Dec 30, 2010

The goods

What did it take to get a positive?


Many thanks to Mandy for the 5 Gonal F pens!!!

Dec 28, 2010

Details

Since Jo dedicated a post asking for details and congratulating us and many of you asked for details, I figured I best jot them down now.   Dr Shivani called at 4am, and I was DEEP in a Nyquil sleep.  Getting woken up mid nigh time buzz is tough as I felt disoriented all day, and sadly am still quite sick.  Anyway, Dr Shivani calls and goes right into it with huge excitement in her voice "Kerrie, I am calling with the best Christmas present EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I started screaming and our conversation was full of excitement on both ends.   Obviously Mark awoke instantly and knew what was happening, especially with all the screaming and thank you's and OMG!!!!  It sure is wonderful to get this call as opposed to the "other" that we normally have received.   We are very lucky to announce that one surrogate is pregnant and our beta is 150, a good solid starting number.  Our first scan will be Jan. 3rd for which I imagine will look at the fetal pole and yolk sac etc.   Its VERY early stages as you know, but we are so delighted to FINALLY get a positive.  Getting back to sleep was a challenge after that news.  We had some nice tea that we brought home from Delhi (hard to justify a glass of wine at 5 am), And then I puked.  Yes, all the excitement caused me to upchuck!  Maybe sympathetic morning sickness, but probably just the excitement.   Later in the morning we received scanned copies of the lab work and we felt sad for surro 2 and her negative.  She is such a lovely gal and we really hope she gets another chance soon.  We shared our news yesterday as well...we know we should wait til all is good and clear, but we just couldn't wait.   With all our negatives, some friends and family are feeling that we are being scammed, even though we have reassured them we are not.   We had many phone calls yesterday, and a new mom of twins in Europe called to congratulate us and she was giddy!  Every time she giggled on the phone, the twin boy would laugh along with her...just melted my heart!!  Thank you so much for all the emails and all he blog comments!  I am thinking collectively we have enough prayers and good wishes to keep this pregnancy going til at least 36 weeks! Thank you thank you! 
Huge thanks to Devender at the Phoenix lab and Dr Shivani for letting us know what a positive feels like! For now we are grateful for this and will take it one step at a time. 
Based on the beta I am assuming a singleton, and one friend who is in Delhi now loving the birth of her baby girl emailed us to say that their beta was 149.6 so I am pretty sure we have one good baby there.
Anita/Dreaming will be flying off to Mumbai soon for baby birth and we had such a good chat last night - my excitement of a positive and hers of finally getting to go for baby pick up!  All the best for safe travels and birth!!!!
And lastly for those who have received negatives....we are the poster children for negatives and rocky roads (as I write this I imagine the poster Mike and Mike could make lol).   This was transfer number 5&6 for us, yes, number 5&6!!  We never gave up on the process or our embryos.  Please keep plugging away, its not easy emotionally or financially, but persistence is worth it.

Our update on the nextfamily.com is live, here is the link
http://thenextfamily.com/topics/family/surrogacy-family/


Dec 27, 2010

Update...

PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec 23, 2010

Can you imagine this happening?

In the midst of our TWW and we get word of this article and its small follow up article a few days later...
http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/babiespregnancy/article/910085--baby-quest-traps-couple-in-india
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/910690--ottawa-urged-to-bring-stranded-couple-home-from-india

There is always a fear that at baby pick up your dna test will not match so the horror of this story is too close to home.   I just cannot imagine having twins and only one child has a dna link.  The mix up in the lab could have happened just as easily at home and sadly our government is not offering any help to this couple and they have been stranded for five years.

ps...less than 4 days left in our tww!!

Dec 21, 2010

6 Days down

We are 6 days into our two week wait!  Time has gone very quickly as we have had many distractions (like flying home, jet lag, turning 40, going back to work, trying to sleep and eat, getting a head cold and prepping for Christmas).   Saturday Mark had the family come over for birthday cake which was nice and Sunday I was able to have a glass of wine!  I had to wait until Sunday so I was finished my antibiotics.  Sadly the wine wasn't really enjoyed as I was brewing a heck of a head cold.  I drank 3/4's of it and had to lay in bed to rest.   I went to my naturopath on Monday for an IV of fluids, vitamins and homeopathic injectables so hopefully by end of day today I will be on the mend. We have about 5 days, 7 hours and 59 minutes til our tww ends.  Fortunately it is a short work week but a busy one, then we do the European Christmas Eve, eat fish and break bread.  Christmas day will be at our house (I was voluntold) and I will be cooking the whole traditional bird and fixings. 
On the good luck charm side of the tww, we have an ancient Hawaiian fertility brooch from Gen and Winston, and gold necklace from Ursula,  an inspiration stone of Hope from Rebecca, a chicken from Lisa and two charms for my charm bracelet from my sister Christine (one is a four leaf clover and the other is an elephant).  Very thoughtful loaners and gifts from our friends and family!!! We are loaded up with hope, faith and prayers - now lets just see how it all plays out!  We have 6 good chances this time, yes, six...yikes!
Enjoy the Holiday season, whatever that may mean to you!  And in tradition at our house, we will watch Bad Santa and enjoy that chubby blonde kid who eats sandwiches and is oblivious that his Santa is a drunk thief!!!

Dec 16, 2010

Last Day in Delhi

It is hard to believe that time went so quickly.  Our last day was busy as usual.   We had a lazy morning then headed to Select City Mall.  We checked out the mall which was very western in style and a bit too pricey for us.  The only thing we bought was some whisky!  We headed to Delhi Haat after the mall.  Delhi Haat is a government run handicrafts shop.  Here you can get wood crafts, saris, paschmenas, marble carvings etc.  We did a quick last minute shop and got out of there.  Even though the prices are fixed by the government and there is no haggling, it is exhausting to shop there as the shop keepers start unwrapping EVERYTHING in the store for us to feel and hopefully buy.  We knew exactly what we came for so it was not too bad, but trying to get away from all the men yelling "madam, look at this" really grates on the nerves.  We were with driver Sanjay and he later dropped us off at Phoenix where we met up with Devender in the lab and Dr Shivani.  We decided to have Mark leave a "sample" just incase things do not work out this time.  Dr S said she would give us our final embryo detail later that night after the transfer.  Devender got Mark all set up for sample time and Dr S handed me my last injection of the trip - a low dose heparin to prevent blood clots on the long trip home.  Mark managed his sample and we said our goodbyes to the team and headed back to the hotel.


Dr Shivani arranged to have some extra pain meds delivered to the hotel for me and they arrived before 7pm which was great so we could lay down a bit before the long travel home. 
Around 11pm we received an email from Dr Shivani that our transfers went smooth and that we had six good embryos.   That was a releif and now hopefully at least one of them settles in for the long haul.  Just before midnight Rahul pulled up out front and we made our way downstairs with our luggage.  Here we are with the famed Rahul
Oh and also my security guard boyfriend :
We landed home today to many lovely emails of best wishes and happy birthday.  I got to enjoy an additional 10.5 hours of my birthday..probably the one and only time I will ever get to say that!
Travel home was flawless, just tiring.   Tomorrow I am back to work and Mark returns on Monday.  We are officially in our TWW!!!

Dec 14, 2010

Tuesday recap

Tuesday I awoke feeling surprisingly well.  I have limited pain and swelling, kudos to Dr Shivani!!!  Since I was feeling good we decided to head out for a bit.  We headed to M Block market and I bought some Himalayan skin care products (at 30 rupees who can resist!).  We decided to cave and try MacDonald's, which we never eat at home.  There is one close to the hotel so we made our way over and got take out.  It was McDonalds..no different than at home. 
Shortly after Kim came over with her daughter and we headed to the roof top patio for tea and oreos.  Kims daughter brought the oreo cookies so we all indulged a bit.   We had a great visit, swapped stories and really enjoyed the afternoon together.
As Kim was leaving my friend Nilesh called to see if we could do dinner.  A couple hours after Kim and her daughter left we finally met Nilesh.  I worked with Nilesh for almost two years in Toronto and we have kept in touch since.  We ended up going to the South Extension to Moti Mahal and had a great Indian spread (too much food, but oh so tasty!)

Nilesh had a driver so getting around was easy.  We headed back to our hotel around 10:30 and said our goodbyes.

