy. Sobbing because life just goes by so incredibly fast and I miss all those who are no longer with us. Sobbing for my fate. Thinking of how in a few short years, Clark will be older and "too cool" to care what I think about his actions. About how he one day will experience the loss of his mommy. Will he be angry? Will he think I was selfish for having him when I "knew" my "prognosis"? Will he remember all the good times we had growing up? Yes, this all stemmed from a few words of a precious little boy. He heard me crying, and he came into my room. He rubbed my back and said "mommy, are you mad at me?" Of course I wasn't mad. My heart was so full of love for this boy, love that I have always had, but never fully experienced in this type of way before. It still chokes me up, still makes me miss those past 3.5 years. I want him to have the best memories of him and I spending time together. And I know in my heart he will. Because I know we have had the best 3.5 years so far together. And I plan to stay around for the next 35 years (at least, God willing).
Come friday night. Joe picks us up Jimmy John sandwiches. I text him my order. #17 no lettuce, no mayo. Very excited. Been craving JJ for a few weeks. Get my sandwich, head into my room to rest and watch some regular non-Batman television. Unwrap the sandwich. There's lettuce AND mayo on my sandwich. Cue the waterworks. Yep, crying like a baby (!?). Of course Joe doesn't understand why I am crying. I don't even understand why I am crying!! I look nuts, and I feel out of control. That's when I just know these hormones are starting to mess with me. It's not always going to be roses, but I want to provide the best possibility for myself with the twins and my ability to breast feed them. If it means being tapped into my more sensitive, emotional side to be able to experience the amazing bond with my babies, than that is nothing! :) I haven't had any "incidents" since. I laugh about it because I know that it's normal. Hormones do screwy things to some people. This to shall pass. It'll all be worth it holding those precious gifts from God in my arms :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Belly shot

Less than a week until our elective 3d/4d ultrasound! Very exciting. Not only will we see the babies again, but it'll be for a full 20-30 min! Just pure fun, relaxed, enjoyable time with Lori, her DH and children and my husband and son. I haven't seen the babies since 9 weeks, so almost 8 weeks later! It'll be so awesome to see how much they've grown and changed. I'm so excited for Clark to see them again. He's very very excited to have the babies. He doesn't understand yet that it just doesn't happen overnight, even though I wish it did. They need to grow until end of February :) I think he's going to be most excited for the finding the genders out! He is sticking by a boy and a girl. I used to have strong feeling of it being 2 boys but now I just haven't a clue! Lucky Lori knows! Haha I thought it would kill me for her knowing so far in advance from us knowing, but it really isn't a big deal to me. I like to harass her every once and awhile with questions of what they are, but I in no way really want the answer yet. My heart is set on finding out our special way surrounded by all the people who love and have supported us through this entire journey. I wouldn't imagine it any other way. Only 34 more days... :-P

Left picture: 13 weeks Right: 15 weeks

Friday, September 14, 2012

Oops!

Went for my Doctor appointment today. My heartbeat was too loud and they couldn't hear the babies over it so we did an ultrasound. They look fantastic! Strong heartbeats! Moving all around!

Oops the doctor and I got a peek between their little legs!!!! I have seen both boy and girl parts with my own babies and it looks like we have a good guess for both babies! The doctor said he wasn't at all sure but he had a guess for each.

Now the wait!!!!!! Till our next ultrasound to be 100% sure!! Then the wait til Oct 27 to share with family and friends and of course MOM and DAD!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Not surrogacy related...

I am feeling pretty low and down tonight. Trying to sort through my emotions and thoughts on this, but fairly close to tears at this point. I feel like I'm always the "bad guy." I feel like all I do is discipline and yell at Clark (and his cousin). I am very hard on him because I want him to grow up to be a well behaved child who listens when spoken to. I don't want him to hurt others, or run around like a wild banshee. I want to know that I can leave him in the care of someone else and he will behave himself, keep his hands to himself, and be on his best behavior. Now, I just feel helpless and defeated. He doesn't listen a good portion of the time, he does it out of spite. Yes, I realize he's only three years, 9 months. I just feel like a failure. I suck at parenting him. I don't know how to be a good mom. (I'm not doing this for a pat on the back saying oh you are a great parent, Lisa. That's not it. I really, honestly feel defeated.) I want to raise him loving God, loving himself, loving his friends and family, loving life, and his parents. I had a long day with him today, and made mistakes. Sometimes I get caught up in the moment and get very frustrated and angry. I've tried over and over to change my ways and just to be a chilled parent who lets their child explore and enjoy life, but sometimes it just can't work that way. I do not know what a happy medium is. And I'm afraid I'm already on this path and I can't get off it or change course. Please pray for me. I need God's guidance and encouragement. If I can't be a good parent to Clark, how can I help him when the babies come? How can I raise 3 kids under the age of 5? Hopefully some sleep will help, but I need more than that. But what? I feel like an old cranky woman who people hate to be around because let's face it, I'm not fun. All I do is yell, yell, yell at my child. Ugh. I hate this person I am.
~Lisa

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Big scare!!!!

Monday night I was lying in the couch after work and small group. At about 11 pm I stood to go to bed and felt a gush of fluid. I went to the bathroom and was terrified to see bright red. I called my dr and while I waited for the after hours to call back I got in the car to go to the ER.

The bleeding was heavy and I was very worried. I called Lisa to let her know what was going on. And my SIL met me at the hospital. Finally after the long terrible wait they did an ultrasound. Baby A had a good strong heartbeat and Baby B was moving so much we could get one. Thank God. That was a huge blessing. Lisa and joe came to town for my doctor appointment. We had an ultrasound and again the babies looked great. I have a SCH or sub chorionic hemorrhage. Looks like it is in a great spot. Below the babies! So it isn't affecting them at all. So now we just pray it stops bleeding soon.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Baby bump

It can't be denied in this maternity skirt! There is no hiding it here! I am still wearing regular clothes but I need a skirt and this is a cute one. Baby bump is definitely there today. 11 weeks and I can't deny it. No sucking in can help. Baby bump wins!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Facebook Reveal

In our generation, nothing "feels" real until it is "Facebook Official." Joe and I have been going back and forth as to when we would share this amazing secret with everyone and how we would do it. The big debate amongst the pregnancy world is how far along in pregnancy do you feel "safe" enough to announce your pregnancy - 8 weeks, 12 weeks, when the baby is in your arms? We believe very strongly in God and His amazing powers that no matter when we would share this news, that He would care for us no matter what happened. Why not celebrate His amazing gifts to our family, as He has been so faithful and brought us through so many trials and tribulations, that we just needed to celebrate! We have received such positive responses. I cannot wait for these two blessings to be surrounded by such loving family and friends! I know Clark doesn't fully grasp that once the babies come, they will be with us forever, but I can tell he is absorbing the idea and LOVING it! He is so sweet with his little cousin, Elouise, and Lori's little one, Bella. He will make a wonderful, caring big brother from day one. I am so excited for him. I always envisioned him having 2 more siblings and our prayers have been answered. This is my gift to him. My heart truly is overflowing with emotions. It could just be all the hormones I am taking ;-)
In other news, I just started taking the proper medicines to induce lactation. I am hoping to breast feed, most likely not exclusively, for these babies. I have a realistic view that I may not be able to provide them with all they need, but can give them as much as I can and supplement with either formula or if Lori decides to pump, her milk. I am almost a week into the medicines. I will stay on them until about 6 weeks before the babies' due date, which is March 10. We do not think we will have the babies in March, but most likely late February. So I will plan to start pumping the end of December most likely. I am praying that I can provide all the twins need, but I will be so happy just to even breast feed, no matter how much! It is such a bonding experience, one that means so much to me. I am not able to feel their movements inside of me, or help them grow into babies, so this is the next special thing. I tried it with Clark, but I did not produce enough and both he and I grew frustrated so I had to succumb to the bottle. I do regret it, but hey, nothing I can do about it now. He is an amazing boy who loves his mommy very much despite my inability to breast feed past the hospital stay. With these two, I will give them my promise to fully commit to trying to get my body ready for their arrival. I know the road isn't going to be easy, but nothing worthwhile is easy :) Please pray that my body responds accordingly to the medicines and can begin the process of producing milk. Also, pray for Lori and the babies. We are so close to leaving the first trimester and entering the second trimester! We have our first OB appointment Aug 17, where we will hopefully get some unanswered questions answered. We'd love for the babies to be born at the same hospital that her three children were, but we are unsure yet if that is an option. Thank you for taking the time to read and pray for us. We really appreciate it! Here are some cute pictures I took to announce our joyous news!



