Posted in Surrogacy

Dear Lupron…

 

lupronsupplies

Dear Lupron,

We are not friends.  You do not like me.  I really don’t like you.  It’s a mutual hatred.  So far you have made me feel like a semi truck ran over my body and then backed up and ran me over again.  You’ve given me a constant headache.  You’ve caused extreme, severe, exhaustion.  You have given me hot flashes causing me to sweat worse than a whore in church.  You have made me light headed.  You have made my legs hurt.  You’ve made me have a constant thirst.  You’ve given me constant nausea.

While I don’t like you and while you give me all these problems (at different times), I am willing to continue this relationship with you for a short while.  As much as I hate to admit it, I need you.  My sister needs you.  We will get through this.  I will end this engagement on a happy note.  Until then…be kind.  Please be kind.

No Love Here,

Lisa

lupronneedle

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Posted in Surrogacy

MED DAY!!!!

On 5-25-16 we had a BIG day!  Missi and I arrived at the clinic at 8 am for my saline ultrasound and an appointment with A, our clinic coordinator.

After they called my name they led us both back to an exam room.  In the room my eyes first went to the large chair with stirrups and an ultrasound machine.  They made me pee in a cup to ensure I wasn’t pregnant and then told me to strip my pants off!  AWKWARD!

I climbed up in the chair and draped the sheet over my who-ha.  We waited.  And waited.  Finally the doctor came in.

She described the saline ultrasound process and why it is needed.

Why is a saline ultrasound needed:

To check for polyps or fibroids on the uterus.  Also to check for ovarian cysts.

How a saline ultrasound performed:

The procedure begins with a transvaginal ultrasound examination.  After this is completed, a narrow tub is placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity, and the ultrasound exam is continued while sterile saline is instilled into the uterine cavity.  The uterine cavity is filled with sterile saline in order to improve detail of images of the uterine cavity.  Space-occupying abnormalities such as polyps and fibroids are usually very well visualized with this technique.

So, I put my feet into the stirrups and prepare myself for this fun experience.  I’ve read a lot about the process and heard that I might experience mild cramping but that it is a fairly simple procedure and only takes a few minutes.

I definitely experienced cramping.  Apparently according to the doctor, I have a “small cervix.”  Is this a good thing??  Is this a bad thing??  Who knows!  But I definitely felt cramping.

The doctor was very kind and showed both Missi and I on the screen what she was looking at.  Of course, I just saw a bunch of black and grey snow but she says it was my uterus.  And she says my uterus scores an A+.  I mean…YAY! This was great news.  I was worried they would find something.  Not for any reason other than I worry about everything.  The doctor says she has no concerns and she is clearing my uterus!  Way to go uterus!

At that point, I’m allowed to get dressed.  They give me a pad to wear because I might “leak” some of the saline.  Following the ultrasound we went and met with A.  A was going to go over all my meds and show me how to do my first injection for the mock cycle.

We were led to a comfy little family room with couches.  A comes in and congratulates me on my perfect uterus (“um..thanks!”)  She shows me my med schedule (which I’ll share later) but states that we are going to start the mock cycle with Lupron.  Lupron is used to suppress my ovaries and prevent me from ovulating.  A tells me that I’m on such a low dose that I shouldn’t feel many side effects.  Lupron is the one drug I have been worried about.  I have read so many bad things about all the side effects.  Headaches, nausea, bitchiness, the list goes on.  I was nervous but relieved when she told me I shouldn’t have any side effects.

A instructs me to go to the restroom and wash my hands.  I stand up to leave the room and I was so thankful I had put that pad on!  GUSH! ha! (TMI…sorry).

I’ve been nervous about giving myself a shot.  I imagine that it’s going to take me awhile to be able to “stick it in.” A shows me how to draw the needle back, stick in the vial of Lupron, pull the meds in.  She then says “now just stick it in.”  Hmmm.  All eyes are on me.  I feel myself being stared at by both Missi and A.  In my head I’m telling myself “don’t look like a frikken idiot.  Just do it!”  Thankfully, the Lupron needle is super small.  I just kinda (I think) closed my eyes and stuck it in.  Then I pushed the plunger and the meds went in.  THAT’S IT!  I could barely feel it!  It was easy!  I could see the relief in Missi’s eyes that I didn’t freak out.  She knew I had been nervous about this…

I stay on Lupron for awhile and add in my other hormones in about a week and a half.  I don’t go back for an appointment until 6-15 and 6-22.  Those appointments are ultrasounds where they check the progress of my uterine lining.  They want to make sure that the lining is getting nice and “fluffy” to prepare it for implantation.

The last part of this appointment was getting my blood drawn.  No big deal.  Four vials of blood.  They test for infectious diseases and STDs.  No worry there 🙂

All done!  Final medical clearance!  First injection!  We are chugging right along and I feel great leaving the office.

