Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When it rains, it pours

So, was it not enough that we lost the baby and lost R as our surro?? Sunday night I got an email informing me that I'm on notice for deployment with a 90 day BOG group to ...... IRAQ!! Report to MOB station on 2 Jan, estimated REFRAD 14 April. Welcome to the sandbox! Oh, B was so angry! I hardly think that 6 days of active duty (you really can't count OBLC as active training) makes me ready to go into a combat zone. I've never fired an M-16 for God's sake, though I am qualififed as a "sharp shooter" on the M-9 so if you get that close to me... watch out!!

I was pretty bummed out, to say the least; lots of things have been dumped on my plate. Anyway, Monday was difficult for me at work. Dr. V sensed it and came in on her day off so that I could leave - she didn't even ask why I needed to go... I emailed the MAJ about this and his response was basically "WTF??" So, he talked to the COL on Tuesday morning and by Tuesday night he called to say I was off the deployment - I'm supposed to get some type of email confirmation of that, which still hasn't come, but I'll give it a few more days before I inquire again. I've been bugging him so much for things lately!! He did also mention a potential deployment to Hawaii, which I immediately applied for - the only problem is that part of the deployment involves food inspection and I haven't gone thru the C9 course yet. Damn it! That would have been SWEET!! Oh, well...

I started reading "The Secret" on Monday - it totally changed my attitude and my feelings - when I got home Tuesday, I got the call from the MAJ about not having to go to Iraq and about maybe going to Hawaii instead - so now I've started a visualization journal to carry with me everywhere! I am going to keep a positive attitude 24/7. Good things will come to those who think good thoughts!! I believe that whole-heartedly.

So, tonight I was just playing around on SMO and checked out the classifieds. I found 2 girls in NC - 1 in Charlotte and 1 in Edenton - looking for IPs, so I wrote to both of them. Depending on whether or not I get deployed, we may be looking to transfer again in a few months - B said that we can do "whatever you want to do" and I just feel that we have totcicles for a reason - we can still have this baby. I love R like a sister, but I really think that the 1st m/c affected her so profoundly that she worried non-stop about it happening again - and it DID. Now, in no way am I blaming her... what she felt/thought is completely natural and I was no better - but anything that you dwell on and put too much energy into WILL come to pass...

Monday, November 26, 2007

I've been very despondent tonight -

I REALLY wanted this baby and my heart is broken right now. I talked to B and asked if we could perhaps take a few months to get things back to normal,take time to regroup and think things out, then consider using the frozen embryos.

R did send me an email telling me that she thinks she's done with surrogacy - the m/c have been too hard for her to handle emotionally - she doesn't think she can go through it again. So, trying again will also mean finding a new surrogate, and that part I don't particularly care for, but I certainly am trying to understand what R is going through; I've never miscarried myself, but those WERE my babies that she lost. So, I figure we'll get through the next 2 or 3 months then see how we feel. B says we'll do "whatever you want to do." Right now, I'm not entirely sure what that means...

I need some time to think, to pray, to reflect... my heart is broken, again - how many more times can I stand to go through this?? But, there's also the possibility that we'll have our child, and then it will be well worth the heartache I've endured. At the top of my list of things to do... find a new church. I am so disillusioned with the Catholics right now, that I don't want to be a part of that -thank you so much Ms. K!! - but I need to get back to God because I feel that hole in my life. That will be at the top of my list...

Who knows what is to come in 2008. There's still the chance for a baby, but maybe we'll decide that this ISN'T what we need to pursue... I'm trying to keep an open mind and yet still follow my heart.

Excuse my rambling... I've taken valium - all I want to do right now is sleep - and it's kicking in at last - mercifully...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bad news... again

I didn't look at my cell phone until this evening - was too busy cleaning and organizing, I guess... just as well - if I had looked at it earlier, I wouldn't have gotten a damn thing done today.