The boys at the Children's Museum Chicago


Bella trying to help build


Hot, hot day at Pirate's Cove




Waiting for the Superheroes show

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm pregnant! I can tell!!

Having some pregnancy symptoms! Major cravings and strong aversions. Not quite morning sickness but definitely picky about what I can eat. With each child I have carried I have had a craving in the 3rd trimester for lucky charms. I am 8 weeks pregnant and have already had about 10 bowls. I never eat it when I am not pregnant. Also with each pregnancy brushing my teeth makes me gag. Happening to me now too.

It is said that with twins your symptoms happen earlier and twice as strong. The one symptom I have noticed this with is fatigue. I am so tired. Body tired and sleep tired. Just tired. So far I am doing great just feeling pregnant now!!!! Wanted to share my first trimester symptoms!

Cravings
Powdered doughnuts
Bananas
Lucky charms
Cottage cheese
Pickles
WATER
Green olives

Saturday, July 21, 2012

6 weeks, 5 days

Joe and I left for southern Illinois Thursday afternoon. We went to Lori and Ryan's church college group where we got to be apart of something that means so much to Lori. The men then decided to go to the midnight show of Batman while Lori and I spent some amazing time together at her house. We were then up nice and early, on the road for the doctor at 8:30. After some breakfast to help calm our nerves, we arrived at the office. Our appointment wasn't until 10, but we thought we could go in earlier if arrived earlier. We were correct! :) We got the most amazing, sweet ultrasound tech, who spent so much time with us, showing us everything babies' related. We saw both hearts beating away. It was just breathtaking to see our unborn twins' hearts beating. Baby A's heart rate was 120, and Baby B's heart rate was 114. They were measuring 6w5d and 6w4d which is perfect. We even got to hear their heart beats <3 oh boy. I cannot wait until I can have them recorded and listen to them whenever I want. The u/s tech also switched to 3d, so we got to see both peas in 3d! What a sight. She was just a blessing, as I know both Lori and I were nervous going to this specific office after the coldness Lori experienced last time. What a completely opposite experience this time! She even gave Joe and I plenty of pictures of our twins!! We heard from our nurse from FCI who said Lori's progesterone levels looked great, the babies' growths were great, as were their heart rates. Our official due date is March 10, 2013! We will have another appointment, our last one, with our RE August 2nd. We will have another peak at the babies, followed by a quick consult with the RE and then he will wish us well! Not sure when the first OB appointment will be, but we are getting closer to that wonderful line, the 2nd trimester!




Friday, July 13, 2012

And babies make 3...

There are TWO babies!!! They both are snuggled soundly in. They are measuring right on schedule, with one measuring 5 weeks, 6 days and the other one measuring 6 weeks, 0 days. We did not get to see the heart beats yet, we were just shy of seeing them. We have another ultrasound scheduled for next Friday where we should see them growing accordingly and see their little hearts beating. It was such an amazing experience today. Our ultrasound tech was wonderful. She was the sweetest woman. We were so nervous and just anxious to see something. She was so talkative and explained everything she was looking for and measuring. It was quite a surprise, but not really at the same time, to see the 2 sacs. I know all our eyes got so big and tears started forming for me. They are so amazing already! The u/s tech took a full view of both sacs and they looked like an owl. So neat. They had the yolk sacs and we saw the little babies inside them. Everything else looked great. Lori had blood work done. We spoke with one of our nurses and she said everything was looking great. God is so awesome. We are so blessed. I know my heart is full. Clark was so happy to hear the news! We kept pretty hush (or I did anyways) until we met my and my DH's family for lunch. Everyone was so excited and curious to know if we were having one or two babies. When we told them TWO! everyone was so thrilled! My mom seemed a bit shocked, but she will warm up to the idea quickly. :) It was so wonderful to see my dad actually become excited and look at the pictures so warmly. He was so happy and talkative to Lori and Ryan, which was so great. We had such a wonderful time spending the whole day with Lori and Ryan. They are just such amazing people and I can't imagine sharing this experience with anyone else. Thank you God!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's digitally official

Ok this is good reassuring news to see. Lori took this digital test last night. Last time, the digital test was not our friend. We are 19 days past our transfer. Last time we transferred, it was this day that we received the worst news we could imagine. No babies. We had been getting positive pregnancy tests, our Beta numbers were doubling, and when we went for our ultrasound, there were no babies. It was gut wrenching to be in the same room with Lori, Ryan, and Joe during that time. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. I just wanted to be alone so they wouldn't see how devastated I was. So it was hard for me (and I'm sure Lori) to approach this day without having some anxiety. We just want this so, so bad and to see that "Pregnant" come up on the digital was such a wonderful feeling. Am I anxious/worried about tomorrow's ultrasound? I'd be lying to myself if I said I wasn't. I'm nervous, anxious, all of the above emotions because it still feels raw from last time. I know in my heart that things this cycle have been WAY better, like no comparison, but you can't forget the past... God has been so amazing and faithful to both of us, and that is something I cling to for comfort. I know He is watching over the baby(ies) and giving them encouragement and love to keep growing. They are already loved so much, more than they realize. So many people are so excited and praying for them. I know God will be with us tomorrow no matter what. We are having the ultrasound at the same office. I originally had us scheduled at the Highland Park office, where we had all my monitoring and transfer through, but their policy only permits 2 people in the room during the ultrasound. It means so much for all FOUR of us to be in the room together to experience this, because let's face it, all four of us have invested so much time, love, energy into creating these babies, creating a loving environment for them, that how can any one of us be denied that first moment of seeing them on the big screen again. So we will be going through the original office, and I was told that another ultrasound tech helps out on Fridays as they are so busy. I spoke with our nurse and told her our preference to not have the same ultrasound tech as last time. So we are praying that we will have the floater one instead. If not, then it is what it is and nothing will change our experience this time. Please pray for us, for the babies. Help them stay strong and continue to grow, grow, grow! Will update as soon as we are done with our appointment tomorrow! Until then...


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Good news

Unsurrogacy related, but I felt it was important to share. Wanted to extend a huge congrats to Lori!!! She passed her pharmacology licensing test!! She is now the proud pharmacist of two licenses!! :-) congrats Lori! Love you and the Cross family is so proud of you!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ultrasound decided!