Almost to the minute, about 3 hours after I took the Lupron shot it hit me!  I was driving in my car (I do home visits for my job) and suddenly felt like someone ran me over with a truck.  I felt like my body was full of sand and I was EXTREMELY EXHAUSTED.  It was crazy!  A short while later, I got hit with a big wave of nausea.  To where I almost threw up about 3 times!  And then…I started to sweat.  MY FIRST HOT FLASH!  It was awful!  I kept cursing A in my head.  She said no side effects!  What the HELL is happening to my body?!  I literally parked the car back at my office and sat there for 20 minutes wondering where I was going to get the energy to get out of the damn car!  I could barely move!

I felt pretty crummy the rest of the day.  The severe exhaustion went away but then I was just tired.  Like the feeling after an intense work out.  I could definitely tell that my body was going through some stuff!  I was able to eat a small dinner that night and relax.  The hot flashes went away.

I also started my prenatal vitamins.  HOLY HUGE PILL!

prenatal

I slept like a rock.

Stay tuned…..

Posted in Surrogacy

Contract time!

On 5-23-16 we met with our attorney’s for the first time.  It is so important during the surrogacy process that the surrogate have her own attorney.  We were fortunate enough to have two attorneys in one building that were semi-experienced with the surrogacy process.  They were able to come together and we all met at one time and hashed everything out.

We live in Nebraska.  Nebraska, unfortunately, does not recognize surrogacy contracts.  In fact, from what I’ve learned, many surrogates living in surrounding states have written into their contracts to NOT travel to Nebraska during their pregnancy with concern that the baby could potentially be born here.

Nebraska’s law states that the surrogate (me) and the biological father (Court) will be on the birth certificate.  The biological mother (Missi) has to wait 6 months AFTER birth to adopt her own child.  At that time, I relinquish my rights and Missi adopts.  At that time, the birth certificate is changed.  Nebraska law is ABSDURD.  But, unfortunately, it’s what we have to deal with.

We do have a written contract stating all the important things such as Missi and Court will bear financial responsibility for pregnancy related items and medical costs.  I will not use illegal drugs or alcohol.  Also in the contract are how many embryos we will transfer and our whether we agreed on selective reduction or not.  There is a lot of other boring legal jargon as well.  I won’t bore you with that 🙂

Also included in the legal process are wills.  We all need wills.  Also, Missi will have a Power of Attorney for the baby once it’s born so that she has some authority over medical decisions.

Blah blah blah….boring legal stuff 🙂  We should have our final copy of the contract in about a week!

Missi is thrilled to be waiting on the attorneys.

attorney

Posted in Surrogacy

I have a face!

me1

You know my name…and now you know my face!  Like I said in the previous post, since my final medical screening we have decided to go public with the who’s who of the whole journey.

I’ve already told you a bit about myself in my first blog post so I won’t bore you with details.

Here is my little family.  Meet (L to R) Ellie Mae, Maggie Mae, and Sophie Blue.  All three are rescues and have a special place in my heart.  I hope to not bore you if you are not an animal person but I’m warning you that these little girls will be making lots of appearances in my blog 🙂

dogs1

Posted in Surrogacy

Mr. and Mrs. Kayser

missicourt

Since our final medical screening (the saline ultrasound, which I will talk about in another blog post), we have decided to make this process public!  We have now announced to all that I will be the gestational carrier for my sister and her husband.  So, lets start by making introductions.

Above you will see a picture of Missi and Court.  They just got married in March of 2015.  They are happily married with 2 dogs.  The only thing missing in their little family is a child.  That’s where I come in….

missicourtwedding

Posted in Surrogacy

You want me to stick that WHERE?! 

On Thursday, I received my medications. The fertility pharmacy just mails them to you!  Pretty convenient. 

So, in this discrete FedEx box I pull out the following:

  • A sharps container
  • Estrogen patches
  • Estrogen pills
  • Estrogen suppositories 
  • A vial of Lupron
  • A vial of Progesterone (in sesame oil)
  • And needles. Lots and lots of needles. 


So as I’m sorting everything out, I pick up the needles intended for the progesterone injection. Holy shit balls!  This sucker is huge. I’m aware that the progesterone injection is intermuscular, so it has to be a LONG need to hit your muscle. But the size of this thing….


Have I mentioned I hate needles?  This shot goes in my butt/hip area which means I cannot do this injection myself. Don’t worry, I’ve recruited lucky friends (more on that later). 

I’m not gonna lie, I panicked a bit. How am I’m going to let someone jam this thing in my ass?!  The needles needed for Lupron are smaller, thank goodness. Lupron gets injected in my belly and I’ll be doing those myself. 

I can imagine how this first injection is going to go. I have 3 days to work myself up to being able to stick a needle in my own belly.  The internal fight is going to be hilarious… I can just see it now. “Just do it!”  “No!”  “Just do it now!”  “Ahhh”

As I kept thinking, I became a little sad. I thought of all these women out in the world that are struggling with infertility. So many women live with doing these injections for years and years just in hopes of getting pregnant with a child. The panic subsides and I decide that this is the least I can do. I can suffer through weeks of injections to (hopefully) give my sister and her husband a baby. 

This is all becoming more and more real!  On Tuesday we have our appointment with the attorneys to draft our contract. On Wednesday I have my saline ultrasound and start medication. Hoping for good news this week! 

