Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 We just wanted to stop in to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Jen and I are having the most wonderful holiday. We feel very lucky ;) Look for new posts coming soon. Jennifer stops birth control in the next few days, then follows ultrasounds, and the fun begins again! Bring on 2013!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finally some news!

I hope everyone had a great turkey day! I know mine and Jennifer's was fantastic with amazing "Dark Thursday" and Black Friday shopping! Sorry for the delay of updating our blog but things have been quite slow on the news front. Now on to the baby details. Jesse and I (and Jennifer of course! Thanks again sis) recently went shopping to pick out a "baby." It seemed like an exhausting feat but after much consideration we feel as if we had made a great choice as to which donated embryo we will go with. Woohoo! As I had previously said, we can't do a natural cycle with donated embryos so we would have to go with the medicated route...wrong! Our clinic has never transferred a donated embryo with a "known" embryo (ours), so our clinic put together a little meeting to discuss what would be best for us to be successful. You see, Jen is a little, shall we say, competitive and, well, you know she was quite the overachiever when it came to responding to the meds, so maybe if we did more of a natural cycle her body will accept the pregnancy. She did have 3 flawless pregnancies after all! So it's settled we will be doing a natural cycle. I know Jen is excited since that means less shots and I'm totally excited to be sort of a test subject for the clinic. This is such of an amazing opportunity for us.

Our tentative calendar was recently emailed to us and it looks as though Jennifer will be on birth control until the end of December. We will then go for an ultrasound on cycle day 2-3, if everything looks good she will start ovulation predictors on cycle day 8.  Then another ultrasound on day 10.  Then ultrasounds everyday or so to see when she will ovulate.  Then a shot of HCG.  Then transfer 6 days later, which should be mid January or so. AAHH! 

My fingers and toes and whatever else will be crossed that this will work for us!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Decision Time

We had our doctor meeting yesterday to discuss our failed cycle and the next steps we will take. As you may already know we only have one embryo left to transfer. If we choose to transfer just the one we only have a 40-50% chance of it taking, yes I know it only takes one! We discussed starting right away with a natural cycle, as in going off of Jen's regular cycle and not adding the meds to force the cycle. One of the other options that I came up with, but didn't know if it was possible, is to add a donor embryo to our embryo, implant 2 and increase our chances by another 25% or so, while keeping the costs down for us. Our clinic has never done this before but didn't see a problem with it and given our history believed we seemed like the perfect couple for it and so gave us the ok. We will have to have a DNA test done after it/they are born so we know  its/their genetics. If we go this route we will have to start Jen again on the meds (sorry Jen I know the natural cycle sounded good to you ;) ) in December and do the transfer the beginning of January. We wouldn't be able to do it in December because the clinic takes a holiday break. We put some thought in our final decision and decided that was the route for us! We will be adding a donor embryo to our embryo and implant them into Jennifer the beginning of January! I am trying to contain my excitement since I know that there is a chance it doesn't work the way we hope but.......WAHOO!! We are waiting to hear back from our clinic to get a tentative calender for Jen and donor embryo profiles. Stay tuned!

Thanks for all the awesome support! You guys are wonderful!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

great news!

Ok, so it's great news but not baby related. I finished my last round of chemotherapy yesterday!! Woohoo! I still have 7 or so weeks of radiation but will then be in remission! I am so happy!

I feel like a bloghog since Jennifer hasn't blogged anything for a bit so hopefully she will be posting something soon ;) No pressure or anything Jen!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Deserving... an interesting word

qualified for or having a claim to reward, assistance, etc.,because of one's actions, qualities, or situation: the deserving poor; a deserving applicant.
meriting; worthy: a criminal deserving of a lifetime sentence.

If everyone in life got what they deserved then I would currently be the mother of at least two children, a boy and a girl, and the word cancer would not even be in my vocabulary. Well here is some news, I am not pregnant and I will never be pregnant again and while I only have one more chemo session left I still have weeks of radiation left and a lifetime of scans with the question of "has the cancer returned?". While I, and many others, deserve to experience motherhood and a lifetime of no cancer worries, life doesn't work in this matter. Life is so much more then "but you deserve it, "life is about experiencing things and looking at the positive outcomes terrible things can bring. Without cancer I would not be able to see firsthand all the undeserving people fighting. I would not be able to see all the wonderful nurses that deal with cancer patients on a daily basis and see that they put smiles on their faces everyday even though they walk into a workplace that feels as if the dark rain clouds have over taken the skies. I would not get to experience the true beauty of people without hair. Without infertility I would not have experienced meeting wonderful women like me that also deserve to be mothers. Without infertility I would not experience the wonders of science and how far we have really come to making dreams come true for people. I would not experience the adventure of obtaining something that I wanted so bad I would do anything for. I would not have experienced meeting a wonderful doctor that led to the cancer diagnosis in the first place. Without infertility I may not have experienced cancer treatments because it would've been too late.

