A lullaby to pass the time.

Hey all, followers and newcomers alike!

It’s been a wacky few weeks, with stay-at-home orders and new adjustments to both of us working at home taking more time than we would have liked away from the blog. Sorry ’bout that!

Of course, I come not to dwell on such things, but more that I found the most incredible thing and wanted to share it with y’all.

If we have not mentioned this yet, a vast majority of Tiffany & Stef and Garret & my communication takes place in a text message thread, including coordinating appointments, meetups, photos, and other random assorted friendly exchanges. (Which includes a LOT of us asking Tiffany how she’s feeling, because we feel bad and especially because we can’t help much with that except being near-obnoxiously enthusiastic and expressive of our appreciation, since you can’t send toast or orange slices through the phone). Since the beginning of this journey Tiffany & Stef offered to read books and play music to the little one once we hit the phase that they can hear (18 weeks, we are just over halfway there!).

Garret is waiting for the day that Stef (and G via video call) can read DUNE to the little one.

I have been working on a playlist on Spotify since the little one was still just a concept; I will post a full version of it come Week 18, so stay tuned (stay fed? Stay Rss-ed? What’s the blog equivalent to asking readership to continue reading for content?).

Until such time, please enjoy my (current) favorite Baby find since we became pregnant:

It cannot be overstated how much genuine glee this gives me.

9 weeks 4 days

I haven’t updated in awhile, so here it goes… last Monday my blood work showed my progesterone at 36 and Estradiol 539. I was told to stop the Estradiol and lower the progesterone to ½ cc. This Monday progesterone was 20 and estrogen 726. I’m staying on the same does this week.

My nauseousness has hit new heights this week. I’m ready to move on from this stage now for sure!

Ultrasound #2!

Tiffany & Garret were in the exam room, while Stef & Ryan stayed back in the lobby and listened in via video call. Take that COVID-19! We all still got into the appointment.

171bpm! Little one is going strong!!

I tried (and thus far failed) to find something that speaks to the size of an 8 week old heart in proportion to the kidney bean-sized body. It’s pretty much head, heart, and little flipper nubs.

Much appreciation for everyone at Texas Fertility Center, not enough words to thank them for their work, but especially Lisa Hansard, MD & Michelle Hegtvedt, RN. Thank you for answering our at-times-endless questions and doing so with such kindness. So many, many thank yous.

Now we move on to the OB-GYN!

Initial thoughts, post 1st ultrasound

1) Wow.

2) I could not have imagined how short in time these appointments go, compared to the immeasurable impact they have.

3) Wow

4) Tiffany is incredibly spot on in her IVF Math.

5) Much wow. Like, still sitting in my car, radio off, 15 minutes later taking it all in kind of wow.

Night before Ultrasound

Fun fact: Among the many tests that have been run on the embryos prior to implantation is a test on the biological sex.

That is wild to us. Picture two 30-somethings in a doctor’s office plugging their ears and going “la la LA LA LA”. Full disclosure, we have both legitimately done this if either of us felt like any medical professional (who, again, absolutely know) might be about to reveal that information to us. This event has happened an adorable amount of A LOT. (Sidebar: much love to our medical pros so far; y’all are rockstars).

When time for implantation came, we both agreed with absolute certainty that we wanted the healthiest embryo to be implanted first; for us, agreeing to implant the embryo with the best chance for survival meant more than feeling like we were choosing the sex. It will be rad parenting whoever they are!

Now, we are not planning to wait until the birth to find out for ourselves, oh no, we have not the patience for that.

Which leads us to the crux of this post. Tomorrow is our first ultrasound, and by all of Tiffany’s personal accounts and hormone level updates, things are going very well! G & I agreed that we wanted to make sure, at minimum, that we were sure that the pregnancy took before we were comfortable with finding out the biological sex. The first ultrasound might be that threshold.

Something important to know about Garret and me: Garret likes having all the information that is possible to know when it is appropriate to know it. He is not a fan of the unknown, especially if it is possible for him to know. He read the entire wikipedia article on the movie “Parasite” before we sat down to watch it last week, as one example. I, on the other hand, discourage spoilers. I will “la la LA LA LA” when previews for next week’s “Better Call Saul” or “Star Trek: Picard” play after that night’s episode. I also get really frustrated with most movie trailers, but this is quickly becoming a whole other thing…

There is something tempting about considering if I/we want to learn the bio sex tomorrow; until two days ago, that’s what I thought we both were leaning on doing. And then I learned that during a typical pregnancy the bio sex is not commonly known until 20 weeks. 20 WEEKS. You mean, the halfway point?! And tomorrow’s ultrasound is 7 weeks?? Now I’m here thinking… maybe that is too early for ME to want to know.

Surrogacy is such a wild and weird (and wonderful) process, but a typical pregnancy it ain’t. As much as I want to know as much as I can possibly know about this kid, I’m sitting here wondering if finding out early is a bit of a spoiler. Like, with all the wild and weird (and wonderful)… for me it might be kind of nice to experience something at a time when other people typically learn stuff through the process.

One of the biggest reasons I am not a fan of spoilers is because there is craft in telling a good story; I want to know exactly the amount of information that I need at that point in the story, and I trust that things will unfold in interesting and unexpected ways (the manner in which the craftsperson intended it), and it all makes sense in the end. That way I feel like I can appreciate both the narrative AND how the story was told.

We (G & I, Tiffany & Stef) had dinner and hung out tonight, talking about all manner of things like we do, and we came to an agreement. Garret & Stef will learn the bio sex tomorrow, where Tiffany & I want to wait until the anatomy appointment (that 20 week mark I mentioned earlier).

Let’s see how it goes!

Random Ponderings

I’ve had the same conversation with quite a few people lately and thought I would share. My “morning sickness”, read “all day and night sickness”, is so different this time than before. I already shared how it started 2 weeks earlier this time but there are also a few other differences. Previously, I had a constant underlying nausea that never really went away and was always present. This time, it is still constantly there to a much lesser degree but then huge waves of nausea will come over me out of the blue for a few minutes and I have to wait for them to pass to continue on. I have also been waking up in the middle of the night super nauseated. Luckily, most of the time I’m able to go back to sleep. The best thing about this time is that I don’t seem to have any real food aversions that make me want to immediately vomit. Thinking about food in general makes me queasy but so far eating any of it makes me feel momentarily better. Overall, I feel like I am able to function through the day better than I have in the past but the waves are rough and I am more tired than I remember being previously. I think that has to do with not sleeping well at night. Not having food aversions makes life much easier this time around, though.

With all of these differences, I can’t help but wonder if this baby might be a girl. Through all my pregnancies, I have only carried one girl but she was a twin with her brother so I don’t know what being pregnant with just a girl would be like for me.

4th Beta

I don’t think I’ve ever had a 4th beta before but there is a first for everything! At 27dp6dt we have a number of 55069! Which I assume is still very good. There are no more charts for this far along though. 🙂 The Progesterone is 49 and Estradiol is 3469. I was told I could lower my progesterone dose by half and am only on 1 Estradiol/day now. Yay! We have our first ultrasound tomorrow!

Administering Progesterone Injection

I’m excited to share our first video! This was an impromptu video taken by my friend, Cathleen, who might have remembered halfway through the video that she doesn’t like needles. Lol!

In this video I’m administering the progesterone injection. We are 6 weeks 3 days pregnant and I am giving myself a 2ml injection of PIO (progesterone in oil). The length of time one is on PIO depends on the individual doctor’s protocol. Usually I will stop PIO around 10 weeks pregnant. That is a lot of pokes!

Oh! Also, we have a youtube channel now, too!