Ok so we have officially decided to go for Friday the 13. That is the day the nurse said she wanted us there and lets be honest. We aren't the most patient people! So 3 days sooner is a blessing! So Friday July 13 we will know for sure! Just to know there is 1 heathy baby will just be such a relief!

Honestly this is the day I am most excited about and at the same time the most nervous! Our numbers are so much better this time so I am really praying we get good news! But I have to admit I am still really nervous. This was the worst day last time with terrible news. Here we are again! I am just praying for the news that there is a beautiful heathy baby with a heartbeat! Anything else would be a huge bonus! Please pray for us!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Second Beta 7/5

13 days past our 5 day transfer and our beta is .... 1801! It's a great strong number! We are beyond excited! It doesn't seem like we need anymore betas! Now just the *big* ultrasound. We are unsure whether there is 1 or 2 buns in Lori's oven!! We have our first ultrasound either the 13th up here or down in St. Louis on the 16th! Still deciding which day.. Pros of the 16th, we will be 3 days farther along and therefore possibly able to see the heartbeat(s)! Cons, we have to wait 3 extra days.. tortuous! haha
Stayed tuned... I'm sure we will make a decision very soon 

Monday, July 2, 2012

First Beta 7/2

.. We are pregnant!!! Lori had her first beta hCG levels drawn this morning. She put on the order our RE's fax number as well as her work fax number, so we'd get the results without having to be tortured to wait until who knows when for the nurse to call us. The number is ..... 442! Yippee!!! It's a great strong number for us. All this number tells us is that we are, in fact, pregnant! The more important number will be Thursday. They want that number to at least double in the next 48-72 hours. We are super thrilled and excited! Also, thankful that God answered our prayer for a strong number. Now we pray for that number to do what it needs to and be even higher and stronger next time. Until thursday... have a great Independence Day everyone!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

6dp5dt

This is 5dp5dt next to 6dp5dt. Can you see it still getting darker? Definitely looking like a bfp!!!! We are done testing for a little while. Now we wait.........
Praying for a big number on Monday!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tested again this evening!

10 hours apart and it really looks like things are moving forward. That pink line had definitely darkened from this morning!!! I am so excited! I was so scared to have to text Lisa bad news today. So afraid to start stressing over neg tests. Thank you God for giving us peace! Just praying these babies hold on tight and get comfy! BETA is Monday morning and I am praying for a nice big number. Will keep you up to date on pics. I am sure we will be doing more testing to watch that line get big and fat and positive!

Pleasantly Surprised.

Today we are 5dp5dt (5 days past a 5 day transfer). As many of you know, Lori and I were struggling with whether or not we were going to test before our Beta. We decided to, but then when to was a question. After talking to Joe, we decided to wait until we were at least 6 days past, so the earliest we'd try testing would be Thursday. Well, Lori and I were talking this morning about our thoughts and feelings when did we test and how we'd feel once we saw the results. After much, much praying by both of us, Lori mentioned she had the tests with her at work and that she needed to pee... Well... that got the ball rolling on possibly maybe we should test! Well.... let's just show this
We ARE PREGNANT!!!! I started crying when Lori texted me this beautiful picture! She was crying, I was crying. What a hormonal mess we both are ;-) I am overjoyed! I am going to relish in this amazing moment. God really has brought both of us through so much, especially after our early miscarriage back in April. He has shown how faithful He is to us, and I know both Lori and I cannot thank Him enough. This is all happening because of the glory of Him. We were brought together because of Him and we are now pregnant because of Him. God is good.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Transfer day

What a beautiful day June 22 turned out to be. It started off bright and early. We picked Lori and Ryan up at their hotel at 5:45 in the morning. Our transfer arrival time was for 6:30. We made it just in time.  We got settled into our room. Joe, Ryan and I let Lori change while we went into a separate room to put on our lovely scrubs. The embryologist came in and told us that we had 5 embryos that had made it to 5 days, almost blastocysts. We agree to put in our 2 best quality ones, one that was grade AB and one that was grade BB. We also had 2 more embryos they wanted to give another day to grow and catch up. Next, Dr Rapisarda came in. He really is a nice doctor. He was so positive and excited for us. Since we had no questions, he went to get ready. The nurse lead us, yes all FOUR of us (!!) to the transfer room! Everyone was so positive and didn't even blink an eye with all of us coming into the room. They had 3 seats set up next to the bed.
They showed us the 2 embryos on the big screen. Just amazing. My heart was filling with such joy to see them. Dr. R came in and we got started. The ultrasound tech was such a nice guy as well. We got to watch as Dr. R guided and placed the embryos into Lori's perfect uterus. <3 It took a total of 5 minutes. We thanked everyone, smiles all around and went back to our room to get changed.
We left the clinic around 8 am. Since we were near Joe's dad's work, we decided to show Lori and Ryan the golf course that his dad manages. We took a nice ride on the course. The weather was absolutely perfect. Afterwards, we grabbed some breakfast. We were all pretty tired from waking up so early, that we went back to the hotel so Lori could get some good rest.
Overall, it was a wonderful 2 days spent together. This whole experience thus far since we changed from the River North office to the Highland Park office has been picture perfect. A complete 180. Our nurse coordinator has been so wonderful, the staff at the HP ivf center were so nice and accommodating. God truly heard our worries and answered our prayers. Now we wait to see if the embryos stayed snug in Lori. Our first Beta hCG test is Monday July 2. With the July 4 holiday being our next to-be Beta test, I'm not sure how they will see the doubling rate since no labs will be open that day. So we most likely will not have the test until the following day, Wednesday July 5. I am not going to worry. It'll work itself out. As for POAS (peeing on a stick -pregnancy test-), I think we all decided that we would take a test either this Thursday or Friday. Lori has been taking progesterone in oil (PIO) shots daily this cycle versus every other day last cycle, so we are thinking her hCG levels might be higher and might show up sooner on a pregnancy test than last time. It is a nerve wrecking time, but I am trusting in Him no matter what happens. It is out of my control; it is His will and am just so thankful and happy we are at this point in our journey. Prayers are always welcome and appreciated!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fertilization Report

After a long day of waiting, we finally found out when we will be doing the transfer-  Friday!!! Our embies are doing really well! 13 fertilized yesterday. Of those, we still have all 13 Yay!! 9 of those are 4 celled (which is ideal at this stage). 2 of them are 3 celled, and 2 of them are 2 celled. We are very happy and excited for the best ones to be implanted in Lori. You might be wondering how many are we putting in on Friday. And to be honest, I'm not sure. I would love to put in 2. That way 2 have a good chance of implanting. We will see their grades and what Dr. R is thinking too. We would be thrilled with twins. We'd also be thrilled with one. We will just be so thankful to be pregnant! Whatever God has planned for us is exciting.
Lori and Ryan will come to Chicago by bus Thursday morning and stay until Friday later afternoon. I am so excited to see them! It's been over 2 months I believe. They are leaving the kids at home, which will be nice to be able to spend some alone time with Lori and Ryan, most likely vegging at the hotel watching movies and pigging out on food. :-) Also, it sounds like all 4 of us will be able to be in the room for the transfer!! I spoke with our NC and she said there was no maximum number of people allowed in, although the rooms are not super big. But hey, we can all squeeze in! It's too exciting to miss out on, especially since Ryan didn't get to be in the room for our last transfer. Only 2.5 more days!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grow embies grow

