Archive for August, 2008

25 August – So awful and unfair :(

August 25, 2008

I have just received news that a friend of mine has just lost her baby.

She was 13 weeks pregnant, and it seemed like a textbook pregnancy.

I have no details yet, only that the baby is definitely gone.

I feel so sad, and so angry.  It all seems so senseless, and so incredibly unfair.

Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.  It was an unplanned pregnancy to begin with, but one that they accepted with such enthusiasm and joy – so this really has been a rollercoaster ride of note. 😦

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24 August – The Plot Thickens…

August 24, 2008

ARGH.  Men can be so frustrating sometimes.  You may remember that a few posts ago I mentioned that dh had theoretically agreed to the idea of me being a surrogate, even though we hadn’t really had a deep discussion about it yet…well when I mentioned something about it in passing yesterday he just got this really concerned look on his face.  “What?” I asked, “Don’t you think you’ll be able to help me with the fertility meds…injections etc?” “No,” was his reply, “I’m just more concerned about this whole pregnancy thing.”  “What?”  I pretty much shrieked, “WHY?”  “Well,” he said, “It’s just that I want our lives back again at some stage…”  By now I was getting really worked up and pretty darn annoyed.  “What on earth are you talking about?  It’s a PREGNANCY, and surrogate one at that.  It’s not our baby, it will never be our baby – it’s pregnancy, end of story.  How much can that possibly impact on YOUR lifestyle??”

He had no answer for that one.  Just rolled over and went to sleep.  ARGH!!!  If you want to argue about then at least have a good solid backing argument.  How can you just roll over and go to sleep?  Did it SEEM like the discussion was over???

If you’ve been following my posts then you KNOW that I’m not taking this step of being a surrogate (or wanting to be a surrogate) lightly – I know it’ll be hard and of course it’ll impact my life in a huge way, emotionally, and to a certain extent physically.  Because I have small children I pretty much take it easy anyway, don’t really drink, definitely no bungi jumping (LOL) etc etc..so the only way the physical impact will be really big is if I end up with multiples, or a really awful (sickly) pregnancy.  So yeah..it obviously affects me..

But HOW does this affect my husband?  Yes he may have to deal with my tiredness and some unreasonable moods, but is it really such a huge stretch to allow me to be pregnant again?  Maybe I should just tell him I AM going to pregnant again – he can choose whether it’s for IP’s or our own baby for us.  LOL.  That should shut him up pretty quickly.

LOL.  For all my big talk I’ve never been the confrontational type, and I certainly wouldn’t want to force him into this if he really has valid concerns.  But ‘wanting his life back’?  What kind of airy-fairy mumbo-jumbo is that? 

I vaguely mentioned the possibility of me being a GS (gestational surrogate) to my mom and sister over the week-end too.  My mom was wholly uninterested (didn’t really contribute to the conversation at all, I don’t think she believes I’ll go through with it) and my sister was quite shocked.  She kept mentioning how weird and hard it would be for them to see me with a tummy that doesn’t ‘belong’ to the family.  Lol.  How hard it’ll be for THEM?!  Ai. 

Anyway, of course everyone else’s concerns and negativity just make me all the more determined to go through with it, so the cloud does have a silver lining.  I’ll just need to try and catch dh in a good moment and really talk it through with him.  As I say, if he valid worries I’ll hear them out with an open mind, and if it’s something he really can’t accept then I guess I’ll have to give in gracefully…but I’m still confident we’ll get there.  It’s understandable for him to have concerns I guess, look how many I’ve voiced on this blog just in the last 2 weeks…! The one thing that has cheered me up was realising he is actually validating my request now, I think he’s really starting to realise I’m being serious about this whole thing!

But MY reasons for thinking it’ll work:

It’s something I REALLY want to do, I WANT to help someone out there by doing something truly special.

I’m young, in good health and conceive easily.  I’ve had really easy pregnancies and deliveries that resulted in healthy, happy babies – I really believe I can do good.

I love being pregnant and it’s a bonus to experience it again.

The timing is just really good right now – I’m working from home, the kids are in school most mornings, things are just going smoothly.

and lastly: I just want this so badly.  It just feels RIGHT.

Well, I will broach it with the dear man next time we have a few minutes to ourselves (har! har!), and will definitely report back here again.  Keep everything crossed please!  I’d really like to get this ball rolling now 🙂

Completely off the topic, have any of you watched ‘How I met your Mother?’  My dh and I are half way through the first season and loving it.  It’s really funny and just keeps getting better!  Loads of fun.  We look forward to our quiet time every evening when the kids are asleep and we snuggle up in bed and watch an episode with coffee and chocolate.  Mmmm….bliss!!!

