Tuesday, 28 June 2011

BFN (Big Fat Negative)

Received disappointing results this morning. Our surrogate is not pregnant. beta numbers 4.96. (0-4 is not pregnant). They will recheck numbers tomorrow but medically this is not a viable pregnancy. Numbers should have been much higher (at least triple digits I would think)...so had possibly a chemical pregnancy at some point...ugh....this was not totally unexpected but as we have no frozen embryos this really hurts...will have to regroup and proceed with plan b....whatever that is.....of course, although sad, I'm starting to get angry and that is never good for anyone or anything that gets in my way....this is a  setback but I am not ready to give up.....we will get through this....dr says i have to give my body 6 weeks to heal and by law India does not allow re-entry soon that 2 mths from last departure...so that gives me time to get a plan together....also, this last ivf was not totally in vain...we learned some things...1) we make great quality embryos (just not many) and I would rather have a few great quality than a truckload of crappy, 2) I need high dose stimulation from day one, 3) my trigger shot may need to be adjusted, 4) some things just don't come easy to everybody.....so, guess I better get busy emailing our doctor and coming up with a plan b...till next time...Rene'

Saturday, 25 June 2011


For those of you that don't know we are in the 2WW (two week wait)...some like to call it (PUPO-pregnant untill proven otherwise!) It is killing me!!! This is so out of my control and I am not handling it well......our first hurdle is monday or tuesday....we will learn if the pregnancy test is positive or negative.....if positive, then the next hurdle will be the beta numbers multiplying and increasing at a steady rate...then the next hurdle will be the ultrasound to reveal a heartbeat...it is common in ivf pregnancies to have just empty sacs without a hearbeat.....not trying to be pessimistic but must try to remain realistic....if the pregnancy test is negative, looks like it will be back to shots and hormones for me and another trip to india....so, we will prepare for the worst and hope for the best.....please keep the prayers coming.....we welcome all thoughts and prayers...till next time....rene'

Monday, 20 June 2011

time to catch up

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile but I have been under the weather and jet lagged.....but at least we are finally at home!!!  Ok, to catch you up to date. Last Thursday we went to clinic and learned that 3 out of 4 eggs fertilized. (woo hoo!). And best of all they were all grade A quality. That is the best score they could have. Things are looking good so far. They did not recommend putting two in one and just one in another surrogate. They recommended placing all in one surrogate for optimum results. Looking at it from a medical standpoint we went with the advice of the professionals. I must say, the doctors were enthusiastic about 3 grade A embryos; they were all smiles and advised we had a good chance for success. That helped my feelings...I had been a little down since the egg retrieval...I had expected many more egss....Last  Tuesday they spoke like we would likely be repeating the retrieval and that they wanted that done asap with lots of testing on me (yuck!!). Apparently, I'm not getting any younger......India doesn't allow any one from the usa to re-enter before a two month time period....I would have to wait 6 weeks anyway for my body to heal before another IVF protocol could be initiated.  We did not meet the surrogate...we just know that she is young (approx 20-22 years old..i can't remember exact...has a 2 year old child and apparently an awesome uterus!!!).  Personally, I like it better like this...I need limited information as I am waaaay too obsessive!!! She is a little talller and weighs a little more than me (which is good;  Gene weighed 10 pounds and both my kids were approx 8 pounds each). We saw a picture of her and she is pretty (I know that doesn't matter, but you know, just wanted to throw that in there!!). Also, to note while we were at the clinic a group of surrogates came in laughing and smiling; all obvious pregnant and happy. They were approx 20-30 years old and all looked very happy and content. That made me feel good to see the friendships and contentment they displayed. Our surrogate will have a pregnancy test on the 27th so we should know if we have a "chemical" pregnancy by the day after that. You are told not to get excited until they make it until 12 weeks...apparently there is a high miscarriage rate in "test tube" babies....often the pregnancy test is positive but the ultrasound shows an empty sac of nothing without a heartbeat...But, we will just have to take it one day at a time and for now be happy with the fact that we possibly have 3 babies forming....they did send us pictures of the embryos and it is amazing that those few cells are a baby....or at least potentially a baby....they have to adhere in the uterus and get nourishment to grow.....we still have a long way to go but are definately on our way!!! It has definately been an adventure so far!!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

