Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More about the embryo transfer weekend #4journey

So, as most of you know, we had a great transfer on 2/22/12 and I had an awesome/amazing weekend with Amazing Grace, Big Daddy and Spunky Monkey. (Intended Mom, Intended Dad and their little girl)

The last day with IPs (Sunday 2/24/13) I was still on bed rest until 12:00 PM. They invited us over for lunch before our flight home. When we got there they were playing Beatles songs. I thought maybe they were listening to the radio and it was Brunch with the Beatles or something. Nope, they were playing Beatles just for me. Because they rock like that!

We ate yummy grilled cheeseburgers, salad and potato salad. And yes, Amazing Grace, the hamburgers were by far better than McDonalds!

It was hard enough to say goodbye. IF gave me a hug and said see you soon. IM gave me a big hug and whispered love you. That's when my eyes watered and my heart melted. Have I mentioned how much I adore her? I of course whispered, love you too. (I hope she doesn't mind me sharing that special moment)

Here is a picture of our part of the team-

Please excuse my very crappy background editing. I didn't have the energy to really give it my all.

And if you can't read my shirt... this is what it says:

Photo: The perfect shirt to wear on the way home from the embryo transfer. "Carrying Precious Cargo" More styles and colors available.

John (hubby) Tristan (daughter) and I didn't get to sit by each other on the plane home. About 15 minutes after take off my husband noticed our daughter physically sobbing. He tried to console her best he could a row away. She was clearly upset and others around could hear why. She flat out said, "I'm sad that I don't get to sit by you." Yet no one offered to switch seats with my husband, no one asked if she was ok. 
:(   We all sat by unfriendly people. UGH!

The other day I told my daughter I was going to need a little more help around the house, especially once the morning sickness kicked in.. She offered to help make dinners and she has already started. How sweet is that?

So now we wait. We will have an official pregnancy test at my local clinic on March 5th. (that's the day after my son turns 16)

I have been feeling bloated, irritable and kind of nauseous the past few days. I'm hoping that's a good sign!!

I'm the kind of girl who usually tests at home. My IPs would like to wait for the official results, which is understandable.

So, I may or may not test at home and if I do, my tests may or may not look like this:

Please wish us luck! Whether we test or not, this waiting period can be stressful and it's best to think positive and relax. I ate Lucky Charms this morning to bring us a little extra good luck.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Embryo transfer update #4journey #surrogacy

Hubby, daughter and I flew in to the LA area yesterday afternoon. (2/21/13) It was a fun adventure.

Tristan and Lenny the Lamb (Scentsy Buddy) waiting at the airport

John and I on the plane

My "on my way to the embryo transfer" shirt-

If you can't read it-

Women's Light T-Shirt Surrogacy To Do List

Our hotel is beautiful and near the beach.

When we checked in and got to our room, this is what we found-

Photo: Yeah my IPs are super awesome. Just checked in and look what was in the room.

I almost cried, it was so sweet and unexpected. If you can't tell, that's a pineapple poking out of the gift bag and a beautiful arrangement of flowers. If you don't get how cool this all is, refer to this blog post-
She totally gets me and understands me and goes along with all my craziness.

I e-mailed Amazing Grace (my IM) to tell her thank you. This is what she said, 
There are 8 yellow roses representing everyone in your family & mine.  The two roses in the middle are the embryos. :-)

How beautifully sweet is that? Again, I almost cried.

We barely caught a beautiful sunset against a gorgeous beach background. This was the best picture we could get from the hotel. We know a better location for tonight, etc. (although I'll be in the room on bed rest)

We went to my IPs (Intended Parents) house for dinner and to hang out. We had so much fun, and such great food! We laughed and talked and ate until we were stuffed and then we had dessert. I brought a few things over for Amazing Grace and her adorable daughter. (I'll call her Spunky Monkey) My daughter Tristan made Amazing Grace and I matching friendship/transfer bracelets. I also found some green and yellow Scentsy bars for Amazing Grace. And I took over the t-shirts I made for Amazing Grace and Big Daddy to wear to the transfer.

I was surprised that Amazing Grace had (another) beautiful gift for me. Spunky Monkey helped get cut the pretty ribbon with her little scissors so I could open it. Amazing Grace gave me a gorgeous candle holder and linen candle as well as the perfect gift. I will let the picture speak for itself.

Do you get it? Do you? It's called amazing grace. See how in sync we are? She searched and searched for the perfect gift and when she saw this, she knew she had found it. It's perfume, shower gel and body lotion.
P.S. Amazing Grace is a nickname I gave my IM, not her real name.

