Friday, December 26, 2014

Upwards and onwards

Beta # 2 is...


We're moving right along in the right direction. We're done with betas and will have our first ultrasound at 6.5 weeks on January 12th. 

Still filled with hope that this could be it. 

(Sorry for the short sporadic posts...that's all my service will allow from my Dad's farm in North Carolina...and no internet either!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Best gift I could ever ask for

Our beta is in...

At 6.5 hours shy of being 8dp5dt it's...


It's a fantastically solid number for so early. Our nurses reaction was "you are definitely 100% pregnant". 

The next beta is Friday. Hopefully it doubles. Please...just let that happen. 

So incredibly blessed for this Christmas miracle and the woman that's made it possible. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Joy

This post is supposed to be for tomorrow. It's supposed to come after the beta numbers are in. We've all been in this game for far to long to trust our heart to a simple pregnancy test.

I've decided not to wait till tomorrow. Because I'm not sure it matters.

Because so looks that good. 

At 5:30 EST time on Sunday at 4.75dp5dt. I received a text from K, asking if I was awake. I was. I was googling HPT's and BFN's at certain days past transfer. I was trying my best to prepare for what happens if this doesn't work.

What then?

What if we only have 3 embryos left? What if we transfer those...and then baby?

At 5:30 am on Sunday...I received the first glimmer of hope that maybe, I would never have to ask that question.

And it's just got better from there...

And from there...


And finally to just shy of 7dp5dt...

So yes...I figured it's time to share with my most special friends that have pulled me through every dark moment...and every happy one. 

Beta test tomorrow. Will do a quick blog post, since I know we all have a Merry, Merry Christmas to celebrate. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014


My heart is as full as it's ever been. I'm not even sure words can truly describe how I feel right now. While there is no doubt the outcome I'm hoping for, the love I have in my heart right untouchable, whatever this next week brings.

First of all, for my husband, T. Because for four years (well, longer than that) he has stood by me, held my hand, wiped my tears and made me laugh. But most importantly, he has supported every decision and whole-heartedly embraced every direction that we've taken that has ultimately lead us here. I love you, T, infinitely, to the moon and back and then back again. You're my everything.

To Kelly for taking a chance on me. For communicating with a perfect stranger all those months ago. For the leap of faith and trust that she has given me in deciding to be a part of our world in one of the most special, kind and loving ways possible. These past few days have only solidified and confirmed how right this really is. She is not a stranger anymore. She's my friend. Undoubtably. And she's the woman that I'm so very hopeful will carry our child(ren). It was so very hard to leave her tonight. I hope she knows how much I care for her and our precious little embryos. I hope they decide to stick around.

I was asked if I felt a little sad yesterday being on the sidelines. The truth was, I wasn't on the sidelines. I was right there. Every moment. Not one time, did I wish it was me lying on that bed, receiving those embryos. It never crossed my mind. This was how it was supposed to be, and there was no room for sadness yesterday. The tears I cried were joyful and full of hope.

I also have so much love for this community. I would never wish infertility on anyone. However, would I be who I am today without it? Without YOU. The friends that I have made on this blog have given me a sense of peace. I would never change where my path has lead me, because I wouldn't have some of the most amazing friends and supporters that I could ever ask for. The amount of love that I received via comments, emails and texts moved me in a way I will never forget. I don't know why my journey to have a family has been so challenging. What I do know, is that I've been blessed that it has brought all of you into my life.

And to one of the biggest cheerleaders of all...Amanda I want you to know and ALL of you to know that the beautiful post she wrote yesterday had such an amazing impact on our transfer. Kelly was the first to read your post. She read it while lying in bed waiting for us to join her. With tears streaming down her face. Her first words to me when I walked in the room were "you have to read this". I did...and I cried. Then my husband read it, and he cried. To feel that kind of love and to share it in that moment prior to our precious embryos being placed into her uterus, could I ever forget that? What would I ever do without you? I hope you know that I hope and pray for your baby every single day. I hope soon that baby is in your arms. Because trust ARE one of the most deserving women and I am so proud to know you. I love you dear friend.

Jill, Jessah and my awesome sister-in-law, Autumn, you know what you mean to me and what you do for me. I wouldn't be here without you.

Something my mom used to say when her heart was happy was (and I have no doubt she's looking down with happy tears in her eyes right now):

"My heart sours like a hawk"

Guess what, Mom...mine too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's Transfer Day!

I have 10 minutes to write a blog post. So I'll get right to it and post again later today. The past 24 hours have been amazing.

K, T and I all made it to Denver with no delays and have been having a great time together.

Kelly and I had lunch and got matching (green for luck) mani's and pedi's yesterday. We went to dinner with T, his brother and our sister-in-law which was awesome. I was so happy to be able to introduce her to part of our family!!

We've got lots of goodies (thank you, Jill) and are going to get lots of movies to lounge around the next couple days. CCRM called to confirm thawing TWO of our embryos. It's all so freaking real right now and I couldn't be more excited!!

Thank you...for all the love and support that I'm getting from so many of you.

So much love coming my way and it means the world.

Here's a few pics of the past 24 hours.

More later when Kelly is officially PUPO!! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dare I hope??

The past six months have been a whirl wind. Our transfer failing...beginning conversations with K. Meeting her. Then once we went to CCRM things REALLY flew by. That was only 2 months ago.

