Let Down

Unfortunately, at my baseline appointment this week my uterine lining was still too thick which means we can’t proceed with this cycle. I’m so confused as to how my lining could still be thick – I took the aygestin medication which resulted in a second period with significant bleeding. How could my lining be thick when I’ve just shed a good amount of it?! It doesn’t make sense! And why do I keep having issues with my lining? I didn’t have a single lining issue on my last journey. Our RE said that sometimes this happens and we don’t really know why but that it’s likely that my body has gotten slightly thrown off from the transfer cycles being back to back like we’ve been doing.

I also wonder if it might be a possible consequence of these more natural transfer cycles. In my first journey, my RE had me take birth control pills prior to each transfer to quiet my ovaries and give more control over my cycle. With this clinic, they take a more natural approach and instead of quieting the ovaries they watch for ovulation and time the transfer with it. So while it makes so much sense to me to transfer when the body is naturally receptive to a pregnancy, I think it also means giving up some control and our current situation is one of the potential downsides to that.

Whatever the cause, we are all certain that eventually we will get there and this will work!

Our RE said that for now we just have to step back and let the body do its thing without intervening. So, we are waiting for my next cycle to arrive on its own and then we will get back at it.

While, of course, I know that I have zero control over what my lining does or doesn’t do, I still can’t help feeling like I’m letting Ben and Ryan down. 😒 They’ve already waited so long for this, I hate being the one to make them wait even longer and I hate to be the one causing them any disappointment.

Despite the frustrations they’ve experienced on their journey already, including waiting for nearly two years for a surrogate and their entire batch of embryos having difficulty thawing, Ben and Ryan remain incredibly optimistic and hopeful. I think this speaks to what amazing people they both are and how badly they want to achieve their dream of parenthood. The first thing they said when I told them about our current delay was that they’ve already waited this long so a little more waiting won’t hurt anything. Followed by the sweetest message expressing how happy they are that we’re a part of this with them. They are probably frustrated, they are probably disappointed, but their immediate response is to assure me that this isn’t a big deal and that they’re grateful for our match. (Cue more tears. None of this is helping my hormonal basket case problem from my last post πŸ˜‰).

My family and I feel so lucky to get to be on this journey with Ben and Ryan. And even though we have this delay, I know that we are closer than ever to a successful transfer!

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On Our Way

We are on our way to transfer number three! Ben and Ryan are creating new embryos using the clinic’s frozen eggs from a proven egg donor. We are planning a fresh embryo transfer this time, so the embryos will be created based on the timing of my cycle (we will transfer the best looking embryo and the remaining embryos will be frozen).

My body is annoyingly consistent – at my baseline appointments for our first two transfers my uterine lining was too thick. Predictably, the same thing happened with this baseline. So, once again, I’ve completed a round of Aygestin to induce another period and we will recheck the lining again next week. Our RE said this is quite common when doing back to back cycles like we’ve been doing. The lining gets plumped up extra thick for the transfer and sometimes it needs a little extra time to shed that excess thickness. Our RE also said that the fact that my lining tends to overachieve in the thickness department is likely one of the reasons I was able to get pregnant so easily with my own four kiddos.

Over these last few months, I’ve had three natural periods PLUS three induced periods PLUS the med cycles for transfers. Basically I’ve been majorly PMSing and hormonal for several months straight. Headaches, breakouts, hot flashes, bloating, mood swings, and excessive emotions. Add to that some med weight gain. Basically, I’m currently a sweaty, chunky, basket case with bad skin. πŸ€ͺ

Fortunately, this state is temporary, and 1000% worth it to be a part of Ben and Ryan’s path to parenthood!

Here’s to hoping that third time’s a charm and that we are on our way to Ben and Ryan’s little bub. We’re all feeling incredibly hopeful!!!!

Australians Can’t Handle The Cold

Our betas this week were both negative. Not a shock as we knew it was a long shot with that crabby embryo, but still disappointing. So, Ben and Ryan will be making new embryos using a different egg donor and our next transfer will be a fresh transfer, which is good since their embryos seem to really dislike being frozen. We’ve been joking that it must be because they’re Australian and they can’t handle the cold. πŸ˜‚

Our RE said that this is most definitely an egg donor issue. So hopefully with a new proven egg donor, Ben and Ryan’s next batch of embryos are a much happier bunch! 😎

Grumpy Embryo

Turns out my uterus is as impatient as the rest of me! Lol. My hormones and uterine lining were ready for transfer a few days early, so we got to move our transfer date up slightly. Which means that our transfer was yesterday!

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the clinic we were met again with embryo drama. It was like dΓ©jΓ  vu when the door opened and, rather than the nurse standing there to take me back to the transfer room, it was the RE and as soon as I saw the look on her face my heart just sank. She told us that of Ben and Ryan’s two remaining embryos, one didn’t survive the thaw and the other was having a hard time re-expanding and didn’t look good. We went ahead and transferred that grumpy embryo knowing that the odds aren’t in our favor but also knowing that sometimes miracles happen, sometimes poor looking embryos result in beautiful, healthy babies. We’re hopeful that once inside my cozy uterus the embryo had an easier time re-expanding and became much happier. We’re hopeful that this little embryo will beat the odds and that next week we will all be celebrating a positive beta.

In the meantime, the clinic is finding proven egg donors for Ben and Ryan to consider, should they need to make more embryos.

One thing we are all certain of is that eventually it will work. Whether it’s this transfer or another, we know that in the end it’ll all work out. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§

Dream Come True

I was recently asked why I’m doing a second journey. This person assumed that surrogacy was something on my bucket list and now that I can check it off the list they were surprised that I’m pursuing it a second time.

