Baby girls hands and feet

Little Bruiser is growing!

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Yes, the time is here - we have graduated from the clinic! Had my last blood test today, and as everything appears to be looking great, I was let go this afternoon... Yaay! It is really happening!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Another test today - a very important one as it turns out! Progesterone is at 114, which means that it went up even though they halved my progesterone supplementation last week.

And so, as of today, I am off medication!! Yaaay, yaaay, major yaaay! I have one last test with the clinic next Tuesday, and then I will be officially released into the wild and will have to fend for myself - I don't know how I'll manage!! :D

Meanwhile, expecting this turn of events to take place soonish, I exchanged a few e-mails with the midwife who delivered my Sophie, and managed to get myself a spot in the Birth Centre program at the Canberra Hospital. Unfortunately I won't have the same midwife as with Sophie, but that doesn't matter much. While it would have been lovely to have that prior connection, all the midwives there are pretty awesome.

Also have to book my first trimester screening ultrasound pretty soon. If I'm not working tomorrow, I'll be getting myself a doctor's appointment and a referral. Things are getting pretty exciting for sure! Little Bruiser, true to his/her name, is doing very well for him/herself... And just to avoid these cumbersome gender-undecided expressions, I shall be using only the female form of such pronouns henceforth - yeah, I think it's a girl :) I'm sure she'll love me one day for calling her Little Bruiser :D

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Bloods today - progesterone up to 107, and that means I can drop one of the pessaries. Yaaay! Otherwise nothing to report with regards to pregnancy.

In other news, had a horrible day yesterday suffering from some short-term gastro bug. Thankfully it is all over now - phew!

Friday, 2 December 2011

A rather boring update

Not much to tell really. Had a blood test today, but it wasn't very informative, beyond saying that everything's okay as it is. They don't measure the hCG any longer when you get to 8 weeks, so it was basically just a progesterone check. That seems to be around the same as the last time, and the time before, so I continue on the pessaries until Tuesday, when I have another blood test. I was a little worried for a moment as they wanted the next test so soon after this one, but it turns out there is a very prosaic reason for the timing - Tuesday is apparently the pregnant girls' check-up day.

I feel pretty ordinary these days. I've had a couple of pretty full-on dizzy spells about a week and a bit ago, but thankfully nothing as serious since - keeping my fingers crossed. I have not had a visit from the vomit-fairy yet, and I don't think I will. I have been nauseous with both of my kids, but never threw up once, and this experience seems to be very much the same. The biggest problem is the crippling exhaustion. I wake up tired, get progressively more tired during the day, and as the tiredness gets worse, the nausea creeps in. By the time I put the kids to bed, I just want to curl up and go to sleep to forget about it all. I have quite a few issues with food as well - there are only very few things that seem like something that I could possibly put anywhere near my mouth (and nose, aah, the smells!), but I'm sure that's temporary.

And that's about it. Boring, I know. But that's how we like it :)

Keep it up, LB!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

7 weeks

Had another blood test today - hCG has gone up to 63357... but who is counting?


A lovely, steady, 132 bpm average, and Little Bruiser measuring right on track, 6 weeks 5 days (plus minus 2 days). Yaaaaaaaaaay!!

The ultrasound itself was pretty tense though, that sonographer doesn't give anything away! She took her time measuring everything first, with the monitor turned away from us, and her face betraying absolutely no emotion. I was a bit anxious and I'm pretty sure Kylie was about to have a heart attack, when she finally turned the monitor toward us and started showing us all the mysteries of my inner workings, starting with my bowel, bladder, ovaries and so on. What the?? I'm not interested in what ovary I ovulated from on my last cycle, thanks!! Get on with it!!

Anyway, in the end she got to the bit where she showed us that everything is exactly as it should be, and we both got a bit teary - especially Kylie :)

We have a viable pregnancy!! You are doing very well, Little Bruiser, just keep at it!!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Why do things ALWAYS happen when Damien is away??

And, on a related note, why do kids always get sick on the weekends?

So here goes, timeline of disaster, so far:

Wednesday, Damien is scheduled to leave to Israel for a week and a half. I wake up that morning a bit itchy all over, complain about having been bitten by mosquitoes yet again while my husband is being ignored by the little blood-suckers. By noon, I have red blotchy spots covering the backs of my legs and my arms, and I am being driven to insanity while trying not to scratch too obviously when teaching class. Hives, big time. Of course, as I am pregnant I cannot take the regular pills I do. Fortunately, the pharmacists advises me late that afternoon that  there IS an antihistamine I can take while pregnant, which has the mild side effect of causing drowsiness. I take one, and serve cereal and milk for dinner. Can't possibly go through the complexity of the process that would lead to production of an actual hot meal. Thank goodness, the pill works - on all counts. Now, to add to the usual exhaustion I deal with from the Little Bruiser, I have a medication-induced drowsiness to deal with. Swell.

Thursday, I wake up with less hives, more tiredness. Have I slept at all?

