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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.

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… 🙂 🙂

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.

25 October – Pause for thought

October 25, 2008

To all my valued readers :), sorry I went a bit quiet for a couple of days…I’ve just been busy sorting out what my next step should be.  Thank you for all the comments on my last proper post – I appreciate the thoughts and advice.

I do realise that having a thyroid issue is pretty common and really not a big deal to some, but it’s something that caught me offguard and reasonable or not it’s a pretty Big Deal to me.  Being the good girl that I am I’ve been doing my homework (Google is my friend, lol), and have learnt a few things.

1. I am prone to thyroid problems because my dad is diabetic AND because my dad is hypothyroid.

2. I could be suffering from Postpartum Hypothyroidism, in which case there is a very good chance it’ll disappear on it’s own.

3. However due to 1 & 2 above I am very likely to suffer from Hypothyroidism again in the near future, especially if I have another pregnancy.

Now again, I know many people will think it’s not a big deal.  But to me, having to take synthetic hormones in tablet form for the rest of my life, is a pretty big deal.  I’m a fit(ish), healthy 28 year old.  How can one of my organs just not be efficient enough anymore? At 28??? Gak!

Firstly, the facts.  My TSH levels are fairly high.  TSH is measured by a simple blood test, and “normal” would be a result of 0.3 – 4.2.  My level was 8.7!  There is some controversy over when to start treating but many doctors seem to prefer treating only once levels rise above 10, so I think that’s why I haven’t had treatment shoved down my throat yet.  If left untreated it can obviously start impacting other areas, yet if you treat to soon it can make the thyroid even MORE underactive (because the synthetic hormone (pills) do all the work for you and essentially make the thyroid ‘lazy’.)

I’ve spoken to the agency and they are being really great, and so supportive.  They immediately confirmed with the doctors that yes, it’s common and treatable, and will definitely NOT exclude me from being a surrogate, should I still want to!  So a big YAY for that 🙂 🙂  They do have a couple in mind for me and are obviously quite keen to keep things moving so offered to start seeing to meds for me – but I politely declined. For now.

As I said at the beginning – I’ve done my research.  There are natural ways to improve TSH levels. Firstly I’ve started going for Vitamin B shots again. I’m also taking a multivitamin supplement, plus Omega 3&6 supplements.  I’m drinking rooibos and green tea, and cutting down on coffee.  I’m also trying to have at least a little iodated salt a day.  If after 6 weeks – 2 months my TSH levels are either the same or higher, then I guess I’ll have to start meds…in which case I can then proceed with surrogacy with a ‘clear conscience’, knowing I have tried everything to get my body sorted naturally.

If after my next bloods my levels are significantly lower or even (please, please, please!) back within the normal range…well then my dilemma begins.  Each pregnancy brings a 5-10% risk of developing Hypothyroidism.  Significantly higher if you’ve suffered from it before.  Of those that develop it 25% will have it for life…

BUT I’m getting ahead of myself.  For now I’m really excited that my ‘condition’ won’t exclude me from the surrogacy program, it’s great to know that the choice will be mine.  Now I have a few weeks to just focus on kicking my thyroid back into gear.  And in a few weeks I’ll go for another blood test!

Wish me luck!!! 🙂

22 October – (almost) Wordless Wednesday…

October 22, 2008

3 Puzzles, between 1000 and 1500 pieces EACH, all mixed up and scattered over my lounge.

This is what he got up to in the 2 minutes while I was clearing up the bathroom.  4000 puzzles pieces from 3 different puzzles, scattered all around my lounge. *sigh*

This is what he got up to in the 2 minutes while I was clearing up the bathroom. 4000 puzzles pieces from 3 different puzzles, scattered all around my lounge. *sigh*

2 October – How much panic is normal?

October 2, 2008

Lol.

Now that I’ve started setting the wheels in motion regarding the surrogacy thing I keep having bouts of panicky thoughts where I think ‘Uh-oh, this is so huge, can I really do this?!’.  I’m thinking this is completely normal, and good too as it means that I am really coming to terms with it fully, it’s not like I’m just igoring the realities… but how much panic is ‘too much’…when do I cross the line from ‘positive with legitimate concerns’ to ‘wanting to run for the hills’?

Don’t get me wrong – 99% of the time I still KNOW that this is the right path for me, that this is something I really want to do etc etc…and the frustrating thing is the nature of my concerns.

I’m not worried about the really big, life-changing stuff like handing the baby back to her parents at the end of the pregnancy – I’m not saying it’ll be easy but it’ll be something I can prepare myself for.  No, my worries are far more superficial than that.

I’m worried about all the injections and invasive procedures.  I think I’ve done too much reading up on them and now I’m psyching myself out completely!  So how bad are those IM Progesterone in Oil injections really, hmmmm?

I’m also worried about how my poked, prodded and ultimately pregnant (not to mention moody and hormonal) self will impact on my children’s lives.  I would hate for them to really suffer because of any of this – they do have to come first!  BUT I really think I’m over-thinking it somewhat…

There’s also just the logistics of the travelling to think through : if I need to fly out to the FS’s a couple of times, what on earth will I do with my kids?  The grandparents and daddy work, their schools only run half day…not to mention that I’ve never been away from them for even a night before so a week away sounds terribly daunting!

I know it looks like a lot of reasons NOT to do this just yet, but those thoughts only catch me every now and again, usually at 3am when I’m trying my best to go back to sleep after getting up for Jamie.  By far the MOST of the time I’m so excited to be on this journey.  I want to get going and logically, realistically I KNOW that my kids aren’t going to suffer just because their mommy is going to be pregnant again.  And hopefully, hopefully they’ll learn a very important lesson from it too!  The injections…well, I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and be brave as all hell.  🙂

For any IVF veterans reading this post – is it the ‘usual done thing’ to do a mock cycle before your first IVF run?  I can understand the reason for this, yet I really don’t like the idea of all those meds, all those injections (eek, can you see this is really becoming an issue, lol) for nothing! 🙂

So this is the part where I need some help and encouragement…anyone???

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. 😦

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…