Oh and finally, we ended up with 8 eggs.  We will know fert results today ad it is TRANSFER day!!!!  We are going to Phoenix later for Mark to leave a sample for the future should we not get pregnant this time.  We will not be freezing anything as we have a negative frozen factor and Dr Shivani will not play that game...which makes us SO  SO  SO happy!!  We will use up whatever embryos we have and hope and pray.  It only takes on (two would be nice)

Dec 13, 2010

Retrieval Day

We spent the late morning doing a little shopping with taxi driver \PK Raju, a random driver who picked us up and drove us around for 100 rupees.  He took us to Delhi Haat for scarves and saris and handicrafts, and then to a small store to buy some snacks.  Shortly after we returned from shopping, Sanjay showed up to take us on our way for retrieval.  Our first stop was the SCI office to pick up copies of our contracts, and we were fortunate to see our younger surrogate, glowing, smiling and happy to see us.
After the short stop at SCI we headed to Phoenix.  Sanjay (our driver) was super early so we decided to hit the bank machine to kill a few minutes.  We walked over to Phoenix and met up with Dr Rekha to get admitted.  On route in the hospital I asked Dr Rekha if we could see  the nursery.  She took us there and we got to see the twins that were born last week.  So little and looking great!  I then got admitted into room 22 and had the typical pre-op blood pressure, weigh in and pulse check.  I got changed into my gown which was no more attractive than at home.
At about 4:15 the nurse/sister came and gathered me for the big show.  Marky and I had a quick snuggle and wished each other bestest of luck and I headed to the basement for my procedure.  Dr Shivani greeted me and escorted me into the operating theatre.  She got me settled and told me I would just have to wait a few minutes for the anaesthetist.  The nurses were in and out getting every thing ready and then the anaesthetist came in, set my IV up and started injecting antibiotics, pain killers etc into my line,   Dr Shivani entered and comforted me for a minute then the good stuff was flowing into my IV.  Withing seconds, I was out and next thing I knew I was being asked to transfer from the operating gurney to the bed in my room and Mark was right there. 

I shifted to the bed and dozed in and out for a bit then I had to pee.  The nurses called Dr Shivani and she said I had to use a bed pan...YIKES!  I pleaded with the nurses that I was ok and could use the toilet and eventually they caved.  I am fortunate that I typically wake up very well after surgery and do not get nauseous or dizzy.  I asked Mark about his "samples" and he was lucky that he got to do it in the washroom in the hospital room.   A short time later the nurses asked if we wanted tea and biscuits and we placed our order. 


We finished our snack and paid for it (50 rupees) and then I asked the nurses about my take home meds.  They said "just go to the pharmacy to collect them" and we kinda asked them to help us out, or maybe we could pick up at the hospital pharmacy the next day.  The nurses were so great ~ they called a local pharmacy and had them delivered.  It took all of 10 minutes and the cost was 460 rupees for 5 days of antibiotics, 5 days of probiotics and 15 pain pills.  Pretty sweet deal!  After Mark paid the pharmacy delivery boy we were set to go.  Vinod our evening driver was outside waiting for us and at 7:20 we left the hospital.  I was in minimal pain and felt pretty good.  The normal 5 minute drive to the hotel took about 20 minutes due to rush hour.  Vinod delivered us safely and we came back to order some soup and rest.  All in all it was an easy process.  Things went smoothly.  Today we are waiting on results of fertilization, so hopefully this will come soon. 
Later today we will have a visit from Kim and her daughter who are here for baby pick up.  We are really looking forward to this visit and apparently Kims daughter has made me a get well drawing ...awwwe.
Our nextfamily.com post is up as well, this time the drama begins.....

Dec 12, 2010

Sunday Wrap Up

Busy busy day!  We arranged to have a car for half a day and do some site seeing.  We went to all the tourist traps...almost all as I got tired after 4 hours (lugging around all these follicles is hard work).  We started out at Lotus Temple
Then we headed to Humayun;s Tomb where we met some people:

And of course, I made some boy friends who swarmed me with great excitement until their teacher gave them the business and they returned back into a straight line.  This was alot of fun as you can see by my face!


We are far from good tourist. The monuments are truely amazing, and knowing that they are so old is cool indeed, but thats about enough for us.    We snapped some pics and headed on...
We also hit India Gate and the Presidents House, but those pics are on another SD card and I am too lazy to get it.    We came back to the hotel ordered some food and sat up on the roof top enjoying the sun.  Shortly after I laid down and slept for a few hours.  Its now 9pm and we are just waiting on our Pizza Hut delivery. 



Dec 11, 2010

Saturday Wrap Up

Saturday was a very good day here in Delhi.  We had a late breakfast then decided I would show Mark where Phoenix is.  We chose to walk it and enjoy stretching our legs.  Any one who has been to India knows that walking it is not like walking at home.  You walk on the street with the bikes, motorcycles, rickshaws, cars  and people.  We are about 1km from the hospital and enjoyed the hike over.  The road was pretty clear being Saturday but the horns were busy never the less.  We continued on past Phoenix on towards M Block Market which was about another kilometer.  We walked the market and went to the Coffee Bean to relax a bit.  Silly us, we both ordered iced tea, and as we drank it we pondered the fact that this was probably  tap water ...now we wait, for, Delhi Belly!  I have enjoyed my Delhi Belly a few times, but over all it has not been too bad.  We grabbed a rickshaw back to the hotel and negotiated 30 rupees to do so (we were more than likely hosed by the driver but so be it).  We had about 2 hours before we had to be at Phoenix so we chilled in the room a bit.  Later we grabbed a rickshaw , well after a few turned us away...not sure why, we have money!!  We booted over to Phoenix and it was a zoo in there.  This was the busiest I had seen it yet.  We had to wait a while for the ultrasound availability.  Finally, as Dr Shivani inserted the wand I could see my ovaries kissing..they are large and very close to each other.    This is good, all has gone well with my 10 days of Gonal F and one day of HMG. Speaking of HMG, I gave myself this shot before heading to the airport and it hurt like a bugger.  It is supposed to be administered intra-muscular and I opted to do sub-q.  I am still feeling this bastard of a shot today, like a ball of cement  in my belly.    After the ultrasound Dr Shivani arranged for us to be picked up around 5:15 pm to come to her office.    As we left Phoenix we flagged down a rickshaw and headed back to the hotel.  This driver wanted 50 rupees but Mark talked him down to 30.    I had made plans with Dr Shivani to do my last HMG shot at her office, intra-musclar, administered by Dr S herself.    Our car arrived on time and we made our way over to the office.  We met with Dr S and then headed into another room to meet with the lawyer who went through the contracts with us.  We initialled  all the pages and signed where required on both contracts.    We shuffled back to Dr S who then brought our surrogates in to meet us.  We have a young surrogate and an older gal,  Both medically fit and emotionally signed up for this.  Our young surrogate was full of life, excited to meet us and all smiles.  Our older surrogate was shy and quiet but equally as lovely.   We chatted with the girls for a bit then they were on their way.  Dr S got my shot ready and I took it in the arse with ease.  This felt much better and today as well.  Dr S also gave me my trigger shot to be taken at 5:30 this morning and details about arriving to Phoenix for retrieval on Monday.   We packed my trigger with ice packs and headed out to our car back to the hotel.   I set all my alarms to ensure I would not miss the 5:30 am trigger, called the front desk to arrange a wake up call and emailed family to please skype us at that time as well.  At 7 pm we fell asleep and of course awoke at midnight.  Finally around 3:30 am we laid back down and awoke again at 5am, made a coffee and waited for the 5:30 trigger, finally, my last shot!!!!  My sister rang on skype 1 minute before shot time so she got to witness my trigger.  We chatted a bit which was nice and then she was off to enjoy her evening with friends.    We are getting ready to head down for breakfast and then out for the day site seeing.   Tomorrow I cannot eat after 10am in fasting pre-op.  Hopefully I can sleep a bit to make the time pass.

Dec 10, 2010

Mark is here!

