Monday, September 8, 2014

First Steps Often Mean the Most

Several things to update today. One...I've been a horrendously bad blogger as of late. I'm so sorry and I am going to try really hard to get better.

Blogging has become difficult being in this in between stage. I don't know what to write about? Life has felt very settled down lately, and on one hand, that's a really good thing. The first half of our summer was insane with travel and FET's and appointments, weddings, weekend company, you name it...

The past month or so, I've been a very content little homebody. What comes with that is the lack of anything exciting to talk about especially when my infertility journey is in limbo. What I can say is that the past month, T and I have had a lot of special moments together. Moments that have been much needed and I'm incredibly grateful for. It's certainly helped pass the time while we wait for the next chapter of infertility to begin.

Labor Day, 2014 -- AVP Tournament in Cincinnati

The great thing is...I finally have an update! The first step is official. CCRM has our GC's records for review!! Better yet, Dr. G informed me that her pregnancy induced hypertension would not be a disqualifier. (Hot diggity!

According to the nurse, the doctor will take 2-4 weeks to review her records for "initial approval". Lets hope it's more on the 2 week side of that. The IUD is also scheduled to be removed on September 16th...that's one week away and we'll officially have step 2 complete! 

My GC and I communicated back and forth all day on Friday. I think I sat at my desk at work bouncing up and down in my chair, smiling at my computer screen like a 5-year old. 

Shit got real. And I love it!! I'm so excited. Not for one second this weekend did I think about the fact that someone else could be carrying our baby instead of me. All I thought about was that maybe, just maybe, by the end of 2015, we could finally be a family. 

So we celebrated this small, but very significant milestone with a yummy dinner out, complete with our favorite bottle of wine. 

I cannot wait for things to continue to progress. I cannot WAIT to share more and more about this process and about my gestational carrier. I can't wait to give her a name...and stop calling her "GC" or "gestational carrier"! 

Keep the good thoughts coming and I know that day will arrive. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Still a Waiting Game

Infertility has proven over these past 3 plus years that it's a game of patience. Of resilience. Of faith.

Yet these are all very difficult to maintain at times. Some days I feel like a fighter. Like nothing will stop me from reaching this goal, my DREAM of being a mother. Then there other other days that I feel...fragile, scared and full of doubt.

My headspace has been pretty down recently. I'm having a hard time remaining confident. Surrogacy revolves around someone else. Letting go of controlling. Trusting. Being respectful of their life and hoping that at some point, things will come together for all of us.

It's hard though, to feel like all of your hopes and dreams are in the hands of someone else. No matter the trust and the confidence that you feel in that person, the emotions can sometimes be overwhelming. The "what if's?" start to take over. When that happens, the grit and resolve that I've have left, starts to slip away.

My potential GC has shown nothing but excitement these past few months since we first started communicating. My heart has felt that this is right. However, she has mountains of changes in her life right now and that has to be her priority. Part of what I have been so drawn to with her was the fact that she really is an amazing mother to her children. So I absolutely and 100% support her. I remind myself daily that she has her life that takes up so much of her time (as it should), but for me, this is my there aren't many minutes (seconds) in the day when my world isn't revolving around our embryos and bringing home a baby.

Still...timing is critical. We have to purchase a health plan for her during open enrollment on November 15th. If we don't have medical clearance with CCRM prior to that, we'll be purchasing the health plan blind and just crossing our fingers that she's approved after the fact.

While November 15th seems like it's plenty of time...there are steps that have to be done:

1) Medical records have to be received at CCRM (it takes them 2-4 weeks to review and approve a ODWU visit).

A biggie is out of four pregnancies she had one labeled as "induced at 37 weeks due to pregnancy induced hypertension". This was her second pregnancy. All others have been completely normal, natural deliveries. 

2) She currently has an IUD in place. CCRM requires that she have TWO periods after removal prior to her ODWU.

3) Once the ODWU happens it takes up to 2- 3 weeks for all results to come back and to be given approval to move forward.

4) Legal contracts must then be negotiated and signed.

5) Only then will CCRM put her into calendar.

