CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

30 August 2012


- by Janelle (IM)

I simply felt like giving a shout out to Kim for the new blog name: A Tale of Two Mothers

It certainly hits the spot for me!

I heard an interview on CBC once where a national geographic renowned  photographer made a comment that when she became a Mom and travelled the world with her children, being a Mother was something that people could and did automatically understand even if there were no other commonalities between cultures. That this allowed her to make bonds and connect in a way that otherwise wasn't possible.

This made me realize how extra special it is to be a Mom. It's something that every single person on the planet can relate to.

23 August 2012

New name, new look...and waiting

- By Kim

You may have noticed that I've been playing around with the "look" of the blog lately. Have found some cool features that I thought would be neat to put on, so I've been having fun with the different options. You'll probably also notice that I changed the name of it as well. I thought now that Janelle is writing more, it was time for a change, to reflect what this blog is becoming, with our experiences both shared and separate, and coming from two completely different perspectives. I love that we can write here together, and give a full picture of what this experience is like.

For me has been busy. 

Janelle and Joel have gone back to Calgary, and we've slipped back into our regular routine with work, kids and home. It's still hard to believe at times how quickly the time is flying and that it's almost September! My oldest daughter will be starting preschool 3 days a week now that she's four, and my youngest is now 16 months! I was watching her recently, and wondered where my "baby" has gone. We're in full blown toddlerhood now. It's also just dawned on me that this is going to be the last year that Lily is at home before she starts school full time. I don't know if it's this way everywhere in the province, but here kindergarden is full days rather than half. Come September, we're going to have to do some more juggling of our schedules to get it all sorted out, and hopefully find a good balance with everything.

On the surrogacy front, there's not much new. I'm just waiting now for my monthly cycle to resume and see what the next steps from there are. Lately I've been quite crampy and days where I've been excessively bloated. Days where I think I look 3 months pregnant, and sadly when I've made such comments there haven't been any contradictions or objections. Hmmmm........ Between the continuous birth control pills, Lupron injection and then the hormones, it's been a long time since I've had a period. I figure that under the circumstances this must be pretty normal. 

Since it's now the end of August, I've had lots of different questions from people I don't necessarily see all the time, but who know what's going on and are curious to get the updates. My favourite so far, is if I'm "transferred".  This makes me laugh. I've gotten over the initial disappointment from our cancelled transfer, and it's not to say that it's still not disappointing, but now it's easier to have conversations about it, feeling that I have a better grip on my emotions than I did before. (Maybe not being on so many hormones helps.) There are times that I worry about my uterus not doing what it's supposed to, and in the back of my mind I wonder if there was any damage done from the IUD I had put in after Rowan was born. Though they warn you at the time about side effects like inflammation, scarring and/or infertility, at the time it didn't matter to me as we knew that our family was complete. I remember thinking that maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing at all, to not have to worry about birth control anymore. Obviously this was before we started down this path... Now I'm kinda kicking myself in the butt for that. Most days though, I'm hopeful. This whole experience has been such an eye opener for me, on so many different levels, and regardless of the outcome I know that this will have changed me. 

"Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will."~ Dr. Robert Anthony

19 August 2012

For those curious minds out there

- by Janelle (IM)

I was recently updating some friends about our time in Victoria and one of them was pondering exactly how it is that the embryos are frozen without damage. This too got me curious, so I did a little reading and thought I'd share this fascinating, scientific part of this process.

In basic terms, embryo cryopreservation that is practiced today is done using a technology called vitrification. As we know, cells are primarily made up of water so the biggest threat of freezing them is the formation of ice crystals. Vitrification can be thought of like "flash freezing". According to the VFC website,
The embryos are plunged into liquid nitrogen at around minus 200 degrees. The liquid therefore does not have time to form crystals and assumes a "glass like" state. Therefore there is no damage caused by ice crystals.

