Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blood Test Results

Hi everyone,
Just thought I would share the results of the blood tests I have had since the first one confirmed a positive result a week ago.

After that result, I was told to get a blood test on the following Monday (12/23), and Thursday (12/26). They just wanted to check to make sure the levels are going up appropriately and since it is pretty early in this process, blood tests are the way to go!

My level on thursday for the positive result of HCG was 178. On Monday (12/23), the level rose to 627 HCG. Progesterone was 48 the first blood draw, and 40 on Monday. I've got to admit, I panicked just a bit when the progesterone level went down a bit, but the nurse told me that they expect that level to vary a bit and as along as it is above 20, they're fine with it. So, the HCG pregnancy hormone is supposed to double every 48 hours. Between Thursday and Monday, I would say it more than doubled! :)

Today was my last blood draw to check the levels of HCG and progesterone. The results are in and the HCG went from 627 to 2,110 in three days! More than doubled again! The clinic is very pleased with those levels! The progesterone also went up slightly to 42 from 40.

What's next? Well, I have an ultrasound scheduled for January 9th. They will be checking for how many buns may be in the oven, and also checking for a heart beat or heartbeats. Yikes! I'm very nervous for these results. I'm prepared either way, but would prefer for there to be just one in there! I think the intended parents might feel the same way! They will also be able to tell me a more accurate due date and to tell me how far along I really am. Right now, they are estimating that I am 5 weeks today, so the ultrasound will bring me to 7 weeks. I will also have another ultrasound on January 30th and will let you know how those go, of course! For those of you praying, please keep at it! I'm feeling good so far, some nausea and it comes and goes. Usually, if I remember to eat every 3 or 4 hours, I feel okay.  I will keep you all posted of course, and thanks for reading! :)


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The results...

Alright everyone,

I know you have all been waiting for the results. First, let me just say that I am absolutely exhausted. What a day this has been. I have been up since 5 am, and on pins and needles ever since. Today, is December 19, and today is the day that I found out the results are POSITIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My day began with a blood draw and then the waiting game continued. I tell you, I was about to lose my ever loving mind! I do mean lose it! I think my brain processed every single scenario possible and some of them weren't that great! I have felt so different from the very beginning of this process since I got matched with my new couple. They are just the nicest, sweetest couple and they so deserve this miracle! About two or three days after I got back from my trip, a weird feeling crept into my chest and has stayed with me all this time. Part of the reason why I was so anxious and nervous was because I did not know if I could handle another negative result. The number of people involved in my journey, the number of people at the fertility clinic, my husband and my kids, and most importantly the intended parents for their sacrifice and ultimate desire to have a child, all of it has resulted in this. I was so worried and nervous that the results wouldn't be positive and the process would start all over again. Don't get me wrong, I would do whatever it took for the intended parents to have a child, I just was feeling the pressure and the enormity of the situation.

At about 2:30 I couldn't stand it anymore! I called the clinic in Connecticut where my results had been sent and got the receptionist. I asked for my nurse contact person, and was told she was with a patient and would call me back! About five minutes later, I got a FaceTime call from the intended parents. The intended father's face appeared first on the screen and he was all smiles. Would not stop grinning and he kept repeating the same thing: "You're an amazing woman, you are amazing!" Then he said: "The results are positive, Sarah!" I put my hand over my mouth, my eyes got really big and I started to bawl my eyes out!!! They joined me in tears of happiness! The most gigantic sense of relief came over me and the weight I was feeling on my shoulders lifted! I am still processing it and am probably in a little bit of shock still, but the fact still remains that the results are POSITIVE!!!

Now comes a different set of emotions and feelings. I have come to realize that for someone to put their trust in you, to grow and nurture their baby in the womb, takes an incredible about of strength and I am so thankful that the intended parents have chosen me to do this for them. I am feeling up to the task and am looking forward to nine months from now when I will be handing over a baby to them, God willing! For those of you who have been praying, thank you so much! The intended parents wanted me to pass along a message to all of you who are praying. They are so grateful for your prayers and well wishes and they ask you to continue praying for this process and for this new miracle! They are so touched with your prayers!  What a great Christmas present for them! :)

Going forward, on Monday I will have a blood test to check the same levels as today. HCG and Progesterone, and another blood test on Thursday to check them again. They are looking to make sure that the numbers are going up, and also to check if there is a major gap or increase in the levels because that could mean a possibility of twins. EEK! Continue to pray for the levels to climb and for my health to continue on the right path! The HCG level today was 178 and my progesterone level was 48. I was told by the nurse that those are great first levels!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for praying, for supporting, and for reading this blog! Means a lot to me! :)


Thursday, December 12, 2013

The transfer

Blog post: The Transfer

Alright so I'm back on a plane home and what a trip this has been. I will post some pictures on Facebook soon of my trip. Once I landed in New York, it has been non-stop from there! In such a great way!!

