February was a tough month for running. After the transfer I had to take about ten days off from running until my blood tests confirmed the pregnancy. While I was ahead to begin with, I quickly fell back. Then after the blood tests were confirmed I became very ill. It was almost like the flu, except I didn’t have a fever and my joints were stiff and felt like they were burning from the inside. I was beyond tired and miserable. I also had two very large spider bites on my right hip…I think they might have been involved. So, between the embryo transfer and being ill, I was couched for two solid weeks. Pulling my mileage back in front of the pace bunny required some moderate daily mileage and no rest days. The wind chill has dipped back below zero once again, and my head congestion hasn’t fully cleared out yet, but I managed to actually do it.
Now, I know it doesn’t show yet, but I’m a month pregnant! (Actually, I forgot to post this earlier, so really, as I write this, I am 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant…but you get the point.) Now, I know I’m not really that pregnant; after all, I know exactly when I conceived this child (February 6th at 11:45am), making me only 2 weeks and 5 days along, but the estimated due date is still based off my last known period, giving me an extra two weeks. I know…weird and a bit confusing. A lot of things are weird and a bit confusing when it comes to pregnancy though.
I am happy to report that for now I am still symptom-free. Even though all of my pregnancies were fairly easy, none of them were exactly alike, and I am well aware that symptoms can come out of the blue. AM was only a wee bit of nausea, but lots of food cravings and fatigue. IM was blissfully symptom-free. Sometimes I’d forget I was pregnant until I caught a glimpse of myself & large belly. RM, the girl, came with never ending mood swings, nausea, morning sickness, and sore backs. Perhaps having another boy will be easy!
Four year olds are exhausting. They are little wound up packages of infinite energy, unpredictable emotions, and growing appetites. They also blither incessantly. Their curiosity is an inextinguishable flame that seems to only be fueled with more information. My son will inundate me with questions; strange and random questions, unanswerable questions, and questions with answers that will only trigger more questions. Ah! His endless interrogations about life boggle my mind!
Because some of his questions are so out there and seemed to be prompted by nothing at all, not to mention their frequency, I tried to keep a list of them all. I wasn’t able to keep up with him but here is what I was able to jot down through out our snow day today:
How does the Geo get better gas than the truck?
Why can I hear the car when I’m inside?
What does that word say….”fun”?
Mommy, what’s your favorite colour?
Why is that river brown?
How will they clean the river?
Why is a moth not a butterfly?
Is this frog poisonous?
What kind of snake is this?
Why do toucans have big beaks?
Why are they killing the rainforest?
When will it be Spring?
Does know and show rhyme?
What does C-R-O-F-T-O-N spell?
Who’s going to have that baby?
Why do some people have to fly in airplanes overnight?
Why are there 3 fours in 4:44?
Why are some octopuses small?
If you wait a really, really long time to grow a bean will it grow into a beanstalk?
Are there beanstalks in real life?
Why is some people’s skin lighter and some people’s skin darker?
Why do Vikings have horns on their hats?
What’s an enemy?
What does “in distress” mean?
What do Leprechauns do?
Why is blue just blue, not made with other colors?
There were others too. Lots of questions about how to spell things, pronounce/read things, whether or not two words rhymed, if a word was indeed a real word, and many many random animal fact questions.
However tiring the question game may be, I know it’s really good for him. It shows that he’s a clever boy and that he’s paying attention to details. No matter how trivial an inquiry may seem, I try to give him an honest answer, and I really do try to find the answers if I don’t know off hand. This is proof that is brain is growing and needs to be fed. Besides simply supplying him with information, I know these exchanges help him in other ways too. He’s learning to seek out information and that it’s ok to come to Mommy and Daddy with questions. He’s learning how to have conversations with regular back and forth; how to interject his own thoughts, emotions, and previous knowledge; how to build on what he knows, discover his interests, and find new intrigues.
So, ask away little man! Mommy’s poured herself a cup of coffee, fired up Google, and is ready for what ever oddity passes through your sweet mind!
They say the waiting is the hardest part and man, oh man, when you are waiting for a pregnancy test it sure is! The fertility clinic gave me a whole list of things I couldn’t do until the pregnancy had been confirmed via blood test. Of the Refrain From Or Else List, no running, no lifting over 40 lbs, and no sexual intercourse were really getting to me. But I still had to wait the ten days until I would have enough of hCG (the pregnancy hormone) to register.