I did some more digging about embryo survival rates after freezing and thawing and found a lot of statements similar to this one:
Vitrification provides a higher survival rate, minimal damaging effects on embryo morphology after thawing/warming and it can improve clinical outcomes (when compared to the previously used technology of slow freezing).
For those who like numbers, I saw some stats that put the survival rate for embryos frozen on Day 3 (our case) using slow freezing around 70% and vitrification closer to 85%.


15 August 2012

And then there were four

- by Janelle (IM)

Another call from the lab today. It's so nice getting the daily updates! Got the news that the embryos will be frozen today for when we're ready. There are four of them that made it to this stage. After three days of being incubated ideally an embryo is between 6 & 8 cells. Four of ours meet this criteria.

We have two embryos that are at 7 cells and another two at 8. Quality wise they are still well above average with three at 18 and one at 17 (out of 20).

As far as the embryos go, the only hurdle that's left is how they fare with the freezing and thawing process. This is something we won't know about until it's time to transfer and from what I understand is not a huge concern with the cryo techniques used these days. This whole experience has made me both extremely thankful and in awe of modern medicine (and there's more wonder to come)!

Considering how little my ovaries produced, I'm really happy with where we are today so I feel a little silly to admit that I feel sad to have lost an embryo. Four is plenty and I feel so fortunate to be where we are with healthy embryos ready for Kim's womb!

Life is good.

14 August 2012

Pretty much perfect

- by Janelle (IM)

We had a wonderful trip home after saying our "see ya laters" in Victoria yesterday. Last night we stayed in Salmon Arm and we had a nice relaxing start to the day which included eating breakfast in bed and some pool time. The highlight though was our stop at Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk.

When we pulled into the parking lot I checked my phone - no cell reception :(  Then I checked Joel's and he had full bars! I put it in my pocket because we were expecting a call from the lab at some point in the day. We hit the trail and within 5 minutes the phone rang! I felt nervous so I handed the phone to Joel and told him to take the call.

I stood among the cedar trees as Joel relayed to me that all 5 embryos were thriving! For the rest of the call I mainly heard Joel say "okay" about 10 times over in response to what the embryologist was telling him. Then he relayed the great news to me...

At that point in time one of the embryos had divided six times and all the rest four. As I said before, embryos are given a quality rating. What I know now is that it's out of 20, with 20 being perfect and a rare occurrence. And what of our embryos you ask? Two have been given a rating of 19 and the rest 18! We are well above average and thrilled!

Wooo and phew!!  :)

The reason why this is such great news for us is because overall it means that we are closer to hitting the 60% success rate of Kim becoming pregnant after a transfer. It also means that we will likely transfer a single embryo which is great because carrying multiples equates to a high risk pregnancy. Still, you never know and we are all on board for accepting twins if that becomes a reality. (PS - like Kim says, no record breaking penta-style pregnancy. No reality show here, haha!)

When I shared the news with Kim she of course was happy to hear that the update was positive. We also had a laugh because she said that she's never been more anxious to get her period so that we can get closer to a transfer attempt (see previous post A bump in the road for details). Hope you don't mind me writing this Kim...just wanted to share our laughs :)

Just to clarify...

- by Kim

Potentially having 5 embryos does NOT mean that we will be transferring 5 to me!!!

I got asked about this this morning and it gave me such a chuckle. Thank you to my anonymous friend who started my day out with a laugh! :) None of us have any intention or desire for a high multiple birth. We will not make any headlines, will not be in the news, nor we will break any records. 

What it does mean though, is that if all the embryos were to develop to be healthy and to the stage where they be able to transfer them, it would give us the chance to try more than once if the first attempt was unsuccessful.  

I just wanted to thank everyone for all of the support we've gotten recently. We appreciate so much the phone calls, emails and good thoughts that have been sent our way.

Hopefully we'll hear some good news from Janelle with the embryo development in the next few days!

13 August 2012

This just in...