Mark is finally here. Airport pickup was stupid....I waited inside by the exit for Mark, all the while he was outside looking for me.  After 1.5 hours we finally connected.  Poor guy travelled for 24hours and had to wait  extra for me.  Rahul got us back to the hotel in record time, at speeds of 90-100km! Go Rahul!
So, the hotel is lovely.  It is called Shervani Nehru Place.  I was in a normal room and got upgraded to a Club Room /Supreme.   It is a bit pricey, so probably not ideal for baby pick up but worth looking at for shorter term stays.  There is a roof top patio with a pool and evening bbq.  I plan to try the bbq this weekend.  Today it is back to Phoenix for a scan than off to meet SM's and lawyer!



Dec 9, 2010

Mark arrives today!!

I am so excited that Mark will be here in 14 hours!!!  Finally...been a long week without him.  Mind you, it has been nice to just chill out and go at an easy pace by myself.  Today I am off to Phoenix for blood and ultrasound in the afternoon and will also need to pick up meds from Dr Shivani.  My retrieval will be on Monday if all goes well and Dr Shivani wants to change my protocol for the last two days to Menopur.  Studies have shown that changing to a more robust med profile for the last few days improves follicle development prior to extraction.  Saturday evening we will meet with the surrogates and lawyer which is quite exciting!  We have two lovely young surrogates and really looking forward to seeing them in person if only for a few minutes.   Edward had mentioned Rahul and his affection for Loretta.  When I brought up the triplets and their adult gaggle Rahul's face lit up!  He said he loved "Grannie" ...sorry Loretta.  He also mentioned Megan and Jo and Tim and others having gone through this crazy journey in Delhi.  He loved working with all of you and has very fond memories.  I need to call him to arrange all my transport today as I also plan to meet Mark at the airport. I am tracking his flight and all looks good so far just 3.5 hours into it.  Have a great day!

Dec 8, 2010

Day 3 in Delhi

Great day!  Good news ~ I didn't screw myself up with oversleeping my injection time.  What a relief!!!  Had my ultrasound with Dr Shivani and all is looking good.  It's about quality not quantity this time...one good embryo will do the trick.
Spent the bulk of the day with Amit.  What a great pleasure to see him again!!  For those of you whom have met him you know what a great guy he is.  We ended up going to M Block market for lunch, Pizza Hut was our choice.  We dined in, otherwise it would have been delivery on the back of a motorcycle.
We also went to Qutub Minar to see the worlds tallest brick tower 238 feet high.  We did not buy entrance tickets but got a view from the street.  Its a ginormous structure!   Here is the wikipedia link to see it...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qutub_Minar
Here are two pics, one is the beautiful wiki pic and the other is my long distance shot




We then navigated our way through the GK streets to finally find Phoenix Hospital.


 I said my goodbyes to Amit for this time, not forever. 



Now I have the challenge of staying awake for the next 1.5 hours so I do not miss my injections again!
The general manager here at the hotel is delightful and makes sure I am doing well.  We were able to chat for a long while this morning about India, Toronto and world economics.  

Time to eat I suppose, room service sounds good about now.

Dec 7, 2010

Day two recap

Day two was another mixed day.  I started the day off at an easy pace and around 11:30 I received a call from Shilpi to have lunch.  We went to the mall and ate at the Punjab Grill.  Food and company were great!  After this I came back to the hotel and kinda dozed off, for a long long time...and slept beyond my designated time for meds.  When I awoke I was in panic!!!  These meds are so important as is timing,  I cannot believe I missed it and slept thru it all.  I did my shots asap and called Dr Shivani who reassured me it is ok due to the protocol I am  on.  I will not be at ease until I have my U/S later today. 
I have just received a phone call mid post and it is Amit, who is in the lobby!! So, I must go and catch up later....

Day 2

Day two has begun, and I am rested and well fed.  My new accomidation is good and there is lots of English programming on tv to keep me occupied.   Mark is now at ease that I have moved,  and that the visit with Dr S was good.  Henley and I are are chilling out today, and as you can see, he has not adjusted to the time change either!


Typical of India is the non stop horn honking, It kinda soothed me to sleep at times last night (not).

 Today is an off day for me, no appointments at the hospital. I plan to enjoy the day, hang on the roof top patio and do some work.  I am probably not going to venture out of the hotel on my own today - this might interupt my napping schedule!

Dec 6, 2010

Day 1 in Delhi

I landed in the wee hours of Monday morning to the newly renovated Delhi aiport.  Nice airport!  The flights were great, and the trip to Delhi is about 2 hours shorter than Mumbai.  After exiting customs, I headed to the swarm of drivers outside searching for my name card, and quickly found it being held by Rahul.  Rahul helped me with my luggage on the long, long walk to the car park.  The drive to the B&B was about 30 minutes and the streets were pretty clear at this time.  When I arrived at the B&B I was shocked to find men in the room, who were gonna to stay with me...they are apparently the help, here to help with anything required.  Not my idea of of relaxing.  I asked them to leave and Rahul helped me with this.  Being by myself made me nervous enough, never mind having strange men sleeping in the same place as me.  They were kind enough to leave and I was able to settle in somewhat.  I skyped with Mark and had a mini melt down.  I was totally freaked out, being by myself with the possibility of these guys hanging around in my space.   I managed to get some sleep (about 4 hours) and awoke to the men ringing the door bell to come in.  I let them in as I was not sure what was happening and they commenced settling in for the day.   They offered me breakfast and I had some toast.  The whole thing was freaking me out, then  I found out from the owner that some single gentlemen would be checking into the empty rooms in the apartment. I guess I did not understand before booking this that the rooms would be rented out.  I went into panic mode..this is way out of my comfort level.    The place itself is great, two nice patios, comfy beds and loads of room to move around.  Unfortunately, the idea of sharing it was not sitting well with me so I had to move.  I had no choice.  Mark is home in Canada freaking out about me and my safety.   So I made arrangements with Amit, yes, the best travel guy in India, our Amit!!  I had a 2:30 appointment at Phoenix with Dr Shivani and had made arrangements for Rahul or one of his guys to take me.   Shortly after two they arrived and I was en route to the hospital.  It was a quick drive, maybe 10 minutes at the most.  I went into Phoenix to be greeted by Dr Seghal, the hospital director/pediatrician.  He welcomed me and wished me the best of luck and said he will see me in about 9 months time.  Yeah! Positive vibes....
Shortly after Shilpi arrived and escorted me to the waiting area for my ultrasound.  Dr Shivani arrived and we were set for follicle hunting.  Dr Shivani is great, so personable and friendly.   As she prepped the u/s trans vag wand she made a joke about this being my "welcome" to India!   The u/s showed a good 13 follicles with some growth since Friday's scan at home.  We made a small adjustment to my superfact to encourage better and faster growth.  After the u/s we chatted about next steps and surrogates.  All in all a very good appointment.  It was great to meet Dr Shivani finally and also Shilpi.    After my appointment I met up with my driver and tried to explain my move situation, his English is not the best, still learning!  He did amazing and got me moved in less than half an hour.   I checked into my new hotel and feel much safer. The hotel is about 5-10 minutes from Phoenix so it is all good.  I should be asleep now, but have not adjusted to the time change yet.  I did sleep a few hours in the evening, but now ..awake.
Delhi feels similar to Mumbai, yet somewhat different.   I guess I cannot make an assessment after one day.   We will see what tomorrow brings!


It is somewhat timely that our nextfamily.com update is live today...it details egg retreival.
http://thenextfamily.com/topics/family/surrogacy-family/

Nov 30, 2010

Stim day 1!!!

Today is my first day of stimulation!! After 28 days of down regulation, I now get to add one more shot to my morning routine.  I managed to find Gonal F from a girl who lives fairly close to me, she had posted it on Craigslist, and  I also got some compassion Gonal F from our lovely Mandy.  I have ten days worth of meds, and will carry five days worth on the plane.   I have a note from Dr Shivani for travel and my clinic here will also have one ready for pick up when I go for cycle monitoring on Friday. I have decided that since I am only taking 5 days worth, I can easily pack in a small cooler bag and get the airline staff to refrigerate for me.  We travelled home from Mumbai with a bag full of Puregon cartridges, and only had an issues at Heathrow -who assumed it "might" be bomb making liquid and made us go through the rigmarole before we could leave. 
4, yes 4 days til I leave!! Mark is following me a few days later due to issues with getting time off work.  It seems that I will be the only IM there until at least the 10th. Fortunately I am expecting two visitors, one from Hyderabad and one from Mumbai.  My friend from Hyderabad has tried to hook up with us on our previous visits to Mumbai but ended up not coming due to some family requirements and having a one year old to manage.  Hopefully we can connect this time, even for dinner and catch up.  Well, it is almost time for Gonal F, so I best go prepare myself mentally.  Have a great day!!

