The Lotus Flower

The Lotus Flower
It doesn't matter how your children get to you, just that they get there. However parenthood comes to you, it's a miracle."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Baby Z hates sour cream ;]

Did my bloodwork again Saturday. 
Levels were at a 255 :] 
Which is great they more than doubled in a little less than 48 hours. 

We have an ultrasound first week of September! Keep fingers crossed Baby Z is growing nice & healthy!!! 

Also funny story- 

M really hates sour cream. Like loathes it & makes him cringe.. Lol 

I threw up my lunch yesterday after having a huge burrito with extra sour cream.  I love sour cream on everything haha & now I'm afraid to eat it lmao 

Baby Z clearly hates sour cream too!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Now I can spill the beans!

So I have known since Saturday that we are pregnant! & it has been so hard to keep it a secret! 

I have been obsessively peeing on sticks all week hoping that they would keep getting darker & CLEARLY they were! 
The first couple were hard to capture on camera because they were super faint. The First Response Early Result (FRER) tests are the best because the detect HCG when the levels are 25 or higher. I was confident in the last test so I stopped testing & was just going to cross fingers & hope the levels were in the right range on the blood test. 

K + M didn't want to know until blood results came back that way it was more definitive & not a potential false positive .. 
So I went this morning & did the blood draw at 1030ish. Today we are 9 days post 5 day transfer.

Talk about the LONGEST WAIT EVER! 
I thought waiting 4 days waiting to potentially pee postitive on a stick was hard. Waiting for K or M to call with the results was brutal... I was twiddling my thumbs all day! 

At 3:20pm K gave me a call & I missed it! Go figure! Haha. She left a super sweet voicemail & I could hear how excited she was and how emotional she was when she said,  "you're pregnant, WE'RE pregnant!" I tested up hearing her say it.. Because it has been such a long, hard road for them. Actually saying it out loud is amazing & shocking & exciting at the same time. 
I gave  K a call & was super excited for them to finally know!!! We discussed the dreams we both had.. I had a dream with tons of blue & that they were having a baby boy & she had a dream about finding out about the pregnancy with both of our families there. 

Angel of Hope is doing her job & working on making these dream come true! 

I will continue to take meds as I have been doing & will have another blood test on Saturday. My levels were at 105 today, so we are hoping they will be close to doubling.. In the 200+ range. 

I am so, so very excited & grateful that the transfer worked on the first try. We are officially 4 WEEKS PREGNANT! 

Since we know the exact date of conception, this gives us a due date of April 21, 2016! 

1st ultrasound is in about 2 weeks!! 

Keep fingers & toes crossed & prayers that we have a healthy, full-term Baby Z & that everything progresses on schedule <3 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Angel of Hope

K + M sent me a picture of their 'Angel of Hope' figurine... Snug in her spot! 

Added a quote & have it as my screensaver... 

I am so very anxious and so very ready to see the numbers after the blood draw!

We use the phrase, "hurry up & wait" in the military & I cannot explain how much this relates to surrogacy... It's a whole lot of waiting! 

Thankfully we don't have to wait a full 2 weeks for results. Because this has been the slowest week ever! Keeping busy with work & court cases. But, I took this month off school so I wouldn't have any extra or added stressors after the transfer. I have no idea what to do with all this extra time! 

I had my first pregnancy related dream & don't think I have ever wanted something to become a reality so much as I do right now! 

I truly believe that things will work out for the best! 

*Positive mind, positive vibes, positive life* 

Monday, August 10, 2015

The wait continues..... & a guide on HCG

*hopin' & waitin' & wishin'*

Waiting after transfer is probably one of the most difficult things... 

You can't tell the difference between potential pregnancy symptoms and side effects from all the medications you are on...

Today is 6 days post 5 day transfer &
So far I have had:
A killer headache
Mild nausea that comes & goes throughout the day
Tender breasts/sensitive nipples
Mild abdominal cramping
Little bit of diarrhea (promised I would be honest, ha!)
Mild Heartburn

& I've lost 4 pounds! Woot! 

I didn't have too many side effects from the medications prior to transfer other than a little weight gain & some major bloating.. So crossing fingers this is all related to an HCG (pregnancy hormone) surge!  

Keeping my hopes high, my mind positive & continuing to take all the medications...

Beta is on Thursday & we will find out the numbers 

The hormone human chorionic gonadotropin(better known as hCG) is produced during pregnancy. It is made by cells formed in the placenta, which nourishes the egg after it has been fertilized and becomes attached to the uterine wall.

Levels can first be detected by a blood test about 11 days after conception and about 12 – 14 days after conception by a urine test. Typically, the hCG levels will double every 72 hours. The level will reach its peak in the first 8 – 11 weeks of pregnancy and then will decline and level off for the remainder of the pregnancy.