When I did finally pick it up, there was a single message, from R; she'd called about 5:30 am, but it was on vibrate, so it didn't wake me up... the message said simply "I need you to call me as soon as you get this." She was obviously upset. I called the cell I gave her, but she didn't answer, so I called her cell phone. S answered and told me that she had miscarried... apparently she was having cramps last night so she paged the OB on call, who just happened to be her personal OB; I guess they did an u/s and there was no heartbeat. By measurements, they're estimating that the baby stopped growing about a week ago.... shortly after our first u/s, I guess. All of this I got through S; R was so upset she wouldn't even come to the phone. S said that R feels that she's done something wrong.

I don't know if we're going to try again. We have 7 embryos on ice, but I don't know if B's heart (or mine) is in it to go through another cycle. We'll have to see what happens in the next few months - at the very least, it will be that long before we could try again. Honestly, I don't know if R's heart is in it to try again. That's 2 miscarriages this year...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why can't it just be EASY??

I called R today because I still hadn't heard anything from her OB - she was supposed to call us with the "official" ultrasound interpretation and I just wanted her reassurance that everything was on track. Apparently she and R were playing "phone tag" today, but R had gotten the message that the u/s showed a small SCH. The OB said not to worry, I guess it's not too close to the baby; she just told R to take it easy. Well, wanting more definition as to what "take it easy" means, she had called the OB again. While we were talking, her OB called back, so we hung up after she promised to call me as soon as she was done.

That was a LONG 5 minutes, waiting for R to call me back!! She finally did, though, and she seemed very comfortable with what she was told - I have no reason to think that she would sugar coat anything for me - not after what we've already been through. She managed to schedule her first OB visit for November 30th at 4:30 pm; they'll be doing a repeat u/s on that day, to check the cuke seed and recheck the SCH. If it is no larger, or perhaps even starting to reabsorb, then all is well; if it is getting larger, then R may end up on bed rest, but it shouldn't cause us a problem as long as it stays small and away from the baby.

Today we tried to pick up B's Jag - they finally finished painting it. I came home to get him at lunch time and dropped him at the shop; the owner's wife took him out to his car and I drove off; about 2 minutes later, he called and said, "come back and get me." Uh-oh... this couldn't be good. It meant that he was refusing to take the car as is... I could tell he was fuming when he got into the car, but I give him credit for maintaining control. He said that they didn't bother to patch the crack in the bumper - just painted over it; they also didn't fix the chips in the door - just painted over them. There's trash in the paint on the trunk and drips on the sides of the car... apparently they sprayed it with an enamel as opposed to a base paint and clear coat. He's furious. He says that it's now a huge paperweight and basically valueless... the only way to "fix" it properly is to strip it down to bare metal then paint it the right way. I told him that he should NOT pay the $1,800 bill; I emailed M since this is "his guy," asking him what we should do now. If we have to pay the bill to get the car back, we'll end up going to court. This shitty of a job is NOT worth that kind of money; Maaco could have done better for less than 1/2 that much!

Anyway, B needed my car, so he dropped me off at work and came back later to get me. We stopped for Chinese on the way home. After dinner, I was explaining the SCH to him, just thought that it was best that he knows everything that's going on. He was so freaked out by what I was telling him that he went 'round the traffic circle and took the wrong exit. I let him drive for a couple of miles then said, "where are we going?" He said, "I always go this way." "To avoid the hospital?" I asked. "Huh? What do you mean, avoid the hospital?" He thought that he'd taken the right exit and was just going down to come in the back way by the grocery store. "We're half-way to Carthage, baby." I told him. He said, "Oh, shit! I got so caught up with the baby I wasn't paying attention." He told me not to "start any shit" about the baby because he's "just gotten used to the idea." It seems that SCH is fairly common with IVF and rarely causes a problem. The majority of them are reabsorbed, some bleed out, very few can cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, resulting in miscarriage or premature delivery. That's why position is so important and why it's imperative that the SCH stay as far away from the baby as possible, until it reabsorbs.