- by Janelle (IM)

The doctor told us yesterday that Joel's sperm were of good quality (something that Joel is really proud of - must be a guy thing!) and he didn't lie. We got the very much anticipated call from the embryology lab this afternoon and all 5 of my eggs are fertilized!!!

Wow! The moment gave me tingles and I felt like a proud mom when the lab technician on the other side of the line told me they were all doing really good :)

Needless to say we all had happy tears in our eyes (Joel, my Mom, Kim and I) and there were hugs all around. Now over the next few days we'll get updates on how the cell division and development of the embryos is going. I'm not 100% sure of how they rate them but they do and we'll get a sense of how many "quality" embryos we'll have frozen for when we're ready to try a transfer. I have tons of faith that Kim's uterus will kick into gear when it's given a chance to work its magic under the direction of its own hormones. From what the doctor has said, as well as reading material online, a number of women don't respond to hormone supplements but do fantastically well with what their bodies produce naturally.

So with me feeling well after the retrieval and now armed with this wonderful news, we will be on our way from Victoria shortly. Looking forward to celebrating with those in Calgary soon.


12 August 2012


- by Kim

I was at work when the text came in.....5 eggs! Amazing! As Janelle said, we we're hoping for 3, so when I heard that they were able to get 5, I was pretty excited. Though these aren't typical numbers for an egg retrieval, it was great for us and more than we were expecting.

I wish my body could have co-operated and been ready for these little guys, but I guess we'll just have to give it a little time. I have to remind myself that everything happens for a reason.
(Though I'm about to go have a serious 'talking-to' with my uterus now...)

In the meantime, I found this quote and it seems to always makes me feel better:

"Even miracles take a little time"  ~ Fairy Godmother to Cinderella


The eggs are out

- by Janelle (IM)

I had my retrieval this morning. It started off with a mix of pills to ease the nerves and relax me. Joel was in the room with me the whole time which was wonderful. I was sedated through IV and although I could feel a poke here and there, I'd have to say that the procedure itself was pain free. Throughout Joel kept telling me that I was doing good and with his comfort I even fell asleep for a part of it all. The retrieval itself took about half an hour and I was relaxing in the recovery room for another hour after that.

The result was 5 eggs, 3 of which looked nice and mature. Considering all the not so great news up to this point, we were quite happy to hear what they were able to get from me!

After my retrieval, Joel got some action...he got to provide his sperm for the fertilization of my eggs. Upon looking at his sperm the doctors had a chat with us on whether we go with traditional IVF or with ICSI where they inject a sperm directly into an egg. The final consensus was to go with IVF because we haven't had an issue with fertility in the past. We are very happy with this decision because ICSI increases the chance of birth defects upwards of 9% - a stat we'd rather avoid if possible.

Tomorrow well find out how successful Joel's sperm and my eggs were during their mix 'n mingle in a Petrie dish :) As you can imagine, I'm hoping for at least 3 successful matches. Then they'll be frozen in time until Kim's uterus is ready to invite them in.

Other then sleeping the day away, not being able to walk in a straight line and feeling lightheaded, my recovery today has been going very well. The clinic told us that I'll feel like I've been punched in the stomach since my ovaries will be bruised from the retrieval. To keep away the pain the answer is Tylenol. I'm glad that this part has felt really simple compared to lead up to it! If I'm still feeling good tomorrow were going to aim for an evening departure from Victoria and a multi day drive back to Calgary.

I'll be happy and sad to go back home as I truly feel at home here. 

10 August 2012

To Realize, You Must Believe

- by Janelle (IM)

The last few days have been hard on my emotions. After the excitement of having my follicles grow by 50% they pretty much decided they were done. I've been going in daily since Tuesday and I'm now reading between 13 and 16. Not too sure if I mentioned before, but what the doctors would like to see is a measurement of 18 or more. This said, I'm scheduled for egg retrieval on Sunday morning. My estrogen levels have plateaued (based on blood tests) so it's time to go in and get out what they can. I can only hope that we end up with 2 or 3 quality embryos once this part of the process is complete!

