17 January – My thyroid…and Wouter!

January 17, 2009

I’m convinced my meds are working!!! I’m still a bundle of energy, and I swear my thyroid was looking slightly smaller this morning! Yippeeeeeeee 🙂 🙂

Little Wouter is doing pretty well!! He’s eating a bit again, and responding basically as well as can be expected due to the chemo.  We’re all praying very hard for him and would love it if you could the same.  His mom has just started her own blog chronicling his story, so please mosey on over and give some encouragement to the family: Krokkenoster – Wouter’s Story.

Also, I’m unbelievably excited that one of my favourite bloggers – S & B from “Our Surrogacy Journey of Hope” blog – will finally be meeting her baby daughter, anytime now.  She announced about 4 hours ago that things are finally happening, so here’s sending wonderfully easy and special birth vibes their way!  Go and give them some love, this really has been a long journey for them!  I should be sleeping now in fact, but I just can’t seem to stop refreshing their page waing for an update!!! Very exciting stuff 🙂


15 January – Updated update!

January 15, 2009

Justs after posting my update yesterday my homeopath called me.  I had assumed I didn’t have Hashimoto’s as he had said he would call me, and it’s been 10 days since the blood test, but he DID call yesterday to say sorry that he hasn’t been in touch but that he had been called out of town on an emergency.

He says my bloods do indicate a ‘slight Hashimoto’s’ (normal bloods would be under 20, extreme is in the 1000’s…mine was in the 100’s), so I went to collect some additional meds yesterday and now we’re hoping this will work.  So another month from now and hopefully we’ll know what’s happening. 🙂

14 January – Tardy Update

January 14, 2009

Yes I know I said I’d let you know – I am tardy and I apologise!  😉

Firstly, little Wouter 😦  Unfortunately they did find another tumour, on his heart now.  The scary thing is that it wasn’t there one week, and suddenly the next week it was there and already 3x3cm.  He has now begun Chemo and we can only hope and pray that this little guy stays strong and fights.  He had his second week of chemo yesterday and is at home now, tired and weak but otherwise doing ok.  Please, please pray that the chemo shrinks especially the heart tumour as clearly surgery is not an option there.

The family are being so brave and strong, but of course this is incredibly difficult for them so please lift them up in prayer and help them to be strong for their little boy, and their healthy little daughter (1year) who is too young to realise what is happening.

On to my surrogacy update – my news wasn’t great unfortunately.  I went for my bloods about 10 days ago and the levels (which we were hoping would drop substantially) actually rose ever so slightly 😦  The homeopath thought that might indicate Hashimoto’s so I went for a blood test but it appears not to be the case!  He has now started me on a different set of meds and oh my word I am like an energiser bunny at the moment – bouncing off the walls!  I have had endless energy since the day I started the new medication.  I’m desperately hoping this means that the meds are actually working, but of course it could simply meant hat he’s given me something with loads of caffeine in, lol, but I really am feeling amazing.  I’ve been spring-cleaning my house, cooking and baking elaborate meals, staying up late reading and waking refreshed and energized in the mornings.  I’ve even restarted my exercise regime and am LOVING it!  So here’s hoping THESE will be the meds to sort me out! 🙂

I need to go back to see the homeopath in early Feb so find out whether the meds are working so please keep those fingers crossed.  I’m desperate to meet my IP’s and continue down the surrogacy road now, I literally feel like a horse at the Durban July – in the starting blocks and prancing from foot to foot, just straining to get out!!! 🙂

28 December – Christmas Wishes..!

December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas to you all, I hope you all had wonderful Christmas’s.

Personally I was blessed with a lovely family Christmas and was spoiled rotten too, but there was a very dark cloud hanging over my Christmas.  About a week ago my friend’s 3 year old son (he is 9 days older than my daughter!) lost his appetite and had a slightly funny tummy.  My friend wasn’t too alarmed as her husband had also been a bit unwell, but decided to take him to the doctor as they were meant to be going away for Christmas so she thought she may as well get him sorted.  The doctor detected that Wouter’s stomach was rather swollen and sent him for further testing.