On a sad note, K called today to tell me that Damien passed away... he was lying cutely by the hearth, one foot on top of the bricks, and she ran to get her camera - but when he didn't react to the flash she knew there was a problem. That's the 2nd of them that have died unexpectedly and without much explanation... we lost Crystal to pneumonia that she shouldn't have had and now Damien, too?? Of course, it's quite possible that Buck is too big of a pain in the ass to just die, but I know that K will be worrying about that from here on out. They're just 3 1/2 yrs old!! I don't understand it... I would have thought anything genetic would have emerged before now...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

We have a cucumber seed!!

I practically had to drag B to the car to get going today!! He was doing some kind of crap on the computer and making calls - honestly he was starting to piss me off, so I hung my purse on my shoulder, put on my sunglasses and stood by the front door, lightly tapping my boot on the floor. I gave him a final "we need to go" - he said, "ok, I'm just shutting down the computer". I let Fifi out to pee before we left, and when she came in, I walked out and closed the door behind me. One of the smurfs this a.m. suggested I give him an AIS warning - as in "I'm leaving in 5 mins and if your ass isn't in your seat, you're going to be left behind!! We actually had a good conversation on the way to G'boro, and got there about 12:15 or so. We met R in the parking lot of the OBs office and took her to lunch at Macaroni Grill. She hardly touched her food - she said that the nausea is pretty consistent - not enough to make her vomit, just enough to kill most of her appetite. She's lost 3 lbs in the last week! Hey, can I get some of that?!?

So, we got back to the OBs office a few minutes before our scheduled appointment time of 1:30pm, and she got checked in. When they called her back, she stood up, turned to us and said "come on guys". We went through a series of corridors (this place is HUGE) to an ultrasound room; the tech seemed a little perplexed that there were 3 of us in the room... she asked R a couple of questions that I answered - that didn't help to clarify things!! LOL Finally, R said "These are the parents" - gesturing towards us - "I'm a surrogate." That seemed to clarify things for the tech...

So, the u/s room had it's own bathroom, which was pretty dang cool, plus on of those little areas in a corner with the curtain on a sliding rail that hangs from the ceiling - a little dressing room... We stepped out in the hall when R went to empty her bladder and get situated on the table, then the tech called us back in. The u/s had the attached screen, like they all seem to have, but this room also had a flat screen monitor hanging on the wall opposite the exam table that was hooked up to the u/s. When we came back into the room, B quickly walked to the back corner - actually into the dressing area - and leaned against the wall. He stayed there the entire time - I think he was scared that he might accidentally see R's hoohah if he came away from the wall!! LOL

The ultrasound was AWESOME!! I thought that B was going to chicken out on me at the last minute, but he hung in there - the tech put the weenie wand where the weenie wand has to go and *pop* - there was our little one on the monitor!! I saw the flicker right away and ran right up to the screen so I could see it better. She measured at 3.3 mm and the heart rate was 117; the tech said that's right on track for her stage of gestation. We could see the yolk sac, too and that was pretty cool - it's 4 or 5 times as big as our little cucumber seed (she's too small to call a bean or a peanut just yet - and as CA once said "she's a girl until someone proves to me that she has a penis!"). Back on topic... everything looks great so far - and the tech printed out a nice little picture with an arrow indicating the baby's location (as if I wouldn't be able to pick it out myself!! But I thought it was sweet.) The whole time she was measuring, etc. I kept running back and forth - to the screen, to hug B, back to the screen, back to B. It was the most amazing feeling.

Here's the pic the tech gave me - our little cuke seed!! That light line to the right of the baby is actually the top of the yolk sac - it shows up much better on the original, of course. The yolk sac is at least 4 times as big as the baby, but I guess that's "normal" for this early on.