I am part of a surrogacy support group on Facebook, and all the ladies there were taking home pregnancy tests and posting pictures of them. But I was afraid of testing too early & getting a false negative & then being bummed out & possibly stressing out….and God forbid Wayne or the parents find out…. So I exercised my will power & held out as long as I could, which was Friday (14th, Valentine’s Day). It felt as if an eternity had passed before the test FINALLY registered, though I suppose it wasn’t more than a minute and a half. And it was a sweet sigh of relief to see this:
That 1-2 means one to two weeks pregnant
I did have my actual blood test the next day. Urine stick tests are not as accurate as blood tests and cannot test for the amount of hCG hormone in the blood stream, only that it is present. In general pregnancies it doesn’t really matter, especially if the woman knows the date of her last menstrual period. However, when doing an IVF pregnancy exact numbers are necessary. Thankfully I didn’t have to go all the way into Hartford again to the fertility clinic there, but instead got to use a regular lab clinic for the blood draw. They opened at 7am Saturday morning and I was the first in line, ready to go. But, then I had to wait all day to get the results back.
A nurse from Pacific Fertility Clinic, the IP’s clinic in California, called around 6pm to inform me of my results. I was told that a 50 or more was needed to indicate a pregnancy. My results were 115! While the numbers were great, I wasn’t in the clear yet. I would have to return in 48 hours to take another test to make sure that the hCG levels were rising like they should. That meant that today I was there again at 7am with my sleeve up dishing out more blood. This time, I was told that it was necessary for my numbers to have doubled from my previous test. And BAM! I came back with a 270!!
I am certifiably pregnant! After so many months of idle chatter with Wayne and signing and resigning of paperwork, we have finally gotten this party started and it feels great. But at the same time, it’s a little intimidating. We are past the point of no return and I do have fleeting moments of wondering if I’ve gotten in over my head. And I find myself having to talk it up a lot in my head. I am weary of how it will all play out; the doctors, the parents’ involvement in the the pregnancy, testing, and my first hospital birth. Though I’ve been pregnant three times before, this is my first in so many ways. This is going to be an interesting journey to say the least.
The past week has been a whirlwind of craziness. On Monday Hubs’ parents flew in from FL to watch the kids. In the wee hours of Tuesday morning Hubs & I got up and went to the airport to fly to San Francisco. Wednesday we toured Napa Valley. Thursday was the embryo transfer followed by bed rest. Friday was back to touring San Francisco. Saturday we flew as far as Chicago, but issues with the plane landed us & kept us overnight. Sunday was back to flying home to CT. Monday we lounged around until Hubs’ parents had to fly back. It’s now Tuesday again and I’m exhausted!
Thursday the 6th was a very amazing day. Because there is a three hour time difference, I was waking up wicked early. So at 3:33am my eyes were wide open. I was nervous and excited. Time crawled. There weren’t any decent posts on Facebook or anything terribly riveting on TV. Eventually the sun came up but it brought a heavy rain with it. Everything outside was cold, wet, slate. I met up with Steve, the Intended Father (IF) at 7:30 in the hotel lobby for a short run along the bay before we headed to Chinatown for breakfast.We arrived at the fertility clinic at 11am. We being Steve and Sara (IPs), Anna (Sara’s sister & interpreter), Hubs and myself. By 11:30 Sara and I were taken into a wee tiny little room where I changed from the waist down into a pre-warmed blanket. Within a few minutes an interpreter and a technician came in to do an ultrasound of my uterus and bladder, which by now was quite full. Then the endocrinologist came in to verify that we matched the paperwork. When she was satisfied that we were who we said we were she stepped out and another doctor stepped in. The technician held the ultrasound wand against my belly and the doctor inserted the speculum. She then rinsed and swabbed my cervix, which I have to admit was a bit awkward and slightly uncomfortable. Once my cervix was nice and clean the endocrinologist stuck an arm back in the door and handed the doctor one baby boy blastocyte. It was inserted through a catheter and a television monitor illustrated what was happening down below. I was mesmerized by the images. I hadn’t realized that I’d actually get to watch! I know it wasn’t the actual embryo, nothing more than an air bubble behind it, but it was very easy to imagine it representing the little seed of the soon to be baby. Sara didn’t say anything but her smile was enormous.
