It is official! I am a gestational surrogate! 2nd beta test came back with increased levels, in the upper 150's - the little embryo is settling in nicely! Hoping for an easy pregnancy! I go in on Friday, April 8th for ultrasound! They said I will have 3 consecutive, almost weekly, ultrasounds. They said they might be able to see the heartbeat on the 2nd!!!!!! I am to continue on my current medications until further notice. I am feeling tired today, but the nausea is A LOT better. However, I am having small snacks through the day to keep something on my tummy and I think that is helping. April 8th seems so far away!!!
dang! I vaguely remember 1st trimester tiredness, but geez! Isn't is convenient to mostly forget those things?! I went to bed last night at 8:15 PM, woke up at 1:20 and 4:30 to go pee, then had to get up at 7 to get my oldest off to pre-school. I would say almost 11 hours of sleep should be PLENTY. Oh no, I want to nap SO badly - hard to do with 3 kids under 5. I think it will be another early night for me. I am guessing those beta numbers will be just fine tomorrow - feels like the growing embryo is using all my body's energy to make a nice, warm, safe place to live for the next 9 months! Looking forward to hearing those higher numbers tomorrow!
My beta test was 59.5. I go back Wednesday. As long as the numbers look good, no more blood work and I will have an ultrasound next week. I am to continue on my current medication until further notice. Let's hope this lil' embryo is getting good and established! Very exciting!
On another surrogacy blog I follow, they had a getting to know me post, so I wanted to follow suit. A couple of years ago, I did a list as many things as you can about yourself on my family blog, so copied and pasted this and updated it. Enjoy!
My name is Carla.
I was born on 6/10. I am 35 years old.
I weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz and was 19.5 inches long, my mom's biggest baby.
I married Brian on 10/4. We have been married over 7 years.
We got married outside at a local park by the lake house overlooking the water.
We both changed our last name when we got married. We both moved our birth last names to our middle name and our married last name was a total new name combining letters from both of our original last names. We had to appear in front of a judge in court to officially change our name.
Our first son, Gareth Odin, was born on 6/19/06 after 32 hours of labor! Pushed for 3+ hours!
Our second son, Zane Orion, was born on 9/26/07 after 7 hours of labor. pushed 2 times!
Our last child/daughter, Iris Zuzana, was born on 1/14/09 - forget how many hours of labor, but it was an easy birth. pushed 3 times!
My mom almost died in 2007 due to acquiring Legionnare's disease. She was hospitalized for 3 months, with over a month of that being in critical care. She had severe pneumonia and severe sepsis. She had a tracheotomy, feeding tube, and dialysis was needed. I was pregnant with Zane and had to deliver him while my mom was still in the hospital recovering. It was a very stressful time. I am so glad she is alive and here to enjoy her grandchildren!
I grew up in Paxton, IL until I was 16 - big town of 4700 people.
We then moved to West Frankfort, IL where I finished my last 2 years of high school. I cried at my HS graduation because I felt that I had left my home in Paxton and did not have the time to establish a home in WF and felt that I did not belong anywhere.
I lived in the Southern Illinois area for 6 years - WF and Carterville.
I received my AA degree from John A Logan Community College in Carterville in 1995.
I received my BA in psychology from SIU-Carbondale in 1998.
After college, I lived in Nashville, TN for a year, working at an alternative school for kids that were dually diagnosed with mental illness/developmental disabilities.
I moved back to this area to be near family (they had all moved back while I was in college).
I was in Girl Scouts until I was in 7th grade.
I have 2 sisters; Carrie 5 years younger and Angela 11 years older.
I am an aunt. Carrie has a 15 year old son named Daniel. Carrie has just learned a few weeks ago that she is pregnant! Angela has 3 children all mid 20's: Robert, Tijuanda, and Courtney.
I am a great-aunt. My niece, Courtney, has 2 children: Sicellia and Kameron-Lee.
I played clarinet for 1 year in grade school.