Nov 29, 2010

27 days

27 days of cycle syncing is wearing me out.  I am in a constant state of "tired".  Tomorrow I finally get to add in my Gonal F and today I start Letrozole.  It is at this point where my husband dare not mention he's tired or achy as the hormones rushing through my blood stream just do not have patience or understanding, nor empathy.    Yesterday I bought some snacks for my trip, yes, that's about all the preparation I have done!  I leave Saturday, a mere 5 days a way, and have zero motivation to pack. Normally by now I would be 75% done, just have to add last minute items and toiletries.  The down regulation fatigue is killing me and I look forward to getting to India to sleep and rest, no hustle and bustle of year end at work and a break from launching a new product into the Canadian market.  I have always cycled at home but it was 10-14 days of stims after about 6 days of down reg, and this was a tolerable amount for me.  I will continue to work while in India, but at my own pace and sleep/nap if I feel like it.   I had my pre-stimulation blood and ultrasound on Saturday and all is good, thank god!  Last thing I needed to hear was that I had cysts and the cycle would be compromised.  I have lots and lots of little follicles sitting at .5mm, just waiting for the Gonal F to boost them up to 1.8mm and the ultimate trigger shot to finish them off.  For now, that's it.  Cycle strong and keep pace is about all I can ask for. 

It  is also Monday, so our nextfamily.com blog is updated.  I have made an error tho...my Aussie friends call me Chooky and I wrote clucky!!   Well, point is, I am like a chicken, clucky, chooky whatever! (Sorry Lisa...)  http://thenextfamily.com/2010/11/call-me-clucky/

Travelling with Gonal F...looking for advice please!!  The package insert says it can be stored at room temperature if expected to be used in 28days.   Cycle buddies: do you agree that I can travel with them, not packed in a cooler?  It will be much easier if I can just pack them in my carry on and be done with it!

Nov 22, 2010

Second post today..

Our next entry (every Monday) on thenextfamily.com is up now.  Below is the link.  This one is a special entry as it details the kindness we discovered in the surrogacy community.

http://thenextfamily.com/2010/11/two-blessings/

Continued countdown

20 days of down reg. injections down, baseline ultrasound and FSH  this Saturday (Nov 27th) and 12 days til I leave for India!   This countdown feels strangely different than in the past, not sure why but it does.  I think the difference is that this is the first time I am cycling and heading to India.  Our past visits to India have been to sign contracts and meet doctors and do some tourist stuff.  This visit comes with a minor surgical procedure, so I guess as exciting as the opportunity is, it is also a little scary at the same time.   I will be welcomed into the "Fat and Fourty" surrogate mommas club at the end of our trip.  This secret club allows me to acknowledge and justify my weight gains.  In the last year I have really packed on some weight from all these IVF cycles, and the never ending negative pregnancy tests were not motivational in dropping the weight.  I have accepted my body for now, but post India will be addressing it and looking forward to getting back into some of the nice clothes tucked away in the closet from a year ago (that fit nicely).  This is my last cycle, ever.  I cannot continue to do this to my body.  As a twenty year old I would never have predicted that I would have back fat, and now, at my age and the curve balls life has thrown me, I have to embrace my back fat and know it is a sign of how hard I have worked at trying to have a family.

Nov 20, 2010

Down Regulation

We heard today that our surrogates have started down regulation!  Timing is perfect, but that is no surprise with how Dr Shivani runs things.    What is down regulation  you ask?  Well, fortunately, I have the answer (credit to : www.ivf-infertility.com/  :
The most commonly used protocol for IVF involves giving a drug called gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue either by daily injection e.g. busereline, lupron or a long-acting injection such as zoladex or as a nasal spray. The logic behind giving the agonist is to temporarily suppress the woman's natural hormones (down-regulation) and allows for greater control over the treatment cycle. There are different protocols for administering these drugs; each has its pros and cons.

I have been on the down lo' for 18 days now, its a long protocol to allow me to cycle in a timely fashion since flights and time off are booked.   Two more weeks til I hop on a plane!  At this time in two weeks, I will have been up up and away for 2 hours. 

Nov 18, 2010

Where has the time gone?

16 days til I board a plane to Delhi! I am on day 17 of my down regulation...long protocol, too long!  The needles sliding into my abdomen are starting to be quite painful.  Somehow my body is resisting the needle tip which makes it difficult to slide in.  Its all psychosomatic I know, but it still hurts like a bugger.  I get to continue my down regulation until retrieval and on November 30th I get to add in a secondary needle with a large dose of Gonal F.
 Last night I had a mild internal freak out, not sure why, but I did.  I am an old pro at cycling and travelling to India, but maybe because this is my first time cycling in India it all feels new, and different.  With the upcoming trip also comes the substantial wire of funds out of our line of credit.  I think the money has me panicking as well. You  can probably imagine that after a few trips to India,  a couple of cycles and four cryo shipments, we are carrying some debt, and the thought of taking on more is just a tad stressful.  Also knowing this is more than likely our last shot at surrogacy increases the pressure. I have bi-polar moments of reflection on the past two years.  The one side of my thoughts is that this is just our path and we are only stronger as a result and the other side is angry, frustrated and scared to death of the never ending debt we carry and may possibly end up with nothing to show for it. When we signed up for the surrogacy journey, we knew there was a cost, we were not foolish.  We never expected to be on attempt #5 carrying the same debt as if we had been successful on try number one.  Ok, writing this had resolved my freak out...its money!  I know we have a lifetime to pay it off,  and if we are successful it will all be worth it. There is no magic money pill, so I will just have to embrace the payments and hopefully can log on to online banking with a baby on my lap in the future and tell them stories of why mommy has to make these payments (no guilt..lol).   Baby Lila's blog is called Million Rupee Baby, makes sense, so I may change our blog name to Three Million Rupee Baby :)
Ok, enough of the money drama.  This will be my one and only post on it.  Its the inevitable and I am sure others have felt the same pressure and chose not to dwell publicly on their blogs.  I also am aware of the long stays in India after baby is born and the financial crunch that puts on you.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

Nov 16, 2010

Travel companion

Well, I have a new travel companion... his name is Henley!  He travelled to Canada from Australia, bringing wishes of good egg production in December.   The card with the large Rooster on it also references my chicken like ability to produce copious amounts of eggs.    Thanks Lisa!! Your support and friendship is always cherished!


Nov 15, 2010

Families are brewing

The next installment of our saga is up on thenextfamily.com

http://thenextfamily.com/topics/family/surrogacy-family/

Feel free to leave comments on the nextfamily blog, I am always happy to see your support!


And, speaking of the next families, huge congratulations go out to the Two Afro Dads and Will and Michael on the birth of all the babies today (one boy and two girls), November 15th.  Long awaited by us all!!

Nov 11, 2010

Flights, drugs and getting old(er).

Just 25 days til I fly to Delhi, gulp!!!  I really dread the travel, its a 26 hour trip with a 10.5 hour time change, and I have never done it while cycling so this should add some extra spice. I will start my stims on November 30th and hope all goes well and that my retrieval will happen a few days before we fly home.  The flight home happens to be on my 40th birthday! What a way to celebrate huh!  Stuck in a plane, in an airport, back on a plane then home, exhausted and more than likely swollen from retrieval. Yehaw! Hopefully I can muster up enough strength and energy on the last flight home to have a glass of red wine in celebration of my birthday and anticipation of a pregnancy.  Nothing like airline wine to celebrate! I am always thankful and grateful for what life gives me, and sometimes it gives me really special people.  Most of you know and love Mandy, and are cheering her on for a pregnancy.  Mandy and I have become the last of the graduating class of 2008 surrogacy students to have not had success.  In pure generosity, Mandy has FedEx'd me 5 gonal f pens that should land on Canadian soil today.  What an amazing gift from her.  With all the greatness she puts out into the universe, I think the universe owes her big time!  Now, lets just see how Canada customs handles this shipment!  Thanks a million Mandy!  I think this lot of gonal f will give both of us the babies we so want and deserve!

