Not pregnant. The End.

#KitKaper, the surrogacy edition has now concluded.

I usually do not allow myself to hope much. Nor do I set expectations very high. If I set them at all. It’s so much easier to not be disappointed in someone or something if you never expected anything in the first place.

But recently I allowed myself to hope. I set expectations. I had thought it was something of a breakthrough that I was allowing myself to feel positively again after so long. I deluded myself into thinking it was HEALTHY.

I am a dumbass.

These lessons were hard-taught the first time around.

And even harder the second time around.

And yet, somehow, I picked myself up for a third round. And when I got knocked down that time it didn’t hurt quite as much. Perhaps because I saw that one coming. Or because I didn’t really expect anything different. Or maybe I never stood all the way up so my fall was shorter.

But this time. This time I should have known better.

I deluded myself with thoughts of “It’s FINALLY my turn.” Finally all that karma will find its way back to me.

Yeah. No. It’s not my turn. And karma appears to be just as directionally challenged as my embryos.

My past life must have been really horrible.

I fell like such a fool. And I feel like an asshat. Not only did I allow myself to hope, but I roped in all of you, too. Countless people (OK maybe not countless, let’s be real here, maybe 100, possibly even 200) were rooting for us and hoping for us. And now those people are let down too.

Because of me.

I suck. And I’m sorry.

Really, I feel HORRIBLE for putting everyone through this. The whole caper aspect of this might have been a truly bad idea. I like to put out good karma vibes, not shitty ones. My bad. I fucked up.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled, undoubtedly more inspiring, regular programming.

Many many many many thanks to BadAss B for trying. It’s not her fault. I know she’s feeling sad too and probably beating herself up a bit so if you follow her on twitter please send some love her way too. She is awesome and deserves some support.

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Holy Triggers Batman

April 7, 2014

What a truly bizarre two week wait.

I expected some of this. But not all of it.

I know how I felt during my FET.  It was WAY WORSE than I imagined it would be (even though I didn’t write about it all until later).  I thought that this time, since it’s not my body, it would be easier. And it is. At least in the fact that I’m not worried for my physical self. I thought I might be worried for B’s physical self.  But I’m not. Not yet, anyway.

What is happening is that I’m reliving the 2ww from my IVF (PTSD much?). My first injectibles cycle.  The one I postponed because Pops was in the hospital.  And then he landed in the ER at 4dp3dt. Which was yesterday for this surro FET cycle. He recovered fairly quickly from that ER visit.  Thankfully, he was at home doing fairly well by the time I landed in the hospital a month later.

And of course his cancer came back while I was still recovering from that pregnancy. And then he died.  And then I was cleared for FET.

And now my almost 16 year old hyperthyroid renally challenged kitty seems to be boycotting both food and the litterbox.

So.

The two week wait.  Pregnancy.

They STILL equate – in my brain – to death and dying. Even when it’s not my body.

So yeah.  This is tons of fun.

NOT.

It is a truly bizarre thought process.  My headshrinker says it’s completely normal. Memories are stored chronologically and when you access one you tend to get all the ones around it. Particularly if they are traumatic. So apparently I am not a raging lunatic for equating pregnancy (or even potential pregnancy) with death.

A negative beta will end it most likely as that will be a different outcome from the past. 

A positive beta (or home pregnancy test) will likely keep the triggers coming for a few more weeks.  This is not about the outcome of this surro FET cycle.  I mean, it partly is but it’s about so much more.

I should have seen this coming.  I suppose I did to a certain extent. But it’s proving to be far more powerful than I anticipated.

At least I’m not having panic attacks. I am not literally terrified like I was last time.  I just can’t stop the emotions from coming. Instead of abject terror engulfing me I’m staring at a tidal wave of grief. Preferable, yes. But still quite large and consuming.
 
I miss my Dad. I want to talk to him. I want to cuddle my sick kitty but she won’t let me.
 
I will be OK.  I always am. But this is going to be rougher than I anticipated. But also, once again, reaffirms that those embryos are way better off with B right now.

The Surro Gift Bag

April 2, 2014

Apparently it’s a tradition – for something that hasn’t been around long enough to have traditions – to give some sort of gift to your gestational carrier at transfer. When I first heard of this I didn’t like it. I mean, the woman is (hopefully) growing me a baby and I’m going to give her a gift basket? Um…no. So not comparable.

