Sunday, October 30, 2011

Just Practicing

We got in some good "parent" practice this week. In fact, it's probably safe to say that we became experts in the area of "staying up all night and worrying."

The initial worrying began when our last ultrasound of our singleton showed that the gestational sac was measuring about 5 days behind the embryo. (FYI- If this happens to you, do NOT google. Rather, just skip to the end of this post.) As a result, for the past two weeks, we have, at times, been a bit fearful of what our next ultrasound would reveal.

However, we know that these babies-- the ones that FINALLY made the cut-- are the most strong-willed, determined, persevering little guys/gals on this planet given all the obstacles they had to overcome. And so, for the most part, we remained hopeful that this little one would laugh in the face of Dr. Google's statistics and catch right on up to his brothers/sisters.

And we continued to remain hopeful until roughly 1:00 p.m. on our scan day, at which point the panic began to set in. As I mentioned earlier in the week, our scan was moved from Monday to Thursday because of the Diwali holiday. I point this out, only to show that we were well aware that this was a week of Diwali celebrations.

And despite knowing this ahead of time, we still let our fears get the best of us.

Shortly after our usual "window of notice"--  9 a.m. to 11 a.m.-- came and went, Duane and I began to email back and forth, speculating on why we had yet to receive our scan. Duane did a fair job of maintaining moral for a few hours with messages like  "Diwali hangovers for sure! I bet we'll hear soon."

But eventually, as morning turned to afternoon here, which meant afternoon was turning to night in India, we began to stress. Really bad. Duane called and told me he was sick to his stomach. At this point I was sick too. Mainly because: (a) Duane rarely calls me at work, and (b) Duane never worries (at least when he does you'd never know it).

And so now, the two of us are convinced that we didn' receive a scan email because it's bad news. And that because its such bad news, we will surely be receiving an alternative phone call any minute. It was a horrible afternoon.

I met Duane after work to commiserate. By now it's evening our time, and middle of the night India time. Which means of course, that I could email till I was blue in the face, but that regardless, our friends in India would still be doing what normal people do in the middle of the night--- sleeping.
Of course now, I am convinced that it's such bad news that our doctor couldn't bear to call me in the afternoon and needs to sleep on it before she breaks it to me. (I know, I know, totally ridiculous looking back but those of you who have been there know where I was coming from.)

Finally, I email around 4 a.m. our time-- because I am still awake at this point and it is now daytime in India-- with a subject line akin to "Can somebody please let me know if everything is ok???" (I have no doubt that at this point in time I have been placed on the "Crazy IP" list.) Our doctor gets right back to me to let me now that everything is just fine. Reports were received a day later because of the abundance of appointments moved to Thursday.

Moments later we received the most beautiful picture ever. (Am I allowed to say that? Because to be honest, this little guy-- we're already convinced it's our boy though we haven't any reason for this hypothesis-- really is a bit more photogenic than his twin siblings.) There he was, measuring right on target, with an appropriately sized gestational sac (hooray!), and a heart rate of 168 bpm.

Anybody know how to say relieved in Hindi? Because that's what we were. So. Relieved. After a short cry, we began to ooh and ahh over the cuteness his little elbows and eyeball-- because there really aren't a whole lot of other body parts to ooh and ahh over at this point--  and reflect again, as we find ourselves doing daily, on how incredibly grateful we are to be at this point.

This surrogacy stuff, it's not for the faint of heart. I am always quick to boast of all that we have "gained" from going this route-- a wonderful surro community, appreciation for a beautiful culture, and most importantly, our three little growing babies.

Nevertheless, nothing can compensate for not having those babies HERE, during those times when you NEED that reassurance that everything is okay!

Thankfully, however, everything WAS okay, which allowed us to spend the remainder of our weekend worry-free -- well, as worry-free as you can be throughout this whole experience-- as we "practiced" dressing up in silly costumes for future embarrass-our-children moments.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We Really Need Children

Check out Carlos in his new sweater and (reflective) mittens set!


As you can imagine, he was thrilled with the new look. We tried to reassure him that this will likely be the last year he ever has to suffer through the humiliation of wearing matching sweater/mitten sets...

 OR

 Having his hair styled in bows...
 OR

Being toted around in a pink purse...


However, we also told him that he may be begging (pun intended) to return to the good ole' days of pink bows and pink bags (which are simply a product of my having nobody else to dress up and tote around) when he realizes what's in store for him in another seven months.