Nov 8, 2010

Our story part 3...

The latest installment of the Mark and Kerrie journey is up on thenextfamily.com 
It is starting to get a bit juicy now as it details the struggles we had with Canadian doctors.  I have pasted the link below for quick access if you are interested.


http://thenextfamily.com/topics/family/surrogacy-family/kerrie-olejarz/

***I have also just noticed that on the home page for the nextfamily.com they have the bottom half  of the page dedicated to our story!!  We feel blessed to be able to put our story out there and hopefully inspire others!   As you know, our journey has been long and still ongoing and the support you have shown us is beyond amazing!

Raking is for suckers

We decided to buy a leaf blower this year as our new home has a large lot and loads of trees.  Clearly, raking is for suckers!!  We fired up the blower yesterday and managed to move all the leaves to the curb in about two hours.  In our neighbourhood you put all your leaves at the curb and on your city assigned garbage day they come with a large vacuum and suck them all up. 
This is Mark having at it:
This side of the yard was cleared via "the blower"
Here I am in my glory, the garden behind me would have been an impossibility to rake, but blowing was a breeze to clear out the bulk of the leaves.


Prior to cleaning up the leaves, I realized I had not taken my superfact injection and rushed to do it about 4 hours late. Sheesh, the drugs make me dumb!  I have sorted out this problem by setting a daily reminder on my Ipod touch.  During the week it is part of my getting ready for work routine, but the weekends throw off the schedule.   All in all the weekend was good.  I did something way out of the norm on Saturday night and went to Bingo!  The pot was $100,000 and desperate for cash I figured I would give it a try.  A girl I work with joined me and we broke our bingo virginity.  Let me tell you tho', don't mess with some of the Bingo bitches!   Holy smokes, we got sat down and started on the first game and were gabbing throughout it and did we ever get told off.  The rather large breasted Bingo momma gave us the business, she obviously dislikes newbies and made that clear to us! Luckily, the single track pant wearing gentleman at our table was kind enough to help us through the night to ensure we did not miss anything.  He was quite angry at Lou, the ball caller.  I am not quite sure how Lou affects the out come of the balls, but apparently in the world of Bingo, you bash the ball caller all night.





Nov 3, 2010

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali to all our friends in India!  Enjoy the festivities, colours and sweets.  For those of our surrogacy friends who feel stuck in India, try to take pleasure that you will get to witness this celebration first hand.    Friday is the day to embrace Diwali, or close the blinds, open a bottle of wine and chill out.

Planning my cycle seemed a difficult task, but thanks to Dr C at the clinic, I am all worked out.  Dr Shivani has put a protocol down for me to follow which has been agreed upon but my body may not play nice with natural cycle timing.  Fortunately there are meds for this which will make the cycle stay on track.  So, I start my down regulation today, yes, today.  Ugh...I really am not a fan of the IVF drugs and to have to start two weeks earlier is not ideal, but a must do as we have flights and accommodation booked.  I am just grateful it will all work out despite my dislike of the meds and my bodies foreshadow that the my December natural cycle isn't going to happened as planned .  Yet another day of learning and embracing flexibility,  trying not to panic and over think the situation.

Nov 2, 2010

Babies!!

Huge congratulations to Amber and Brian on the birth of their baby girl!  Amber and Brian have waited too long and now, a perfect little girl has come into their life.   Baby WAM is also on his or her way,so we just need this little one to hold on until the proud parents arrive on Friday.  This is a very exciting week in India!!
Our next entry on the http://www.nextfamily.com/ is live and can be found in the blogs sections under surrogacy.
Today I am off to see Dr C at the fertility clinc for a quick check in and organizing the start of our December cycle.   I have a real sense of calm about the cycle and the trip to India.  This is more than likely denial, but I will call it "calm" for now.

Oct 29, 2010

Flights booked



Our flights are booked for our next trip to India, this time to Delhi.  Advice: do not travel to India in December as it is high season and the flights are super expensive.  We are paying a substantial amount more than we did in previous trips (January and July).  Well, it is what it is.   Sure, we could wait a few months, but why...why wait when time is ticking and we are two years into this.   So flights are booked, accommodation is booked, drugs are purchased and we pick up our Visas tomorrow.  Seems a much easy task after two previous trips.   Now, after many cycles here and my weight gain, I have to figure out what to pack for comfort and what actually fits my IVF robust figure.
I also wanted to thank you all for your words of encouragement regarding my online article.  It is wonderful to know that you support it, and I hope you check back weekly as the story continues.  It is mildly therapeutic to journal this for thenextfamily.com, as I may not have fully dealt with some emotions and now am facing them head on as I draft them into a word document.
Also after 6 weeks of a cold, I am starting to feel much better.  My fertility doctor put me on some supplements for premium follicle production and I believe they are helping me feel better.  My next plan is Blood Ozone therapy to kill off all the parasites, fungus, bacteria and nasty mucus out of my system.  I need my reproductive organs scrubbed...a good fall cleaning!
Oh and lastly, I spilled the beans in short form to my boss.  Taking off the time in December to travel to India kind of made him a bit uncomfortable so I explained to him in brief the importance of my trip, and that I would work for the first week as much as I could remotely.  He wished us well and now knows my secret.

Oct 26, 2010

My story is live!

Well, I am officially outted on thenextfamily.com!  I awoke this morning to see an email from the editor that our story is up on the website.  It's kinda exciting for me!!  I have opted to let the magazine choose the feature pic, but may submit my own pics for the next submissions.  I have pasted the link direct below, but you can go to http://www.thenextfamily.com/ and click on blogs to find my submission on a frequent basis.

http://thenextfamily.com/topics/family/surrogacy-family/


Special thanks to Madge for finding me and giving me a chance and to Brandy for working so hard on getting my story up!  You gals are a gift!


ps> Edward and Paul...where is your update?

Oct 24, 2010

Saturday - getting an Indian visa

The visa office opens at 8 am and closes at 2:30pm for application drop off.  We decided to get there for 11ish.  The office had conveniently moved from the front of the building to the back, so that was fun to start!  When we finally get into the office, there is a see of 400 Canadian Indians and us.  security tells us to take a number and we do.  We are A122, and they are working on A78.  This was going to be a long wait, but luckily we had all our paperwork in order and just had to wait and watch the screen as A80, A85, A92 etc were called.  Finally after 1.5hours, A120 is up.  We are excited, finally, our turn is close.  A female security person came to me and said can I check your paperwork, and of course I obliged.  She takes a mini-second glance and says "that's old form, you need new form", "go to security check in and get new form"...of course as minor panic sets in as we rush to security, who could care a less that we looked panicked for his help.  Finally we grab his attention and he gives us the correct forms.  A121 is now being served!!  We rapidly started filling in the forms, then....A122.  YIKES!! I was overheated and panicked.  No way was I getting a new number.  So we ran to the counter and asked the woman to take someone else and we will be ready after that.  She was more than happy to help us out.   The 900 year old security guard asked us why we hadn't filled them out in advance, so I calmly told him I downloaded the forms in the morning to find out they have OLD forms on their website.  In the end, we bowed to the cash grab called "Visa" and were on our way home.  Exhausted from hours of waiting and seconds of panic!  We had to then head to my fertility doctor who has moved his office half an hour west, so we made our way there, waiting in the waiting room for 1.5 hours and finally got to see him.  Blood and ultrasound were done, and he agreed with Dr Shivani's plan and protocol.   Finally we concluded the day with a nice dinner out and grocery shopping.  Sunday we drove 45minutes north to grab some compassion Gonal-F and now we are home, finally, relaxing. 

Oct 21, 2010

Planning has begun and our two cents

Well, we are off to India in December for attempt number 5.  We have our protocol set, and I have managed to find some Gonal F at 60% off clinic/pharmacy pricing. I am so happy this is not my first attempt and first trip to India with all the stories flying around about exiting Delhi.  If I was a newbie I would be scared to death.  Fortunately my unfortunate wisdom allows me to know that the clinic bashing will never go away.  When we were with SI, we received horrible emails about them and attempts of fear mongering that we ignored, and now, as we are with SCI, we get the same act and read the same slandering.  I think IP's need to understand that chaos can happen in Delhi, Mumbai, Anand, Ahmadabad & Hyderabad and that this is typically caused by IP's and not the clinics, or doctors.  Pricing will change and unforeseen charges will slap us in the face.  We have accepted this as the reality of what we are pursuing.  I am not writing this post to slam anyone, I am just saying that after over two years into this, we have seen alot of changes and some unfortunate activities.  I am still a positive face of surrogacy in India and will continue to be long into the future. I love being part of this international surrogacy family and hope and pray everyone has success.