 I just adore her!!! I think this is all part of the amazing positive vibes that have surrounded us. Sure, some of it we create ourselves. 

Also, the cute beach scene picture above... that was in the envelope attached to the gift bag with the pineapple. First of all, Amazing Grace added turtles to it. (because turtles represent fertility)
Well, my daughter drew a picture on the airplane and this is what it looks like-

Sorry so blurry, maybe I can scan it in when I get home. But how weird/cool are the similarities between the two pictures?

Tristan painted my nails last night and put stickers on them this morning.

I slept awesome last night. I am not a morning person, but I woke up early so we could get down to breakfast and I would have plenty of time to get ready. The embryo transfer was scheduled for 11:30 AM. (2/2213)
After breakfast, I ate my lucky pineapple and had to drink 16 oz of water.

It was a little awkward at one point when we were told that it was time to go back, but only some of us would be allowed to go back. Luckily Amazing Grace said, um no.... she had called a week or so ago to make sure we could all be in the room. I was starting to feel bad, because first of all, how do you choose who gets to be in the room between the parents, and my husband. Then we had brought along my daughter. I didn't want to leave anyone out. So hooray for Amazing Grace for sticking up for us and we all got to go back together.

Me holding Amazing Grace's hand for a picture, waiting for the embryos. (don't worry, I didn't cut out their faces for the picture, just to share on my blog)

I asked hubby to take a picture of my nails and bracelets and this is what you get.

Beautiful blastocyst embryos!

I was given a Valium.

and got into position.

Nice view I know... I apologize for any nightmares this may cause.

The embryos were transferred via catheter and I was put in a little waiting room to rest for 30 minutes. The Valium kicked in about then. I got a little loopy. It was really fun trying to get dressed. John was laughing at me. Sorry he didn't take any funny pictures.

Amazing Grace took us to get french fries before taking us back to the hotel. (lucky after transfer food)
She had mentioned McDonald's Shamrock Shakes, so since it was green  (lucky color) and sounded good, I decided why not?

 Notice my lovely green dragonfly hair clip?

My fries and John's, I did not eat both.

My #1 support and my manservant for the weekend. P.S. Amazing Grace brought me the cool tray! So thoughtful.

And now you're up to date and I'm on bed rest. Hopefully I got pregnant today!!!

Later on...

Remember I was talking about the special pajamas I bought months ago just for this transfer/bed rest?

Here they are....



I have felt some cramping last night and today. Hopefully it's the embryos snuggling in.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Surrogacy Good Luck Charms and Traditions

Most surrogates I know have some sort of good luck charm that they take with them or wear to the transfer. I just blogged this morning about what I am taking and wearing.
I will post pictures of it all when the time comes.

As some of you know, I have been designing surrogacy shirts and merchandise for over 6 years. I get more inspirational and creative when I'm actively involved. I wanted to design something new for the upcoming transfer- something to wear to the transfer, etc. I wanted everyone to know I was a proud surrogate, on my way to the embryo transfer.

This is what I came up with...

For on the way there:
Women's Light T-Shirt Surrogacy To Do List (comes in different colors and styles)

I mentioned before that I made my IPs, hubby, daughter and I matching "team" shirts to wear at the transfer. I'm not sure yet if my IPs would be comfortable with me sharing that.

And to wear on the way home from the transfer-

Carrying precious cargo T-Shirt (comes in different colors and styles)

This is what I've learned since I first became a surrogate in 2005-

Green and yellow represent fertility and are good luck colors. Turtles are a symbol of fertility.

In addition, I have learned that french fries are good to eat after the embryo transfer. I have done this at least 3 times. I've heard it doesn't matter where you get the fries and I've also heard McDonald's are the ones to choose. I have not been picky.

I have recently learned to eat pineapple before the transfer. I'm not sure if that means the morning of, or how soon before.

*I guess it's the pineapple core specifically that has a hormone in it that's supposed to help with implantation.

I also believe in the power of being positive. I go in with positive vibes in hopes that we will get pregnant. Prayers don't hurt either.

A new thing I've heard of is holding hands during the transfer. (I'd assume, IPs, surrogate and surrogate's husband/significant other) I think that is beautiful. We are all a team after all.

I also designed some lucky transfer panties-
Women's Boy Brief Surrogate Lucky Transfer Panties

And lucky transfer jammies-
Women's Light Pajamas Lucky Transfer Jammies Surro
Notice the green & yellow! There are more options for the bottoms.

Women's Dark Pajamas Lucky Transfer Jammies Surro

Women's Nightshirt Lucky Transfer Jammies Surro
Footed Pajamas Lucky Embryo Transfer Jammies

If you have any good luck charms you'd like to share- please leave a comment!