Received word from our clinic that of the 19 eggs, 13 have fertilized. Praying they keep growing and growing into perfect little embryos. Thank you God. I am feeling much better! This time around has been a much better experience overall. I am so thankful that I am able to move around and cough with much better ease. Tomorrow I should be feeling even better. I cannot wait until transfer!! We find out tomorrow if we will be doing a 3 day or 5 day transfer. Will keep you guys posted. Thanks so much for all the prayers and well wishes! God is truly amazing.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Post retrieval

Had my egg retrieval this morning. My mom came with me as CJ had his first hockey practice today, and neither Joe nor I wanted him to go without one of us. It went really well. They retrieved 19 eggs! It's a great number and I'm so thankful and happy, however, I am more interested to see how many eggs fertilize. We find that information out sometime tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be early. So thankful that God led to me this and brought me through it.
As for how I'm feeling. At the moment, the Vicodin has finally kicked in. Still hurts when I cough so I'm trying my hardest to not to. I have a heating pad on my abs. Joe has been super sweet, taking Clark to the movies so I can continue to heal. I wish I could have gone with as it's Father's day but it hurts too much to sit up. He is also taking the day off tomorrow as CJ has his first soccer practice. Today it was hockey and I missed that. So I will be going with to his soccer regardless of how I'm feeling!
Until tomorrow...

Praying for Lisa this morning!

Egg retrieval is this morning. Praying for some healthy eggs! Praying for Lisa to recover quickly with as little pain as possible!!! It's getting close again!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Long time no post!

Sorry I've been MIA. I have been meaning to blog, but I have been so busy lately. This journey has been so different!! We have a new nurse coordinator (praise God-she is amazing!!), a new lab (wonderful), a new off site monitoring facility (love them), and a new transfer location! We wanted a new fresh start and we got one. My meds have been going great no problems with that so that's a plus! Lisa has kept you up to date on all of her appointments and I've just been waiting to see how she's doing. She is doing wonderfully producing amazing eggs I'm sure and her retrieval is tomorrow. So excited to see how many perfect eggs she has! Praying that everything goes well and it doesn't cause her too much pain. Then we wait to see how fertilization goes and with that we will see when the transfer will be. It could be june 20 or June 22 Our NC seems optimistic that they will do well and she expects a 5 day transfer. That means Friday June 22. So we are praying for that.

My lining did much better this time. No fluid so that is great! My lining at first appt last time was 5.5mm and this time it was 11mm! I didn't have to add any meds. So far so good. Just praying each step of the way!

We will keep you posted!

Friday, June 15, 2012

6/15 BW and US

Good news! Retrieval is on Sunday :) My E2 levels came back perfect. I have a great number of follicles the right size, although did not ask how many or what size. I do my trigger shot at 10 pm tonight, for a retrieval at 11 am Sunday morning. I am so thankful to finally be at this point. Our journey has a long way to go, but God is guiding us each step of the way. He is so good.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

6/14 BW and US

Retrieval looks like it will most likely be Saturday or Sunday now. Follicles are not quite large enough yet so they want another day or two of stim meds. Have another appointment tomorrow. Feeling a bit blue. Trying to work out my emotions and thoughts right now. Think just exhausted. Been waking up almost every day for the past 10 days close to 5 am. Trying not to complain. Just drained and anxious for my retrieval to finally be here. I know it's God's timing. I am just feeling drained. Praying for my eggs to get to the perfect size and my E2 levels to be at the perfect level. All in His timing. Praying that Lori's lining stays nice and fluffy. Will update tomorrow after I hear from our NC regarding tomorrow's results.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6/13 BW and US

This morning's appointment went so nicely. After seeing me so many consecutive days, the ultrasound tech was much more open to sharing information. She said (as she always does) that my lining looks great. Well, thanks, but unfortunately I do not need that lining :'( that's why we have wonderful Lori! She asked me if I was feeling bloated yet, which Yes! I definitely am! She began to look at my ovaries and count the follicles growing. I tried to count along. I counted 28. Before she finished, she said 'Nope.' I asked her, 'Oh, so they aren't ready yet?' She said 'A couple more days. They aren't big enough just yet.' I then asked her how many there were. There are 14 on the left side and 13 on the right that are measurable, but there are more smaller ones that just aren't big enough yet. So we need those 27 to get to the perfect size for retrieval within the next few days. Now I wait for our NC to call me with my E2 levels and further instructions. Praying for my body and for Lori's. I pray that her uterus stays nice and fluffy and sticky for the to-be embryos. It is all in His timing and His timing is perfect.
Update: E2 level is 1,513. I have 35 follicles growing, 27 which are greater than 10 mm. I have another appointment for blood and ultrasound tomorrow bright and early at 6:50 am. The nurse said I most likely will take my trigger shot tomorrow night and the retrieval would be Saturday. Happy dance! Almost there!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6/12 BW and US

My E2 levels today are 956. I have 34 follicles growing, with 5 that are measuring bigger than the others. The RE says I will stim for another 2-3 days. So it seems the retrieval will be Saturday or Sunday. We will see how things are going after tomorrow's blood work and ultrasound. Definitely starting to feel a bit uncomfortable.

Monday, June 11, 2012

6/11 BW & US

Results from today's BW and US: I have 22 follicles (eggs) measuring from 9-17 mm. My estrogen is 480. My RE wants it to be a little higher so he is increasing my Menopur to 1.5 vials. Tonight's shot should be interesting to mix. I go again tomorrow for more blood work and ultrasound. It seems like my retrieval will most likely be Friday. Will know more tomorrow.

Friday, June 8, 2012

6/8 BW & US

My E2 levels (aka estrogen) were 205 today, so within normal range. They counted about 27 follicle eggs growing, with 8 being measurable, at this point. My Follistim dose will stay the same at 50, as will the Menopur dosage. I do not need to go in for blood work and ultrasound until Monday (happy dance!). I will start on Ganirelix Sunday night. We are halfway there until my retrieval! Thanks God!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6/6 BW and US

This morning I went in for blood work and ultrasound. Our NC just called to update me on how things are looking. My estrogen levels are a bit lower than they want, so they are increasing my Follistim dosage from 25 to 50. They want to keep stimming me slowly, but they are upping it a bit to help with that level. The ultrasound showed about 20 eggs starting to grow. They are very small, as they should be since I've only been on meds for 3 days. I go again Friday for repeat BW and US. Thanks to God for allowing us to come this far, and we pray that my body continues to produce quality eggs. Pray for Lori's body to stay nice and fluffy and sticky for our embryos. She had an appointment yesterday, and it went very well! Everything looks great on her side. She leaves for Florida tomorrow night! Praying for safe travels as they drive down there. All thanks and glory to Him! <3

Sunday, June 3, 2012

2 down, 27-ish more to go

Just got done doing my first set of injections. Let's say it was a tad bit hectic and nerve wrecking. Started off not being able to find the Q-cap for the Menopur. Panicking that I never got it. Finally found it in the Menopur box. Yeah.. DUH! Then, no alcohol pads came with my meds. Problem because they are kind of important. Luckily, I found 2 in our bathroom. Need to go out and buy some tomorrow before next dose. Then, I couldn't find the medication instructions review on the fertility website. So I went off of the instructions that were included in the Menopur box. Few errors here and there, but finally injected the med into myself. Pain wasn't bad (fairly used to needles, etc). It was more the issue of injecting the actual medicine into myself. It was a good amount of liquid and it felt like it had no where to go. After I pulled the needle out, a few seconds later, some liquid dribbled out. Haha. Whoops. I'll have to make sure to keep the needle in for a few more seconds longer next time. Next I had to do Follistim. That went much smoother. It has its own little pen type device that the vial of medicine goes in. You click the amount you need, and then screw on the needle and bam, inject it in, push down and it's done. It went very smoothly. No issues. I'm hoping I will feel like an expert tomorrow and not be so panicky. Very excited and thankful to God that we finally are at this milestone. It won't be long now until I am prepping for the retrieval. Praise God I am feeling better, that tonight went well, and that Lori is doing well with her schedule. It's all His plan.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baseline Ultrasound & Blood Work

Ever have one of those nights that you think are sleepless? That was my night/early morning. I kept tossing and turning, coughing, and having weird thoughts. I'm not quite sure if I was awake or not. But I am definitely exhausted. Up early for my baseline appointments. I made these appointments back when I was still working, hence the early, early nature of them. At least I will get them done and can enjoy my day resting. I will update more later when I hear the results. Pray for good numbers! I'm not quite sure what they are looking for besides for one appointment taking ever possible blood test possible (the FDA testing).