still waiting

today we just hung out in the room and convalesced; i was still under the weather...Gene is a little better...I am more whiny, achy and constipated....we leave tomorrow night and I have not had any action from the 10 pericolace i've taken....i hope i don't blow over international waters!!! You know the airplane bathroom is not for me!!!!  I dread the flight home....we go in the morning to see if any of our eggs fertilized...keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer...we will likely only have enough for one surrogate but it just takes one, right? The first leg of our adventure is drawing to a close...I miss my babies at home....I wish they could have come! I think it would have been a great experience for them....just to see the poverty and the homeless children begging for money and food....make them appreciate their lives more....I know it makes me appreciate mine and makes me thankful for what I do have....till tomorrow..rene and gene

Monday, 13 June 2011

egg retrieval

Had the egg retrieval yesterday.....ok until back at hotel...I really thought it just be like a few period cramps....more painful that I anticipated....took the tylenol they gave and that did help but only lasted about two hours...my stomach is so swollen i look 5 months pregnant....although i had about 15 follicles they only retrieved 4 eggs total...and they have no answers for as to why....said the others were empty....we will find out thursday how many fertilized....odds are, there will be another egg retrieval in our future....i spoke with another couple that they gave 10% odds to and they retrieved 17 immature eggs from her; 7 mature with 5 of those fertilizing...they placed all 5 in one surrogate and resulted in one live birth and they are waiting to take her back to england...she was born in march and they still don't have the paperwork ready yet (feel bad about griping that it will take us 3 weeks to get back to us with baby)....hopefully we have 4 babies growing in a petri dish right now...we will convalesce today...Gene has pulled a muscle in his shoulder/back and is competing with me for nurturing and attention. Too bad I'm the only one here to give it to him!! He is on Ibuprofen and I'm on Tylenol and we are going to take to the bed to get well....don't worry, he can still work the remote, lol.....FYI, if anyone has an egg retrieval schedule I would bring a pair of those girdle panties, I think they would be great right now for support...and if you come to India, bring Febreze and lysol, I'm just saying......Gene has still not received his proof for attending the CME last week but I assure you, he has followed up on it...I think he is about to resort to email....that will at least help our travel expenses for tax purposes...better go now...time to rest....

Saturday, 11 June 2011

getting closer....

Yesterday our scan revealed a few more follicles and trigger shot was scheduled for 11:00 pm last night. Had some blood drawn but no more shots other than trigger!! woo hoo!! Will not miss those!!!!  An interesting fact to note was that now my ovaries are "kissing". (touching)...they are apparently big and heavy now...I must admit, I am aware of them now....Looks favorable that we will be able to have two surrogates as originally planned!! Of course, not every egg will be mature and not every egg will fertilize so there is no way to predict how many embryos we will have.  But, the doctor reports that I have a good number for age 38. Gee thanks, I think...felt like an underhanded compliiment, lol.....Last night we went to hard rock cafe and finally had some beef!!! It was great by Mumbai standards...not so great by American standards but it felt like we were back in the usa for a little while...also had the first french fries since we got here...and ice cream brownie sundae....expensive but well worth it...funny thing is an airplane ticket from mumbai to delhi was cheaper than our meal last night...how funny is that....the trigger shot was easy....just another in the belly....now the countdown begins until the retrieval in the morning.....the hardest thing is trying to drink 5 liters of water....im not doing so well with that....yesterday was terrible downpour of rain but today although overcast no rain yet....we may branch out to theater across the street for a movie tonight if we get bored....till next time...rc

Friday, 10 June 2011

More scans....more shots.....

