Friday, October 29, 2010

Negative Cycle

I apologize for not updating through the week. It's been a tough week, but I'm grateful that we were prepared for the results in the end.

I started testing on Sunday morning. I got negative after negative, with hopes that it was just too early, so I kept on. On Tuesday I let my IM know that there was no news yet but to keep hoping. Each day other girls who cycled with me and transfered on the same day would get a positive, and I knew our cycle had not worked. By Thursday it really sunk in, and I had my cry and let it out so that today I could be strong. I called IM last night and we talked and she seemed at peace about it, which was good for me to hear.

DH went to the clinic this morning with me for my blood work and then I went to to work. When I got off work I got the message left for me saying that the cycle had failed. When I came home I talked with IM who, I believe, was better for the preparation as well. I'm glad it did not blindside us.

We are being proactive and looking toward another (fresh) cycle in the next couple months, but perhaps not with the same clinic. I'm very disappointed that our cycle did not work, but God really does have a reason for everything, and I'm trusting and leaning on His understanding as much as I'm able.

Father thank you for preparing J's and my hearts for the news we got today. I pray you would comfort her and J today and keep them at peace in the knowledge that there is still hope. Thank you for bringing them into my life and for showing me the courage they have to keep going even after such news. Thank you for your perfect peace that covers us as we deal with the "why's" of what happened and work to make it successful next time. Guard our hearts from getting down and keep our spirits lifted upward. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Great Day!!

Well today was a great day!! Today went really well, and we even got a huge surprise when we were at transfer!!

Here are IM and I before we left for lunch
We went to Jason's Deli for lunch before heading to the clinic. I'm loving spending time with her!

We got to the clinic and were taken back to the room to get ready for transfer. After I changed into the hospital gown, I sat on the bed and we waited for the embryos to thaw. So we chatted a bit more. A few minutes after we arrived back there and the nurse had already come to talk to us about transfer instructions and calendar information, we heard another woman (and her daughter) come in to the bed next to us. There was a curtain between us, but we could hear each other's conversations. The little girl was asking her mom very similar questions to what M asks me, so I was having a giggle and talking to J about it quietly. Then I hear the lady next to us say "Are you a surrogate?" I replied with "Yep, and my IM is right here with me!" Then she asked if I was on a surrogate board, and we discovered that we're actually on the same cycle group on our board together. We didn't know we were transferring in the same place on the same day! Well, we knew the days were the same, but not that we were going to be at the same clinic. So we opened up the curtains and enjoyed the remainder of our transfer day chatting and giggling with her and her daughter. We took pics before we left...

Her daughter jumped in on the next one...

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and especially those who prayed with me personally last night and today. It means so much!!  

I'll end this post with a prayer as usual. 

Thank you Awesome Heavenly Father for the wonderful day we had today and for the bonding time that J and I had. I pray your hand of protection over the lives you have entrusted me with. Use this time of bed rest to help them burro deep down and settle in to grow big and strong. Keep me ever mindful of the lives I'm caring for and help me to be a good steward of the time we have and of my body. Above all, let me shine the light you would have me to shine to J&J. In your mighty name we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Well, here we are! Tonight is the eve before transfer day!! I'm so excited and giddy! I spoke with IM on the phone tonight and it was hard not to "catch" her enthusiasm as well. 

We have plans to go to lunch around 11:30, then go to the transfer together, and afterward she'll bring me home. Then I get to spend 24 hours being doted on.... okay well, not in this house... at least I get to lay down for 24 hours and pretend like I'm being doted on for most of the time. I know hubby will do his best, though he has to work tomorrow night. But he gets a three day weekend, which I'm very thankful for. 

Today was a day to get ready. I had some heart-work to do today, as well as real-live errands to run and get things done. I also did a little shopping and got some new jammies to wear after transfer, they're super cute! Tonight I had a prayer-partner I used to pray with at church pray with me, and now I'm listening to some worship music. Before I go to sleep I'm going to pray up and read my Bible for a bit. I really want my heart in the same "ready" place that my body is in.