And here we are...just over 4 days away from our transfer. And not a transfer that I know the odds aren't good. Knowing that the chances of it not working are way better than the chances that it will. The odds are for once in four years...on OUR side. I'm still trying to process that.

K's final lining check was yesterday. It was 9.3mm and triple striped. I guess first I should fill you in on what happened after my post last week. Dr. G was concerned that her lining would get too thick. Who'd have ever thought that would be a problem I would face?! So they kept her on 1 patch, rather than the typical steady increase of patches. So she was on very low doses of estrogen along with her Lupron. Of course, then  I was worried that what if it didn't get thick enough now?? I mean there is always something to worry about, right??

Well, like I said, her lining was 9.3mm, her labs were good...and get this...she had 39 follicles!! Like, WHA???? So while "suppressing" her, she's still making the quantity of eggs that some of us only dream of. They were around 9mm in size. So at least we weren't at risk of them ovulating. Whew!! I emailed CCRM slightly concerned that this could potentially impact the transfer, but nope...there response was:

"Some people are just blessed with lots of eggs. :)"

Yes, indeed.

She has a progesterone check tomorrow, but all things are go for Tuesday!! I fly out to Denver on Sunday, I plan on spending the evening with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Then I'm picking Kelly up Monday from the airport and we'll spend the day getting pampered. Having lunch, pedicures and then dinner with Trevor when he arrives Monday evening.

Her transfer will be around noon-ish and K and I will be spending the next day and a half watching chick flicks and ordering take out. I'm pretty darn stoked.

Excited for this opportunity. Happy that we actually have a really good shot. And thrilled that K is in this with me. I couldn't ask for anything else...

Okay...maybe just one thing. :)

Thanks for all the sweet thoughts about my hip surgery. I'm doing great!! Bumbling around quite well actually!! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Finally...A Good Uterus!!!

First of all, thank you for being so kind to Jill. She means the world to me and I'm so happy you were able to get to know a little about her.

I have a quick update for our FET cycle. I'm so behind on all things literally, the worst time!! A few weeks ago, we moved out of our condo that we've had for almost ten years into our home. We love it. I've been so busy getting things unpacked and in order, that I literally haven't sat down to breathe in what feels like months.

Partly because I'm having surgery...TODAY! Like in a few hours. I have hip impingement that causes pain when I walk (or pretty much do anything). I certainly want it fixed before we have a baby(ies)! Guess I can chalk it up to all the dance and sports I was involved with growing up. So this means for the next month, I'll be a bit gimpy. Hopefully the downtown will allow me to catch up on all my blog reading (and posting). I look forward to seeing what's been going on with everyone!!

Lastly...Kelly had her first lining check yesterday...and...

It's 8.3mm!!! On cd 8!!! Who knew linings could be so nice and cushy!!? I sure didn't! It's already triple striped and she goes in for her next check on December 10th.

People we are getting so close. Officially 12 days away from transfer!!

Life is good!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thank You for Being a Friend

Suzanne gave me such a lovely introduction; I’m afraid I may not live up to the hype! I know she said I was going to tell my story, but this is more just a little snippet of my story. And considering it took me 6 months to actually sit down and string some words together, it may very well be the only part I ever get around to telling! (Yes, the spirit of blogging is obviously lost on me.) Like many of you, we hit a few bumps on the road to our family. I’m so fortunate to have had Suzanne by my side through all of it. At the time I was struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss, without any first-hand experience of her own yet, somehow she always knew what to do or say. I hope I have been at least half as comforting to her as she was to me! Because in so many ways, large and small, it’s the people around us who help pull us through. I’m Jill, and this is the story—albeit rambling—of one of my “bumps:” 

Romantic comedies aren’t usually my thing, and I’ve always been neutral on Sandra Bullock. But every time “The Proposal” is playing, I will, without question, watch it. And feel all warm and fuzzy in the process (owing only a wee bit to Ryan Reynolds being fiiiiine and Betty White my favorite Golden Girl). The rest of that fuzziness comes from a dearly-held memory, a moment of normalcy that withstood the collapse of everything else.

The night before, my husband and I had lit out of Virginia for the 8 hour drive home through pitch black, not able to go fast enough to forget the empty car seat in the back. I had explained to the hotel troll that the baby we had with us the day before—the baby I had been cooing to when she snapped, “No pets!” without looking up—wasn’t going to be our baby anymore, so we didn’t need to stay any longer. She was oh-so-sorry, but our rate was going to increase since our stay had shortened, and we had also missed the checkout cut-off, so we owed for that night. The baby was, for the moment, still with us. She watched from her (our?) car seat as we frantically packed up our things, the things intended for her; as we yelled at our parents on the phone because we didn’t know what else to do. We held her, fed her and soothed her while we choked on tears, remembering the night before when we had done the same things in awe, with giddiness. We dressed her in one of the outfits her mother had sent with her, and packed up some of the baby things we had bought, to send back with her, because they were hers, after all, and they couldn’t be anyone else’s after this. Her mother had called the social worker that morning, well within the state’s revocation period, saying she didn’t want to talk to us or see us because she was “embarrassed.” But she wanted us to bring her daughter to the social worker’s office the following morning …as though we were just babysitting for an extra night, I suppose. The call came when we were in the car, heading home from a follow-up pediatrician visit. My husband pulled into a gas station, got out of the car and sobbed like I have never or since seen. When I caught my own breath, sitting in the back seat next to the baby girl we had named, I called the social worker back and said, “If this is going to happen, it needs to happen NOW.”