**UPDATE**
Heard from our nurse coordinator. My ultrasound and estrogen levels looked good! I am to start my meds Sunday! Ya! We are almost there. It's so exciting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

All For You

This song struck a chord in my heart, especially these particular lyrics:
I'll give it all and lay it down
'Cause I owe everything to You.

I had an appointment with my Cystic Fibrosis doctor today. As many know, I've been struggling with a cold that then developed into a chest cold that hasn't fully left my body yet. I have been praying for Him to heal me. I would start feeling slightly better, then be hit again with feelings of lousiness. I have been struggling with thick mucus production, a nagging cough, and a persistent fever. I've been resting, resting, and when I'm not resting, I've been doing my chest therapies, even extra therapies. I've slooooooooowly been starting to feel like I was heading towards feeling slightly better. I've been pushing myself to be active and as "normal" as possible. I had this doctor appointment set up for months, so lucky for me it fell when I was feeling this way.
I did a nebulizer and a chest therapy (the Vest) right before I headed over. I also took some Motrin for my fever - had no fever when I woke up, but had one by 10 am - I got to the office. They took my oxygen level -97%- which is normal for me. My temperature was in normal range (phew), and my weight was good. Then came the lung function tests. Well, I did pretty awful. Close to tears awful. Then I had to wait, and wait, and wait some more. Finally I saw the nurse practitioner. She listened to my lungs. She said she didn't hear much air flow in my lower lungs. She mentioned a hospitalization. I explained to her, holding back my tears, that I was having an upcoming egg retrieval and was there anything that we could do to hold off the hospitalization until right after. I gave her a mucus sputum culture, and she went to speak to my doctor. I held it together as well as I could. I prayed so hard for God's mercy and grace. I knew that He could heal me at least until after the retrieval, but I knew whatever His plan was, is what I was going to accept. He knows what is best for me, even if I don't think I agree. My doctor finally came in. He told me my lung function was down a couple points from last visit, but not in a worry zone yet. He listened to me when I explained what was happening with the IVF process. He listened to my lungs. He told me I needed a 'tune-up' but it could wait the 2.5 weeks until after my retrieval. Thank you GOD! He also gave me inhaled antibiotic that is very hard to get. So I have been given a second chance to take my health into my hands and I am not going to flush this opportunity down the drain. I have one month's supply of this medicine, then I take a month off, and apparently the manufacturers of the drugs will have more supply come July. Again, thank God. He is truly awesome. So here I am, sitting at home, going to do whatever in my power to produce some great embryos for Lori's precious uterus!! I am so thankful!
In other news, Lori started her estrogen today! We are getting closer! I have my baseline ultrasound and blood works Thursday morning bright and early at 6:30! Then as long as results look good, I start my injections June 3rd!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vent (as usual)

Well, not much has changed in regards to our lovely NC. I was told I needed this form sent in as soon as possible because it was missing from the original forms that were faxed over a month or so ago. Well I scanned them over to her on Monday. Asked for confirmation that she received them that day. Heard nothing. Emailed her again yesterday asking for confirmation so I should know if I needed to send them again or not. Got back to me saying she hasn't looked at them yet, but when she does, she'll let me know. ?? Ok. That's not annoying. She emailed me at 8:30 this morning. We emailed back and forth for a good 10 minutes. Lori had asked me a question regarding the monitoring appointment tomorrow, so I told her to quickly email Marianne because she was by her computer. She would most likely get the email from her and email quick response back. Lori did that. It is now 6 pm. Office is closed. No word from the NC. Frustrated is the nicest term I am feeling at the moment. I emailed her myself just now letting her know my frustration, because let's face it, the appointment (which our NC told us to make for Lori) is bright and early tomorrow. The odds of her answering our question before Lori goes to the out of town clinic is fairly slim. She stopped her birth control pills Tuesday, started the Lupron the past Friday, and has a baseline ultrasound and blood work tomorrow to check her lining. She apparently is supposed to get her period before the appointment. Well, it hasn't come yet, and I'm not sure if she is supposed to still attend the appointment or not. Not only for the sake of wasting Lori's time, I am annoyed because the monitoring for this appointment is not cheap. And I would hate to pay for it, just for our NC to say, 'oh you shouldn't have gone.' And you need to go again next week. So that would be 2 appointments out of pocket for one to be a complete waste of money. Plus, Lori works. I mean, does this woman get it? I know the answer to that question. And I am praying so hard for patience and an open mind. But it's not like we are bugging her with mundane, pointless questions. This is a valid question that requires a fairly timely response. So now our dilemma. Do we have Lori go to the appointment, or does she miss it and possibly have it affect anything. Who knows. I will let my frustrations known tomorrow when I speak on the phone to the NC about my schedule. I am under the impression we are switching NC tomorrow, and I am praying SO hard that this new one actually has compassion and a brain. I will be so much happier to finally put this NC in our past and start to enjoy our journey!!
On another note, please keep praying for my body to heal. It is doing yo-yo, from being healthy to feeling like poop. I'm hoping it's just some sinus drainage that is causing germs to be released from wherever they are hiding and making me sick as they exit my body. I can use all the prayers I can get. 
It's hard being an intended mom who is going to do an egg retrieval. I love Lori to death and I'm so scared that I am going to mess something up for us. I am doing everything in my power to get and stay healthy and I know she is doing everything to get her body ready for this upcoming transfer. I just don't want to let her down. Pray for God to continue to heal my body and make it stronger. Thanks everyone. <3

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quick Update

A quick update on myself. I ended up "quitting" my long term sub position last night after being sick for the entire last week. I attempted to go to school yesterday, and when I got home, I just felt so wiped out and crummy. Checked my temperature and it was up to 100.00. There are only 2 weeks of school left, but I just couldn't risk my health, especially with our upcoming retrieval and transfer only 3.5 weeks away. My number one goal is to get healthy, to rest and to grow some great healthy eggs! My heart already feels at peace that I made the right decision. Maybe I can get outside and enjoy some of this spring weather. And finally spend some quality time again with Clark. I know he's missed having his old fun, cheerful mom. I've missed him too.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fed ex present!