Hey Carlos, remember how thrilled you were when we took you for a ride in that car at your cousin's house?


Now picture 3 of her.

What's that Carlos? You LOVE your new mittens??? Yep, that's what I thought.

And speaking of our 3 new tenants due to arrive in another 7 or so months, we received news today that Minnie has been released from the hospital. Yay! And with that news, we also received a surprise scan of the twins! Double yay!

At 7 weeks 4 days we have 2 little guys/gals or a combo of the two measuring in at a whopping 9 weeks 0 days! Let's just say that they are either (a) some serious overachievers like their mother, or (b) of the linebacker build like their father. Either way, with heart rates of 146 and 152, we are SO PLEASED and SO GRATEFUL for this incredible news!

For the first time since the Good News began, I have allowed to myself to REALLY GET EXCITED, acting all crazy (literally, waving to the babies on the computer screen) and genuinely smiling ear to ear that I might just get that stay at home mom job after all!

On top of that, it was the first time we've ever received a scan on a weekend which made it extra-super special! Usually, my Monday ritual consists of me opening up a barely readable scan on my smart phone, racing into the bathroom and doing a short jig/cheer of sorts in front of the mirror, plastering on a somber face (lest anyone at the firm guess that I just got news about MY BABIES IN INDIA!), and returning to my desk to forward to Duane, who I can't even talk to about "the news" until we both get off work late in the evening.

Snuggling on the couch this morning and looking at those babies on the "full screen" TOGETHER-- it was pure bliss!

And of course, not to be forgotten, I should mention that our singleton's scan has been moved to Thursday because of the Diwali holiday. Stay tuned for updates on this little guy/gal later in the week!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

News

I have a ritual every morning. As soon as the alarm goes off, before I do ANYTHING, I slide my phone out from under my pillow, squint in the darkness, and scroll through the recent emails that I've acquired in my slumber. This morning, my heart stopped as I saw the subject line Mxxxx-Admission.

Minnie is in the hospital and being treated for severe nausea. She is on an IV as she can't eat or drink anything.

It's difficult to explain how I am feeling right now. For the first time since receiving news of the pregnancy, I am crying. Giant tears full of love for this incredible woman whom I have never met. I am wishing I could race to the airport, jump on a plane and sit by her side for the next eight months. Of course, I don't even know what I would say. How do you even begin to thank someone else for making your dreams come true?  You can't. There are simply no words that could ever capture this kind of gratitude.

Maybe I would just sit and hold her hand...

We do know, however, that she is under the exceptional care of SCI, that all necessary measures are being taken, and that it seems with treatment, both she and babies should be fine-- that this is actually fairly common at this point in a multiple pregnancy. (Can anybody who's been there confirm? I could use a little reassurance.)

Sending SO MUCH love and good thoughts to our Minnie and babies and wishing for her very speedy recovery!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No News is Good News, Right?

Apparently I didn't make it clear to local family that this Monday was our first No-News Monday.

Around 8:00 last night I got a text from my little sister (to be read in an ever so slightly impatient voice):

Sister: "India news? I don't like waiting for the blog..."

Me: "Sorry, this is our first No-News Monday."

Sister: "Boo. Ok. No news is good news. I read that on your friend's blog."

Indeed she did! Seems to be the Indian surrogacy mantra.

Seriously, I think we should all get t-shirts made. On the front: No news is good news. On the back: I survived surrogacy in India.

Anyways, if it's even possible, I think I checked my email MORE times than I have on past Mondays (because at least on days that I am scheduled to get news, I am able to let the checking subside once I get the news), but regardless I AM NOT COMPLAINING.

Seriously, if you told me that in order to hold these babies in my arms I'd have to stand on my head, hold my breath, and listen to SportsCenter continuously for the next eight months, you know what? I WOULD DO IT. In fact,

I WOULD DO ANYTHING IN THE WORLD FOR THESE BABIES!

Of course, looking back on all that we have done to get to This Point, I think that sort of goes without saying;)

And for those of you who ARE keeping track, our next scheduled scan is Monday...  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dare to Compare

If you are: (a) a bona fide mommy or daddy, (b) one of our local cheerleaders, (c) a first trimester graduate, or (d) any combination of the above, go ahead and skip this one. Really. It will definitely bore you, possibly baffle you, and might (but hopefully not since I know you're going to read anyways) lead you to rethink your friendship with me.

