CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

27 September 2012

I will wait for you

- by Janelle (IM)

I find that music can say a lot; as we all know it can touch upon our emotions, experiences and desires. So the other day, after Kim's appointment, when I heard this song on CBC Radio 2 I ended up with a smile on my face and chuckled a bit because for me it speaks to what we're experiencing. The chorus says it all: "I will wait for you!"

Have a listen: MUMFORD & SONS - I Will Wait

What I love about this song right now is that (1) it's simply great, (2) it talks about waiting with passion and (3) I find it upbeat and energizing :)

The excitement and anticipation of this journey can really get to you, especially when results aren't what you're hoping for. I find that I'm doing a dance quite often of trying to balance practical thinking; to not get too ahead of myself and each step along the way, along with optimism; sending all the positive vibes I can out into the universe.

For some reason this song is soothing to me right now and it has made me a good dancer ;)

I agree with Kim that it is comforting to know that the mirena IUD can have an extended impact on a woman's uterus after it has been removed. To me this solidifies the fact that we've got time on our side. Kim hit it on the nose when she wrote: what's meant to be will happen when it's meant to.

One last thing to share...

When I updated my Mom on what's going on I finished my note to her with "Kim is in "early days" and will be back in to check progress in the next few days. Still waiting :)" and she wrote back "We will wait with her". Again, this made me smile. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but in this case it's taking a village to make a baby, haha! I love this village and all the people in it!

26 September 2012

Recovering from Mirena

- by Kim

I got to the fertility clinic yesterday morning, nice and early around 7:30 a.m, which was cutting it a little close for me to get to work on time for 8:00. I was a bundle of nerves waiting for my turn, in anticipation of what the news would be. Janelle and I texted till it was time for me to go in, which was so nice, because even though I was sitting there on my own amongst all these other couples, I felt that I had my support there too.

First was the ultrasound, where for the first time, I'm pretty sure I was able to make out where my uterus was, among all the other black and grey smudges on the screen. I thought, this must be an improvement since last time.  Before I said anything, the doctor quickly remarked that the "appearance" of my uterus is much better. Uterus overheard, and bashfully replied: "thanks...I've been working out."


He said that my ovaries are "quiet", which is just what they want to see, but my lining was still only at 4 mm. It was day 12 of my cycle, so ideally the lining should be thickening up in preparation to support an embryo. I felt like it was deja-vu; as this is how it started in August when we cancelled the cycle.

We're not totally out yet though, as the doctor said that we are still in the "early" days, so there's still some time to play around with the hormone dosage to see if we can get up to where we need to be. My bloodwork came back fine, and so as of last night they have doubled my estrogen, and I'm now taking 4 mg of Estrace twice a day. I go back on Saturday morning to see if this will make any difference in the lining.

Initially, when I first left the clinic I was feeling a little bummed and disappointed, and wondered what the heck was going on with my body. The doctor mentioned that he thought that my uterus might just need a little bit more time to heal from having had the IUD. I didn't really understand what exactly that meant, but thanks to a quiet day at work and some Google time, I found out a ton of information that made me feel quite a bit better.

I had an Mirena IUD, which is different than the traditional ones in that it releases hormones into your body to help prevent pregnancy. What I didn't realize is that one of the hormones released is specifically designed to keep the uterine lining thin, so that if fertilization were to happen, the embryo would not be able to implant; hence birth control. I found so many different sites/blogs/forums where all these women wrote about their experiences and difficulties with conception and IVF post Mirena removal, and it looks like it's quite common for it to take 3-6 months for everything to get back on track. Not to say that this is what happens with everyone. Everyone is different. I went to the actual Mirena website, and they claim is that normal cycles and fertility will return within 12 months of removal. Ahhhh........relief. Finally there may be a reason for what's been going on.

It's amazing how instantly I felt better seeing this information. I found it so reassuring, and was suddenly more forgiving of the uterus that I had previously been cursing. It gave me a new sense of calm, in that I realized if it's not a go this time, that's ok. We'll get there when we're ready, and if it takes a little longer than we'd initially hoped, it will be alright.

So now we'll just see what happens Saturday. At the moment I'm trying not to worry too much about it. We're doing all we can, and we'll just see if now is our right time. What's meant to be will happen when it's meant to.

24 September 2012

Lining check jitters

- by Kim

Right now I’m taking estrogen twice a day and apart from looking like I should be in the “before” shot of a Proactiv commercial, it’s been pretty good. I still get a few headaches, but nothing at all like our previous protocol from the summer, in both frequency and intensity.

I go to the clinic again tomorrow morning for another ultrasound and more bloodwork. They’ll be checking to see how I’ve progressed in the last 10 days, my hormone levels and the thickness of my uterine lining.

I’m actually pretty nervous about the appointment. We’ve been here before and it didn’t go as we’d hoped, when we found out that my body was not responding to the medications, and the lining of my uterus was not thick enough for a transfer. I went into that initial appointment, feeling pretty excited, and it was such a blow to find out that we would need to postpone the transfer and that their embryos would need to be frozen. Going in this time, I have a bit more knowledge as to what to expect and what the results of the tests tomorrow will mean. This will determine if we’re about to move forward.

When I’ve told people about the upcoming appointment and that I’m feeling nervous about it, they’ve been quick to sympathize, misunderstanding though, and thinking that I’m nervous about moving forward with the surrogacy. In fact, it's the opposite that’s true, in that I think the nervousness comes from the thought of not moving forward. Funny enough, right now I don’t have any worries or fears about another pregnancy, or the fact that I'm planning on carrying someone else’s baby. That part seems a piece of cake. It's the not knowing and waiting that feels like the hardest part!

It’s funny what time will do, and how easily it can change your perspective.

