Wednesday, October 19, 2011
When I last left you, I was taking a summer vacation from surrogacy. I had contacted K & M to let them know I would not be continuing with the third round of IVF with them. The cycle that they cancelled was pretty rough on me physically, (not to mention the emotional aspect) and was bordering on just plain dangerous. Because they had broken the contract by cancelling the transfer, I had no obligations to continue. I just didn't know if I'd do it anyway, or part ways on the day K called me with the news of her pregnancy. The more I thought about it, the more it was clear that choosing not to continue was the right decision. Some extended family situations came into light, and coupled with my immediate family's need for a healthy wife/mother it didn't seem responsible for me to continue.
Of course this lead to a lot of ill feelings on K's part. One day out of the blue, my fertility clinic called me to tell me that I was banned from their services. I was completely shocked. What had I done? Apparently, K had told her credit card company that the charges for my ultrasounds/bloodwork were fraudulent, making me look like a criminal.
I contacted K&M saying that I hoped this was a mistake and asking what happened. K's reply was full of hatred, telling me what a horrible person I was, that they weren't pursuing a child now, and that she hoped I never would "do this to someone else." She wasn't interested in clearing my name with my fertility clinic at all, so I had to turn to my lawyer.
If I didn't clear my name, I wouldn't be able to go through with a surrogacy for anyone else as it's the only clinic in the vicinity. My lawyer was able to clear things up by highlighting in the contract where K&M were responsible for my medical fees in addition to the documentation where K&M's fertility clinic has sent orders for the bloodwork/ultrasounds in question. Pretty cut and dried really, so my clinic removed the ban, but indicated that I would not be able to continue any services ordered by New England Fertility. No problem there.
So, that's where we're at. I'm done with K&M. I have no plans to pursue another surrogacy at the present time. My family needs me right now, but I'm grateful for the learning experience and all that entailed. I truly wish I could have been part of the equation for completing a family, but then everything happens for a reason, doesn't it?
Friday, July 1, 2011
No news yet.
I still haven’t started a new cycle either. I kind of like it that way. I did pick up my provera but don’t intend to take it unless my uterus is needed in a timely manner.
The weight is continuing to come off, so that’s very positive. (And if anyone needs any great, low carb recipes, we’ve had some amazing food lately.) I’ve also been cleaning like I’ve only done at the end of my pregnancies. Maybe my body’s estrogen is dropping enough that I’m going into nesting mode. LOL! Either way, the house is cleaner and my floors look great. (Literally I’m a slave to my cherry wood floors that run throughout the main level of our house. )
I know some of you are wondering what the future holds for me and when. I’d like to know too. I’m a planner. But you knew that.
Happy, Safe, and Healthy Independence weekend to you all!
Monday, June 27, 2011
K has decided to miscarry naturally as opposed to having a D&C, so she’s taken the week off, hoping that it will happen early this week. It’s my understanding that, with a blighted ovum, it could take up to two months for the body to realize the pregnancy isn’t viable and miscarry, so I hope for her sake, that it’s sooner rather than later. I can’t imagine how difficult and emotionally painful it must be to walk around knowing you’re carrying a pregnancy that isn’t viable. Not to mention the anxiety it would cause.
Because I know it may take some time, I’ve chosen to stick with my current plan of not medicating. I do still have that Rx for Provera waiting for me at the pharmacy, but it can sit there for a while. Maybe we’ll make it a game. Who will start a new cycle first? Okay that’s not really even funny.
I almost feel badly that while she grieves, I am feeling so so so wonderful. I’ve lost 5 lbs in the last week and my face is starting to clear up. I’m feeling cheerful, and playful, and my motivation is back. I’m not so tired all the time and really overall, I’m just enjoying my summer with the girls. We’ve been strawberry picking, and soon it will be blueberry season. We’re dinking around in the garden and may never have cherry tomatoes, as little A gets a little too anxious to pull them off the stem. She doesn’t understand colors yet so it’s hard to tell her that green tomatoes are not tasty. She doesn’t seem to mind. bleccck. We’ve got K’s first soccer game tonight. Ironically, I wouldn’t have missed her game last Wednesday by being out East because it rained cats and dogs. Go figure. lol
So, right now that’s what’s going on with us. We wait.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
From American Pregnancy Association:
What is a blighted ovum?A blighted ovum (also known as “anembryonic pregnancy”) happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. Cells develop to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo itself. A blighted ovum usually occurs within the first trimester before a woman knows she is pregnant. A high level of chromosome abnormalities usually causes a woman’s body to naturally miscarry.
Many women assume their pregnancies are on track because their hCG levels are increasing. The placenta can continue to grow and support itself without a baby for a short time, and pregnancy hormones can continue to rise, which would lead a woman to believe she is still pregnant. A diagnosis is usually not made until an ultrasound test shows either an empty womb or an empty birth sac.
What causes a blighted ovum?A blighted ovum is the cause of about 50% of first trimester miscarriages and is usually the result of chromosomal problems. A woman’s body recognizes abnormal chromosomes in a fetus and naturally does not try to continue the pregnancy because the fetus will not develop into a normal, healthy baby. This can be caused by abnormal cell division, or poor quality sperm or egg.