I apologize for not updating until now but there wasn’t much to update about!  This week, I will have lots to report! 

Stay tuned…

Posted in Surrogacy

Crazy train?!

So the other day A, (fertility clinic coordinator), called me.  She said “ya know…since you’ve never had a baby before, I don’t want to move forward until you have your psych eval.”  I was expecting to have a psych eval, but I wasn’t expecting A to make it seem like that big of a deal!  This scared the living shit out of me.  All I could think was, “why?!  Do you think I’m crazy?!”  “Am I crazy?!”  Instant worry that the psychologist was going to think I’m a nut job and not let me move forward.  Of course I told A that I was completely fine with this and that it seemed like an appropriate next step.  So I scheduled the appointment with Dr. L for today, 5-11-2016.

Thankfully yesterday and today at work have been terribly busy and I’ve been going non-stop so I didn’t have much time to dwell on the appointment.

I arrive at Dr. L’s office.  It was an older home remodeled into a counseling office.  Very homey.  As I sit in the waiting room I just keep telling myself, “don’t say anything stupid!”  I have the tendency to make jokes that others often don’t find funny.  Either I am clearly jaded or other’s have NO sense of humor 😉

Dr. L comes out and greets me.  Very nice lady.  She walked me back to her office which had a couch and 2 comfy chairs in it.  I sat on the couch.  She starts by saying, “well I’m here to ask lots of nosey questions.”  Perfect.  I can deal with this.  I’m an open book.  She asked me questions about family, friends, relationships, work, etc.  She asked how I deal with stress (I did not say by drinking; I was proud of myself).  She asked if I knew what the physical risks of this journey were.  Yes.  I am aware that I could lose my own fertility.  I am aware that something obscure could happen and I could need an emergency hysterectomy.  Yes I’m aware that I could be placed on bedrest (I need to catch up on DVR anyways).  She asked how I felt about this.  I’ve thought about it.  I honestly feel that the risk of losing my fertility isn’t an issue for me.  I don’t think it would be detrimental to my emotional wellbeing.  I really think I would be ok with it.  I don’t want children anyways.  Take the whole damn uterus.  I guess she was ok with this answer.  I could see her trying to determine whether I was full of shit or if I was being genuine.  I do the SAME thing in my line of work.  I sit there and judge people and try to determine whether they are being honest.  Clearly she thought I was being genuine enough to move onto the next topic.

So…ya…the next topic.  “Have you and your sister determined whether you are going to transfer 1 or 2 embryos?”  GULP.  The dreaded topic.  Yes.  Yes we have.  My sister wants to transfer 2 embryos.  I mean, I don’t disagree but it makes me nervous.  The middle child in me just wants to say “whatever you want to do, I’ll do.”  Everyone thinks “awww twins!  How cute!”  When I tell close friends that my sister wants to transfer two, they giggle.  They think it’s funny that I could potentially be walking around looking like I swallowed a house at 25 weeks.  While the idea of my sister having cute little twins to raise seems geat, I am scared to death to be pregnant with twins.  There are serious risks.  Increased chance of bedrest, increased weight gain (obviously), increased liklihood that they would be born premature, NICU time, C-section, and the list goes on.  I came across this graphic:

This graphic shows that transferring two embryos does not increase your chance of pregnancy by a lot (by 4%) but increases your chance for twins by 42%!  Holy shit!  Now, who knows if this graphic is correct as I’ve read conflicting articles stating that transferring 2 embryos gives you a better chance of pregnancy.  Needless to say,  think this discussion is ongoing.  How many embryos is yet to be determined.

I told A that I was scared.  Scared of being denied the ability to continue this journey (by either her or A).  Scared that they’ll find something when they do the saline ultrasound.  Scared that my body won’t react properly to the medication.  Scared that I will have horrific side effects from all the hormones (ps…watch out world..I am going to BIIIIITCHY!).  Scared that a transfer won’t take.  Scared that a transfer WILL take.  Scared to be pregnant.  Scared to give birth.  Scared to move on with life after.  I really think these are natural fears.  I can only imagine that anyone in this situation would be having the same fears and emotions.  Dr. L encouraged me that I will be ok and that this will be a great journey.  I agree.  She stated that she really thinks that I am emotionally capable of continuing on this journeyand that I understand all the risks involved.  She reminded me not to be afraid to ask for help if I need it, both physically and emotionally.  She gave me the final OK.  HOLY SHIT….I’m NOT crazy.

On 6-2-2-2016, my sister and her husband have their appointment with Dr. L.  I am to join in at the end for about 30 minutes for a group discussion.  This will be interesting.

After leaving Dr. L’s office I called A.  I told her I just finished meeting with Dr. L and that she didn’t have any concerns moving forward.  A was relieved.  She stated that she was going to send over the prescriptions for my meds for my mock cycle…hormones, hormones, and more hormones.

My next appointment is with A and it is on 5-25-2016.  This is the date that I start my hormones for the mock cycle….things are really moving quickly.

I will update when I know more about my mock cycle….so STAY TUNED!!!!