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.