Friday, as above. Suffer through gymnastics and ratty kids. I have amazing friends - Beth invited us for dinner, so I don't have to face that myself. Kylie calls in the evening saying she won't be coming on Saturday, but on Monday. A little dent in my plan - have a committee meeting to go to Saturday at 4pm, and will now have to take the kids with me, but that's okay. Worked it out, Sophie will have the portable DVD player, Ben will play Angry Birds on my phone. All good, right? Wrong.

Saturday, feel better, don't have to take the pills anymore and deal with the regular sort of drowsiness only. Suffer through ratty kids at swimming. Ratty kid, actually. Ben is chirpy and cheerful since morning and does great at swimming, while Sophie is so terrible that the instructor actually has to sit her out. In the end I grab her before the lesson is finished - she is learning nothing and disrupting the class for the other kids. Ben continues for another twenty minutes to be lovely and cheerful, whereupon he turns upset and grey in what seems to be thirty seconds. In quick progression, he turns white, and then green, starts complaining of stomachache and headache, and starts feeling hot to the touch. By the time we get home half and hour later, he is sporting a 39 degree fever. And, of course, it is Saturday. Thinking about it, I don't recall a single occasion where my kids got sick on a weekday. It is ALWAYS weekends, when it is just a little harder to get an appointment at the doctors. We're in luck, though. I get an appointment at the hospital after hours service at 3.40pm, and take very drowsy and unhappy Ben there, while Beth (bless her kind heart) is looking after Sophie. (Well, there, at least, goes my potential problem with kids at the meeting, hey?) The doctor checks EVERYTHING, and finds nothing, except for the bloody fever. I am worried about appendicitis, but am assured that's not it. Glad for that! Doctor says probably early into a bacterial infection (as viral infections, it would appear, rarely result in such high fevers... never knew that), prescribes antibiotics. Pick up Sophie, apparently she has been an angel - of course she turns into a nightmare as soon as we get into the car. Ben hardly eats, Sophie whinges constantly about Ben hanging off me, and wants to hang off me as well. Thankfully, they both asleep pretty soon after I climb into bed with them - Ben first, Sophie second. Ben still has a fever. Have to wake him up for another dose of antibiotics, plus more Panadol soon.

My feet started itching like crazy about an hour ago. Hope it is mosquitoes, this time.

It's going to be a great night.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Still going nicely...

Actually, even better than expected! hCG today, at 25 dpo, is 11547. That means that it's doubling nicely and then some, and everything's gooooood. Progesterone is back up a bit, in mid-nineties - I finished the antibiotics on Sunday night, so I guess it's going to start climbing this week - unfortunately I have to continue with the pessaries until the next scheduled test, which is Thursday week. Oh well. More excitingly, next Thursday is also our first ultrasound!!

I'm feeling alright at this point, not much sickness at all (personally I have a theory that having had hCG in my blood for quite a few months after the last pregnancy has made my body so used to it that it more or less ignores it in this respect :).

I'm very, very, veeeery tired though. Exhausted. Wiped out, completely, all day. I wake up in the morning and feel like I haven't slept. I'm also slightly dizzy most of the time, but I guess that goes back to the being tired thing. But it's all for a good cause, so I don't really mind. Much. Yet. :D

One week and two days until our first peek at the Bruiser - can't wait!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

18 dpo

Still steaming ahead, with hCG today hitting 788 - yaaay!

I was a little worried about this one, actually, as I think it was at 18 dpo with our first pregnancy that we had the first indication that something might be not quite right. I looked at my post from the day, and just for comparison, the beta was 287 then. So good news!

One thing that made my pressure rise higher for a minute is that my progesterone level dropped rather dramatically, from 161 four days ago to only 71 today (on two pessaries). While this is still a very good level to sustain the pregnancy, I wondered for a while if something was wrong. Until I realised that I am on antibiotics now - it turns out that antibiotics affect some enzymes in the liver that in turn affect the rate at which estrogen and progesterone are processed in the body. In other words, anbiotics = faster rate of decomposition of progesterone = lower progesterone levels. Let me tell you - PHEW!

Next test Tuesday week.

Friday, 4 November 2011

3rd beta

Still looking good. hCG today 160, progesterone 161.

Quick calculation reveals that while the doubling time has slowed down a bit, it is still on the fast side of normal - mine doubling in about 36 hours, normal range for early pregnancy (below hCG 1200) is between 31 and 72 hours. All good!

Next test Tuesday.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Great news!!!

Test results today: hCG 63 (!!!!!), progesterone 113.

That means that in the 48 hours, when they would like to see it double, it... sextupled :) Is that a word??


Of course, it's early days, and we've been here before, but who cares?? Ecstatic anyway!

Next test Friday.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Good news!

Well, of course I couldn't resist.

I did a test yesterday in the morning before going to have the blood test done, and nothing came up. Well, nothing of consequence anyway - a shadow of a line appeared eventually, but it could only be seen when doing some serious squinting, and only after the stipulated ten minutes cut-off. Now that I know that the hCG was only about 10, it is quite obvious that it was not pregnancy related.

