Monday, December 2, 2013

Our Surrogacy Story

The day that Aimee, our gestational surrogate, sent me the photo of her mailing the contract to the agency was like Christmas morning. It was one hurdle that we’d never passed before. Once the contract was signed, we started moving forward with having Aimee speak with our Reproductive Endocrinologist about the course of action, and see if she had questions. She went through additional medical testing to make sure she’d be a good surrogate and passed with flying colors. From there, our RE put together a protocol that would thicken her lining and make it ideal for a frozen transfer. We were given a transfer date and she started her medications, which included Estradial and Progesterone, and had to be given in the upper hip/butt area. Speaking from experiences, they aren’t fun. The Progesterone shots are the worst because of the knots you get. Mine had gotten so bad during my previous cycles that I couldn’t walk, and didn’t heal for months.
She’d text me during her ultrasound appointments to let me know how her lining was progressing, and compared to my uterine lining (and probably many other people’s linings), she was an overachiever and we were able to move forward with our frozen transfer! Just like the last potential GS, I was so nervous about meeting someone who would be a part of my life forever and carry our baby. No pressure… so when we picked her up at the airport, I was all sorts of nervous, but she was so laid-back about everything (which made nervous me so much more at ease!) We went to dinner, and then dropped her off at a hotel, where we’d pick her up the following afternoon for the frozen embryo transfer.

The day of the transfer, I went to work and struggled through one of the most nerve-wracking days of my life. I was getting ready to pick Aimee up at the hotel, when I looked down and saw I’d missed a call from our RE. I’ve never gotten a call an hour before a transfer before, so I had a horrible feeling I wasn’t going to get good news. I tried calling the RE back, and he was doing another transfer. So of course, I was freaking out. I went downstairs and met with Aimee and explained that I’d just gotten a message, and was pretty sure it meant that one of the embryos didn’t make it. I was crying a little, and mostly just being a complete nutcase.
We went to Whole Foods to get her a few snacks before she’d be on bedrest, and then drove back to my house for a few minutes to pick up Otter Pop, who to my surprise, was on the phone in total lawyer mode with the clinic, trying to get ahold of the doctor. Apparently they’d tried to transfer him and disconnected, and in that short amount of time he’d gone into another appointment.
Because we really wanted to prepare ourselves before we went to the clinic, Otter Pop stayed on the phone until he spoke to him. We got the news that I’d been dreading – that one of the embryos didn’t survive the thaw. The good news was that the other one in the straw had, and was already hatching. Since we only had four embryos left, we had to decide if we wanted to unfreeze the remaining embryos and choose the best two to transfer, or if we just wanted to try one. Even though those were our last ones, we knew we’d have the best odds with two, so we unfroze all of the embryos.
We got to the clinic and waited a while before being seen by the doctor. When we got back to the room, he let us know that of the other two that were unthawed, one of those didn’t look like it would make it either. I was a little crushed (and a lot overwhelmed), but really grateful to have two good ones. This looked like it would be our only chance.
For reference, every time I’ve had a transfer there’s been music that I find hilarious playing and I have to try as hard as possible not to laugh. The first time it was classical music that literally climaxed as soon as they put the embryo in. The second time it was some type of 80s rock that was just as funny. Before the transfer started, we requested control over the music. I will always remember that as they transferred the embryos, the song “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers was playing, and I heard, “I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart.” It was so fitting and perfect, and Otter Pop and I watched as the embryos were placed into Aimee’s uterus.
Otter Pop ended up wearing a pink shirt and blue bow tie, and I had pink nails and blue toenails, just for a little extra luck. We drove Aimee back to the hotel and set her up with a Kindle to start the 3-day bed rest. We were able to spend time with her, and I had a great time having lunch with her and watching animal documentaries and just talking about our lives. I felt like I knew her forever, and I felt so comfortable that she was going to be the one hopefully carrying our baby.
We decided that we didn’t want to know if she was going to test before the Beta because we’d gone through a chemical pregnancy before, but then the next day, I told her I “wouldn’t be mad” if she wanted to test. She tested, and sent us a positive! We were so excited, but cautiously nervous. The next days we kept our fingers and toes crossed, and the tests were still coming back positive! We shouldn’t have been surprised when her first Beta came back as positive, and when the next three showed that the numbers were more than doubling. She even sent me the best birthday present imaginable – a positive digital test! But still, we were so nervous to get our hopes up.
Best birthday present ever
Aimee flew back in for the first ultrasound, where we’d see the baby (or babies), and make sure everything looked good. Otter Pop and I stood in the corner and waited anxiously to see the screen. I honestly had no idea what I was looking at, but the doctor seemed excited, and when they showed me the flicker of the heart, I started crying and was literally speechless, which is very rare. We finally had a baby on board!
For me, it seemed like every appointment was a hurdle. It was a hurdle to get a positive pregnancy test. A hurdle to get a positive beta, and see it rise appropriately. We had just passed the hurdle of finding the fetus, and now had to wait until the next appointment to see if he grew appropriately. Even though this was such a joyful time for us, I was living in fear that if I actually celebrated it that I’d somehow ruin everything or cause something to go wrong. I know that this is magical thinking, but I wanted to do whatever it took to make sure this baby would be ok.
But fortunately, we crossed all of those hurdles, and we’ve made it into the 2nd trimester of pregnancy! This has been such a crazy ride, but I am so grateful to have found Aimee, and now so excited to meet our baby in just 6 short months!

No comments:

Post a Comment