Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favor or Coincidence???

Well, I should be deep in sleep right now...lately a realistic "she's down for the count" time is about 9:30. But tonight as I drifted off to sleep I had the wave of nausea overtake my body, I couldnt ignore it...I must get up and eat something. REALLY? Really. I had a great dinner...chinese~mmmm, I should be completely satisfied. But, yeah, no. So anyways, as I surveyed the pantry & the fridge trying to decided what was going to suffice this sudden wave, I had a vision of just how many times I had to do this today...and to be honest, yesterday & the day before & the day get my drift. This nausea is kicking my butt~ it comes out of nowhere. I am eating constantly, either because Im hungry or because Im trying not to puke. And SOMETIMES I eat...full well knowing I will puke it up! Im sorry, I know puke is a gross word, but so is barf & puke it is. Im trying to make good food choices~ I just grabbed an apple. And while I was shopping at Target tonight & absolutely couldnt stand myself any longer because I needed food NOW, I chose a fruit/granola parfait to devour right there in the middle of the store. But then there are times that those stinkin' Twinkies or Ho~Ho's call my name from the pantry (the upper pantry, tucked carefully back behind the papertowels so as to not tempt anyone else in the house!)...thanks Muelkens! Well, my point in all of this is this.......When we moved back in September we lost our scale. Weird I know. But we really have lost it...gone...gone. Now as I struggle to find a time during the day that Im not shoving food (be it a Twinkie or an apple) into my mouth I have to wonder....Is it coincidence that we lost our scale? Or did our All Knowing God do me a huge favor? Seriously. How can a scale just vanish? Favor or Coincidence...Favor or Coincidence

Monday, December 28, 2009

The blood tests

Ok so we were pretty confident going into Monday the 21st because of the home pregnancy the way Jill took a total of 3 out of the 5 tests that I bought and we all enjoyed watching the line get darker and darker! Even though we new she was pregnant (and now throwing up in the mornings) it was still nerve racking because the hcg numbers from her blood work would tell us if it was a strong healthy pregnancy. Basically what I'm saying is that we were not out of the woods yet. Jill's appointment was at 10 am and we would get "the call" between 1 and 3pm! About 1:50 pm or so my phone rang..........the caller ID said Allina. The clinic!!!!!!! I answered like I had no idea what so ever that it was them and to my surprise it was Dawn, the nurse instead of Dr. Kunuk. Her tone was very pleasant and she went on to tell me that Jill's hcg level was 433. She said that was a very strong number and that she was very pleased. Let me back up to the day of the transfer and tell you that the nurse that day told us that when Dr. Kunuk called with the hcg results that he would also give us an educated guess based on the numbers if both of the embryos took. So I ask Dawn, what do the numbers tell you???? She says, "the numbers are VERY strong and I would guess that both embryos have implanted but we wont know for sure until the ultrasound in 3 weeks". OK..................You are dealing with 2 of the most impatient women on the face of this earth!!! Kunuk was supposed to tell us what he thought!!!!!! How can we wait 3 weeks! Dawn goes on to say that Jill will come in on Wed. (48 hours later) to repeat the test and we want to see her numbers double. She tells me congrats and says she is going to call Jill now and tell her. I called my sweet husband who was at work waiting for this call and I promise you when I say that I could hear his smile! It was a great day!

But like I can we wait 3 weeks?????? By this time Jill had called me and we were on a mission! Anything we could google on normal hcg levels 10 days post transfer. What did we find????? Yes did seem that her numbers were high for just one baby.

Fast forward 48 hours..............test number two. So if our numbers needed to double we wanted to see about an 860. Not my girl Jill...............she is an overachiever. She gave us a 1060!!!!! Again I ask Dawn............what do you think this means??????? " I think it means there is two" is what she says will have to wait until the ultrasound. About 5 minutes later my phone chimes with a text from Jill. It says " me". We were FREAKING out!!!! How could our numbers be so high??? How many babies were in there??? What do you suppose we did next????? You guessed it! Google, here we come!!! And again..........high numbers for just one baby. However, I will say that we found other women's numbers to be all over the board. From what we read, it could very well be only one baby. So really we are going to try not to think about the "numbers". After all.......this child's father is 6'5'' and 230lbs. But then again........this child mother is close to being labeled a 'little person' coming in at only 5'1'' and 100 and something lbs!! So your guess is as good as ours! The ultrasound is scheduled for the perfect day! Jills birthday! We will celebrate the day God gave Jill to us all and the baby or babies that he have given us as well........all at once! How perfect!! Until then..........please say many prayers. 1st for my Jill. That she feel good and healthy. Of course for our little baby (ies) that health and strength remain. But most of all for peace in Gods will.