R's primary OB was hung up in surgery at the hospital and couldn't make the appointment; she's supposed to call us both with the "official" ultrasound findings, but they're not overly worried because everything looked good. She didn't call today - maybe tomorrow?? I feel so good right now!! I'm still a little worried, but not like I was before today - and in another 3-4 weeks, I'll feel MUCH, MUCH better... just get us past that 9-10 weeks of gestation, where miscarriage is most prevalent, and I'll be okay. I really want to tell everyone at Christmas - I'll have to work on B on that one - he wants to wait 'til 15 weeks which will be January sometime. We'll see how it goes.
Richard is still playing the "recovering from surgery" card. M left this morning to go to Milwaukee - his grandma died yesterday at the ripe old age damn close to 99. I'm just glad that it was after Middle Child's surgery - M really would have been torn, though I believe he would have stayed at home, since he was originally scheduled to fly out Saturday and changed that (apparently they had already scheduled the memorial service for Monday, but she was hanging in. If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny...). so, Middle Child went to school this a.m. but came home after 2nd block 'cause he wasn't feeling well. He really isn't interested in going to school tomorrow, but we'll see...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Today is our "official" ultrasound!!

We'll be leaving in a couple of hours to head to G'boro for our first ultrasound - they'll check for placental placement and evaluate for a heartbeat, measure the fetal pole, etc. I've been so very nervous for the last few days!! I know this is a new pregnancy, but I keep flashing back to the ultrasound we had after our first transfer. We shouldn't compare, but it's so hard not to base current experience on the past!! I think that's human nature.

R called at 11pm last night - I couldn't tell if she was just excited or if she was crying - or maybe a little of both... she talked one of the resident OBs into doing an u/s. They used the abdominal scanner then the doc said, "let's go find a weenie wand" and THEY SAW A HEARTBEAT!! She was SO excited and called me right away!! I believe that's what she saw, and the u/s WAS done by a doc, but I'll feel better when I see that little flicker for myself!! It's going to be a LOOONNNGGG morning until I can get on the road! I have some cats to do this a.m., but I'd rather go to G'boro! Of course, waiting around there wouldn't be too much fun either. I've made it this far... I suppose I can survive for a few more hours!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I didn't wake up this morning thinking "what a great day for one of the boys to have surgery!"

I know that's hard to believe... thankfully I was off work today! M called about 9:30 am to see if I could take Middle Child to the doctor - seems he woke up about 4am with a belly ache. I could hear him crying in the background - really sobbing; but, he's a little dramatic. I figured he was probably vomiting and stressed about that. But, no vomiting per M and he was running a low grade fever - he's like his parents... his "normal" body temp is just a bit over 97 so "normal" is a little bit high for him.

I called Premier and got him an 11:30 appt. I really thought that it was gonna be a BS appt - constipation, intestinal flu, etc. They were backed up and we didn't get called back until after 12:30, then it was another 20 minutes before Dr. R made it in to check him. She did a brief exam and then had him lay down so she could palpate his abdomen. She asked him to show her, with one finger, where it hurt most - lower right quadrant; she asked him where the pain initially started - right below his navel. She turned to me and said, "I think it's his appendix." I called M and B to fill them in, and promised to call again when I had more information.

That was SO not what I wanted to hear!! Dr. R decided to do a white count and a strep culture - apparently sometimes strep can mimic appendicitis (who knew??). WBC was 13,000, rapid strep test was negative. She called over to the hospital and talked to Dr. F, the surgeon; he said for us to head on over and have the ER page him when we got in - he'd come down and check Middle Child out. We headed straight to the ER. They didn't seem all that busy to me but the bitch volunteer at the front desk set me straight right away! She asked me for Middle Child's name and my phone number. I gave her both but then added that that wasn't the phone number that was probably in their computer. She said "well, THAT'S not going to help me then, is it?" and proceeded to scratch thru the number as if she were trying to go through to the page underneath. I told her that the pediatrician had already called over and that we needed to page the doctor. She told me that I needed to sit down and wait like everyone else. I told her, again, that the doctor was waiting for the call and she told me, basically, that she didn't care. I would have to wait like everyone else. So, we sat...