When we finally got home, we shut the door to the nursery and then fell into bed for who knows how long. I remember waking up to the hazy silhouettes of my husband’s mom and dad, the blinding summer sun creeping through the doorway around them. They were bringing home our dog (dear sweet Ruby, who comforted us in many moments like this) …and probably also wanted to make sure we were still breathing. There wasn't a lot of talk, just more tears. They had lost a wished-for grandchild, too. They had seen their son and daughter-in-law fight through the brokenness of infertility to a new place of hope. For this. I sent out a mass email to update friends and family, praying there weren’t more baby gifts in the mail, wondering what to do with the ones we’d already received. My husband was planning to just show up at work on Monday, rather than lift a phone and piece together words to explain the unexplainable now, in the immediate aftermath. I pondered what I was going to do with the sudden emptiness of my days. I had left my job. For this. I couldn’t really bring myself to talk to anyone just yet. Our parents, of course. And then it fell to them to burden the rest of our family with the news. I do remember calling Suzanne as we sped through the mountains. I don’t remember exactly what I said. I’m sure there was cursing and crying, and all kinds of awful, ugly things that only best friends can hear, generously forget and still love you. Things like lashing out at this child’s mother, speaking truths and untruths that were, either way, not fair to say. In a cruel quirk of fate, when we were finally too hungry and exhausted to keep up our mad race away, the only place we could find to stop was the very same 24-hour restaurant chain where not-our-baby’s mother worked. That was 6 years ago and the last time we ever ate there.

In the midst of all this, my husband and I made plans to go out with Suz and T the night after we returned. They were hurting, too; they had recently experienced a big loss of their own. I think we all just needed somewhere to be. I don’t remember what we did before the movie. Probably dinner? Probably pizza or Mexican? Probably talk about anything but these raw and gaping holes? We knew for sure that it had to be a funny movie, so from the available options, “The Proposal” it was. For whatever reason: the comfort of friends, the mental quiet in that dark theater, the pretense of a typical evening out, (<cough cough> Betty White <ahem>); I got to feel normal for those 2 hours. Not just normal. Happy! I laughed. I saw a glimpse of where we would be when we got past this (and we would get past it). I got to be with people who would help us get past it. I remember riding that wave of happiness as we walked out to our cars and hugged good night, stretching it out as far as possible until the quiet and sadness would undoubtedly creep back in and run their course. Obviously I’ve had many happy moments since that time. Deliriously happy moments even. Though I no longer need it so desperately, that movie still brings me back to that renewed feeling of possibility, to that light in the dark. So is it really a good movie? Under the circumstances, I’m not sure my opinion can be trusted. But I do know it was really really good for me.

No, adoption plans do not always come to fruition, and I know this can be one of the most daunting parts for potential adoptive parents. But, really, when you think about the gravity of the commitment, is it so surprising? It is often said that an expectant mother must make the decision to place all over again once the baby is there, crying and stretching under the warming lamp. This makes a lot of sense to me; while we had three potential adoption situations fall through at various stages, none hurt quite like this first one, where a very real baby had already nestled against us and left an impression in our arms.

In adoption, there is no way to guarantee (nor ethically could there be) that the child for whom you are preparing your heart will actually come home with you. So you must fiercely guard your heart as well. When our oldest daughter was born, we held our breath for four days afterwards. While we kissed her bald little head and watched her twitch in her sleep, we pretended we weren’t already irreversibly in love with her. On the day her birthparents signed their consents for the adoption, her birthfather called me afterward, the pain in his voice tangible, to congratulate us. As I gently set the phone down, I wept for their grief and for our heart’s desire fulfilled. When I turned around, my husband was kneeling, little box in hand, the diamonds twinkling on a mother and child pendant that I, just then, in that bittersweet moment, finally, FINALLY had reason to wear. At long last, we exhaled, and spoke our daughter’s name out loud for the first time.

I waffle a little with saying things end up the way they were meant to be, because in the case of adoption that would imply that my joy was meant to be at the expense of another’s loss. But I will just say that I certainly can’t imagine loving any other children as much as I love my daughters, nor can I contemplate a world where we are not together. The pain of our infertility struggle and first adoption experience has since been happily buried way down deep by what has grown in its wake. One thing that I can unequivocally say was “meant to be” is having Suzanne in my life! It is amazing how much we can endure and heal, with a little help. So Suz, thank you for being a friend. Many years from now, after our kids are grown and our husbands are gone (What?! Oh relax, they’re just golfing.), I will be the Dorothy to your Blanche. J


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Inspiration

We're a few days from Thanksgiving and what better way to celebrate thanks on my blog than by having my first guest post. But before that is published...I want to introduce her.

Many of you don't know her, but she knows you. For the past several years that I've been blogging, she's been reading. And not just reading my story (even though she hears it firsthand) but she's also been reading yours. She knows almost all of you, your stories and your struggles. 

She's not a commenter for the most part, not even on my blog except those rare posts that really resonate with her and pull her out of lurk mode. Amanda has been privy to a few of those comments due to their common path which warms my heart on a whole other level for another day.