Telling our family........

Because we "found out" on Thursday instead of the Monday we all thought would be "the day' and talked with Dawn at the clinic and confessed about the home test to which she "confirmed' that if the test was positive then Jill was indeed pregnant, we decided to catch our family off guard and tell them on Friday. I took the 'baby pictures" from the clinic and made copies and put them on a hand made card with baby stickers with a note that said the following:

Dear Grandma & Grandpa or Auntie Jodi & Uncle Jim,

I already love you so much and I cant wait to have you snuggle me tight in your arms. My big brothers and sister told me your the best grandparents around and Jesus told me that he put two very special angels named Jill and Kurt in my life so he would have a safe way to bring me to all of you. So wow..........I'm pretty lucky! It wont be too long now though, today the doctor told my mommy and daddy that I will be here at the end of August. So until then say lots of prayers so I can grow big and strong like my grandpas and my daddy.

I Love you lots,
your newest little grand baby due to arrive
August 30th 2010

So yep, you bet............lots of hugs and tears! It was so wonderful to watch my husband telling his family that he was in fact going to be a daddy! Truly amazing!

"Denise....I need you to turn the car around and come back"

Hi there....Its Denise this time. I will start where Jill left off.

Thursday Dec. 17th
Those are words that I can promise you are forever burned in my memory. Simple words really. "Denise, I need you to turn the car around and come back". For me however, life changing words because I knew just by the tone in her very first word why she wanted me to come back.............. For any of you that know the way Jill and I "roll" you know that we get our minds almost "fixated" on certain things. No joke. We can take a topic and spin it into about 15 separate and totally different conversations. I love her for it because anyone else would think I'm nuts for wanting to talk about the same thing over and over and over and over and see where I'm going with this. But not my Jill. She plays right along with me. I think that's one of the reasons we fit together so well. And let me assure you....if someone other than you is going to carry your baby, you REALLY need this type of "fit". I would come to find this out for myself even more than I knew. So back to the story........A couple of days leading up to the 17th, Jill was feeling "symptoms". She told me about them and we turned and twisted the topic until there was nothing left to twist! Bottom line that we concluded is that because the embryos where 5 days old already at the time of transfer maybe she really could be feeling pregnant. I had an appointment that day with my OBGYN and I told Jill I would ask her if the meds she was taking could cause her to get a false positive on a home pregnancy test. Oh........I forgot to mention that that is what we talked about all morning. Should we or shouldn't we go and get a test??? So, I asked my doc and she smiled and told me that there was NOTHING that Jill was taking that would trigger a home test except for a baby in her tummy! My aunt Janice drove me to my appointment and when we were done I called Jill as I was walking out of the appt. (as instructed by Jill) to tell her what the doc said. Janice just happened to want a coffee from caribou which just happens to be right across from Walgreen's. I called Jill again and asked her if I should go and buy a test. She said yes and as luck would have it, it was cheaper to buy either a double pack or a triple pack of tests. (first response early detection pregnancy test for any of you who rely on google as much as Jill and I do) At this point, we had 5 days until the blood test so naturally I got one double pack and one triple pack so we would have one for everyday until the blood test. Again.....that's the way Jill and I fit. She saw nothing strange about the fact that I bought 5 tests! So off Janice and I go to Jill's. I called Jill on the way and told her that I couldn't stay and as we talked we figured that if she was indeed pregnant we should get a positive by Saturday or Sunday. We pulled into her driveway and I ran to the door. When she got there, she was smiling and I said "whats that smile for?" She said she needed to pee right now and I said "good, take a test so we have a starting place". I gave her a hug and drove off with Janice.