Part of me feels a sense of relief to have a date set and the other side of me is now feeling nervous about the procedure. I'll be sedated which is good because my abdomen is feeling pretty bloated and tender so I can't imagine having a needle poked around down there or shoving on my belly to get my ovaries in a good position. Since they're not attached to a uterus they're kind of all over the place. Since day one of monitoring ultrasounds, my right ovary has always been hard to find.

Some "good" of 9:15 this evening, Joel gave me my last shot! My protocol changed a bit today in prep for the extraction and this last needle contained hormones to stimulate ovulation. Tomorrow I only need to worry about taking antibiotics and then not eating or drinking after midnight into the homestretch of the retrieval.

I think that the hormones are finally getting to my head, haha! I'll admit that after our visit to VFC this morning I cried quite a bit and needed some lie down time by myself in bed. I know I'm doing the best that I can and most of this is out of my control but it's hard not to be hard one oneself and think that maybe there is something more that I could have done or rather could be doing. Everything goes through your mind. I've often thought that maybe I should have been doing acupuncture as a means to increase blood supply to the ovaries, to the littlest of things like drinking more water.

All in all I have to say that this is one crazy journey and I mean this in the best of ways! Like I said to Kim the other day, one of the greatest things about this past week is the time we've spent together. Getting to know her and her family that much more has been such a treat for me! I look forward to when I can offer the same hospitality to Kim, Carl and the kids when they make a trip out to Calgary.

Wish me luck for Sunday!

07 August 2012

A bump in the road

- by Kim

Where to begin.

First I guess, with the facts...

My body is not responding to the hormones. Today my uterine lining was measured only at 4.7 mm, which is only up 0.7 mm since Thursday. Not good news. They need for it to be a minimum of 8 mm before we can consider doing an embryo transfer. This means that after the retrieval their embryos will have to be frozen, as my body is in no shape to receive them. It just doesn't seem to be co-operating with what we want and need it to do. I will be stopping all my medications, and giving my body a break to try to get on track "naturally," and it will be at least 2 months before we can try a transfer. Now that there's no need to worry about keeping our bodies in synch, they'll keep the embryos frozen, and monitor my body for when it might be ready to receive them. 

Since the hormones haven't had the effect they wanted, what they plan to do is let my body get back onto its own schedule, monitor it and try to do a transfer when my lining is naturally at its thickest; when conception would typically take place for a 'normal' pregnancy. We're hoping that there are no problems with my lining, since I've had 2 healthy pregnancies already without any trouble conceiving, so the assumption is that my body knows what to do. My understanding is that once my cycle re-starts, I'll start going to the clinic for monitoring so they can see what my body is doing, and then hopefully try to transfer either my next cycle, or whenever my body is ready. Though it's not the end of the world, it was still a big disappointment today.

On the emotional side...

Today has been a bit of a roller coaster. Janelle and I went to the clinic together this morning feeling optimistic and hopeful. Saying the news was a "disappointment" doesn't seem to really cover it. It's hard, because there's so much time and effort to get this point, that it's impossible not to get emotionally invested in the process. I hope and dream of what may be, and though this isn't the end, it's still a tough pill to swallow. Going into this, we all know that there's the possibility that it may or may not take, but I had never considered the possibility that for some reason we wouldn't make it to the point where we could not even attempt a transfer.

Even though I know it's not my fault, there's still a part of me that feels like I've let everyone down. I know there's nothing more that I could have/should have done, but there's a part of me that feels guilty, that it's my body that's the 'snag' in this process. The rational and emotional side of things don't always go hand in hand, and as much as I can tell myself, or other people may reassure me it's not my fault, the feelings are still tough to take, regardless of how irrational they may be. 