By my calculation, even if the IUD is removed this week, it could be November even before she could even get to the ODWU part and that's if we're lucky. So the scenario of us buying the insurance policy without medical clearance seems like a real possibility.

And that's okay. We will do whatever we have to do to make this work. It's our heart, our soul, our dream.

I just wish I could snap out of the funk that's clouding all positivity in this process. But that would require that I believe all of this is going to be okay, and I'm not quite there yet.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Delicious Ambiguity

This summer has been full of emotions. Some good. Some bad. Some are somewhere in the middle. 

We finally had our first and only transfer cycle, and of failed. We immediately began conversations with our potential gestational carrier. I feel so very blessed that she came into our life at the exact moment I needed her and I'm extremely thankful for how she came into our life. I'm also relieved that I was able to quickly shift our heartbreak from our FET to something something filled with hope. 

However, the surrogacy process is not quick. There are many steps and procedures that are completely out of my hands. While I am still very hopeful and excited for this direction, I have felt a bit of that disappointing sadness seep back into my heart. We were so busy May, June and July that things just never settled down enough for me to really feel all the emotions that come with the loss of the ability to carry our child. 

I feel like I'm stuck in this odd place of limbo. I'm in this state of knowing that we've let go of "trying to conceive" and moved on from fertility treatments, yet we are turning to someone else, a different direction in order to bring our baby home. It's been so long since we weren't trying that even knowing we aren't...brings sadness and a sense of "giving up". 

I've been very open about our struggles to most of our family, to friends and to strangers. Especially in the last year or so. Generally, I have received nothing but well wishes, love and support. While a small few have asked things like "why don't you just adopt?” It was the question this past Friday that really hit me...

"You really want to have a baby that bad?"

Does it all seem too desperate? All the treatments we've done...IUI's, IVF, Donor Eggs and now, hopefully Surrogacy. Does it seem like we've gone too far?

My uterus was damaged during a routine surgery. It wasn't my fault. We have put all of our savings and retirement into just walk away? Leave those embryos that we hoped for and love so much, and just what?? Adopt? Live childfree? Are those supposed to be easy options? Because they aren't. One is starting an entirely new process from scratch. The other means leaving a hole in my heart forever. 

So to answer her question...yes. I want a baby...a family, that bad.

I don't expect everyone to understand, to agree or to even necessarily accept what has brought us to this moment. Just as I will never judge or criticize anyone the right to decide how best to live their life and to create their family. 

I wish that I had started when I was younger. But we started trying the same month I turned 34...and was never supposed to be "too old". I wish I had started fertility treatments sooner. I wish that I had made my doctor PROVE that the pregnancy was in my uterus last year before performing the D&C that cost me my ability to carry. 

But I didn't. And this is what we're left with. It's not necessarily how we thought we'd have a family or even hoped, but do you think for a second that when our baby is placed in our arms that it will matter how he or she got there? 

We are here. And I have no regrets. I'm just trying to hold onto my hope and do the best I can to not give up. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just kidding!!!

So all my rambling, stressing and decision making the past few weeks just went out the window.

Well, we did decide. We decided to test, which would ultimately mean transferring only 1.

Then the embryologist emailed me the following:

I understand that you have questions about performing CCS on your frozen embryos. There are 5 blastocysts remaining from your cycle 10/08/13. These blastocysts were fertilized with a conventional insemination and cannot undergo CCS testing. 

After a conventional insemination, even though only one sperm fertilizes the egg, there are thousands of other sperm which remain attached to the shell of the embryo throughout development. Because of the abundance of sperm still attached to your embryos, there is too great a risk of contamination during the CCS process; i.e. we may end up testing the DNA of the sperm rather than the DNA of the embryo.

Who knew?? I didn't. I guess I never had reason to ask before since we used donor eggs and thought we would be transferring them to me.

So thank you all for your support, advise and well wishes on this subject this past week. Now we're back to deciding between transferring 1 or 2 unknowns. Plenty of time for that decision. We still need to get through medical clearance for my gestational carrier.

Stay tuned...I'm sure I'll be stressing over something else soon enough.