But today I woke up feeling a bit nauseous (wonderfully so :), and thought I'd do a repeat. And lo and behold, the second line came up straight away, and there is absolutely no doubt that it is actually there. See for yourself!

From this, I deduce two things :)

1. We definitely appear to be pregnant!

2. The hCG must have doubled already, as the test only measures levels above 25!

Either way, good news!!!

Yaaay for embie Raftery!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Good news?

So we had our beta today, 4 days after transfer, 10 days past ovulation.

I can't decide if it's good news or just news at the moment, but I'm leaning towards good news. hCG is 10.1, progesterone 87.4. The hCG could potentially be a leftover from the Ovidrel, but if you ask me, chances are that it isn't - last cycle we got a big fat zero at 9dpo. Also, the progesterone level is significantly higher than the last cycle when we got a negative; I'm on two pessaries a day now, just like last time, and then the level was in the mid-twenties.

Sooo.... reason enough to be cautiously hopeful, don't you think?

Next test Wednesday, hCG level should double.

Positive, positive.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Good day

Today is a good day.

Firstly, my big boy had his first orientation to kindergarten this morning, and he really liked it. Yaay!

Secondly, after yesterday's disappointment with thawing embryos - they had to thaw four, FOUR!, to get one that was doing fine - everything is more or less fine as they managed to re-freeze two and only lost one.

Thirdly, the fourth embryo they thawed is perfect, and now all warm and cozy in my uterus. The embryologist said that at this stage embryos usually only just begin hatching, but this little bruiser was already half-way out by the time of the transfer!

Transfer was smooth sailing. I didn't have to meet up with my nightmare, the grabber, as my uterus was nicely tilted the way it was supposed to be. And I wasn't nervous at all this time. There are probably a few reasons for this, but I think that the biggest factor was that Kylie wasn't here, so there was noone to MAKE me nervous ;) Poor thing has been sick for over a week with some unshakable bug and is on a second course of antibiotics!

Anyway, blood test number 1 on Monday - it is Adrian's birthday on Sunday, so hopefully I can give him a belated birthday present in scoring a positive!

Happy cheerful positive sticky thoughts our way please!

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Damien gave me my Ovidrel shot last night - not sure what we did differently, but this time it was far from pleasant :( Most important thing is that it's over though!

On that note: I have always meant this blog to be a diary of a sort, a means of cataloguing my journey if you will, and therefore I always wanted to write it exactly the way I feel it. After reading blogs of my fellow surrogates though, I am beginning to feel like a major whiner! Here I am complaining about one shot, where the majority of surrogates elsewhere do fresh transfers and inject themselves with all sorts of different drugs for months on end... I don't think I could do that, I am no good with pain, and I admire their strength and bravery. Here's to you!

Transfer next Thursday, exact time TBA. 'Third time lucky' is my mantra. This has GOT to be it!

PS: If you find yourself asking, quite reasonably, why the hell I have decided to be a surrogate of all things if I am not good with pain, you have a good question! Of course I know there is pain involved, I've been through it twice. I managed my first labour without drugs, and gave in with the second one after 24 hours. I know in my mind, I remember, that it is horrible and excruciating. And while I completely understand that drugs are acceptable and basically a part of the deal in this day and age, I also know that if we get to that point, I will probably try to brave it and go without anyway.

Does this seem inconsistent? Totally! Confusing? Hell yeah... For what it's worth, I think there is a method to this madness though :). I have not read any recent research, but before I had my first one, I read lots. Heaps. And generally, my impression was that less drugs during birth equals less potential trouble for the baby. That is what I did (or tried to do) for my children, and I could not with good conscience do any less for any other children that might find themselves temporarily in my keeping. I'm probably stupid, right? Anyway, end of ramble. Cross this bridge when we get there. And note that I'm saying 'when', not 'if'... positive thinking, positive thinking, positive thinking...

Friday, 7 October 2011


here we go again. Day 1 of cycle today, first blood test next Friday. Hang on - haven't we just done that? Better luck this time!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

As expected

So we didn't get pregnant this time. AF due in the next few days, first blood test on day 8, and so on and so on...

Third time lucky, hey?

Monday, 3 October 2011


Yes, sadly now that we DO want hCG, there's none to be found. I am 10dpo (10 days past ovulation), or 4dp6dt (4 days past 6 day transfer). There is still a rather small chance that the embryo hasn't implanted yet and will do so today, but frankly I don't think that is going to happen.

Oh well. The second test scheduled for Wednesday should tell us for sure. Crappy day.

Friday, 30 September 2011


Or, for the uninitiated, Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise :)

Transfer was relaxed and painless, all over in about five minutes... Needless to say, Kylie and I spent the hours leading up to the transfer trying to find things to do that would make us stop thinking about the, um, transfer :) Didn't work much, we were nervous all the same! Anyway, it's all over now and the waiting game begins. Or, rather, continues :D

So, sticky thoughts from all directions please! We have our first test on Monday, then another on Wednesday. I know myself enough to understand that I won't be able to resist and will probably test on Sunday, even though the chance of getting a positive is minuscule.

