About Me

My photo
Caledonia, Northern Illinois, United States
I am a Thirty-Something mother of four beautiful girls. My love for them, and the joy I've experienced during this crazy ride called motherhood, has inspired me to help make the dream of a family become a reality for couples through gestational surrogacy. I've proudly helped A&T, as their lives were forever changed when they welcomed a son in April 2010 and K&S were blessed as parents in Sept 2012 when we welcomed their twin boys. I completed my final surrogacy journey Nov 2015 when I helped a wonderful local couple J&W and Big Brother add their family with the birth of twin boys. I am so very fortunate to have wonderful relationships with each one of my surro-families and continue to share in their lives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Totsicles!!!

Today was the big day - Transfer!! I know K&S would have loved to have been there today but I was very honored to have my best friend and fellow surro sister Daisy along as my companion. We arrived on time but waited nearly 2 hours before transfer took place. One of the hold ups was that the clinic wanted to review over the phone with K&S how the embies looked after the thaw. Since they are in Hawaii, several hours behind us here, they were told to call in around 9am (4am their time) to get the news. Just after that IM text me (as I sat in the waiting room) to let me know both survived but had a little cell degeneration due to the thaw process. I wasn't sure what to make of this but stayed hopeful they were ok. After being brought back and given instructions to undress a nurse came in with the paperwork to sign consenting to both embryos being transferred. I asked about their condition and she said they looked great - the cell degeneration is normal and doesn't change their grading. A few minutes later we transferred two blasts, a grade 3AB and a 4AB. It was surreal watching the two lil embryos being moved into the transfer dish, then into a pipette to be inserted into their cozy uterine home which looked perfect.

So now we wait. We are all thinking positive thoughts and praying for good news.

Update: I spoke with IM (K) and she said that the embryologists report was that with the cell degeneration we were looking at about a 30% success rate. Not the best statistic but one thing I've learned through this IVF process is that it's really a crap shoot. I've seen beautiful embryos result in nothing and not so great ones bring positive outcomes so - Keep Praying!

A few new pics and even a video have be added to the album. Here's one of me all dressed up for the occasion.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday!!!

My family and I had the absolute honor of attending Baby G's first birthday party yesterday. It was such a wonderful experience seeing how much this lil man is loved. We were the first to arrive so I scooped Mr. G up right away so mom, dad and grandma could all put the final touches on the party before the other guests arrived. He's still such a social boy, full of smiles for anyone who holds him.

The weather was gorgeous and just right for hanging out on the patio visiting and watching the kids play. Many of the guests were familiar to me - I'd met most of them at the baby showers just before his arrival so it was nice to see then all again. T (IF) had prepared quite the menu for us to all enjoy. The courses included; charcuterie, tapas, grilled sausages, lasagna, and of course birthday cake. No one left hungry that's for sure. There was also plenty of champagne and wine for all to celebrate and toast the occasion.

The man of the hour got plenty of attention as he showed of his new walking skills - his lil bow legged waddle is just adorable and I found myself grinning from ear to ear just watching the delight on his face as he toddled across the room.

He of course was spoiled with gifts; toys and clothes galore. As with any typical toddler, he was most interested in the wrapping and ribbons. It was a long day for Baby G so by the time cake rolled around he wasn't very into it, but he got a little taste of the celebratory smash cake mama made. There were cupcakes and a variety of chocolate "suckers" and a delicious chocolate cake all made by A (IM) - so yummy!

It was a full day and as it grew dark Giovanni began to tucker out and was laid down to bed. I got in some night night snuggles - he's such a cuddly guy. Once he was in bed and things wound down our hosts were able to sit back and visit, we stayed well into the evening sticking around till the midnight hour which made it officially his birthday. Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Giovanni!!!

(Pictures have been added to the photo album)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Next Step ...

... is transfer!!!

I had another follow up appointment with the RE today to check the fluid issue, and I can not tell you what a relief it was that there was not even a hint. That's right - transfer for Monday is ON! The fluid was likely just a side effect of the synthetic estrogen and has since resolved on it's own and disappeared. No aspiration needed. My lining is a nice fluffy 12mm (the desired thickness is at least an 8) so all looks perfect now. Tomorrow I'll start the notorious PIO injections which are new for me - should be interesting.

