Thursday, March 26, 2009

When God Speaks

Sometimes God speaks to us in the oddest of ways, but does so to get our attention. This email was sent to me by my mother-in-law, and I couldn't help but think that this was meant for Allison & I, right now. Whether you believe that prophecy is still God-given and relevant for today or not, I am not here to debate. What I can say is that I truly believe that God still cares enough to speak to us, and its not always directly to our hearts.

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns -- March 26, 2009:

Exercise patience as you remain steadfast and faithful. What you thought was a breakthrough seems to have evaporated, but I tell you the truth that it is more important than ever that you persevere. You will be tested with temptations to be disappointed and become discouraged, but you must not give up. Keep pressing through, and know that I am with you to bring you forth in victory. This is not an easy time, but you must keep the faith and continue to move forward, says the Lord.

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wasn't expecting this call.....

This is Allison

Well, I got a call this afternoon from our Dr at the clinic telling me that we wouldn't be doing the egg retrieval tomorrow. I got a sick feeling in my stomach. He was so nice and calm and I'm sure he truly hated to have to call me. After all of the delays I've had during this whole journey...I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm not trying to have a pity party, but it has been one road block after another. But we will overcome and get through it. This news has kind of knocked me down....but not out. It's a crushing blow to the anticipation I had in for the egg retrieval tomorrow and the transfer next week. But, it will happen. Jenn and many others have been so supportive and sweet after hearing about it. The TOSS members are way awesome and have given so many encouraging words. It's hard to make it through a journey like this without support, encouragement, faith and trust. I'm trusting that there was a reason why it's not happening right now. This specific virus that Doug has could possibly cause birth defects. So, thank God they caught it and we didn't go through with the transfer and end up with a baby that has disabilities or something wrong. When I think of that, the waiting makes it worth it and makes it a little easier.

Thanks for everyone's comments. We read all of them and are thankful for your prayers and continual support.

We Now Interrupt this Journey....

This is Jenn

I'm not sure how to start this post, other than to say that we received some bad news today that has essentially stopped our forward momentum dead in its tracks. We are stopping all meds and retrieval has been cancelled! No retrieval means no transfer :(

The short-story is that Doug, Allison's husband, tested positive the anti-bodies to the CMV virus, something that most people have from time to time, but you don't know it. Anyway, when the lab ran further testing, they discovered that not only does he carry the anti-bodies, he also has the active virus. The chances of transmitting the virus to me are very slim, but the chances of the baby getting it are very great. If the baby were to get it, the chances of birth defects are very high, so it is because of this that the IVF clinic has cancelled everything. And to add insult to injury, the doctor told Allison that this has never happened before, so they are just as shocked as we are! No one could have seen this coming...

We are all very shocked and upset, but know that this whole situation is in God's hands. Everything happens for a reason, even when we don't understand what the reason is! God's timing is perfect....even when it hurts us! I honestly don't know what else to say....all we can do is trust Him.

Doug will go in for testing every few weeks until they get a negative result, then we will start over. We don't know when that will be, but we hope sooner than later!

Please pray for all of us over the course of the next few days!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

All Shot Up...

...with no place to go, except for more blood-work tomorrow :)

This is Jenn

Thought I would quickly post that Allison is a "triggered" woman! Hopefully she will post more later or tomorrow, but we're down to only days people!!! Thank you all for your prayers, and keep 'em coming!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh my goodness

This is Allison

Wow....when Jenn called me and told me what she had been through this morning with the beta test, I had to laugh. ONLY because she had the results by the time she told me. Otherwise, I probably would have fainted, thrown up or who knows what else. Soiled my drawers?? Oh wow. I could tell she had been a nervous wreck until Barb called with the confirmation that she wasn't pregnant. It's weird, because just a few months ago I had read an article of a surrogate carrying a baby to full term, then the Intended Parents having a DNA test done and finding out it was the surrogate and her husband's baby. How in the high heavens does that happen? Seriously? Whew......anyways, glad it's not a least yet. We DO want to hear those awesome words of "you're pregnant" in a few weeks. Those will be the most wonderful words to hear.

Well, just a small update on my side........I went in this morning for an U/S and labs to see what the follicles measured. I have 7 large ones (which is great) and 3 medium ones (which is till ok). After looking at the labs and the U/S results, they decided to wait one more day to see if the medium ones would grow to larger ones by keeping me on meds one more day. They want this to be as successful as it can do we. So....I go back in tomorrow morning again, then I'll be doing the trigger shot tomorrow evening. I'm going to get our (mine and Jenn's) nurse friend to give me the shot. She's so sweet to do it for me. That's not saying I don't trust Dougie, but seriously, this is THE most important shot out of all of the meds. This is the one that tells the eggs to be released or something or another. It has to be done at the EXACT time the clinic tells me to do it. This is all a major timing thing. So, if I trigger at 10:30 tomorrow evening, I have to be at the clinic at 8:00am for a 9:00am retrieval. Oh my, it's really happening. I'm getting so excited and nervous and all kinds of other stuff all rolled up in one.

