To add insult to injury…

March 4, 2013

My milk has come in.

It’s emotionally so difficult.  I constantly feel the tightness in my chest, and have had one or two tiny letdowns where a bit of milk has come out, but it’s not too bad.  I think if I leave it it should just dry up on it’s own but it’s tough.

On the one hand I’m so grateful that my body at least knows what it’s doing and is responding correctly.  I am also absolutely amazed at nature and how my body at only around 14/15 weeks of pregnancy is already capable of making milk.  Wow.

But on the other hand it is so heartbreaking.  My body keeps cruelly reminding me that this milk is for HIM! I feel like this is the last link to my baby boy and as much as it pains me to HAVE the milk, I know I will also have a meltdown one day when I check and the milk has dried up.  Everything about this just seems so wrong.

The rollercoaster of emotions is ridiculous – I guess it doesn’t help that my poor hormones are doing loop the loops in mass confusion, but one minute I want the milk and the bleeding to stop…the next I don’t.  One minute I want to fall pregnant THIS MONTH just to help me move on, the next I don’t ever want to go through this again as it’s just too hard.  One minute I’m laughing, the next I’m sobbing…it’s ridiculous really, up, down, up, down…  But I know it’s early days.  Heck it’s been only 5 days since I met, and lost, my precious baby boy.  And if time doesn’t completely heal…well I’m sure it will go a long way towards helping.

On a further bittersweet note I am getting a photo of my baby boy.  At the hospital when we spent time with Baby Joseph the midwife asked if we’d like pictures and we both said no. We were in such shock, to be honest we were not in the right frame of mind to be making any big decisions.  Anyhow, by Friday Leon and I had both realised our huge mistake and were so regretting our hasty decision.  Of COURSE we want a photo, he’s our son!! And we both felt suddenly so scared of forgetting any tiny detail about him.  Anyhow I contacted the hospital on the off chance and hallelujah, those wonderful midwives had taken a photo or two anyway and kept it in my file in case we changed our minds.  I am allowed to collect it/them tomorrow and I am so unbelievably relieved and grateful.  I’m going to have a photo of my baby!!!!! The staff at the hospital has a HUGE box of biscuits/chocs or something special heading towards them I tell you.

Of course I started sobbing the moment I put the phone down.  What a huge moment!

Anyway, we got some lovely plants this week-end to plant in our baby’s honour.  I’ll post photo’s once everything is done, but it’s all coming together.  Our baby will not be forgotten.

Thank you for all the continuing thoughts and prayers – they mean the world to us.

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Greetings from the Other Side.

January 10, 2013

So we are here – we have been in the Isle of Man for just over a week and we are doing okay.

The past few weeks have been absolutely hectic, our container left with all our stuff on the 12 November and we spent a month camping in our house on blow up mattresses and camping chairs.  We then spent a few wonderful days living in my parents house, a week in Cape Town with the in-laws (such a nice break!), a few days in Vryheid with all my extended family and then back to a few days with my folks before flying out.  Emotions were running high and it really was just a whirlwind but it was good.

Except for the goodbyes.  My word they were traumatic.  I can’t even explain how difficult it is to say goodbye to people that have been such a huge part of your life forever.  I am devastated not to be living close to my ‘nearest’ (emotionally speacking obviously) and dearest, yet there have been aspects of the move that have assured me that we are in fact doing the right thing, and that helps me get through from day to day.

So far this week in our new house has been frantically busy – it’s hard work stocking up a brand new house, looking for cars, getting the kids kitted out for school etc, but it’s been a nice distraction from my emotions and just plain fun to do lots of shopping.

