Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Anyone who has a doctor in their family knows how convenient that can be at times. My uncle is a pediatrician. My mom had him for a resource while my sister and I were little, and now my sister and I utilize his expertise as well.

Luckily, Ali and Brian also have a doctor in the family, and she just so happens to be an obstetrician. That's right, an OB. Lucky for all of us, she has the capability of completing the procedure I need done (polyp removal). Super lucky for Ali and Brian, she's not charging them for the procedure! How awesome is that. The only fees will be to the lab for pathology!

So, next week, I fly to Seattle to have my polyp removed! I'm nervous about flying alone...I hate flying. One of Brian's other aunts, Rebecca, will pick me up, take me to my appointment, take me back to her house for the night, and take me back to the airport on Thursday.

I'm excited that my friend Sam will be driving up from Portland to be with me for the procedure and to hang out with me afterwards. I've never had any type of anesthesia before, so I'm slightly nervous about how I will react to it. I have had patients come back from minor procedures with some pretty crazy responses to the sedation. Sam will be my person. Someone familiar to help keep me sane if I lose it!

Ali will stay with my kids while I'm away. It will be a long week for her as I will be working the three days prior to my trip. I'm definitely going to be missing the kids. This will be one of the longest periods of time I've been away from them since they'll stay with her from Sunday on. I'm hoping Carlos can get some time off so he can spend some time with them.

Thanks to hurricane Sandy, plane tickets have gone up in price significantly...if anyone has any spare miles they'd like to donate, please let me or Ali know ASAP. Plane tickets will be purchased in the next day or two.


We found out late this afternoon that out original timeline for the transfer will not be changed at all!! Such great news, but it also makes for an even busier week next week. From Seattle, I will fly to Phoenix. Ali will meet me out there for our Pre-Art (no idea what that means) appointment and then we will drive home together! It's going to be a long week, but it will be great!

Monday, October 29, 2012

holy hot flash.

Here come the side effects. After three weeks on Lupron, I'm finally starting to realize what things are side effects and what things are just me.

First came appetite loss. It didn't last long, but the first week or so on it, I really had to make myself eat meals. This was not a side effect that concerned me!

Then there were headaches. Headaches have been a problem for me for quite a while. I have headaches a few times a week. After being on the medication for a week, I realized I had experienced headaches almost every day.

Right about the time I connected the never ending headaches with the Lupron, my family also pointed out the crankiness. My patience has worn extremely thin. I have zero tolerance for much of anything from the kids or poor Carlos. I try to keep it all under control, but I think I'm failing pretty miserably. I'm getting really good at apologizing!

Next came exhaustion. I'm SO tired. All. The. Time. Normally, I will stay up until 11p.m. without any problem, and get up in the morning to get the kids ready for work and school, no problem. Lately, I'm passed out on the couch by 9pm. Carlos can get me up long enough to go upstairs, brush my teeth, wash my face, and get into bed, but that's about it. I could probably sleep all day and still be tired that evening.

Eventually, the hot flashes started. I really only notice them at night, so they aren't a huge problem. But then again, maybe that is why I'm so exhausted. When I'm in bed, one minute I'm fine, the next minute, I'm on fire and throwing all the covers off. Two minutes later, I'm freezing and trying to get the covers back on before I freeze to death!

Despite all of these things, I'm surviving. The injections don't bother me at all anymore. I only had two spots bruise up, the rest haven't hurt at all. I may be experiencing quite a few side effects, but they really aren't all that bad, in fact, some of them are pretty comical! In the end, they will all be worth it anyway.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a bump in the road.

So, here I am, sitting in the hotel in Arizona...waiting. I'm waiting for it to be time to check out and head over to my next appointment. The first appointment lead to an unexpected bump in the road. Hopefully, there is an easy fix and this little bump doesn't become a mountain we can't get over.

