Lilypie - First Birthday

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Always the Bladder

What a rough past few days... 

Rewind to Monday evening around 7 pm.  The pain started.  The stinging sensations that I'm all too familiar with.  A UTI was in the works and it was bound to be a good one.  I've experienced numerous UTI's and I always start with the same plan of attack.  I started drinking lots of water.  I even had some pills left over from the last UTI I had just a week or so ago.  I started on those right away as well.  But it was too late.  The damage was done and no amount of water or pills were going to stop this one before it did its damage.  I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand, I couldn't lay down.  I was in hell.  It was getting late and everyone went to bed.  I insisted the hubs sleep because there was nothing he could do at this point.  I was determined to ride it out myself.  Little did I know that wasn't going to be the case.  By about 11:00 I was in such agony I was screaming, shaking, crying...it was the worst pain ever.  Maybe it's simple memory loss but I was certain that the pain was far worse than child birth.  I'd never experienced a UTI like this before.  The hubs woke due to the noises that I could no longer control.  I recall looking at him and telling him I couldn't take it anymore, I needed help and by help I meant hospital.  He contacted my mother who came to sit with the kids while they slept.  Off we went on one of the worst, most painful car rides I've ever been on.  Every tiny bump was agony. 

I'll spare you all the details of the ER but I did end up with an IV, several external and internal ultrasounds, some pretty potent pain meds in my IV and a sweet little (they're never little) catheter.  Diagnosis:  A severe UTI with a bladder filled to the brim.  Apparently the average bladder can hold up to around 800 mL and at around 150-250 mL the brain tells you to pee.  I was at a 1000mL and I was completely unable to release any of it.  I honestly didn't even know if I had anything in it.  My bladder wasn't communicating with my brain.  It's a horrible side effect of a surgery I had as a young child.  I will forever live with this problem.  That I accepted a long time ago so it wasn't quite as painful to hear this time.  The solution: self catheterizations at home.  Again, not something new to me but something I've always wanted to avoid as long and often as I could.  I was warned that if I don't get my bladder empty and this continues that it could/would eventually lead to renal failure.  Another fact that I've been confronted with before.  Only this time, having been through this nightmarish pain, I was hearing it more clearly and taking everything a lot more serious.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baby is Growing!

Heartbeat is up to 178.
If I had to guess I'd say the head is to the left.  Still so hard to tell.  We did hit a milestone yesterday.  At 9 weeks the little one transitions from embryo to fetus!  I'm up to 140 lbs. 
 
A little comparison shot....7 weeks vs 9 weeks
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

For Your Entertainment

    Pre-transfer            7 weeks             9 weeks

 
Sorry about the image quality. 
 
At 7 weeks I was dealing with a lot of bloating!  The 9 weeks picture is bloat free and all baby bump.  I was trying to hold up nine fingers and the hubs said I looked like I was throwing gang signs so I rolled with it. 
 
Today is ultrasound #2 as well as another blood draw to check the estrogen and progesterone levels.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why?

I guess it's about time I explain how I was led to surrogacy and what made me decide to become a surrogate myself.  It's hard for me to believe it's almost been 2 years since the word surrogacy entered my life.  Well here it is, the story, and hopefully I don't disappoint because there's really nothing earth shattering about how I made my decision.  It began simply enough with a tv show.  I came across Sister Wives one day on the tube and their non-traditional lifestyle peaked my interest immediately.  I couldn't grasp how they live as they do.  (I shamefully admit I am a reality tv junkie)  Anyhow, I set the DVR to record all the episodes so I could watch them at my convenience.  I don't recall which eposide it was but one of the wives was always very open about her battle with infertility.  Her newest sister wife came to her and made what felt to me like the greatest, most loving offer of being her surrogate.  I was in awe of how selflessly she was loving on her sister wife.  It was at that moment my wheels started turning.  Not only was the idea placed on my mind it was implanted on my heart.  I reflected on my life and thought about when in my life have I done something of such great magnitude for someone else?  I hadn't.  In what way have I contributed to this life in a manner that didn't revolve around myself or my family?  I knew I was very capable of such an act and it was certain it would be for someone that I knew nothing of or about.  It would be a complete stranger. 

I began with researching the idea online and praying about it, a lot.  It wasn't until about a year later that once again the world of surrogacy was introduced on tv once again.  At that point I knew that if a year later my heart was still on fire about the idea that this was meant to be.  I needed to take the next step.  And I did.  I contacted an agency and the ball began rolling from there.  It all happened so quickly too.  Within a few short months the match had been made.  Little did I know what sort of relationship would form from there.  It's with a smile in my heart that I can say my family has grown by two.    