Countdown 2 days until travel day for embryo transfer #4journey

We are down to days until the embryo transfer!

I am so excited for the transfer. I have some lucky charms lined up. I designed and ordered a shirt to wear on the plane there, shirts for hubby, me, Amazing Grace (IM), Big Daddy (IF), and my 13 year old daughter to wear on transfer day (matching team shirts). I bought me some new jammies back in October/November just for the transfer. That is what I will be wearing on Saturday while on bed rest. Then I have a shirt I designed to wear on the plane home. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get to see it all.

Besides the shirts I have a lucky transfer bracelet that another surrogate made and passed around years ago. It has green beads (fertility color) with 3 turtle charms (fertility symbol). My daughter made me and Amazing Grace a cool yellow and green friendship/transfer bracelet. I have been wearing mine since she made it a few days ago. I freaked out a little when it fell off and I couldn't find it the other day. Luckily I found it the next morning. I got some pretty green nail polish. I'm hoping IM, me and my daughter can all paint our nails the night before the transfer.

I got my hair highlighted red and blonde last week. A self-esteem boost is good luck, right? My daughter got her hair colored red on Saturday and at the salon I found a light green dragonfly hair clip. Perfect!!!

As you can see, I am taking my daughter to the transfer with me. She is old enough and mature enough to be a part of the process. It will be a cool learning experience. She already knows a good amount just going through the other surrogacies with me plus she helped illustrate my book. She adores my intended family and they seem to like her too.

I had a little anxiety Saturday morning getting my last blood draw to check progesterone levels before the transfer.

E-mails to Amazing Grace about what happened-

A little frustration/ anxiety this morning. I went to the fertility clinic and they don't do same day progesterone on the weekend. I'm not sure why not and why they didn't tell me before now. They sent me to the hospital down the street, but they don't accept our insurance. They suggest a clinic down the street or another hospital another 30 miles away. 
:(   I hope the next place works out or I may be calling you to see what's best. 

*I was so close to crying.*

 The other clinic could send out the labs, but it probably wouldn't be received till next business day and of course Monday is a holiday. I don't know if that would affect anything. I tried to call you.  I was running out of time and stressed. I didn't want to drive further to the other clinic (I always get lost and frustrated in that area) and Tristan had her hair appt at 10:00. I made a judgment call and went back to the local hospital. They will send us the bill. I tried my best to get it covered with insurance, but I figured the best thing was to get it done ASAP. Now we know that the local fertility clinic can only do some things on the weekends with same day results. Hopefully we won't need any more weekend appointments.
Luckily though we are surrounded by super positive vibes. Everything always works out for us even if it's down to the last minute.
I had a super cool dream last night about waiting for a call from my ob/gyn in the middle of the night. We were both excited I was doing another surrogacy and I was happy to be able to work with him again.

P.S. Amazing Grace called shortly after the blood draw runaround. She was sympathetic and understanding as usual. I don't call her Amazing Grace for nothing!
Later that day I found out that the other clinic wasn't going to be in when the results came in. (Yep, all that running around and we still didn't get same day results) Luckily they are there for a little bit on Sundays so they called me Sunday morning to say all is good. I was sent a calendar and started progesterone suppositories on Sunday. I will start Doxycycline the day before the transfer and until the day after the transfer. I believe it's an antibiotic to prevent infection. In case you didn't figure it out, transfer day is Friday 2/22/13.

So, there's my crazy weekend with some stress and some good news. Now it is getting so close I can hardly stand it. I can't wait to spend time with my wonderful intended family. It will be a nice little getaway and I can't wait to get pregnant!! I already even stocked up on a few snacks and drinks for when the morning sickness kicks in. Oh and pee sticks. LOL.

It's supposed to snow this week, so please pray to the snow gods that it will be light and won't affect our flight.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am writing this in advance.

Why? Because Valentine's morning I will be busy getting ready for a hot date with my husband.

I am so happy I get to spend this day with him and so glad he got the day off.

We have missed some Valentine's Days here and there when he was in the Navy.

Half the time he didn't know we missed it. I don't think he knows when exactly Valentine's Day is until he's reminded.

Anyway, we are going out for breakfast. I'm not sure where yet. Then we're going to see a movie. We will probably end up bringing home a heart shaped pizza for the kids.

I designed this Valentine's t-shirt about 2 weeks ago:
3/4 Sleeve T-shirt
(it comes in a variety of shirts and styles and it's not limited to t-shirts)

Happy Valentine's Day!

What are your plans? Do you celebrate?