I finally was able to put faces to all the names I've been emailing and talking to on the phone over the course of the past few months. The office staff is amazing and Dr. Nemiro was pretty awesome too. My hysterosalpingogram however, not so amazing. I'm pretty sure he said, "you'll just feel a little cramp, maybe, just like a small contraction." Yup, I'm pretty sure that it felt kind of like a lot more than just a small contraction. First, they stick a metal rod called a "sound" through your cervix to measure the depth of the uterus. Apparently, I have a very small uterus for having had 2 children. It was so small, that he kept trying to see if my uterus was tilted and he just wasn't getting an accurate measurement. That caused some decent cramping, but nothing terrible. After measuring the uterus, they insert a small catheter through the cervix and use a vaginal ultrasound probe, as they fill the uterus with sterile water. That felt great absolutely horrible. I was so surprised by how much it was cramping, definitely not what I was anticipating. While filling the uterus, they found what appeared to be a polyp. They checked to make sure it wasn't just normal, fluffy, uterine tissue hanging down, but rubbing the catheter back and forth across it, repeatedly, trying to knock it off. That also felt amazing (insert sarcasm font). It wouldn't fall off. So, it is in fact a polyp. Or, our bump in the road.

In situations like ours, a polyp is not ideal. Polyps are harmless, but during pregnancy, the increased blood flow to the uterus puts the polyp at risk for bleeding. If it bleeds, it will irritate the uterus and can cause miscarraige or preterm labor. So, the polyp needs to come out. With most insurances, this wouldn't be a big deal. Dr. Nemiro would have simply scheduled for me to have it at the hospital down the street and we'd be on our way. Thanks to military insurance, it's much more difficult.

Basically, we have 3 options. Option number 1: Ali & Brian pay for the procedure, out of pocket. The estimated cost of this procedure $5-$6,000. Option number 2: I switch my insurance to Standard, find a PCP in Phoenix, make an appointment with him. Get a referal to Dr. Nemiro who will then schedule the procedure and Ali & Brian would simply have to pay copays. Option number 3: I see my PCP at the Naval Hospital and hope and pray that he will write a referal for me to go to Balboa to get the procedure done there.

I'm sure that 3 options sounds like it isn't really a bump in the road. However, anyone whose ever dealt with our insurance knows how difficult it can be to work with them, and this all has to be done in the next 2 weeks in order to keep our timeline. We are hoping that since polyps could be precancerous, my PCP will agree to sending me to Balboa, and Balboa will be willing to fit us in within the next 2 weeks. We are hopeful that this will work because "a 31 year-old doesn't typically have polyps." This should make the insurance want to cover the procedure because it would be in their best interest to take out something that could be precancerous. We are going to need a lot millions of prayers for this to happen. If it doesn't, then we need help to make up for this additional, unexpected cost.

Ok...now the second test is done and we are about to head home. Both tests were similar and neither felt very good. All the research I did before hand did not help. I was not expecting both tests to involve putting a catheter through my cervix and injecting something into my uterus. This time, they injected contrast so the could X-ray my Fallopian tubes. Thankfully, my tubes look perfect and the exam was fast.

Prayers appreciated that we are able o get the surgery approved to be done at Balboa so we can proceed with the surrogacy as planned!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

big plans.

My first injection was on Tuesday, and I rocked it! I didn't feel a thing. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. These little subcutaneous injections are nothing. I'm still nervous about the big ones.

Thankfully, the big injections won't start until November 30th. I'm SO thankful for this. Since I gave away the date for the progesterone injections, I might as well tell you all that we have a complete timeline now. So, this is how the next month and a half will go...

October 17th: Carlos and I will be in Arizona for my first appointment at the fertility clinic. I will have a sonohysterogram (SHG). This is just a fancy word for an ultrasound of the uterus. They will be looking for any abnormalities that could make it difficult for the pregnancy to stick. I will also have a hysterosalpingography at a radiology clinic near the fertility clinic. In this exam, they will be looking at the fallopian tubes. This exam is invasive and according to the clinic makes you feel like you are "having bad period cramps." According to the people I know that have had one, it hurts. It hurts bad. Hopefully, it won't be that bad after all.