Oct 11, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving

We had a beautiful fall weekend for our Canadian Thanksgiving.  I cooked a turkey and all the fixing's this year and we ate and enjoyed.  I am pooped today but it was worth it all.  We went to Rattray Marsh at the bottom of our street for a 3km or so walk on Sunday and with the 22celcius weather it was perfect.
A few more babies born over the last week in India, all very exciting!  To the preemies out there, stay strong and get big and healthy as soon as possible.   Happy Birthday to Mandy on 10 10 10!

Oct 2, 2010

October update

It has been a short while since we updated our blog.  Not much to say on the surrogacy front yet.  We are still working out the details of planning next steps.  We have had a few busy weeks here. I have submitted my first submission to thenextfamily.com so this should be posted live anytime now.  My submission is our story from day one and onward.  It is written and published in blog type format and we really hope that our story will somehow reach out to those who have lost hope and inspire them to look at the alternative choices, like surrogacy, in India.
I had the pleasure of facilitating a meeting between my RE and ND.  My ND invited us and our RE to his home for dinner.  It was an unusual experience to spend an evening with your own two doctors on a social side.  It was a nice night, good food and conversation! I am hoping they can work together in helping infertile couples achieve success.  My ND does alot of intravenous treatment for scrubbing the uterus of excess mucus to better the chances of embryo implantation.  He also works with the fellas to boost sperm count and mobility.  He has great success rates, and always giggles when he mentions how "he" got someone pregnant. 
I had my whirl wind trip to London and landed home late last night.  I am fortunate that I work within a division that contains 45 countries, so seeing all the affiliates is a real pleasure.  I love to listen to the accents, the efforts to speak English and the stories of their home and work.  We had a group dinner organized at a restaurant called Brilliant.  It was an Indian restaurant, recognized by Chef Ramsey himself as a good one.  The food and service was amazing.  This was the closest to authentic Indian cuisine I have had.  If you are in London, I would recommend eating there for sure.
Lots of babies have been born over the last few weeks and it is very exciting times!  Seeing the triplets, twins and singletons lately really inspires us to keep plugging away.  Sometimes we lose hope and faith, but all it takes is a blog or forum update on a birth to pick up our spirits and feel some optimism.

Sep 18, 2010

Sigh of relief

AMH is 35.8 which falls into the strong ovarian reserve bucket!  Yahoo!  This at least lets us have one more try with my eggs, freshly transferred in India.   Dr Shivani is also pleased with the results.  We now need to consider when we can do this.  Our ultimate goal is to have a family, so our next path will lead to donors, but we need to try a fresh transfer once to be sure.

Sep 16, 2010

Still waiting (just a ramble)

Our latest TWW is still on (waiting for AMH test results).  In the meantime I am very busy with work and now a great chest infection.  I will be in London (England) in two weeks for work so I am happy that this infection in now and not then.  It is horrible to be sick and have to count on the comforts of a hotel room.  This is what I dread about doing a fresh cycle in India.  I typically cycle well, yet post retrieval am a mess.  So many births have happened in India and so many more to come.  I am looking forward to the next few months of arrivals as some of them have a real special place in my heart.  All of them are very special but a few births coming up are from people we had met in 2008 when we first started this "project". 
For now we just wait. So much depends on the AMH test results and until then we cannot really make any sort of plan.   The beauty of being part on the Indian Surrogacy community is just that, community.   Not a day goes by where we do not get an tidbit via blogs, skype, telephone call, forums or email. I have my morning routine where I make my coffee, sit down at the laptop and read email, forums and blogs.  It gives me an unusual strength.  Not only do I continue to get a sense of optimism, sometimes I get a reality check.  The business of ART and surrogacy is never a sure thing.  Heck, life is not a sure thing.

Sep 11, 2010

The Next Family

Gay, straight, adoptive, interracial, single and now surrogate.  There are many types of families to celebrate and admire and there is one website dedicated to this.   Diversity is acknowledged on this website and  I now have the blessed opportunity to be part of it as a volunteer guest writer.  I was recently contacted by the marketing director who had read our blog and many of your blogs.   Our story caught her attention and prompted her to contact us.  When going through surrogacy in India we are often not comfortable to have media follow us as it can feel exploitative and can be cut up in the editing room to portray our stories in an unfavourable light.  Fortunately, the next family dot com is a website that celebrates unique paths to parenthood and beyond and for that I am thrilled to be part of it.
Please look forward to my start to finish (whenever the finish may be) as documented beyond my blog on:  http://www.thenextfamily.com/

Sep 10, 2010

Waiting

Jojo made a comment about all the waiting and did that ever make me think.  Our life is on hold and we just wait.  We wait to travel to India, we wait for the beta, we wait to ship our embryos, we wait to hear from the doctors, we wait for our blood results, dammit, we just wait.  Quite frankly I am sick of waiting.  I am tired of living life on hold.  I  am waiting with all of you out there, for your tww results and for your births and also for your decided next steps as you trudge through this journey.  We should change the lingo in surrogacy world, so instead of IP's we become WP's (waiting parents).  
Sometimes when the mood is at its lowest, we wait for that woman in the parking lot with her new born to walk by, out of site out of mind.  We also wait to tell people that we are "working with a surrogate in India", we wait to announce our positive pregnancy and we ultimately wait until the final days and witness a live birth and finally, exhale that extended breathe that has caused chest pains and stress.  Oh, and then we wait for a dna test, we wait for a passport, we wait for ungodly amounts of time at the ffro office and we wait to get on a plane, homeward bound. 
So, why am I writing this?  Well, it would seem that some times our fortunate friends and family cannot imagine what we go through.  For them they get pregnant, wait for about nine months and tadaa..done.  Some of us in the surrogacy journey have been blessed with a very limited waiting period, and I really wish we were all in this boat.  
And finally, we wait for the line of credit bill to come every month, which reminds of us the financial wait.  We have a lifetime to pay this off, but sadly the urgency of parenthood over shadows this.

Sep 7, 2010

AMH test and trying to get back to..normal

Friday I had the requested AMH test.  Great...now I get to sit here and panic over my ovarian reserve and egg quality! As if this journey hasn't been stressful enough, I get to ponder the fact that the two years of bs and negatives could have run out my time and left me with dull and tired ovaries.  Baboo at the lab said the results take "a week or two" so my current version of the dreaded tww is on.
The other fun stuff is that it took 52 days for my cycle to renew itself.  Try having pms for over 30 days and see how you feel.  I think most of you reading this get it, so I need not say any more.  Finally, Aunt Flo came with fury and totally made my long weekend enjoyable (insert sarcastic tone).
I look around blog land and see so much excitement.  Fredrik and Robert  had a beautiful baby girl finally, and many other new friends are expecting in the very near future.  We also had a very personal and inspiring note from Dr Shivani that really helps us look to the future. Her timing was amazing as it was my last day of mourning my negative and hearing that I may have an embryo quality issue..whew..dodged a depression bullet.   For now, the doldrums of life go on.  Fall is in the air already and September brings a really busy month for me at work, including travel to London.  Our friends in Australia are looking forward to spring and all the new daddies have just celebrated Father's Day. I am a little disappointed that the Aussies have to have fathers day months after we do.  I cannot keep track of all of this!

Sep 1, 2010

What to do next...

Well, we are at a bit of a loss to know what to do next.  Fortunately, Dr Shivani gave us some stern medical advice and commentary on our situation.  She was able to explain the possible reasons we continue to get negatives which is hard to hear but finally we have some ideas/answers.   This week has been quite difficult, I guess mainly because we finally have some answers.  The future probably doesn't look great for us but only time will tell.  We have lost some of our optimism that we will succeed with a biological child.   For now, I need to get a test done as per Dr Shivani and see what these results tell us.  Hopefully there will be one more shot at a fresh transfer pending these results and if not, we will need to step back a while and regroup and consider donor options.
As always, thank you so much for all your kind words.  It is wonderful that you can all help us with text, and most of you have been thru this and continue to give us strength.  For those of your like Rebecca and Fiona my non-surrogacy gals...what can I say girls...I love you to death for your support.
I would love to hear from any one who has tried a fresh after frozen transfer with SCI (and had success), so please email me.  Our email address is on the sidebar.