So you see my Husband and I have to sit back and laugh at our crazy little life because even though we may be deserving of things we also have the strength to experience undeserving things in life. Not everything in life is fair and deserving but I believe things happen for a reason, a reason to make you that much stronger and that much more complete.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Next steps

Hey everyone!

Thought I would give everyone an update on our plans. Tuesday the 13th we will meet our doctor to discuss our failed cycle and what would be the best to do next. We are really stuck and don't know what we should do next. Everyone knows we still have one little perfect blastocyst waiting in the freezer but it's only one. If we choose to do another cycle we could get more embryos to add to it to increase our chances (still can only put in two at a time though). Here's the thing though, we may have to get another donor and since the holidays are coming the clinic takes a break and we won't be able to start the process until January. We are confused and have no idea where we are headed yet but I do know one thing... I will do what it takes to be the mom that I dream to be!

We will let you know as soon as we make our decision as to what direction we take, in the meantime we would love some comments from our readers (if anyone is out there ;) ).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Results are in...

I know everyone is anxiously waiting the results of the blood test and unfortunately I wish I had good news to report but the beta test came back negative. We are all very sad and disappointed but realize that this just wasn't our time. We appreciate all the continued support we are receiving from all of our friends and family and all of our readers here in blogland. We do see a rainbow after this storm and are excited to start our journey again with our last little totsicle we have waiting in the freezer. Please stay tuned to follow us on our next thrilling adventure!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Well as Brenna had posted we finished the transfer last Thursday (10/18). The whole experience was quite surreal, to think I could be carrying a baby or two just from visiting the doctor's, crazy! They completed the whole thing in about fifteen minutes and one of the main things I remember from the day (valium induced stupor) was the look on Brenna's when they said everything went perfect. She just sat there with the biggest smile and sitting on the edge of her seat, she looked like a little kid on Christmas morning. I had tears start to well up in my eyes just watching her!

So later that evening once we got home both Brenna and Jesse waited on me and watched my kids, this all felt really weird since I felt totally fine. But I did as the doctors ordered and even took it easy the following day. Saturday I was back to being mom with back to back soccer games in the morning, I have been fairly good at remembering not to pick up the kids, I only have a ten pound limited which the kids don't get!

Yesterday morning we got up super early to drive me to the airport so I could fly to Florida for a work conference!! This should help past the dreaded two week wait. I called the clinic to check up on few of my "rules", apparently NO swimming or rides!!! Ahhh! Let me clarify the last part, I'm in Orlando and my company has rented out both universal studios island adventure AND Disney Hollywood for the evenings for just our company! Oh well I guess I needed a reason to come back (with the kids of course)  :-)

Thanks for following, keep an eye out for our next post!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Transfer Day!

So yesterday was the BIG DAY :) We transferred two of the most beautiful blastocysts into Jennifer's uterus to get cozy for a long 9 months. Here is a little recap of how the day went:

Jesse and I put together a bed rest basket for Jennifer to let her know how much we appreciate her. Just for some good luck we added, "IMplantation" mint tea, "Prego" spaghetti sauce, a little "Baby Magic", and of course since we implanted 2 and are hoping both will stick Cheez-It "Duoz".

Here we are just before leaving for the clinic. We made sure we were wearing fertility colors, yellow and green, for good luck.

I love my sister with all my heart and I can't thank her enough for what she is doing for us. She is the most wonderful and amazing sister someone could ever ask for.

 Here we are!!

Here's our blasts in the dish right after being thawed. They thawed beautifully and are ready for transfer.
Our embryologist came into the room to explain the process and how the blasts were being helped out of their "shell" with assisted hatching where they poke a hole for them to easily attach to Jen's uterus after the implant. As you can see one is very excited to start this party.

Overall the process was quick and exciting. Jennifer had to have a full bladder the entire time which I felt so bad for her. They then pushed on her full bladder to make the uterus flat. Poor girl! The embryologist sucked up the blasts from the dish, as we watched on the screen, into the tiniest of catheters and came back into the room ready to implant those babes. A minute later it was done. Two tiny dots lay in Jen's uterus right before our eyes. I never thought about how emotional it was going to be but it sure caught me by surprise. I had all these thoughts going through my head and tears in my eyes. What an amazing experience!
Thank you! Thank you! After all was said and done we planned to eat McDonald's french fries, supposedly the starch in them helps with implantation. Hey, we are trying anything here :)

Okay I know you are all wanting to know when we get to find out if it worked. I am a POAS (pee on a stick) aholic with my past attempts at pregnancy but I have no control now (I did bring her 6 tests just in case she wanted to test ;)) so I must wait until our beta test (over 50 is good and pregnant!) on October 28th. Cross your fingers and stay tuned to find out the results.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tomorrow is the big T day!!!