The intended parents rented an SUV for their stay since they flew to New York on thanksgiving day and are flying out today. It was a long trip for them and so renting a car made the most sense for them. So they picked me up from the airport and were waiting for me when I arrived at the gate! It was our first time meeting face to face. They greeted me with smiles and a big hugs! We then decided to have lunch in Manhattan! What an awesome city New York is! This was my first time visiting and I am so glad I got to share it with them. After lunch we started walking around the city close to One World Trade Center. It was absolutely amazing. We tried to go see the memorial but it was closed by the time we got there but walking around it was enough for me. I grew up in a big city (Montreal), and so large buildings are plenty there but nothing like the skyscrapers in the city!!! I could have stared at them all day!! The architecture of some of the buildings was absolutely beautiful and I hope to one day share a trip with Troy if we are lucky!! There was great food and I even had a New York slice of pizza! Fantastic!!! 

We took a fairy around the city. It was very cool and a great way to see the cities and major landmarks. Times Square was breathtaking and overwhelming and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to see the city with some wonderful people! 

Alright, on to transfer day. It was yesterday but already feels like an eternity ago. In my last post, I said that we had 8 follicles. On Sunday morning we found out that out of those eighth follicles, four of them contained an egg. They were fertilized and were growing in a warm place. On transfer day, I was presented with a picture of the best embryos out of the bunch. There were two embryos that looked the best on day 5 which was transfer day. One embryo had 180 cells and the other had 120 cells. Both are very very good. The doctor was very pleased with the quality and has given them a 50-60% chance of success. That is far better than 14% like my previous experience, but still there is room for a failed transfer. I cannot tell you how much I want this to happen for the intended parents. After the transfer, the intended mother broke down because she feels guilty that she cannot be the one carrying a child! I was not around for this breakdown as it was right after the embryos were transferred in, but I could tell there had been some tears. I can't imagine the emotions she must have to endure. To let go and trust someone else to carry your child is not easy at all. Their desire to have a baby is so great and they deserve every bit of parenthood!! 

On Thursday, December 19th, I will have a blood test done in the morning that will determine the results. Thank you for your prayers and please keep praying!! This journey has been a long one and I hope and pray for the best outcome!! 

I will keep you posted of course with the results. 

Thank you!!! 


Sunday, December 8, 2013


Blog post: 50/50

Alright folks,

I am on a plane to La Guardia airport as I type this. Sorry for the blog silence lately. Haven't really had anything to report until now.

This process has been slightly different than my last attempt at surrogacy. I think I previously mentioned in my last post that the couple lives in France and has traveled to Connecticut where their IVF doctor is. Since they are an international couple, I greatly appreciate their willingness and sacrifice of their time to be there with me and to go through this process. I have to say that I have a different connection with this couple than with the last. Don't get me wrong, the previous couple are some of the nicest, most accommodating, sweetest couple I have ever met. I was and still am heart broken for them that their attempt to have their own biological child didn't succeed. I hope they find happiness in their journey to adopt a child!

The couple that I am currently matched with are also some of the nicest people I have ever met but aside from that, I feel more bonded with them. I'm not sure why, and the weirdest feeling came over me on my drive to the airport. Instead of panicked, and nervous, and anxious about the flight, I wasn't any of those things. I was calm and excited and the feeling of certainty hit me.  All this time, especially since the last time and my experience with a failed embryo transfer, I have tried to prepare myself that a failed attempt is very possible again, but have also tried to stay optimistic and positive about the attempt. The couple is extremely confident that this will be a success the first time and since we will be finding out if the transfer was successful the week before Christmas, I really hope and pray for the same.  This time I made sure to prepare myself with the stats on this particular process. They are basically 50/50. A 50% chance that it will be a successful transfer and a 50% chance that it will fail. Again.  Like I said, I'm trying to stay positive and be as confident as the couple is but I really don't want to be surprised and devastated like I was the last time. So, I'm trying to prepare myself either way.

This process with the couple is different in that the intended mother is capable of producing eggs. Their doctor in Connecticut wanted her to go through a cycle of retrieving eggs from her making them fresh embryos to transfer into my oven. So that is what they did even though they still have two frozen embryos at the same clinic. If this attempt with the fresh embryos doesn't work, we will try the frozen embryos. On Thursday, they retrieved 8 follicles from the intended mother. Not every follicle contains and egg or even a viable egg but the chances are good that there will be something to fertilize and then grown in the lab for three to five days. After they are fertilized, the lab is checking them every day to make sure that the cells are dividing and growing larger. They grow them to the blastocyst stage and then implant them into the oven! We just need one but they will be implanting two of the best eggs with the hopes that at least one will attach to my uterus and result in a pregnancy! My heart is heavy but light at the same time if that makes sense. I want so badly for this to work for them. The money, the time investment, and the emotions they have to endure is overwhelming and I thank God that I was able to conceive naturally. My heart is sad for all those who struggle and have struggled to conceive.

This process has been different with the drugs as well. I have to take a couple more this time. Because they have done a fresh egg retrieval, the idea is to match my body as close to the intended mother's hormonally. Last time all I had to take was estrogen pills to thicken my uterus, a low dose aspirin to promote extra blood flow to my uterus and of course the lovely, ginormous sized needle of progesterone in my hips which makes my uterus sticky to better allow the embryo to latch on!

This time I have done all of that, as well as a vaginal insert of a drug called Crinone. It's just a cream version of progesterone but inserted into cervix area, promotes a good environment for the baby. Then for five days, started on the same day as the egg retrieval, I started Prednisone and Doxycycline. Both are antibiotics and are used to lessen the chances of my own body trying to reject the embryos. Sound like a lot? It is! I've been so worried I'm going to forget something and throw everything off but alarms on my iPhone have come in handy!