20 August – Back to the drawing board…

August 20, 2008

Well, after pretty much deciding that I wanted to do egg donation first I contacted Nurture to find out about getting the process started, and was told that they are not currently involved with Clinics for Egg Donation in my neck of the woods yet.  Argh.  So back to the drawing board it it then.

I could of course go with another clinic in my area if I had my heart set on egg donation, but I really want to go with Nurture if I can…I really get the impression that they are a fabulous organisation and that I would have a really good experience with them.  So of course it’s back to thinking about Surrogacy.  And man, I want to do it – I really, really want to do it.  I still need to convince my dh of the matter – I have mentioned it a few times and he has theoretically agreed to it – but I do understand that I really need his full backing.  Then of course I need to break the news to friends and family although I’m rather inclined to just wait until the ball is rolling before I do that.  Seems like a nightmare to go through all the big discussions and ‘have-you-thought-it-all-throughs’ when I haven’t even been accepted into the program yet!!!

But we’ll see…still a big maybe, I but I think I’m getting closer and closer every day…

In the meantime, here’s a part of one of the comments I received on my blog…I thought I would use today to answer the questions:

So, what makes a person want to donate an egg or be a surrogate? What does that entail? Is there ever the tendency for surrogate mommies to want to keep the baby they incubated?

Hmm…what made me want to donate egg or be a surrogate?  I’m honestly not sure.  I think it all started with my Uncle and Aunt’s struggle with infertility.  I watched their pain and heartbreak over 10 years as they battled to conceive, only to see my Aunt eventually forced into having a full hysterectomy.  I saw just how badly they wanted a baby of their own to love, and that has really fueled me to help others in similar circumstances.  (BTW my Uncle and Aunt did eventually adopt 2 gorgeous babies, both at just a couple of days old.  They are now 7 and 4 years respectively 🙂  )The fact that I also had such fantastic pregnancies also helps – it makes it seem less of a big deal somehow, to be a surrogate.  Ag I’m not expressing myself well – of course it’s still a big deal, huge in fact, but it’s not as much of a sacrifice as it would be for someone that had really awful, difficult pregnancies, you know?!  Besides, I loved being pregnant and would enjoy another pregnancy!!!

As for what it entails I guess it’s just about wanting to help others acheive their hearts desire…in so doing I would need to be of sound mind and with a healthy body, and willing family. 🙂

And for the last questions – I’m sure we’ve all heard the odd dodgy story about a GS (gestational surrogate) that wants to keep the baby after he/she’s (or they :-p) born, it’s not impossible – but it’s not something I’m at all concerned about.  I have my own kids, and they’re just perfect for me.  Plus, this is not something I want to do out of some misguided sense of broodiness – my motivation is purely to help, to make a difference somehow, and to make some family incredibly happy 🙂

Hope that helps somewhat – would love any comments or thoughts 🙂

Have a happy day…

15 August – (Im)patience…

August 15, 2008

I’ve just realised that as much as I’m obsessing about this whole egg donor/surrogacy thing I can’t get moving on anything until I’ve stopped nursing anyway.  Argh!!  I’m *not* the most patient of souls by any stretch of the imagination so this frustrates me beyond belief. 

I absolutely love nursing my little boy (he’s 14 months old by the way) and will miss it terribly once I give it up, but I’ve realised that nursing really does interfere with my life. 

While nursing:

1. I can’t drink alcohol (!!!)

2. I can’t donate blood

3. I can’t donate eggs / be a surrogate or even really kickstart these procedures

4. I can’t take birth control (eep!)

5. I can’t have caffeine (coffee, tea OR Coke)

I’m sure there’s a lot more but I can’t think of anything else right now.  In the early days I couldn’t eat any (and I do mean ANY) dairy products but luckily those days have passed and I can stuff myself with chocolate without paying for it for the next 24 hours.  (*Disclaimer: this list in no way detracts from the joy and satisfaction I get from nursing. 🙂 )

Ironically, realising that I can’t do anything about my new ‘venture’ for a while anyway has made me realise that I’m ready to get started and I want to do it NOW.  Oh the joys of having a safety net…(and an iron cast excuse!)  In the meantime I’ll carry on with my research, and see how I feel once I’ve weaned my little guy (should be pretty soon anyhow I’d think.  I weaned my daughter at 14 months, maternal guilt probably won’t let me breastfeed him for too much longer than I did her!)

If you’re interested in even more rambling at the moment I’m thinking that once my breastfeeding stint is over I’ll go the egg donation route first.

I really, really want to be a surrogate mom one day, but I’m not sure I’m entirely ready to go that route yet… if I cope ok as an egg donor then I think after that I might just be brave enough to do a surrogacy.  Does that make any sense at all?