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bacteria, BLAH!

((Sigh))...UTI confirmed.  Awesome.  I get these all.the.time so I'm not too surprised but when you have something pressing on your bladder all the time it makes it so much worse.  I'm up about 3 times every night to pee.  It blows.  I feel bad for the hubs although he did tell me today that it doesn't seem to disturb him.  So Keflex it is for 5 days.  Praying it does the trick and I get some relief. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Great News!

I'm so happy I could cry, that is if my hormones weren't so jacked up.  I just received a call from the RE and she is reducing my meds.  This means one less estrogen pill and one less estrogen patch every day.  This also means the weaning off my meds has started and sooner than I expected!  My progesterone level is up to a 19 which she said is great and the estrogen is at 1,027.   Adding to the great news, there will be another ultrasound around the 23rd as well as a blood draw.  Please pray that my levels keep rising!

Another Little Update

Well, I had my first official episode of throwing up.  Although I don't think it technically counts since I accidentally gagged myself with my toothbrush this morning initiating the episode.  I'm extremely anal about brushing my tongue really well when I brush my teeth.  My stomach wasn't feeling great and that's all it took.  I couldn't stop it.  It's weird how great you feel right after though.  It's been a rollercoaster of good and bad days.  Sunday was horrible but yet Monday was great.  It's a crap shoot really on how I'll feel each day.  I've hit 8 weeks so I'm hoping things will start to settle down now that I'm getting closer to 2nd trimester.   

I've been having some issues with getting meds refilled.  It seems like every week I'm running out of something and the insurance company is giving me issues.  The RE told me to increase my dosage. However, the written prescription says I'm not taking as much as I actually am.  Therefore, the insurance company thinks I'm going through it too fast and won't refill before a certain time frame.  So a little lesson to all, if your doctor increases your meds, get it in writing.  Time is the of the essence and we couldn't wait for it all to get straightened out.  IP's ended up having to pay out of pocket over $100 for a med that would cost $28 if my insurance would have covered the refill.     

A few days ago the kiddos went to their yearly summer camp with their grandma and cousins. The little one made it two nights before calling us last night crying and wanting to come home. According to his gma he "missed his dad and his dog". Awesome, mom didn't make the list. :-/   Now we're having to do a little shifting around of schedules as we are without a sitter until Thursday and we didn't expect to need one this week.

The hubs and I did manage to squeeze in date night while the kids were gone. We went to see World War Z. If you enjoy The Walking Dead then you'll enjoy this movie even more. It was pretty scary.  Picture "walkers" that are runners...FAST runners. The boys are wanting to see it but we thought it was best to check it out before letting them watch. Good thing too! The little one wouldn't have made it past the first 10-15 minutes.  I think I was able to talk him out of wanting to see it.  He doesn't care much for scary.  I don't blame him!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Part II

It is with great joy that I am able to share they found ONE beautiful little baby with a strong heartbeat of 128 bpm.  The dark banana shape is the sac and the blurry image inside is the baby.  The official due date is 2/27.  I must have a thing for delivering in February.  My kids were born on 2/19 and 2/29.  Obviously I won't be delivering another leap baby since this isn't a leap year.  I will make certain that my boys' birthdays are just as special and important next year as they've always been.  We may have to do things a little earlier but what kid doesn't enjoy celebrating a little early?

Next appointment will be in 2 weeks to see the nurse.  They make you see her before they officially start your care so you can get reading material and samples.  It's just an educational appointment and I won't be seeing the dr that day.  They did draw blood to check the hormone levels...PLEASE let them be rising so I can be off these meds by 10 weeks!!  Oh and the hubs did awesome.  No passing out and he even had to stand through the whole thing which worried me. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ultrasound today!

Sorry it's been so long since I've updated.  There's just not a whole lot going on right now.  Still battling nausea.  It's getting better though.  I'm learning what helps and what makes it worse.  This afternoon is my first ultrasound.  I'm nervous, excited and scared.  So many emotions.  My biggest fear is to receive bad news and have to relay that on to E&G.  I cannot even fathom how painfully difficult that would be.  I'm remaining optimistic that there's one beautiful, healthy little heart pumping away.  On the downside of things I am certain I've had a UTI for the past few days and I know that it's because of the lack of fluids I've been able to consume lately.  I'm having a hard time stomaching drinks.  I did figure out yesterday that diluted brewed iced tea settles very well.  What does not settle well (why I had to actually try it to figure it out I will blame on preg brain, because no one in their right mind would attempt this combo)  is a bowl of ice cream followed up by pickles.  I was miserable after that bright move. 