I got my big box of medicine! Yippee! Only 15 more days until I get to start them! Very exciting. Lori started her Lupron last night. We are moving closer and closer to transfer day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fever Free

Had a doctor appointment with my CF doctor. It went pretty good. My oxygen levels were normal (98%), my lung function was 2% higher than the last time I was there, but still not at the best it could be at. So thankfully he did not feel it was necessary for me to be admitted to the hospital for IV treatments for CF. He said I have inflamed sinuses and a viral type infection, which presented in cold sores this morning. I am now on a round of steroids for at least 3 days, possibly 5, as well as the Avelox antibiotic and Motrin every 6 hours as needed, all of which will address the upper infections and fever. Before I went to the doctor at 9 am, I had a fever of 102.8. I can now breath a sigh of relief for having a temperature of 97.3 for the remainder of the day. Thank you God! I asked for my friends' and family's prayers and He answered. He remains to stay faithful, as I remain trusting in him. I have had to take off work last friday, as well as every day so far this week. I already had called off for tomorrow when I called off for today, so I will have one more day to just rest up and recover more. I will see how it goes tomorrow, and depending on that, I might attempt going back on Friday. That way it's only one day that is fairly simple, then a full weekend to recover some more. Thanks for all your prayers, good thoughts, positive energy. They really do help!! I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 8 with fever

I'm on day 8 of having a pretty significant fever. Went yesterday to CVS minute clinic, where I was turned away because of my CF. She didn't feel comfortable even looking in my mouth to see if I had strep. Frustrating. So I called my CF doctor at 9:45 and he wasn't in yet but his nurse practitioner basically heard my symptoms and prescribed me augmentine, a strong antibiotic, to fight whatever is going on in my body. I'm praying this sickness won't delay anything in regards to our egg retrieval or affect the quality of my eggs. On positive, I woke up this morning with a bit more energy than I've had in the past week. So I think the antibiotic is starting to do something. Fever is still holding strong, but I'm continuing drinking tons and tons of Gatorade and resting. Hopefully it gets under 101 by this afternoon. That'd b awesome, it's been holding steady at 102.6 Bleh! Pray for my body to grow stronger each day and it won't affect anything. We've been waiting patiently so long for this June retrieval/transfer.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's almost time!

Today is an exciting day. I got my meds in the mail today. A new beginning starts this Friday. I start with Lupron. I am excited to get my body ready. I know we have a long road ahead, but it is so nice to be finally doing something instead of waiting.

Unfortunately things haven't improved much with our NC. She was 2 weeks late getting my schedule toe and even then we had to contact her to ask again. I was 1 day away from taking my last bc pill and she still hadn't tolde what to do. I didn't know if I was supposed to take the placebo or continue active pills. Once again I had to contact her to ask. I sometimes want to wait to see if she will do her job. See what would happen if we didn't contact her, but this is too important to me to just wait and let her mess things up. She emailed me May 1st telling me she was sending my RX to the pharmacy. She said they would call me for delivery. May 11 I decided to call the pharmacy to see what the hold up was. They said she never sent them an RX. I refilled my old one and asked them to ship it ASAP since I was supposed to start meds in 7 days. I emailed my NC to ask what happens and 3 days later she responded that she was sending it to them and they would deliver it soon. Yeah I got my meds that day since I ordered them myself. I wonder what would have happened if I waited for her to do her job. We would have not had my meds and things would have been delayed. She could care less about us it seems. Just a shame. I am trying to be patient but seriously. How can she still have a job when she isn't doing it. May 25 we finally get a new NC. I guess I will just do her job for her until then and pray things are better with our 3rd NC.

I have decided to use a different lab here for my appointments. Mostly because I just want a fresh start. We are starting a new journey. A new site in Chicago and a new site here and I am praying for a new and happier outcome.

Sweet Lisa has been sick and had to start antibiotics so I am praying for healing for her. We need her body healthy and ready. Please add us to your prayers as we start this new journey. It is in Gods hands and I am starting off by giving it all up to him. God thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for Lisa and Joe and CJ. Thank you for their amazing and accepting family. Their love and support means so much. Thank you God for my family who has helped me through the joys and sorrows so far. Who support me in every way. I am so blessed to be able to serve you Lord. I know this is your will and I am laying it all in your knowing hands. Give me strength, patience, knowledge, and open my heart to accepting whatever you have in store for us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nothing new to report. Just enjoying the joys of surrogacy/IVF... the waiting! Uugh. We have about a month and 5 days to go until my egg retrieval. At least I have school to keep me busy. Only 4.4 more weeks of school then summer! I am so thankful that my mother in law and my mom will be off as well so they can take Clark during the week of my egg retrieval. I know he will be so much better being with them and his 2 cousins than sitting couped up in the house with me. I am a little nervous about the stims. But then at the same time, I can't help but not be worried about it. I have confidence in my RE. They have me on a protocol that seems appropriate for my PCOS and OHSS issues. It seems that this protocol, the antagonist type, will cater to those issues. It seems that without the Lupron over suppressing my body, they will use the stimulation meds to help the eggs grow more naturally versus pumping me with meds while super suppressing me. In this more natural type state, I'm hoping my body produces enough good quality eggs without feeling like it needs to overproduce. I'm praying for some good egg numbers and great quality eggs. My goal is to stay rested and stress-free. I will take the advice of my brother literally. 'It is what it is.' I cannot change the outcome, so there is no need for me to worry about it. I think I worry to feel like I'm doing something (if that makes any sense).
The day before I start my stim meds is the big Chicago Cystic Fibrosis walk. So I am grateful I will be able to make it to that before my ovaries start feeling like they are carrying golf balls. I am hoping Lori and family can make it to the walk, but I'm assuming they won't be able to because they leave for Disney the following Friday :'( boo hoo. I miss them!! Clark talks about his best friends all the time, Brayden and Koen, and Lori and Ryan. Whenever he lays in mommy and daddy's bed he asks if Lori and Ryan are going to sleep in his bed. Haha. He's so precious. I would love for them to come up before the transfer, but I know that's probably not going to happen. I would also love to spend some time with them when they do come up for the transfer, but it all depends on when the transfer happens. Lori gets back from Florida either June 15 or the 16. She kind of needs to work that Monday the 18, so we are praying very hard that it isn't that day. But obviously we cannot control when the transfer will happen. If it's any day but the 16, they will just come up for the day and then head back down. :( I love my GS and want to spend as much time with her as possible! I also want to make up for the last transfer day when we didn't get to spend the day together in bed watching lots of movies! But we will just be so happy when the transfer comes that it won't matter if we can spend the time we want together as long as we have our little babies snug in Lori. We can make up the time another time since I am home free come June 6!!!!!
Clark has summer school starting June 19th almost every week Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but we can get down to visit them long weekends when Lori and Ryan are off of work. Looking forward to being done with working and spending as much time outside soaking up the sun. I am thinking of signing Clark up for either soccer or hockey, so that will make for a busy, but fun summer!
One month and 5 days until potential transfer.... keep praying for the little steps leading up to the big ones!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Calendar

We got our new calendars!

 
This makes me happy! Notice I am only on stim meds for about 10 days. I can't believe in exactly one month I will be giving myself my first shot for our cycle! Ya! I am super excited. It is finally almost here. All the heart ache and frustration will soon be replaced with joy and excitement. We are deserving of some good news! I am just so excited to be able to not be so nervous and fearful, even though I know it will be awhile before I can feel all of those emotions. But trusting in God means that I don't have to worry. I need to remember to enjoy each step. To bask in the joy that each step we take, means the closer we get to the end result: a baby! I don't want to miss out on the joy of celebrating each milestone with Lori. I want us to be happy; first with the transfer, then with the first BFP, then the positive beta test, etc, etc. It is silly to worry of the what ifs, for what if those never even come. Then you missed out on so much good. I'm not sure if this time around I will encourage Lori to take so many pregnancy tests. I think it made both of us mad. Who knows, but it'd be kind of cool if we could hold off on taking any. And just let God take control of that for us. I think we learned our lesson. We will see though. I'd love to be patient and wait until it is time for the test rather than making ourselves sick with what a home pregnancy test will say. Pray for us.