Heavenly Father, only you know what is on my heart today. I pray Father that you would remove those things from me and replace them with peace, so they don't weigh me down tomorrow. I pray Father for your guidance from the moment we get up in the morning, until we lay down to sleep again tomorrow night. Father keep J&J in your perfect peace and calm the anxieties they are feeling, yet keep a live the excitement they feel- it's so contagious! Guard our hearts and minds and take captive things we don't need to be thinking about and fill us with your love and grace. I pray once again that you would guide the doctor's hands as he places the embryos on the lining where they will sink in for the next coming months. I pray for lining that is fluffy and perfect for those embryos and that they would stick right where they need to be. Lord, I have faith that you have ordained this and are making everything happen in your own way. I put my trust and faith in you for a wonderful transfer tomorrow, a successful cycle, and ultimately a healthy pregnancy and one or possibly two babies for J&J. I love you so much God, and thank you for your absolute grace in my life to bring me to this place. It's in your son's name I believe and pray, Amen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What an update!

So my bloodwork on Friday went okay, my Estrogen was a bit lower than they wanted (276 instead of 500). The clinic called me in the afternoon and increased my estrogen injection to .6ml instead of the .4 I took on Tuesday. I kind of got panicky, and asked around what I could do on my own to increase the estrogen levels in my body naturally.

I was told to decrease my caffeine and drink plenty of water. Isn't that what they tell everyone? I didn't know if it would work, but I did it. I suffered all weekend without the caffeine, oh my head just HURT.

But it paid off!

This morning I went for blood work and a baseline ultrasound. During my "date with the wand" I learned that they wanted my lining at 9mm at the very least. Seconds later, I was told I have a thick lining of 13mm!! Excellent news! I still don't know what the levels of estrogen were, but since I didn't receive a call telling me to increase the estrogen, I'm stuck at .6ml til transfer next week.

On to the better news!
Since everything looked great today, they decided to move up our transfer day by one day. Transfer is now set for Wednesday the 20th at 1pm! As soon as I got out of the appointment, I called J and she was so excited!! The plan is that she's going to pick me up for lunch on Wednesday and then we'll go together to the clinic at 1 and she'll bring me home.

We're both excited! I love hearing the excitement in her voice and we are praying every time we think about it that this all goes as smoothly as possible and that those little embies will stick, stick, stick!!!

Please join us in praying for that, as well as for IM. She heads out of the country again for the weekend and will return on Tuesday, in time for transfer. We're obviously praying for safety, but I think I'm going to add in there some peace, as I know she has to be nervous as well.

Father I know that you have a plan and a purpose in the new friendship we have with J&J. We know that the embryos they created have a purpose in this world as well. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help J&J bring them into the world. We pray for your peace as we wait out this next few weeks, and we pray for your hands to guide the doctor, give him a steady hand to put them in exactly the right place so that they have the best chance for success. Please keep J safe this weekend as she travels, and bring her home in perfect peace on Tuesday. Make my time with her on Wednesday fruitful, that she would see Jesus in me, and see you at work in her life.

 I thank you that I'm able to put my hope and full trust in you for all of these things. It's in Jesus Name that we ask these things, Amen!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two Weeks!!

I don't have a whole lot to post tonight, but just wanted to share that there are two weeks left til our transfer date!!!

Tomorrow I have blood work in the morning and we'll figure out my dosage of estrogen for tomorrow night. My dosage was increased from .2ml up to .4 this week when my estrogen levels were lower than they wanted to see on Tuesday. Hopefully the higher dose helped!

I know I did see some "side" effects from the higher dosage. I had a rotten day yesterday, and I could tell the estrogen was higher due to the amount of tears that fell. Not to mention my hubby is out of town this week on a mission trip. Everything is just setting me off a little easier than usual. Please keep my hubby, myself, and my boys in your prayers, as well as of course IM & IF!

I will update tomorrow night!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Great day!!

What a great day it has been, today! After church, the boys, DH and I met up with J&J at the Olive Garden for lunch. We had a great time and plenty of good food. The boys were their usual selves, of course. I do have to give my youngest credit, though. Before (and after) lunch he was making "butt" jokes and noises. He was sternly warned about it, and when it came down to it, he was able to make it through lunch without a single one!

This morning at church, my oldest was with me while I was talking to a friend, and again confirmed how much of this he really does understand. He interjected into our conversation, when I mentioned we were going to lunch with friends, that this family doesn't have a baby yet, but we're going to help them get a baby. Funny, I don't even remember mentioning around him that that was who we were going to lunch with, yet. He's a smart cookie.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In other news!

I totally spaced out in my previous post today. IM came home from her business trip on Thursday night and we got the final copy of the contracts yesterday afternoon! This morning DH and I went and signed ours in front of a Notary Public and our part is done!

I'm super excited! Tomorrow we get to go to lunch with J&J to celebrate and just spend some time hanging out for a little bit. Praying my boys behave themselves during our lunch! ;) I hope you are having a great weekend. Thanks for reading :)

I think he might sort of understand!