It just felt kind of wrong to me. Regardless of whether a gestational carrier is being paid for her services she’s not really doing it for the money. Or an edible arrangement. To me, it kind of just seemed like an insult to her. Even more so because B, in particular, is not a material girl. She doesn’t need or want lots of STUFF lying around.

Also…let’s be honest. I have issues with the whole buying a baby concept. Whether it be paying your RE, an adoption agency, a surrogacy agency, etc. Mixing money and babies is just never desirable (unless you’re morally corrupt).

But.

I have to give her sticks to pee on. I’m a POAS addict. Or rather, I WAS. And while she may not be quite the addict I used to be I’m pretty sure she will want to pee on all the things. Well, all the sticks anyway. Sticks that say Pregnant vs Not Pregnant. So I’ll just wrap up the 5000 sticks with a bow and call it good.

[No I didn’t actually buy 5000 of them]

Wait. Transfer socks. Those are a thing. I never really did them but they are totally a thing so maybe I should get her some. [And after I did a tweep sent some more. <3]

And maybe a surro T shirt. I know she’s pretty psyched to do this and would totally wear something like this:

Its Complicated T shirt

Click on the image to see lots of other surro T-shirts. There are so many!

And maybe something to do on bedrest. Trashy mags?

Hhhmmmm. There are now several items accumulated. Perhaps they should go in…a bag. ???

But this is the Pacific Northwest and we’re a bit crunchy here (plastic grocery bags are banned in my city) so not a regular gift bag but a REUSABLE bag. Clearly that’s the way to go.

And thus my surro gift bag was born. Despite my original objections to it.

But now I have this big bag and not enough items to fill it. What else should go in it?

Chocolate. That one is kind of a no-brainer. Especially since just the FET meds gave her cravings. Imagine what cravings she’ll have if she gets pregnant! Cinnamon buns! I remember that she loves them and craved them when she was pregnant before.

Oh wait. Her husband is a baker. As in a professional baker. And kind of a chef as well. I can’t bake her anything and store bought won’t do either. Hhhhhhmmmm. What kind of food can I include for her that has a chance of being better than what her hubs makes? *light bulb*

What’s the one thing we can do at our house that they can’t do in their apartment? SMOKE MEAT. Right Guy. He loves to smoke things. Particularly pork.

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Let’s see…now that we are adding in homemade bacon which is really for the whole family it seems silly to only put items for her in this bag. Her entire family is supporting her efforts in this arena and they should also be recognized for that. So hubs gets some beer and homemade hot sauce (the peppers were smoked), the wee one gets a toy to distract and a book about surrogacy. And the cat gets some treats, too. Because he oversees the shots.
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You know what I’ve learned?

The gift bag is not about her. It’s about ME.

Once the contract was finished and she started meds, I HAD NOTHING TO DO. NOTHING. No shots, no appointments. It’s like the two week wait turned into a six week wait. And so thinking of and procuring all the gift bag items has been my distraction.

The New Math of Loss

March 30, 2014

You may recall that last Fall submissions were being taken for a book about miscarriage. I mentioned it here. After the movie Return To Zero came out they decided to do a book – an anthology of stories of love and loss to raise awareness.

Well that book, Three Minus One, is now out. My submission was not chosen to be in it. But someone I know on Twitter is in it. Both her Twitter and her blog are private so I won’t link here but I do want to give a big shout out to Lauren! So proud of you! Congrats!

Three Minus One book cover

I had hoped to be a part of this since I still struggle so much with my first pregnancy. But I don’t think the world at large is ready for the darkness that was the Zombabies. Nobody wants to hear about how hard it was to kill your much wanted babies over and over again. I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately as we get closer and closer to SurroFET. I worry that these last two embryos, the rejects of the crop, will not take. And then all my babes will be gone. And then I think about the first two. I think about how beautiful the RE said they were. I think about how hard they fought me to stay alive. And I hope their siblings are just as strong… but with a better sense of direction.

[Also, why are embryo GPSs still not a thing?!]

It’s never been Three Minus One for us. It’s been 2 + 6 -2 -1 -1 = 2. Soon we will find out the end of that equation. Will we be three? Or four? Or will the Six Return to Zero leaving us as two?