The weather here is cold.  Really COLD.  But fresh and crisp and lovely in it’s own way (although I’m sure that’ll get old eventually too).  We have gotten into a nice routine of putting on hats, coats and gloves when we go out and honestly with proper clothing it’s not too bad.  We have been blessed with minimal rain since our arrival and I can imagine that gets a bit much very quickly, so hoping for a fairly dry year ahead 🙂 

Of course there was another bombshell dropped on us just 2 weeks before we left for our new lives.  I had been feeling a bit funny and decided to POAS. Well imagine my surprise when it turned out positive.  I couldn’t believe it – and in many ways I still can’t believe it!  I’ve been blessed with minimal nausea and have managed to pretty much keep on going but yoh – it seems like we’ll be welcoming a new (Manx!) baby into the fold come August 2013.  Eeeeeeek!!!

5 January 2010 – Apologies!!

January 5, 2010

Okay I have to admit it – I’ve been a terrible blogger.  Sis on me!

I must apologise for my extended silence on the whole surrogacy issue.  I am still so keen to go ahead with it, although I must say the longer it’s taken me to get going the more doubts have crept into me head.  I’m terrified for all the meds & injections, and keep wondering whether it’s fair on my kids to go through it all.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have any qualms about them ‘going through’ the surrogacy journey with me (ie experiencing mommy being pregnant without a baby at the end), I know that they will deal with that and be fine.  What worries is me is that there are potential complications to even the easiest of pregnancies – and I just can’t foresee what might happen.  What if I get put on 10 weeks of bedrest? etc etc.

Suffice to say it is a huge commitement and as much as part of me longs to do it, I am still grappling with it.

I keep thinking that if it was for someone that I knew already, then all these doubts would just disappear.  If my sister, or cousin or friend asked me to do this for them I would agree in a heartbeat.  But to take all these hypothetical scenarios, when I don’t even know how/when/by whom I might get picked…it really just makes it all the harder.

Anyway, for now I’m on an enforced ‘cool down’ period anyway.  My dear hubby is feeling the effects of sleep deprivation quite dearly because my dear son (2.5 years) is still such a shocking sleeper.  Hubby declared that he cannot deal with a non-sleeping toddler as well as  a pregnant wife, so we will look at it once the little one starts sleeping a bit better.

Hopefully that’ll happen one of these days… 🙂 🙂

23 February – Officially drug dependant!

February 23, 2009

So as of 10 days ago I am officially dependant on drugs!  I have been feeling horrendous, really ridiculously lethergic and tired because my hormone levels were so high, but I think the Eltroxin may finally be kicking in now as today I woke up with more energy than I’ve had in weeks!  I had a lovely day – Caeli’s preschool was closed for half-term so we had a girly shopping & lunching morning while James went to daycare…it was lots of fun!  We then cleaned the house together, played etc, and I managed to get them all cleaned, bathed, pyjama’d and had a full meal ready by the time my husband got home from work.  I honestly can’t remember WHEN I last managed all that in one day!  So hurray for Eltroxin! 😉

When I had my GP appointment (about 2 weeks ago) I did get a bit of a shock.  I was honestly expecting to just walk in, get a script and walk back out again… but alas.  He was a bit concerned about the size of my thyroid – I don’t have a goiter but when I swallow you can actually see the shape of my thyroid clearly and it is enlarged.  He urged me to have an ultrasound done just to ensure that there are no nasties lurking there.  I just immediately went cold at the thought – but tried to stay calm.  He unfortunately doesn’t have an ultrasound machine so I was sent into town.  I raced through the rush hour traffic and eventually got to the path lab where they gave me all the relevant forms.  The whole thing felt so surreal – my husband and children were with me and I just kept thinking “What if they find something terrible.  What if this is it??”  As the radiographer quietly scanned away at my throat, and then walked out to call the doctor I can honestly say I have never.  NEVER. been so scared in all my life.

The doctor found a cyst.  On the report he says that it is ‘probably a thyroglossal cyst’.  This report was faxed to my GP and he doesn’t seem to concerned, we’ll go over it in detail at my next appointment in 3 months time so I guess I can rest easy for now – but it was not a nice experience at all…and I just hope and pray that this cyst is in fact just a harmless little cyst that MAY even disappear on it’s own.

