Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Sweet Surprise from my IF's!

I usually don't get very many surprises, but we do get necessities from delivered to us a lot. So when I opened our front door today, there was a big black box sitting there. I brought it inside and opened it. It was a box from FTD so I knew it was flowers. As I was opening it, my first thought was that my Mom sent us flowers. She's usually the one to send us random goodies. But then I read the card and it was from N & F showing their appreciation for being their surrogate. It truly put a smile on my face and made my day.

How gorgeous are these?! They made quite the trip on a warm day.

Who knew Vera Wang designed flowers?!

Surro~Mama Angela

Monday, April 28, 2014

First Ultrasound! And the verdict is....

Brandon and I waiting to be called back at ORM for my ultrasound
Today has finally arrived... all the anticipation and nervousness has paid off. I didn't think I'd be able to sleep well last night but surprisingly I did! I've actually been sleeping really well lately. I do have to wake up at least once to pee already.

Once they called me back, I got my blood drawn to test my hormone levels to see if we can lower my dosage of progesterone or estrogen. Then we were taken into the ultrasound room. Shortly after I undressed from the waist down, Dr. Hesla came in with a big ol' smile.

The infamous ultrasound machine, waiting for action.
Marissa, my Coordinator came in shortly after Dr. Hesla and had the ipad with my IF's on Skype. We said our hellos quickly and Dr. Hesla inserted the ultrasound probe. Within seconds this is what we all saw....

Both babies are there! My initial instinct was right all along. But to see it on the screen was AMAZING! How exciting. Everyone was thrilled. Baby A's heart rate was 119 and Baby B's heart rate was 129. Both measured beautifully and healthy. Dr. Hesla measured the sacs and they both measured great. He said that all looks wonderful! He did mention to the guys that sometimes one of the twins doesn't make it, but he said they both look GREAT.

Another great shot of both babies
My next ultrasound will be in about 2-3 weeks. Hoping for sooner than later! I love being able to see the babies, plus I'm sure my IF's would love to see them again too. Brandon took a nice 10 minute long video of the ultrasound that we sent to them.

Now I'm just waiting to hear back from Marissa on my blood work to see if we're making adjustments to my medications. She will also need to order more since I'm going through it all quickly.

Brandon and I went to breakfast after my appointment to celebrate the occasion. We are so happy for my IF's and beyond excited! Cheers to hoping that I have an uneventful twin pregnancy. Praying that all goes well and both babies remain healthy and thriving.

Surro~Mama Angela

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let the nausea commence!

Small update: Today is the first day that the nausea has kicked in and hasn't left. It comes in waves. It's not terrible yet but I can definitely tell it's there. I'm embracing this new symptom since it's a good sign that things are going good in my uterus. I'm super excited and anxious for our first ultrasound on Monday! I'm so glad it's in the morning. I'm so impatient as it is! My IF's are so excited and can't wait for the ultrasound either. I will be sure to update as soon as I get home. I hope to have beautiful pictures of their babies to share with you all!

Surro~Mama Angela

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Third & Final Beta Results!

Went in this morning at the same time to get my blood drawn. She got my vein on the first try again! YAY! That's when you know it's going to be a GOOD day. 

I sent a follow up e-mail to Nikki & Marissa (I know I'm impatient) and Nikki responded shortly after with the following e-mail:

"Hi everyone,
Angela, you have been so patient! I know how hard it is to wait for results. Your progesterone is 43.27 and your pregnancy level is 4633. These are great rises for both. I have your new dosing instructions. You will stay on the same dose of Delestrogen at 0.35 on your Mon/Fri schedule. You can decrease your progesterone dose to 1 .5ml. You will stay at twice a day for your Endometrin. We will see you on 4/28 at 9:15am for your next ultrasound. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Have a great rest of your day."

One of my IF's responded with: 
"Hello everybody,
Good figures, good mama surrogate, good luck, good energy ... Keep doing it that way :-)
Happy upcoming fathers !
F & N"

YAY! My numbers are rising great! Doubling time =1.6 days or 38.95 hours I'm so happy. I talked to one of my IF's today and he was telling me that he never thought he would be reading online about HCG numbers and pregnancy blogs. They are very excited! We are very much looking forward to the ultrasound in less than two weeks now.  So far, so good! I hope it continues to go well. I am one happy Surro~Mama!