For me, surrogacy was never about a bucket list. It’s always been about helping another family as I would have wanted someone to help me should I have needed help. That desire to help didn’t go away with Milo’s birth. It’s still there. My heart still aches for anyone that wants to have a child but, for whatever reason, can’t. And since I’m still able to, why wouldn’t I help?

There are many families needing help on their path to parenthood, in search of that extra helping heart. Unfortunately, there simply are not enough surrogates for all the families needing help. This is one reason that I write this blog and share my experience. Perhaps it will inspire someone to become a surrogate. Perhaps you are reading this post right now, thinking about helping a family. If you are, know that there’s nothing quite as incredible as playing a role in someone else’s dream come true. ❀️

Good Things Are Going To Happen!

We are just 10 days away from transfer #2 and we’re all feeling incredibly optimistic and hopeful! It’s, of course, hard not to worry about if the next embryo will also have thawing issues like the first 2 embryos did. But, we are pushing those thoughts out and thinking positive. Fingers crossed for a happy little embryo and a smooth transfer next week!

Aussies in Minnesota

Ben and Ryan came to Minnesota for a visit last weekend. It was so great to finally meet in person; we had the best time together! One of the amazing things about surrogacy is the unique bond that forms between two families who otherwise would never have met.

You might think it’d be awkward, picking someone up at the airport that you’ve never met and having them stay at your house for several days. But it wasn’t at all! We’ve grown quite close over the last few months via text and Skype and we all agree that it feels like we’ve been friends for a long time. Our weekend was FULL of laughter and smiles. I’m 100% certain we were meant to come into each others’ lives and be on this journey together.

We had a ton of snow while the guys were here. In fact, they arrived amidst a snow storm. I guess the weather wanted to give Ben and Ryan a true Minnesota experience. So we introduced the guys to snow tubing, snow angels, and snow ball fights. In return, the guys introduced us to several Australian treats (Tim Tams = ❀️) and they brought Vegemite for us to try. Plus, it was Ryan’s birthday when they were here so we got to celebrate with him (any excuse for cake is good!).

We received our negative beta results while they were here, which was a bit of a buzzkill, but we all agreed that it was good to be together for the disappointing news so we could process it together. While it would have been amazing to have gotten positive beta results while we were together, ultimately this is just one part of our journey and however the rest of our journey unfolds, we’re thrilled to be on this path together and incredibly hopeful and optimistic for what’s to come.

Ben and Ryan were intrigued with our frozen lakes and how you can walk out onto them, so of course we had to do it.

My whole family had the best time with Ben and Ryan! We’re so grateful for our new friends and to get to be on this journey with them.

Negative

Unfortunately, our transfer wasn’t successful. This clinic does an early beta at 5dpt (days past transfer), which is ideal when you’re super impatient like me, and then they also do the typical 10dpt beta. Both of our betas were negative. This wasn’t a total surprise as I’d been testing at home and my tests have all been negative.

While we’re all incredibly disappointed, we’re super hopeful that next time we’ll be dealing with a less temperamental embryo and that our next transfer will work!

I’ve stopped my medications and we plan to cycle again right away. Fingers crossed for transfer number two!

Yay, It’s Transfer Day!!!!!!!

It’s transfer day today! Shane and I flew to Las Vegas last night, which is where Ben and Ryan’s clinic is located. We are all beyond excited for today!!!

We arrived at the fertility clinic and were met with some embryo thawing drama. We learned that the embryo wasn’t looking that great after thawing. So, they decided to thaw a second embryo and hoped that its thaw would be more successful. We returned to the clinic a couple hours later and found out that the second embryo didn’t look very good either BUT now the first embryo was looking good! Nerve wracking – we all want the best chance possible for a successful transfer.

So we transferred that first embryo this afternoon and everything went GREAT! Our RE said my lining was beautiful, my hormone levels were perfect, and the transfer went seamlessly! Oh my gosh, we’re so excited!!! With any luck, Ben and Ryan will be holding their sweet baby in their arms in just 9 months!

Ben and Ryan’s happiness and excitement for this journey and this moment is just awesome. That kind of joy is contagious and it’s amazing to be a part of. We are all smiling all the time!!!!!!

Per the RE’s instructions, I’m now on bedrest for the next two days while the embryo (hopefully!) makes itself comfy and cozy in there. If you need me, I’ll be in bed with Netflix and Shane will be out getting me snacks and treats.

Alright little embryo, you already gave us a hard time today so now it’s time to be good. Your daddies have instructed you to stay put.

Grow baby grow!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nearly There!

The medication our RE prescribed to induce a second period worked! I took the medication for 5 days and then started another period shortly after finishing the medication. While it was no fun to have two periods in one month and the medication caused some crazy mood swings (sorry family!), it was just what my uterus needed.

At my second baseline appointment, my uterine lining looked great. So I started oral estrogen earlier this week and went for my second monitoring appointment yesterday. At the appointment my uterine lining looked perfect! Lining was 11.9 mm thick and has the desired trilaminar pattern. The clinic’s exact words upon seeing my ultrasound images were “WOW! This looks fabulous!!!!”

So…..we are moving up the transfer date!!!! I started progesterone injections last night and our transfer is in 5 days! I LOVE that this clinic watches the uterus and bases the transfer date on when the uterus is ready!

Ben and Ryan are over the moon right now! We are all so incredibly excited and hopeful!

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