CHP - arms with Myer

CHP - arms with Myer

23 November 2012

Pinch me!

- by Janelle (IM)

Simply amazing!! I can't believe that Kim is pregnant! I think I'm partially still in shock that Kim has tested positive, even after the five pee sticks and two blood tests :)

I seriously don't know what to do with myself. I've been wanting to write a post for days now but was worried I wouldn't be able to put down in words this feeling, this moment. So I finally decided to just start typing. Who knows how coherent all of this will be...

After the first blood test on Monday that gave us such a solid number we skyped with Kim and Carl, and Carl said - "you might not be able to see it but Kim has a glow". Just thinking about those words and Kim's smile gives me goosebumps. For those near to Kim, please give her lots of hugs for me! Oh and Carl, you good at foot rubs!?

Now my focus is on December 10th. With each stage of this adventure there's a new date drilled into my head as being "the day" and this one is pretty significant. Not only will the ultrasound help confirm proper development and growth, it will answer the question: are there one or two babies in Kim's  belly? My husband has already started doing research on mini vans, haha!

21 November 2012


~ by Kim

A Beta test is the blood test done to measure the amount of HCG (pregnancy hormone) in the blood. 

With IVF, they do more than one test; first to confirm pregnancy and subsequent tests to make sure that the pregnancy is progressing properly and implantation was successful. I had my first test on Monday morning and that afternoon the clinical co-ordinator of the fertility clinic called to give me my results. She told me that normally for the stage we're at, they like to see the number over 100. Guess what mine was?

Yep, 568! I was completely shocked! She told me that the level was quite high, and that I should start preparing myself of the possibility that there might be more than one baby in there. Even though we obviously knew that this was a possibility, it's so different hearing it from the staff and being told to start preparing myself. I was excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. I thought that one baby is a piece of cake* - have done it twice before so I know what to expect. But the prospect of carrying twins would be a different pregnancy altogether and something that is totally unknown to me. (Though there is something appealing about the idea of "eating for 3!" Haha!)

So this morning was Beta # 2:


We had met our doubling criteria and then some! We have an ultrasound booked on December 10th, and that's when we'll find out if there will be one or two babies arriving next summer!
Holy cow!

* Having a baby is not really a "piece of cake." Hardly. If I end up having twins though, I may change my mind on this statement later on.

16 November 2012


~ by Kim

I couldn't help myself.
(10 days post 3 day transfer)
I wonder if seeing the double pink lines will get old.
....I doubt it.

15 November 2012


~ by Kim
Here is is! First BFP! (Big Fat Positive!) 

I tested at home yesterday morning and this was what I saw! 

My heart started pounding. I took a picture, emailed it to Janelle and sent her a couple of text messages, then jumped into the shower while I waited to hear back. My nerves were all over the place and I showered at lightning speed, not wanting to miss her call, as my mind continued to run amuck. I got out of the shower and just kept staring at the stick in disbelief. Yep, it was still positive. When Carl (my husband) saw the test, he gave me a hug. We were pregnant again - but this time with someone else's baby. I told him that this might be one of the craziest things we've ever done.

When Janelle called back, she had already checked her email and had seen the picture of the positive test I had sent. Obviously, we were both over the moon with excitement and I think both our heads were spinning. We were pregnant!?! Wow! It was hard to believe and was so surreal. I had to go to work, but when I got there my head was just not there, and I found it hard to stay on task for most of the day. I think I was still in shock and awe. 

We know that it's super early and premature to start celebrating, but it's hard not to get excited. Now we just need to hope that this is a sticky one and that it continues to grow into a healthy pregnancy. We will know more when we have our first beta test on Monday, which is the blood test to determine the HcG (pregnancy hormone) levels. We're hoping for a good strong number, which will "officially" confirm the pregnancy. We will then have to go back to have the blood levels checked every few days, and if all goes well, the numbers should double every 24 hours or so.