On another quick note, thank you everyone for listening to me vent. Sometimes I get so flustered and do not complete my thoughts. So to clarify for anyone who was confused and thought I was acting a bit rash, I was not mad that we have to wait until June. I did not expect to cycle in May on April 30. I was frustrated that no one explained to me that we could start almost right away again as long as Lori was physically and emotionally ready to go. I did not know that by switching to Highland Park IVF versus staying put with River North IVF that it would put us back a month as HP only does transfers and egg retrievals one week out of the entire month, whereas RN does them all month long. If I had known that, I would have stayed put with RN and we could have cycled in May. Be that as it may, every timing is perfect in his plan. I am comforted now that I know it was meant for us to do it in June for many reasons, mainly I will just be finishing working full time. I will have no restrictions or commitments preventing me from all the appointments I will have. I will also have the help and support of my mom and mother in law to help me out with Clark while I am feeling pretty lousy before and after the retrieval, if it is anything like how I felt last retrieval. I barely could move for days. I was nauseas and constipated and felt so much pain just to cough. Lori will be in Florida for the week of my retrieval. And she deserves it! That woman does too much! She will be having a wonderful time with her family in Disney. At least one of us will have a distraction from the waiting and fertilization reports, so I am thankful for that. And then right when she gets back all rested and feeling fluffy, we will be transferring our embryos in to her.
Thank you all for your tremendous support and love and prayers! They do not go unnoticed!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Frustrated

Ok, Ok. I really am trying to be patient here. And I was doing a fairly good job. I was accepting that we would be doing the retrieval and transfer mid June. Then the thought crept into my head, "why can't we do it sooner? What exactly are we waiting for?" I decided to find that out. I finished my first set of birth control pills Saturday This week I will be on the sugar pill. Then I go a whole month of them again before I even start my injections. I don't start injections until June 3. Such a long time, you ask. Yes, yes it is. I was fine with thinking it was because our bodies just needed more time to get ready, especially Lori's, to recover from the chemical pregnancy. Well, I emailed our amazing nurse coordinator. I was inquiring as to maybe we could start a little sooner, as Lori will end her BC pack this week. So then why couldn't we start getting this process moving? And you know what she answered me... Blood boiling....

"We cannot do an earlier date because they are set dates that the physicians have selected. The dates for June transfers are only from June 12-22. It is too late to make May bc you needed to start on Lupron already. The egg retrievals are May 7 for the May series"

WOW!!!!! REALLY? Did I just read that?! We are just a number to them. A paycheck. What about MY wants, MY timing!? I, after all, am the one laying out $11,000 for my egg retrieval! Why can't I make that decision!? Well, I am just fuming mad right now. That is the ONLY reason that we can't do it any earlier. I am NOT even going to BE ON Lupron!!!!! So, as you can tell, I am pretty upset right now. I am patient. I have been patient. I'm very mad that this is their only reason. It should be on the timing my BODY wants to have the egg retrieval, not because some doctors and system decide they should work. I am ready to do it soon. Not to wait until mid June because that is when it is convenient for them. With this being out of my hands and making me helpless, makes me very upset. I feel saddened. And then it brings all the pain of my inability to carry my own baby. I am at the mercy of everyone else. I cannot make a baby with my husband the way God intended us to do. I feel vulnerable, weak, pathetic even. I just am defeated. I am feeling so many raw emotions right now. I do not like to dwell on things in my life that I cannot control, and I usually don't play the 'poor me' card, but I am feeling pretty poor me right now. It's not fair. I know, I tell myself all the time, that no one once told me that life would be fair. But come on already. It just stinks. I am sad.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Remembering...

I wanted to do something for Lisa to remember these babies. I searched and searched. I searched etsy for hours and after over 200 thing I finally came upon the most perfect piece. I saw the charm and cried immediately. It said "Only God knows why". As you know that is what I titled my blog post so I just knew it was perfect. The company is amazing. It is called Glory Babies. They design pieces to remember babies who have been lost through miscarriage and at birth. I contacted them with our story. They designed this piece!
It had the charm" only god knows why" and they added two angel wings for each baby as well as a December birthstone to symbolize when they would have been born. Then she added a "hope" charm to signify the hope of our new journey. AMAZING!
It came in today and it is beautiful. This company is so God centered. If you can see they wrapped the piece in this cute baby sock. It was donated to them by a parent of a lost child. That child is remembered with a note inside as well! It has a card inside too telling you more about the company. It is just incredible what they are doing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Emotions, emotions

As you may have noticed by now, I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to blogging. It's hard for me to just let my thoughts out without worrying about how I'm saying something, with being a perfectionist and all. But I know it means a lot to Lori as well as to everyone following us to just get the words out there and forget perfection. So here is goes.
I never thought that this first transfer with the frozen embryos wouldn't work. That thought just never crossed my mind. I knew God put Lori and me together for a reason. The fact that she was enthusiastic about carrying twins was another confirmation that this was going to be the time. We had to special twins waiting for the right woman to carry them. We prayed so much for His will to be done through these embryos. Well, it was numbing to me when it didn't work. I was devastated, but I didn't want Lori to see how upset I was. I knew she would blame herself, because that is just our human nature, where in fact, I blamed myself. I "jinxed" us. I know believing in jinxes didn't parallel to having strong faith in God and His plans. So I feel silly feeling the way I do, but be it as it may, I still do. Maybe it's my family history. I was so excited for our upcoming pregnancy that the night before Lori and Ryan came up for our first ultrasound, I finally made our pregnancy journal. I filled out the first few pages. I just had such a joy and wanted to start journaling our progress with this pregnancy. Then April 4th came. We had a terrible experience at the ultrasound. No gestational sac. No nothing going on in Lori's uterus. Facts given to us as cold as ice. All the while, I kept praying and pleading with him that let it be too early for us to see anything. Then I felt like we were being punished because we weren't patient enough and this is the result of our impatience. I'm not sure what we did the rest of the day, but it wasn't a hopeful, fun day. We were just waiting for the phone call that would give us hope out of this nightmare. Of course, the timing couldn't be worse. We were told on our way to the train that the pregnancy didn't end up taking. We had lost the twins. I know it was early, and as heartbreaking as it is/was, I was at least thankful that it was early enough in the pregnancy. I just wanted to go to bed and sleep all night, but we still needed to say our goodbyes to Lori and Ryan as they left for the train. Dread was all I felt. I didn't want Lori to see me so upset, so I tried to keep those emotions tucked deep inside. I felt in a daze as it was, so it wasn't too hard to stay emotionless. I'll never forget Lori's face when we got out of the car. She was so upset for us, for the lost babies, for the lost pregnancy. I just couldn't believe God would have it end like this, but it wasn't an end, obviously. Just a hiccup in the journey.
I believe that this was in His plan all along, as His plan is perfect even though we might not think so. We gave those two babies a chance at life. That's all we could have done. Although I feel that Lori and I have drifted a little bit from us due to so many different circumstances, I know ultimately we are growing stronger as friends, as sisters in Christ. I started work the first week of April. So I've been trying to juggle all the responsibilities of a wife, mom, working woman as well as process all these emotions made me drift a bit. The thought of doing another egg retrieval (only have done one) seems so overwhelming to me. In honesty, I dreaded it. I just am an impatient person and waiting longer for a baby was the root of my dread.
It's been a few days since I've been on here to post this. I have accepted the fact of a new journey to retrieve my eggs and put the fertilized embryos in Lori. I am very excited for this new chapter in our life. I'm just ready for Lori to be carrying our babies and to finally see them on the screen. I'm just so thankful to have her. She is my strong support and cannot imagine wanting anyone else to do this with.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Aftermath

It has been really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we miscarried these babies. We were told that my hcg level plummeted to 17 and there was no gestational sac in my uterus, but hearing and believing are very different. We were crushed by this news of course, but honestly I still felt pregnant. I couldn't understand how I could be pregnant one moment and not the next. It seemed unreal. Like a horrible nightmare. I kept thinking to myself that maybe they made a mistake. It was just to early to see on the ultrasound and the lab made a mistake with my levels. Then I got my period. It hit me harder then, when the reality of the situation was no longer avoidable. I said I would share how I felt when I could so here it is....