In unrelated news, I spent the last four days trying to remember where I lost my wallet, or trying to work out if it indeed was stolen. In the end, yesterday before the transfer Kylie took me to get a new license and I called to get a new credit card, bank card, and medicare card, only to have Ben emerge victoriously from under the dining table this morning clutching the said wallet... little bugger must have taken it there to play with it!! Aaaaargh!!!! Anyway, breathe, breathe, don't strangle the boy...

Will update when I have news.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

D Day...


Positive thoughts, positive thoughts, positive thoughts...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


is next Thursday!!! Hurray, finally!

Damien has just given me the Ovidrel shot, and I have to say that it was a much more pleasant experience than when the nurse did it last time. Not sure about exact timing yet, I'm supposed to give the clinic a call on Friday to find out about our time slot.

Also, Kylie is coming down to Canberra this Sunday and staying until the transfer - yay for that!

We're on the move again - positive thoughts, positive thoughts, positive thoughts...

Monday, 19 September 2011

Close, but not quite there yet

Had a blood test on Saturday and then today as well. Instructions: another blood test and an ultrasound on Wednesday.

I think the dreaded Ovidrel shot is coming up pretty darn soon - at least this time Damien is here to give it to me! I estimate that transfer will be happening early next week. But then, what do I know? Waiting game...

Edit: Now that I'm thinking about it, it's probably going to be mid to late next week... Oh well, hopefully more news tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

It is happening!

Today is day 4 of a new cycle. I'm going in for the first blood test on Saturday. Based on the timeline from the last cycle, when transfer happened on day 18, D-day is probably about two weeks away...

Can't believe we're on the road again!


Thursday, 8 September 2011

All clear

Finally! Test yesterday shows that hCG is still normal, so we have been given the all clear. Day 8 of my next cycle, which should be starting pretty soon, is the first blood test that will start off our second unmedicated FET cycle.

Wish us all luck!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

hCG still zero!

Another blood test next Wednesday, transfer very likely to happen next cycle. Yippee and three time hooray!!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


hCG less than 2, which means normal! Another blood test next week - if that is in the normal range, we are proceeding with the following cycle.


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Not... funny....!

Bloody effing hCG!!! Back up to 16...

Next blood test in a week, this cycle very probably a write-off.

bugger bugger bugger bugger bugger

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

You'd think...

that the hCG would HAVE to be back to normal by now, but it isn't! Gosh, what do I have to do for the bugger to drop?

Good news though - it is falling. Today it was 12, testing again on Thursday to see if it's within the normal, non-pregnant range. If it is, I suppose we could move ahead - based on the timing of the last cycle, we could have transfer in about a fortnight.

Hoping for good news on Thursday!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Lift off!

Probably TMI, but got my period on Wednesday - I would assume that anything that was left in the uterus is by now long gone, and so the hCG should be back to normal. I'm going to have a blood test tomorrow morning to check up on it, and if we get the green light, we'll try this cycle again. Day 8 - this Thursday - would be the first blood test day...

Wish us luck!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Medical update

After a stressful couple of days last week, I finally got to talk to our doctor one night close to 10pm. It turns out to be a case of misinformation by the clinic and mis-communication between the clinic, the doctor, and her offices.

The doctor says that at the level where the hCG is now, all that is left in my uterus are probably about 3 cells of retained tissue left - 3... bloody... cells! Anyway, I am to have blood tests done every week or two to see if/that the level is falling. I was warned that it might take some time, but unless the numbers start rising, I should be fine.

Thankfully the doctor was upset enough with the clinic to tell me to give them the flick for the time being, and sent me paperwork that I can take to any lab and have the bloods done there. I'm thankful for that, as I am a bit fed up with the clinic nurses at the moment, plus they are good twenty minutes away - waste of time when I could just go down the road to our local ACT Pathology.

So that's where we are. Could be a bit of a wait... Bugger. Oh well. On the positive side, my hubby's home! Enjoying just having him around, and definitely enjoying some time off without the kids too as he's been kind enough to let me have plenty of sleep-ins, and take the kids out a lot so that I can have some time to myself. I even had a girls' night out last weekend - something I have not experienced in years! Happy days...

By the way, if you have been trying to leave comments and were unable to, I think I may have fixed the problem. Not sure though - try it and if it doesn't work (and you have another means of contacting me), let me know.


Monday, 1 August 2011

Slightly nervous now

Today's test: progesterone and estrogen still rising, hCG stagnating.

Instructions: Make an appointment with the doctor for this week, next week at the latest.

For what? Nothing was explained, and the doctor's phone number was engaged for an hour straight this afternoon. Kylie finally got through to them a few minutes before 5pm, by which time everyone obviously clocked off as she only got the answering machine.

Hoping for someone to call me early tomorrow, as I am a bit nervous about what's happening at the moment. The instructions sounded rather urgent - should I be worried?


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Slightly confused

Had another couple of tests this week. On Wednesday, my hCG dropped to about 31 (from 47 nine days before), but my other hormone levels rose. I was asked to come in three times over the following week or so to check on the levels again, and under no circumstances get pregnant, as getting pregnant while hCG is still in your blood from a previous pregnancy often leads to endometrial cancer... Great!