On Sunday evening my IPs, Jason and I all shared our pre-transfer excitement over dinner. They invited us into the city to check out a unique small plate French restaurant Bonsoirée. The food was amazing, great atmosphere and we all enjoyed some friendly conversation - even when politics were mentioned. Such a fun night.

K&S are headed out tomorrow to spend the next two weeks in Hawaii - they are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. They'll be there during our transfer so my very good friend and fellow surro Daisy - who is 14wks weeks with twins for her IPs - will be with me. Monday morning the two lil "maybe babies" will be thawed and we will all start praying one or both snuggle in. We all talked about how they want to receive the news, during the dreaded yet ever so exciting TWW, and it was decided - they want to know everything. Fingers crossed that I'll have good news to share and this will be a trip to remember for them.

In other news - can you believe my sweet lil surrobabe will be celebrating his birthday in just 5 days!!! Giovanni will be turning ONE Sunday (Easter). Our family was invited to join in on the celebration this upcoming Saturday - I can't wait to see A&T, Baby G and all their friends and family again. Be sure to check back for an update and some pictures over the weekend.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Good News ???

I drove into the Highland Park FCI clinic bright and early - my nurse coordinator wanted the u/s tech there to take a look and see first hand what's going on. He asked how I was doing, I said could be better - feeling a little frustrated since in my previous three cycles all went well and now this. He commented that if all the RE had to do was give us meds and then say, "Come back for transfer" he'd be out of a job. Cycles change, responses change - makes sense but still - GAH! Anyway, he didn't say much while scanning me besides, "Doesn't look like much to write home about". I asked if he could still see the fluid and he said yes, but my lining was a nice and he saw "just a drop" of fluid. I could even tell by the u/s image that today looked different than yesterday - so good news???

The clinic called and said they reviewed the blood work and u/s and instructions are to continue my meds and they will contact me Monday to let me know if further monitoring is needed before transfer. Her tone was very "unconcerned" so I guess I'll go with that for now and try not to worry either. Staying positive that K&S's totsicles will be moving in soon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Speed Bump

It wouldn't be surrogacy without a speed bump in the way. So the latest, I went in today for a monitoring appointment to make sure my lining was on track and looking good for transfer next week. What showed up on the u/s has thrown our cycle into limbo - fluid. Gah! My lining without the fluid is at 10mm which is wonderful - but the 2mm pocket of fluid has got to go. This is totally frustrating since in my previous three cycles everything on my end has always been "perfect". Totally was not expecting this today.

Transfer can't happen with a compromised lining - this has to be resolved in the coming days for us to move forward. The RE requested that I make the trip into the Chicago suburbs to visit the office where transfer will take place so their u/s tech can get a closer look at what we're dealing with. Bright and early tomorrow morning I'll head into the clinic to evaluate things.

Please keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

So Far - So Good

Just a little update to share how I'm doing with this whole "cycling" gig. I've used that term may times before, but for those that don't know, it's basically the time period in which meds are used prior to transfer to get the body ready - I'm on "preheat" if you will.

At my first monitoring appointment Monday, it was confirmed all is well. I'm almost two weeks into Lupron and my ovaries are nice and quiet - no follicles or signs of ovulation. I stopped BCP last Friday and AF arrived on cue a few days later. The tech confirmed during the baseline u/s that my lining was thin which was just as they want it to be at this stage in the game. So after getting the thumbs up I began introducing Estrogen into my system and cut back the Lupron dosage ... THANK GOODNESS! The Lupron was starting to make me feel menopausal and - as much as I make fun of my mother for her hot flashes and night sweats - it's no joking matter! I seriously had to get out of bed once or twice and dry myself off! I don't remember that from any previous cycles, but then again this protocol called for twice the amount I was on before (20u). Anyway ... when my blood work came in my E2 level was 38.1 which was "perfect" and now that I've started applying the estrogen patches that number will begin to rise. The next appointment is Friday and we should see an increase in that number as well as a thickened lining.

So far so good. I'm feeling good and very positive about our upcoming transfer. IM and I continue to email one another every few days - I've really enjoyed getting to know her over these last few months. We have dinner plans next weekend - can't wait! I'm very anxious to spend time with K&S and share in all this excitement as we count down the days - just a little over two weeks to go!!!