Many of the women I've met had very little thought about infertility before it so crassly landed in their life. For me, infertility did not come along 4 years ago when I experienced our first loss and struggled to become pregnant again. It came along almost 9 years ago when my best friend experienced multiple losses and failed infertility treatments. 

I cried for her and for her husband for the pain that they were going through. The anguish of years of loss, hormones, treatments and failures that come with infertility. 

I want you all to know that while I've received so many loving comments and support from all of my fellow bloggers and infertility fighters that have praised me over the past few years for being strong...and brave...and many other compliments you've blessed upon me. There is a reason that I've been strong...and brave...

And her name is Jill. 

I learned from someone long before infertility reached my body how to be strong when life shoves you down. When the most unfair possibilities and scenarios come to fruition. When the world around you keeps on going (and procreating) leaving you behind. But you continue to get up each and every day and live your life the only way you can. Sometimes through laughter; and sometimes through tears. 

I've had the kind of love and support in my corner from day 1 of my infertility struggles. Because she knew...all too well. I've had a resource to turn to, from the very beginning. I've had someone to laugh with and to cry with. Someone that truly got it better than anyone else in my life ever could. 

I truly believe that we will all get through this hell that they call infertility. It just may not be when we hoped or how we expected. But I have no doubt that my happy ever after is coming.

We always talk about how it's 1 in 8 that will struggle with infertility. But how often do we talk about the 10% of that statistic that will never "recover" from infertility. That cannot be treated with IVF or medication. That have to move on to adoption or surrogacy or even to live a child-free life. 

What are the odds that my very best friend in the world and I are BOTH part of that 10%? We've known we were kindred spirits from the first moment we met almost 10 years ago. I never thought this would be something we'd both have to experience. 

I longed for a child almost 9 years ago. One that was not to be my own. But for one of the most special people in my life. My best friend. 

And thankfully, almost 5 years ago, that child arrived. It's hard to imagine loving my own more than I love her precious little C. This child lights up my life and melts my heart. So I can only imagine how full her heart is...

But that's Jill's story...and I'm so happy that she's going to tell it. 

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Great News...Clouded with Doubt

I have really good news. News that I've been waiting on since last May when we decided to move forward with a gestational carrier and I was so lucky to have Kelly come in to our life.

We have a transfer date. And it's this year.

December 16th

That would put her beta on December 26th. If she tested early (which she already said she would) we would know by Christmas. I couldn't ask for anything that would mean more or make me happier than to find out that she's pregnant with our baby.

I want so badly to be jumping for joy right now.

She started BCPS on Sunday and starts Lupron next Wednesday. Our FET cycle has begun.

But...there is always a but...

She is having her repeat antibody screen drawn today. With these results, which we most likely won't have for another week...this whole cycle (actually it will go way beyond this cycle) will come crashing down.

My heart is terrified right now. I mean, this is EVERYTHING on the line with this one simple blood test.

So think of her today as she goes in for this test. Send prayers and good thoughts that this is just a tiny fluke and all continues to move along beautifully as it has thus far. Think of me as I try and keep my sanity for this next week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Another Hiccup

One can only hope that this is all it is. Not sure my heart can handle it being anything other than another small bump in the road.

On Friday, at the very end of the day (typical of CCRM) I received an email with the final results of Kelly's blood work. I had thought this was all in, but apparently not. Or apparently they were waiting until I was really excited to throw us a curve ball. Either way, the email came in at 5:30 pm on a Friday and I had to wait until Monday to get any answers. Which in my opinion, is kind of cruel and unusual punishment.

Her antibody screen came back "inconclusive". Meaning, there were possible small amounts of antibody detected, but couldn't be identified. A few people have asked me what IS an antibody screening. Here's what the nurse said:

Antibody screening is a test to detect atypical antibodies in the blood that may have been formed as a result of a transfusion or pregnancy.  Patients who are attempting pregnancy have their blood typed and screened to diagnose and prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN), a type of anemia also known as erythroblastosis fetalis.  If antibodies are present, she cannot move forward as a GC due to the risk of complications with the baby.  There is no treatment.

So yes, my brain is spinning and my heart is on high alert. They want her to retest next week, which is exactly 4 weeks from her last test. The good news is, they are still allowing her to start birth control pills in preparation for transfer regardless. Dr. G thinks that "most likely" it was a reaction to some protein in her blood and will come back negative on the next evaluation.

She was last screened for this during her most recent (two) pregnancies. Both were negative.

Let us all hope this next test is negative as well.

This I know. I will fight for her. I don't know if this is something that all clinics are so black and white on when it comes to accepting a GC. It's not a test I remember ever having in all of my fertility screening. So why her? I get the risks, but is this not something that can be controlled? Watched? Is this something that CCRM is way more critical of vs. other clinics? I know that on somethings they can be.

If I have to move my embryos. I would do it. I hope it never comes to that. I hope that this is just me frantically worrying about the "worst case".

If any of you can shed more light, comfort or even concern on any of this...I am all ears. Please...give me something that can get me through the next week. (For anyone looking at it from the D (Rh) type aspect...she is Rh positive.)

Suz (with bottle of wine in hand)

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Surrogate is her Egg Donor

This is going to be my most favorite post ever. It doesn't matter what's to come...this one post, is how it all began.

I've wanted to share this story for five months now...but I needed it to be official. And now it is.

