Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The PEO is back, and it brought with it Morning Sickness!

Well, things have gotten crazy over the past couple of weeks. The NC (nurse coordinator) called last week and said that she realized that the labs had done the wrong blood work. When she emailed me the new orders, I looked at them, and realized that she had ordered the wrong labwork...not that the lab had messed up.

So I went and had the blood drawn. The NC calls the next day and tells me that every looks great, the beta number is really high, then proceeds to tell me that they're switching me from the suppositories back to the PEO shots. I wanted to get sick, partly because the PEO shots were so bad for me, partly because morning sickness was getting to me. She told me that my progestrone levels were low, which is normal for the suppositories, but she wants to see them higher, so I'm back to the shots. I've taken 5 of them, and already I'm having issues walking, sleeping, and the heating pad is permanently glued to my bum. I have huge knots and it's painful! I keep reminding myself this is for the babies, this is for the babies, and I'm sure I'll get through it.

On top of that, I have morning sickness that lasts all day. I've lost three pounds in the past two days (or so) because I can't keep anything down. I have managed to keep toast down more often then not, and last night I was so hungry that I ate an Italian sub sandwich from Domino's Pizza. (I didn't keep it down but I ate it!) I called the NC today and asked for something to help quell the nausea, so hopefully I'll get some relief soon.

Friday October 3rd is the ultrasound! I'm so excited! Everyone I've talked to (all my friends) swear I'm having at least twins. I can't talk about the pregnancy without using the word "babies"...it's never baby. Add to that the fact that everyone swears I'm already 3 or so months pregnant, yeah...there are more likely then not multiple babies in there. (But hopefully no more then two!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's been a while

Hello everyone! I apologize for taking so long to write. Things got really crazy this weekend, and I absolutely had to deal with that first.

So as many of know, I had blood work drawn on Friday to determine whether or not I was pregnant. (Apparently 5 HPTs isn't proof enough! :) ) Then Ike hit early Saturday morning, and my doctor's office was in it's path, so I lost contact with them. I tried all day Monday to get in touch with someone at their office, but to no avail. I got a hold of my regular OB and explained the situation, and the fact that I was going to run out of medication the next morning. If I didn't have those meds, I would most certainly miscarry. She told me that she couldn't give me the meds, but they would see if the RE in that office would help me. They were willing to see me if it was an emergency...and they deemed this an emergency. I was asked to come in Monday afternoon and they would give me the PEO shot, and some Estrace, and also do the next Beta test.

Well, that's when my RE decided to return my IM's phone calls...and he yelled at her! He told her that I knew I was supposed to stay on the medications and he didn't know why I was wasting their time. She told him I was out of medication, and boy was she upset!

So they got me more meds first thing the next morning, shipped directly to my house. That morning, Tuesday, I went and had a second beta test. Your beta is supposed to be drawn, then two days later drawn again, and then two days after the second, drawn again. Well, I had mine drawn on Friday...then decided of my own free will to have it drawn on Tuesday. I still don't haev the results from either test. Tuesday afternoon, after the second blood draw, I get a call from the doctor's office. No one has a clue what I'm talking about when I tell them I had blood work done. They didn't know I needed it. I explain what I'm talking about, and they tell me they'll find it. In the mean time, they're changing my medications around. Instead of giving myself a shot every night (WOOHOO NO MORE SHOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) they're going to have my insert a pill into my va-jay-jay three times a day (not as bad as shots, but way messier!)

So that's where things stand right now. My calendar says I'm supposed to have an ultrasound two weeks from today (as I am 5 weeks exactly today) but I haven't been called to schedule that, and I have no idea what's going on there.

Oh! And I got the most wonderful package in the mail today! I got a tin of Mrs. Fields cookies! They look so delicious! There are sugar cookies in the shape of flowers, with smiley faces in the center. There are chocolate chip cookies. And double chocolate chip! My IM included such a beautiful little note that made me cry (happy tears!) I'm so lucky to have found such great people! I can't wait to see the look on their faces at the first ultrasound!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Because you had a bad day...

So I woke up this morning and my buttocks/hip area was so knotting up that it was causing my lower back to spasm. I called my family physician and explained to the nurse that I am pregnant and what's going on and she told me that because I'm pregnant, they can't give me anything for the muscle spasms. She told me to continue taking Tylenol. I've been sitting on the heating pad all day, and that has helped tons! I wonder if, perhaps, I'm not sitting on the heating pad long enough after giving myself the shots. So tonight, after I give myself the PIO shot, I will sit on the heating pad for longer then I have been.