If the egg retrieval is Thursday, then the transfer could either be Sunday or Tuesday, depending on the quality of the embryos.

Please say extra prayers that we have good quality and everything works out just like it is supposed to.

Jenn........this is what we have been waiting for all of these months. :) Operation Baby Obert in full swing, stand by for take off!!!!! (this is what our nurse friend has named our mission - I love it!!!)

BETA before Transfer???

This is Jenn

For those of you not in the surrogacy world or the medical field, a BETA is the blood work-up they do to verify pregnancy. And yes, I had a BETA this morning, but that is not normal!

My morning started out very rough, with Morgann totally falling apart on me as I pushed her out the door for the bus while she screamed and squealed about staying home. My poor babysitter walked her onto the bus, where the bus driver pried her hands off of the babysitter! AAAHHH!!! So, not feeling like the best mommy in the world, I left for my doctor's appointment.

When I arrived my bottom barely touched the chair in the waiting room before they called me back. And there I sat for about 10 minutes, which is unusual. Anyway, the ultrasound tech walked in and began "browsing" around and measuring my uterine lining, nothing unusual there. But, she also measured a very small, round empty space right in the center of my uterus, that I didn't remember seeing before. She then told me to dress, then head to the lab for my estrogen check-up, which I did. And there I sat for another 10 minutes, wondering what the heck the hold-up was since the phlebotomist was just sitting there reading a magazine?

Shortly afterward the U/S tech came in and asked that I return to the exam room for another U/S. She said that the "blank space" she measured was a little odd, so one of the doctors wanted to check it out. "Um, OK, is that bad?" I asked. "No, not necessarily" was her response. How reassuring I thought... So, I undress and "assume the position" again, and the doctor starts the 2nd U/S. He zeros in on the "space" and begins measuring and looking and measuring and looking some more. So after about 2 minutes of this, I finally ask, "what is it that you are looking at, or for?".

"Well, this little space (and he points at the screen) looks very much like an early-stage pregnancy. How long have you been on your meds?".

Um-what?!? Huh???? I begin to panic and ask, "How would that be possible?" - you know since I've been on meds that prevent my body from doing anything its designed to do naturally, since January!!!! Oh, and lets not forget the tubaligation I had the day after Ian was born!!!

He just smiles and says, "Well, if you are pregnant, we'll be writing lots of papers about you!" And he walks out, leaving me to re-dress and stagger to the lab.

There I am greeted by a laughing nurse who says to the phlebotomist, "On top of the estrogen check, we need to do a BETA." At this stage I just look at her and say, "This isn't even slightly funny, Barb!!! This is wrong on so many levels, you just don't have any idea!!!". She just keeps laughing and says, "If it comes back positive, we're going to start calling you Mary. Its probably just a fluid sack, but we're being diligent and verifying, just to be 100% sure." And she laughs again. She also informs me that the fluid-filled area won't have any negative bearing on our transfer and that once we get the lab results for Allison & myself today, we'll be moving forward with "trigger" meds, probably beginning tomorrow. We took a few quick minutes to go over my med calendar again, then I left, still staggering a bit more and slightly pale, even though I'd been told multiple times that a pregnancy was almost impossible. It was the "almost" that had me going crazy!

So, just hours later, I got the call that said, very simply, "You aren't pregnant!" :) Can I just tell you those are the 3 most beautiful words I've heard all day!!!! But seriously, after all of this, that really is the last time I want to hear them for the next 9 months, ok????

Friday, March 20, 2009

Just Hangin' Out!

This is Jenn

We're still waiting...and its the waiting that is so stinking hard! Allison had another doctor's appointment today and was told that everything is progressing well! She will go back in on Monday morning for another ultrasound and blood work-up to verify that she is (or isn't) ready for her trigger shot. I go in on Monday too, just to be sure that the "baby's womb" is ready :)

Once she is told to "trigger", they will schedule her egg retrieval for 36 hours later, then we wait to see how many embabies we will have to work with - pray for good, strong embabies! We will then transfer 2 of them to me, and freeze whatever is left for a sibling project later on... :)

We're down to around a week or so.... Fingers (and toes) are crossed for good news on Monday :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Good news today

This is Allison

I had my first dr appt this morning since starting the stimming meds on Saturday. It was only for bloodwork this time. My estrogen was at 121. The nurse said I was responding well to the meds. Yippee!!! It seems to finally be working. What a relief. I had some doubt in the back of my head that the nurse would call and say, well, something's wrong. I hate those doubting emotions. I go back in for an U/S and bloodwork on Friday morning. I believe they will be checking to see how many follicles I have produced, or something like that. :) She also said that she didn't see me doing my trigger shot before Sunday or Monday. Man, I'm so anxious to figure out the dates. My emotions are all over the place. I just keep thinking that Doug and I could be parents before the end of 2009. What a joy that would be!