A few minutes later, a couple came in and she wouldn't even let them register. She told them that they were backlogged and that they should just sit down, when the front desk got caught up, then she would get their information. I didn't see a name badge on her, but then I was more worried about Middle Child at that particular time. Tomorrow, maybe I'll try to find out who she was...

After a time, we went from the "waiting room" to the "sub-waiting room" (yes, the sign actually said "sub-waiting room") which is through the double doors to the triage department. I could hear the nurses in triage talking and after a couple of minutes, they were talking about my son. Seems that the surgeon had been waiting on us to arrive and he was calling down to see if we were there yet. They finally called us back to get checked in. The nurse immediately paged Dr. F and he showed up just a couple of minutes later.

First impressions... clean cut, nice looking and about 28 years old!! LOL He's probably actually in his early to mid-30's, but he looked a bit like a Doogie Hauser to me just the same! He asked Middle Child to stand up and then pressed on his tummy. Apparently he got the rebound response he was expecting and he told me that it looked like appendicitis. Well, that was SUCH a high tech test, I had no reason to doubt him, right?? So, I asked... you aren't going to do any imaging or anything?? Well, he told me, we can do an xray or a CT scan, or even an MRI, but we might not even see the appendix. Generally the abdominal palpation is definitive. He looked at Richard and asked, "You're not on your period, right?" That made Richard laugh! He said that he'd already pretty much ruled out pregnancy and figured that Middle Child's ovaries weren't bothering him, and that left appendicitis. "At this point," he told me, "it's an appendicitis until I prove otherwise." So, he called down and added Middle Child to the surgery schedule.

We were taken back to a room in the ER where he got to change into a hospital gown; they put in an IV catheter and the nurse drew a bunch of vials of blood for whatever pre-anesthetic work-up they wanted to do. M showed up about that time.... he had gotten worried because he hadn't heard back from me, and I didn't answer my phone when he called - no cell signal in the ER. He had called Dr. R at the ped's office who told him that she had sent us over to the ER, so he showed up there. He had taken one look at the bitchy volunteer in the lobby and had bypassed her for the lady behind the computer - probably wise.

We walked along as Middle Child was wheeled back to the pre-op ward. Dr. F (he pulled his name badge out on its little retractable cord and said, "call me Dr. John" then let it >snap< back into place) came and talked to us again. He asked Richard if he had any questions. Middle Child asked him what the appendix does - the doc's answer... "not much, except put my kids through college." The anesthesiologist came by, as well as the surgical nurse; they introduced themselves to my son, and to us, and reassured us that our boy would be well taken care of. They dosed him with Versed and we waited while he got loopy then they wheeled him off to the OR.

M and I walked out through the ER - he had to go back to work and pick up some things; I wanted to go home and get clean clothes for Middle Child and also my laptop since I had every intention of staying the night. There was my hubby, standing in the ER waiting room. He had also gotten worried when he couldn't reach me, so came by to check on things. He drove through all of the hospital parking lots until he found my car, then came in the ER. Ms. Stick-up-her-ass told him that we had been discharged and sent home. Obviously he knew this wasn't so, so he just waited... figuring that I'd show up or call him eventually.

We were at home for a few minutes, and B said we needed to head back over. Thank God for that.... we hadn't been in the surgical waiting room for more than 10 minutes when the phone rang. It was Dr. John telling me that Middle Child was in recovery and that things had gone well - it can't have taken him more than 20 minutes!! He said that my son's appendix was "huge and meaty" but hadn't perforated; the surgery had been straightforward, no complications or concerns. About 15 minutes later, a nurse came to get us from the waiting room to go to recovery. Once he woke up, he started crying for me... I don't think they usually bring family members back to recovery - we were the only ones there - but I guess they make exceptions for children. He was very disoriented, nauseous and crying. Dr. John came and gave me pics of my boy's innards... Middle Son was crying about being in pain and the doc said, "If I stabbed him with an ice pick, it would hurt; I stabbed him with three 5mm ice picks - it's going to hurt a little bit." but then he ordered additional pain meds for Middlel Child and he stopped crying after the 2nd dose of them. I'm sure part of it was the anesthesia wearing off!

