Grooooooooow babies!!

How 2 men + 2 women - sex + science = 2 babies!!

This is the funny, heart-warming, tearful, inspiring, and shocking truth about my journey to have a child.

How a man, another man, a woman, another woman, a couple lawyers, a few doctors, a psychologist, a couple social workers and some agencies make a baby.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Happens Next?

It has been a week since I found out the pregnancy didn't take. A lot of people have asked what the next step is. I don't have all the answers yet, but I have to meet with my doctor again. My appointment is at the end of this month. And it looks like we will try again in November. Two months is a long time to wait for me, but I think I like taking that time to just get over what happened over this past cycle.

Meanwhile, I just got some emails from the fertility clinic yesterday and today. I have to sign a form to consent to thaw and transfer the frozen embryos and, of course, pay the clinic again. They always want their money! I read one form yesterday and it crushed me again. One paragraph said more embryos will be thawed than I expect to be transferred because not all thawed embryos are suitable for transfer.


I thought I had three embryos left. Now I find out that may not be true? This was a blow when I was already not doing so well. I feel like I need to talk to the doctor to get more information. My mind is just racing with "what if" questions.

So where is the silver lining?

Well, I may have one. On Sunday I met with a friend of mine who talked about the idea of making room in your life for more things to come in, positive energy in the world, and the power of your own thoughts to make real, physical changes even though everything around you is going against what you want. We talked about experiments like how you physically become stronger when you say the word "yes" or tell the truth and become weaker when you say "no" or tell a lie. The mind is definitely very powerful.

The next day I went to work. My job that day was tough. It was from 9:30-1:30pm and I assumed there would be a break at some point...just a few minutes to go to the bathroom or get water. People can't go four hours without a five minute stretch, right? At about 12:00 we hadn't taken a break and there was no mention of one any time soon. As my partner and I wrote notes back and forth to each other I wrote that I hoped they would take a short break. About a minute later someone in the room asked for a break. mind IS powerful!

As my partner and I chatted during the break (we hadn't seen each other in about two years) she mentioned the power of visualization and sending things out to the universe. I thought it was interesting I had two conversations in a row about this idea. I also remembered reading something about an experiment with water. I looked it up online and found this excerpt....

Dr. Emoto found that if he played beautiful music in the presence of tap water, it would then make beautiful frozen crystal formations. He also learned that the written word changed the water. Dr. Emoto taped paper strips on bottles of tap water and then photographed the frozen water. He found that words such as "Thank you," and "I love you," caused the tap water to form beautiful crystals. Words such as "You make me sick," or "You are a fool," caused ugly, distorted crystals or no crystals at all. Dr. Emoto then found that we can cause tap water to form beautiful frozen water crystals simply by praying for the water, by sending it loving thoughts, and by blessing it.

This came from the website

I have never been very religious or even spiritual. But when you're dealing with such high stakes, you'll try anything. During this first attempt I was scared to think the results would be positive or negative. I didn't want to go down either path. I was afraid of getting my hopes up but now that I have gone through this once I'm ready to throw myself into the process. I'm going to ask everyone to really think about my surrogate being pregnant, to pray for a successful pregnancy, and to hope that this next time will be a success. I do think that our thoughts can affect outcomes.

Meanwhile, Neil Patrick Harris is still M.I.A. Hrmpf!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three Little Words

After 12 days of waiting I finally got the call. It was about 3:15 p.m. and I literally was walking out of my job the second the phone rang. I saw the 847 area code so I knew it was the fertility clinic. I answered not sure what I should feel aside from nervousness. The nurse said to me, "She's not pregnant."

It took me a minute to figure out what to feel. I thought I had a good shot at getting pregnant. (Well, not me personally, but the surrogate!) I tend to not live in the moment and I worry about the future and immediately I was counting my limited number of chances left. The nurse told me that I should call the doctor to set up an appointment and we would discuss using the frozen embryos.

I sat on a step on the sidewalk crying as I talked to the nurse. Right at that moment a woman walked by and asked me if I was ok. It was sweet to see there are people in this world who are concerned for a stranger's well being. The knife in the heart came from the fact that she was pushing a baby in a stroller. Real life is stranger than fiction, right? You just can't make up this kind of stuff. Right after she passed me by two guys came walking down the sidewalk and asked me if I smoke and had cigarettes. Do you not see me crying on the phone?!?!?

I called my parents. I called Derek. I told them what was going on. I also got a call from the surrogate agency asking if I was ok. What can you say? Not much. It is what it is. No, I'm not ok, but there is nothing to be done. "Chloe" also sent me a text saying she was sorry and asked if I was doing ok. It was very sweet of her to check in with me.

I guess this is part of the process. Other people go through this too so it's not like I'm the only person who has ever had to endure this. I will survive. It's just tough now.

The movie is still in development. My friend Tiffany (a.k.a. the "Michaela" of "Michael & Michaela") has come up with some song titles like "Makin' Babies in the 21st Century" (featuring porn, pipettes and petri dishes), a hilarious cover of "Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof with all new lyrics, and the showstopping "Pushin' Real Hard," an revival-esque gospel number about the birthing process. Tiffany recommended Jennifer Hudson play my surrogate because she'll be great in her gospel song. I'm also thinking Barbara Streisand or Better Midler as my mom.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Longest 288...I Mean 336 Hours...

I'm wondering when my life gets to slow down and when I get a break. Yes, I realize the irony of wanting a break at the same time I'm hoping to have a baby. I know parents don't get a break. The stress and responsibilities will just increase and it is a 24/7 job.

Today I had to run to the surrogate agency to pay for insurance. I think I mentioned before that most insurance policies don't cover surrogates. My surrogate has a pretty strong policy that looks like it does not have an exclusion for her while she is doing this for me. I might get the pregnancy covered...but we won't know until the first bill is submitted. So I decided to take out a special policy on my surrogate.

There are a few different options, but not many. I can't remember what all the different policies do. One policy has a $45,000 deductible. I'm not really sure what you get from that but $45,000 is a big risk to take The one that seems to work best for me is a complications only policy. If the baby is happy and healthy then I won't use the policy at all. Let's all hope for that.

I went to the agency to drop off the insurance paperwork this morning and started talking with one of the women who works there. She is a nurse. I mentioned the pregnancy test coming up and how that will hopefully confirm that my surrogate is, in fact, pregnant. My heart sank a little more when I learned that the one test isn't really proof of a pregnancy. There is a hormone called HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) that is measured to confirm a pregnancy. If my surrogate has that hormone it means she is pregnant. Usually that is a pretty good indication of a pregnancy. But my surrogate will have to go back two days later to get her HCG level checked again. That level should double every 24 hours. The waiting gets longer and longer all the time. The big milestone to get through is the fetal heartbeat which happens at about 5-6 weeks.

It's funny that HCG came up in my life today because it came up in Derek's life too. Derek found an application that is one of those "What to Expect When Expecting" things. He punched in the embryo's "birthday" and then it gives him updates and what is happening at certain points during the pregnancy. Today's update talked all about HCG.

A lot of my friends have been asking about "Chloe" taking a home pregnancy test. The results, as we all know, are not always accurate. The nurse at the fertility clinic said that the embryos can take 3-7 days to attach to the uterus. That's why there is such a long waiting period before doing the pregnancy test. I think it's not worth asking for a home pregnancy test. It has certainly crossed my mind, but the wrong answer - either way - is not what I want. I'll just keep thining about sticky things. Hmmm...maybe I'll get a Cinnabon today!

P.S. Still no word from Neil Patrick Harris.