I had blood drawn yesterday and was supposed to get the results no later then 6pm yesterday. However, because of Hurricane Ike, chances are I won't get my results until, at the earliest, Monday. I just hope that everyone there is ok, and stayed safe.

Well I'm tired, and am going to go lay down for a little rest.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's the deal with the PIO?

WARNING: The following blog contains candid shots of a person giving themselves a shot. If needles make you queasy, wait until tomorrow's blog...there won't be any needles. ;)


I had someone email me through my blog here. This person asked me what the shots were like. I want the people who read my blog and are considering becoming a surrogate to have all the information they possibly can...that is part of the reason I created this blog. With these people in mind, I about to show you what a PIO shot is all about.

There are two kinds of shots you take as a surrogate. The first is Lupron. You would use an insulin needle, similar to the one pictured on the left.

This medication is a subcutaneous injection (meaning it goes just under the skin) and it shuts down the body's normal hormone production, thus pushing the surrogate into menopause (basically). This allows the doctor to further control the surrogate's cycle and begin to ensure the surro's uterus is ready for the transfer right when the doctor needs her to be ready.

Side effects include, but are not limited to, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, weight gain and at least with me...acne.

The next shot is the PIO, or Progesterone In Oil. Or in my case PEO, as I have Progesterone in Ethyl Oleate. The Progesterone can come in all types of oil from Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Sesame Oil. You use the needle to the right.

This medication is an inter-muscular injection (just like it sounds, the needle goes into the muscle). You use the needle to the right to draw up the medication, then you switch to another needle with just a bit thinner. (It is, however, just as long.)

Then comes the fun part. Once you've drawn up the medication, you need to ice the area where you will be giving yourself the injection. Although there are many areas to give yourself the shot, the best area is the hip/bum.
^Yep, that's me giving myself the shot in the upper outer part of my butt cheek. When you give yourself the shot, with no help from others, you get to twist yourself into a pretzel, inject the needle at the proper angle, and then begin to push the medication in. Because it is in an oil, the medication is very thick, and takes a little bit to get it all in. One trick I have learned: While you are icing your bum, your heating pad should be warming up for you to sit on when you're done. After you draw up your medication, put the syringe under the heating pad. This will warm the medication, making it easier to inject.
Once you've given yourself the shot, rub the area. This will help massage the oil into the muscle. After a minute or so, sit on a heating pad. Again, this helps the muscle, and the oil, loosen up, allowing the muscle to absorb the meds easier.
That's pretty much it. Well, except for the knots in the muscle from continuous injections, then the pain when sitting, walking...moving...but other then that, it's not that bad. You just keep reminding yourself why you're doing this. Every time I do this, I think of G & K holding their brand new baby. I think of the smile on their faces when they get to see their child for the first time. And I think of G's voice when she called me this morning to tell me she got the pictures of the positives I sent.
Then, well, then it's all worth it.

++++++++++ HPT +++++++++++

The title says it all!
I POAS yesterday morning and got a positive. I was kind of nervous as it was really light, and decided to do with G & K what I would do with hubby...wait for the second test to be sure.

This morning rolled around (all too early if you ask me) and I POAS again...and sure as the sun rises in the morning, there it was! I'm pregnant and G & K are going to be parents!! I'm so excited for them!

Beyond POAS, not much is happening. I've been having bouts of morning sickness. I'm doing alright though. This morning, one of the dogs got sick, and that didn't help my morning sickness, but I survived it.
I pulled out the prenatal yoga DVDs and am doing those. I've gone back to really watching what I eat. I bought a bunch of belly bars last night and have those for snacks. I've been making protein shakes for quite a while now, and have added some extra fruits to those so they're even healthier and give the babies what they need. I've been taking a prenatal viatamin as well as the Estrace.
Oh...and the shots continue. :( My poor bum is a pin cushion. Every night I prepare to do the injection and I just keep reminding myself "It's almost over. It's almost over." Actually, last night's mantra was "This is for the babies. This is for the babies."
I think I changed the mantra because I finally know that there is at least one little embryo that stuck around...and so long as I hold on to that one little baby, I can get through how many ever weeks of shots I have to take.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Knots and Negatives

Sometimes life gives you lemons...this is usually when I break out the tequila and salt and call it a party. Right now, I have tons of lemons, but can't drink.