Now I hate to do this but real quick I want to share with you my "version" of the days leading up to this.............on the transfer day we picked Jill and Kurt up just like she said and we went and had breakfast. Jill was right, we were bugging the crap out of her with all of our talking! But for me, it was all I could do from not having a complete emotional meltdown!!! Cuz like Jill said........did we know what the H-E-L-L we were about to do?????? Did I???? Did Jeff??? for me, its different. I HAVE carried a baby before. I DO know what I'm going to miss out on. I DO know what Jill is about to do for Jeff and I. We finished eating and off we went. To knock my bff up with my baby! Jill and I have always been a perfect fit before this but this was a whole new fit we were talking about now! Jill did a great job of describing the morning but I want to touch on one part. "the hug". Before Jill hopped up onto the table, I said "let me give you a hug". Let me tell you all......I have given lots of hugs in my lifetime. But never once, not even on my wedding day did a hug say that much to me. I was hugging of course my very best friend, but also the woman that God himself had placed into my life to CARRY MY CHILD FOR ME!!!! Did you all read that right??????? Can you imagine what that hug felt like?????? At that moment, I wanted to fall apart and cry like a 2 year old but..........the 2 nurses in the room broke the "mood" when they smiled and said, "so how do you two know each other? From an agency?" "No, we are very best friends and have known each other for the better part of 15 years" Let me tell you all something......a friend like that WILL NOT come along more than once in your life time. Whether she is going to carry your baby or carry your spirit when your down, make sure she knows how much you love her! Jill wanted me to mention the procedure room. VERY weird. Almost like we were on CSI or something. The embryos did come into the room threw a "window" and Jill was right, they where in what looked like a skinny tube. CRAZY, CRAZY! It took 5 minutes. That's it...............and it was done.

So Janice and I "drove off". I would guess we were about 7 minutes away when my cell phone rang. I said hello and Jill got my name out and I knew. I let her finish her sentence......."I need you to turn the car around and come back". But I didn't need to ask why. I know her well enough that when she said "Denise" I knew. I knew the test was positive. She said there was a faint second line and with that Janice whipped a big old shitty on cty rd. 21 and back to Jill's we drove. "thank you Jesus, Jeff is going to be a daddy" was all I could think. We flew into the door and there she was with the test! And yes, it was faint..........but it was also positive! My bff was carrying my baby. Like little girls, Jill and I hugged but this time, we were jumping up and down. No tears, just complete excitement! About 5 minutes later Kurt came home and together, he, Jill, me and Janice stared at the test and smiled. We devised a plan to tell Jeff together that night and I was off again! This time with the knowledge that I was having a baby.
Jill and Kurt came over that night and in a very cute way we shared the news with my husband Jeff. You could tell he was very happy but also very cautious. He needed the blood work for it to be completely real. I will say this though...........before going to bed that night, I found my sweet husband all by himself, laying on our bed staring at the ceiling with his hand on his forehead..............smiling from ear to ear!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Transfer day & post transfer days

OK, so there is a reason I'm not a "blogger"...well, I suppose I am officially a blogger...I'm just TERRIBLE at it! Big things have happened the last couple weeks and I just haven't had the time to sit down. Alright, I'm gonna back up a bit......