Had another scan today....follicles are getting bigger...not big enough yet for retrieval so we go back in the morning for another scan...hopefully things will be the right size and i will be able to get trigger shot....that would put the egg retrieval for monday...otherwise it will just be a weekend full of shots for me with another scan on monday...im now beginning to have a little pelvis fullness...the scan was a bit uncomfortable today....after the scan, got my 3 shots and we were on our way for a little sightseeing...
     We went to the Prince of Wales museum...it was okay I suppose...I had a little episode of dizziness and I tired easily....of course it didn't help that there was no air conditioning-only fans!!  We did a little window shopping and people watching...it rained all day but we wore our raincoats and went on about our business....our taxi driver waits for us all day....so patient...reads his romance novel and naps....he admitted to us today that he likes wine but that his wife was not allowed to drink it!  I told him that I needed to meet her but i don't think he will allow that!! I would be a bad influence I'm afraid!!! I'm craving beef big time!! We are planning on going to Hard Rock Cafe tomorrow....I have checked their menu and they have usda prime beef!! woo hoo!! I am so there!!! Thats our plans for tomorrow night at least....I can't wait...Rene'

Thursday, 9 June 2011

mumbai monsoon

Had another ultrasound yesterday...a few more follicles and they are getting a little bit bigger..will get another scan tomorrow...3 more shots yesterday and today...will hopefully know more about our retrieval date after tomorrow..did learn something today from the taxi driver though...I am considered a "big" wife in india....meaning I am older than Gene...his eyes widened after we told him our ages...he said that in india they only had "small" wives..meaning younger; that indian men never married older women...geez..he did also say that he had an arranged marriage as that was better...that when you married for love you fought too much....of course, he's probably right! lol! It continues to rain....some rickshaws were stalled in the high water earlier...till next time.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

more shots....

Today we went back to the old clinic to meet the head doctor, Dr. Allabhadia. We had a conference there with him and Dr. Somyha Remish to discuss any questions or concerns. Gene gave a backup contribution today but was disappointed in the collection room as it was basically a closet with a stretcher with no reading material. Remember, they are in between clinics right now and some things have already been packed up/ We received the two surrogate profiles although there has been some debate as to whether we will have enough embryos for two so we will just have to wait and see. We won't know anything untill egg retrieval day...which is tentatively set as June 13. Can't tell much difference as far as side effects go with the additional shot except that I have been nauseated and can't stand to smell or see the indian food in the exec lounge. I have received 17 subcutaneous injections in abdomen and 2 intramuscular injections in buttock so far. Belly is a little bruised but fine...the butt hurts...We did manage to find a good shopping center with a movie theater with english current movies...we have the new xmen movie as a to do on our list!!!  Of course, my dear husband has found a way to write off part of our trip...we attended an indian medical association conference this afternoon....we were the only westerners in the lot!! We got lots of stares but it was an informative conference on lung cancer. Only cost $350 rupees each (roughly $9) and we got real indian buffet food. It was very interesting I must say. They have them every Tuesday and Thursday and we plan on going back on Thursday. Cool!  Now we have to go try something for dinner...hmm..indian or dominoes?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Monday June 6, 2011

Yesterday was somewhat uneventful...went to another shopping mall...there was a blackout for about 45 minutes that is apparently quite common in Mumbai.  Monsoon is officially here...there has been pretty much continuous rain for the last few days. I personally like it better...it was way too hot before....Today we went to the clinic for a scan; only 10-11 follicles seen. She is now going to crank up the hormones. She increased my dose and has now added a IM shot. That one is a little rough and has to go in the buttock. Surely now my devil horns shall begin to grow....poor Gene....I was disappointed that there weren't more, but the doctor assured me she had been taking it slow with the hormones so that I wouldn't be hyperstimulated which can lead to complications. She reassured me that 10 is a good number, but I am not convinced. Tomorrow Gene gets to give a contribution to be frozen for backup; just in case we have issues on egg retrieval day. That will be done at the old clinic and we will get to meet Dr. Allabhadia (the medical director and reason we chose this clinic). We will then go back to the new clinic for my injections. The next day will we have another scan. So that is our life in Mumbai...I must say, it's a lot different being on the patient side of healthcare instead of the provider.  Oh, we did have another experience today...taking our clothes to the laundry...I'm suspicious our driver got a finders fee out of the deal that came out of our pocket, but it was still a lot cheaper than the hotel....

Saturday, 4 June 2011

So it begins.....

