Hopefully the end…

Over the last couple of weeks Vanessa’s numbers continued to rise.  Not enough to be a viable pregnancy.

Dr. Conway was worried that it may be an ectopic pregnancy.  They have done blood tests every couple of days and 2 ultrasounds and were not able to see anything.  Today Vanessa had a D&C done to hopefully get the HCG numbers to start coming down and eventually get to zero.

We are hoping that nothing else will need to be done.

We know that obviously this was not God’s PLAN for us to have more children through a surrogate.  Even though we believe that, it doesn’t make it any easier because we don’t know what the PLAN is!  The feeling of wanting siblings for Jaxston doesn’t just go away over night.  I know it will take time.

We are content in knowing that we gave each of the 5 embryos we started out with a chance at life and for now that will have to be good enough.

Our family will most likely be a family of 3.

We are VERY THANKFUL for what we have!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. // Romans 5:1-5

 

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Not looking good…

Vanessa had her 4th blood draw yesterday.  The results are not good.

HCG Tests

#1 – 22.6

#2 – 35.7

#3 – 65.1

#4 – 72.8

These numbers are supposed to be doubling.  As you can see, they are not.

There will be another test on Monday 2/18/13.

Dr. Conway expects the numbers to start going down.

She has stated that most likely this is not going to be a viable pregnancy.

We are crushed.

We have worked sooooo hard for this.

Vanessa has worked sooooo hard for this.

I hate that it is going to be over.  I am not ready for it to be over.  Every emotion is running through our bodies.  The world of infertility plain sucks.  I am at a loss for words because there really isn’t much to say.  It is, what it is.  We have tried everything in our power and it didn’t work out.  I really wish it would have, but it didn’t.

As our 5 1/2 year old, Jaxston, would say…

“IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE…IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!”

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++++++ = PREGNANT!!!

We got the official blood test results yesterday!

We are having a BABY!  Well, technically, Vanessa is having OUR baby!!!

We are still in shock and can’t believe that it’s actually POSITIVE!!!

Only child

Home pregnancy tests that Vanessa had taken before the blood results came in!Tests_0001

Our last 2 embryos transferred!

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Vanessa and I at the transfer!

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Meeting Vanessa and Clark for the 1st time!

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We decided with Vanessa on December 3, 2012 that we were going to give this a shot.  We found out on February 4th, 2013 that she is pregnant.  What a whirlwind of excitement we have had!  I can’t even believe that everything has worked out!  It’s amazing!

Vanessa is truly our saving grace.  We needed her in this time of our lives and she has been so great.  We love her and her family so much for doing this wonderful thing for our family.  Words cannot express our GRATITUDE!  We are so hopeful for the next 9 months and can’t wait to share it with everyone around us!  Stay tuned…

and be sure to visit Vanessa’s blog through the link at the top of the page!

Waiting game…

Now we are waiting.  Waiting until next week to fly to Utah and meet face to face with Vanessa and her family!  We are beyond excited!  We are scheduled for the embryo transfer on January 24th!!  I am soooooo anxious for this day…and then I will be anxious for the week wait to know if it worked or not!  These next 2 weeks are going to be hard!  I am not good at waiting!!  But, in the meantime feel free to check out Vanessa’s AWESOME blog!  There is a link at the top!

Details…

I let myself enjoy that night of happiness thinking of all the what if’s!

The next morning it was on!  I got to work on all of the things that needed to be taken care of before we could do an embryo transfer.  Where did I even begin?  Here is a short list:

  • Legal

–  Attorney in Wisconsin to draw up contract

– Attorney in Utah to do work on pre-birth determination

  • Medical

– Consultation with the Dr. at Utah Fertility Center

– Medical clearance for Vanessa

– Psychological screening for Randy and I

         – Psychological screening for Vanessa and her husband

– Medication for Vanessa

  • Shipment of our embryos from WI to Utah

– Embryos shipped using Fed Ex (so crazy to me!)

  • Life insurance policy
  • Health insurance policy
  • Escrow / payment account
  • Sign contract
  • Travel arrangements for Randy and I to be in Utah for the embryo transfer

I worked the entire month of December on all of these things!  It was a full-time job!  I do have to say that things went very smoothly though.  Vanessa and I worked together great and there weren’t any bumps in the road.  I am so happy to have all of the detail work done so that now we can focus on the upcoming transfer and then HOPEFULLY focus on a pregnancy!

Going back to Vanessa…

The first week in December I sent Vanessa an email.  She didn’t reply.  I thought she was surely working with another family and we had missed our opportunity.  I couldn’t stop thinking about her and how she seemed to be such a perfect fit for what we were looking for.  I sent her a text.  I needed to know if she was still available or not.  She texted back that she was talking with another family, but she didn’t know where it would lead.  Darn it!  I knew she would be.  The next day I sent her another email letting her know that if it didn’t work out with the intended parents she was talking to, we were now 100% sure that she was the one we wanted to be our surrogate.  If, of course, she was still willing!

I think within a couple of days she had called and said that she was willing to work with us!  We were so excited the night I got off the phone with her.  I couldn’t help but do a little dance around our living room.  I knew there were a lot of things that needed to be coordinated and taken care of, but in that moment I needed a little bit of happiness!