Also, when I first considered egg donation the fact that I was giving up my own genetic material really bothered me.  It helped some when I heard the whole thing about how when your neighbour is baking a cake and asks to borrow an egg it doesn’t suddenly make it your cake…but it still just, bothered me.

After reading so many blogs of infertile women and really putting myself in their shoes it dawned on me to look at it from their perspective: (big epiphany here, lol, are you ready?!!?)

If I was told that I could sustain a pregnancy, but didn’t produce any viable eggs, I would definitely want an egg donor.  Once those embies were implanted within me I honestly don’t believe that I would for a second doubt that baby was completely mine.  If my body grew the baby, sustained the pregnancy, birthed the baby and breastfed the baby then trust me – that baby is MINE and no-one elses.  No matter where the egg came from!

So yes, I’m now desperate to cultivate these eggies and help someone get the family they’ve always wanted.  But only once I’ve completed my own (breastfeeding) journey with my son – in my own good time.  Argh.  Baby steps.  Patience may be a virtue but it’s NEVER been one of mine!

13 August – In absolute awe…

August 13, 2008

Since beginning this new journey of mine I have literally been eating, sleeping and dreaming of surrogacy, infertility etc etc.   I am spending countless hours in front of my laptop reading every single scrap of information I can find on the topic.

The in’s and out’s of the procedures, although interesting, are last on my list at this stage.  What I want are real insights into the world of surrogacy.  I want to know how people have managed on their journeys (from both sides of the fence, GS and IP’s), what’s been difficult and what’s been special; what regrets they have, and what parts of their journey have been priceless, rewarding, irreplaceable.

On this journey I have stumbled across countless blogs of infertile couples and all I can say is Wow.  I have the greatest respect for all of you that are grappling with such huge obstacles in your lives.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and I so desperately hope that one day you are granted your deepest wishes.  I’m in awe of the way that you are able to face what you have been dished up, and how beautifully you express yourselves.  Some of the emotions I’ve come across are so very raw, and if nothing else it just solidifies my commitment to make a difference.  Seeing those emotions…has made me more convinced than ever that I have to, no I WANT to, do something to make a difference. Admittedly I still haven’t come too much further in my decision making process, but that’s ok for now.  I will continue to read, and pray.  And I am confident that things will happen, just the way they should.

 

And to all of you showing such strength and courage in the face of such adversity, I take my hat off to you all.  You are more woman than I think I’ll ever be.

12 August – Decisions, decisions…

August 12, 2008

Gosh I’m still so conflicted about this whole decision making process…  I know there is theoretically no huge rush for me to decide, but I don’t like leaving things up in the air, it just doesn’t gel with me.  As far as I’m concerned there’s dilemma followed by consideration = solution.  Done, dusted, move on.

This is so not like that.  I’m constantly see-sawing – ‘yes I’ll do it’, ‘no I must be mad’, ‘first I’ll do egg donation’, ‘no maybe surrogacy first’ etc etc.  It’s really consuming me at the moment.

My current dilemma is the health risks involved in these procedures.  I’ve done some googling on the topic and have found a number of articles on reputible sites and penned by reputible authors, that lament the lack of thorough investigation on the drugs that are used for these procedures.  They’re throwing around words like ‘cancer’ and ‘fatalities’ which is pretty terrifying.  It makes me wonder – as much as I want to do this, is it worth the risk?  Is it worth taking the chance that this procedure may leave my children without a mother somewhere down the line?

I know I’m probably over-analysing this completely, but these are all things I need to think about now.  I need to face and accept any possible risks and outcomes so that eventually I will never be consumed with guilt and regret. 

Am I making too much of this all?

Possibly.  But it’s only because of my children.  I gave them life first, so they deserve priority.  They need to be first in my considerations!

I keep wishing there was an easier way.  I think if they could do an egg retrieval without all the extra drugs (to stimulate more egg production etc) I would be a LOT more relaxed about doing it.  Same with the surrogacy, if they could somehow just inject the egg & sperm in without having to go through all the hundreds of hormones, injections and meds I’d be so much happier about it all.  But it’s such a huge decision anyway…I guess it was never meant to be easy!

But at the end of it all, no matter how many arguments ‘against’ there are in my mind, I cannot stop thinking of those couples that would be so, so thankful to have a little bit of help on their journey.  It makes me think that I can’t just wimp out now – I have to find a way to make it work.  Somehow.

Can you tell how much this is playing on my mind??

Any thoughts, ideas or new research results welcome 🙂

x

11 August – Result!

August 11, 2008

Well, it’s official! I’ve passed the ‘initial’ screening test and have been mailed the full application form! I am both incredibly excited and completely terrified.