Jenn had an appt today as well. I hope she writes about it. I miss her funny sense of humor in her writing. :) I know she'll have lots to say once she's pregnant with the Obert baby. Awww.....doesn't that sound sweet?

One of our dear friends calls it Operation Obert!!!! Baby making time!!!!


This is Jenn ~ Yes, we both received the good news today, since we both had to make a visit to the IVF clinic. I had my blood drawn AND got the joy of the ultrasound - and not on top of the tummy, if you know what I mean! Anyway, my lining should be at 7 (mm?) and my blood-estrogen level should be above 300. If this were a test, I'd be acing it :) My lining is a "beautiful, fluffy" 13.2 and my blood-estrogen level is almost 600! Yea for me!!! I will be going back in on Monday - we think - for another U/S and lab work, just to be sure nothing has drastically changed. I think I am now officially paranoid that I am going to do something wrong...

For now, we are pretty much sitting on "GO" and waiting for the trigger shot that Allison will get to stick into her booty :) Well, Doug or Jenni will get to stick into her booty :) Our problem is that we don't know when the trigger will be! This is where Allison's frustration comes into play - the fact that she cannot put a concrete date onto one of her *many spreadsheets is really bothering her, huh Allison! *you know I couldn't resist mentioning it!

I was told by our IVF nurse that once they get the right "results" from Allison's blood work-ups, they will instruct her to take her "trigger shot" which will cue the ovaries to release her eggs (I think?). Her egg retrieval (ER) will be 36 hours later, so the trigger shot has to be at a very precise time. Anyway, once they do the ER, we will count 3 more days (i.e. - if the trigger is on Sunday, then ER will be sometime on Tues, then you count Weds, Thurs, Fri). On day 3 (in this case, Friday), they will check the embabies to see how many there are and how good they are (quality-wise, not behavior-wise) and will decide whether to continue to let them grow to day 5, or to do the transfer on day 3. Apparently the more embryos there are, and the better quality they are, the longer they let them grow before selecting the 2 best for transfer, then freezing the rest for later.

It is all of this "maybe this" or "maybe that" and "possibly then" or "maybe later" stuff that has us all in a tizzy! No one can make any definite plans at this stage, because its all a very scientific guessing game. Are we having fun yet?!?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The first of many.....

This is Allison

Yesterday was the first day of my stimming meds. I'm so happy to be writing that. AH. The first one I took was the Gonal F in the morning. It's one that comes with saline in the syringe and you inject that into the powdered med. Then you withdraw it with a different syringe. This one goes in the belly. Not bad at all

The Menopur has a vial of 2 cc's of saline, but you only withdraw 1 cc into the syringe. You then inject that into the powdered med vial, you then withdraw that and inject it into another powdered vial, then withdraw that and inject it yet into another powdered med. Then you change the needle head and withdraw that full amount and inject it into your belly. Whew.......this one was a little different. It tends to go in slow and you can feel it being injected. Was a little sore afterwards, but not too bad. It definitely could be worse!!!

Yesterday was such a good day. I just felt so happy to be starting the meds. :)

I'd ask that you continue to keep both Jenn and I in your prayers. Both of us go back to the clinic on Tuesday for check ups. We're praying that all looks well.

We're so close to making babies!!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yes, Green for Go!!

This is Allison

I just want to chime in on the excitement about moving forward. I am so thrilled that my levels were on track yesterday. Whew. Glad to be off of that ride.

This morning I had to get a few cysts aspirated (drained). It wasn't bad at all. Had to be there at 7:30 and got home at 10:00. I think the procedure lasted about 15 minutes or less. Dr Hickman said it was a lot like what the egg retrieval will be like. I'm not having any cramping or any side effects and they said that I just couldn't drive today, but didn't have to total rest. Just light stuff. So, all's good. :)

So, now I am to reduce my Lupron and start the other two stimming meds on Saturday. I'm so excited.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and thank you Jenn for asking everyone to pray for me today for the procedure.

Now on to baby making!!! Woohoo!!!

Green Means Go!!!