I'm still giving myself the PIO shots. Every night around 9pm CST, I'm pulling out a large needle, icing down my bum, and preparing to intentionally do something that I know will hurt. I will then push that needle into my hip/bum and straight into the muscle underneath it. Having done this so many times has left a huge knot on both of my butt cheeks...right where it meets my back. These knots have become so painful that it hurts to stand, or sit. Once I get comfortable with one position, I naturally move, and it hurts again. Such is the life of a surrogate. We intentionally inflict pain upon ourselves in order to make another happy.

Which bring me to the negatives. Negative pregnancy tests that is.

I was so sure I'd have a BFP by now. Everyone keeps saying that hope is still there...chances are I won't get one until later, like 9dp3dt...it doesn't make it any easier. And my IM decided she did want to know when I got a BFP, and I don't have the heart to tell her I haven't gotten one yet. I can't hurt her like that. I can't even imagine the pain she's gone through and the last thing I want to do, is to cause her more pain.

So that's where things stand now. I'm having all sorts of odd symptoms, like food cravings, my breasts ache horribly, I'm tired and cranky all the time...and even when I do sleep, I get up at least twice in the night to pee.

Once I have new information I'll post. Till then, nothing new to report.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

2 hours and counting...

We're in the home stretch...only two hours left on bed rest. At first it was nice, being able to sleep when I was tired, not having to deal with the children and their arguements...but as the first full day started, I began to realize I couldn't take much more "reality" TV, I missed doing my daily yoga and Tai Chi...and I was quickly running out of books to read. I also realized that my stomach was beginning to swell, and the fact that I was eating non-stop wasn't helping! C'est la vie! Such is the way of a surrogate!

I slowly got dressed this morning, trying to find clothes that would fit me comfortably, but I couldn't manage to find any pants as my abdomine has swollen quite a bit since transfer. So I called a girlfriend today who is currently 28 weeks pregnant and asked her if she had any maternity pants from early on that she would mind me borrowing. Luckily she did. So I have those on, and a tank top that I bought before. I figure I'm going to end up having to buy some clothes a bit sooner then anticipated if I keep growing at the rate I am now.

Well, I've managed to kill about 20 minutes just typing this up. I'm going to upload some pictures from the transfer and that should take another 20-30 minutes. Then I'll be within an hour of being able to get up. I may be able to make it to class if I can convince hubby to spring 30 minutes early! (That's not happening, lol)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Transfer, Bed Rest, and Cravings...Oh My!

So we transferred yesterday, Sunday August 31. The IF, K, chose three beautiful embryos. I thought they were all beautiful, but he chose one perfect embryo, and two not quite perfect embryos. The doctor said if we get pregnant there is a 75% chance it's a singleton, 25% of twins, and a 1% of triplets. We transferred the three embryos and then I had to lay there, prone, for 30 minutes. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but because I had to have a full bladder for the transfer...it was horrid!
After 30 minutes, I got up, emptied my bladder and changed back into my clothes. My husband drove me home and I slept most of the way. Part of the way home, I woke up and asked my husband why he was driving the way he was. His response: "I am responsible not only for you, but for G and K's three children you're carrying. I have to be extra careful." I almost cried. He's so wonderful. Even as I type this, he has run out to the store to buy cheese for soft pretzels.

So here I am, just finishing my first full day of bed rest. I woke up this morning and was famished! I ate breakfast, and within 30 minutes was dry heaving in the bathroom. It was exactly like when I was pregnant with my daughters. I'm trying not to think anything of it, and thinking it's just a coincidence, but it seems odd to me...

And then there are the cravings! I've been craving pickles since before the transfer. I think that's the medicine I'm on, so I'm not reading anything into that. I have, however, started craving hot dogs and ice cream. That's definitely out of the norm for me. *shrugs*

I have the official pregnancy test in two weeks. I will be POAS sooner then that though. Unfortunately, since my IPs don't want to know, and want to wait until the official BETA from the doctor, I will not be sharing the results with anyone until then.

Well, hubby just got home with the cheese for my pretzels, so I must be off. I will be updating again soon.