Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
I need a shower.
I need to go grocery shopping.
I want to take the kids to the park.
I want to start planting my garden!
And I can't wait to take a home pregnancy test!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I arrived at the clinic with a nearly full bladder (aids the ultrasound and transfer by pushing the uterus into an ideal position). They gave me a Valium to relax me and to stop uterine contractions which could complicate the transfer. They even turned down the lights and played soft music. I was reminded of a massage room, but with the addition of lef stirrups and ultrasound equipment. :-)
The embryo transfer procedure is as follows:
- Insert speculum
- Cleanse cervix
- Insert catheter through cervix (like a straw)
- Inject embryos through the catheter and deep into the fundus
The embryo transfer is aided by abdominal ultrasound and I was able to see the catheter on the screen and then a brighter white which was the embryos and the fluid they were living in.
Next, all instruments were removed and I was lowered to a full recline with pillows under my knees. For half an hour I lay there with the lights dimmed, music playing, with a Valium in my system.... needless to say, I quickly fell asleep and enjoyed a lovely little nap. :-)
One of the staff helped me to roll out of the bed and to the restroom (remember the full bladder?). Then I was put in a wheelchair and escorted downstairs to my waiting husband and little girls. The wheelchair was not because I was injured or overly sedated (although the Valium did make me feel a little bit drifty), but the doctor feels that we should limit the use of abdominal muscles until the embryos have gotten a chance to implant.
The whole process takes 5-10 minutes (not counting waiting before and after) and feels similar to a pap smear. Easy-peasy. :-)
Now we wait. On Monday February 1st we'll have a blood draw, and then the following Monday, February 8th, well have another blood draw to check hcg levels for pregnancy. If the hcg count is high (indicating pregnancy) then there will be another check in two days to be sure that the hcg is rising. Cross your fingers, say a prayer, and think sticky thoughts!
That reminds me! After the transfer, Dr. Smotrich asked my permission to say a prayer! He took my hands and prayed in Hebrew over the little ones. I think it is very special to have a doctor in such a medically/biologically/technically advanced field who is also a man of faith and takes that extra moment to ask for divine assistance in creating the miracle of life.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
In 24 hours I will be laying in bed, surfing the web, watching TV, napping, EATING in bed! :-) And wondering if the transfer will bear fruit.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
A little bit sore, and a slight lumpy feeling. It's not bad for now, but one has to wonder how it will be in 8 weeks after 50+ injections. !!!
Tomorrow I'm meeting a potential nanny for my upcoming 3 days of vacation (bedrest). She has a 5 year old daughter who is going to come along and play with the girls. :-)
Friday, January 22, 2010
The Progesterone shot was just like the Delestrogens - same size needle, same location. However, the Progesterone is triple the quantity of substance to be injected so it takes longer to inject and I imagine it will be more prone to creating a lump. I still have an hour or more before bed to walk around and massage the oil into the muscle - hopefully we won't get lumps!
Of course, weeks from now I doubt I'll be so enthusiastic about Progesterone in Oil. !
Medications: Yesterday I stopped Lupron and had my Thursday injection of Delestrogen. Today I will have Prenatal, Baby Aspirin, Doxycycline, Medrol, Prometrium, and Progesterone injection in the evening. These meds continue daily for the next 5 days with the addition of Delestrogen again on Monday.
I'm really looking forward to my upcoming 3 days of bedrest. As a mother of 3 young children, I welcome the excuse to sleep in, watch movies, read a book (how long has it been since I read a book that wasn't about Parenting?), let someone else do the cooking, the cleaning, and entertain the kids. :-)
Today is the egg retrieval AND fertilization. There are 14 eggs to be harvested. Let's hope that we get several good 5-day embyos for Wednesday. We will want to have extras to freeze just in case we need to try again a second time. Think happy thoughts!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The egg retrieval (donor) is scheduled for this Friday, and the transfer is now scheduled for next Wednesday the 27th. I stop Lupron as of today, then start Progesterone, Prometrium, Medrol, and Doxycycline on Friday. Those will be daily. Delestrogen remains Thursday and Monday.
There was no blood draw today, just an ultrasound to examine uterine lining which is now a 13. Anything over 10 is good at this stage. My next appointment will be on Tuesday to do one last check-up, including a blood draw to check all levels.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Appointment tomorrow at the IVF clinic. My appointment is at 10:45, and their's is at 11:30, so we will have our first face-to-face tomorrow morning! Tomorrow we will have the usual blood test (to confirm NO current pregnancy, as well as check estrogen level) and ultrasound to check lining thickness and confirm continued ovarian suppression.
