Twiblings

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Twins? Nearly.

Siblings? Yep.

Twiblings are what the babies will be.

In brainstorming the different scenarios in which a twibling may come to be, Tina and I came up the following:

  1. Our scenario. Surrogate and intended parents pregnant at the same time.
  2. A couple hires two surrogates at the same time to carry their children.
  3. A couple adopts a child and falls pregnant at the same time.
  4. A lesbian couple is pregnant at the same time.

There may be other situations out there, but indeed true twiblings are a rarity!

While the baby Tina is carrying will continue to be known as ‘Baby V’ until it is assigned a proper name at birth, the question emerged as to what to call the baby that I was carrying. A friend suggested ‘Baby OMG’ and it has stuck.

For now.

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Infertility baby book

Every year my mom and I anxiously await the launch date of the Emily Ley Simplified Planner so we can order them that same day before they sell out.

Planners. The kind you write your to-do lists in.

That sell out.

Something about the fun covers, simplified layout, and thick paper make it worth the $48 for a weekly layout planner. It’s oh-so-satisfying to write out the long list of tasks I need to accomplish on a daily basis and put a big check mark in front of them once they are completed.

I was aware that Emily Ley sold baby books on her website, but hadn’t had a reason to buy one until we knew our surrogate, Tina, was pregnant. During a sale the day after Thanksgiving, while Tina was still in the first trimester, I took a gamble and ordered one of the baby books.

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There are optional inserts to purchase for the book, and I bought the infertility page pack which has special pages for those who have an infertility journey to tell. There are other page packs to purchase, including adoption and foster care. Emily Ley is an IVF veteran herself, conceiving twins from IVF, which makes the baby book feel more special.

Now to decide if I need to order a second one now…

How I believe my dermatologist got me pregnant when countless reproductive endocrinologists could not

It’s looking like we will be celebrating two new babies this year!

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We had our parents over for a little scavenger hunt which ended with looking in the oven to find these two buns!

I’m pregnant, in my 13th week.

My oven, due on 10-1-18, which also happens to be Tina’s birthday.

The first time in my life I have gotten pregnant without fertility medications and the first time I have made it through the first trimester.

It all started with a high blood pressure medication prescribed by my dermatologist for the management of acne. I started spironolactone several months ago which has a side effect of blocking androgen receptors in the body. It can normalize cycles that are abnormal or throw off cycles that are otherwise normal. This drug must have made me ovulate at some point.

In January I was having a lot of knee pain so I started an anti inflammatory course of ibuprofen as recommended by my doctor. I started to get heartburn but eventually my knee pain subsided. My heartburn continued for several weeks, crippling at times. Eventually the heartburn turned into nausea, so I started a course of omeprazole thinking I had damaged the lining of my stomach from taking all the ibuprofen. The nausea continued for a week, but I continued to be upset over the fact that I had damaged my stomach lining.

“This feels exactly like pregnancy nausea,” I even remarked more than once.

I was in the car with my husband when I insisted I needed an Arby’s beef and cheddar sandwich. The last time this happened I was pregnant with triplets.

“My body must be craving the protein during this healing process,” I reasoned.

I woke up the morning of my 33rd birthday sick of feeling nauseous and determined to do something about it. I figured if my stomach lining was damaged and I needed to get an EGD in the near future I better just get it over with. I went in to the PCP to explain my predicament. I figured they were going to wonder if I was pregnant.

“If it wouldn’t have been a snowstorm this morning, I would have gone to the store to buy a pregnancy test just to tell you I was not pregnant,” I told the PA.

She made me pee in a cup anyway, to rule out pregnancy.

“Your pregnancy test came back positive,” the PA said once she came back into the room.

“What?!” I exclaimed. “Are you sure it’s mine?”

“Your pee was the only pee we tested,” she said with a laugh.

My heart was thumping.

“I’m going to have a heart attack,” I told her as my mind raced and I struggled to breathe.

“Our surrogate is 17 weeks pregnant, I’m taking a bunch of medicines that are not safe for pregnancy, and as far as I know I haven’t had a period since October!” I told her. She recommended I see the OB right away, who was able to get me a same day appointment.

At the OB with my feet in stirrups now, I was glad to feel like I was going to have some answers. Once the image was on the screen from the sonogram, the doctor was not very optimistic.

“This sac is not normal looking,” he said. “In fact, I’ve never seen a sac that has looked like this before.” There was no heartbeat. He recommended I have blood work to get a measurement of hCG in my body.

As soon as the results were in the doctor called me to say that my beta was over 76,000. He said that with numbers that high we should have seen more on the ultrasound. He recommended a repeat blood draw for two days later to see what my numbers were doing.

My next beta was in the 90,000 range. Increasing, but not doubling. At this point the doctor thought we were dealing with a molar pregnancy where the placenta acts like a tumor and emits hCG like a pregnancy. He recommended I get a D&C as soon as possible, maybe even the following day, which was a Saturday. Meanwhile the nausea only continued to get worse. All weekend the doctor on call called me to see how I was doing.

“Any bleeding or cramping?” they would ask.

“No, but when I get my D&C can I have an IUD placed at the same time?” I asked, always planning ahead.

