38 Weeks 5 Days

I think my ‘Bubble’ is starting to slow down with her movements now, however, when she does move it’s funny as she feels like she’s stretching horizontally and trying to get out. I think she’s still back to back as i feel like there are limbs everywhere :)

The doctor at my 38 weeks check told me the baby was now fully engaged, which I think has had an affect on my PGP again. The pain became too much 2 nights ago when I just couldn’t get out of bed until my DH physically lifted me out, which was very undignified. Not only that but I didn’t get much sleep which ended up in the first public bout of tears in front of DH’s parents, totally embarrassing day overall. And I’d done so well up to now with my emotions.

I’m starting to get a bit worried about labour and the after affects of labour now with the pain increasing in my hips/back but I guess I will just have to wait & see. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have had these pains and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s all just a crazy waiting game now.

Lets see what week 40 brings with a physio appointment and a 39 week midwife check still to come and as I’m not been allowed to go more than 7 days over, I should know what the next steps are.

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37 Weeks 1 Day

I can’t believe I am writing a blog entitled 37 Weeks…That’s right…37 Weeks!!!!!!! It’s just crazy really. Now I’m here, seeing that my last blog was in February when I first felt ‘Bubble’ move, it seems like time has just flown by.

Yesterday was a year to the day since our first IVF cycle ended and our ‘Emby’ left us and I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have got this far with our ‘Bubble’. I honestly believed it would never happen for us and if I’m honest I still won’t really believe until I’m holding my baby. I feel sad when I think about ‘Emby’ but think everything must happen for a reason.

Since my OHSS in the first 8 weeks, my pregnancy has gone pretty well with only a little Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) at 32 Weeks, where I had to be monitored for half an hour at the day unit at the hospital to make sure I wasn’t in preterm labour.

Unfortunately, although I’m not complaining, my PGP has come back with a vengeance in my left hip/back. To the point where I’m struggling to walk. It’s starting to get me down a little as I can’t tell whether walking, resting, going slow or going fast helps. I know it won’t last for much longer so I’m trying my hardest to just get on with normal activities as much as I can, but taking the help when it’s offered (which is hard as I’m so independent).

My baby is also back to back so I have to bounce on my birthing ball to see if I can turn the little munchkin round, however, I just think s/he’s gonna be a munchkin until s/he’s born as it just never stops moving about in there :) which is such a wonderful feeling…even if it does makes me feel a little nauseous at times :)

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First Movements – 14 Weeks 6 Days

I think I felt my little bubble move for the first time today although I’m not 100% sure. It felt different to anything I have ever felt before, almost like someone was very lightly drumming their fingers in the inside of my tummy.

I googled it to see if I was going mad, but there seems to be lots of people out their who have felt their babies this early.

Overnight I was kept awake by pains in my tummy close to my knicker line and I thought I could feel something else strange then but thought nothing of it & tried to get back to sleep, but during the day today & had 2 other experiences of the same feeling.

Maybe it’s wind :) but I really hope it’s the very first feelings of my little bubble still being ok in there. Can’t wait to visit the midwives again next week when I hopefully get to hear her heartbeat for the first time.

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12 Week Scan

Today was the day of my 12 weeks scan and I don’t think I have been more scared about anything in my life. I had to go to work before it, but I definitely couldn’t concentrate on anything.

We got there so early as we were just so nervous & excited at the same time. But we had to wait for what seemed like ages. We were watching the bowls on the TV in the corner which became so strangely hypnotising.

My name was finally called and my heart skipped, is everything going to be ok?

Well we needn’t have worried, the ultrasound lady found our beautiful baby so fast it was amazing and we could see the little heartbeat which just showed us everything was ok. She told us that she was happy with the measurements of the babies neck which would be put together with the blood tests I had to give us a probability score for the chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome.

We watched her wriggle around & suck her thumb, it was just awesome, so completely amazing that that little perfectly formed baby is inside me & I can’t feel a thing.

We were told we are now due on the 30th July 2013, which makes me 12 weeks & 6 days.

Here’s my little bubble:

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Added 01.02.2012: We have just found out that we have a 1 in 20,000 chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome, which is great news.

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12 Weeks 4 Days

Tomorrow is my 12 week scan, something I have been longing for for about 4 weeks. Ever since my 8 week scan at the IVF unit I have been stressing about whether my little bubble is ok in there. Checking every time I go to the loo, i check, expecting there to be blood, expecting this exciting time to be over.

I know it’s a very negative thing to be thinking all the time but it’s something I cannot control. Every twinge, pain or niggle, gives me the same thought, but like a crazy person those days I feel nothing makes me even more worried.

I suppose I am one step better off than normal people in my situation as I have seen that little amazing heartbeat at 8 weeks but that makes no difference to me. I’m still burying my head in the sand thinking that this cannot be happening to me.

I cannot stop thinking about tomorrow, and know that if all is well my worrying will only continue, but at least I won’t have to keep hiding my little bump at work & I can at least start thinking about the future a little more. Fingers so tightly crossed that every thing goes ok.