Rest of October: I will continue taking the Lupron injections as I have been thus far.

November 5-9: Sometime during these four days, I will make another trip to the clinic for an ultrasound and appointment with the doctor. They will be looking at my uterine lining and checking my ovaries to be sure they have "shut down."

November 12th: I will start taking Estrace 6mg every morning. This is to replace the estrogen that I'm not producing from being on the Lupron. It will help to build my uterine lining up, and make my uterus a more desirable environment for the embryos to attach to. Thankfully, this is a pill. I will continue taking Lupron at this time, and will also start prenatal vitamins, baby aspirin and CoQ10 supplements.
This will be my bathroom

November 27-29: Sometime in these 3 days I will go to Arizona again. At this appointment, I will have another ultrasound to check my uterine lining, and sign the final permits for the embryo transfer. November 29th will be the last day that I take Lupron injections, but I will continue to take the Estrace.
November 30th: Start Progesterone injections and progesterone lozenges. Progesterone is essential in sustaining a pregnancy.
This is where I have to inject myself...for 12 weeks!
December 3rd: Start Medrol and Zithromax. Medrol is a steroid and studies have shown that it reduces the risk of my body attacking the embryos after transfer. Zithromax is an antibiotic and is intended to prevent infection from occurring during and after the transfer.

December 4th: TRANSFER!!! That's right, on December 4th the transfer will occur! It is so exciting to finally have that date. It is happening on a big week...close to deployment time for Brian (the dad) and just a few days before Olyvia's birthday! I will stay in Arizona overnight after the transfer and then I have to take it very easy for the next week. In all honesty, I think I'm not going to want to move. At all. I want the baby/ies to stick. I don't want to jeopardize anything. So, maybe Ali will keep the kids for a few days so that I can really relax.
So, that is it. That is the schedule. I'm assuming that dates could change throughout the process depending upon ultrasound results and everything else, but in general, these are the dates that it all will happen.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 8, 2012

day one.

Tomorrow is the day. Well, not THE day, but pretty darn close. Tomorrow is the first day I take actual medications for the surrogacy. Tomorrow is the first day I have to inject myself. Tomorrow really starts it all, and I can't wait.

Lupron 20 units subq daily...for a really long time!

This will be me tomorrow morning.
I do this at work every single day, but I have a feeling it's not going to be nearly as easy as it is when I give the injection to someone else. I'm thankful that I get to start off with the easy ones.

Next week, I will make my first trip to Arizona. I look forward to meeting all the girls I have exchanged countless emails and phone calls with. I also look forward to making the trip with Carlos. We will stay one night, and he will go to all of my appointments with me. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

it's almost time.

I can't believe the time has just about come for all of this to really happen. Aahhhh...it's really happening! I feel like a kid before Christmas, but instead of waiting for Santa Clause to come, I'm waiting for Aunt Flow to show up!

It's not every month you sit around waiting for your cycle to start. In fact, most months I wish it would just not come at all, but this month is definitely different. Once I start, I have to call the fertility clinic. At that point, I'll be given my start date for my Lupron. From what I've read, the Lupron shuts down the pituitary gland and therefor reduces estrogen production, causing a rapid onset of menopause. That's right menopause. Bring on the hot flashes, bloating and all the other awesome symptoms of menopause. Watch out co-workers! I just might be a little cranky. My poor husband. Lucky for him, his friend just moved in across the street. My sources tell me he'll be spending some extra A LOT of time over. As long as he takes the kids, it's fine with me.

The Lupron will also be the first medication that I have to self inject. I only have to take it once a day, and it is a small, sub-cutaneous injection in my belly. I give this kind of shots to patients multiple times a day; the syringe is exactly the same as an insulin syringe. I'm hoping that when it comes to self-injecting, it will be just as easy as it is at work.

My Lupron Kits

Keep an eye out for an update in the next few days! I'll be sure to let everyone know once I start my inections!