At some point over the weekend the doctor recommended I have a formal ultrasound on Monday before having a D&C. Complying, I went to get an ultrasound where I laid back unable to see the screen. The results would come later that same day.

The doctor called me within a couple hours with the results.

Normal intrauterine pregnancy with a heartbeat, measuring 6 weeks 5 days. Deformed sac. No need for a D&C.

Understandably, I was in complete shock. What was going to happen next?

I told the doctor I was going to start taking a low dose aspirin and he agreed. I stopped the spironolactone and the topical medications that are not safe for pregnancy.

Two weeks later the heart was still beating. Everything looked normal now according to the doctor. The nausea got worse until throwing up on a daily basis became routine. All I could stomach was carbs.

Two weeks after that the heart was still beating.

A week and a half after that the heart was still beating and the nuchal translucency screen was normal. The baby was waving at us and stretching out its legs.

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I’m taking two low dose aspirin a day now. This is the first pregnancy in which I have taken a low dose aspirin and I can’t help but think that those little pills are what is keeping me from miscarrying.

How my thin, damaged uterine lining was receptive to this embryo implanting and supporting a placenta, I have no answers.

The doctors have no concerns and this will be treated as a normal pregnancy and I will see a regular OB for my care.

The nausea is a little better now and I am starting to be able to eat more varieties of foods. Overall we are excited for the future!

This would be a nightmare

The lovely state to the south of us was in the news because of what happened at an embryo storage facility. Read hereCan you imagine the outrage of those patients? Priceless embryos potentially not viable. The only way to know for sure is to go through an embryo transfer and just see!

The years that some patients paid to have their embryos continue to be frozen only to have this happen?

If this happened to me there wouldn’t be enough money in the world they could give me to make it okay. I know machinery can malfunction, but many of these patients may not have the option of banking more embryos or eggs.

Thankfully, according to the article, this has never happened at any other facility.


Friends and family, we received a gift of a pack ‘n play off our registry without a name and we do not know who to thank! I feel that this will be a very useful piece in the coming months!

Anatomy ultrasound

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I had gotten this “My brother is a goldendoodle” onesie years ago, but had put it in a drawer and forgotten about it. I recently came across it while cleaning out drawers in preparation for baby. Dudsberry is clearly looking forward to his upcoming role as protective big brother.

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We had the anatomy scan of Baby V and everything was normal and right on target! It amazed me that the ultrasound technician was able to quickly navigate the images on the screen and isolate each and every part of the baby,  from the chambers of the heart to the tiny bones in the fingers.

We already knew the baby’s sex from the PGS testing we had on the embryo, but it was nice to get confirmation that it was accurate. We won’t be revealing what it is until our baby shower in May.

Surrogacy books, part 2

First, I’d like to yell, Tina can feel the baby moving now!

It’s a bit mind boggling and I can’t wait until I can feel it too. *grin and happy dance*

I finally finished the last two surrogacy books I had checked out from my lovely local library. The impending due date of the books along with the lack of any available renewals may have had something to do with it.

Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies is written by a professor of sociology who interviews surrogates, intended parents, and the professionals that work with surrogacy cases. The book is written like an extended research paper, but with enough personal accounts woven in to make it an interesting read. The author explores the concept of surrogacy as ‘work’ and how the parties involved feel.

The last book I read was also my favorite book about surrogacy.  Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories are short stories told by intended mothers (like me) of their surrogacy journeys from beginning to end. I read this book extremely quick so the stories did start to blend together with one another. It’s probably  best read slower, perhaps one story as day. I enjoyed reading how others like me came to the point of realizing surrogacy was their best option for having a baby, how they matched with a surrogate, and how they felt once the baby was born. The author of the book even had her surrogate journey very local to us!

I recommend both of these books to potential or current surrogates and intended parents.

Surrogacy books

I requested a couple books from the library about surrogacy to see if there was possibly more to learn on the subject. As these types of books are more rare, I had to request them through interlibrary loan from other area libraries. When the first book became available, my husband and I swung by the library. I ran in while he waited in the car to discover that I had to check out the book from a person at the desk instead of the self-serve kiosks that I am accustomed to. The clerk scanned my library card and retrieved the book from the shelf.

I Got Drunk at my Baby Shower  was the title of the book, displayed in large letters. The clerk looked at the book, laughed, and exclaimed,

“Oh that’s funny. I wonder if she didn’t want the baby?”

I was stunned. I considered launching into education mode but remembered that my husband was waiting for me in the car. The clerk then noticed the smaller print of the second half of the book title, ‘Our Successful Surrogacy Story.’

“Oh,” the clerk muttered.

I slowly shook my head and without eye contact took my book and walked briskly out of the library.

FOR SHAME library clerk lady!

This book was a quick and easy read. I can see it being a good memoir for those that know the characters in the book personally, but I do not feel that the book gave me any information that I didn’t already know. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.


I finished reading The Baby Chase: How Surrogacy is Transforming the American FamilyThe couple in the book used a gestational carrier in India for their three children. The book paints gestational surrogacy in a positive light as well as using a gestational surrogate in India with the particular agency they used. I would recommend this book to anyone considering ‘Surrogacy Tourism,’ or hiring a surrogate abroad. It could be a good answer for those who otherwise cannot afford surrogacy.