Surro~Mama Angela

Monday, April 14, 2014

Second Beta Results are in!

I went to ORM this morning at the same time as last Thursday. My appointment was for 9:30am, but I arrived around 9:10. The same nurse drew my blood and she got it on the first try this time (YAY!) I was so happy. Marissa, my coordinator came in right after and gave me a hug to congratulate us on the pregnancy. It feels so surreal right now. I think once we have our ultrasound, it will feel more real.

We took our oldest daughter to watch Rio 2 and when we sat down in the theatre, Nikki called me with my results.

My second beta was: 1972! 

My doubling time is 38.34 hours. (which is GREAT!)

We set our first ultrasound appointment for Monday, April 28th. I will be 6 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I hope that my IF's will Skype into the appointment to see their baby(ies) for the first time. I'm so excited to finally have an ultrasound date! Two weeks from today.

My third and last beta will be this Wednesday, the 16th. Same time. They will also test my estrogen and progesterone levels then. I thought they were testing that today, but they just did my beta.

I'm definitely feeling the exhaustion already. But I try to keep my energy level up by walking and dancing around. Nothing too strenuous but it feels good to keep my blood flowing and releasing endorphins. 

Surro~Mama Angela

Sunday, April 13, 2014

12 days past transfer!

Today has been 12 days past my embryo(s) transfer. I decided to give my left over tests away to some of my surro friends since I won't be needing them anymore. But I did keep one. I took this one today since tomorrow is my second beta. As you can see the test line (on the left) is MUCH darker than the control line which is AWESOME! I didn't think these cheapie tests could get this dark so when I saw this I got very excited--just had to share!

I'm anxious to see what my beta results are tomorrow and see if we will be adjusting my medication at all. I'm still on Progesterone and Estrogen injections and just started Progesterone suppositories 2x a day(which I'm not a huge fan of by the way) but whatever I have to do to keep this pregnancy going strong, I shall do!

I've been super exhausted this weekend, which I'll take it as a good sign but wow it hit me out of nowhere. I've also been walking a lot with my Mom in the evenings which has been really nice. The fresh air and endorphins have been helping me feel good.

I shall update tomorrow after I hear back on my results. Hoping I won't have to wait very long! *crossing my fingers*

Surro~Mama Angela

Friday, April 11, 2014

More Medication... It's like Christmas!

I got a shipment of more medication today, YAY! This is what's helping to keep the baby(ies) thriving right now. It's amazing how scientific this is. I love organizing all of my meds and having it nice and neat. I'm OCD like that.

Those that know me, know that I never take medication. I've had three home births, med-free, all natural. I don't take tylenol when I have a headache and I don't take anything when I'm sick. I usually ride it out or use natural remedies like essential oils. But this is a very special case. To be able to help two people become a family, the medication is worth it. So worth it.

I've been pretty tired lately. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the medication. Also feeling very bloated which the medication can do that as well. Nothing out of the ordinary though.

My Dr. will be monitoring my hormone levels to make sure all is good. I'm looking forward to more blood work on Monday and Wednesday next week. Hoping for HIGH numbers! *Crossing my fingers*

Time to enjoy the weekend with mi familia!

Surro~Mama Angela

Thursday, April 10, 2014

First Beta Results are in!

This was taken yesterday 4/9/14 around 7pm - 8dp5dt this test measures the level of HCG in your system and determines how far along you are. So this is saying 2-3 weeks past ovulation, about 4-5 weeks pregnant. I took this same test just three days before and it said 1-2. Great progression!

The day we've all been anxiously waiting for has finally arrived. My first beta blood draw was this morning at ORM. My appointment was at 9:30am but I arrived around 8:45. The nurse who is usually the one who draws the blood, poked me three times then had someone else do it. The other lady got it in the first try. This has happened twice already. My arms are not happy.

Around 1:30pm I decided to call ORM to see if the results were in. It was SO hard waiting! I thought I'd try to keep busy and not worry about it, but I had to call. Luckily, I got through to Nikki, who is Marissa's assistant and super sweet and understanding. She knew that I was very anxious! She said the results were in.....

1st beta 9dp5dt (9 days past 5 day transfer) is: 354.9 

Estradiol level: 1166

Progesterone level: 32.98

I am officially PREGNANT! 