We are all cautiously optimistic; I think our husbands a little more so, (cautious, I mean), and we're taking things one step at a time. I don't know if Janelle and I are quite as grounded as the boys are - as it's so much more fun to dream of a little baby and what next summer will bring if everything continues to go well. According to BabyCenter, our due date would be July 30, 2013. Wow.

I took another pregnancy test this morning, just to confirm things as well as compare the lines and see if it had gotten darker from the first test. Here's what I got:

8dp3dt = 8 days post 3 day transfer 

So now we just wait for Monday to get our results, where we hope to become "officially" pregnant.

Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark.  
- Anonymous

12 November 2012

One more week 'til we test

- by Janelle (IM)

I find myself forgetting what day of the week it is quite often these days. I think it's my coping method with the wait time we have until the day of the pregnancy blood test. The thought of doing a countdown of sorts only increases my anxiousness, so instead I only glance at the calendar. Before I know it, test day will be around the corner, right!?

I tried thinking of some fun ways of doing a countdown, like creating a 13-day chocolate advent calendar of sorts. This would be quite easy since we still have a bowl full of Halloween candy. Then my anxiousness can be paired with a sugar high!! Haha, not sure that'll do me any good...

Truthfully I'm more excited than anything. I've been feeling really positive about this transfer and I know I'm not the only one. I hope the energy in the world is speaking to us with accuracy ;)

07 November 2012

Transfer #2 - Here we go again!

~ by Kim

It's done!

Yesterday, we transferred two 3-day embryos.

Some Embryo 101:   (skip this paragraph if you like)

An embryo transfer is usually done on either day 3 or day 5. I didn't really know what this meant (apart from the obvious) until fairly recently, so I'll try to explain it as best I can, and hopefully I don't muddle it too much. After the eggs are fertilized, they are cultivated in the lab where they will continue to split and divide, and by the third day the embryos will have 6-8 cells. From Day 3 to Day 5, the embryo undergoes massive changes and becomes a blastocyst, where it can then have around 250 cells. Big jump! Apparently transferring a day 5 embryo allows for a better selection of embryos that are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. Typically there is a lower chance of multiples with day 5 transfers, as fewer embryos are transferred at one time, and I think there might be a higher implantation rate. So why don't we wait till day 5? That's what I wondered. Turns out that a lab is not the ideal environment for the embryos to cultivate, so many of them will not survive to make it to day 5. If there are not a lot of embryos to start with, it is risky trying to get them to day 5 because the embryos may not survive that long, where they would've still been viable at day 3. I think it's something that each couple has to weigh the pros and cons of, depending on what their own situation is. For us, having only 4 embryos to work with meant we go with day 3'ers. 

Back to the transfer...

I got to the clinic in the morning, but this time around I had paced myself with my water consumption, so it was not as uncomfortable as the last time. Since Janelle couldn't make it out and my hubby was working, my cousin Rachel came with me. She's just finished nursing school so she was fascinated with it all from the medical point of view.

We got in right away and started the process. The embryologist came to talk to us as we got to see the two little embryos on the screen. The embryos are scored on a scale out of 20, and the ones that they had scored 18 and 19. They had been pulled out of the deep freeze the day before to start thawing, and overnight one of them continued to grow and divide. Now, instead of putting in two 7-cell embryos, we were putting in one 7-cell and one 14-cell!
I think we have an overachiever already.

Here's a pic of the two embryos. The one on the left is the one that continued to divide and was now at 14 cells. The other is still at 7 cells. 

The procedure itself went well. This time I knew more what to expect, and what to look for on the ultrasound screen. Rachel took some pictures so I could email them to Janelle and Joel and of course share them here too! :)

Here's a few more from the morning:

Almost time!

The big black mass at the top of the screen is my very full bladder. Underneath, you can see a small white dot, which is the air pocket that the embryos are in.
Here it is close up. Can you see them? I think it's one boy and one girl. (Kidding, of course!) 
All done! Piece of cake...I'm "locked and loaded!" Literally. Haha!

