CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

31 May 2012

Lessons from reality TV

So my cousin has got me watching a reality show that follows around a celebrity couple as they go about their day to day life. It’s not what I would typically watch or recommend, and my husband finds the main character pretty irritating. What has got me somewhat following it, is that right now the couple is going through the process of surrogacy. Their circumstances are different than ours, but it’s been interesting seeing things from the other side, watching the experiences of the couple unable to carry a child and seeing a different perspective.

One of the struggles that the intended or genetic mother was having was trusting someone else to carry her baby. I had never thought of that before, and as I did I realized what a big deal that is. She worried about the surrogate taking care of herself, drinking too much soda and eating fried chicken. Though I found some of her diet concerns humorous, I could see how it could be really difficult having to relinquish control. It’s completely entrusting somebody else with one of the most precious things you’ve got.  Though I make no promises about abstaining from fried chicken, I sure will do my darndest to take the best possible care any baby that I get blessed enough to carry for them. (There’s my mushy moment of the day)

It’s amazing how little things can get you so excited. Got a call from the coordinator of VCF, and we're getting the schedule going for July! I’ll be having ultrasounds every 2 weeks to check the uterine lining, and starting the hormones and injections. Who would’ve thought I’d ever get excited about injections?!?

On a completely different note, my husband and I decided that since we were going to be doing another pregnancy, we really wanted to try to get away and do something fun before getting started. Last night, we booked a trip to Vegas! It’s not that we can’t do things and have fun while pregnant, but obviously a trip to Vegas is a different kind of fun. The best part of the trip is that we’re going WITHOUT KIDS!!! I can't tell you how excited I am! We haven’t gone away on our own since Lily was 18 months old, and she’ll be 4 this summer! Time sure flies! I don’t think either of us remember what it’s like to sleep past 7:00 a.m. and even that is a considered a treat these days.

Can’t wait for days at the pool, restaurants, shows and slots, and the “complimentary” cocktails! Woohoo!

29 May 2012


It's been awhile since I've written! Have been so busy lately with work and home, that finding the time to write isn't always easy. 

The biopsy results are back, and from a medical point of view, we're all good to go! We've also completed all of the legal contracts, so now it's just timing and deciding WHEN to do the transfer. Co-ordinating schedules, summer vacations as well as our cycles for egg retrieval and implantation is more work than anticipated. It looks like June is going to be a bit rushed, and we've decided to skip July and look at August instead for a few different reasons. The doctor at the fertility centre is going to be away the first part of July, so mid July would be the next earliest time to transfer the embryos. My husband has 2 1/2 weeks off at the end of July, and we were hoping to get away for a bit and Janelle and Joel have also got some vacation plans late July as well, so waiting till August just seems to make sense.

While we're preparing for the egg retrieval, Janelle will need daily injections and close monitoring at the clinic. After her eggs are collected, they'll fertilize them and then grow them in a lab for 3-5 days before transferring them to me. While this is going on, I'll be taking hormones to thicken my uterine lining and prime my uterus to receive the embryo(s). After the transfer, I've read that I'll need to go on bed rest for a couple of days to give the embryo its best shot at "sticking". At this point, as we're not exactly sure of what to expect during those few weeks of pre and post implantation, how much it will limit us, we've decided pushing it back a month will let us all enjoy our summer vacation time, and have a 'last hurrah' before getting down to business. Initially, I was disappointed when I found out we wouldn't be transferring next month, but now I'm actually really looking forward being able to enjoy most of the summer not being pregnant, and feel really happy with our decision. So as it stands now, I think Janelle and Joel will be out our way for the end of July and we can aim to retrieve eggs the first week of August and do the transfer 3-5 days later. Exciting!

I've started being a bit more open about our plans with the surrogacy, and becoming more comfortable talking about it with people outside our immediate circle of family and friends. For the most part, people have been quite supportive, with varying degrees of interest. There have only been a couple of negative comments; usually about giving away a baby, that they didn't think they would be able to do it, the emotional side of things in the post partum period and someone even telling me outright that they didn't agree with the decision. That being said though, that reaction was from a friend who was playing devil's advocate and thinking of the emotional and physical toll this will take. It's been months now that we've been working towards this, so I'm at the point now where I feel really comfortable and confident in our decision. 

Honestly though, I don't know yet how hard this will be. How could I? Either way, it feels like the right thing for us, and I know it's worth doing. So until then I won't worry, and down the road should a time come where I do have a hard time, hopefully there will be enough people following this blog that perhaps a drove of chocolate might just appear on my doorstep. :)

Here are my babies. A reminder of why I'm doing this, and my hopes for Janelle and Joel

11 May 2012

The Beginning - from the home & heart of the IM

Hi - this is Janelle writing (the Intended Mother, IM). I want to share with Kim and all those dear to us just how special Kim is to us. Here's how Kim's generosity and love has impacted us so far... 