When we started the process of finding IPs, we talked to our oldest son a little about it, because at the time, someone in his kindergarten class "got" a new sibling and he was asking us to have another baby. I remember one of the first discussions about it, he asked us to put two babies in, "One for them and one for us." I explained that mama and daddy were finished having babies and that now we wanted to be able to help another mama and daddy have a baby. We've mentioned helping J&J a few times here and there, and he's met both of them. He also sees me give myself the shots every morning as he's getting ready for school.

Even little brother understands that mama pokes herself so she can help Miss J have a baby. I don't know how far into it he understands it, but they get that it's for someone else, and that God wants us to help others as much as we are able.

Tonight, I was looking up something in reference to a post I was reading on a board, and happened upon this really cool video. We watched it together and his eyes were glued to it. We talked about how mama's belly will get bigger after the doctor puts the baby inside. Then we went to's month-to-month guide and he got to see the baby in each stage from embryo to 40 weeks. He thought that was really cool (and gross!). It was an interesting conversation, but I loved every minute of it. I love that he gets to be a part of this too.

Father thank you so much for giving me my boys and for leading me to be a great example of your love to others, especially through surrogacy. Thank you for their hearts that want to help others and even though they don't understand what it is quite yet, to serve you. Help me lead them back to you in every discussion we have, and to show them that it's your love in me that compels me to do this for J&J. It's all because of you, Jesus. Amen

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Well that wasn't so bad!

Ok so I just did my first Estrogen injection. I think it definitely could have gone worse :) I got a little confused at first about which size syringe I was supposed to use, but I figured it out. The syringe I am supposed to use comes attached to a needle I don't need to use, so I got confused. I figured it out though. 1ml syringe, 18g needle to draw the medication up out of the bottle, and 22g to inject. Throw away 27g needle. OK. Got it. 

Here's what it looked like just before I did my shot, while I was icing the area:

The one attached to the syringe in the picture is the needle used to draw up the medication. The one still packaged is the one to inject.

Once I had iced the site, I did it. I remembered to check for blood first, too. After the shot, I massaged it a little and now I'm giving it some heat. It wasn't so bad at all! 

Yay me! I'll get used to this soon, but for now, I'm glad I didn't forget anything and I did it right. Delestrogen, I'll see you at the same time on Friday night.

Monday, September 27, 2010

All clear!

Today is a beautiful fall day, which for this being Texas and still just September, is an amazing thing!! We woke up to temperatures in the low 50s and put our kids in pants and hoodies for school, and welcomed fall with open arms. I even got to pull out my long sleeved shirts as I got ready this morning. Hooray!

As soon as I dropped Brian off for school, I headed up to the clinic for a blood draw to check levels on various things, and an ultrasound to check my lining and to look for cysts. As quick as they started, they were finished, and we got the all clear! No problems! We are still on track for an Oct 21ish transfer!

I'm set to start my Delestrogen injections tomorrow night. I'm glad the Lupron uses a smaller needle, it made it easy on this beginner. I'm a little nervous about the bigger needles used for the estrogen, but I will get through it.

IM Has been out of the country for a couple weeks now, and her return has been delayed a couple times for more business. Please join me in praying for her!

Heavenly Father, thank you for this gorgeous day!! Be with IM in her work and travels today, help her to see you in the beauty that surrounds her. Draw her closer to you and open her heart to your Spirit. Give her success in the job she has set out to do, and bring her home safely and soon. Comfort them both as they are apart during this time, and let each of them know they are not alone, you are with them. Thank you for the opportunity to give them such a special gift. Guide my every step and action, and let the light in me for you shine brightly to them, and show them who you are. It's all in Jesus name I bring these things to you, Amen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Give me a week or two to feel the side effects, but I have been so excited and so ready to start the process, starting with Lupron, that I'm kinda giddy about it.

This morning was my first shot... forgive the bad photo, my cell was the only camera I could find at the moment. This is what my "work area" looked like just before.

There it is! Three pills (2 are prenatals) and a Lupron shot. Don't forget that sharps box!

It took me a little while to psych myself up to doing it, so I did a heavy load of dishes while staring at the equipment and getting mentally prepared. Once I actually did it, it wasn't so bad. So hooray for overcoming that! It did raise up a little and itch quite a bit for about an hour but that went away.