On surrogacy related news the GP wants me to be on Eltroxin for 3 months before falling pregnant.  I’ll have more bloods in May and if all is looking good then, THEN I’ll finally be able to move forward.  I have contacted my agency and they are being very understanding and supportive.  They have found a new surrogate for the couple I had been tentatively matched with – and I must admit I am overwhelmingly relieved and excited for them!  I was feeling awful at keeping them waiting all this time, so I am so happy to hear they have been matched with someone else and are finally moving forward!

6 February – An ending…and a new beginning..!

February 6, 2009

So I had my final homeopath appointment today – and it’s kind of as I suspected: it didn’t work 😦  It’s the end of the road as far as homeopathy is concerned – he had me on the strongest doses of the best stuff and my body simply wasn’t responding.  His opening words were “I wish I had  better news for you” and then he spent a good 20 minutes reassuring me that as chronic meds go Eltroxin is not Such A Bad Thing.

In all honesty I still feel pretty crap about it, but I had a good cry; pulled myself together and told myself it could’ve been much worse – and I do feel loads better now!

Clearly I wish the outcome had been better – but on the upside it is BRILLIANT that I am not in limbo anymore!  I am now free to follow my surrogacy journey, which is fabulous, fabulous news!  My first port of call will be to find a GP I can trust to manage my thyroid (which hopefully shouldn’t take long!), and then I’ll be free to continue this journey that I have as yet only tentatively started.

I can’t wait!

On a completely (and I do mean COMPLETELY!) unrelated note: does anyone have experience with UTI’s / bladder infections?  My daughter has not been herself lately (she’s almost 4), really grumpy, had 2 wee’ing accidents at school the other day (this never, NEVER happens!!!) and is just … I don’t know … off.  She has also mentioned once or twice that her ‘bagina’ (LOL) hurts when she wee’s, but she’s a toddler and they often say these things.  She also doesn’t ACT as thought it’s hurting – she wee’s often and she doen’t in any way clench / grimace / get scared to wee again.  I can’t keep ask her whether it hurts to wee as she *will* say yes no matter what, lol.

I think I might just pop into a pharmacy tomorrow and try to get a strip test to determine any irregularities.  I’ve never suffered from the darned things myself so not really sure what to look out for, but hate the idea that she might just be in pain and I’m not doing anything about it!

4 February – Please can I just scream now??!

February 4, 2009

Now may or may not be the right time to bring up the fact that generally I am ‘that’ girl that always tries to see the positive in everything, that sees the glass as half-full, that tries not to moan and complain.  Generally I am optimistic to a fault.

But today.  Today I want to SCREAM, today has been a long, frustrating horrid day, that’s just left a bad taste in my mouth.

First some background – my husband is away on the UK on business (we’re in South Africa), so my mom was staying with me and the kids, while my sister stayed home with my diabetic dad. Any without further ado, I give you a rundown of last night and my day so far…

11pm – Go to bed

11.10 – Jamie wakes up and cries, I put him in bed with me

11.10 onwards – Jamie kicks, thrashes, moans, wriggles, falls out the bed and punches me in the face repeatedly

5am – phone rings and we get told my dad has had a very ‘unusual’ seizure and is in ICU

5.05 – cranky, overtired kids nagging for breakfast and arguing that they don’t want to go to school ‘ever. again.’

5.30 realise Jamie (19 month old) is covered in horrendous rash, no idea what it might be from.

6.00 phone my sister-in-law that’s visiting from UK to cancel on my babysitting duties for the morning in case Jamie’s rash is contagious (she understood completely but you have no idea how much I *hate* letting people down!)

7.30 get Caeli to school

8.00 Go to doc for blood draw (my thyroid) and get a 10.45 slot for Jamie (rash)

8.10 – 10.20 wander around the house like a Zombie trying to keep James entertained while waiting for his doc app to roll around.