Meeting with an agency…

In talking with agencies I liked a lady named Mindy from Lotus Blossom Consulting in Chicago.  We set up a meeting with her in the second week of November.  The meeting went well and we decided we would go with her.  She was able to send me profiles of potential surrogates by the third week in November.  She sent me 9 profiles.  This is where things started going down hill.  Not once before sending me the profiles, did Mindy ask what Randy and I would be looking for in a potential surrogate.  Needless to say the profiles of the 9 women that Mindy sent to me were not what I was expecting.  I was shocked!  I guess that I was comparing each and every one to Vanessa.  Because in my mind I thought there would be others out there that would be like Vanessa.  They were not.  Not even close!  I told Mindy my feelings and asked if she had more candidates.  She said she did, but implied that I was being very picky.  Mind you, some of the things we had on our list would she have asked, would have been:  Married, younger than 38, religious, no more than 3 children of her own, not have been a surrogate more than 2 times before, no previous STD’s or abortions.  Not overly picky in my opinion.  Maybe I was asking for a lot, but this was our last chance and I was not going to compromise my moral feelings of what I wanted.  If I was not going to be able to carry my own child I wanted the next best person to be able to do that for me.  I came to the realization that Mindy was not someone I wanted to continue working with.  There were plenty of other agencies out there, surely I could find what I was looking for.

The last week of November, I contacted another agency  in the Chicago area and went to work filling out all of their paperwork and requirements.  They had a 12 page questionnaire about what our ideal surrogate would look like to us.  Talk about a night and day difference in the way the process worked.  Over the next week while filling out the paperwork I wondered about Vanessa.

I asked Randy if now looking back, would he have gone with Vanessa?  He said yes, that I should contact her again to see if she was available.  We quickly realized Vanessa was the one we wanted!

Finding Vanessa…

I started researching…calling agencies all around our area and getting information on how you go about starting the process.  I also started looking for blogs.  I emailed people to ask for information.  Friends set me up with friends of friends that knew someone who had gone through it before.  You can bet I emailed them also!  Just random emails to random people trying to get all of the information I could to help me understand the process.  Some had used agencies and some hadn’t.  I never even knew there was a whole world of surrogates out there!  There are websites that you can advertise on for what type of surrogate you are looking for and also surrogates can post ads looking for intended parents.

At the end of October I started looking at the ads.  On the second page of reading through them I came across Vanessa’s ad!  She had posted a link to her blog.  Immediately, I was checking it out and could not stop reading!  I sent her an email (that I’m sure sounded like I had no clue as to what I was doing).  I really did not know how to go about getting to know someone and then decide if they would be a good person to carry your child for you!  I basically stated what our situation was and that she sounded great, would she like to speak with me further.  I received an email back from her the next day with a little more information about her and her family.  She said to give her a call if I liked all the things that I read.  So, I did!  I called and we talked for a little bit on the phone.  It was a very easy conversation.  I loved the fact that she had been a surrogate before.  To me the fact that she had done this before and then also that she blogged about the whole process, sold me immediately!  We talked for a couple of days through email and text.  Randy and I even Skyped with her and her husband!  Talk about being a nervous wreck!  So here we are Skyping with Vanessa and her husband in Utah while talking about her carrying our child!  That was one of the craziest things I have ever done!  Although things went well, Randy was really not 100% with the whole process yet.  He was worried that if we tried to coordinate this on our own, we would mess it up.  We decided that we needed to meet with an agency.  It was all moving a little too fast with Vanessa.  We told Vanessa this was our plan and that we were sure she would find another family quickly because she was so great.  She agreed that we were probably a little new to the process! 🙂

History…

Looking back at the ordeal I have gone through I can’t believe that it was almost 1 year ago!  It seems like it was just yesterday.  You really seem to lose track of time when going through infertility treatments.  Every day and month seems to drag out because of the constant ups and downs.

Over the 3 years that we have been dealing with this quest to add to our family, a surrogate has come up a couple of times.  Even before doing IVF we had joked that I needed a surrogate because for some reason my body just wouldn’t get pregnant!  We watched the seasons of Giuliana and Bill Rancic and knew that there were movie stars that had done this before, but I didn’t know of any people personally that had done it.

After getting the all clear from my surgeon in August 2012, we really thought long and hard about what our next steps would be.  Adoption, surrogacy, or risk me carrying a baby myself.  We attended an adoption seminar in September and I felt like that was a clear answer to me at that time that we needed to pursue every option of using our 2 frozen embryos before traveling down the road of adoption.  I could not stand the thought of waiting up to 6 years to adopt a child when we still had these 2 frozen embryos.  I was very thankful that the answer came easily to me that night after leaving the seminar and talking with Randy over dinner.

We decided that we would pursue gestational surrogacy in order to give our 2 frozen “babies” a fighting chance!  We did not want to risk anything further with my health and decided this was our very last option!

Introducing…

I would like to introduce our gestational surrogate!

Her name is Vanessa and she lives with her cute little family in Utah!  We are over the moon excited to have found her and are so thankful that she would be willing to give our family this great opportunity.  We are anxiously anticipating an embryo transfer at the end of January!  We really feel like she is one in a million!

Stay tuned for all the details of how we got to this point in our journey!

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