Posts Tagged ‘surrogacy’

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!

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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!!!!!

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 😉

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 😉