The Great Kit Kaper

February 25, 2014

I have been remiss. I could have sworn I blogged about this already. But apparently I didn’t.

Our surrogacy has a hashtag: #KitKaper.

Why Kit Kaper you ask?

Well, let me tell you. First, you probably already know that I don’t do anything online withing branding it with a fox theme. If you didn’t know that you’ve likely been living under a rock.

kit definition

Kit

A kit is a baby fox. And that’s what we are trying to create.

caper definition

Caper

I’ve always thought of capers as group activities where you are trying to pull off something whimsical or illegal or ill-advised or… essentially a long shot. And complicated.

I love that this word has so many meanings. It’s playful. It’s harebrained. It *might* be illegal. It’s wild and crazy but just.might.work. And even though it is not integral to the definition it is implied that it is a GROUP escapade. Which is what I was looking for. I was thinking along these lines:

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, here in InfertilityLand we all know that it can take a village to create one too. In the case of surrogacy it’s more like a whole town than a village. I couldn’t do it without B. And we couldn’t do it without the support from YOU. We are all a part of #KitKaper.

I must give credit where it’s due however. B came up with this hashtag. She knew the elements I wanted to capture and suggested KitCaper.

What about KitCaper? Or if we wanted to go Kardashian KitKaper. 😉

I don’t know about Kardashian but I do love alliteration. And bonus points for also referencing The Muppets.

And in finding the link to all my posts about alliteration I just found the original hashtag post. I DID write about it after all.  It just wasn’t finalized yet.

I also love that *IF* this works, I will get a kit or two that will certainly have his or her own capers in the future. This hashtag has longevity. And B and I make an awesome team. 😉

Road Trip Recap

February 6, 2014

Yikes!

About 3 whole minutes [OK it was more like a half hour] after I posted about the road trip last week I got a call telling me that the container the embryos would be riding in had not yet arrived. Cue panic attack. Fortunately it showed up eventually and the upside is that perhaps I’ll be charged slightly less for that since it got, um, slightly LOST in transit and was delivered later than promised.

Whew! Crisis averted. And I saved money!

So I went to clinic the next morning to pick them up and this is what I found.

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I turned over our signed and notarized paperwork, signed yet another form and waited while the embryologist photocopied my driver’s license. Then he sealed up the container and handed their paperwork to me.

Fortunately, I had been warned that the container would be bulky so I had bought a little wheely thingy to help get the container to/from my car and the clinics. Although I might have spilled all the paperwork coming out of the elevator. 😉

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Although I had been warned about the size I had not really expected it to look so banged up. I had assumed it would have shipped inside a box. Guess not.

I got to my car and decided that I should strap them in. This is something I had been kind of fretting over all week. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to strap them in or if they would need it. But it seemed prudent to not have the container bouncing around if I had to stop suddenly so they wore their seatbelt the whole way.

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I stopped along the way for food and coffee. And to post updates of our progress. I was a bit worried people would question my sanity for live tweeting my road trip.

But I had fun with it. It was a weird sort of bonding. I was either bonding with my future child(ren) a bit early or I was saying goodbye to my chance at biological offspring. Either way, I think it worked for me. I’m glad I had the experience.

A few hours later we arrived at their new home.

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I turned over the container and their paperwork to the new embryologist. And there they will stay for just a little longer. My well traveled embabies are at their 3rd (and final) clinic. They are very near their future home where I hope they will stay for 9 months. Especially now that their new home has just passed inspection.

Road Trip

January 30, 2014

Tomorrow I collect our last two embryos from their current home and drive them to their new home. With any luck they won’t stay at their new home for very long but be soon transferred to a warm and loving uterus that is not my own (cuz that bitch is GONE). My hope is that our trip is uneventful and nothing like the one below.

Rest assured, there will be no shortcuts. And no bridge jumping (even though there are a lot of bridges to be crossed). I will stay on the interstate the whole way (except for in-town obviously). And didn’t someone eat a gerbil in this movie? None of that either.

Just me and some tunes and the kiddos in a temperature controlled box. Do I strap them in?

Although, maybe – just maybe, there will be a stellar after party once the embryos are safely ensconced in their new freezer.

Except… I don’t know how to clog. I hear it’s… Tricky. 😉

As is embryo moving.

Look for updates and pics on Twitter: @FurrowedFox & @BunSeekingOven