So after hearing this unexpected news, and the doctor and technician left the exam room I couldn't help it and the tears came. It was the last place I wanted to be teary-eyed. We got ourselves composed, went to the car and had a good cry. The realization that we wouldn't be able to transfer was starting to sink in. I felt terrible, and there was nothing I could do. There was no way to change things. We had a good talk, and it's a real testament to how incredible Janelle is, because she sat there and consoled me. She told me about the positives about this all, how nice it will be for me to be off the medications and hormones again, and to give my body a bit of a break. I hardly saw that as a "positive" though, and would stay on the medication protocol as long as needed without a second thought if it would change things. She reminded me that in the big picture of things, 2 months isn't a whole lot. The more I think about it, it's pretty amazing - in that it's her loss so much more than my own. But I'm not going to call it a 'loss'; that doesn't seem right. It's just a hiccup. 
But it has been a tough day. 

So for the time being, we'll focus on staying positive and putting our energy on just one thing at a time. Right now it's the upcoming retrieval, and getting as many good quality embryos that we can. We'll all get through that, and then move on to the next thing we have to work on. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

On the plus side though - Carl and I have now been given the 'ok' to resume our "marital relations" as long as we're careful and take all necessary precautions. It's been a long time :o

06 August 2012

Slow and Steady

- by Janelle (IM)

Mom and I made it to Victoria in record time on Thursday. I was feeling pretty anxious to get out here so I think I may have gone over the speed limit just a little :) After leaving Calgary at 5:30 am, we almost made the 3:00 pm ferry from Vancouver - short by just 4 cars! Luckily since it's summer and a long weekend, the boats were running on the hour and before we knew it we were leaving for Vancouver Island and on our way to Kim & Carl's.

My anxiousness didn't seem to subside until Mom and I were having breakfast at a funky Victoria cafe after my first appointment at VFC where I got to meet the nurses and doctor I had been communicating with by phone and email for the past 6 months. As Kim has mentioned (post 4mm), both her and I are progressing slowly. We were both feeling low with the news to date but once we filled each other in on the latest, were quick to joke that at least we're on the same page!

The good news is that now the docs are pleased with my progress. This morning I had my second appointment (blood work & ultrasound) and my follicles grew by 50% in 3 days. They are now at 11 & 12 in diameter vs. 7 & 8 on Friday. I've been told that the retrieval will likely take place this weekend. I can only hope that there are a few good eggs in the 7 follicles I've got going in my ovaries - fingers crossed!

If people are wondering what this preparation process has been like for me how about I start with a needle the past 10 days I've had a total of 24 needles to administer meds, plus 4 blood tests. All of the needles are subcutaneous and Joel's been giving them to me in my abdomen (one on each side). Yesterday I started up a third needle that prevents my ovaries from releasing eggs. This one I've been putting in my upper thigh because my belly is starting to look like a pin cushion! I started feeling a side effect yesterday evening when I noticed that I constantly felt bloated or cramp-like in my lower abdomen. When I told that to the doc today he said that that's a good thing. It truly is because it's a sign that my ovaries are expanding in size due to all the follicles that are there growing at the same rate and having none of them release. Feeling even more like that today :)

Here are the needles that are part of my routine these days:

There is a risk of over stimulation of the ovaries and Joel was a little worried about this because I've been on the highest possible doses of meds possible because of my lagging progress. Today I think he felt at ease when the doctor said that they are concerned when a single ovary has closer to 15 follicles growing. Maybe I'm glad that I've only got 4 follicles in one and three in the other. I should mention that a large reason for my body responding slowly to the needles is the fact that my ovaries have half the blood supply of those who possess a uterus. I often think of how lucky I am that I have this opportunity now because who knows how much longer my poor lonely ovaries will be productive.

Tomorrow it's Kim's turn for an update with an appointment first thing in the morning. There will be more to tell I'm sure! Thank you everyone who's thinking of us and following with us on this journey to create a life - love to all!!

05 August 2012

A little bit of lately...