Another test two days later revealed that ALL my levels rose, including the bloody hCG - to 34. And, it would appear from the other hormone levels that I have also just ovulated! So that's not confusing... I didn't think it was possible to ovulate when you still have elevated hCG, but here you go!

Have to go for another test on Monday, and then I guess on Wednesday or Thursday. I wouldn't be surprised if I had to have the D&C in the end. Bugger.

Anyway, will keep you posted.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Not very newsworthy news

Well it seems that my body still thinks that it's pregnant... According to the blood test that I had on Monday, six weeks after the miscarriage my hCG level is still at around 46. I have to go for another test next Wednesday, to see if the levels are dropping - I am assuming that if they aren't, something might have to be done, like, for example, the dreaded D&C. I certainly hope that it won't come to that!

Otherwise we are ready to give it another try as soon as my body catches up with what is happening - the paperwork is signed, and the cycle has been pre-paid.

To be continued...

Saturday, 18 June 2011


A tentative plan is in place for Book 2 of this surrogacy story.

I received the legal paperwork from the clinic a couple of days ago. When all is signed, I have a blood test on the second day of my next period to see if my hCG level from the LT is back to normal, non-pregnant state.

We are doing another unmedicated FET cycle (frozen embryo transfer), which means that I have several blood tests beginning at day 8 of my period to check on my progesterone and estrogen levels to see when ovulation might happen, followed by one Ovidrel shot (essentially high level hCG injection which induces ovulation in 36 hours). Five days after that, transfer.

In other news, I have submitted my last MTeach assignment, obtained an interim casual number, and had two days of relief teaching last week. Also, I made it to the last round of DFAT grad recruitment program, and I have my interview on 28 July - provided I fill in the 50-page security clearance form, and manage to find paper evidence of just about everything that happened in my life in the last 10 years... Also have an approximate date of Damien's return home, 24 or 25 July - still haven't heard about postings, maybe next week. So all up, yay!

Monday, 6 June 2011

If you haven't had a miscarriage...

you might want to read this. This was my first, it was utterly shocking and rather frightening. When the doctor said that I can expect some heavy cramps and heavy bleeding, I didn't realise that what she really meant to say was that I can expect labour-like contractions and 'turn-the-tap-on' sort of bleeding... All I could do was stand in the shower in awe, and try not to worry too much when the scene quickly started to remind me of Psycho (minus the guy and the knife). Don't have to do that again. Ever.

But at least now this bit is truly over, and the book can be closed. Previews of the sequel in the coming months.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Final chapter of Book 1

Over the last few days I have been getting more and more anxious about the real possibility of a D&C on Friday, but it appears that I managed to talk my body into cooperating, and Little Traveler's last journey is going to happen the way Mother Nature intended...

Thank you all for your encouragement, support, and kind words over the last couple of months.

Watch this space.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Little Traveler's heart...

is no longer beating.

At yesterday's ultrasound, we found out that there was only one additional day of growth, so the little one  probably left us late last week. He or she is still to make their grand exit, and hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later. Our doctor has booked me in tentatively for a D&C for next Friday in case nothing happens by then, but it is up to me to decide if I want to keep that appointment if necessary, or if I choose to wait it out for a little longer. Here's hoping that it happens naturally and soon.

I have to say that in the end I was actually quite relieved when the sonographer informed us that she couldn't see a heartbeat any longer. The suspense and stress of the last week have been just too intense, and the worst outcome that I could imagine was some growth, slow heartbeat, and another week or more of limbo and worrying. This way, at least, we know that everything is the way it should be - according to all sorts of research that I could get my hands on within the last week, given the indications, the LT would probably have had some serious problems if they lasted to full term and were born.

So. Here we are. This is (almost) the end of this part of our journey. Sad, upsetting, but a conclusion of sorts anyway.

And we can move on. Towards better tomorrows :)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Well, that's probably it...

The hCG level has only gone up to about 25000 since last Thursday, and that's not good. Another ultrasound is scheduled for Friday, and with how things are going, I don't expect to see what we would like to see...

The really crappy thing is, I still feel pregnant - very nauseous, up to the point where I have been considering the relative merits of throwing up, and only taking small sips of water, plus the fact that I absolutely hate vomiting,  have aided me in stopping myself from doing so.

It's just fucked - excuse my French.

At this point I am probably most upset about the fact that I can't just stop taking the progesterone and still have to carry on as if everything is normal, until Friday, anyway. Three more days of bloody hope - because I don't think I"ll be able to stop myself hoping, even in the face of the cruel facts.

I have to say that while I gave miscarriage some fleeting thought prior to offering to become a surrogate, it was very, very fleeting. The only two outcomes of the whole procedure that I actually thought about longer were a/ the transfer doesn't work and I don't get pregnant, and b/ the transfer works and I get pregnant, with a healthy baby, or even not a healthy one, is born. Miscarriage... I've never had one, not that I know of anyway. I should probably read up on it. Hopefully it happens earlier rather than later...