So, after a delay at the airport taking off due to needing to de-ice the plane, I am in the air and so excited to meet my couple face to face and give them a big hug!! Might shed a tear or two but maybe I can blame it on the drugs! Lol

So for those of you reading, there is one thing you can do for me. PRAY! And don't stop until you hear from me again!

Since the eggs were retrieved and fertilized on Thursday, the embryo transfer will either be done tomorrow (Sunday), or Tuesday. I will be returning to my family on Wednesday evening!!

That's all for now!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm tired!

Hi everyone,
I am back from my trip and slightly recovered from the very long day. When it was all said and done, I had been up straight for 21 hours. I've done that before, but this just exhausted me to a different level. Ever since I have had my kids, I get motion sickness pretty easily and so I have to take dramamine to get through flights. I get the non drowsy or less drowsy kind, but it still just makes me feel sleepy!

My day started at 3 a.m. I got in the shower and ready for the day, and was out the door by 4 a.m. I drove myself and made it to the airport by 4:45. My flight took off at 6 a.m. I made it in the airport and there was a pretty long line of people checking their bags. The line for people checking bags and the line for people checking in without bags to print off their boarding pass is the same line and so it took some time to get to the front. I get to the kiosk to print my boarding pass, and scan my information and the machine asks for my passport. Thankfully I had it because I recently lost my driver's license and while I had the temporary driver's license that they give you, I brought along my passport just in case that wasn't enough. But why was it asking for my passport? I caught the attention of one of the attendants and asked her why this would be asking for my passport when I'm just flying within the United States and so she did some checking. Papua New Guinea was my destination apparently that day. Uh NO! That is not where I need to be going! The attendant was pretty adamant about it and started asking about whether I wanted to pay to change it. Umm, no I don't want to pay. I have a confirmation number and an itinerary that confirms my travels and where I'm going. Since my flight had been booked by a travel agent that works with the surrogacy agency, I contacted their emergency number and spoke with someone who was very helpful and had no earthly idea as to why I would be booked for Papua New Guinea. She spoke to the attendant for me, and within seconds I had my boarding pass. Phew!

By the time all this had to be sorted out, it was getting close to boarding time. Not freaking out yet, but getting there. I make my way to the security line, and another long line is in front of me. There are a lot of people flying out on a Friday morning at the butt crack of dawn, FYI. Got through security and made it to my gate for their final boarding call. That is probably the closest I've cut it! Never again!

The rest of the travel part went fine. There were a few 10 minute delays but if it hadn't been for those, I wouldn't have had time to pee the whole day! I landed my flight, and boarded the train to Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was a two hour ride with several stops in between, and I was so tired and wanted to sleep but was afraid I would miss my stop! From the train, I took a taxi to the clinic.  I arrived 2 hours early! I hadn't eaten anything but a yogurt parfait that morning and was starving but there wasn't anything around and I wasn't going to walk anywhere to find it. The clinic had some crackers, so I munched on that.

They took my blood, and I provided a urine sample and then waited to see the doctor. I waited almost 2 hours for that. The doctor is very nice! He is personable, and made me feel comfortable right away. The more involved I get with this, the more I learn about the science of this process and that different clinics do things different ways in terms of growing the embryos and the different drugs that are prescribed. I will have to take a couple more drugs than before but they won't be for a very long period of time, and mainly just within the five days after the embryo transfer.

The odds are optimistic, but also realistic. What I mean by that is, there are a couple of options the intended parents have to have a child. We are going to be doing a fresh embryo transfer this time, and the doctor thinks that this is best. There are two frozen embryos right now, but we will use those if this first round with the fresh embryos doesn't take. (I hope it does!!!). If their embryos, fresh or frozen, do not work, it will be suggested to them that they use an egg donor, which they are open to. The chances of conceiving at this point, go up to 80%, where as now I'm looking at about 50/50 with two fresh embryos transferred in. It basically comes down to the age of the egg. A 40 something year old egg, has less of a chance that a 20 something year old egg from an egg donor, but the doctor is optimistic with the eggs we'll be using since in the past they have been very good quality eggs. I want to be prepared for any of the outcomes at this point, especially having gone through a failed transfer before. While I know that there was nothing that I did or didn't do that prevented the embryo from making a home in my uterus for a while, I still feel responsible and will feel responsible if we don't get the outcome we all want.

This is a long process! There are so many variables and outcomes and I just want things to go well for the intended parents. They are such a sweet couple, and will make great parents!

The embryo transfer is scheduled for the first week of December. The intended parents will arrive before I do, so that they can retrieve the eggs and fertilize them, and then I will arrive a few days later, closer to when the embryos are ready to be transferred and the procedure will be done. Please keep me in your prayers whenever you think about it. I was kind of down yesterday just thinking about the odds and I let it get to me a little bit. I know that we have options and that eventually one way or another, the intended parents will have a baby, I just found myself dreading the time it takes for all of this. I'm in better spirits today, and intend to stay that way. The power of positive thinking right?

