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!