Poor little traveler - I guess he or she isn't quite right, and it's probably for the best that the pregnancy doesn't progress beyond this point.

All I can say at this point is that if I can, I will give it another try for Kylie and Adrian. The 'if I can' bit includes considerations regarding the time that I have available in Australia, and how things go with losing the LT.

Life sucks.

Monday, 23 May 2011


Well, the doctor called on Friday, but couldn't get through to us as we were driving and may have been out of range. Don't know - anyway, she called Adrian instead, and basically confirmed that it's not good... She said that things have been known to turn around, but that we should prepare for the worst.

The rational part of me knows that it is VERY probable that the little traveler's life is coming to an end soon... possibly, it has already happened. So it is extremely frustrating and rather infuriating, actually, that the other part of me, let's just call it the instinctive part, is screaming: 'This is all bullshit! Everything is fine!!!'

I don't know why. I guess that the positive side of me just refuses to give up. I was so convinced that this was going to work the first time - I probably talked myself into the mindset so deeply, that now I find it hard to believe anything else. Or, hopefully, everything will really turn out fine. I would love to be able to not to hope - it would make things so much easier. But I just can't. So I hope.

We'll have a better idea after tomorrow's blood test.

Thursday, 19 May 2011


Well this is confusing, and extremely stressful!

When we called the clinic for the blood results and further instructions, we were expecting lowish hCG and a follow-up ultrasound in the next week, but what do you think?? hCG is 21000 (??!!), I need to come for bloods next Tuesday as usual and up my progesterone back to two a day as it's in the seventies (normal progesterone level for the first trimester is anywhere between 9 and 47, but they like to keep it higher when you do IVF). Incredibly, no follow-up ultrasound necessary, apparently.

What the?? What exactly is happening? Is the little traveler in trouble, or is everything okay and the sonographer just got ahead of herself? I really don't know, and it's doing my head in!

Kylie called the doctor to ask her what we should think about all this, but so far, she hasn't gotten back to us, and now it's too late for her to do so today. So... Waiting game again. Hopefully we'll hear from her tomorrow, because I don't know how long I can stand this suspense!


How quickly things change...

Not very good news I'm afraid.  The little traveler has a heartbeat, but it is too slow at only 94 beats per minute. As if that wasn't enough, he/she is also measuring behind - I am now 7w3d, but the size is consistent with 6w2d... The sonographer said that she was concerned. She was very nice, and explained everything to Kylie and me very patiently. I also had another blood sample taken and have to call for results this afternoon - but I don't expect them to be very good either.

Kylie was there with me. I don't know if that was easier or actually harder for me. I am thinking the latter, although if she weren't there, I don't know how I could possibly tell her afterwards. This is just too unfair!

It is strange how things can change so quickly. Up until a few hours ago, I was cautious but quietly confident. Now... I have decided that it will be safer to expect the worst and not hope any longer. I can't quite help hoping though. I shouldn't. What I should do is burrow myself in my study and not think about anything, but study is just not going to happen. So we're probably going to do the next best thing and go and see an action movie (the kids are in childcare, so we actually can.)

It all feels very strange. I have noticed over the weeks, that while I'm very emotional about this pregnancy, all the angst and hope and euphoria aren't focused on the LT, but rather Kylie and Adrian. Right now,  the sadness that I feel is not for a life lost (well, possibly lost - let's just leave a little bit of hope there), and I'm not terribly concerned about the high probability of a miscarriage coming up. I am frankly just pissed off because this is another senseless blow to those two lovely people. And I don't even have anyone to be pissed off at, which really, really pisses me off! It is just so undeserved...

Anyway, better go now and get ready to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - don't even think I saw number 3, but who cares?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Change of date, pregnancy woes, and other ramblings

Well, today is the day. That my husband leaves, I mean. Last week when Kylie found about about the ultrasound happening on the same day as the dreaded departure, she called up the clinic and changed the appointment to Thursday - so I'm afraid I will have no updates on the little traveler until about midday tomorrow!

As far as the LT is concerned, I am feeling quite confident that he (a randomly selected personal pronoun only :) will stay put. I'm feeling quite pregnant, what with the nausea and a real issue with food and smells, the tiredness, and the horrible hip pain! It started a couple of days ago, just in one hip, and then yesterday in the other as well. It gets worse as the day progresses, and it is very hard to get comfy in bed. I don't remember having these problems with my two this early in the pregnancy. Then again, I guess the more pregnancies you have, the more likely it is that things will start giving way earlier on... Really irritating though - even now, just sitting down, I am trying to find a position that will give me a bit of relief. Ah, found it :)

Kylie is coming down this evening, well, night - she's catching a train down from Sydney so that she can be here for the ultrasound. She's staying with us until Friday, when we all pack up and go up to her place, as I have a (stupid, bloody, unnecessary) exam to sit on Saturday up in Sydney. So K and A will be in charge of my rug-rats for the day (hopefully that experience won't make them change their minds about having their own one :)

If you are after a surrogacy-related update, this is where you can stop reading :) If you are in for some other news and ramblings, read on.