My meds cheat-sheet says I will be starting Progesterone, Prometrium, Medrol, and Doxycycline on the 22nd or 23rd; I believe Lupron will stop. I will find out the exact schedule tomorrow. And I don't know what the Prometrium and Medrol are for, but I will ask the doc when I meet with him. The Doxycycline is an antibiotic to destroy any malicious bacteria that might be in the uterine environment. It's a standard protocol, since apparently some of the common bacterias that populate the area are toxic to the embryos. I always always get a yeast infection after an antibiotic so I plan to supplement probiotics at the same time.
I will post again tomorrow afternoon!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Experienced Surrogates: How much notice did you have for a fresh transfer?
My IPs are on vacation skiing in the Alps! Next week they will be flying into San Diego for a few days to take care of business at the IVF clinic and we are going to meet for the first time! Being an international match, we have only spoken via phone, email, and my blog. I'm fine with the long distance, and I don't mind going to doctor's appointments alone, I've always been very independent. But if the roles were reversed, I can't imagine a woman on the other side of the world carrying my baby and I being unable to keep a watchful eye throughout the pregnancy -- I'm a little bit of a control freak though, which is why I do my own shots. So, I plan to do whatever I can to keep my Parents in-the-loop for their long-distance pregnancy.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Meds stay the same for the next week: Delestrogen on Monday/Thursday, Lupron daily, baby aspirin and prenatals daily.
FYI: Delestrogen makes the body think that it is pregnant and causes typical pregnancy changes such as softening of the cervix and breast tenderness. I had a day or two of fearing that I might BE pregnant (despite ovarian supression) until I confirmed with the doctor that Delestrogen causes these symptoms. :-)
Monday, January 11, 2010
The left side was definately more difficult, being that I am right-handed. I sat on the bathroom counter to get a good view of my left side. Checked and double-checked the correct location. Stuck it in, pushed into the muscle (slight twinge, not much) and slowly slowly depressed the plunger. Since this oil is thick it takes longer to get it through the needle and it was more difficult with my left hand than it was with my right. But, I don't think I have to worry about intramuscular injections anymore. They really don't hurt very much. As long as I can avoid getting hard lumps (inject slowly, massage and walk afterwards) I think I'll be just fine.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
"Aly, tell me about the baby we're going to make."
It starts with a little baby like this big (fingers pinched together, tiny) and they put in in your stomach. It's going to grOW! And then it's going to come out. We're going to give it to (IM name) and (IF name).
Thankfully, my 2yo is looking much better today, the 4yo's hives are gone, and my 6yo still has crusties on her eyes but is looking like she will be recovering soon.
The life of a surrogate is not just appointments, medications, and being pregnant. We are also wives and mothers dealing with all the joys and difficulties of marriage, parenthood, paying bills, cleaning house (over and over again everyday, when you have young kids at home), and trying to find time for friendships.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Delestrogen will be Monday and Thursday. I think this will be a nice little break-in period to get used to intramuscular shots before Progesterone starts daily.
Oh, and I saw our doctor today. My lining is thin which is good since I just finished my flow. Both ovaries are quiet. We also did a blood test to verify that I am not pregnant (this is for the lawyers), that way when pregnancy occurs the parentage won't be questioned. We'll do the blood test next week and the week after as well.
Monday, January 4, 2010
I've been reading other ladies' stories about the Progesterone shots looking for tips. General consensus is
1. Warm the oil;
2. Relax the muscle (sit or lay down);
3. Quick jab;
4. SLOWLY inject over approx 30sec or more;
5. Warm compress and massage for 15min+.
One lady pressed the needle in slowly (instead of the jab) and claims it saved her from the typical bruising, swelling, and lumps. Extra long massaging after the injection may help avoid lumps, and doing the shot in the morning (rather than before bed) may also help with soreness.
The Progesterone doesn't start for another 2.5 weeks, but I think I have to take it daily for about 12 weeks! So I'm definately concerned about how to best preserve my comfort!
My next appointment is this Thursday for ultrasound and check blood levels. If all is as it should be I'll be starting Delestrogen twice a week (injection) and reducing the Lupron dosage by 50%.