I want to do this, I so, so badly want to do this – but I have so many questions running through my mind. Once I agree to it it’s just so final – no turning back. Deep in my gut I have to say that I feel this is the right thing. THIS is the difference I could make to the world. THIS is the way I could make the world a better place, give something back…

But I have so many questions, questions that nobody can possible know the answer to. Like how will I feel once we start the process? Once I’m impregnated with somebody else’s child? Will I want to weep every time the baby kicks, knowing that I’ll never be able to keep him/her? Or will I just feel joy and peace, knowing what a wonderful gift I am giving to the IP’s (Intended Parents)? Will I regret this? How will I feel when giving birth – will I be able to cope with all that pain and trauma with no baby to show for it at the end of the day? And then of course the first few days after giving birth are so revoltingly awful, and having a baby is just about the only thing that makes it bearable – the milk, the madly diving hormones, the blood… how will I cope? Will I get past it?

I have decided that I could definitely, never be a traditional surrogate (undergoing AI – artificial insemination – where my own egg is used with donor sperm), it would just be too hard knowing that that is actually MY child in every way – my egg, my womb etc…it just wouldn’t work for me. So knowing I’d be going the gestational surrogate route (where only my womb is used, donor eggs and sperm are implanted by IVF) I know, I *KNOW* that giving up the baby wouldn’t be a problem for me. The baby is in no way or form mine so it wouldn’t even cross my mind to keep it. Yet it must be so hard…especially at the end.

You spend all this time, energy and sacrifice striving for this HUGE goal of creating life, and at the end you’re just empty – left with a saggy tummy, utterly confused hormones, bodily fluids pouring out from everywhere…and just emptiness, loss, sadness… Yet at the same time it must be fill one with such euphoria to part with such an incredible gift.

And of course I have my own two children to take into account. They are so small still, how will they feel with a pregnant (read: hormonal) mommy? Especially if it’s all ‘for nothing’ (as far as their little worlds are concerned) at the end of the day. How much quality time will all the doctors appointments, hospital visits etc take away from them? And how will they feel when they’ve experienced the entire pregnancy, but have no sibling to show for it at the end of the day?

So many things to consider…

It’s all still too much for me to comprehend – can anyone provide thoughts or insight?

But I want to do this. So very, very much!

10 August – Setback?

August 11, 2008

I just received a reply to yesterday’s mail saying that on consideration I may not be eligible after all.

I suffered from CIN1 a few years ago (before my first pregnancy!) and the cells had to be surgically removed. I have been all clear ever since and have had loads of check-ups so I really hope this isn’t a stumbling block. She’s going to chat with the doctors this week and let me know.

Argh! I can’t believe how disappointed I am, I feel a bit as though I’ve been punched in the stomach. I fully understand her concern and the need to check it out thoroughly, but I would be devastated if that issue stopped me from helping someone else out now. I’ve carried two incredibly health and easy pregnancies to term since then, surely that should overrule what came before?

Feeling very frustrated right now and hoping that this isn’t already the end of my journey…
Will update as soon as I hear more!

9 August – Anticipation…!

August 11, 2008

Well, I did it. I figured I have nothing to lose by filling in the initial application form to just see whether or not I would even qualify. Eep, I’m so nervous. Hold thumbs!!!

**Update
Just got a reply saying that I do qualify and they will forward me the detailed application as soon as I am ready. I have replied asking them to send it right away – I need to know more details before I can make a more informed decision!

Oooh the excitement is mounting…!

8 August – The egg…or am I too chicken?

August 11, 2008

I’ve been contemplating egg donation for a while, but was still feeling vaguely troubled at the idea of parting with my own genetic make-up. Suddenly I was hit by the perfect idea – surrogacy! I had really wonderful, easy pregnancies and births, and I LOVED being pregnant. I am quite happy with my very complete little family of 4 and wonder if it’s time to use my ‘talent’ to help a family in need. My uncle and aunt had serious infertility issues and my heart broke for them. Seeing their pain and desire for a child of their own, especially contrasted with the speed and ease with which I fell pregnant, has really given me a lot of empathy for those with fertility problems.

I’ve spent the last week trawling every internet site I can find from chat rooms to blogs to medical facilities, trying to work out if this is something I can go through with. I mentioned the idea to ‘Dear Husband’ (dh) and he simply remarked ‘as long as somebody else pays for it’. When I asked him if it sounded like a crazy idea he simply said ‘yes’. I guess I can see where he is coming from. But I am confident that I will be able to get his full support if and when I need it… (“Ve haff vays and means…”)

I can’t really adequately explain my emotions at this stage. One minute I feel confident that this is my destiny and that this is something that I should most definitely be doing…the next I get swamped by the enormity of the whole idea and just want to run away and hide. I guess time will tell. I certainly won’t be rushing into any decisions at this stage!