10.45 doc doesn’t know what rash is but definitely NOT contagious, yipeee.  Probably insect / allergy related. Go to pharmacy to collect anti-histamines etc

12.30 fetch Caeli

1.00 make plans to see my dad in hospital.  All the co-ordinating causes kids to miss their naps – will pay for that later!

3.00 sister in law arrives with her 2 kids, I leave to go to the hospital. Race down, collect mum, visit and crawl back through rushhour traffic

4.00 come home to two over-tired, tantruming, screaming monster children (in fairness they were dead quiet when I arrived home, all the nastiness started about 2 minutes after I arrived – go figure!)

5.00 still dealing with the tantruming, screaming, nastiness

5.30 bathing with the tantruming…etc

6.00 feeding with the tantruming…etc

6.30 Dh phones from London to say he’s missed his Heathrow -> Johannesburg connection, on standby for next flight with 33 other people. Tomorrow’s flights also full, so more standby.  *sigh*  Who knows when he’ll actually get home.

AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!

And the worst, worst thing of all, is baby Declan.  (http://www.all-hands-on-dec.co.za) I started reading a website a few months ago, when baby Declan was just a couple of weeks old.  He was born with a tumour (malignant) behind his eye and has been fighting every single day of his life to beat this monster.  He was right there, right at the finish line – these last few weeks we was so convinced that he had it beat…bloods have just shown that the cancer has spread everywhere.  He is 6 months old, and has been given at most a month to live.  I am devastated.  Absolutely devastated.  I cannot understand why this little person had to go through so, so much – only to be beaten anyway.  It’s the most tragic story and it has just destroyed me.  I keep just thinking if I’m feeling like this, what on earth are his family going through1???!?!  It’s just so incredible unfair. Please, if you have anything left inside of you please pray for this gorgeous baby boy and his incredibly strong, wonderful family.  They’re going to need you so much in the coming weeks.  And of course, we can always hope for a miracle.

I know I have a lot to be thankful for.  I know I have many blessings and I know that for me things could be worse.  Most of these things have just sort of happened ‘around’ me and other people are dealing with far more fallout than me.  But it’s been a lot for one day.  I really am grateful for so much.  But Lord please let me have a better day tomorrow – coz I don’t know if I can face another one like today just yet.

1 February – Uuuggghhh…

February 1, 2009

Well it seems I spoke to soon.  After my second to last post where I was all ‘la la la, my energy levels are fabulous on these new meds, they must be working, la la la”, I (I guess inevitably) woke up the following Monday morning feeling as though I had been hit by a bus.  Suddenly, literally from one day to the next my energy levels were AWOL, I felt bloated, heavy, exhausted.  It’s bizarre because initially I never really felt bad.  Yes I was pretty tired bout then my little man doesn’t sleep (like…ever, LOL) so I just figured that was why…but when I started these new meds I immediately just became my old self again!  Normal suddenly seemed super-human, and it was so, so nice to be so energetic again.  Now that I’m back to my ‘old’ self it’s awful and I’m really battling to adjust to the fatigue and exhaustion.  The only good thing about giving in and taking the Eltroxin (if it comes to that) is the hope that it will then make me feel like I was feeling a few weeks ago.  A-MAZING 🙂

I’m still taking all the meds, everything as recommended but it’s as if I’ve suddenly become immune to them.  I can’t say I’m not disappointed, because now suddenly I feel as though any hope of curing my thyroid problem naturally is gone.  I’m still clinging on to the hope that I may be wrong – after all no matter how healthy and ‘normal’ our bodies are nobody feels like an energiser bunny ALL of the time…but my gut feeling is that this is not working anymore.

Regardless though I am very excited – my next homeopath appointment will be in 5 days or so, and then we should (hopefully!!!) be able to move forward with surrogacy stuff!  If the meds HAS worked then I’ll be able to contact the agency with “I’m cured and ready to move forward!” and if it hasn’t worked I’ll contact them to say “I’m taking Eltroxin and ready to move forward”.  So big yay for that!  I’ll most probably have my appointment on Thursday/Friday, and will update after that!!  Yaaaay 🙂

26 January – Question??

January 26, 2009

Thanks for the comments in my last post, they really all meant so much to me!  And I appreciate all the encouraging words so much at this stage, so thank you all!