OooH OooH...I have really great news to share.  Remember Andy...Darrel's bestie (prob not too manly to say bestie huh?) well, he's headed to St Louis in 2 weeks to try out for The Voice!  He called last night to share the news.  So very excited for him and praying that his heart pours out during his vocals.  He's a fantastic singer, songwriter and has a heart that is on fire for God.  If you missed it, I posted a short clip of him singing in my June 4th post.  If you could lift up an extra prayer for him it would be much appreciated.

To Be Continued....

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ugh!

Next time I make a stupid comment like the one I blogged about yesterday, someone please smack me.  I may have woke feeling great but morning sickness ran tampant all day yesterday and it's back again this morning.  Almost nothing sounds good but my stomach is on empty which only makes the nausea worse.  I almost got sick in my car twice today on the way in to work.  I haven't shared my news with anyone at work yet so I'm miserable on the inside yet trying to not let it show.  With my boys I didn't experience this.  I think that's a huge part of why I thought I would be a good candidate for a surrogate.  This is the first moment at which I have had any sort of doubts as to why I did this.  If someone had told me that I would be this sick, I don't know if I would have made the same decision.  Last night the fam shot off a few early fireworks and there I was...miserable...sitting in the back of the car just watching because moving around was too much effort and my stomach was weak.  It breaks my heart to see how much time is slipping through my hands.  Time that I can't get back with my kids.  Memories I'm missing out on making with them.  It brings me to tears as I type this.  Right now they see mom as someone who sleeps a lot and doesn't do much anymore.  They know I'm carrying a baby for someone else but I don't know that they understand this is all a temporary side effect of that.  Who knows what others who don't know are thinking.  I mean, I have gained 7 lbs already in a very short period of time.  Surely that has to show.  I guess this is the not so glamorous side of surrogacy.  It's the raw, truthful side.  My heart is still very much into it and I know the finish line is within sight.  I cling to that.  I cling to the images in my head of E&G seeing their precious newborn and hearing it make its first blood curling cry.  I imagine that tears of joy and flood of emotions that will be shared in that room on delivery day.  Crazy enough I actually feel a little better physically now from having typed this.  I guess I just needed to get that off my chest and refocus once again.   
 
 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Doc is In

Ultrasound has been scheduled for July 9th. 

I woke this morning feeling great.  So great that it actually worries me.  I don't feel bloated, stomach is fairly normal and I slept really good last night.  What happened to my symptoms??  I was sharing my fears with the hubs and his words were exactly what I needed to hear --------------------------------->
 
Did I mention how amazing he's been through this journey?  He left me the sweetest, and totally unexpected, card in my car this morning.  Words will never express enough how supportive, patient and loving he has been.  Surrogacy isn't just a journey for the carrier, it's a journey for her entire family.  My family has made sacrifices as well but the hubs, he's the MVP in my book.  He picks up the slack when I'm ill or absent.  He listens to all my ramblings.  He gets me back on track when he's sees I'm running astray.  He keeps me humble.
 
***A special Happy Birthday to my SIL, Dan-O!***   

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sick, sick, sick

I'm not sure what made me think this pregnancy would be anything like my others.  It isn't...and it hasn't been.  The morning sickness began over the weekend. Up until that point I could eat just about anything I wanted to.  Even the things that my stomach has always been sensitive to, they were now on the menu.  It was great.  But, it was short lived.  Sunday was the worst.  The hubs and I made it to church but it wasn't easy.  My stomach was empty but I was scared to eat.  Everything that sounded good also sound gross.  It's a nasty little game my stomach is playing on me.  Luckily I haven't been throwing up but due to my health history, it's pretty difficult for me to do so and it takes something like the flu to make me throw up.  I woke in the middle of the night last night certain I did have the flu.  I was chilled, achey and burning up.  Awesome.  Just how I wanted to start the work week.  I managed to get a few more hours of sleep and woke up feeling like my normal preggo self.  Slight nausea, flutterly stomach and bloated.  My IPs have been checking in on me and I'm very reluctant to share with them just exactly how bad I am feeling.  I don't want to worry them.  They sent our family a gc in the mail the other day to a really awesome Brazilian steakhouse.  I told the hubs, who cannot wait to get his "meat coma" on that we're probably going to have to wait until the second trimester so I can enjoy it as much as he intends to.  Poor guy has had me worried as he's not been feeling real great lately either.  He had his blood drawn today and he passed out.  Of course this is nothing out of the norm for him.  After all, this is the same guy that started passing out on me at the sonogram for our first born.  And when our youngest had to get an IV due to dehydration, it was the hubs the nurses had to lay down on the fire engine table.  Oh and when he had his vasectomy, yep...lights out!  I am hoping that he can make it through the ultrasound next week.  We will see...