I think I'll ask Lily to help me pick out a "lucky" outfit for tomorrow.  

One more day of waiting

- by Janelle (IM)

It's Monday morning and by tomorrow noon we should know what day our first transfer attempt will be! I'm nervous and so is Kim. It just seems that when you walk into the clinic you just don't know what kind of news you'll get and we've had so many ups and downs. This said, I have a lot of faith in the fact that this time around they've let Kim's body do some of the work, so instead of completely shutting down her ovaries, her protocol is to have some estrogen that is meant to enhance her body's natural functions.

I know that it's not a matter of yes/no, but more a matter of when? When will be the big day for us?!!! :)

As I write this it's now my excitement level that's rising and with it I find myself having to reign in my anxiousness and put patience into practice...can't wait for tomorrow!

15 September 2012

Pros and cons of a 40 day cycle

- by Kim

Pro: When not in the baby-making stage of life, you get 40 days without a period.

Con: Family planning and fertility issues seem to take that much longer. Waiting for things like ovulation, can feel like an eternity.

My natural cycle has finally resumed. This is what we've been waiting for, to find out what the next steps for us will be since our initial plans for transfer got postponed.

This morning I had my first appointment at the fertility clinic since August, just before we had the egg retrieval. I had an ultrasound and bloodwork to check my hormone levels. Since I'm no longer on any medications, we're now working with my body's natural hormones as there's no longer the time limitations to have my uterus ready in time for a fresh embryo transfer. Janelle and Joel's little totsicles are nice and frozen, and just waiting for my uterus to extend the invitation that it's time for the party to start.

Currently, my uterine lining is at 4 mm, and I have 8 follicles growing, 4 in each ovary, with the largest measuring at 6 mm. We're at a great starting point! What happens now, is that my body will naturally make the hormones needed for these follicles to continue to develop, which will in turn thicken my uterine lining to prepare for implantation. I'll be starting to take some supplementary hormones, to help my body along, and the hope is that if all goes well and my uterus does what it needs to, we could be transferring an embryo at my next ovulation! I go back in 10 days, at which time they'll check on the development and start close monitoring to see when the day might be, providing that my lining check is good. I think the potential transfer would be closer to 3 weeks, as opposed to the typical 2, as my cycles have always been long, but who knows. I guess we'll just wait and see.

So now we'll just give it some time, and wait for my uterine lining get nice and plump.

...I wonder if poutine might help my uterus to get fat.
Worth a shot.

03 September 2012

Canadian stats and fashion don'ts

- By Kim

Intervention...or not?

Lily is now 4. Maybe to other 4 year-olds she looks great. Myself, I'm considering nominating her for "What not to wear" or some other makeover show. I think she may appreciate it when she's older.  

She will be going to a new school next week, and I'm wondering if I should intervene with her choice of attire on school days. This is her most recent "ensemble", how she graced the other patrons at Costco on the weekend. This picture doesn't really show off the purple sequinned belt, or do justice to the pants that are also covered in sequins, and pulled up to the knee to be "short pants" for summer. Now that's thinking practically. (As opposed to practically thinking - though almost interchangeable is this particular circumstance)

Here are a few other creations that she has come up with:

Love the socks at different heights and her pink leopard print shoes.

 Accessories not to miss: butterfly purse, bracelets, baton, rosary around her neck and oversized sunglasses with neon green arms.

No comment needed.

In surrogacy news: it's been just over a week since I've written and I'm still waiting for my period. Until that happens, I don't really think there will be too much to report as far as progress. After the past couple of months being so busy with appointments, schedules, medications and visits, not having anything on the go makes it almost easy to forget what we're in the middle of. At times it seems like it was so long ago that Janelle and Joel were here, and not knowing when we might be able to attempt a transfer makes that seem far off too. Almost like in the middle of nothing. 

When I've had quiet time, I've been doing some surfing on the internet, and it's really been an eye opener for me. I've learned so much about the struggles people have with infertility, and the different options (obviously including surrogacy) that people will explore to complete their families. It's made me realize how much I have taken for granted, and how blessed I am with my own children and the ease at which we were able to have them. When I say ease, this is not to be confused with labour and delivery. Just to be clear. :)

Anyways, I just thought I'd share some of the things that I found.



Surrogacy is legal in Canada, however, compensated or commercial (for fee/profit) surrogacy is now prohibited. Under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act passed in 2004, a surrogate mother may only be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. Although compensated or commercial surrogacy is common throughout the US, a surrogate mother in Canada cannot receive any sort of wage or fee for carrying a child. 
It is estimated that there have been 50-100+ surrogacy arrangments in Canada, but the exact number is unknown.
To date, there are 72 babies recorded (including multiples)                    For the whole country???
50 recorded cases since 2000
7of those in BC

I didn't even know that there was a surrogate birth registry. The first paragraph would explain why the numbers in Canada are so much lower, but I would never have thought that they would be this low. I find it really hard to believe that there have only been 7 cases in BC in the past 12 years? Our province isn't that small. It makes me wonder how up to date this is, just because I find these stats so hard to believe. I keep thinking that this can't be accurate. Can it? I searched online some more, and could find nothing to either prove or disprove this.

So much of the information out there is from the US, so I found it interesting to see how much we differ from the States. I had no idea that there are several countries where surrogacy is illegal, hence people will use an international surrogate, often in the US. I read that Canada is often thought of initially to potentially find surrogates, mainly due to our health care where there is no cost for prenatal care, hospitalization for birth and/or postpartum care. Though actually finding a surrogate here, can be a different matter all together. I don't think it's quite the same as in the States. 

All this can make your head swim. 

I think I'll go back to worrying about what Lily plans on wearing the first day of school instead :)