Anyway, very excitingly, after this exam is done, I only have to hand in one more assignment on 31 May, and (provided I actually pass) I will be allowed to put an 'MTeach' behind my name (not that I will - I'll wait for my PhD before advertising my education this way :)

Anyway, as this has already turned into a post that is not exactly related to surrogacy only, I might as well keep going, as other exciting things are happening in the next couple of months - that should make the wait for Damien to get back nice and adventurous... In mid-June we find out if he got one of the postings that he applied for, and if he does, that would mean that we'd be leaving Australia within the next couple of years to spend three or more years in either Austria, China, Japan, UAE or New Caledonia. Also in mid-June, I should find out if I got through the last but one stage of my application for DFAT graduate recruitment. So far so good, but the written test that took place last month was a killer! After I finished it, I spend the day completely blanked out, as my daily allowance of neuron transmission was used up in those 90 minutes... If I get through, I will be going through to the interviews in July/August. We would find ourselves in an interesting quandary if I got through and was offered employment, which starts next February, and at the same time hubby got the Austria posting, which starts this December... Hmmm... Well, I'm sure things will work themselves out for the best in the end, just like they always do.

I'd better go and clean this joint now. D took the kids to childcare (I love Wednesdays! :) but is returning shortly to pack and get ready. We'll probably go out and have a nice lunch, although at this point all I feel like eating is bananas. We are planning to pick up the kids early so that they can spend some time with daddy before we take him to the airport. I feel completely fine about it at the moment, but, based on previous experience, that will probably change approximately an hour before the airport drop-off. Around then, I usually transform from a strong and self-sufficient individual into a weeping bundle... Oh well. At least this is the last time he's going. At this point, anyway.

Enough rambling. LT updates tomorrow.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Who cares about hCG levels, anyway?

I went for another blood test today. The results were 5958 for hCG, and something that I forgot for progesterone. Without looking too hard, it is quite obvious that the hCG value is again rising a little slower, but I have resolved not to worry about this any longer. Firstly, once I get back to googling, I'll probably go crazy :) And secondly, based on the advice that I got from the clinic they seem to think that it's all OK. I was told that I can drop the progesterone to once a day (yay for that!), and the next blood test is scheduled for 18 May, which is 8 days from today... surely if any problems were suspected, they wouldn't let me out of their grasp for that long! Also, fetal heart scan (ultrasound) is taking place on the same day - I should be 7 weeks and 2 days then.

I have to say that this is all a little inconvenient. Unfortunately, 18 May is also the day when my husband leaves us again to spend another two months in Afghanistan. I'll be an emotional wreck to start with, so if it turns out that the clinic's optimism was unfounded, there might be some serious flooding in the general area of the ACT (so, unless you have essential business to attend to in the vicinity, reconsider your need to travel here on that date :)

Anyway, as I keep telling myself, positive thoughts, positive thoughts, positive thoughts...

Hang in there, little traveler!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Up we go!

And the upwards trend continues, yay! In today's test, hCG was 2450, so the rate of increase is... well, increasing :) Next test Tuesday, and after that apparently once weekly (for how long? forgot to ask!). Also, there is an ultrasound happening in week 7 - exciting!

Keep growing, little traveler!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

All is well!

Just a quick one to update after a blood test today. My hCG level was 1295, it has doubled in just over 55 hours, which is on the fast side of normal... Another test on Thursday. Of course, we're not out of the woods yet, as anything can happen at anytime. However, at this point, all is well! 


Note to self: Let this be a lesson - leave the medical stuff to professionals and do not try to interpret results relying merely on the expertise of Dr. Google!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Damn you, Google!

I don't know what to think...

Here's the picture. My test results today (third hCG test) threw me a little bit - the hCG was 287, so while it has risen, it has not risen as much as it should have. As a rough guide, in early pregnancy hCG level should double every 48-72 hours. And after a quick calculation, I found out that my level doubled in approximately 92 hours. So while that doesn't seem disastrous, it also doesn't seem so crash hot, particularly as the level almost quadrupled between the first and second test.

So then I go and google all the possible scenarios like the complete idiot I am. As a result, I am now left worrying about ectopic pregnancy and/or impeding miscarriage... Same time last week, following a different Google search prompted by the exact opposite scenario, i.e. hCG levels rising too fast, I was wondering about the probability of twin pregnancy after embryo splitting and the infinitely more disturbing option of molar pregnancy.

This leads me to two conclusions. First, this pregnancy is so emotionally draining! It barely even started and I'm so stressed out about it... With my two, I was nowhere near as worried about things working out. In fact, my first, Ben, was an accident and I actually spent the first hour after testing positive slightly horrified (but I got over that rather quickly :). Sophie was planned and I got pregnant the first month. In both cases, I was perfectly oblivious to the complexities of hCG and progesterone level changes, and the worst case scenario considered was... well, nothing, really! But this is different. This is not my child. This is someone else's baby, and I have been entrusted with the responsibility of temporary care of its wellbeing. It is a very important little human being, too. It has been prayed for, and, even at this very early stage of its existence, the road to get this far has been long and hard.