Aug 28, 2010

Aug 24, 2010

8/29/2008

This is the date we stared our blog...almost two years ago.  Man, at that time we were sure we would be pregnant by February and have a 2009 baby.  Now, two years later, we can only hope and pray to have a 2011 baby - three years after starting.  For those of you out there who feel their patience is short with surrogacy, take a breath...it can be a long road.  As we are getting close to the end of our TWW, we are still remarkably numb.  The most we can muster up on a daily basis is 10 more days, 7 more days, that's it.  Three words is the limit of our tww talk.   Two years ago the thought of a tww was overwhelming, now, not at all.  It is probably our brains protecting us from dealing with it, better to be numb to it at this point than obsessive? 
4 more days

Aug 17, 2010

Transfer update

Great news, we had our transfer today and all looks to be a successful start.  Our embryos now have the task of nuzzlin in for the long haul.  We ended up laser hatching one embryo and the rest were laser free.  So the wait begins (again...) and we will keep our minds and hands busy during this TWW.

Short update..

We heard from Dr Shivani about our thaw.  We had a 50% survival rate which is in line with what all the text books say (blah).  Today is our transfer and we expect to hear another update later today.  It seems as if Dr Shivani does not sleep - when she emails us it is very late in India! 
We have everything crossed for our SM.  We hope today she is not too nervous, feeling well and resting. 
More updates later today!

Aug 16, 2010

Indian Surrogacy IP's are amazing!

Hi Gang!  Just a quick note to say thanks for all the lovely comments.  We have been in the shadows for only a month or so and it feels like forever.  Once we went live again, you were all there waiting for us.  You're an amazing group of people!
It is almost 7am here and I imagine our two straws have been thawed and are in the incubator at Phoenix, hopefully multiplying and thriving.  Tomorrow around this time, hopefully we will have had an update on this and how the transfer went.
No nerves here!

Aug 15, 2010

Day before thaw!

We are excited knowing that our little embryos will have a shot of laser to help them along the way.  In this day and age, a shot of laser can do us all some good (eyes, wrinkles, embryos...whatever).  It feels good to be starting fresh.  We have renewed hope! Deep inside of me I feel we will get pregnant, but am not allowing that little pocket in me to open up.  We have been through the negatives, so allowing the thoughts of a positive to come to life is just too scary.  God forbid we get a positive - how will we deal with this?  I have spoken to many people in that very position, after many self cycles, miscarriages and negatives in India, allowing yourself to be excited or even accept the pregnancy is a common struggle.  Until you are in India with baby in hand,  this probably won't happen.
Finally Griffin arrived and he looks perfect!  Congrats Jo and Tim!!!  I am sure the reality has now sunk in ...you have a baby! Life is amazing.
We have made our first wire to the new clinic (SCI) and even our finance person at the bank is excited for us to try again. 
Tomorrow is out thaw, hopefully our embies are strong and hang in there for laser treatment on Tuesday to then make the journey through the little catheter into their permanent home.  Now, if just one of them would hold on tight we would be very pleased.

Lots has been happening in our little break

On July 27th we started the shipment process, again, this time to Dr Shivani in Delhi.  The precious cargo arrived two days later with no issues...whew. 
The next day we received surrogate profiles and quickly made our decision - we are starting to become pro's at picking surrogates.  The very first time we laboured over it, now its about the stats.  We picked a lovely gal, 25 years young with an 18 month old.  We chose her because she had the least amount of time since her last pregnancy. 
The very next day we received our contract and notification that our SM will start treatment asap.  Fast forward a week and we got an update on how she is doing, her lining details and trilinear update.  This was a much needed confidence booster for us.  Every one going thru this journey craves more info, and so far we are in good shape.
Our transfer is scheduled for this weekend, pending arrival of thaw media!!  Back in the saddle, excited to try again.  Lots of births lately in both Mumbai and Delhi which keep us inspired!  Congrats to you all!!!!

ET and ramblings

The latest from the doctor:

The embryo transfer is planned for 17/8

Will thaw the embryos on 16/8 and culture for a day and then do laser hatching and the transfer on 17/8
Preg test 11 days post day 3 transfer so will be on 28/8
Will update late pm on 17/8
The surrogate's lining is brilliant at 11 mm trilaminar
Lets wait and see how things go
 
Yahoo! This is great news.  The updates are fabulous and helping to keep us sane and positive. 
Just now, we are waiting on Jojo and Tim's baby to arrive.....c'mon....any day now!!!  Megan and Bob's little Toby is growing leaps and bounds. 
With all the good news around us we do have some renewed hope.  As we look around at the forums and blogs, it is great to see that our originals are all expecting.  I say originals as this is the group we started out with in late 2008.  The strugglers.  It seems of the originals we are the last (I could be wrong on this) but the pity party in my head says we are the last.  Being last is not a bad thing, all of you before us will be our knowledge bank, our go to people.  You tried and tested and now we can reap the benefits!
For us, we are keeping busy - too busy it seems! And, we have become addicted to a video game of all things.  We are far from gamers, but have been playing a game for two weeks now and are stuck on one level.....I think we have accumulated 18 hours of wasted time trying to win this level...sick.   This is a short lived addiction for sure, but dagnabbit!!!
August 20th is an exciting day for us, as Taj and Alex will turn one!  For those of you who know Nik and Lisa, their journey had some hiccups and now we look at two beautiful boys and celebrate this journey!   Happy Birthday boys!

On to a new clinic, with renewed hopes

While you all thought we were taking a break, we were actually plotting our next move.  We shipped our recent batch of embryos to SCI in New Delhi.  Today July 29th they were received, and we can breathe a sigh of releif. 
Since we had our three tries at SI, we decided to change clinic and see what happens.  It really has nothing to do with Lilavati or SI,  just the natural progression.  Sometimes switching things up does the trick, so only time will tell. 
By the end of August we will have had our first transfer at SCI and also some renewed hope.  Three negatives and one shipment gone bad in the past has kinda sucked the positive vibes out of us.   We have also chosen to not panic about our line of credit balance as we have a lifetime to pay this off.  Having a family is the most important thing to us and unforunately our path costs some. 
Last night  I finally spoke with a couple who had twin girls in January.  They are from BC Canada, had the girls in Ahmedabad and did citizinship in Delhi.  Whew..what a trip!  They did the whole DNA, passport and FFRO by themselves - real champions!!  From birth to exit it took six weeks. Something to look forward too.....

Jul 21, 2010






Just temporaily til we regroup and have something to say.
Thanks to you ALL for your ongoing love and support.

Jul 19, 2010

TWW comes to an end

Well gang, our tww came to a screeching end last night with the dreaded call of a "negative". It is a hard thing to digest at  1am...and difficult to get back to sleep!!  So, now we will take a break, re-group and see what the future brings to us.  I know some of you have had a similar story, with 3 or more negatives, and you know the numbness that comes with it.  Twinges of doubt, moments of sadness and the fight to not throw in the towel! 
For now, best of luck to you all!

Jul 14, 2010

Joy

When we were not able to get a doctor to support us and felt all hope was lost, a lovely member of the SI forum from the US who was in India at the time for egg retrieval gave us hope.  Her name is Joy!  Many of you know who Joy is, and know that she successfully had a baby boy in November 2009.  Joy contacted her doctor in Minnesota who was moving to Canada, and put us in touch.  We have had three successful cycles with Dr M, and he is a lovely doctor, a real gem. Joy and her husband Kelly will always have a huge place in our hearts as they had a hand in making this all possible for us!
Monday night I got to meet my lovely Joy in person!! Joy was in town for work and we were able to connect for dinner.  We have emailed over the last year and spoken on the phone but nothing beats sitting down for good ole fashioned gal chat, and that we did.  We had an amazing time and it felt as if we had known each other for ever!  This a night I will remember forever.  And Joy, I owe you cash for the convenience store purchase - in all the excitement I forgot to settle up!
We are very fortunate to have met some amazing people along the way. We are blessed to have great friends at home and all of you around the world.
Oh and by the way, our beta is on the 17th!!!