So now there it is... We've officially begun making dreams come true :)

God, thank you so much for this opportunity to help J&J. Please help me to be a vessel not only by helping them achieve their dreams to be parents, but to lead them closer to you. Draw us close together and create a bond that no one else could imagine and a friendship that last always. Thank you again for choosing to use me as your vessel. I love you and want to honor you in all I do, for Your Son's Name, Amen.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Late update!

My sincerest apologies for not updating sooner!

Guess what? The screening went so great! We were able to get in on Monday the 14th for my blood tests and did everything including a mock transfer that day! While we were still there, we got our calendar to move forward. We are set to transfer hopefully two embryos on October 21st! I start my Lupron injections tomorrow (the 18th)!

Ready, set, go!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Here we go!

Since the last post, we have spoken with more than a few couples independently, and one via an agency but I have not heard back from any of the other agencies. We were *so* close with a great family in the spring, but things didn't work out, unfortunately. Recently, one couple who caught our eye, we spoke with via email for about 3 weeks. Just when it started to look like we may have been ready to move forward, God provided me a day of "rest" from it and I was able to see some red flags really clearly, and got myself out of it before it was too late.

Everything seemed fine, there were little things I was willing to negotiate/compromise on, as long as they were little things, but then I had a day to take a step back and thought about things... I realized that all those little things piled up into a really big thing, and I fought my heart all night over it. In the morning, I prayed about it and made the decision to call it off. Instantly I felt a peace about it.

Later that afternoon I got a call from a local couple, who I immediately felt right with, but prayed about a lot that night.

Despite "feeling" right, I knew there were things I needed to know before we could say a definite yes, and even then I wasn't holding my breath. We have been able to have lunch with both of them and email back and forth, as well as talk on the phone, and we really like them. Yet, I didn't want to admit we were matched because I feared the same that has happened before would happen again. Like if I said or did something, it would go away.

Today I came to terms with my fears and finally admitted we are matched. Within the next few weeks I will be going to screening, and we'll see what happens from there. I'm cautiously optimistic. I know what can go wrong, and I have a hard time not getting my hopes up, so I'm praying "be still my restless heart" and for God to make it happen if it's His will.

Psalm 23: 2 He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Welcome to Just The Vessel (a surrogate's journey)

Today might be the first day I'm posting an actual blog about it, but I've been waiting for this for years. Even when I was miserably sick with my first pregnancy, I loved being pregnant. The all-the-time-sickness was nothing compared to the overwhelming joy I felt by creating life, and feeling it move inside me.

The birth of a dream...
While I was pregnant with my first child, my best friend was dealing with pain and never ending bleeding. She went to the doctor for her pain and nobody could help her, since she didn't have insurance. They wouldn't do anything but help her manage her pain. A few doctors had mentioned Endomitriosis and PID, but none would commit to these diagnoses. So we forged on in our own research and we talked about the possibility that she may never get to have children. It was then that I decided... when the day came that she was ready for a child, if she could not carry, I wanted to help her.

From then to now...
During my pregnancy with my first, I was so sick all the time. I had hyper emesis gravida and landed in the hospital a couple of times because of it. When I was seven months pregnant I had had enough of being sick. I went to the ladies at my women's bible study and asked them to lay hands on me and pray for my pregnancy and all-the-time-sickness. I didn't get sick again after that day.

I was pregnant again by late summer of 2005.  My pregnancy with my second child was a breeze. I never got sick, not even once! It was even more of a joy to be pregnant the second time than it was the first. Both labors were incredibly peaceful and wonderful. I did not use an epidural even though I was induced both times. After both births I came out saying I could do it again and again.

My children are now six and four, and unless God decides otherwise, our family is complete with just the four of us. I knew this, I think, the day my "baby" turned three. We'd talked about the possibility of more, and my husband would enjoy having a girl for sure, but we know our limits and we're there. That said, I know my body isn't done yet. I have a lot of "life" left in me, and would revel in being pregnant again... but I couldn't bring another baby into our family. This time I want to help someone else bring a baby home!

It's time...
My best friend is finally as ready as she can be to have a child, but her and her husband have decided to give God and the all natural way a chance for a while first. Someday, if they want my help and have the means for it, then I will help them. Until then, nothing is stopping me from helping another couple. Late in 2009, my husband and I began praying about doing a surrogacy for a couple we didn't know yet. I began researching and joined a few groups in order to find out the ins and outs, and by January, I was searching for a couple to help.

The right couple...
There were a few couples I was interested in helping, but for some reason or other they just never panned out. Since then we have been searching for the right couple. We hope to find them soon!

Thanks for reading! I look forward to sharing this journey with you!