Something that has been on my mind often these past several months is how fortunate we are when certain individuals come into our world at just the right moment. It's those special people that touch your soul and really make a difference. Friends that you know without a doubt will be part of your life, well...forever.

Back in January, I shared that I got to meet Jessah (and her husband) for lunch in Colorado. We were both at CCRM for various treatments. She was there for her last retrieval and I was there for my hysteroscopy to attempt to treat my Asherman's Syndrome. Neither of those procedures worked out as we hoped and I've realized that even though they didn't, maybe it's because we were destined for something so much bigger. Fate lead us together in a truly serendipitous moment that day in Denver.

And that day I met a friend that I will cherish and love for so many years to come.

I'm so thrilled that she's finally, after so many years, expecting her Baby Sunshine. She is going to be such a loving and fantastic mother...and A is going to be a great father. And because of a very special circumstance and very loving woman...Jessah and I are well on our way to having our dreams come true.

That's right. I said woman. That's what I'm so thrilled to share. My very special also Jessah's egg donor.

It's K...K is Kelly.

During their communication, K expressed her wishes to become a gestational carrier. She's already helped Jessah reach her dreams of becoming a mother...and two other women before her through egg donation. Like Jessah's story, we came to meet K in a less traditional way..."outside the box" as she mentioned in her post. I met her because Jessah knew in her heart that this could be a match. Because Jessah loved and cared about me enough, as I was learning that I couldn't carry a child, that she gave me a light in the dark.

It's difficult enough to come to the realization that I will never experience pregnancy. To be faced with the cost of surrogacy when we had already gone through so many infertility treatments, can be overwhelming to say the least. A huge part of the surrogacy costs are the agency fees. Fees for finding and being matched with a surrogate. For us, the difference in having an agency vs. not having an agency made using a gestational carrier within reach.

Jessah has bonded us forever because of her actions. Our children will always be connected through their stories. I can't wait for the day that they can play together and learn the beautiful story of how much they were wanted and loved by so many...even before they were here.  How intertwined their lives were before they were born. I am so thankful for that day in January. I'm so thankful for this blog and for all the women that I've met (even if not actually in person) and have supported me these almost four years. Where would I be without you? Without Jessah? Without K?

Jessah made this happen for us. There is no way to ever express in words how much that means to me. January 9, 2014...very likely, changed my life.

And especially to Kelly, who I've grown to care about so much in these past few months and not just as my surrogate, but as my friend. Who I hope in the coming months, will lovingly, graciously and kindly carry our child for us. I want her to know that because of this gift, I will be carrying her and her family in my heart for the rest of my life.

I look forward to sharing so many moments, big and small with her...with Jessah and with all of you. This is my hope and my dream. For the first time in so long, it feels so close.

Whatever I did to deserve Jessah and Kelly in my life...I couldn't be happier or more grateful.

Our very first meeting (July 18, 2014)

Agreements signed!! (October 25, 2014)
Transfer in December/January

Monday, October 20, 2014

Moving along...literally

Got the great news on Friday that our gestational surrogate will NOT require a mock cycle! I don't even know what to say about how quickly and smoothly things are going at this scares me a little, because I just want it to continue.

This means that with her next period in early/mid-November, she'll start birth control pills to prep for her FET. Who'd have thought I'd be here at this point after our failed transfer in May?! It's all so surreal.

I still do not believe it will happen this year. With CCRM's lab closing from Christmas through the New Year holiday, I believe they will schedule it for early January. Still lots to do over the next few weeks. Waiting on labs and her "official" medical clearance. T and her hubby are in the process of getting vials of blood to ship to CCRM because of their lovely "it must be done in our lab" rules and we're drafting contracts. But literally...we're in the final stages of going full steam ahead.

So, so happy.

And on that note...I think we bought a house.

Yes, you read that right. Apparently I like to keep myself at the max overload of chaos in my life at all times. We've been casually looking for almost a year and a half and we've been in a condo for almost 10 years. It's been great, but I miss things (and I want to get rid of other things).

I want a yard. We love to entertain and cook and our condo is not conducive to that. (unless you like grilling in a parking lot and walking 2 flights of stairs to serve/eat)

I want space. Especially if we just might be bringing a baby home. Right now, we have 2 bedrooms, but the layout is pretty bad for a baby (or guests in general) since the guest room is practically in the kitchen.

I don't want massive amounts of stairs leading from my car to our main level. I will never, ever miss this. Large grocery trips and big Target runs of stocking up on house hold essentials like heavy cat litter, etc. are not fun when they require multiple trips of hauling stuff up all those stairs...even if it kept me in shape all these years. (Let's be honest, usually I put about 6 bags on each arm and leave the cat litter for T, but you get it...I still huff and puff the whole way with that many bags)

I don't want a tandem garage that requires us to park one behind the other. It's also so narrow that adults can't even get in and out once the car is "in" the garage unless they are on the drivers side, and even then, it's a squeeze. So imagine me trying to get any kind of car seat in and out. Dare I think of ahead, but this is me having hope that one day...soon.

We didn't plan on doing this until maybe next spring...guess the right one just came along.

There is a lot on our plate right now and we are both mentally exhausted. We're doing our best to manage everything (smartly). It's definitely a bit nerve-wracking.