We had X-mas plays each year in grade school. One year, I had the very important role of being Rudolph. I got to strut across the stage in my costume. It was some rock-n-roll X-mas theme.
My first real job was at Long John Silver's. I was employee of the month once for my awesome drive thru skills. :)
Other paying jobs I have held have been: waitress at an Italian restaurant, group homes for people with disabilities, neuroscience lab assistant, counselor in an alternative school, and case management, recreation therapy, and respite for people with disabilities. I was also a part time census worker during the 2010 census.
My first car was a Datsun hatchback that would backfire when we dragged Main St. The seniors, when I was a junior, put a huge peace sign (I was often called flower child) in shoe polish on the back window during graduation week that stayed there all summer until school started again.
For my job in the SIU Neuroscience Lab, I monitored research participants in a no smoking study. I had to collect personality questionnaires, saliva samples, freeze and ship blood samples, and order supplies for the lab.
I have been a stay at home mom since 6-06.
We have 4 cats: Marvin, Waldo, Jeremy, Jo. Jo is intersexed; has a small, crooked penis, undescended testicles, had a vaginal pouch. We went to the shelter to get a girl cat and when they went to spade her, they discovered, the cat was more male. They neutered him and sewed up the vaginal pouch because they figured bacteria could grow there easily.
We have 1 miniature poodle mix dog named Vito, who is about 9 years old.
My favorite color is the color of beet juice. I guess the closest thing to call it would be magenta.
My husband and I are both atheist - we do not think/believe there is a god. We are very science oriented and are skeptical of many things.
My little and closest sister and nephew moved to South Dakota in 2008. We miss them terribly!!!
My favorite kind of music is bluegrass/alternative country/celtic. I really like artists that write their own music. I also like female singer/songwriters with unique voices.
My husband is a libertarian. He talks to me quite a bit about politics. I am somewhat apathetic when it comes to politics. I wish I had more passion and interest in some of it.
I have been to Niagara Falls, Canada 2 times.
My favorite flower is stargazer lilies and lilacs.
Some of my favorite movies include: Love Actually, The Piano, Juno, Beautiful Girls, Sliding Doors, Amelie
My fave food is snow crab legs.
Some girl in HS hated me because I smiled too much- what?!
DC Piatt broke up with me in 6th grade because I had skinny ankles!
I met Brian through match.com. Our first meeting was for lunch at Dos Reales. Our first real date was at Allerton Park in Monticello, IL.
My fave children's book is The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. It is about a house that lives in the country on a hill and the city grows around it. Future generation of the people that built the house see her and take her back to the country.
I was a certified sexuality educator via Planned Parenthood training. I provided sexuality education to adults with developmental disabilities. I am a strong advocate for sexuality rights.
I have always been interested in different ways of living and people who are on the outer edges of the bell curve of what is "normal", whether this may be sexual orientation, gender issues, disabilities, or anything else that may make a a person "different." I am highly intolerant of hatred towards these people based on ignorance, indoctrination, or other forms of bigotry.
I completed training to be an advocate through Rape Crisis Services.
I completed education and volunteer hours to become a Master Gardener.
I bite/pick at my nails and cuticles.
Some of my favorite nature images include trees and round hay bales. Trees seem to exhibit unique personalities all of their own.
I like to blog, take photographs, quilt, sew, scrapbook, and do other crafty things.
I like scary movies, but will not watch them by myself.
We do not have a TV set in our house. We have not had one since 2006. We watch movies on our computer monitor or projector screen.
We have canned our own strawberry jam, peach preserves, apple butter, and tomato sauce. This year, we hope to do A LOT more of this.
We have kept honeybees and harvested the honey.
The summer of 2009, we moved from a brand new home in a subdivision to a rural location. We bought 10 acres with a pond, creek, small wooded area, a cattle shed, pole barn, and a small, humble, 100 year old farm house. We intend on living in the farm house until we can afford to build a new passive solar design home further back on the property. Our time is spent fixing up the house and adding fruit, nut, vegetables, herbs to our land. We are interested in living a simple life and becoming as self sustainable as we can and are comfortable. We like our" stuff" the same as anybody, but try not to be motivated by mainstream media and over commercialized products.