Now a quick question – I got a comment mentioning doing a “natural cycle with FET” and therefore “no need for BCP”.  Being a newbie to this I had no idea what FET means, so I googled and came up with Frozen Embryo Transfer and Fresh Embryo Transfer.  Now this natural cycle IVF REALLY appeals to me, I am admittedly a bit nervous of doing all those shots during the IVF, but I am very much prepared and willing to go through it if that’s what it takes – but if there’s an alternative way????  Why I’d be welcoming it with open arms!  Mostly I just don’t like the idea of pumping my body full of meds, chemicals and hormones if there was a way to avoid it…so can anyone explain to me exactly what a “natural cycle with FET” entails and under what circumstances it is viable?

Obviously at the end of the day the decision would be made by my IP’s and FS, but I’m still quite far away from that at the moment so I just want to know what the basic conditions are.  I.e. do you need frozen embryo’s (to help with the timing in case my cycle isn’t 100% spot on that month) or does it also work with fresh ones?  I read that you need quite a predictable cycle, my cycle is always between 26-30 days, and my luteal phase is always 12 days, no LP defect etc etc – would that be considered predictable enough?

Any info would be greatly appreciated, I have tried googling for info but it’s all either too basic, or far too complicated – and I just can’t seem to get the answers I need, LOL.  If it’s easier you’re welcome to email the info to me at yv*ytur*ner@ho*tma*il.com (without the stars, lol).

20 January – Back to reality!

January 20, 2009

**DISCLAIMER, mainly for KuKd vets, this post truly shows how clueless I can be about IF – so please proceed with caution.  All I’m trying to do here is put my own thoughts based on my own experience out there, and hope nothing I’ve said in any way offends anyone.  I do realise thoughts like “Oh wow, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t get pregnant after one IVF” might make you want to b*tch-slap me, yet based on my own experience falling preggy hasn’t ever been an issue so that thought WAS a revelation to me.  You know??

Anyway, if you decide to go ahead and read you have my full permission to roll your eyes (and curse a bit) at my naivete. ” Assvice” also welcome where applicable 😉

Well, the new year is now certainly in full swing! The kids are back to school and life is returning to a semblance of normality.  I still start and end every day with all my homeopathic meds (5 different types in all, 4 to take 2x per day, and 1 to take 3x per day – that’s 11 sessions of meds every day!!!) – great practise for upcoming IVF’s I’m sure!  I’m still very hopeful and quite confident that the meds are working..my energy levels are something else!  I’ve been exercising virtually every day and am loving it!  I try to do different things to avoid boredom, but over the past week I’ve gone on brisk walks through our estate, done Tai-Bo, Yoga, jogging and Aerobics.  And it’s been really fun!!!  The doc mentioned that exercise would help to kick my thyroid into gear so here’s hoping…

I’ve mentioned a few times recently how desperate I am to get this surrogacy journey going – and I truly can’t wait.  But why is that every time I feel POSITIVE that it’s the right thing to do, something makes me stop and doubt for a few seconds?

And it’s not even about the surrogacy journey any more.  I have, without a doubt, made my peace with that – it’s what I want, more than anything, to do.  But I keep thinking about the risks involved in pregnancy and childbirth…and honestly it’s not like I want to keep thinking about it…things just keep happening to remind me that pregnancy is not something to be taken lightly.  And it’s not like I’m harping on about the same issues – I keep hearing about new weird and wonderful things I’ve never even heard of!  I read one surrogacy story about a woman, Carolyn Zinn who had 5 failed IVF’s in a row on her journey to being a surrogate.  That just hadn’t factored into my thinking before…I just figured, you know, go for IVF and fall preggy?!  (yes naive and ridiculous I know, I’m sorry – but it really was like – OMG, she had all those injections, procedures, transfers within a YEAR and *still* wasn’t preggy. Holy Crap!) And for the first time a light really went on about some of the emotional toll just TTC’ing a surro baby must take. I mean – the PReSSURE.  Someone is spending all these huge amounts of money…and you really have no control on the results…yet all this pressure is laid squarely on your shoulders.  And that’s just to get a BFP.  Then it continues – every doctor’s appointment, every urine test, every scan etc…all continuous tests that you feel pressured to ‘pass’.  Scary.