But it's all very exciting too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BIG sigh of relief

First of all, I'm going to warn anyone reading this that I'm mentally and physically exhausted from the last 24 hours. So I may or may not be able to form complete sentences. I've received so many well wishes that I just wanted to update all of you as soon as I could...jibberish or not.

Our trip starting off rocky is a understatement at best. On my way to the airport yesterday, I received a text that her flight was delayed around 30 minutes. Problem was, this was pretty early on in the afternoon and I know that delays tend to get longer and longer. Her layover was one hour.

At some point it became clear that there was a good chance she wouldn't make her connection and found out the later flight to Denver was sold out. Her flight may or may not wait for her even though it was landing within minutes of the next departure time.

Aside from me feeling absolutely horrible for her being stuck at an airport dealing with delays (which we all know pretty much sucks)...I had to board my flight from Indianapolis. A flight which had no Wifi and having no idea if she would make it or not.

Longest 3 hours ever. By that time I landed I was darn near an anxiety attack. Well...either that or just wanting to vomit.

I had texted T all her information so he could help her out if needed while I was in air. Luckily I had a text from both of them when I arrived that a spot opened up on the last flight into Denver. So a few hours late, both of us bleary-eyed from stress and exhaustion, she made it.

Today we had time for breakfast before her appointments started. So amazing to be able to sit, talk, spend time with her and continue to learn more about each other.

So how did the ODWU go!?!

It went perfect. I know we won't have all the results for a few weeks, but what we do know is her uterus looks great! Ultrasound, blood flow, hysteroscopy...she passed all of them with flying colors.

What more could I ask for right now, this very minute??

Not much. I'm sitting in the Denver airport pretty darn excited about all that's to come.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Change of Plans

Last week wasn't the greatest week. Last weekend I found out my aunt had died tragically in an accident. I had to travel home to North Carolina to be with my family. I'm glad I did. They needed me.

Dear sweet Allison at Belle Haven Drive also gave birth to her sweet baby girls...but sadly, she lost Emmanuelle...and I know her heart is in a million pieces all while being strong for little Rowan. So my heart is with her.

And Sarah at Where the Heart is Today...who had her whole heart on the line with this FET that she's been waiting so hard and so long for...feels broken. I've felt that pain. I know what it's like, and I wish there was something I could do to take that pain away for her.

So no, last week wasn't good. I feel awful that I've been away from the blogs due to my own circumstances, but I want them to know how much they have been on my mind.

We've were on a bit of a high since finding out that our GC's records were approved the week prior. Since then I knew there would be a bit of a waiting game on her 2nd period (well...cause we were still waiting on her first).

Last Thursday, was cycle day 1 and that night my nurse at CCRM sent an email that changed it all...enough time has passed since the IUD was removed. There is no need to wait any longer. So what does that mean??

It means she's going to Denver on Wednesday for her ODWU (one day work up). Unfortunately, her hubby can't make it due to work commitments. So I'm going to go with her. I certainly didn't want her at CCRM's mercy on her own.

So this week is it...this week will determine us moving on to our FET. They'll do labs, an ultrasound, a hysteroscopy and her psychological consult. As long as all goes well...we could potentially have a transfer this year still (depending on the need for a mock cycle).

I'm thrilled. Ecstatic. And nervous.

I'm looking forward to spending a few hours with her. This is a relationship that we're entering into after all. One that will truly bond us forever. So yes, getting to know her better and better has made me feel comfortable and even happy and excited about where we are today and the decisions we've made.

So stay tuned...this is getting real!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

27 days

That's how long it's been since CCRM received her records. 27 very long days.

In those 27 days the internet has only added to my fear. The fear that they would determine some reason not to allow her to move forward. I read post after post about CCRM being one of the hardest clinics in the country to get a gestational surrogate approved. This has frightened me. While yes, Dr. G had said that the hypertension during her 2nd pregnancy and the fact that we couldn't even get records for that pregnancy or her 1st pregnancy weren't disqualifiers, I still had the nagging fear (daily) that there would be a red flag somewhere that would give them cause to turn her (us) away.

And we weren't prepared for that to happen. We feel connected to her now. We can imagine the next 12 months of doctors appointments, FET and hopefully a pregnancy with her. It's my heart, but I've been here before, where I believe this is our answer...and it's not.

So for the last 27 days, I've been hopeful, but very anxious. Yesterday this one little email from my nurse made my heart soar.

I got her record review back yesterday and everything looks good.  

Her records were approved. Another huge hurdle has been cleared. Yet, I realize, we're still only starting to even be able to see the starting line up ahead.

Next steps:

Phone Screen between GC and nurse
ODWU (one day work up) where they will do a psych screening and medical screening (November)
Contract negations with attorneys

Only then...will be be able to begin.

I feel miles away...but I can see what's ahead. Every little step brings me closer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

She Needs Us

Our sweet friend Allison from Belle Haven Drive needs all the love and support she can get right now. She's carrying two sweet girls and is doing her very best to get them a little further along and avoid the complications of pre-eclampsia.

Lets send her all of our well wishes, good thoughts and prayers that these babies get the extra time they need and that Allison stays healthy. She's been through so much, like all of us, and just wants to bring her baby girls home.

Much love to you, Allison.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Another Milestone...check.

The IUD is officially GONE!