- by Kim

Janelle has added another injection to her routine, bringing the total up to 3 needles every evening. I'm continuing on my increased dose of Estrace, and otherwise there's not too much new. We're just both hoping that the medications are doing what they need to, and our bodies are responding as they're supposed to. We'll find out for sure in the next couple of days, as she goes back to the clinic tomorrow and then I go on Tuesday. Hopefully we'll have some good news. 

In the meantime, we've just been hanging out and enjoying the summer. We had a night out, thanks to our parents who took care of the kids, and got to remember what a night out on the town was like! :) The weather has been amazing so we've been enjoying the sun, and just relaxing whenever we can. 

Here are a few pics from here. 

 Both our families

Janelle and her son

Night out! Woohoo!

I didn't know how messy my hair was! haha!

Hitting the beach. We're so lucky to live where we do.

04 August 2012


- by Kim

This was the thickness of my uterine lining at my ultrasound at yesterday's appointment. It should have been double that, so it was disappointing news. The doctor told me that my body is not responding to the hormones the way it's supposed to, and if we're not able to get it thick enough for when Janelle is ready, we won't be able to do a transfer. Their embryos will have to be frozen. There's such timing with this whole process, where my body needs to be prepped and primed and ready to receive the embryos just in time. Once I get to that point, they can put me into a "holding pattern" until Janelle is ready for her retrieval and the embryos are ready to be transferred. Though finding out the news about my lining not being where it needed to be is not the end of the world, I left the clinic feeling deflated. I wondered if I should send a text message to Janelle to let her know how the appointment had gone, but decided not to as I didn't want to disappoint her on what would otherwise be a nice trip out. 

So Janelle and her mom arrived in the evening, and it was so great to finally see them after what feels like so long of waiting! After everyone got settled, I got to check out her ‘protocol’ of needles/injections, and I definitely think I got off easy! My meds seem like a piece of cake compared to those needles. 

Here's a pic of me checking out her stuff. The picture doesn't really show it all though. Will try to get some better ones. 

I felt as if I'd sort of been dragging my feet a little, and finally told her what I thought was going to be terrible news. Instead of feeling like the 'bearer of bad news', I got good news, in that her body has been reacting slowly to her medications as well. At her last ultrasound, she had been feeling disappointed herself that her follicles were not as large as the doctor would like them to be. Apparently, after a hysterectomy there's not as much blood flow to the ovaries, which could play a big factor. As far as my body's schedule, I thought this was great news, in that more time may be needed to get her eggs to the point where they're ready for retrieval. That gives me more time to get my uterus up to snuff and where it needs to be. If one of our bodies' is going to lag, why not both of them? Maybe it's meant to be. We're both a bit delayed in the development, instead of just one of us. I felt so relieved thinking my body might not be the thing that holds up the show.

Janelle told me that it looks like she has got 4 good follicles maturing from one ovary and 2 from the other. Though this is not necessarily a high number, we're hopeful that the eggs they retrieve will be "top-notch" :)  I keep saying that it only takes one! 

Janelle had another appointment this morning, for another ultrasound and more bloodwork, and her follicles are now halfway there. Apparently they’re at 7 or 8, and need to be at 16 or 18. I’m not sure what the numbers are in reference to, but essentially they’re halfway there. So they are growing, just slow and steady. 

Warning: the next bit may be a bit of “TMI” for some.

*TMI* - texting abbreviation for “too much information”. (Just thinking of my elders :P)

I thought about whether or not to include the following or not, and decided that I wanted this blog to be as honest as possible and an accurate journal of the process.

So now it is time for me to get a big, fat, thick uterus that will be ready to welcome their embryos. My estrogen is being increased again, and now in addition to the dose that I take orally twice a day, I am now inserting Estrogen pills vaginally each night. The hope is that the increased estrogen will give my body the boost that it needs to be ready in time.

There we go...that's it. No biggie, right?
Hope that didn’t make anyone too queasy.

On the flip side... I think I'm turning into a nut. 
I just watched the season finale of "The Bachelorette" (crap TV) and got emotional when she gave the "final rose" to her bachelor as they prepare to live happily ever after. 