I have started the Lupron shot and my first dose was last night. This is the one that goes in my stomach, and not a big deal. I did it to myself which seems easier and less painful than if Troy gives it to me. I will post again when I have more information to share. The monitoring and the blood work will start the first week of November, and I will report the results! Pray people, pray! :)

Thanks so much,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Medical Screening #2

Hi Everyone!

It is time for an update. It has been a busy couple of weeks just with mom-life, so I apologize for those of you waiting for an update.

The contract has been signed, my medical records have been sent to the new clinic in Connecticut, and we are now ready for the medical screening.  This will be my second medical screening. Not really looking forward to it that much to be honest, but it has to be done. The IVF doctor in Connecticut wants to see me in person to "map out my body". Basically, he wants to check out my downstairs and see where everything is located so that he can be better prepared when doing the actual transfer procedure. He will be measuring my uterus, checking for polyps(like last time), and making note of where my cervix is located. His nurse told me that since I went through a round of IVF and the embryo didn't take, that he wanted to see for himself and take his own measurements to ensure the smoothest process, and hopefully a successful one!

I am not nervous about the medical screening itself. What I am nervous about is how I am going to get there. I am traveling by myself this time. I leave Friday and I will return on Friday. I would rather sleep in my own bed if at all possible, but a very very long day is going to have to happen before I get to sleep in it. My flight takes off at 6:00 am on Friday morning meaning I will be waking up around 3 a.m. to get to the airport on time and to check in and get through security. I will be flying in to Newark airport in New York, and from there will be taking a train to Bridgeport, Connecticut where the clinic is located. From the train station, I will take a taxi to the clinic. After the medical screening is over, I will get into another taxi and go to a completely different airport (White Plains) and start my journey home. Will have a stop in Denver, and then home to Kansas City. My plane, if all goes well, will land around 10:00 p.m. and then a 40 minute drive back to Spring Hill. I really don't like to fly. I dread it like the plague, and am anxious and nervous the whole time. I hope that everything goes smoothly and that there are no delays and I arrive to my appointment on time, and back home on time. AHHH!!!

I will update everyone when I get home after the trip and let you know how it went. In the meantime, keep me in your prayers, if you think about it on Friday! I greatly appreciate it! I should have a more detailed plan after the medical screening as to when we will do the embryo transfer. Talk soon...


Monday, September 30, 2013

New Match Update

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the blog silence lately! Haven't had that much to say. For those of you wondering about the intended parents that I was matched with, they have decided to go the adoption route since getting an egg donor is not compatible with their culture. I am excited for them to proceed with this new process and hope that they become parents soon! They are such a sweet couple and any child would be lucky to have them.

When I finished my last post, I was waiting to hear what they would do. The agency I've been working  with and my point of contact told me that while this situation does not happen very often, sometimes the couples will choose the egg donor route but as discussed above, this isn't an option so that left me without intended parents, but still with the want to become a gestational carrier for a family that is looking to complete their family.

After a couple of weeks and some updating of my profile, I have been matched with another couple! This process will be different that the last one, since they are an international couple and live in France! They are a very sweet couple and while they are older, they have so much love to give to their future baby! Their IVF clinic they have chosen to work with is in Connecticut, so I will not be traveling to Boston anymore, but will be traveling to Connecticut for an embryo transfer.  I'm kinda happy about that actually. Boston is a great city with lots to see but for my purposes, the clinic was so far away from everything and so getting to sight see was very expensive and not worth it in the small amount of time we had!

I won't go into too much detail about the couple since I am legally bound to some things but I can say that they have tried for several years now to become parents on their own, but after finding out that there was a problem with the intended mother's uterus being T-shaped, she is not able to conceive nor carry a baby full term. In France, around the time the intended mother was conceived, her mother was given a drug that was used to prevent miscarriage. What they didn't know and what they would find out 20 years later is that the drug also caused birth defects in those babies that resulted in the T-shaped uterus for the intended mother. It's so sad and I'm sure very frustrating for this couple who want a child so desperately, to know that they have absolutely no control over what their circumstance is!

There is a contract being drafted now, and I will get a lawyer appointed to me to speak on my behalf as we negotiate the terms of the contract and then we proceed with the medical screening and the transfer! I am hoping that we will have the embryo transfer done by the end of the year, hopefully close to Thanksgiving!

Gestational Carriers or Surrogates are illegal in France and so that is why they have hired an agency in the U.S. for a surrogate. There is also an age limit for adoptions in France so that is out for them as well!

Prayers and well wishes would be appreciated! More updates coming soon! :)


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The results

Hi everyone! I'm sure a lot of you have been waiting for the results of my pregnancy test yesterday.

Had to go to the clinic in the morning and get blood drawn because at this point in pregnancy, it is too early to take a home pregnancy test. I don't know what it is with this clinic and their phlebotomists but they are NOT GOOD! I got poked 5 times before they finally found blood! Twice in one arm, once in the other arm, and once in each hand. The second hand is where they got the blood finally. Getting blood drawn is not pleasant no matter what, but getting it out of the hands hurts bad! The veins are really small there, and the needle is too big, and there isn't much padding to absorb some of the needle, so it was definitely not pleasant for me and I have the bruises to prove it. So anyway, they finally got the blood after almost an hour of trying and then I was on my way.

I took the kids to the park, tried to stay busy while the blood test was being processed and while I was waiting for the phone call from the clinic in Boston.