Okay, so it took me a few days to get our blog started...but, you know, everything in India takes longer than in the USA.....lol...let me start at the beginning. We have known since before we married that we would require the use of a surrogate to extend our family. I had a uterine ablation a few years back which essentially fried my uterus...making it too thin for a pregnancy to be sustained...I have two healthy children from a previous marriage that required no fertility treatments. But, this time is different. Need a little help from technology and a lot of help from God. Apparently age 38 is old by reproductive standards and makes the surrogacy thing a little more interesting. But, that being said, anyone that has ever told me I couldn't do something has ended up eating those words....lol....Why India you ask? Well, pricing of course and the fact that you can use up to two surrogates at one time (the one thing that can be done to increase the odds)...also the surrogates are housed and followed by a nutritionist and social worker for the duration of the pregnancy. The surrogate has to sacrifice being with her family to help us extend ours. If we knew that it would only take one attempt the us would have been an okay option I guess but we've been told it usually takes several attempts and we can get those in India for the price of one in the US. We have received many raised eyebrows and both negative and positive feedback. But, as I like to say, don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes.  I have always taken for granted being able to have a baby, until now. In fact, my whole life, if I wanted something i worked and worked until I found a way to get it. I have always believed in the adage if you want something bad enough it can be done. I still believe that. Nonetheless, I have started this blog to help others like ourselves. We would have never had the courage to do something like this without all of the information, blogs and emails from others that have made the journey before us. So, for that, I would like to say thank you to those people.

May 29 2011
Headed to Mumbai, India for surrogacy!! This is my first real international flight (i don't count aeromexico to mexico to a resort, lol!) Gene has lived in Dominica so he is well versed in third world countries I will be happy to follow his lead!!! The flight was uneventful with the exception of the disgusting bathroom on the first connection...enjoyed watching other passengers and trying to guess where they were from and what their purpose in India was!  I did look a little silly with tubes sticking out of my ears for pressure relief...but they sooo work! I forgot to put them in for one landing and was suddenly reminded by excruciating pain in both ears!! Definately recommend if you have ear pressure issues....

May 31, 2011
After an extended layover in Paris and out $35 for a water, diet pepsi, yogurt and muffin we finally arrived in Mumbai at approx 4:am. I must admit, at that time of day in a foreign country, we were more than willing to pay $26 for a taxi to take us one mile.  Even at that time, traffic is wild and crazy, horns blaring and drivers going madly all over the road...there are no designated lanes...they just honk and swerve...kind of reminds me of myself at age 16!  As pointed out by fellow blogger Distant Miracle-the Marriott was like an oasis in a desert. After a search of our taxi by security and a sniffing dog we were then dropped out at the front door. There our bags when through an xray scanner much like the airport; we walked through a detector and then I being female went into a curtained area to be handscanned by a female scanner and Gene gets to spread eagle it in front of God and everybody. We get to do this each time we enter the hotel. Don't get me wrong; this makes me feel better or at least a little more secure.  After a few hours of sleep it took us the rest of the day to buy an indian cell phone....that was an experience in itself...apparently Indian english is different than Mississippi english!