Saturday, Dec. 12th
BIG day! I woke up this morning knowing that my BFF was gonna come pick Kurt and I up at 6:30. All 4 of us, Kurt & me, Jeff & Denise were heading to Perkins to grab some breakfast before heading downtown so I could "get knocked up". Breakfast was perfectly fine but as the chit chat happened around the table I couldn't help but keep thinking to myself..."do we all realize what we are about to do"?!?!?! I couldn't even focus on the conversation, not one little bit. If anything, I started to feel annoyed by it, they were interrupting me and thoughts that seemed to be on "auto replay"...the same old thoughts over, and over and over!!! Well, breakfast was soon done and it was precisely the time we wanted to be leaving the restaurant (9am) to be at the clinic on time. Everything up until this point has been "text book", no curve balls, no unexpected anythings & now, even breakfast ends at exactly the time we had planned...hmmm. Jeff drives us downtown and we arrive right on time, 9:45 & check-in. It was a fairly quiet morning in the clinic, only a couple other people in the waiting area. And then the 4 of us. Do people wonder what our story is? After only a few short moments out walks the nurse..."Jill". Yikes, that's me. I ask who can "come back" with me...I'm not even sure where were going or what is going to happen when we get there. She says just as sweet as can be "oh, anyone you want can come back". Great~c'mon guys! She takes us to a room where the doctor meets with us. He has in his hand a picture...of the 2 precious little embryos that he thinks, in his 'oh so wise', professional opinion, look to be the most promising. A picture for the baby book, he says. sweet. He confirms that they/we want to transfer 2...yeppers, 2 it is. Lets do it! Alright guys, Jeff and Kurt, head back out to the waiting room to wait for the news that its done. Only one person can accompany me back to the "transfer room" & Denise is that person. I change into my gown and robe and they quickly escort me down the hall and into the transfer room. Denise took pictures and I'm glad she did, I cant remember much of what the room was like. Before I lay on the table and stick my feet in the stir-ups Denise gives me a big hug & an 'I love you'. I remember thinking, 'the next time you hug me, your baby will be growing inside of me'. Weird. Who does this?! So, they get me quickly situated, draped with a sheet and then the doctor moves in. He was in the room with us for only about 5min. It felt very much like a papsmear, not even that bad actually. This is what I do recall (remember, I was on Valium), looking up at the monitor that was right next to me...looking at my uterus that was perfectly prepped for this procedure. When I looked up at the doc, I saw, behind him, a window with blinds. The blinds were lifted and through the window was a very sterile looking lab with microscopes and metal boxes. The window slid open a bit and someone from inside the lab handed Dr. Campbell, through the window, I think a long tube. Denise will have to describe that because I had laid my head down and actually missed that part. But I heard them verify "Seykora" a couple times. Lickity split, the doc showed us on the monitor the 2 little drops of fluid that he had placed inside of me, inside each of those drops was an embryo. The tube was handed back to the person in the lab and they examined it under the high powered microscope to verify that both embryos had in fact been released from the tube. Yep, we're good to go! That's it...quick & painless...amazing! The doc says as he pats my foot in the stir-up 'you're officially carrying twins'! Hilarious! Wow, its done. weird. I didn't want to stand up, I didn't want to bend over, I didn't want to cough, I didn't want to laugh...oh, the list goes on & on. Then the nurse told us as we laid waiting for 30min or so that my uterus was like a peanut butter sandwich and the embryos were smooched in the middle. OK, that helps. The nurse went to the waiting room and got Jeff & Kurt to come sit with us till the 30min was over. Kurt gave me a hug, asked how I felt...fine, completely fine, like nothing happened. Jeff walked in and touched my shoulder & gave me a look I'll never forget. A look like, are you hurt? Do you feel sick? Are you still OK with this? I'm not sure what he was thinking, he just looked really fragile to me at that moment. I'm sure he was scared out of his mind...these are his babies and he wants this so badly. I cant imagine. The rest of the day quickly becomes a blur as the Valium clearly sets in. I sleep the majority of the day away, wake up only to feel so tired that I proceed to sleep the entire night away too! Here, I had all these great plans of what I was gonna do while I was on bedrest all weekend. One of my plans included my 43 dvr'd episodes of The Young & The Restless, my guilty pleasure in life. Yeah, all weekend long all I could muster was 3 measly episodes! I obeyed strict bedrest, only out of bed to pee and quickly back in bed. Monday morning came and back to life as normal...weird. Who does this?!?!

Tuesday, Dec. 15th
So, today I'm going nuts because my house is a disaster, I'm not decorated for xmas and we are hosting this yr! So, Denise takes mercy on me and comes over to help me clean. Now, that's a true friend, one who will gladly come and scrub my toilets! As we are both on our hands and knees cleaning the floors I ask her, nonchalantly 'so, if I start to feel any symptoms, do you want me to tell you or just keep quiet'? (Because, we had heard that women will feel false symptoms from the meds they are on, not necessarily b/c they are it can really jack with your mind) She quickly snaps at me "WHY, are you feeling something and you're holdin' out on me?!" NO! for crying out loud, its only been 3 days, of course I'm not feeling anything...but if I DO? to which she replies something like "if you are puking, I want u to call me in the middle of it", ...something like that. Alright, got it.