The results were negative.

That's right, negative.  It took the nurse that called, 20 seconds to change everything for me! Just like that, everything I have been working for, and enduring the needle pokes for, is over! The hope of giving a baby to someone that has been wanting for so long, over!

I cried my eyes out! I am so sad for the couple! This was their only chance to have a biological child. For them, this process is over. They will probably adopt, and they will make wonderful parents, but I couldn't help but wonder if they blame me a little bit. Other than a brief text message from the intended mother yesterday after they got the results themselves, I have not spoken with them. I'm sure they need time to process!

I feel responsible. Yesterday all I kept thinking was what if I hadn't cleaned the house yesterday, or what if I hadn't picked up Kynlee when she needed consoling, what if I hadn't kept busy, would the results have been different? There really is no way for me to know that, and everyone is telling me not to blame myself, but there is a little part of me that does.

Upon some research this morning, I discovered that the odds of an embryo actually attaching to the wall when there is only one implanted, is 43 percent. When there is more than one implanted, you have a better chance and the percentage goes up to 75 percent that at least one will take. The odds were stacked against me. That's how I'm choosing to look at it right now. Whether that is good or bad, blaming myself, and no amount of wishing things were different is going to change the situation.

So where do I go from here? Well, I have some choices. I have not accomplished what I set out to do which is to have a baby for someone. When I spoke to my contact at the agency, she said that in some cases, the intended parents change their minds and decide to go the donor egg route. In that case, I would get an embryo transferred from that donor egg which would be fertilized with the intended father's. That success rate isn't much more promising and having talked with the intended parents about this very situation, they expresses that adoption would be their best option.

That will then release me from our contract, and I will be free to carry for another couple. I will have to go back to the matching process and then another contract will be drawn up with the new intended parents and depending on their situation, will go through another round of medications, and do another transfer. Ideally, there would be more than one embryo to transfer, but we will see!

Everything right now is kind of hinging on what the intended parents want to do right now. Whether they will go the adoption route or the donor egg route is completely up to them and well within their rights. I will update as soon as I know further about what is going on with the next part of this journey!



Friday, August 23, 2013

Transfer is done!

You'll have to bare with me at the moment. It is hard for me to put this process into words.  We arrived at the clinic a little after 1:00 pm. They told us to go directly upstairs where we were met with a nurse who went over some paperwork. I needed to have a full bladder so I drank a liter of water. I was then taken back to the procedure room where a sonographer looked at my belly with an ultrasound machine. She said it wasn't quite full enough and that I needed to drink more. So I downed another liter of water. Overall, waiting for my bladder to fill up took about an hour! After is was found that my bladder was full enough, they started prepping for the procedure.

The embryologist came in to the room to explain the procedure a little bit and to tell us that after unthawing all four embryos, only one had survived. The intended mother and my mom were in the room with me and that was a sad moment. This is their only chance to have their own biological child. I'm not feeling any pressure at all!

Anyway, the embryologist went back to retrieve the embryo into a tiny little catheter. They suck some air into the catheter and then they suction the embryo and then another's puff of air. The first puff is to open up the uterus enough to be able to deposit the embryo, and the second puff is to make sure that the embryo is out of the catheter. The size of a uterus is only 7 centimeters. That's insane to think about it going from that size to holding a full term baby.

Now the time for me to get prepped. They had me lie on my back with my knees in the stirrups and the sonographer positioned the wand so that the doctor could see what he was doing. He then inserted a speculum that was cold and pinched but hey, I don't think there is any way for that to be comfortable! The embryologist came back with the embryo in the catheter and was waiting for the doctor to insert the rest of the instruments needed to place the embryo into the uterus. Once that was done, they carefully inserted the catheter with the embryo. On the screen, you could see the puff of air, and then the embryo, and then the second puff of air. Then they were done! The speculum was removed and inhadntonstsy flat on my back for 10 minutes.

Oh boy, after those 2 liters of water, I had to pee! BAD! I did not have to take Valium so I'm not feeling loopy or anything. Just taking it easy!

I am feeling odd at times, to think about the procedure and about seeing the embryo and to think that it is now trying to make a home in my uterus is just bizare! I am feeling the pressure of it as well! I want this to be perfect for the intended parents after all they've been through and the money they are spending on this whole process! I can't imagine the disappointment we will all feel if things don't go as we hope and pray they will. What an experience this has been so far. I won't forget it!


Transfer Day!!

Okay, so I'm sitting here in the hotel room waiting for the phone call from the fertility clinic about whether the embryo transfer will happen today or Sunday. Let me tell you, this is a very anxious, nerve racking wait!

We started our trip to Boston yesterday morning.  The flight from Kansas City took off at 10:10 and landed in North Carolina. We got off that plane and had to walk through the airport to another terminal to reach our next plane for our final destination at the Boston/Logan airport. We got there just in time as they were boarding the plane already. If we had arrived 15 minutes later we would have missed our flight. For those of you that know me pretty well, you know that I hate to fly!

After a 2 hour ride in a shared van(not ideal), we finally arrived at the hotel! We ate some food and lounged by the pool a but and then came back to the hotel room to get a good night's sleep.