After the fuss and hassle that she went through last week, I was so happy that once she was numbed it came right out. I was so hoping this would be the case. The more I read about IUD's and the potential for surgery to remove them, I was a bit worried.

I certainly want to avoid any surgery on her uterus at this point. Maybe it's my past experience, but when you get this close to a dream and then a little scar tissue from a routine surgery changes your path's hard to get over. So lets just say, we're all very happy that it's out!

I could tell she was relieved to have this step checked off the list and she was also able to get her clearance letter from the OBGYN that removed the IUD.

Not only that...but if you remember back a few posts when I discussed the first few pregnancies she had and the fact that the records were no longer available...well this doctor is the one that monitored those pregnancies. So maybe it's just me, or wishful thinking...but I would say a letter stating she's cleared from surrogacy from him would at least hold a little bit of weight.

So now we simply wait on CCRM. The records review process takes 2-4 weeks. We're officially at 2.5 weeks today. Would love to hear something this week.

Once we hear from them, they will do a brief phone interview with her to discuss the upcoming ODWU. Because of the IUD she has to wait for two periods. She expects a period in early October, which would put the ODWU in November. Between now and then, we just wait.

I'm also considering making a few changes to my blog. Even potentially moving it to a new URL. Our Journey to a Baby Bump just doesn't seem to fit anymore. Still...just something I'm muling over at this point and considering possible names. I would never remove this blog because I know how difficult it can be to find information on Diminished Ovarian Reserve, Asherman's Syndrome and even Gestational Surrogacy, especially from an intended mother's perspective. I want that here on the off chance that it could help even just one woman dealing with any similar issues.

Needless to say, today, I'm just happy. All kinds of smiles and lovely thoughts. I've missed the days were hope was abundant.

Welcome back, hope.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Week of IUD Hell

Just a not-so-fun update of what's been going on this week.

My GC was scheduled to have her IUD removed on Tuesday. She was super nervous and I told her that in my experience they just pulled it right out in like 2 seconds and wasn't nearly as awful coming out as it was going in.

Well...that's in a good scenario apparently.

She went in for her appointment and her doctor couldn't find the strings. He informed her that she would have to come back the next day for an ultrasound and if it was in place, he'd try again. If it wasn't, she'd have to have it removed under sedation as an outpatient surgery.

On Wednesday, she went in, had her ultrasound, the IUD was in place, the strings were just really short, right at the edge of her cervix. Problem was, the doctor was off in surgery.

Mind you...she's driving 42 miles each way for these appointments. I can only imagine her frustration at this point. This is what I took from the emoticon's she was sending me that day...

Yesterday, she went back AGAIN and the doctor tried to get it, but was unable to due to the pain it was causing. She's now scheduled to go in next Tuesday morning and he plans on numbing her cervix in order to be able to get it out. He has promised it WILL be removed on Tuesday.

I feel absolutely awful for all she's going through with this and let me tell you, she's being a major trooper and has certainly shown her commitment this week!

She's still mid-cycle, so if it comes out next Tuesday, it won't change our timeline. We still think her second period will arrive in early November and her ODWU would be mid-month.

We're also still waiting to hear from CCRM. I checked in yesterday and they are "still reviewing" her records. Shouldn't this take like an hour?? My fellow CCRMer also using a GC said they took a full 4 weeks. You have got to be kidding me with this. It's been 2 weeks we're half way there. Yippee. (Please read every bit of sarcasm that was meant in that last line--or refer to the picture above)

Other than that...things are good! I feel really positive about where we are at this moment. I hope that things go well on Tuesday and it causes her very little discomfort.

I also hope that CCRM has no qualms about her records...I'm pretty sure at this point, if they did...I'd just ship my embryos to Texas!

Fingers crossed for a much better update next week!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

First Steps Often Mean the Most

Several things to update today. One...I've been a horrendously bad blogger as of late. I'm so sorry and I am going to try really hard to get better.

Blogging has become difficult being in this in between stage. I don't know what to write about? Life has felt very settled down lately, and on one hand, that's a really good thing. The first half of our summer was insane with travel and FET's and appointments, weddings, weekend company, you name it...

The past month or so, I've been a very content little homebody. What comes with that is the lack of anything exciting to talk about especially when my infertility journey is in limbo. What I can say is that the past month, T and I have had a lot of special moments together. Moments that have been much needed and I'm incredibly grateful for. It's certainly helped pass the time while we wait for the next chapter of infertility to begin.

Labor Day, 2014 -- AVP Tournament in Cincinnati

The great thing is...I finally have an update! The first step is official. CCRM has our GC's records for review!! Better yet, Dr. G informed me that her pregnancy induced hypertension would not be a disqualifier. (Hot diggity!

According to the nurse, the doctor will take 2-4 weeks to review her records for "initial approval". Lets hope it's more on the 2 week side of that. The IUD is also scheduled to be removed on September 16th...that's one week away and we'll officially have step 2 complete! 

My GC and I communicated back and forth all day on Friday. I think I sat at my desk at work bouncing up and down in my chair, smiling at my computer screen like a 5-year old. 

Shit got real. And I love it!! I'm so excited. Not for one second this weekend did I think about the fact that someone else could be carrying our baby instead of me. All I thought about was that maybe, just maybe, by the end of 2015, we could finally be a family. 

So we celebrated this small, but very significant milestone with a yummy dinner out, complete with our favorite bottle of wine. 