We hope to pay off our debt this year and start plans for the new house in the next couple of years!
and the ultrasound picture - there is a little white line (about a third of the way from the left side) of the where the air bubbles from the catheter settled in my uterus. The embryo is somewhere in this picture!!!! :)
Tonight, I have felt a little crampy, tired, and a little nauseous.
The doctor was only able to transfer 1 embryo, but he said the one looked great. I so wish there was 2 embryos transferred for greater chance of success, but we will be hopeful that this strong, beautiful embryo found a warm, cozy place in my uterus to settle in. Will be thinking of the parents while we wait. I can only imagine the anticipation!
After the transfer today, my blood pressure was little high. It decreased a bit after emptying my bladder more and resting, but was still a bit high. The doctor did not seem too concerned about it - said with the excitement and anxiety surrounding the procedure, blood pressure can be slightly higher.
I had my thyroid levels checked before the transfer and it STILL is not where they want it...crazy. They are increasing the dose a bit more. It was 4.83 last time and it was 4.54 this time. They said this is good for general population, but would like it closer to 2.5 for pregnancy. The nurse sounded a bit "scolding" on the phone, saying make sure I take my medication every day and on an empty stomach, and make sure to wait before eating anything. I have not missed a dose, take it first thing in the morning, then the shortest time I have waited is 45 minutes, but it is typically 1 hour before I eat or drink anything else besides the water I drank to take it. ugh. Hopefully, it will get to where they want it with this next increase.
So, now we wait.......I have a blood test next Monday! Can I wait or will I try a home pregnancy test????
Quick note from the momma updating me about the fertilization of eggs: They took 14 eggs, 12 were mature and at this point there are 5 that are successfully fertilized!! She was hoping for a few more, but 5 is good, as long as they remain successful. We are hoping for a quiet weekend. If we hear from the fertility doctor, it means the fertilized eggs withered and did not succeed and grow. Here is to hoping for strong embryos!
Just got a note from the momma stating they were able to retrieve 14 eggs!!!!! Awesome! Fertilization is ocurring and she should know more about how many healthy lil' embryos they have to choose from to transfer 2 to me! I am sure they can get at least 2 strong ones! C'mon egg and sperm - make some magic happen!!!!! :)
Don't mind my squeeky voice- does my voice REALLY sound this way?! So annoying! Also, ignore our kitchen that is in the middle of being remodeled. :) I decrease my Estrace tomorrow and start Crinone progesterone suppositories. I have some progesterone in sesame oil injection medicine for emergency purposes only if I start bleeding during pregnancy. That won't happen though, will it! I should be done with injections!
The mom is going for egg retrieval tomorrow! Hope everything goes well!
Things are falling into place for Monday. I have a couple different possible options for childcare and one definite plan in place.
Hotel reservations have been made for Sunday night at a hotel within walking distance of the surgery center. Brian and I will be happiest with the least amount of maneuvering around the city of Chicago as possible. Brian says the best part about the city is leaving it. lol I am telling ya, since moving out to the country, I feel more and more this way too. Lately, I do not even like visiting the city! I guess I am transforming into a country gal.
I have been busy today with acquiring extra life insurance that is part of the surrogacy agreement. I had to complete an application, do an oral swab, and will later do a phone interview to complete the process.