June 1, 2011
It begins!!! First day at the clinic was quite an experience. We are using the Rotunda Centre for Human Reproduction and they are about to open a new clinic. This means we go back and forth between the old clinic and new clinic for different things (payment, blood draw, appointments). Fortunately, Gene made sure we located the clinic by rickshaw yesterday so that we wouldn't be late today. That was a great plan. Alot of rickshaw drivers (a rickshaw is like a suped up golf cart/taxi) speak little to no english. We had to write everything down and he stopped for many sets of directions but somehow we made it. We decided today to take a taxi and I had forgotten how great air conditioning is!!! Rickshaws are open and it is hotter and more humid than any Mississippi summer I could remember! Anyway, our doctor is great and I she speaks fluent English so that is a plus. I just assumed everyone at the clinic spoke english. That is not the case. The doctor told me to empty my bladder before the ultrasound and had me go into what looked like a locker room with two non english speaking helpers. Although the facility is brand new and not finished yet the bathroom did not look like ours at home. I thought these two little indian women were going to scrub me down but I then decided i was supposed to pee in a recessed toilet and wash off with a sprayer. In other words pee in a hole, no toilet paper and use a water hose sprayer....hmm...luckily i was prepared for this and drew out my handy roll of charmin and flushed it down the hole.  That done, we proceeded with the ultrasound. I was glad I wore a dress that day and that's all I'm going to say about that. The ultrasound was really no big deal...was just disappointed that there was only 9 total follicles as there were 17 on our last ultrasound in Houston. I was reminded by the Doctor that I have been suppressed with the birth control pills and it is her intention to stimulate all 17 seen previously. That helped my feelings some. Gene had two tubes of blood drawn while I had several. Again, no big deal. My bleeding time was a pain; two fingersticks and lots of squeezing my finger then that was over. Next I received my shots in the abdomen (gonal F and gonapeptyl). Honestly, that has been the simplest of everything we have done so far!! They were not painful at all and soon we were on our way to go back to the old clinic for payment and then to the market to sightsee.  Overall it was a good day.

June 2, 2011
Second day at clinic for lab results. Only lab back was estradiol but dr reports that it was perfect! Good news! Got my second set of injections and a refridgerated pack for the meds and we were on our way back to the hotel. We don't have to go back to clinic until Monday June 6th for ultrasound. From their she will adjust my medication dosage,
Branched out to mall. It's like an alternate universe. There was nike, levis and pizza hut but always with a twist. But, it made me feel closer to home. 

June 3, 2011
Went to elephanta caves via boat. Very cool I thought. It rained the night before and was therefore not as hot as yesterday. We got a taxi driver for the day and he slept in the car until we got back around 4:00. We bought a few souvenirs and bargained a bit. Gene later said that we were offered some suspicious grassy looking substance at the Gateway to India but I thought the guy just wanted to take our picture. I'm too busy telling people "no, I don't want to buy it" and keeping a death grip on my purse to notice anything else. Someone elses blog mentioned not wearing open toed shoes. I think that is a great idea. Some of the streets are very level but others not so much. Also, FYI...no shorts...western women get stared at enough without showing skin...in fact, it's a little unnerving...I wish I would have brought my clear contacts (i have naturally hazel eyes) instead of my shocking blue ones....Gene even got a few stares yesterday at the mall when he wore shorts, but I do believe unlike myself, he enjoyed it!!  As far as the meds go, no major side effects yet. A little episode of dizziness about 40 minutes after injections and a little breast tendeness but that is it. So far, so good. In fact, I think I have been nicer that usual although Gene does not agree.

June 4, 2011

Did I mention that we upgraded to the executive suite? All that really means is that our internet is included and we have access to the executive lounge upstairs that keeps soft drinks, water and light snacks stocked. From 6-9 there is also free alcohol and some hot snacks (usually vegetables and chicken or fish). It is actually very good and we do not have to buy dinner as it is very filling. The best part is there are several newspapers to read and flat screen tv's with nice plush chairs/couches; this gives us a safe place to hang out beside our hotel room. But, having unlimited access to alcohol is not always a good thing. I had two drinks at the lounge last night and I saw them again about 4:00 am...and the chicken...not so good the second time...then...the diarrhea...OMG....thoughts flashed through my head...alcohol induced...side effect of med vs delhi belly (india's equivalent of montezuma revenge)....i also felt very tired and achy today...glad we decided to stay in...gene is feeling great...we have eaten and drank pretty much the same thing...have rationalized it out to not likely being delhi belly but I did take some medication we brought with us just in case.  Of course nausea vomiting and diarrhea is a side effect of one of the ivf meds and also of the doxycycline we are taking for malaria prevention, so who knows??? As long as it;s not delhi belly I am happy. FYI, as far as alcohol intake is concerned...no big deal for me as my eggs are already formed and shouldn't effect them...effects the male more that the female as he is constantly making new sperm. I will not be partaking in any more though. Don't need anything extra thrown in my body for now. Okay, that pretty much takes you up to date on our trip so far. Until tomorrow....