After the procedure the doctor did some acupuncture, and then we were ready to go. We got take-out on the way home and had a completely lazy and relaxing afternoon. We made a pot of tea, crawled into bed and watched movies. Grown up movies. No Tinkerbell, no Rapunzel. My mom came by later with one of my favourite dinners, so I got to continue taking it easy the rest of the day without having to worry about supper. Bliss. If only every day was transfer day... I could sure get used to days like this. 

Now comes the two week wait, while we wait to have the blood test to see if I'm pregnant. 
Sometimes I think that this is the hardest part.

I dream of the day where I can throw all these pills out the window, and go back to my natural lunatic state, rather than this hormone induced one. If I get pregnant, I will stay on these until I'm 12 weeks along in the pregnancy, and then my body will be able to take over on its own.

...How could I not dream of that day?

It would mean only 28 weeks left, until Janelle and Joel would complete their family.

 Hormones, anyone? I got lots!

05 November 2012

Forgot to mention

- by Janelle (IM)

The other day when out for dinner with family I cracked open a fortune cookie at the restaurant and got this...

Wow do I ever hope it's true! :)

Good luck tomorrow Kim. We're thinking of you lots and sending our love your way as you go for transfer attempt #2 - woohoo!

04 November 2012

Gearing up

- by Janelle (IM)

I feel like this past week has been a blur. I've been sick which automatically puts me in a funk, Asher is sick, so is Joel, and my Mom who came and surprised me for my birthday has now also succumbed to the germs. Every time I'm sick I feel like its a quick kick-in-the-butt reminder of what it really means to be healthy...definitely something to appreciate!

Leading up to our second transfer attempt Joel and I debated for about 4 days as to whether or not we should transfer 1 or 2 embryos. Our doctor recommended 2 but we had our concerns. Raising twins was not what held us back from jumping on board right away, rather we wanted to make sure it was worth setting ourselves up for the potential of Kim having a high risk pregnancy & birth, as well as increased risk to the health of the babies. In some ways we were jumping the gun, because our concerns are still preceded by the big IF we (Kim) gets pregnant.

In the end after extended chats with the dr, Kim and ourselves (with some online research mixed in), we are going for it. Simply have to try our best at this stage in the journey!

Now it's time to hope that the pee dance isn't so bad on the day of the transfer for Kim :) Last time we had to wait an hour longer than scheduled and it would seem that Kim's kidneys were keen on her having a full bladder immediately upon drinking the required 32oz of water.

I'm sad that I won't be with Kim this go around. Considering my sniffles and watery eyes right now, it's probably a good thing. It certainly will be hard to concentrate while at work on the day of transfer #2.

Sending lots of love to Victoria....xox

02 November 2012

Round 2 and feeling the hormones

~ by Kim

Just got off the phone with Janelle, and we will be transferring 2 little embryos on Tuesday!

I'm both excited and nervous at the same time. I had been hoping that they would decide to go with two, but was prepared either way. I'm pretty excited about the final decision though. It's not that I'm hoping for twins, but it's more like feeling that we're really giving it all we've got to try to make this work. I think the stats for twins after transferring 2 embryos are around 25%. When talking with the doctor, he said that putting in two definitely increases the chance of pregnancy, and that not every embryo makes it to a baby.

So here we go again for round 2! Yay!

My first hormone confessional:

Sometimes I think the hormones are catching up with me. I start the increased hormones tomorrow, adding progesterone and antibiotics to my medication routine in preparation for the transfer. It's bittersweet, as I love that it means we're moving forward, but hate what the medications do to me. After starting these medications last month, I asked hubby what the side effects of the progesterone were, and if rage, variations in mood might be one of them. Turns out that mood swings and irritability are right up there on the list. That, paired with my heightened emotional state from all the estrogen, don't always make me a ray of sunshine. Lily and I recently watched the new Tinkerbell movie, and I found myself getting emotional when poor Tinkerbell broke a wing. Seriously? Yes. I blame the meds. I wonder if other surrogates experience the same thing, or something similar. I was talking to one of the doctors about it at work, and we both agreed it was indeed the meds. She suggested I go on a huge shopping spree, and buy myself lots of great things.

She said we can blame the meds.

She's my new favourite. I wish she was my doctor.