Nikki put me on hold to verify a few things with the doctor. I will be lowering my dose of Delestrogen starting tomorrow, continuing the same amount of PIO (progesterone) and starting vaginal suppositories tomorrow. Yay, I get to join the leaky vagina club! She also ordered more medication for me as well that I should be getting delivered tomorrow.

My next betas will be on Monday, April 14th 13dp5dt, then again on Wednesday, April 16th 15dp5dt. They just want to make sure my numbers are rising well. I should be able to book our first ultrasound around 6 weeks, so the end of April. Today I am considered 4 weeks pregnant! I let my IF's know the great news. They are traveling right now so they have limited access to the internet.

I was pretty surprised how high my beta number was! A lot of my surro friends are thinking both babies are hanging out in there. It's hard to tell with the beta numbers so we will find out at the first ultrasound. The waiting is the worst! It's like the biggest waiting game right now. But it's okay, it's all worth it!

Thank you all for the continued support and good thoughts-they are working!

Surro~Mama Angela

Sunday, April 6, 2014

San Francisco!

We are in San Francisco until Wednesday for Brandon's work. He has a team meeting here so Ethan and I decided to tag along with him to explore this crazy city. It has been an adventure so far that's for sure! Ethan did awesome on the plane ride here (his first flight!)

And he's been doing so well exploring the city...

So I do have some news to share... I took a pregnancy test before our flight to SF Saturday morning and saw a faint line. We were in a bit of a rush to get to the airport so I didn't have much time to dwell on it. So when we got to our apartment where we are staying I decided to take a First Response (FRER) pregnancy test and one of my cheapie tests. Again, faint lines on both.

This morning I felt pretty confident in taking my Clearblue digital test. I wanted the word "Pregnant" so that I could show my IF's.

And here we have it folks........

I am happy to announce that I am pregnant! I had a feeling a day after transfer and the feeling kept getting stronger and stronger each day. Lots of action down there, I can honestly say I felt the magic happening.

I also have to share with you what happened at my acupuncture appointment on Friday afternoon. I went to see Morgan again for some after transfer acupuncture. When she sees me she always checks my pulse. She said my pulse sounded "really strong" and she had a good feeling. So this morning I emailed her the good news and this was her response....

"Angela! Congratulations!!!! This is wonderful news:) On Friday when I saw you I had a very good feeling based on your pulses that you were pregnant:) Thank you so much for sharing. I feel very thankful to get to be part of this process with you:)! I hope you are feeling well.
Have a great rest of the weekend!"

How amazing is that?! :) love it! I adore her and her positive energy she has given me since the first day I met her.

I also let my IF'S know the good news. They were so surprised but of course so excited. This is just the beginning so lots of good thoughts and prayers are always welcome. On Thursday, the 10th I go in for my first beta, which is blood work to see what my HCG level is and they will also test my estrogen and progesterone to see if they need to make any adjustments to my medication dosages. Then I will go back in for blood work on Monday, the 14th to make sure my numbers are doubling. We won't find out if both babies nuzzled in until our first ultrasound which will be around 6 weeks. Today I am 3 weeks, 3 days pregnant! So the ultrasound will be around the end of April, beginning of May. Once we know my beta results we will schedule the ultrasound.

Thank you all for your love and support. I am so excited for my IF's. Like I mentioned, this is just the beginning so good thoughts and prayers are welcome and appreciated.

Today has been an exceptionally good day.

~Surro - Mama Angela

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bed Rest!

I have never been on bed rest before so to be honest I was a little excited about it. A whole day of doing nothing but relaxing! I wouldn't have been able to get through it without my wonderful Mom and Husband. Brandon took half a day off from work again to help with the trio.

The kids came in and out of my room to say hi and see how I was doing. My oldest, who's 4.5 years old asked me to go for a walk. I told her that I couldn't walk today. She of course asked "why?" I explained to her that there is a baby boy and baby girl inside my belly and I needed to relax to help them grow. This was her reaction....

She's quite the actress
 I showed her the photo of the Fathers that I'm carrying for and she totally gets it. I told her that it's their babies and I'm helping to grow them in my belly. Needless to say, she was pretty amazed.