These are my honest feelings. Right or wrong this is it. I am hurting. Physically and emotionally. My body is feeling something it has never felt. I was taking a ton of hormones and when they told us the news they said to stop them all. Talk about huge shock to my body! I was feeling lightheaded and weak and dizzy. I was getting headaches and cramping. All added to the pain I was feeling in my heart that seemed to flow through me from head to toe. I am so sad. I cannot believe that these two lives that we were all praying for and loving are gone. I am so sad for Lisa and Joe and their families. So many hopes and dreams were already in motion, to be replaced now with such horrible news.
Surrogacy is was what I was meant to do. I know that I was meant to do this for Lisa and Joe. This is Gods plan for us I am sure of it. So why? I take some comfort in the fact that we did give these two babies a chance at life. God has a plan for them. They are with him now in peace I know. It is just painful to let go of our plans for them.

Being a surrogate I was the home for these babies. The safe haven for them to grow. So with that comes my feelings of disappointment. I feel like I have let everyone down. Lisa and Joe and their families, my family, and most of all the babies. I replay each day over and over trying to decide if I did something wrong. The babies did their job. They implanted and were growing so that leaves me with the guilt. I feel like it was my body that couldn't save them. It was my job to keep them safe and I feel like I failed. Now I know I am not supposed to think these things. I know this because EVERYONE tells me "you can't think like that-it isn't your fault-there is nothing you could have done-don't blame yourself". But I said I would be honest about my feelings right or wrong. And to be honest I think it is impossible to not think these things.
I have he some time to grieve now and I am starting to let go of my self-pity and trying to focus on the future. I am still very sad for Lisa and Joe and I can't even imagine how they are feeling, but I am looking ahead to the rest of Gods plan for us. Looking to the hope of a new journey and a new chance to live out Gods will. God is my reason for all of this. His love and grace and mercy make everyday a day of hope. So with that I will regain my strength physically and emotionally. I will pick myself up and let go of all of my fear and start fresh!
God thank you. Thank you for the amazing people you have brought into my life. Lisa and Joe are so important to me. Their families have accepted us like we have always belonged and we are so blessed to be a part of their lives. Thank you for this experience. There has been so much joy and love and we have all grown closer through it. Thank you God for for the pain. This part is hard for me but the bible says it clear. James 1:2 says " Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance". So I will thank him now even for this trial. My faith has been tested, but remains strong. With him we can preserver and become stronger through this.
I am so thankful that Lisa and Joe have the faith and confidence to move forward with me in another journey. Staring over fresh. I know that God has great plans for us and I am thrilled to begin again. It looks like, of all goes well, that we will be transferring again in June. I pray that this journey we can be more patient and more reliant on God. Please pray for us. That we can let go and let God handle it all this time. His time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Only God knows why....

It is true that in the midst of pain you can't see God's plan or his reason. We chose to go to the Chicago office for the ultrasound today, because in St.Louis they are quite cold and not personal. Well the ultrasound lady in Chicago was so much worse than anyone I have dealt with before. Not just cold but mean and horrible. She was upset with us from the moment she opened the waiting room door. I guess because we had 4 people in the room and she didn't want that many to come. From the moment she saw us she was filled with attitude. This made worse by the fact that she couldn't see anything in my uterus. She said "there is no gestational sac" "I don't see a pregnancy"She said this like she was telling us the weather. With no hope or bedside manner at all. She said it could be because it was ectopic or it just "didn't work". So kind this lady!
They did another hcg level and a nurse came to speak to me. She told me not to worry at all. We were early and it is normal to not see anything. She said as long as the hcg level was increasing then we were fine and we would schedule another ultrasound for a little later. This was a huge relief because we were all thinking the worst. So we waited.
Finally at 4pm my phone finally rang with my hcg level. I tried to read the tone in her voice but it gave nothing away. Then she said "unfortunately your levels have dropped.....silence...your level today was 17". Not sure what all she said after that because it all seemed to blur, but what I did hear was there was a pregnancy and now there is not. Lisa could hear bits and pieces but she got enough to understand because I could hear her crying. The nurse went on to tell me to stop my meds and call when I started my period.  The rest of the ride to the train station was pretty quiet except for our tears.  We didn't have much time once we arrived.  Just enough time for long hugs and lots of tears and quick "goodbyes".

Having an intimate relationship with God we have access to him in the toughest times.  I prayed to him almost the entire 5 hour train ride home.  I prayed at first for it to not be true, then I prayed for him to change it, finally I just prayed for strength to make it through.  One of the hard parts of this relationship is that God doesn't always give you the answers you are looking for.  Speaking only for myself, because I cant speak for Lisa, I have to be completely honest I am angry about this.  Why God?  I know that I may never know the answer to that question, but at the moment I am just hurting.  I understand that God's plan is perfect and I trust him in that, but I just don't understand why we made it this far.  Why we had so much happiness and so much hope, just for it to be crushed in an instant.  I know that God makes all things work together for our good, I am just really struggling to see the good in this at this moment.  I am feeling so many different things right now, but it is just to raw to share it all right now.  Hopefully after some time and healing I can come back here and explain more about how I am feeling.  For now I am just asking you to pray for Lisa and Joe and their families.  Please pray for strength for all of us to get through this difficult time.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today!

Today's the day! Lori and Ryan are on their way. I'm working, thankfully, because I'd be going crazy waiting at home. Our appointment is at noon. I'm not sure if we have one bean or two beans in there. I just am praying that it's not too early to see anything. We are 5 weeks, 4 days I think?? I guess we will find out today how far along we are. Pray for us! Thanks :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

2 more days...

Lisa-We have 2 more days, technically 1.5, until our first ultrasound. I can't wait to see what's going on in Lori's belly!! I am so excited that everyone will be able to be in the room and witness this amazing event.

Lori-I am so excited too. Can't wait to see how they are growing. Of course to answer the question everyone wants to know the answer to!!! HOW MANY? We transferred 2 and all of us are praying for both to stick. Well except CJ. He wants 3! So he is hoping they both stick and one splits. My boys both say they think there are two. They want CJ to have two babies. Idk what God has in store for us, but I am confident that he knows best so I trust in him. If there is 1 baby then I will be so thankful that that miracle hung on. If there are two I will be so thrilled that Gods plan was in line with our prayers. And if there are more than 2 then I will be asking for more prayer!!! Lol. I trust in him to give us all what he knows is best. Can't wait til tomorrow to see what that is!!!!!!