Today is supposed to be a rarity because it doesn’t happen all that often. But if you really think about, every day is unique because you’ve never lived it before. Keeping this perspective via mindfulness helps get me through some of the more challenging days of being a mom of 3.
While I woke up and dropped my kids off at school just like any other Monday, I did take some time to reflect on the journey of how far I’ve come since having our son in October 2014, and the journey I’m about to embark on with this (to be) my final pregnancy. It’s fitting today marks a day of endings while the new month tomorrow kicks off the start of something entirely new. And it’s extra-special, as well, as tomorrow is Surrogate Baby #1’s third birthday!
Since I’ll be taking a lot of hormones through the birth control, it’s finally time to cut-off breastfeeding for my little guy. He turns 17 months tomorrow and is not going to like this one bit but it’s time. 17 months is nearly double as long the time I spent breastfeeding our daughters and I am very grateful to have gone this far, especially since he’s our last kiddo. This is completely disgusting and too much information so tune out now if you’re squeamish about bodily fluids. Our family all suffered from a bout of conjunctivitis last week (NOTE TO OTHER PARENTS: IF YOUR KID IS LEAKING MUCUS FROM THEIR EYEBALL, KEEP THEM HOME FROM THE PLAYGROUND! For the love of God, people…) Thankfully it has run its wretched course. In what I consider my milk’s final act of badassery sustaining the lives of my children and keeping them healthy and fed, I used a little breastmilk to treat son’s pinkeye. It greatly helped to get the swelling to go down and he woke up looking so much better the next day! WAY TO GO ULTIMATE MILK POWER-UP! Women don’t say “thanks” often enough to their bodies, so today, I’m saying a big thanks to mine.
Today I also finished a weight loss challenge with a group of friends that we started at New Years. The competition was a great extra boost to help keep my fitness train a-rollin’. Getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight after pregnancy #4 took much much longer than 1, 2, and 3 (well, I never fully got back after 1 or 2). Man, this was a big wake-up call to make good choices throughout the duration of this upcoming pregnancy. There is no way I’m getting up to as heavy as I was. That was a lot of work to get the weight off and it’s not an experience I want to repeat. SO….MAKE GOOD CHOICES THIS TIME AROUND!! I’m making a promise to myself now to exercise every day like I have been doing and continue to JERF. I love that acronym. Just Eat Real Food. No more Stoffers Lasagna crap.
Anyway, here’s to a new month, a new season, and a thankful nod to my body for getting me here after almost 32 years.
You know it’s a good day when 100 2-inch long intramuscular injectable needles show up in a box on your doorstep!
During the last surrogacy, I remember having to fly home with all my medical supplies. I was so nervous about taking these through security. They’re seriously going to let me carry on all these dangerously sharp objects along with vials of an unknown liquid substance? I mean, they’re labeled and all, but come on, you could theoretically fill those with anything. When security stopped me for extra screening, I was prepared for a fight. “I have a prescription! Go ahead, call the doctor!” If you need any further proof that airport security is nothing more than theater, the reason I was pulled aside was because I had a water bottle in my purse. Never mind the box of things I could stab and take out fellow passengers with. Oh. No. That’s one dangerous, dangerous bottle of water. Now that we have to travel with my daughters insulin and diabetic supplies, I chuckle to myself and think how I, a harmless looking white woman, could be the most likely terrorist suspect of all.
a baby carrot and a big scary needle
Anyway, the surrogacy meds arrived today! It looks like they’re all the same as what I took last time. Two sets of needles of different gauges; these are BIG ASS needles because the progesterone is an intramuscular injection. I’m so used to these 4 mm subcutaneous insulin needles that my daughter uses, these IM gauge ones are beasts. I’m a little nervous for the first one. I’m sure I’ll get used to it after a while, but my husband is going to have to administer the first few and I’m not going to watch it go in eeeeeesh. The two hormones to help me get super duper fertile are progesterone in oil and delestrogen. While I’m on these, I also will be taking birth control which should prevent my ovaries from releasing an egg. In the event I do ovulate, I’ll be a walking sperm trap, so gentlemens, steer clear!
There were some antibiotics and diazepam (niiiice) in there to help me chill and stay infection free the day of the IVF transfer. They also sent a weak attempt at a sharps bin to dispose of all those needles. Pffft – we are industrial sized sharps bin users here in our needle using house thanks to all that heroin our 6-year-old shoots up. You know how #diabeteslife goes.
Everythings coming together now for the big transfer day!
FINALLY, I can delve into the meat and potatoes of a surrogacy journey – the whole reason why I began this blog in the first place!
40 pounds lost August 2015-February 2016
So after a 40 pound weight loss since this summer, I am finally “cleared” for my second gestational surrogate pregnancy. Same uterus (mine!), same intended parents. Hoo-rah!
Have you come to this blog wondering what the process of being a surrogate is like? I want to be as straightforward as possible as what it’s like for me, and perhaps you’ll find this is a journey you’d like to undertake as well.
So today I went in for a lot of bloodwork and labs. The fertility clinic wanted to screen for any diseases or pathogens which would disqualify me as a surrogate candidate. They tested me for multiple drugs, opiates, and nicotine as well as for Hepatitis and the like. When you’re responsible for carrying the offspring of someone else, it’s important to be honest and disclose your full medical history with the fertility specialist.
There is a fancy word for “person who works in the lab who sticks you with a needle and extracts vials of your blood.” It’s a career title that isn’t coming to mind right now. (ETA: PHLEBOTOMIST!) But after that woman poked and prodded around my right arm and eventually left me with a bruise, I was successfully screened and ready to proceed onto the next phase with the fertility clinic. I need to let them know the day my period starts so they begin me on a 28-day birth control to track my cycle and give me a calendar of when to begin hormonal therapy for IVF. Knowing my body, Aunt Flo should be paying a visit around the 2nd or 3rd of March. Surrogacy is one big experience of “hurry up and wait…” Today was a lot of hurry up – get those lab results sent – and during the next two weeks…we wait.
Good times, good times.
Im so sorry, blog, I walked away from you and have been ever so neglectful. Since Thanksgiving, a lot of things happened rather suddenly. Such as, our oldest daughter was hospitalized for 5 days and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This was completely out of the blue, we have no family history of diabetes (only Type 2) and only a small genetic predisposition to autoimmune type disorders on my side of the family. It was a big adjustment, but over the course of the last two months, things have gotten better each day.
I wanted to update with a surrogacy item of note: my first appointment is a week from Friday! Yay! I’m so excited to finally get this journey off the ground. After all the weight I lost, it’s been a longer road to get here this time, but our contracts are signed and we are ready for lift off!