The day seemed to go by fast for some reason. I thought maybe it would go slow. I had a peanut protein smoothie from Emerald City Smoothie that Brandon got for me. It was delicious! I also had the Mediterranean sandwich from Potbelly Sandwich Shop. It's one of my favorite veggie sandwiches with roasted red peppers, hummus, cucumbers, artichokes hearts and feta cheese. DELICIOUS!

I spent some time on Facebook and chatted with a few surrogate friends. My friend Crystal, who was also my Doula for Ethan's birth came for a quick visit. It was great to see her.

Towards the end of the day, Brandon, my Mom and Ethan went to the mall while the girls and I took a nap. It was seriously the best nap of my life. I slept so well and woke up feeling good. 

I do feel for women who are put on bed rest for days/weeks/months. It's not easy, that's for sure. It's definitely something I had to consider when I said I would carry twins. Let's see if both of these babies are sticking around. I can't wait to find out!

~Surro-Mama Angela

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


After all of this preparation today is finally here. It's still so surreal to me. As I'm laying here in bed thinking about how it all happened today, I'm so grateful for the experience.

Brandon got off of work early and picked me up. I was a bit nervous.. actually I was really nervous. Brandon asked if I was going to be okay. I just kept taking deep breaths in the car ride to ORM. When we arrived, Brandon took a photo of me outside in the parking garage.  Then we headed inside.

My lucky green shirt! LOVE it!

I was drinking water all morning so when I arrived, I had to pee. I checked in and asked the front desk lady if I could pee first before going back. She said I could as long as I drank two bottles of water. But someone was using the restroom. Then a nurse called me back to prep for transfer. I asked the nurse if I could pee and she said she'd rather have me wait until they can check my bladder. Morgan, my Acupuncturist arrived right as they brought us back.

Talking with the nurse

They brought us into a room and they had me change into a hospital gown, hair cap and booties. Morgan began the acupuncture right away. Right after she put the needles in, Marissa my Coordinator came in to say hi and to wish us the best. Then shortly after, the Embryologist Rebecca came in to talk about the embryos. She confirmed that we would be transferring one boy and one girl from each father. She said the embryos were perfect and they dethawed great. They were frozen on Day 5 of being created. Rebecca seemed very optimistic about the embryos. After Rebecca left, Dr. Hesla came in to say hi and to see if we had any questions. The nurse came in with an ultrasound machine to check how full my bladder was and she said it was good. After she did the ultrasound I had to pee even more after the pressure on my belly. When Morgan came back in to remove the acupuncture needles, I let her know that I *really* needed to pee so she let the nurse know. They let me empty a cup full and I felt much better.

My Acupuncturist, Morgan with Willow Tree Wellness
I laid back on my bed until it was show time. The nurse came in and asked me how many embryos we are transferring and I said two. She said okay, I just want to make sure before I give you Valium. I took the Valium and laid there for a bit. They rolled me into the "Transfer room" and it was mainly dark with the light for the doctor to see and the ultrasound machine. There was a screen to my right that was off but then turned on with a photo of the embryos. The boy embryo already started hatching which is great! He's a little overachiever! And the little girl looked like Minni Mouse. I wish I had a photo to share. They mentioned e-mailing it to me, but I haven't received it yet. Dr. Hesla explained what he would be doing. The nurse and embryologist, Rebecca confirmed my name and the Father's names with me to confirm that we transfer the right embryos. The nurse checked my bladder with the ultrasound and my bladder was still a bit too full so they had me pee a cup full again. And even after that it was STILL full but not uncomfortably full thankfully.

After Dr. Hesla cleaned my cervix, he gave the embryologist the "Okay" and she brought out the catheter with the embryos. He inserted the catheter carefully watching on the ultrasound screen. And within two minutes the transfer was complete! Rebecca stood on my right side with her fingers crossed and smiling. He said that he placed the embryos in a really good spot in my uterus and everything looked great. He asked me not to move and to stay laying flat while they rolled me back into the room I was in before.

After transfer acupuncture

I love this photo Brandon took of my hands after transfer acupuncture. My lucky bracelets.
Now we wait... the waiting game is the worst but I hope that both babies get cozy! My first blood draw, beta is on April 10th, 9 days! I plan on taking home pregnancy tests before the beta and asked permission from my IF's that it would be okay. They would like to know soon! I'm sure they are so anxious. 

~Surro-Mama Angela