The journey of two guys ( with one cat & lot of great friends) trying to get through life and expand their family through surrogacy in Thailand.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nursing School Vs T.M.I.

Those of you out there with a background in healthcare will probably be familiar with the following conversation:

“Hello unassuming stranger, looks like you’re getting ready for the storm with all your milk and bread!” said the elderly lady in front of me in the supermarket line. (I should explain that when there is a big snow storm in New England, milk and bread suddenly seem to become very hot commodities. Seriously…two weeks ago there was a news story about the shortage of milk and bread in grocery stores here in the Boston metro… so, naturally I panicked, immediately went to the store and bought as much as possible in an effort to fit in. This is the second year I’ve done this.)

“Yes, I have both milk and bread, because I’m a New Englander and that’s what we do!” Said the boy from California desperate for approval.

“That’s great! I hope it all fits in yah cahhh. (that’s “your car” for people not from Boston) So, what do you do young man?” she asked while loading her milk and creamer on to the belt.

“Actually, I’m just finishing nursing school.” I said as I silently cursed myself for forgetting milk related products like creamer. I did however feel slightly vindicated noticing that she didn’t have naan bread like I did. Surely I should get extra points for variety of bread products.

And then it happened…

“Oh…” she said with a sudden gleam in her eyes. “So, maybe you’ll know. I’ve got this boil right in between my…well my you know what. Do you think I should pop it, or just leave it be?!”

A slight gasp escaped my lips as my hand rose to my forehead awkwardly.

“.......Oh. Well…ummmmm……..uhhhhhh…..huh. Oh look, I think the cashier is ready to take your coupons!” I responded knowing full well that no amount of milk, bread, or acceptance was worth enduring that conversation.

This is one way that nursing school leads to too much information. (At least I learned something about myself: Evendently, I have to be in the right location to talk boils with a little old lady. In the hospital, no problem. At Stop and Shop, not so much...)

There is also another way that nursing school provides too much information. I spent last summer in my OB/peds rotation, which was amazing. We were able to assist with deliveries, give babies the all-important first vaccines,  care for newborns in the neonatal care center and NICU, and teach new moms and dads how to feed, hold, change, and  care for their new little ones. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.

But there is a drawback. While we as nurses are expected to know the natural progression of fertilization, pregnancy and delivery, we’re also expected to know the complications that can come along with fertilization, pregnancy and delivery. (Even more so than a complication free pregnancy.) After all, being prepared when something goes wrong is one of the most important roles of a nurse. We’re kind of like boy scouts in that way. 

Those of you who are going through a similar journey to ours know how difficult it is being removed from so much of this process. Add to that in depth knowledge of everything that can go wrong at any given time in development, and you have now discovered why during the last attempt I turned into a basket case for bursts of 5 minutes every other day or so. To know about everything going on, and to know that you’re physically so far removed from it all isn’t easy. But it’s what we sign up for as IPs going through international surrogacy.

That said, as we gear up for our next shot I take a moment every now and again and remind myself: what will be, will be. I am determined to try to enjoy the process as much as possible, regardless of how difficult that is. So now, I tuck away my paranoia; my doubts; my worries; my fears, and I try to think about this little dream of ours that we're working so hard to achieve. I am determined to once again find the delicate balance between being vigilant and involved, and just being flat out crazy.

We transferred funds to New Life last week. $10,700 for a second attempt with the same egg donor as last time cycling for us and fresh embryo transfer.  No word yet on when our fabulous ED will start her cycle, but hopefully we should be hearing about it sooner rather than later. (In fact, my next email is going to be to our NL contact to confirm they have received the funds and find out about getting a timeline.)

Hopefully things will get rolling soon. And hopefully this damn snow will clear up so I can go back to my low carb lifestyle.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Respite Vs Laziness

What is it they say?  Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans? I swear I had every good intention of posting something long before today, but things just kept getting in the way. For a while I also considered not writing anymore, because let’s be frank, really I’m just not all that interesting. :-p  But in the end, this is mostly for me to use as an outlet and maybe to share with any kids we’re fortunate enough to have one day. I guess I just feel ready to share again. Also, there are literally fives of people reading this blog. So I would hate to disappoint. ;0)

So why did it take so long for another post? Well, first off, in all honesty the last attempt and miscarriage definitely left a little dent in my heart and I just needed to step back from the blog-o-sphere and all things surrogacy to regroup. As some of you may or may not know, I also created and administrate the website It’s a place I created for IPs to come together and discuss their journeys. It’s something I’m really proud of, and also something I’ve been neglecting as of late. :-\  But, Frankie and I feel ready to go again, and so I will re-emerge myself into all things surrogacy. Of course Willow is against it, as evidenced by her hacking up a fur-ball on the surrogacy contracts I was getting ready to scan and email back to New Life. She is a jealous little creature.