HCG levels in weeks from LMP (gestational age):

  • 3 weeks LMP: 5 – 50 mIU/ml
  • 4 weeks LMP: 5 – 426 mIU/ml
  • 5 weeks LMP: 18 – 7,340 mIU/ml
  • 6 weeks LMP: 1,080 – 56,500 mIU/ml
  • 7 – 8 weeks LMP: 7, 650 – 229,000 mIU/ml
  • 9 – 12 weeks LMP: 25,700 – 288,000 mIU/ml
  • 13 – 16 weeks LMP: 13,300 – 254,000 mIU/ml
  • 17 – 24 weeks LMP: 4,060 – 165,400 mIU/ml
  • 25 – 40 weeks LMP: 3,640 – 117,000 mIU/ml
  • Non-pregnant females: <5.0 mIU/ml
  • Postmenopausal females: <9.5 mIU/ml

* These numbers are just a GUIDELINE— every woman’s level of hCG can rise differently. It is not necessarily the level that matters, but rather the  change in the level.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IVF Wives Tale? or Not?: Pineapple!

They say that pineapple is an implantation aid, and the rule of thumb after an embryo transfer is to cut the pineapple into 5 pieces, and eat a piece of pineapple, including the core, for five days, counting transfer day as Day 1.
So what is it about pineapple that makes it so special? Apparently, there are indications that the bromelain in pineapple increases cervical mucous. This increase in cervical mucous can make the uterus “stickier,” which can lead to increased rates of implantation. Most of the bromelain in the pineapple is found in the core, so it is important to eat that part along with the meat.
We will find out soon enough of it works or not!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Woke up super early because I was super excited & I was afraid my alarm wasn't going to go off & we would be late.. I HATE being late lol
Went to Starbucks & chatted before the transfer & gave K + M a Willow Figurine: Angel of Hope. I think they are neat to collect & I love that they can give them their own meaning or story behind them.  
Had to have a full bladder for the procedure.
Checked in & everyone put on the hats & booties. 
Went into the transfer room & talked with Dr. G. 
They checked our birthdays & confirmed all information.
They thawed 2 embryos & selected the one that was best suited for transfer.
All 3 of us signed off on the amount of embryos transferred (one).
Put feet in stirrups & scooted all the way down.
K rubbed me for good luck (lol so sweet)
The embryologist held the ultrasound on my abdomen so they can view the process & make sure it's placed correctly.
Dr. G inserted the speculum & put in one catheter up through my cervix.
The other nurse came in with the syringe & soft catheter that held the embryo.
Inserted the catheter & placed it In my uterus.
You can see the embryo in the little white spot on the screen.
Laid down in the outside room for 15 minutes & chatted with K + M!
Embryologist checked to make sure the embryo was released from the catheter under a microscope.
Scheduled my blood test for the 13th!

For those of you wondering.. The above video is how embryos are grown.. Egg & sperm put together & the cells multiply, essentially. This isn't the embryo we used, but you get the idea ;] 
The embryo we used is grown to Day 5.
Since the embryos were frozen on day 5 after K's egg retrieval, here is what the embryos will be up to for the next several days (“dpt” stands for “days past transfer”):
1dpt….Blastocyst hatches out of shell
2dpt.. Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
3dpt.. Implantation begins as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
4dpt.. Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
5dpt.. Morula is completely implanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells
6dpt…Placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood
7dpt…More HCG is produced as fetus develops
8dpt…More HCG is produced as fetus develops
9dpt…HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected on HPT (home pregnancy test)!!!

So, the menstrual cycle is an average of 28 days. Ovulation occurs mid cycle approx. 14 days. Conception occurs at some point 2-3 days around that time. Because the cycle is tracked beginning the first day of your last period, any pregnancy is already 2+ weeks "pregnant" at the moment of conception- and with IVF we just happen to know EXACTLY when that is. Also, they let their embryos grow 5 days before they were frozen. So today, August 4th, the transfer day, I will actually be approx 2 weeks & 5 days pregnant (if the transfer is successful & the little embryo sticks).

*fingers crossed*

All Things Injections & Horomones

On Juy 31st, I started Endometrin (progesterone) suppositories...  
"This is what is going up my vagina today." 
First thought when I opened the Endometrin packet, was HOLY SHIT THESE ARE HUGE. I have been inserting the tiny little blue estrogen pills & was so shocked at how big there were in comparison to the estrogen pills. 

We get some lovely white & blue-green discharge from the combo of these two bad boys.. lol 

So, I am clearly not a pro at doing the progesterone in oil (PIO) injections. But I took a video so everyone can really see what it is like having to inject yourself with these every day. 
I WAS SOOOO NERVOUS when I did it the first time. 
I literally looked at the needle for a good 20 minutes. I have no problem sticking other people or giving blood, but I was more nervous about messing it up & wasting the medication or hitting a nerve or something. 
After I did it, I felt really lame for getting so worked up. I didn't even feel it go in & it is pretty quick & painless! This is the part that I was most worried about & it has been a piece of cake! 

Haven't had any crazy side effects other than a few small headaches and a little nausea. So far so good!