Monday, May 27, 2013

Long overdue update - to make a long story short

Alcides and I took some time off from our pursuit of "babyness", but in the fall of 2011 I received a call from my neice who told me of a friend of hers who was interested in being a surrogate and wanted us to call her. What were the odds? She lived an hour away from us. I thought it must be fate and so there started a process of talks and meetings which eventually led to attempts to have a child through Traditional Surrogacy. I did a lot of research before proceeding with a Traditional Surrogacy and feel confident with the process. We made three attempts in 2012, a year after we met, but again and again we received negative results and we had to wonder whether she was being honest with us. We can't know for sure, but we feft that she was not as committed to the process as we needed her to be and so we parted.
In this time, Alcides left Nova Scotia to work in Alberta, so it was difficult to arrange for attempts while he was away. Now, Alcides is the friendliest and warmest person I've ever met and is not shy about opening up to people, so it was not terribly surprising when he told me he had spoken to some people at work about our situation. He was so excited to tell me that a woman he worked with wanted to help us, but needed to talk to her husband. He was disappointed a little while later when she said that her husband was not supportive, but she invited Alcides to a meal at their house and over the course of that evening Alcides managed to gain his support. The couple have four children already and do not want any more. It seems perfect. I have, unfortunately, not been able to meet her in person, but we have Skyped and that will have to do for now. Alcides visits with her and her family regularly. We are about to start attempting again and continue to be hopeful for a positive result.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ok, I think I understand...

The protocols for FET's are not always the same as for Fresh Transfers. It would seem that our SM is taking medication to help prepare her for a successful transfer and that with a GEEP ( GNRH Exogenous Estrogen and Progesterone)  Protocol the FET can be scheduled for a specific date and can take more or less time depending on the SM. In any case, the timeline wouldn't be the same as for a fresh transfer and this gives the clinic much more control over the transfer. Well, not a great explanation, but as far as I understand it. Perhaps if there are any readers who know more about the Protocols they can explain it better.

I feel much better now, although sorry for my SM as it seems this is a more difficult process. Tender hugs go out to her for all she is doing for us. May we be blessed this time.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

And the FET date is...

April 5! We are very happy that we are finally able to move on, but more than a little confused about the new FET date. As I wrote about last, we were told that our SM expected her menses March 5 and therefore the FET would be around the middle of the month. When I enquired on March 20,  I was told that the Dr. was just checking scans and expected to do the transfer the following week. Now we are told April 5, which would seem to be during her menses and not a very fertile time.

I know for certain that the first day of her menses in January was the 4th and the fresh transfer was done on the 17th, which would assume a 28 day cycle - from my research (or else the transfer was done when she wasn't very fertile). Is it usual for a transfer to throw the menses off so that the cycle would be different now? Since they expected the menses March 5 that would assume a 30 day cycle and not a 28 day cycle as originally believed. It would also put the next menstrual start date at April 4 - just one day ahead of the planned FET. This does'nt make sense to me, but maybe I'm missing something. I have written back to the clinic to let them know that I am confused by the date and hopefully they will explain it to me.

We so want to be hopeful that this will be successful as we have no other embryos.  If the FET is done April 5, we will likely be in Cuba for the first and second Beta. Hopefully we will be able to tell our family there some good news.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not the Two Week Wait, but...

We are waiting for the 2 WW to start again. We received an email towards the end of last month letting us know that our Surrogate estimated her menses would begin March 5 so it was thought that the FET would be done around the middle of March. I was trying to find info on the web regarding how soon after the start of menses a woman was normally ready for a transfer. Does anyone know?
I stopped looking into my gmail account for awhile, but now every morning we are both looking for word that something is happening again.
I went to an angel card reader before Christmas who told me that there would be twins in my family again. That was one of the first things she told me without, of course, knowing that I was looking into surrogacy. She also told me it wouldn't happen the first time and she said, "first there will be three and then two". It quite blew me away at the time. So, I'm expecting to have twins, since no other members of my family are planning to add to their families for awhile.
Winter is slowly ending here. We finally got rid of the piles of snow we had this year; but, alas, it is snowing again today. Ughhh. Oh Well, we leave for Cuba a month from today. It will be a quick one week stay at our favorite resort - where Alcy used to work, of course. This trip is more about my family then Alcy's family; there will be nine members of my family and a German exchange student in our group. We are going to have a small memorial for my mother who died a year ago and who went to Cuba every winter since she began fighting her battle with cancer. She got so much pleasure from those trips and made many friends there, so we are all going to get together off resort to celebrate her life. Alcy's parents will be there too, but it will be too short a visit for them after two and a half years.
We are hoping to have good news for them. They will be very pleased.
So, after a difficult winter, we are looking forward to a wonderful spring; we ask Ganesh every day for new beginnings.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No babies this time...