They found a mass ‘hiding’ behind his liver, and this little boy has been diagnosed with cancer.  As you can imagine the family is reeling with shock.  One week ago the family was picnicing and her little boy was running around having fun.  Yesterday he was too tired to even walk to the bathroom on his own – very scary stuff.  I have started a Facebook prayer group for him, so please if you are so inclined mosey on over and have a look at his story – this little boy truly needs a miracle and can use any prayers he can get! ( http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40879298403).

My heart is breaking for this family and it terrifies me to see how quickly everything can change.  I’m trying very hard to learn a lesson from this – to learn not to take my family for granted, to learn to not sweat the small stuff etc… but at the same time find it so grossly unfair that they have to endure this.  It’s very hard.

Little Wouter is undergoing a biopsy of the tumor early tomorrow morning (8.30am South African time:GMT-2) so please think of him and pray that the results come out ok.  The family should also be receiving results from a bone marrow biopsy he had done on Saturday to check whether the cancer has metastasized, so please hope that those come back clear.

On the surrogacy front I am still faithfully taking my thyroid meds every day and absolutely BURNING to get back on the horse now.  The more time I’ve had to think over this whole surrogacy story the more I know that this is something that I just have to do.  I want to start NOW!  My next bloods are scheduled for Friday, 2 January, and then I’ll get the results on Monday the 5th.  At the very least I’m hoping that my hormone levels will have dropped at least a little bit, but ideally I’m hoping against hope that they’ll be hovering somewhere around the ‘2’ mark.  (normal is 0.3 – 4.2, mine 10 weeks ago were 8.7)  I’ll keep you posted as soon as I know more.

Please don’t forget to check in on Wouter now and again – and pass on the word to anyone and everyone that will listen.  This little man really needs a miracle.

24 November – Still alive and kicking!

November 24, 2008

Thanks so much to Shaz and Coach Louise for your concern 🙂

I am absolutely fine and have just been busy as all heck – I’ve also been away down the coast on holiday and had a lovely relaxing time with loads of sun, sea and swimming…HEAVENLY!

The main reason I haven’t posted is because I haven’t had too much to say.  Life is carrying on as usual but I cannot really continue with the surrogacy until my thyroid has been sorted out one way or another.

I went to a homeopath/iridologist last week and he is VERY confident that we can kick this homeopathically.  I am on all sorts of meds that I need to take throughout the day for 6 weeks – in early January I’ll go back for more bloods to see whether the meds are working or not.  If my levels have continued to rise then I will most likely give in and go onto Eltroxin, however if they have dropped then I will be able to continue with the surrogacy – yay!

I’m still desperate to do a surrogate pregnancy so I’m certain I will go ahead no matter what the outcome – it’s just a waiting game for now.

I’ll definitely keep updating as and when I get new information, but my next bloods will only be in early January so I may be scarce until then.  In the meantime I’ll still be around and checking in on all of you 😉

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*

20 October – Stumbling block??

October 20, 2008

So I went to the gynae on Friday – the idea was to just go for a pap smear and then to chat to him about me doing a surrogacy, given my history etc etc.

Everything went pretty smoothly and while he was examining me he mentioned that my thyroid looks slightly enlarged, and duly did a blood test to check it out.

He phoned me this afternoon.

Now the news isn’t earth-shatteringly awful..but it isn’t great either.

The good news is that my pap is all clear!!!  The not-so-great news is that my thyroid is showing signs of being underactive.  My bloods (showing thyroid hormone) were still in the ‘normal’ realm so the doc isn’t entirely sure what’s happening – I need to go back for more bloods in a couple of months to see where I’m at.

My issue now is that I always maintained I would LOVE to do surrogacy, but my own family must come first.  Apparently if you’re prone to thyroid conditions then every pregnancy poses a significant risk for more thyroid problems..it’s not unlikely that I may end up on meds for the rest of my life.

That, especially to someone like me that’s not particularly enamoured by synthetic medicines and hormones etc, is scary.  And I wonder what the longterm effect will be on my family.

At this stage I still don’t know anything.  The news is still sinking in and I’m trying to research it (Google, I should sooo be staying away from Google right now!) – quite possible I’m making a mountain out of a molehill but I do need to research it thoroughly before I take this any further.

I’m feeling a bit deflated right now, I so badly want to see this process through…:(

18 October – What gets to me…

October 18, 2008

…just a little bit.