I just got a call from the clinic. THE TRANSFER IS HAPPENING TODAY!!! They got confirmation from the lab that they embryos look good enough to implant today and it is set for 2:00 pm Eastern time. I have to drink lots of water and have a full bladder during the transfer to get a good  view of my uterus! I will have to be on bed rest the rest of the day. Think implanting thoughts!! I will update after the transfer is done! That is, if I'm not too loopy from the Valium I have to take! Lol


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blood draws

Well, this week has been interesting. Since I have been on the Lupron for about two weeks now, on the first day of my cycle, I had to go get blood drawn to see what level the drug is at in my blood. The agency that I'm working with and the fertility clinic in Boston have set up for me to go to a clinic in Olathe that provides same day results to Boston so that they can advise me of what to do on the same day. So, if something needs to be changed, or if I need to take more or less of the medications, then I can do that on the same day based on their advisement rather than wait a few days or sometimes even a week for results to come back.

The clinic that I am going to in Olathe is located in the doctor's building at Olathe Medical Center! Perfect location! I was worried I would have to go pretty far, but I didn't know there was a fertility clinic so close! Anyway, my first blood draw was Tuesday. After getting myself and the kids ready, I arrived there for my appointment. It is just a small office in the building, and there was a lady ahead of me, and a couple that was waiting in the seating area. I had brought snacks, drinks, and toys for the kids, and was anticipating that the blood draw would take all of 10 minutes! As I'm waiting to check in with the receptionist, there is a sign to the right of the desk that catches my eye. Second paragraph states that they have a strict "no children" policy. Then the sweating starts! Kicks in overtime actually! One of the side effects of the Lupron is excessive sweating! Umm, awesome! In my head, I'm thinking what the heck am I going to do? I can't leave them in the waiting room unattended, and no way are they going to let me take them with me while I get blood drawn. Maybe Troy is available, and I could run the kids to him, and come back and get drawn, and then go back and get the kids from his work. Finally, the lady in front of me is done, and so my turn. I walk up and give her an apologetic look and say: I'm sorry, I was not informed that you had a 'no children' policy and clearly I have my kids with me." Before I could tell her of what my plan was she says: "yeah, they are not allowed to be in here." Umm okay.

Look, I get it. I understand it can be hard for someone who is trying to conceive to see young children in that environment, and I also understand that children don't always do what you want them to do when you want them to do it, and this was one of those days for me, but she did not need to act like they were some kind of plague! So I said in the nicest voice I could find: "Okay, well, I can give my husband a call and see if he can either meet me or I can take the kids to him. He doesn't work very far away, and I could be back within 10 minutes." She says, okay to do that, and proceeds to give me some new patient paperwork to fill out, and then says:"You can go fill that out in the hall." If I could have slapped her I would have! Just in that moment.

I am still sweating, and maneuvering the stroller out of the doctor's office, and into the hall, and I call Troy. No answer. I text him and say that I have a little bit of a situation and need him to call me ASAP. He calls me back and I explain to him what the situation is, and he says that he will come meet me at the doctor's office and watch them while I get the blood drawn. Phew! In the meantime, I'm filling out the paperwork and trying to keep the kids quiet, and cleaning up some goldfish snacks that Kynlee insisted on throwing overboard! Troy texts to say that he has arrived, and I go and meet him, and head back up to finally get blood drawn! I wanted to say something to them, to express how irritated I was, but I kept quiet. I am going to have to work with these people for quite some time. I really don't want to start on the wrong end with them! So I bit my tongue, and let them prick me three times for them to get one vile of blood, and went on my way. Got the kids, hugged and kissed Troy, and off he went back to work!

I heard back from the clinic that day in Boston, and they said everything was looking good and to continue doing what I'm doing but to add a low dose aspirin and to decrease the Lupron to 10 units instead of 20. I started a different medicine that is just a small purple pill. I take one in the morning and one at night along with all of that. They said I would need to have another blood draw on Saturday (today), to check the levels again.

I called to make an appointment, and then the next day they called me to tell me that they had changed my appointment without checking with me first, and that was that. What. Ever. I went this morning and the clinic called me back this afternoon and said that the levels looked good again, and that I need to increase that little purple pill to two pills twice a day. Alrighty!

The only other symptom that I feel is pretty noticeable for me is irritability. I find myself with a little less patience for the kids and their shenanigans. I just feel like I have PMS. Not my favorite feeling but hey, could be worse!

So far, everything is still on track for the 22nd, to fly to Boston for the embryo transfer. I'm still very nervous but getting a little excited! My next blood draw is Wednesday! Fun fun!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Shots and things!

So, have you ever tickled yourself where someone else has tickled you, and it doesn't tickle nearly as much as when the other person did it? Well, the true is the same for these shots of Lupron I've been taking! The other night, Troy had to work late, and since he has been injecting me with the shot, I found myself in quite the nervous predicament!

The last few times that Troy has been giving me the shots, it has hurt! Not in a big way, just enough to make me jump and exclaim: "Ouch!!!" So the night I had to do it by myself, I was worried that it was going to hurt worse doing it to myself.  What if I miss? What if I slip? What if the needle goes in sideways and I faint from shock? Okay, so it's not that bad or dire, but I would be lying if those thoughts and others didn't cross my mind! So I'm drawing up the syringe and measuring the right dose of Lupron, and here comes the big moment. I clean my belly area with an alcohol wipe, and take a deep breath, and say a quick prayer that God won't let me pass out, and I stick it in and push in the syringe! "Did I do it?" I ask myself. "Is that it, am I done?" I realize I had done it! Stuck myself with the needle I had been dreading since I knew Troy was gonna be late!

