Monday, November 25, 2013

When The Needle Points in a Different Direction

Candace:  I never thought my path to parenthood would have so many unpaved, tumultuous and undiscovered off-shoots. Our journey has been more like the unkempt jungles of Nam, then a lovely quaint forest. Throughout all of this it has been OUR walk. Not mine alone, and Chris has walked hand in hand with me, well more like Forest carrying 2 armed, no legged, Captain Dan in the war scene from Forest Gump. (Chris- are you offended I am referring to you as Forest Gump right now? I swear it is in an enduring sentiment) Either way, I always thought it takes two to make a baby. I never thought that maybe it would take 3!
For those who have recently discovered this blog or maybe coming into the picture mid-game here are the cliff notes.
·         Wasted lots of money that I could have used on Ramen, or better yet beer, on birth control in college. Got married, white picket fence, fur-baby and 2 years of no success. Lots of handstands.
·         Started infertility testing, clomid and some IUI’s… 6 of them.
·         Commence IVF.  5 surgeries sprinkled in between 6 failed IVF transfers.
·         MTV thinks my uterus is entertaining and wants to film our broken plumbing chronicles.
·         Pre-cancerous cells detected, treated. However, my oncologist still thinks tis’ time to part ways with my ill-tempered, and extremely vindictive uterus.
·         We decide to adopt! And we fund raise. And pray.
·         After we had been in the thick of our adoption process, our gestational carrier reached out to us.
Everything centers around calendar day 1 of your menstrual cycle when it comes to all things fertility treatments. Since it is HER body and not mine, hell, I don’t have a clue when that will be. IUI’s were tough, IVF was tough, adoption… tough. Care to guess what I will say about surrogacy? It is a different world and if you are a control-zilla like me it is an incredible challenge. It is not my body this time. In prior cycles I had it all down to a science. I knew exactly what medication would give me what side effect and pretty much when it would start.
The good news is she has started as have the medications!!!  For those scratching their heads right now. Hold on isn’t a surrogate/gestational carrier supposed to be fertile, so why all the meds? Even if you are the Duggar mom with 80 billion successful pregnancies, conceiving is not guaranteed every month you try. There are always outliers. Since intended parents (Chris and myself) invest their nest eggs and many syringes to get those precious embryos, RE’s want to make sure the carrier has a tropical oasis for your little embie babies to settle in and call home. So all of the same meds one would take for a FET (frozen embryo transfer) she is now taking. So, I crawl into the back seat of the car with Chris and allow someone else to drive us to our destination.
Chris:  Not much to say about this topic.  I am glad that we have been given another shot at having a biological child.  As I looked through all of the meds that our surro would be taken, I remembered how incredibly excited and terrified we were when we sat down at the table with all of our meds for our first IVF attempt.  I had never given medicine via syringe to anyone and Candace had never been given a shot by me.  We kind of looked at each other with that, “Yep, we are getting ready to jump off this huge cliff together into an unknown ocean” look.  Now, here we are 5 years later – 7 years after first starting to have a family – and we just handed off the directions to the cliff we jumped off to our surro and her husband.  Although they have made that jump before, I know Candace and I are going to be equally wide-eyed and holding our breath waiting for them to hit the water and resurface, hopefully with the unmistakable “Guess what, we’re pregnant with your child” look on their faces.  Sometimes, anticipation is the hardest part.
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  1. Crossing everything for this surrogacy cycle. You are correct - surrogacy is a different world and getting used to that lack of control is key, but it might surprise you that it won't be as difficult as you expect..

    1. Thank you for your comment KeAnne. We are hoping that surrogacy, like so many other things in life, only seems so challenging because it is a venture into the unknown. Thank you for your good wishes and we will be sure to keep our blog updated as things progress!

  2. Super good luck wishes to you two! I am excited and hopeful for you.

  3. I just watched your episode of True Life and somehow found my way to your blog. I love the show, but put off watching this particular episode because it's a sensitive subject for me, but in a much different way. I placed my baby girl for adoption at birth just three years ago this month. So while our situations are different, I can relate to struggling with seeing everyone else around you get pregnant and raise their children effortlessly. I was in tears watching you struggling with negative pregnancy tests and it really hit home for me because my daughter's adoptive parents went through years of failed IVF treatments as well. Now they are the parents of two beautiful, healthy children, which I'm sure was for them hard to imagine after all of the disappointment. I know your story will end that way, too!! I just wanted to wish you & Chris luck on your journey in surrogacy and I can't wait to see pictures of you with a baby in your arms (if you choose to share any!). I don't know you but I am thinking about you!


  4. Thank you for having the courage to write this blog. It is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. You guys have gone through hell with scars to show for it. You are going to be amazing parents. While you're waiting remember that your story has been woven into more stories than you can imagine and you've helped others by simply reminding us we are not alone in this.