Jul 8, 2010

Friends

Yesterday as I was sitting around with a post egg retrieval swollen abdomen and pain that Motrin would not even touch I got a lovely surprise.  A beautiful flower arrangement delivered to me, all the way from Australia!  A cheer up and feel better bouquet, which did just that!  This surrogacy journey is so difficult, but we have made amazing friends along the way.  Thanks Nik, Lisa, Taj and Alex!!

Jul 7, 2010

Lucky number 14

We just had the fertilization call...14 embryos  (78%)!!!  The other four were somewhat immature but the dr at the lab will keep an eye on them and see if they make any progress overnight.   Whew...was a little stressful as Mark had to give a second sample due to lazy sperm, and before we left the clinic they mentioned they may need to do ICSI.  No ICSI and pure IVF worked out great again!  We are so fortunate to be able to always have great results on embryo production...just wish it was as easy with pregnancy. Tomorrow they all go on a long ice holiday, which with the 42celcius weather here this week sounds good to me.

Jul 6, 2010

Eggs and TWW

We ended up with 18 eggs and will know our fetilization rate tomorrow.  The babies will be put on ice until we know what are next steps are. This cycle was so unsual.  Even the retreival was off for me.  Sadly I felt every follicle rupture, even with the second dose of narcotics.  I am not a crier by any means but this put me to tears, of pain.  Thank goodness this is done and over with for now.
We also had a transfer in India today.  We had 3 embryos transferred and are now in the TWW! After the negatives it is hard to be excited about the TWW, but July 20th can't come quick enough!

Jul 5, 2010

EPU Tomorrow

July 6th will be our retrieval.  I have hesitated to put up any updates as this cycle was far from normal.  I ended up with 15 days of stims, normally has been 10.  The cycle was slow and a little nerve racking.  We ended up going to the clinic 5 days in a row for very close monitoring.  Sunday brought the good news of "your ready for your trigger".   Fortunately, I have loads of follicles - the doctor stopped counting at 20.  All are in line at 1.8 - 2.1 in size, and a few little guys may catch up in time for retrieval tomorrow.  Of course, in typical Mark and Kerrie fashion, there is a blackout in Toronto and we are worried that if it remains black tomorrow, what will this mean for our retrieval.  I am sure there are back up generators so we should not be too worried.....
One thing I noticed this cycle is how exhausted I felt, especially after the trigger.  It is now 24 hrs past trigger and I am starting to feel better.  Guess HcG has a 24 hour half life.

Jun 30, 2010

Day 13 Scan

The scan went well today.  I have loads of follicles FINALLY growing up into nice sizes.  Ideal size is 2cm and mine are all at around 1.3cm today.  Tomorrow another scan and blood and hopefully trigger tomorrow night, if not, Friday night for sure.  The delay in my follicle development was an accidental over dose on day 1 and 2 of my down regulation.  I was given the wrong size syringe and thus took 20 days of suppression in two days, hence, slowwww folli growth.  Things are on track now and I am happy! 
Sadly Patchy cats day has come.  She turned a corner this week and is not doing so well.  She is still happy and purring but walking into walks and very disoriented overall.  Poor old gal.  Friday night she will go on permanent vacation, probably to Rio or Fiji.   Wherever she goes, we will miss her dearly!

Jun 29, 2010

Things not to do when cycling

Watch Toby's arrival...TEARS!!! Uncontrollable tears.....
Congrats to Megan and Bob!

Jun 21, 2010

Cycle day 3

We have had a busy 2 weeks around here. Mark had all four wisdom teeth out and spent almost 7 days ala chipmunk cheeks. He is doing fine now, back to normal. In the midst of his swelling I had to prep and start my down regulation (ovulation suppression). Yesterday I went for my my day three bloods and ultrasound and all is good! Pre-stimulation I have 9 little follicles ready to grow. I have started my stimulation with the last of our donated drugs (LOVE U GUYS!!!). And, of course, I choose to cycle when the G20 summit is on in Toronto and my clinic is in the heart of it all. Yesterday, Sunday, it was difficult getting to the clinic as most of the down town core is caged off in readiness to protect our world leaders. Next scan is Thursday (day 1 of the G20)...so this is gonna be fun! I will need to travel way north to 401 and south on Avenue, where I usually hop on the Gardner and head up York/University. Oi vey! And, the clinic has all patients booking cycle monitoring as security in the building will check ID against the list and let me in after this screening...all this to try and have a baby.
We are apparently scheduled to have our next transfer at the end of June, and we are waiting on an update on this. Other that this, the weather has been super hot, just what we craved in January and love to complain about in June. Well, I am off to do my needles. Have a great day!

Jun 8, 2010

Patchy cat

Our little Patchy cat has a tumor, in her mouth on the jaw bone. It is so sad to know that her day will come soon. For now she is doing very well, eating and running around outside. Her jaw looks so large on one side and of course we have to find humour in this...so we call her Quagmire (like the big chinned guy from Family Guy). Giggity giggity.  Here she is outside on the weekend enjoying the sunshine. The tumour is on the blond side of her chin, poor old gal.  She is 18 years young.  Her days with us started off by us rescuing her from the cold November temperatures - her previous owners just left her at their house when they moved (sicko's).  We brought her home and she started to get all fattened up..so we thought.  We woke up one morning to the tiny meows of 6 kittens!  She so gingerly took care of her babes.  She would pick each one up and move them from one spot to another only to finally finish and find a few of them had wandered off into another room.  She was a persistent mother at this time.  For now we are keeping life normal for her until she shows any signs of suffering. 


Jun 4, 2010

Blood ozone, again.

So lately I am not feeling well. I have decided it is time for some good ole fashioned blood letting with a drop of sodium citrate and ozone. Since I plan to cycle this month it can only benefit me. As you may remember from a previous post, this is not a new experience for me. The benefits of ozone therapy are incredible. O3 (ozone) attaches to unhealthy cells when admistered intravenously and attacks bacteria, virus, cancer and fungus. I really do not have any of these pathogenic obstacles, I have an autoimmune that responds well to this treatment. This also cleans out some of my arterial plaques and sludge from my system and makes my egg reserve nice an healthy. I have a friend coming with me for the treatment (she is coming out of pure curiosity), so I may get her to snap a few pics of the process to share with you all.
The last few weeks have been quiet on the surrogacy front for us. We have had an update that our transfer will be end of June (monsoon transfer). We also had some wonderful news from our clinic here pertaining to last years unexpected opening of embryo vials in transit. I am not allowed to say much, but let me just say sometimes people do amazing things (Thanks Dr E, Dr C and Dr M).
A few babies are expected in the upcoming weeks, and we are just thrilled. Some of these people started out at the same time as us and soon will make the last and most exciting trip to India. This is a great year for surrogacy babies being born...so many already and so so many to come. Unfortunately, its impossible for us to have a 2010 baby so hopefully we will be one of the first in 2011. Not too soon into 2011 - would be a very premature baby! When we reflect over the last twelve months we are amazed at what we have been through and the amazing people we have met. We are fortuate to have made great friends, life long friends on the other side of the world. The wonders of Skype make these friendships so enjoyable! Some friends have had babies and seeing them so busy on skype video is a true joy. The hardships of the last twelve months haven't killed us, yet haven't made us much stronger. Sometime we are optimistic and some times we are angry...sometimes we have a hint of jealousy at another announcement of a positive. The jealousy is so short lived as it quickly turns to hope and optimism for us. We are in a huge community with big hearts for perfect strangers. Presiously I would have written "small" community but that is not the case these days.
Ok, my sentimental time is over. My dog needs his antibiotic and a bath as we continue to battle his MRSA. Last exam showed a 40% improvement and the doc praised my homework efforts. Its not easy giving a dog a bath with 4 shampoos - each has to stay on the skin for 10 minutes, rinse and start again. At the end of the shampooing we have a steriord and antibiotic spray then a leave in skin conditioner. After this, it is snuggle time is a warm towel and blanket til the little guy falls asleep in my arms and I am midly damp. A couple more months of this and a few more dog bites to go!