Wednesday, Dec. 16th
Woke up this morning and went about my morning routine...pee'd and then moved to the sink to brush my teeth. As I was brushing my teeth & chatting with Kurt...I gagged on my toothbrush! I tried to act like nothing happened but Kurt was like..."uh, Jill. Did you just gag on your toothbrush?!?!" "um, yeah, I did...well, maybe it was just in my mouth too long, I dont know!" What you need to understand is that with nearly all of my pregnancies, one of the very 1st thing that happens to me is that I gag on my toothbrush! I dont know why, I know its wierd, I just have a very sensitive gag reflex all the sudden. 10 min. later as Im in the shower, I feel it...symptom #2! No way! My armpit is sore...again, I know its weird, but always one of my 1st symptoms~a sore armpit! OH MY GOSH!!! I head downstairs. Kurt is making breakfast for the kiddos. Breakfast for me? I could take it or leave it. No big deal, I sure didnt need it. Well, not today...not today. The water starts squirting in the sides of my mouth, oh my gosh I am nauseous! Im gonna throw up...give me food, give me food...NOW! This cant be real, it has only been 4 days since the transfer...4 days! This cant be real! I call Denise and fill her in on the happenings of the morning & we instantly start our own investigation....Google, here we come. Come to find out, that yes, some women feel false symptoms that mimic pregnancy symptoms, they are brought on by one of the meds. Oh, BUT, that particular med~ an HCG shot, is one of the meds that Denise had to take...NOT ME! Therefore, these symptoms I am feeling are not drug induced, well, probably not. There is a small possibility that the progesterone I am taking could give me side effects that are similar to pregnancy symptoms. Hmmm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Egg retrieval and the NUMBERS............

Hi guys....its Denise...... Real quick I will talk about the day my eggs were retrieved!!! I was kinda nervous because of the unknown but all in all it went very well! I took a nice little nap and then it was over.......that simple! Off we would go to wait for the news on "how many little Jeff and Denise's" we had growing in our "love dish"!! I'm gonna let Jill finish the rest..........................................................So, today was pretty exciting. I got a phone call from Denise giving me an update on hers and Jeff's sweet little embryos! On Monday when her eggs were "retrieved", they got 18 of them...BIG number! 13 of those eggs were optimal for they did just that...let them sit for about 48hrs and then determined that out of those 13 there are 8 that are developing in a way that is pleasing to the docs. 8! That's a great number! The next update will be Friday...I don't think they will give an update on the development of the embryos but they will give us an exact time for our transfer on Saturday.
Kurt has been giving me my shots in the...rear, for the last 4 nights now. He's doing a good job...he hates needles and has a fear that the 3inch needle he is "stabbing" me with is gonna hit bone or something! But really, I think he is finding it a bit easier every night. I'm very proud of him!
Jeff and Denise have brought Jeff sister, Patty, up here to MN from FL (HA! from 85 and sunny to blizzard conditions!...I know...that's not funny, I'm so, so sorry!) Anyways, she is an acupuncturist and will be doing 2 treatments on me before the "transfer" (and I think a couple following the "transfer" as well). Evidently, it is suppose with the invitro process being successful. Never had acupuncture before...should be interesting! This may help with my chronic headaches too...oh, wouldn't that be a gift! Yes. yes, it would be!!!
Its 12:30 in the morning...what the heck am I doing up???? I am not a late night person! By nature I am the kind of person who has a hard time "turning my mind off"...and I'm finding lately that my mind is in overdrive!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

What does a best friend look like?

Hi guys! Its Denise. Jill and I thought it would be neat to blog together to better share our experience. I would like to first explain how we got to this place........