Everyone left the room and I remained to lay back and wait. I stayed reclining for about 20 minutes or so before I was allowed to get back up. After some more paperwork was completed, we headed back to the hotel. That was it. That quick. That painless. That easy!
I spent the rest of the day on bed rest, which I have to admit was incredibly boring. I was a bit glad for the rain so I didn’t really feel like I was missing too much. Hubs got bored in no time, so I told him to go roam. He and the IPs went off into the city for playing and dining while I sipped homemade chicken soup in the hotel room watching daytime television. The hardest part of bed rest was that I didn’t FEEL anything! I didn’t feel pregnant or sick, I didn’t even have any cramping. In fact, I felt great. I felt ready to go run a marathon…except that all this laying around put a kink in my back and made my legs stiff. I was actually elated once it was bedtime so I could just shut my brain off and be done with the day.
Waking up early on Friday to the realization that I could not going running through the streets of San Francisco was a bit of a bummer. Check that; it was a serious bummer. While it’s hard to be forced to take it easy for a week or so it’s just incredible to know that there is a tiny miracle inside of me getting ready to grow. I have to say, after my exhausting week, I am very impressed with science.
My New Year’s Resolution is to run 1000 miles in the year 2014. It shouldn’t be too hard to do since it is less than 3 miles a day or less than 20 miles a week. However, planning for my surrogacy, I know that I will have plenty of time off and will not be training for any marathons this year, so I feel it’s a good challenge.
I wasn’t as gung-ho about my goal until the middle of the month, which is too bad because I could have put in some extra miles to get myself ahead. But the dark mornings and sub zero degrees were a real goal deterrent and I often opted to sleep in. Whomp, whomp, whomp!
After getting used to getting out there in the dark, and dressing properly for a Polar Vortex, I was able to recommit and get a few good runs in. I am proud to say that yesterday, January 31st, I was able to finish the month with a grand total of 84.5 miles, which means that I am ahead! Today’s long run of 13.2 miles as already put me ahead for the first week in February.
What are your goals or resolutions for 2014? Are you still sticking to them, or have you already fallen behind?
One of the hardest things for me to do is sit and wait, especially in doctors’ offices. I always feel as if I am wasting huge chunks of otherwise very useful time. And, because I don’t have games on my phone, I end up just sitting there, staring at the door and trying to will the nurse to come out and call my name. I mean, why set an appointment time, show up the five minutes early for paperwork to then just twiddle your thumbs and try not to catch anything for another twenty minutes. AND THEN when they DO call you in and hand you a sheet to “change into”, they make you sit naked for another twenty minutes! If you weren’t really ready for me, then why’d you call my name?
Because I currently live in Connecticut, I am working with UCONN Fertility Center as a satellite patient. And let me tell you, they are busy! The place opens up at 7:30, so I was there at 7:15. I waited a good 45 minutes in the waiting room before my name was called and another ten in the exam room. Blood draw was not as bad, but I did wait for a good ten minutes and they even skipped my name on the list! Both the blood testing lab and the ultrasound room are done as first come first serve with a list of names and a time stamp. It’s torture. No matter how early you show up, there are at least five people in front of you. And being a gestational carrier means that I will have hours more time to wait in doctors’ offices before this baby is born. I also can’t just walk out and go somewhere else since it’s not like there are other clinics to chose from.
I understand that there are many factors to why a doctors’ office or clinic would run behind, I really do. But it’s still frustrating, especially since the patient has little control over it and few options. I suppose the only thing one does have control over, especially with on going visits would be the reading material they bring with them.
On a good note…I had my third uterine ultrasound and blood draw on Thursday and everything looks great! My uterine lining is measuring at 12 mm, which is fantastic and thick (normal is 5mm, ideal is 7mm or more). My estrogen levels are right where they need to be, so even though I need to continue taking the Delestrogen shots, I don’t need to change the dosage. I am also done taking the Lupron shots (woot woot!) however, tonight I begin the Progesterone shots (also administered in the rear). Progesterone will be taken for several more weeks. The transfer date is scheduled for next week, so I’m getting excited for the trip. Almost a whole week away in San Francisco with my husband and no kids is sounding pretty nice!