I am just going to start by putting it out there.

Us intended parents, we are crazy.

One hundred percent justifiably so, but nevertheless, capital C-R-A-Z-Y crazy. And I could spend all day on why that is, but to sum it up, we are all a product of some combination of lost pregnancies, failed treatments, drained bank accounts and strained marriages who, for some reason, happen to have the most fertile friends/coworkers/relatives on this planet. It is, enough to drive even the most sanest of persons straight to the loony bin.

And I believe that we all envision ourselves, someday, one day, getting that long awaited "phone call/email" (as is often the case when you are infertile), telling us that yes, we ARE pregnant, and that FINALLY we can cross over into the Land of No Worry, and that we are free to let go of all the craziness, the obsessions, the anxiety... that we are FINALLY free to let it all just melt away.

And from these past few weeks, I can tell you that I have had those blissful moments every time I receive my Monday emails confirming that yes, I'm going to be a mom (still). And I can tell you that they are every bit as special and exciting and endorphin-inducing as I always imagined they would be.

And I can also tell you that roughly 10 hours, 1 blog post and a celebratory dinner later... it's straight on back to the loony bin.

Oh Dr. Gooooooooooooogle!

 


Are you in? Of course you are. I know that you work a glorious 24 hours a day, particularly when I am in my worst state of panic at oh say, 3:00 in the morning. Just one question. Ok, who am I kidding. Just 553 questions. Ready. Go. First, I forgot the answer to the question that I just asked you 2.314 seconds ago. Well, actually, I didn't forget. I just wanted to confirm the answer for the thousandth time. Also, I was thinking that in the past 3 minutes since I last refreshed my smart phone, you might have come up with a different answer-- that is, a different answer than the one posted on my actual computer. What's that you say? I AM supposed to have a sac at this point?!? Or is too early? Or is too LATE? Or is it too early AND too late?!? And now, as a result of it being too early AND too late, I have a 0.0000000000000000000000000132345 % chance of losing the pregnancy?!? I knew it. I just knew it. What about my ultrasound pictures? How do they compare to others? No, not just the first five Google images. All 653 ultrasound images ever posted on Google. And Bing. And Yahoo. And when I type in 5 weeks 6 days, stop showing me pictures of 6 week ultrasounds!!! It's freaking me out and I am NOT ready to obsess about the heartbeat. Or maybe I should be you say? Because according to you, roughly 0.513% of pregnancies, give or take a few, see a heartbeat during the fifth week?!? Dammit! I can't find when you posted about that one patient who already had a heartbeat and she was 1.3465 WHOLE DAYS behind me! But wasn't her ultrasound done at 3:42 p.m. when mine was done at 8:23 a.m.-- so I get points for that, right? RIGHT?!? Dr. Google, ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME?!? That's it!!! I'm going to bother my REAL doctor! Or not. She actually knows what she's talking about AND she's going to tell me everything is ok. Clearly, she does not know me!!! Clearly, she does not know that ANYTIME I HAVE EVER ATTEMPTED TO HAVE A BABY IT HAS NEVER EVER WORKED OUT! CLEARLY SHE DOES NOT KNOW JUST HOW CRAZY I AM!!!

Temmy (and anyone else who is "behind" me in the process and madly searching my blogging archives to assess my stats), in case you are reading (which I know you are), my 5 week ultrasounds did not reveal anything but several 'lil ole gestational sacs and then, voila, next week we have a few beautiful heartbeats. Haha, are you cursing me for not being specific enough? We hate words like "several" and a "few." We want cold hard statistics! How else can we compare?!?

I should also tell you, that if I was crazy enough (which of course I am not ) when I was stressing over the same thing as you, to have combed through everyone of Dr. S's blogger archives to see whether other IPs saw a yolk sac at the same exact point, I would imagine (because of course I never did something like this) that most, I take that back, a CLEAR majority of IPs never saw one at the before 5 week point either. Mere speculation, of course...






Thursday, October 13, 2011

Infertility Bonuses

I realize I've been sparse with the details lately... particularly regarding my magical Monday moments. To be honest, I feel as if these past three weeks I've been living a dream, and I am scared terrified that the moment I cement my good news in reality, it will disappear just as quickly as it arrived.

