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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!