I know that embarking on this surrogacy adventure I’m going to need to grow a thick skin, as people are bound to have their own views and many of them won’t be shy to express them.  But here is the first thing that has started to kind of get under my skin on this journey.

Whenever I tell a new person (family, friend etc) that I intend on being a gestational surrogate (GS) they look a bit taken aback but riveted.  The very next question is ‘Who for?’.  The *second* I answer (‘I don’t know yet, I will be matched through an agency’) I’ve pretty much lost them.  ‘Wow. I can understand being a GS for someone you really love and respect…but for someone you don’t even know? No ways’ (accompanied by frowning and vigorous head shaking).  Subtext: you’re crazy lady.  Also, you’re a cold weirdo that can just give away a child without good reason.  Also you’re not looking out for your own family by doing something so rash.  etc etc.

Maybe I’m blowing it out of proportion – but people really seem shocked, and dare I say, unimpressed that I am willing to do this for a family I don’t yet know.

The fact is, if I knew a family that desperately wanted and needed help in creating their family I would love nothing more than to help them out.  But guess what, all of my close family and friends are either procreating on their own steam, or not ready to have kids yet.  So what? I should just *not* be a GS purely because by chance I don’t know the family that requires my help yet?  Seriously??  What about all the wonderful people out there that I just happen not to have met yet?  I want to help, they want help…so what’s the problem??

I mean, family we’re born into, but what is friendship other than a series of random encounters that eventually (through some deeper connection based on love and trust) develop into something more?

Of course I want to know, and love and trust my future IP’s, and I’m confident that I will.  I’ll find that connection, and the best thing will come of it.  A brand new family.

I do understand that people are surprised when they first hear about this journey.  But it gets me that often they are negative before even really listening to my responses.  And by then of course, they are so blinded by their own fog of negativity that they’re not really listening to my responses anyway.  They’re too busy thinking of yet another reason why this is a bad idea.

Even my gynaecologist (and yes thank you, AF stayed away long enough for me to have my check-up yesterday, so thanks for those no-AF vibes 😉  ) looked at me as if I was nuts.  He was very kind, very supportive, very sweet.  But definitely thought I was losing the plot.

Anyway, I’m sure on my journey I’ll come across many more irritating things…it’s all good – I’ll learn to suck it up and I’m sure, even laugh about it.  I was watching some video clips on You Tube where former GS Minette Trent talks about her journey and she mentioned wearing a maternity T-shirt with “Not my husband’s baby” emblazoned on the front, and “Not mine either!” on the back. Now *that’ll* get people talking 🙂 🙂

I really want to get me one of those shirts 😉

15 October – Things in the pipeline..

October 15, 2008

Things are moving along as smoothly as can be expected!

1. I have an exam scheduled with my own gynae this week friday.  This is not in any way a requirement of the agency, but I just felt it makes sense to speak to someone that knows my full history and has only *my* interests at heart about this decision.  Since the CIN1 I also never miss an opportunity to go for a check-up, so it seemed like a good idea all around.

The only spanner in the works is that when I made the appointment 3 weeks ago I accepted the first available slot and never considered where I would be in my cycle.  True as nuts I’m due to come on any day now, and have experienced mild cramping all morning.  I’m still sitting tight and holding thumbs that AF does not arrive before Friday, but I know Murphy and his stupid Law so chances are it’ll happen. *sigh*.  In that case I’ll phone the gynae’s offices and ask if I can reschedule.  I really want to get this done asap though so here’s hoping…!

2. I have finally managed to secure an appointment for my psychological screening.  This will happen next Wednesday morning.  Once my I’ve finished the consult I can apparently expect it to takes up to 2 weeks for the report on me to be compiled and filed with the agency, so I won’t be holding my breath.

3. I’ve approached a couple of friends and family members to compile some references for me, which the agency also requires.  I’m hoping to be able to send these to the agency within the next few days.

Once all the above are sorted (and assuming everything is in order) we’ll start planning my trip to Cape Town / Johannesburg for my medical workup, meeting with lawyers and a social worker – and to meet IP’s!!!  I’m so very excited about that trip, can’t wait for things to get moving now.

BUT in the meantime we are getting there..that’s the main thing!

Please send non-AF vibes until Friday lunchtime, lol.