It was a Thursday night when Kim called and what a moment that was for me! My husband was out curling and my son was asleep so I sat on the edge of my bed with the phone to my ear and tears rolling down my cheeks. When I think about it now I'm still in shock, that feeling where disbelief collides with reality. Is this really happening? 

Simply put, I'm never going to forget picking up the phone, seeing on the call display that a call was coming in from Kim's number and hearing her offer to be our surrogate. That was a magical moment in my life that will always stick with me! I feel extremely lucky for Kim and I know that my husband feels the same. It feels good to write this down and hard at the same time because how do you fully express what it's like for someone to offer such an amazing gift, the chance to have another child, a sibling for our son? How can you possibly say thank you? 

I know that there are still many hurdles ahead of us, but to even be presented with the chance to extend our family fills me with such happiness and excitement. I'm in awe of Kim and her husband Carl too. Surrogacy is a large undertaking and it will impact all of us in many ways and at different stages along the way.

The night Kim called the journey began for us. I'm so excited to be going down this path with Kim. She is amazing.

10 May 2012

The tests are in...

...and my uterus is “perfect!”

I put that in quotation marks, because those were the doctor’s exact words. It's not everyday that you hear something about you is perfect! If it can't be my hair, it might as well be my uterus!

So here’s some medical jargon for you. Skip the first paragraph if it doesn’t interest you.

Yesterday I went for a sonohysterogram and endometrial biopsy, which they need to do before any IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment. This is a test to detect any abnormalities inside the walls of the uterus, by injecting sterile fluid inside of the uterus. This way, the walls of the uterus separate from each other and it’s easier to see any abnormalities that may have been hiding along the sides of the walls. Think of the uterus as a collapsed balloon, if there was a small growth or bump on the inside wall, it might be hard to see since the top and bottom walls are touching each other. But if the balloon was inflated, the small growth would be easier to see since it will likely be able to hang away from the wall.

The test itself is a little uncomfortable, but really not bad. I was eager to have it done and hearing that all was well I thought for sure this would mean that we would be able to set a date. I was disappointed when I found out we still needed to wait for the biopsy results to come back first. This will take about a week, which I know is not long, but right now feels like forever. I know that it must be even harder for Joel and Janelle to wait, as they're the ones waiting to organize their trip out here. 

I got an email yesterday from Janelle’s mom that really touched me. We’ve never met, so she wanted to introduce herself and let me know how much this means for everyone. It took me reading it a couple of times to get my emotions in check, and it made me realize how this affects so many more people than just the four of us, and of course the kids. She's started following the blog, and is happy to be able to be to follow our journey this way, since she is so far away from us geographically. (Hi June!) 

It got me thinking about this blog, among of course many other things, and how I was hesitant to start it in the beginning. It was my cousin who convinced me to do it, and now I’m glad that I have. Initially, I thought it would be a good way to journal the experience, the good and bad, as well as a way to help me to sort my own thoughts and feelings as we go through this. I wasn’t sure if I’d even tell anyone that I was going to do it, and thought I would just send out my posts to cyberspace for strangers to stumble upon. I wondered if I told anyone, and I knew that there were people that I know reading, would it influence what I wrote? I worried that I may not be as honest about the good days and the bad days. Plus, who would be interested in what I had to write? It was my same cousin who told me, that of anyone who might be interested in what this experience is like for me, it would be Janelle and Joel more than anyone. That it would be a way to share this pregnancy with them even more, as we're so far apart. I realize now it can be a great way to share our journey with family and friends who may be far away from us. 

So will I be completely honest when there are days I spend throwing up and feeling terrible? That's my plan. 

08 May 2012

Lawyers and emotions

How many times/cycles are we going to try? How many embryos will we transfer? What happens if we pass away and the baby lives? What happens if Joel and Janelle pass away before this baby is born? Claiming the baby after birth. DNA testing? The list seems to go on and on. Who knew there was this much to consider for a surrogacy contract? I certainly didn't. These were only a few of the things that we needed to talk about to get the legal stuff underway. Hopefully it should all be finalized in the next couple of weeks, and then we're hoping to transfer in June. That's NEXT MONTH already!

I've been feeling quite emotional lately, which I've convinced myself is due to the birth control pills. It doesn't take much for my eyes to start watering; from the contestants on "Biggest Loser" or the visit from loved ones on "Survivor". (The high quality programming I've been sucked into!) Honestly, I don't know what's going on as I tear up watching overweight people on TV who 'don't feel good enough' or hear a sad song on the radio. Yikes! We haven't even started the real hormones yet...just wait till the big guns come out! My husband may be in for a treat. Am considering pre-emptively buying him a bottle of wine. I see it as a win-win - as I'm still at the stage where a can partake too! I try to be considerate...

I go for my sonohysterogram and endometrial biopsy tomorrow, and if my uterus "looks good" and there are no concerns, we'll be setting the date! I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. Come on uterus! We've had such a good "working relationship" in the past, so I see no need for things to change now.