I've done it a few times to myself since then! Has been the same each time! Quick and very little pain! Tomorrow, I go for the first blood draw in this whole embryo transfer process! They will be checking the level of hormones and the level of Lupron in my blood and make sure that it is at a good level to proceed with the rest of the drugs and then the embryo transfer on the 23rd of August!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous as heck! The thoughts that whirl around in my head, and the pressure I've already put on myself for this whole thing sometimes is overwhelming but I am very hopeful for the intended parents and their future child or children!


Monday, July 29, 2013


First, I would like to thank everyone for their kind words of encouragement and support! Means a great deal to me, and I really appreciate it! 

So, part of the process to get ready for the embryo transfer is different drug injections and pills. Like  I mentioned before, I have been taking birth control pills to suppress my own ovulation for a few weeks now, and have about 5 days left of that. Saturday, I started a drug called Lupron. It is a drug that is preparing my body for another pregnancy. Seems kinda weird, I know, but the fertility clinic that is setting all this up, has been doing this for 35 years! I trust that they have this down to a science, and while I have read all of the drug facts, and its effect on the body, I will save you the boring details, and just tell you that this is the very beginning of injections. There will be Progesterone shots that will be coming up soon that I am really not looking forward to. They are much larger needles than what I'm using now, and the drug has to be injected into my gluteus maximus. They will make me very sore in the area, and so that's the reason I'm really not looking forward to it! 

Every night, since Saturday, I put the kids to bed, and then go grab my box that came in the mail full of all the supplies I need for these injections. 

Pretty simple really. It's just an insulin needle that I have to draw up 20 units of Lupron with, and then inject it into my belly every night. I have to make sure to clean the bottle of drugs, and clean the area I'm injecting, but other than that, it's relatively easy! Troy has been doing my injections for me, which  I like because it is a way he can be involved in the process! Now, if only I could stick him with the needle at least once! :) On August 6th, I will go to have my blood drawn to see what the levels are in my blood and will go from there. The units I will have to take will probably decrease from there and then another drug will start. 

I haven't really noticed a difference right now as far as side effects. The nurse I spoke to said the worst of it is PMS like symptoms. Great, right! Poor Troy if the effects start showing up! 

That's about it for now. Thanks for reading!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Making A Big Decision

Okay folks, here it is. I am going to be a Gestational Carrier. There I said it. Ok, now you can judge all you want, think whatever you want, but it is what it is. Let me start at the beginning.

When we lived in Montreal, we had some dear friends that my sisters and I adored. Helen and Angelo were like second parents to us. They tried for 10 years to conceive, and after many rounds of IVF that failed, they decided to adopt. They now have two beautiful children from China. I could not be happier for them. But when I was 13 and 14, they were in the middle of trying and kept failing at it, and I would see the tears, and the desperation, and I remember thinking in my young age, that if I could give them a baby, I totally would. No questions asked, I would do it in a heartbeat!

Fast forward to me having my own kids. I had Brae, and after a very long 45 hour labor with too much intervention, and drugs I didn't want, I thought, I'm never having another baby! But like they say, it is like we forget and that is why women have more than one child. Well, I must've had a momentary lapse, because then I got pregnant with Kynlee but this time I was determined to be in charge of my birth. I was given a drug called Stadol, which is a pain medication, during my labor with Brae early on in my labor and I'm convinced that it slowed things down tremendously and because I wasn't progressing as quickly as they wanted me to, my water was broken, and pitocin was started and after 41 hours of hard contractions, I finally got an epidural and progressed more in those last four hours that I had in the many hours before that. The Stadol completely knocked me out. I could hear everything around me, still feel all of my contractions, but could not open my eyes or speak. Absolutely awful experience!

With Kynlee, things were much different. Labor was  much faster, about 10 hours, and I did most of that at home since we lived 5 minutes away from the hospital. Things went pretty smoothly, but in hindsight would have gone to the hospital much earlier than I did. By the time I got to the hospital, I was so desperate for some kind of pain relief, that I immediately said that I wanted an epidural when I got there. I think if I had gotten there earlier, I wouldn't have gotten the epidural and maybe dried getting in the tub with the jets, and skipped the epidural all together. But things were different and I'm happy they turned out the way they did because I have two wonderful children out of it.

Pregnancy itself is not easy for me. I have weeks and weeks of morning sickness, pain in my pelvis, and just overall very uncomfortable. But, in the grand scheme of things, it is only 9 months. There is an end to it, and what a great result too!

So, my decision to become a gestational carrier starts here. I had been thinking about it for years, and had mentioned it to my husband before we conceived Kynlee but ultimately, Troy left the decision up to me. I decided when I was 6 months pregnant with Kynlee that I would become a gestational carrier after that, and so I applied with an agency that I had done some research on, and went from there.