Things are really coming together. Amazing! I completed an application February 2010 and was matched with the parents in May 2010. We are finally to the pregnancy part! I am excited, anxious, and a little nervous. Hope everything goes well!
based on a few calendars to determine due date, I got the same date of December 7th as the due date for a 5 day embryo transfer. This calculator determined it to be December 6th. Of course, I will not state this as the official due date - that can be determined later by the doctor. IF there are twins, it may be likely that they are born a bit early. Maybe the parents will have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)
Oh my goodness!!!!!! The embryo transfer is scheduled for Monday, March 21st! This Wednesday, I decrease my Estrace from 3 mg to 2 mg in the AM and PM and start Crinone progesterone vaginal suppositories in the AM and PM. I go for the transfer on the 21st and have a blood test on the 28th to check for pregnancy! It is REALLY happening! I talked with the mom this afternoon on the phone - we simply could NOT just e-mail about this! :) Very exciting! I have to figure out childcare as my mom will be gone in South Dakota. Worst case scenario is that we find a hotel close to the surgery center, we take the kids, Brian keeps them occupied while I attend my appointment, then we be on our way home! We will figure something out!
Does anyone know the reason why one's lower back hurts when they are pre-menstrual? I have not been able to find a clear answer when searching the web. I asked the nurse during my ultrasound today- she said it might be worse if one's uterus tilts back and when the uterine lining is thicker, it is heavier and puts strain on the back muscles.......
Last night, I tossed and turned, rubbed my back and top of my butt, and finally took some Ibuprofen at 3 AM which allowed me to rest. I am taking medication right now that thickens my uterine lining, then will take medication to NOT have a period and further make my uterus all cushy for an embryo to implant. I imagine all this medication makes my lining even thicker then it would be if normal menstruation was happening.....
I have been a little irritable and somewhat emotional the last few days. When I cry easily during stupid country music songs, I am usually PMSing, and I was doing that today in the van! lol
I had my ultrasound and blood work this morning. My endo lining on Friday was 5.5, today was 7. My estradiol levels Friday was less than 20, today was 52. Things are working the way they are supposed to! I am to continue on my thyroid medications, prenatal vitamin, and 5 units of Lupron injection. I am to take my 1 tablet of Estrace tonight, then increase tomorrow-Sunday to 1 in the AM + 1 in the PM. On Monday, the 7th, I am to increase Estrace to 3 in the AM, 3 in the PM. On Tuesday, the 8th, I return for blood work and ultrasound. The mom starts her stim on March 6th. It looks like the target embryo transfer is for March 21st! Hopefully, it will be a great beginning to spring! I like the symbolism that it will hold if pregnancy occurs at this time. Spring is a perfect time for new life, fertility and babies! Communication between the mom and I has increased, which I like. This is an amazing experience that we will share together!
I got set up with Reproductive Medicine this week. I went this morning for bloodwork to check my estradial levels and had an ultrasound done to check my uterus. Uterus looked good and results of blood work will be given to the fertility doctor by noon today. SO MUCH EASIER than last Friday!!!! I expect a call from the fertility doctor later to discuss any changes to medication.
Hi. My name is Carla. I am married to Brian. We have been married almost 10 years. We had 3 children in 2.5 years: Gareth (6-06), Zane (9-07), and Iris (1-09). Brian works as a web programmer. I used to be a social worker for people with developmental disabilities, but now stay home with our children.
In June 2009, we moved from a nice, cookie cutter subdivision to a humble, little, farm house, on 10 acres, in rural east central Illinois. We are interested in living a simpler life moving towards self sufficiency. We are interested in homesteading, gardening, beekeeping, and atheism/secular humanism/skepticism. I am a crafter of all sorts of creations - love to sew and quilt, and have many other interests, including weaving, pottery, painting, scrapbooking, among other things.
Our family feels complete - we are very done having babies for ourselves! My husband had a vasectomy to ensure that we would not be surprised with another baby.
I started thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate during my second pregnancy. The feelings I had did not fade, so here we are now. We were lucky enough to conceive quickly/naturally and have "easy" pregnancies. I have friends and have read about many people that have fertility issues and it does not come so easily for them. It saddens me that they can not fulfill their dreams. I was able to help a couple complete their family, delivering a baby girl, in December 2011. I am now on my second and final journey, helping 2 men from Argentina become daddies, with additional help from an egg donor.
Feel free to ask any questions. I tend to be an open book as long as there is genuine, sincere, respectful interest.