As for my second conclusion - damn you, Google, for being so disgustingly efficient! Damn you, pregnancy fora where all questions can be very satisfactorily answered in three different, and often opposing, ways! And damn you, Veronika, for not being happy just to ride it out and bide your time until the next test, instead wasting your time on pointless speculation!

Anyway. I should really stop wasting time now. I should probably go and have some chocolate, actually... Hmmm, sounds like the best idea I've had all day!

Will keep you posted


Sunday, 24 April 2011


I went in for the test on Saturday morning. It's funny, even though up until the nurse took my blood I was absolutely 100% convinced that the results would be positive, I spent the next few hours trying to decide if I really felt sick or if I was only imagining things...

Thankfully, I had other things to do in those hours, namely driving up to Kylie and Adrian's. We got there a little before midday. The next half an hour passed in a blur of the kids' excited squeals of delight upon discovering the wealth of fauna living in that house - the place is a ZOO :) Ben particularly enjoyed blowing bubbles and watching the youngest member of the little Labrador clan, Bella, trying to catch them, while Sophie... well, Sophie really took to the cat. Hmm... Yes. Let me just say that the incident involving Sophie's (very understandable) mix-up of cat food and kitty litter was rather hilarious. Oh, and Ben found a marble. A really nice one. I think. I didn't really get to see it before he swallowed it!!! The poor thing - he was so horrified when it happened, I don't know whether it was because he was worried about what was going to happen next, or whether he was upset about losing the marble :)

Anyway, Ben's little circus act happened after we found out about the results of the test. And they are all good! The hCG level, which was supposed to have doubled to indicate a viable pregnancy, has actually almost quadrupled! It was standing at 117 (of whatever units, the nurses actually never say what they are - note to self, find out!) as of Saturday morning.

So here we are. After all the waiting and messing around with paperwork, it only took a few blood tests and one slightly uncomfortable, but curiously relaxed, transfer, and we're PREGNANT!! Yes, it appears that I really am a tummy mummy!! Yaayyy!!

It was nice to be all together when we found out, too. Although I think that if we weren't together, Kylie and Adrian (and her mum and dad, who were also there - lovely people) would have probably been a lot more emotional about it. As it was we had some group hugs, a nice little lunch, and a bit of chat, and the boys (the grown-up ones) enjoyed themselves immensely coming up with new ways of joking about the matter. And believe me, they've only just scratched the surface - I am sure in the next weeks and months to follow, they will drain the subject dry and try to outdo each other... After all, it IS a little weird that I am pregnant by another guy - and it doesn't appear to matter that by another gal as well :) - and my husband approves :D

I am going in for more tests as soon as we get back to Canberra (spending Easter at mum-in-law's place) to see if I need to keep taking progesterone, as it seems that my body is more than happy to supply the hormone of its own accord - bless you, my cooperative endocrine system!

Grow and prosper, little traveller!

Veronika, a very happy GS

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

So far so good!

The test results seem encouraging! My hCG level is 30.5 (at 10dpo), and apparently anything over 5 means pregnant. I have to have another blood test on Saturday though, to confirm that the level is rising - it should double in two days.

I definitely feel pregnant, sick as a dog! :) However, that could be due to the side effects of progesterone, which I am taking twice a day now to support the little life. Also, the hCG could be a left-over of an injection of Ovidrel, which I was given 12 days ago. But that is unlikely.

Grow little one, grow!

The beginning

The first time I ever heard about surrogacy was on a television program years and years ago. At the time I thought that it was a lovely thing to do for someone, and made a mental note that I should consider doing something like that in a (then) distant future. This thought must have been tucked away in some corner of my mind waiting for a good time to remind me of itself, and this time came a few months after my daughter was born. 'It is time now!' it said. 'Your family is complete, you have two little monsters at home and that will do you' (well, that's not quite the truth, but you get my drift :) 'so why don't you give it a go and research this surrogacy thing... see where it takes you.'

So I did. I read reports, statistics, and research results. I joined online discussion fora. I sought out surrogates and asked them to share their experiences. I read the stories of childless couples (and singles) and wept at the tragedy of their losses. I learned the lingo and marveled at the amazing number of expressions and acronyms. And then I found someone who I wanted to help, and the project 'Sibling for Sophie Cleo' was born.

I offered my... ehm.... uterus to the lovely Kylie and Adrian in December 2009 - you can read their story here: Since then, we have been slowly but surely getting HERE. After months of IVF and associated paperwork for them, and then all sorts of rigmarole involving ethical committees, psychological assessments, legal advice and health checks for all of us, including my amazing husband, we ticked all the boxes and were given the go ahead.

Today I had another blood test, about the tenth in the last few weeks. But this one is different. This one will tell us if the little embryo - a genetic offspring of K and A conceived about a year ago, kept on ice until last Thursday, and transferred into my hopefully accommodating uterus last Friday - has decided that it just might make itself comfy for the next 9 months. If the result is positive, I will be able to call myself a 'gestational surrogate'. Or, in the words of the surrogacy world, a tummy mummy.

Fingers crossed!