So, I will excuse part of my absence to much needed respite. The rest…well, the odds are good that it’s just due to pure laziness and my new found addiction to Call of Duty. But in all fairness, I have been a little busy.

There was Christmas and New Year’s. Which were both great. (Outside of discovering that a friend’s best friend is actually a not so functioning alcoholic.)

With the new year came a new job for Frankie. He is now working as a Nephrologist at a private practice, which is awesome because if there is anything he loves more than me, its kidneys. So that was a big change for him, but certainly a welcome one.

This was followed by me and a friend taking an impromptu two day road trip from the north shore of Boston to Washington DC to see the debut of the new baby panda Bao Bao. 850 miles in two days via New Jersey…it’s a good thing the panda was cute.

Around the beginning of January, we also found out that we made a mistake on our taxes. A large mistake. But, fortunately a mistake in our favor, and it turns out we were paying more than necessary and we were getting a generous return. So, we figured….meh, why not use the money for a down payment on a house? After all, we only need 3.5% down, and in our area owning is much cheaper than renting. And so in the course of a weekend, we were pre-approved for a mortgage, went house hunting, fell in love with a place, and made an offer. Now, this isn’t just any place. It’s, shall we say, special and in need of some love. It was built in 1790, and I’m pretty sure it was only really updated once since then. While touring the house, we assumed that the previous owner was a cat lover. At least, we decided to believe that to account for the feces on the floor and the rat toy that we initially mistook for an actual dead rat. To say it’s in rough shape is to say that Lindsay Lohan only drinks on special occasions; a gross understatement. But it’s always been a dream of mine to rehab a house, and since it was in such bad shape, we got a killer deal on the place. So, we got a rehab mortgage that allows us funds for renovations and we’re in the last stages before closing, which should hopefully happen by early April. (The mortgage has a long closing time to allow for contractors to estimate repairs on the property.) By the time we’re done with the house, it will have had more work done than Cher’s face. But, like Cher’s face, although almost none of it will be original, it will still be beautiful. Most importantly, it will be the perfect place to raise a family. (The house….not Cher’s face.)

I also started my last semester of nursing school. In the first two weeks we covered acute respiratory failure and critical care cardiac issues like myocardial infarctions and EKG interpretation. Here is a snapshot of what I’ve been looking at:

I like the one on the left. 

So what you're saying is; those aren't just squiggly lines?

Now do you see why I’ve been spending the valuable time I have crying myself to sleep as opposed to writing in my blog. In all seriousness, it’s amazing stuff. Just a little heavy.

And that leads us to present day, and one of the most important updates. We sent back the contracts and it’s now official. We’ve decided to cycle again with the same ED as we did the first time, and use Frankie’s frozen sperm to fertilize the eggs.

While this is the most expensive of our options, we decided it really was the best way for us to go.  I won the “who’s material to use first” war and hence we’re starting with Frankie’s. But part of the compromise is that, successful or not, we will one day try again with mine. This has never been important to me, but it’s something Frankie really wants and therefore we’ve always planned on going through this process twice. We also decided that it would be really great for any children we have to have a genetic link through the ED. So, while I have 7 frozen embryos that we could use, Frankie is essentially fresh out; and since we have no idea what the ED will be doing in a few years, we decided to let mine stay on ice for the time being and work with our ED again now while we know she’s available and willing to help. Also, while it’s more expensive than if we just proceeded with my frozen embryos; it’s actually cheaper for us to try again with Frankie’s material now as opposed to later, since it counts as a second attempt.

We’re feeling good about this, and ready to go again. Actually, the biggest hesitation we had was that we would have to wait longer to go through the whole ED cycle again. But anything worth doing is worth doing right, and this is definitely the right option for us.

So, that’s where we are now. I’ll try to update a little more regularly now that things are moving again. I hope everyone in blog land has had a great start to their year. :0)