What does a best friend look like??? Let me tell you..........a best friend looks like a man who asked me to marry him even though there were things he would be giving up with me being his wife. Jeff loves children and has always wanted to have children of his own. The day he got down on his knees and asked me to marry him, he knew that having his own children would most likely never happen. A best friend looks like someone who loved me more than something he has always wanted, but was willing to give it up to have me as his wife. My husband is my best friend.

Rewind a little bit and let me also show you what a best friend looks like, but in a different light. A girl who was so much a part of my everyday life for so long and then "just like that" was gone because of "complicated" reasons. Nothing I want to share in this happy post. My heart was forever bruised. A piece of me gone. "just like that" So many life experiences went on without this girl that I loved so much. And then "just like that" I walked into a little store and there she was. A quick hug and a "call me" has lead to this very moment. Me sitting at my computer telling you all what a best friend looks like. Jill has always known that Jeff and I would not be able to have children of our own. It was something that always made her sad as she knows the joys of "lifes second chances" with Kurt and wanted that for Jeff and I. end my blog for tonight. A best friend is someone who knows your heart as well as she knows her own, its joys but also its hurts. She wants for you only the very best and wants to help you achieve it. So she gives a gift of herself so precious as to allow Jeff and I to place our baby in her belly, her trust, and forever in her heart. This is what a friendship connected at your soul looks like and I thank God everyday that he has blessed me with this gift.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting closer...

Wow, does time fly or what?! I mean, yeah...this time of the year always does seem to move at a quicker pace but it's almost moving too quickly this year. I wish I could slow time down...just a titch. This is such a "once in a lifetime experience"...well, not even once in a lifetime....more like---"once in a lifetime experience for...4% of the population". I actually have no idea of the percentage of people that are blessed enough to have the chance to carry their best friends baby but it cant be very high (can it?). I'm sure being a surrogate in general is a decent percentage, but a surrogate for your best friend??? I feel very blessed at the opportunity. Anyways, it's all coming so quickly I'm afraid I'm not doing a good job of "soaking in the experience". So, I decided to blog tonight! I'm not even a blogger!!!
Denise has been to the fertility clinic twice this week to check "her levels" & do an egg of Wed she had 16 eggs that, size-wise, fell within the docs criteria. They had her tweak some of her meds for an attempt, I believe, to get her estrogen exactly where they need it. She goes back tomorrow for another blood draw & ultrasound. Tomorrow afternoon she will get a phone call from the clinic telling her to either come back a day later for a repeat check OR possibly will tell her to take her HCG shot tomorrow night, which means her eggs will be retrieved 36hrs after that shot (Sunday morning). We'll see. I have been, since Sat. in a "holding pattern". I was precisely where the docs needed me, as far as "levels" (blood/hormones) & the thickness of my uterus is now optimal for an embryo transfer. So for the past 6 days I have simply kept on my same pill-popping routine & am waiting for the clinics instructions to begin the progesterone sesame oil shot in the tush. As soon as that happens we've only got 6 days (or so) till "transfer"! Wow! We've talked about this for so long, I cant believe we are this close...
I pray that Gods Will will be done amidst all this science...I believe it will be.
Denise and I have such a long, drama filled history regarding our friendship...this just doesn't feel weird, not even the slightest bit. Oh, that's a long story...not for this night of blogging, another time...another time.
One realization slapped me upside my face tonight...not everyone is happy about this carrying my friends baby I mean. That's fine, I don't need peoples "nod of approval" & I'm certainly not looking for a pat on the back. I know that God is leading me forward in this...He has been since the beginning...that's all I NEED. BUT, heart was "stung" tonight as I realized that someone who is SUPPOSE to be my friend cannot find it within herself to be happy for me or this situation in general. She doesn't know Denise personally, she only knows my side of this "story". Visibly...she is VISIBLY not pleased about this...she cannot find one nice word to say about it, so she says nothing, when the topic is broached she simply walks away. I do not understand. Guess I'm just not wired that way. I suppose this where I'll be able to weed out my "conditional friends" from my TRUE friends. I'm OK with that.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And so it begins...

Never in a MILLION YEARS did I picture myself needing to inject myself with fertility drugs...
but that is exactly what I began doing this morning!