How can a blighted ovum be prevented?Unfortunately, in most cases a blighted ovum cannot be prevented. Some couples will seek out genetic testing if multiple early pregnancy loss occurs. A blighted ovum is often a one time occurrence, and rarely will a woman experience more than one.
The chance of this happening to K&M was probably higher than most, simply because with age comes more risk of chromosomal abnormalities. I have to believe that if this embryo truly did have a chromosomal abnormality, this might have been a blessing in disguise, knowing that they intend to terminate a pregnancy resulting in chromosomal defects. Better to miscarry now, I would think, (As if there's EVER a good time to miscarry - There's not.) than to carry the baby longer and go through the hell of making a conscious decision to terminate a baby with a beating heart. Every day you carry that baby is another day that you love it even more. Others might not agree and I understand that.
So... what are the chances of this happening to the last 4 frozen embryos? I don't know. That question echoes in my mind. They've not done genetic testing on them as their RE believes the risk of damaging one or more of the embryos is greater than the risk of an abnormality. (??) It's also costly. So, who knows?
Friday, June 24, 2011
She emailed to let me know that she had an ultrasound this morning and the gestational sac was empty. No doubt, she'll need to decide between a D&C or natural miscarriage. What a hard choice for someone in her position to make.
Please, please, please send your positive thoughts and prayers to K&M tonight. No doubt, they really need them. I feel just sick for them and just can't imagine how they are feeling. Failure after Failure, a person can only handle so much. This has to be beyond devastating to them.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I contacted K this morning to see how her appointment went yesterday with her uterine specialist. She indicated that things went well and that she’s feeling a little nervous today, as she’s not as sick as she has been previously.
I told her I was happy things are looking good and that it’s normal to feel varying levels of sickness. I told her that her new mantra is: I am pregnant today. I will enjoy today as much as possible, and that worrying only steals your strength. I let her know that I have faith in her strength and that I’ll be ducking into the background now, but if she needed anything from me, whether it’s advice or a shoulder, that I’d be there.
I feel like I can go on with my normal life now, and that’s a bit of a weight lifted. I can’t wait to see my daughter’s first soccer game tomorrow night, now that I’ll be home, and I’m excited for the possibilities that the summer holds.
Where one door closes, another opens.
Happy Monday all!
I got a message from the RE’s nurse this morning:
How are you feeling? Have the migraines completely gone away?
I have just read [K’s ]email and learned of her exciting news. I hope that she has a great pregnancy.
We need to cancel your cycle so I would like you to continue taking the estrace 2mg pill 3 times a day and the crinone 2 times a day through Friday June 24th and then you can stop and let me know day 1 of your period.
Let me know if you have any questions.
No, that’s not happening. I returned her email, letting her know that I was already off meds and that apologetically I will not be putting hormones into my body any longer.
I’ve probably really messed up my cycle by doing that, but the thought of one more week of estrogen makes me ill. I don’t feel like that’s healthy either.
Then she wrote back that the RE was prescribing provera (a progesterone pill) and that I was to take that for a week and let her know when cycle day one started. Does she not get it? We’re done. Through. No further cycles. I told her “okay, thanks.” but will not be filling the Rx. I’m excited to enjoy my drug free summer. lol!
I got a message from K yesterday as well. She’s seeing her uterine specialist today and wanted to confirm that I’d hang out and be there for the last transfer down the road if her pregnancy failed. I couldn’t commit 100% but we’ll see how it all goes. I would like the opportunity to carry a baby and finish the journey. There may also be a couple of other opportunities for me, so I’m excited to see where life takes us.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I'm sad that I don't get the last chance to make all of our sacrifices worth it. Completely uncompensated, the countless blood draws, hormone side effects, agonizing decisions, time my husband took off work, time away from family, etc feels unnecessary and under acknowledged. However, in the end, a baby in their arms is all that really matters. The shared goal was to bring a baby home to that beautifully decorated nursery and I hope that I can be one of the first to congratulate them and wish them a happy and healthy nine months. My prayers will be with them the whole way.
Will I find another couple to carry for? -- Some surrogates go in search of parents to carry for and intend to do it several times. This has never been my intention. I saw a couple in need, identified with their desire for a child, and knew I had what it takes to help them. If a friend or acquaintance closer to home needed my help, I'd do it in a heartbeat, but I will not actively seek out another couple. I do feel like there's unfinished business and the desire to carry for someone in need is there. I'm just not interested in doing it for a random "someone" if that makes sense.
How did this happen? -- Good old fashioned sex, according to them. She has had numerous chemical pregnancies and possibly some miscarriages as well. I can't quite recall. Six Reproductive Endocrinologists who cared for her all agreed on the same diagnosis. Her uterus was not capable of creating enough lining to sustain life. Yet, it's estimated by the ER Dr. that she's 6 weeks along, and according to her, she's felt morning sickness for a while now. God works in mysterious ways.