I've been putting off writing this because I don't like to dwell on the negative, but we received results from the first and second beta and they both gave results of, we are waiting to hear from the docs about what our next step should be. I feel like an infant in this process; it's all totally new to me since I never tried to conceive after the birth of my son 30 years ago.
Although I researched the clinics offering Surrogacy, I didn't research the whole IVF process, so I am just getting to that now. Alcy didn't actually know that Surrogacy existed, as it doesn't in Cuba, so he is just learning about all this from me and going along with everything.

We didn't know there were things he could do to increase his chances and things he shouldn't do...he was in the hot tub ( with a few drinks of Havana Club rum ) the weekend before we left for Mumbai. We were told, however, that there was no problem with his sperm, but we (he) would have been more careful had we been aware.

Now, that doesn't explain the low egg count which I have been completely mystified by, but maintaining the positive stance that it only takes one good egg to have a baby.  We had extremely poor results and though I didn't really question them while in the 2ww, I can't help but question them now. According to the research I've done, the average number of eggs released after stimulation is between 12 and 15/20, but it's possible to only have five or to have as many as 35. The two eggs we used, created perfect embryo's and even with assisted hatching they failed to implant, so was the issue with implanting ( the SM's womb )?..or is it just that even perfect-looking embryo's can have defects and it's natures way...

Okay, that was my vent. Must stay positive for the next attempt! We have 3 frozen embryo's, fortunately, so we have another chance, but that's it; we don't have any more. We sort of factored in having three attempts with the same Surrogate, but will have just two. We haven't heard back from the Docs about when we can try again and the time difference and inability to communicate freely is prohibitive and frustrating.

I have too much time on my hands since we've had snow for the last two days - we got one storm that came up from Texas and another system that came from Ontario, making our road impassable except with a truck, studded tires and extreme caution and I'm a wimp when it comes to driving in bad weather. Must at least go help Alcy shovel...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Home and the 2 Week Wait..

Well, I think I'm finally coming around after arriving home on the 18th. The jet lag has been wicked and can't imagine what the travel will be like with one or two wee ones to cart through airports and hold on knees during multiple 8 or 9 - hour flights. I slept a lot on the planes and have slept a lot since coming home.
Mumbai was incredible. The smog was a bit overwhelming since neither of us has ever experienced it before, but the people we met were really great. The Doc's and staff at Surrogacy India are very warm and welcoming. Everyone at the Courtyard Marriott was so friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed our stay there. Surrogacy India had a car for us every day and they called in the morning and either informed us of what we were to do that day, if we had tests, meetings or the transfer, or they asked what we would like to do and then took us around.
We went site seeing one day. First, we went to Mahatma Gandhi's House. I was a little overcome with the awesomeness of being in the same place as that great man, who wrote one of my favorite sayings, " An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind". We later went to the Gateway to India where we actually got asked to be in a Bollywood/Canada co-production that was taking place over the next three days. We were a little disappointed that we didn't have time for it...well, I think Alcy was more than a little disappointed - he was picturing himself as a big Bollywood star.
It is a beautiful city in many ways, beautiful architecture and people, colourful saris. The traffic was crazy, but slow enough that fatal crashes were probably rare. The weather was nice. The hottest day was our last day, but the rest of the days were quite comfortable. When we return we will be able to visit more places and I'm really looking forward to that.
As for our 2WW, we did the Egg pick up on the 14th and the transfer on the 17th. We didn't get as many embryo's as we would have liked but we did get two Grade 1 8-cell embies to transfer and are feeling pretty good about that. We also got two to freeze and we feel good about all the embies.
Our SM is beautiful and seems very capable and mature and we are sure that we will have a positive pregnancy. The wait is agonizing, however. I have spent a good part of the day researching the meaning of the Embryo Grade and cell number. Although there is no uniform Grade system within the IVF community, most seem to use a system between 1 - 4 with 1 being the highest quality and 4 the least, though some embryologists use letters A - D and some rate 4 as the highest quality and 1 as the least. It can be confusing, but I believe in our case Grade 1 is the highest quality - hurray! Also, with a transfer on day 3, 8 cell's are what you hope for - so it looks like we transferred two perfect embies.
Then I found a website that did calculations based on the Egg pick up date and from that I found every milestone date of the journey, but I'm not ready to record anything yet. We will hopefully get a great First Beta Test on the 29th or 30th. and a great Second a few days later.