And so, my apologies for the lack of detail surrounding these oh-so-special Monday emails. I promise that in a few weeks, say maybe 35 or so, I'll be feeling a lot more confident. Until then, bear with me as I post about the un-Mondays-- some of which have proven to be almost as exciting!

Rare are the moments when I am "grateful" for my infertility--- but this past Sunday was one of them! Allie and Harris happened to be in town and we were able to arrange a very special brunch get together. Boy did we have a GREAT time! We bonded over food allergies, sports talk (more Duane and Harris), teacher talk (more Allie and I), fertility financial woes (all of us), and our incredible adoration for Dr. S.

If you recall, one of the reasons I started this blog is because when we were starting out, so many "ahead" of us in this process graciously shared their bags of tips and tricks. We had always hoped that we would someday be able to return the favor and it looks like that day has come!



It was a fantastic time had by all, and we are so hopeful for Allie and Harris because after meeting them, I am certain that they are going to make two REALLY AMAZING parents!

After brunch, Duane and I moseyed around Georgetown, and eventually headed home with one final stop to make. On my Top Five Things I Miss the Most about India List are the magnificent Hindu temples. Fortunately, there are several in the D.C. area (temples at least-- once you've been to India, it's tough to measure high on the "magnificent" meter). Anyways, we google-mapped the closest and were totally gung-ho to drop in and say a prayer... that is, until we arrived in the parking lot.

Not really having thought this through, and only having a surface understanding of the Hindu religion, we were concerned when we saw the fifty or so cars in the parking lot that perhaps this was not an appropriate time to "drop in."

Lucky for us, "Rasik" pulled up next to our car. Can I just say that we felt like we were in India all over again? The entire congregation could not have been any friendlier. We were invited in for tea and coffee, asked if we wanted to stay for a lecture (we politely declined), bombarded with email addresses and phone numbers, urged to come to the weekend Diwali festivities, and of course, shown to the shoe room so that we could do what we came to do.

On top of all this, nobody even mentioned my praying faux pas. (When I opened my eyes I realized I was standing in the midst of a group of men because I had been praying on the men only side. An honest mistake-- the temples in India were gender neutral throughout.)

Regardless, it was a delightful time, and after sharing our stories of our India travels, Rasik shared his big news with us. Ready for this?

They are building an Akshardam in... dun da da da... NEW JERSEY!

Dead. Serious. Bet you didn't guess that one! I really can't comment on this without possibly offending one of our favorite New Jersey resident blogging families and so, I will simply leave you with a picture of the last time New Jersey attempted to duplicate India...

Let's just say we are quite anxious to see how the two compare!

Monday, October 10, 2011

No Words




108 bpm, 102 bpm, 108 bpm

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

All In

That's what if feels like now every Monday.

Win the week before, push our chips back in, anxiously await the flop, and ever so slowly peek at the cards as our fate is revealed.

Problem is, I am NOT a gambler. Seriously, can't I just take my prize and go home??? Unfortunately, not. Rules are that we've got about another 8+ worth of months to knock out before we can get up from the table.

But the good news is... we're still in the game! We are happy to report that the email(s) have arrived, as have our very first scans!

Our first Monday morning email was for Minnie. (Because both of our surrogates' names begin with an M, I am officially giving them blogging suedos of Minnie and Cher. Minnie for our super cute and tiny surro (who am I kidding they are BOTH super cute and tiny) and Cher for our single-named lady.)

In keeping with the poker analogy, let's just say, Minnie's got a full house. Literally. That's right, she is 4 for 4 at the moment. 4 gestational sacs measuring 4 weeks 5 days-- which by my calculations is the exact day they should have been measuring when we received our Monday news. Good job Minnie!

Cher, as we expected, is sporting a single sac measuring 4 weeks 3 days, and I would just like to say that I am EQUALLY proud of her. (See, won't I make a good multiples mommy?)
Anyways, it goes without saying that we are totallycompletelyoverthemoonexcited by all this news BUT equally nervousanxiousandtotallyscared that we will somehow jinx it by becoming TOO totallycompletelyoverthe moonexcited.

As a result, I have resisted the urge to write in all caps and press down on the shift+1 keys for ten straight lines. At least for the moment.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that I can't go totally crazy over somebody else's news...

CONGRATULATIONS TEMMY ON RECEIVING THE MOST WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER!!!
(See you in Delhi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)