This is Jenn:

Just wanted to quickly update you all on our latest news: Allison's estrogen was finally down to 54, so we received our green light yesterday! We are finally back on track and moving forward toward our transfer, probably around the 27th or 29th of this month!!! AAAAHHHH!!!! I am so excited :) And I know that Allison is very relieved.

Today however, Allison needs some prayers. She had to go in for a minor procedure (I will let her share if she chooses to do so), and will be down for the day resting. Nothing scary, but I would still like to ask you all to be praying for a quick recovery and a restful weekend! She has company coming in from LA (Louisianna, not Los Angeles) today, so the timing isn't the greatest, but I am hopeful she will take it easy like she is supposed to - Allison, if you are reading this...TAKE IT EASY or I will have to kick your tail, k???!!! :)

Thank you all for your prayers over the last 8 weeks! Its been a roller coaster, but God does answer prayer...His timing is perfect, even when it isn't ours!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm still alive :)

...just a little overwhelmed in my house of sickness! I've had 2 kids down for over a week sharing a fever and a goofy virus, that the doctor says is not the flu and not strep. Hmmm.....

Oh, this is Jenn, by the way!

Anyway, Allison had said something to me last week about being the one to do all of the posting lately, and quite frankly, I'm glad she has :) I haven't really had the time, energy or where-with-all to post anything of interest, and really, most of what is transpiring in our journey right now is happening with her. Trust me...I will have TONS to post when we get to the transfer, so stay tuned. Until then, blog away girlfriend :) :) :)

Remember, this is OUR blog, and everyone that is following us in the blogosphere needs to know what is going on...and obviously I haven't been the best about keeping everyone updated! Love, love, love you Allison!!!!

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a bed and a pillow that need me - nite!

Are you as tired as I am

This is Allison

to have to write again that we have to wait another week? Yep, that's right. Estrogen was down from 700 to 424, but it needs to be 77 or below. Apparently taking the 40iu of Lupron daily has made it drop significantly and surely to goodness it will be in the right range next week.

Thanks for all of the prayers, I'm hanging in there emotionally. Jenn is the greatest support in this. She encourages me constantly and steadfastly that this is all going to work out for the best and in God's timing and I truly believe that. Patience. It's a hard one to incorporate. This now puts us transferring the last week of March. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Couple of interesting things...

This is Allison

First thing is that I'm a big fan of As the World Turns (soap opera for those of you who don't know). I know, I know, it's silly, but I hate to admit I'm a little addicted. One of the episodes last week featured one of the girls on the show not being able to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy. Her friend offered to become her surrogate. Wow....pretty cool. The reason I think this is cool is because surrogacy is still quite hush hush out in the world. It's almost like no one wants to talk about it and just kind of keep it pushed under the rug so to speak. I am so thankful for technology in this day and age. Without it, I would not be able to try and have my own biological children, something that comes easy to many women. While I'm not sure if I would fall into only the medical category of not being able to just carry a pregnancy successfully, I may also have fertility issues. I was diagnosed with endometriosis about 10 yrs ago and underwent surgery. At that time, my doctor told me that I would probably need fertility drugs to help me become pregnant. I just think surrogacy is a miracle for a lot of us out here struggling with trying to start a family and I think it shouldn't be looked down upon since it's our only choice. And believe me, I didn't ask for this to happen to me. I would love to be able to carry my own child, but it's just not going to happen. In comes Jenn. :) My true hero and wonderful friend. So, I'm so curious to see where the soap opera takes this topic. Stay tuned. :)

Next, I forgot my darn Lupron shot this morning!!! Holy crap! Before last Thursday, I was taking one shot a day (in the evening). Now I'm taking two shots a day, one in the morning and evening. Well, I guess I was half way to work and it hit me. I almost panicked. But, I figured, I guess I will just double up when I get home this evening. Surely it didn't screw anything up. I just finished giving myself the shot a while ago and holy moly it stung this time. I guess because I injected so much, who knows. I bet I don't forget again.

Last Friday we received our PBO. Yippee!! Pre Birth Order. This is the document that shows that our contract is approved by the court and that states the birth certificate will state mine and Doug's names as the parents. How awesome. We are to present this to the hospital in order for them to process the documents and paperwork properly and to give us access to our baby/babies in the hospital. It was awesome receiving this finally. How exciting. Just another thing out of the way. This journey has been rather smooth except for my estrogen and progesterone not cooperating like we want them to.

That brings me to the next topic. Let's start praying early for my Thursday appointment. Low estrogen, low progesterone. Geez, surely this will be my week. If they are low enough, I'm assuming they'll do the cyst aspiration procedure on Friday and I will start my other meds on Saturday. Barb says that most women are on those meds for about 9-12 days. So, that puts us in the 3rd week of March. Come on ovaries, do your thing!!!!

Thanks for all of the prayers everyone.........