Ok, so tomorrow will bring lots of nervousness yet lots of excitement since tomorrow will be the day we thaw and transfer 2 of the 3 blastocysts we have waiting in a freezer, quite odd? Yes I agree. Anyway, let's reflect on what it took to get us here. After the consensus I will not be able to magically conceive and carry my own child we turned to the "scientific way" to conceive our baby then turned to my awesome sister who was willing to carry our baby for us. Then we had lots of blood work done, paperwork to fill out, ultrasounds etc. to make sure everything would be good to go. Then we had to pick a donor (yes from a few sheets of paper filled with family history and baby pictures) and we just so happened to pick one with a cute baby picture might I say. After all was said and done we had to meet with a lawyer. I am pretty sure I happened to pick the most expensive lawyer in Seattle, hey we did get a meeting room on the 13th floor looking over Puget Sound that has to count for something right!? Then Jennifer had to meet with a psych doctor to make sure she really isn’t crazy for wanting to do this and of course she passed with flying colors, was there any doubt? The next step was to create our beautiful little balls of cells and freeze them. After all that was done we could start Jennifer on her meds  thus, leading us to today, the day before our transfer.
Our fingers are crossed and we will be using our good luck charms for tomorrow. We are hoping it all works out but we understand that it is out of our control and nothing we did or didn't do will cause it to take or not. Positive thoughts everyone!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Here We Go!

So last Thursday we went in to the clinic to check my uterus. According to the doc it needed to be at least 8 mm, apparently I was measuring 15+!! I guess I'm just an overachiever :-) The whole appointment was positive and everything is moving forward, we even have a scheduled transfer date of  Thusday October 18th!!

Now come the big needles, okay officially nervous! For those of you not quite sure what I'm talking about the next round of meds (progesterone oil) is the consistency of syrup that goes directly into the butt muscle. Sounds like fun, right? Well to get the muscle you need a needle a long needle (not just me, everyone! ;-) ) this needle is 1.5 inches!! And it goes all in!

Once again Brenna has volunteered to jab me in the rear with this massive needle, I'm starting to think she enjoys it. So Saturday morning she comes over before my son's soccer game, no wasting time we only have about ten minutes before we leave. I'm super nervous, but here it goes. There wasn't too much pain with the injection, but pushing the super thick meds in hurt. It felt like a charlie horse in my butt, it even gave me a limp the rest of the day! Day 2 of injections seemed to hurt less (we switched sides), but tomorrow we are going back to side 1. Not looking forward to that. I have about a week and a half to get used to it because I'm flying to Florida for a week for work.

 Here's to sticking myself in the butt!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting closer!!

Yesterday we traveled to Seattle, with our pumpkin spice lattes in hand, for our appointment with the doctors. We had an ultrasound to see if the meds are doing their job and that everything looks ready for the transfer and guess what? We are ready! Jennifer's lining needed to be at least an 8 and it was at a 15! You go girl! Might I add I am slightly jealous of such a perfect uterus ;) The big transfer day is set for October 18th when we will be transferring 2 beautiful blastocysts. Woohoo! We have our plan set for that day (more on that later) but until then we have to break out the big guns, progesterone shots! I will let Jennifer go into more detail about that after her first injection tomorrow :) until then I will be counting down the days.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Meds

Let me start off apologizing for the dates being slightly off, we decide to try this blogging thing after we had started our surrogacy journey.

Let's go back a couple of weeks! I received a call around Sept 11th from the company processing our meds asking when they could schedule delivery for all my supplies. I agreed Thursday the 13th would be the best date knowing I needed to start Lupon on the following Monday. Of course FedEx times it perfectly on Thursday, they deliver in the only 20 minute window no one was actually at home, my luck! They did leave a note stating they would try one more day before sending it back to the sender. Okay, so a little panic sets in, what if they deliver at the same time my son gets out of school? No worries, Friday delivery occurs with no incident and when I get home from work I see the box. There is no exciment with this box, actually the complete opposite. I begin to open the box and all of a sudden I start having a little panic attack! I decide to close it and come back later. Sunday I finally get the nerve to dig out the contents, just to see what is in store for Monday. Yup, of course, the bottom container says "Keep Refrigerated", awesome. So Monday morning I make a phone call to our clinic to find out what I should do about it not being refrigerated. Thankfully, the assured me no need to worry. Good, now I just needed to worry about the injections!

Okay let's talk about the injections. To contrary beliefs I do not have a fear of needles, just a fear of the pain they inflict! During the day I proceed to pick anyone and everyone's brain about how to administer the injection, during this same time Brenna is watch every YouTube video available. And once I get home from work she assures me that she is now an expert! Okay here we go. The first injection I don't look, grimice in the expected pain and nothing! Really?!? That was it, nope here comes some discomfort. It felt like a bee string that proceeded to itch. Okay still not that bad. And after about two weeks I even did one of my own shots!! Go me!!