Truly pathetic.

...Don't tell anyone - I'll deny it. ;)

01 August 2012

Welcome to beautiful British Columbia!

- by Kim

Janelle and her mom arrive tomorrow! Wow! It will be a long day for them, as the drive alone is about 12 hours and then a ferry ride after that. The joys of living on an island!

So many months of getting ready and making plans, and it’s finally starting to happen! I’ve been having a hard time sleeping the last few nights, and I think it’s because when I wake in the night, my mind starts going as I think about all that we’re about to do. I flip-flop back and forth from being really excited to feeling a little nervous.  Apart from having my own girls, this will be the biggest thing I’ve done in my life. I’m not sure what the nervousness is about. I’m not nervous about being pregnant again. Maybe it’s just the unknown. Part of me is afraid to get too hopeful, as there are still so many variables and no guarantees.

I went online this morning and looked at the statistics for the clinic and they look pretty good - around a 60-70% success rate, though it doesn’t give any information about number of attempts to get these stats, only the number of resulting pregnancies. The success rate varied on the patient’s age and I’m hoping that we might be on the higher side because Janelle’s still in the “peak” age group, and as it's her eggs we're using, not my old, decrepit ones. Haha! Can’t believe I’m already in the next age category…. a real blow to the ego of my poor geriatric eggs. :)

Talked to Janelle last night and it sounds like the process to prepare for egg retrieval is quite arduous. It makes me grateful this set of my medications are taken orally, hearing about all of the needles and injections she’s got to do on her end right now. I find the whole thing pretty fascinating; it’s really amazing what science can do these days.

I go for another ultrasound tomorrow morning, to make sure my body is responding properly to the hormones and my uterus is doing what it’s supposed to. Hopefully by the time they arrive, I'll have good news to pass on, and we'll hear that my uterus is 'plumping up' nicely. 

Out of Office

- by Janelle (Intended Mother)

Today is my last day at work before I make my way to Victoria and we have our first attempt at getting pregnant! Wowzers!

I feel like the past few months have gone by both slowly and fast. We've had moments where both Kim and I were running around for appointments (blood tests, ultrasounds, lawyers, etc.) and then the lull came where we were balancing schedules and vacation time. I can't believe that tomorrow morning I'll be hopping into my car with my Mom and we'll be driving through the mountains to Vancouver Island. Must have some Mother-Daughter time before things get real here, haha! I'm really looking forward to the trip!

Last Friday I started on daily injections to stimulate my ovaries. Two pokes a day. The whole time leading up to this, and even when I was getting the instructions on how to prep and inject the hormones, I was confident in my ability to do it to myself. Then came the time to execute. Thankfully I was on vacation with a friend who gives regular injections to a cousin. We got the first two done with Joel observing and from that day on Joel has been poking me - twice a night! ;)

I have definitely been more nervous with the needles then I thought I'd be. I get all anxious as I'm cleaning the site with alcohol swabs and have to remind myself to breathe. It's all a mental thing because really, stubbing your toe hurts more! Still I've been getting all squirmish while the liquid is being pushed into my abdomen and feel kind of icky afterwards with a sense of being bloated. I feel like my aversion to the needles is unnecessary because there's absolutely no pain once the drugs have been administered. That said, I can't seem to remain completely calm when I'm about to get poked. I'll be very happy when the needles come to an end. Before they do though, I go up to 3 a day. I can only hope that my ovaries get to where the clinic wants them sooner rather than later!

As the minutes are going by here I'm getting more and more excited. I can't wait to see Kim, Carl and the kids! It just hit me that we haven't seen each other since starting our journey (well, except on skype). A big round of hugs is in order and I'm definitely planning on enjoying the time together among the trips and procedures at VFC. There's lots ahead of us and I love the fact that we now get to literally experience it together.

I can't believe that the time is here. The closer I get to Victoria the more it'll hit me. See you soon Kim! xox