I applied in the morning on the website, filled out a detailed questionnaire, and that afternoon, I got a call from the agency. I was surprised at how quickly someone responded, but they said that I was prequaliflied to move on to the next step which was more questions, and more paperwork. Oh, the paperwork. When they called me that afternoon, they said that they had 35 couples waiting for a gestational carrier/surrogate. The difference between the two is this. Gestational carrier is carrying a child that is not related to you in any way. Surrogacy, typically is described as you donating an egg and letting it be fertalized by a sperm of the father. I was not interested in donating an egg because the idea of giving away my own child didn't sit right with me, so gestational carrier it is! Surrogacy is now used to describe both. So, I'm just the oven, it is totally their bun!

I gathered everything they need over the next few months since I had time still being pregnant with Kynlee and all. Plus the year I breastfed her, so I took my time and kept thinking and researching more and more about it throughout that time.

At the end of last year, I contacted the agency again, telling them that I was done breastfeeding and was ready to move on to the rest of the process. What a process it is. Once I got all the paperwork to them, I had to get a physical done, with bloodwork, and had to be immunized since I was not vaccinated as a kid, and it was also determined that I needed to lose some weight. What a perfect motivation. I lost 20 pounds! My medical profile was now complete and ready for the next step. Matching with a couple!

In early May, I was sent a profile of a couple that live in North Carolina, I can say that they are the sweetest couple! She is a neurologist, and he is a medical researcher in the dental tissue field. Their story is similar to many, trying for years, and failing. They had some cancer on her part that needed to be dealt with but that left her with no functioning uterus or ovaries. My heart went out to them as I read and re-read their profile. They were also sent my profile and we were to report back to a social worker through the agency about our thoughts and whether we wanted to move forward with each other. We both did, and decided that meeting on Skype would be a great way to get a better introduction of each other. Everything went well, and they formally asked me to be their surrogate on that Skype call! I was holding back tears, and all I could do was smile and nod! From there, a contract was drafted that covers anything and everything that could happen during this process and on to the next step! Medical Screening.

In early June, it was time to go to the medical screening in Boston where the couples' embryos are frozen. Met with the doctor that will be performing the embryo transfer. Troy and I were interviewed for almost 3 hours by a social worker asking all different types of questions, and then had some bloodwork done, and an ultrasound to make sure my uterus is safe to carry another pregnancy. I heard back a few weeks later that I passed the medical screening and was now ready to start the next process of preparing my body for the transfer. This includes 3 weeks of birth control to suppress my own ovulation, and then a drug called Lupron that will slowly prepare my body for a pregnancy and then will end with progesterone shots that will continue until I am starting the second trimester. I have 7 days left of the birth control, and the Lupron shots start tonight! I am beyond nervous with all the shots I will have to take, but at this point, I am keeping my eye on the prize, which is handing over a baby to two wonderful people!

So there you have it, this is going to be my life for the next 10-12 months! I fly to Boston for the embryo transfer at the end of August, and while I am excited, I am super nervous! I can already tell that this blog will be a great way to relieve some of my anxiety and to document the different steps coming up!

So if you're interested to see what this will be like, I am going to keep track of everything on here, and share it with whoever wants to read it! :)

Welcome to my Blog


This is my first blog and I'm still learning about it, but hopefully I will get better with it as time passes! I am starting this blog as a way to share life experiences with friends and family! If you are one of those people, welcome! Stick around, life is going to throw some curve balls I'm sure!

First, a little background...I am 28 years old. I was born in Fortworth, Texas to Georges and Carolyn Boujakly and have a twin sister, Hanah. When I was a few months old, we moved to Cochrane, Alberta and stayed there until I was 5 years old. Let me tell you, my memory is a little freaky sometimes.  I was only 5 when we left, and I remember the exact lay out of our first house in Cochrane to almost every detail. I even remember the window in the basement that would scare me half to death when thunderstorms would roll through. My two youngest sisters were born in Alberta, Laura (26) and Bethia (24). Like I said, when I was 5, we moved away from Alberta, to Montreal, Quebec. All of my Dad's family is in Calgary with a few exceptions who still live in Beirut, Lebanon where my Dad was born.

We stayed in Montreal until I was 17, and then moved to Topeka, Kansas. I was not thrilled, and in my ignorance, I told my parents that "I am not going to go live where Dorothy lives!" While I wasn't completely off, there is more to Kansas than Dorothy, and I find myself content here.

I met my husband shortly after we moved here but didn't start dating him until 2002. He worked for a catering company in Topeka called Aboud's, and I got a job there as well, working as a hostess/waitress while he was a chef in the kitchen. He was my first serious boyfriend and we were inseperable from the night we had our first date.

We were married in 2006 and our first born, Brae, came in 2009 with Kynlee, coming in 2012. Our family is complete, or at least we both think it is. God may have other plans! :)

Troy works for a company called Mission:Repair. He is the General Manager and they fix all apple devices, other tablets, and other cell phones, and computers. Check them out if you're ever in need of a repair! They are a great company! Ok, ok,  I might be saying that because my husband works there, but still, they're pretty cool!

We just bought a house in Spring Hill, Kansas which is about 10 miles south of Olathe, and we are enjoying home ownership, with all its perks and troubles as well!

That's it. My life story in a very small nutshell! If you have any questions, ask them! I would be happy to answer! :)

Thank you everyone who reads this!