And now we wait for the progesterone shots to start (much bigger needle)!!

Thanks for following!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jennifer (surrogate)

I guess it's my turn, I'm Jennifer. I am a 31 year old mother of 3 beautiful and energetic children, Jase(8), Avery(3),  and Evelyn(21 months). I have a loving husband, a great job, and a wonderful  life. And, yup, as Brenna told you earlier I'm going to be surrogate! Now I'm not the average surrogate, I don't absolutely love being pregnant (it's okay) and I haven't dreamed my whole life about doing this. About three years ago my sister and her now husband decided to start trying to add to their family. After several attempts they still didn't have any children on their own, this was when I first mentioned carrying a child for them. I never thought it would be something I would actually need to do. Over the next several years my offer was always there in the background, until May 2012. I will never forget when we got the news, Brenna had cancer. I would spend the next couple weeks reassuring Brenna that it was early stages and it was nothing major to worry about. I was wrong.

Brenna was always the type that was babysitting everyone's kids (she is even my children's nanny) and always had dreamed of having a large family. Once reality set in that she wouldn't be able to have her own children I followed with my offer of surrogacy, knowing this was it no longer just an offer but actually going to happen. My sister is my best friend and I would do anything and everything for her.

We decide to start this blog for several reasons: 1. We can't seem to find another blog where the sister is the carrier. 2. We live in Washington state where surrogacy is only legal between close friends or relatives and no money can exchange hands in the process (not that I would ever except any money from her). 3. We wanted to have a record of this entire trip.

Thank you all so much for reading and following along. This is our adventure...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Brenna and Jesse, the intended parents

Our story is unique, you see, things are going nowhere near the way I dreamed it to be when I was a little girl. I married the love of my life, Jesse, in 2009 and we were so excited to start our perfect little family. Unfortunately 3 years later our family still consists of just the two of us (and of course our fur baby Lucy). During our 3 years of trying I had gotten pregnant twice and both times we were so excited! Unfortunately neither pregnancy survived. Being devastated but still determined we pressed on to create the family of our dreams. I was destined to be a mother someday, kids are my passion. After 4 unsuccessful tries of basic fertility medication our doctor decided to do a hysteroscopy to see if he saw anything abnormal (we had done lots of other tests in the past with everything coming back normal). After looking the doctor felt things didn't look as healthy as they should and took a sampling of tissue but it would be days before the results came back. I got a call from the doctor himself, which I thought couldn't be good because you only ever hear from nurses, letting me know that the sampling came back showing cancer cells. He assured me that it looked like it's in the early stages and he would refer me to an oncologist that would help with fertility sparring treatments. A week or so went by and more testing had been done when I got the most life changing phone call of all. My doctor began to tell me this was the first call like this he had ever made. He started apologizing and explaining to me that my results came back showing an aggressive cancer that had taken over my uterus and they didn't know what else. I would have to have my uterus and my ovaries out and it needed to be soon. He tried to reassure me he knew of a great doctor that we could work with to start egg preservation. We met with a fertility clinic in Seattle with the hopes of freezing my eggs but first we needed permission from my oncologist to postpone my surgery by 3 or 4 weeks to get the eggs. My oncologist felt unsure about postponing the surgery, so before she made any decisions we did another hysteroscopy. She called us a few days later to tell us she felt like I would be putting my life in danger. She began to tell us that she had a uncomfortable feeling about my situation and said I was way too young (at 28) to have these cancer cells in my uterus. We needed to schedule my surgery ASAP. June 6th, 2012 6 hours after surgery, I woke up to my family telling me I was lucky. The cancer had spread to both my ovaries, over taken my cervix and 90% through the uterine wall. I was going to have to have chemotherapy and radiation! I am currently undergoing chemo treatments which haven't been easy but I am strong and thankful to be alive (and I only have 2 more to go!).
The other side of this story is my sister, a wonderful mother of three beautiful children, (8, 3, and 21 months) whom I nanny. Growing up my sister and I were always close. She is 3 years older and I always looked up to her. She is my best friend! She has always said if I ever have trouble conceiving she would be my surrogate. We never thought that would ever happen! Now here we are, a few weeks away (October 18th) from our tentative implantation where we will transfer 2 blastocysts that were created from an egg donor and Jesse's sperm. We are extremely blessed to have such a wonderful person in our lives, Jennifer, my sister and soon to be surrogate.


Hi! Thank you for following our journey! Things have happened in our life and now we are seeking the help of my sister Jennifer to carry our baby! Throughout this blog you will be getting two different viewpoints, one from me, the intended mother, and one from my sister, the surrogate. We have never blogged before so please bear with us :). You will hear a little about each of us and why we are here and the journey we have embarked on through the ups and downs! We are excited yet nervous to see what the future brings!