I cannot wait for things to continue to progress. I cannot WAIT to share more and more about this process and about my gestational carrier. I can't wait to give her a name...and stop calling her "GC" or "gestational carrier"! 

Keep the good thoughts coming and I know that day will arrive. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Still a Waiting Game

Infertility has proven over these past 3 plus years that it's a game of patience. Of resilience. Of faith.

Yet these are all very difficult to maintain at times. Some days I feel like a fighter. Like nothing will stop me from reaching this goal, my DREAM of being a mother. Then there other other days that I feel...fragile, scared and full of doubt.

My headspace has been pretty down recently. I'm having a hard time remaining confident. Surrogacy revolves around someone else. Letting go of controlling. Trusting. Being respectful of their life and hoping that at some point, things will come together for all of us.

It's hard though, to feel like all of your hopes and dreams are in the hands of someone else. No matter the trust and the confidence that you feel in that person, the emotions can sometimes be overwhelming. The "what if's?" start to take over. When that happens, the grit and resolve that I've have left, starts to slip away.

My potential GC has shown nothing but excitement these past few months since we first started communicating. My heart has felt that this is right. However, she has mountains of changes in her life right now and that has to be her priority. Part of what I have been so drawn to with her was the fact that she really is an amazing mother to her children. So I absolutely and 100% support her. I remind myself daily that she has her life that takes up so much of her time (as it should), but for me, this is my there aren't many minutes (seconds) in the day when my world isn't revolving around our embryos and bringing home a baby.

Still...timing is critical. We have to purchase a health plan for her during open enrollment on November 15th. If we don't have medical clearance with CCRM prior to that, we'll be purchasing the health plan blind and just crossing our fingers that she's approved after the fact.

While November 15th seems like it's plenty of time...there are steps that have to be done:

1) Medical records have to be received at CCRM (it takes them 2-4 weeks to review and approve a ODWU visit).

A biggie is out of four pregnancies she had one labeled as "induced at 37 weeks due to pregnancy induced hypertension". This was her second pregnancy. All others have been completely normal, natural deliveries. 

2) She currently has an IUD in place. CCRM requires that she have TWO periods after removal prior to her ODWU.

3) Once the ODWU happens it takes up to 2- 3 weeks for all results to come back and to be given approval to move forward.

4) Legal contracts must then be negotiated and signed.

5) Only then will CCRM put her into calendar.

By my calculation, even if the IUD is removed this week, it could be November even before she could even get to the ODWU part and that's if we're lucky. So the scenario of us buying the insurance policy without medical clearance seems like a real possibility.

And that's okay. We will do whatever we have to do to make this work. It's our heart, our soul, our dream.

I just wish I could snap out of the funk that's clouding all positivity in this process. But that would require that I believe all of this is going to be okay, and I'm not quite there yet.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Delicious Ambiguity

This summer has been full of emotions. Some good. Some bad. Some are somewhere in the middle. 

We finally had our first and only transfer cycle, and of failed. We immediately began conversations with our potential gestational carrier. I feel so very blessed that she came into our life at the exact moment I needed her and I'm extremely thankful for how she came into our life. I'm also relieved that I was able to quickly shift our heartbreak from our FET to something something filled with hope. 

However, the surrogacy process is not quick. There are many steps and procedures that are completely out of my hands. While I am still very hopeful and excited for this direction, I have felt a bit of that disappointing sadness seep back into my heart. We were so busy May, June and July that things just never settled down enough for me to really feel all the emotions that come with the loss of the ability to carry our child. 

I feel like I'm stuck in this odd place of limbo. I'm in this state of knowing that we've let go of "trying to conceive" and moved on from fertility treatments, yet we are turning to someone else, a different direction in order to bring our baby home. It's been so long since we weren't trying that even knowing we aren't...brings sadness and a sense of "giving up". 

I've been very open about our struggles to most of our family, to friends and to strangers. Especially in the last year or so. Generally, I have received nothing but well wishes, love and support. While a small few have asked things like "why don't you just adopt?” It was the question this past Friday that really hit me...

"You really want to have a baby that bad?"

Does it all seem too desperate? All the treatments we've done...IUI's, IVF, Donor Eggs and now, hopefully Surrogacy. Does it seem like we've gone too far?

My uterus was damaged during a routine surgery. It wasn't my fault. We have put all of our savings and retirement into just walk away? Leave those embryos that we hoped for and love so much, and just what?? Adopt? Live childfree? Are those supposed to be easy options? Because they aren't. One is starting an entirely new process from scratch. The other means leaving a hole in my heart forever. 

So to answer her question...yes. I want a baby...a family, that bad.

I don't expect everyone to understand, to agree or to even necessarily accept what has brought us to this moment. Just as I will never judge or criticize anyone the right to decide how best to live their life and to create their family. 

I wish that I had started when I was younger. But we started trying the same month I turned 34...and was never supposed to be "too old". I wish I had started fertility treatments sooner. I wish that I had made my doctor PROVE that the pregnancy was in my uterus last year before performing the D&C that cost me my ability to carry. 

But I didn't. And this is what we're left with. It's not necessarily how we thought we'd have a family or even hoped, but do you think for a second that when our baby is placed in our arms that it will matter how he or she got there? 

We are here. And I have no regrets. I'm just trying to hold onto my hope and do the best I can to not give up.