M and I sat with him until they moved him up to the pediatric ward at about 5pm. Michael had shown up during that time, but they wouldn't allow him to come back to recovery so he waited in the room. The guys went home about 7pm; Middle Child has been in and out in terms of being awake.... he's sleeping now. He's handled things very well, especially once the anesthesia wore off - he was a little whiny at first, but I guess he was really hurting!! It tore me up, though, seeing him hurt like that. I'd have a dozen surgeries if it would save him from ever having another one!!

But, all is well - they caught it really early and it's out now. They did the surgery laproscopically so he'll be up and around in a day or two. I talked to K and she told me that Dr. John is the best surgeon we could have gotten, so I am thankful for that as well. I'm going to try to get some sleep on this funky pull out chair/bed thing they have here in the room... it was a chore getting it all set up, but it is almost flat and nearly the size of a twin bed, so it should be much better than sleeping in a recliner like I had to do when J was in the hospital. Middle Child will be discharged tomorrow, so we'll be back at home. God I love this kid, and I am SO glad that M took him seriously and was concerned enough to get him to the doctor this morning!! It's scary to think about the times that the boys have had belly aches that we dismissed as gas!! I'll certainly think twice from now on!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The LAST beta!

As B keeps saying, at some point we have to just let go and figure that it will happen as it's meant to happen, you know?

R had her blood drawn at about 5pm yesterday - she said that the phlebotomy at the lab that's open on Saturday leaves something to be desired and wanted to get it done before the weekend - the lab was open 'til 7pm and told her that the results would be in the same day. By the time they could get it done, NCCRM was closed, so we figured that it would be today before we heard anything.

At 11am, I was still "beta-less" and decided to call. I managed to get one of the nurses on the phone and she told me the results -


17dp5dt ~ beta 2986

That is a doubling time of 55 hours, but it's normal for the doubling time to decrease as the beta increases. Most of what I've managed to find online says that "normal" doubling time for a beta below 1200 is 48-72 hrs (ours has been 30-34 hours); once the beta goes above 1200, "normal" doubling time decreases to every 72-96 hrs. Ours is currently 55, which should be just fine. Since I'm a nervous-nelly, after our last experience, I checked on SMO for other doubling times this far out from transfer. B says I've done "too much ciphering". Maybe he's right.

We spent several hours today wandering around the flea market in Raleigh; it was nice spending time together, just looking at things. If this baby is a girl, I'm going to get a chandelier to hang in her bedroom... I can't wait to find out if we're having a son or a daughter! I can't wait to meet our child.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Holy moly.... how many are in there??

We were feeling pretty confident that we're expecting a single baby - until we got today's beta.

15dp5dt ~ beta 1965

Our coordinator called me at 11:30 and was laughing - first she said "Congratulations!" then she gave me the value - and THEN she said, "We're wondering if there's more than one." Well, needless to say, B didn't want to hear that!

R was amazed that it's increased so much; our doubling time is down to a little over 30 hrs; we've got a little butt-kicker in there, I guess. Last beta will be drawn tomorrow afternoon, though we won't get the result until Saturday a.m. I can't wait for the u/s!!! I'm dying to know how many we're growing!

I've been all over SMO checking out the betas; with our first 2 values, we were dead center for a singleton and always below the values for twins; with this latest number, we're high for a singleton and middle of the road for twins. Geez... they're just so damn variable, that there's no way to really predict multiples unless the number is just crazy, crazy high! We'll just have to wait until the 14th to find out for sure.