And of course suddenly there is an onslaught of people that I’m aware of with all sorts of weird ‘conditions’ – my one friend gave birth about a week ago and suddenly she’s in hospital with suspected post-partum eclampsia!  Huh??  I was under the impression that once you give birth eclampsia is history but apparently not always?!  Any a million other things that could go wrong…

But then…then there’s the fact that I AM still fairly young, that I HAVE had a history of very easy pregnancies…the odds are in my favour…

and…

mostly…

There’s creating life. Creating a family. A brand new family.

My kids occasionally drive me around the bed but I love. I *love* being a mom.  It’s the best thing in the world.

And if I can help a family – any family – achieve that…then that would be the best thing ever, and the risks are worth it.

19 January – My dream last night…

January 19, 2009

Last night I had such a vivid dream, and I just want to capture it here – before it floats away as dreams tend to do…

I think the dream stemmed from the fact that a few of my fellow Gestational Surrogate (GS) bloggers have just given birth to their surro-babies.  Obviously with me wanting to do the same thing I’ve spend a lot of time wondering what they must be going through and how they must be feeling…

In my dream I was heavily pregnant with a surro-baby, and beginning to go into labour.  I remember the big belly, the sadness of knowing this journey was just about over, but yet the overwhelming excitement of knowing that I was about to give life to a new family.  I felt incredibly emotional, but in a good way.

The dream was pretty convoluted and at times didn’t make much sense (although it made sense at the time if you know what I mean).  I was pregnant with someone else’s baby, but hadn’t actually been properly matched to my IP’s yet (??? LOL).  So I was in labour but the IP’s weren’t there, as they didn’t even know that I was expecting their baby yet.

I remember that I was getting to the stage where I had to push – I clearly remember hoping that the IP’s would come – and also that they would then stay by my head, LOL.  And suddenly the baby was here.  Funny that after giving drug-free birth twice I just managed to gloss over the actual pain of giving birth in my dream – lol.  I guess maybe that’s because I already know what that entails.  I know exactly how sore it is, but I also know that I CAN do it.  I have done it before and I’ll manage to do it again… I believe the purpose of this dream was more about preparing me for the emotional rollercoaster of being a surrogate.

Anyway, the baby was born with no sign of the IP’s, so the baby was wrapped up and handed straight to me.  It was unconceivable that she wouldn’t be cuddled immediately by someone!  She was beautiful, tiny and new and just perfect. Even though I didn’t in any way feel like she was mine, or like I wanted to keep her – I just remember that feeling of emotions rising up in my chest, a heavy feeling like I was holding back a sob?  I felt very proud, very happy, very overwhelmed.

She kept turning her head towards me and rooting for the breast, and I felt so bad that I couldn’t feed her – it was like my body instinctively wanted to feed her, but my heart and mind didn’t agree.  I was worried about her being hungry though and kept hoping that the IP’s would come soon to give her some food.

Eventually the IP’s did arrive, and I remember apologising over and over that they couldn’t be there for the birth.  I just kept saying “I’m so sorry she just came so fast”.  They didn’t mind at all and were just immediately wrapped up in their little baby girl.  They were elated and thankful and wonderful.

It made everything worth it – although that emotional feeling stayed with me, even now as I sit here typing this I can still feel that emotional, heavy feeling on my chest.  I was just so real.

It was a wonderful dream though. I know without a doubt that this is something I need and want to do.  As difficult as it will be at times it’s bound to be in incredible journey, and I just can’t wait to get on board!!!!!