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First Midwife Appointment

I am currently 11wks and 3dys pregnant and yesterday was my very first midwife appointment, ever. It felt very surreal to be finally in that room talking about having a baby. I was so nervous as I obviously didn’t know what to expect and the waiting around for 3/4 of an hour didn’t help.

Once we were in though it was fine, the midwife was lovely & put me & my husband at ease. We were asked lots & lots of questions about our families and lives, which must get so annoying for her as she was having to put it all onto a form & into the computer. Very much a paper filling exercise.

She checked my weight & height & said I had the perfect BMI ???? Then came the blood pressure check which was 100/60 which apparently is a little low and then finally 3 lots of blood to be taken, which was a little bit more challenging. As my blood pressure was low & I was thirsty, it didn’t want to come out, one arm clotted & said ‘No more thank you’ after 2 lots so I had to have both arms used. I’m not the greatest with blood tests at the best of times, but it wasn’t too bad.

The fun bit was finally getting one of these:

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something I have seen my pregnant friends have, and always wanted ????

The best bit though was the booking of my 12 week scan, but I still have to wait over a week. We got in on 12wk & 5dys which means we can have the Down syndrome test. Now I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed for this next week.

I just can’t quite bring myself to believe that this is really going to happen! I’m too scared my bubble will leave me!

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9 Weeks 1 Day

Hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. Ours was lovely, filled with the news that we found out from our 8 week scan. We have a viable pregnancy!!! 😀 We saw the most amazing little heartbeat on our most amazing miracle. Our 18mm, 8wk2dys old little bean.

Christmas was fun, if not a little stressful. It was the first time we’d seen most people since the scan & there was a lot of fussing from parents, etc. Trying to keep the news to the least amount of people is very difficult with an over excited mother in law & husband. I was a little upset at first but then realised it was Christmas & I should just relax. After trying for so long it’s very hard not to worry about what might happen between now & my next scan.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad to be home though!

Today the Direct Access midwife unit rang to explain the next steps of the process. We have been discharged from the IVF unit now which is a little sad. I definitely felt like a number which I’ve never felt like at the IVF clinic. I now have to wait a couple of weeks for my booking in appointment before I get sent for my 12 weeks scan. Now I’m worried less than 3 weeks for all that is not long enough, but I’ll guess we’ll soon see.

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Building the Foundation for Surrogacy Brick by Brick

Building the Foundation for Surrogacy Brick by Brick

With so many moving parts to surrogacy it is no wonder the process can be overwhelming. Learning to be your own best advocate, effectively planning financially, physically and financially help you maximize your chances of success and minimize your financial expenditure.

The first step in building the foundation is preparing to pay for treatment and the ancillary costs associated with surrogacy. Finances are specific to individual circumstances. Sometimes savings are available, often the sale of portfolio items are used to fund treatment. A third popular option are various borrowing opportunities. All of the above should be discussed with a tax professional and or financial planner in the context of your individualized circumstances. It is also vital to plan and prepare for multiple treatment cycles. In my experience balancing hope with caution is what helps my clients to approach treatment with clear expectations and realistic parameters.

The second step in building the foundation is to identify the fertility center, the Reproductive Endocrinologist and the Embryologist who have above national average success rates for the type of treatment you are exploring as well as a specialty in treating your specific diagnosis.

The next resource is identifying the right donor and/or surrogate. Seeking ideal criteria in a perfect stranger is often a very intimate process. There is always some level of risk in the decision making process. Being your own best advocate is helpful in mitigating and or eliminating potential stumbling blocks. Identifying a candidate on line can be risky since they are not screened and you will not have the benefits of a third party to act as an intermediary. On the other hand, it is necessary to be aware of onerous contracts with recruiting agencies.

The fourth brick in the foundation is understanding the legal terrain and how it affects your specific situation. Surrogate friendly states vary across the country. Surrogate friendly means that parentage can be achieved at some future point after birth. But from state to state this varies greatly. Some states require pre birth orders to get intended parents names on the birth certificate after the birth and other states require a formal adoption after the surrogate delivers. Other states are favorable in getting intended parents names on the birth certificate at birth, as long as one parent is biologically related to the child. Furthermore, often how the embryos are created, and with whose biological material is relevant to the big picture. Thus, the individualized situation can and does impact the selection of a surrogate candidate from state to state. Finally, selecting a surrogate with like-minded intentions for the term of the pregnancy is essential.

There is still more to consider. Most health insurance policies have exclusions for surrogates. Therefore, it is essential to analyze policy alternatives that may help you to save thousands of dollars in the future. Some states offer maternity policies, other states offer nothing. Disability and complications only polices can often be purchased to offset financial risk. But it is the gap analysis performed by the licensed insurance agent that can help uncover what is best for your given situation, the surrogate, the state where she will deliver, and how these factors impact your individual risk adversity given your personal financial situation.

Another extremely important and often overlooked resource in family building is estate planning. Prior to surrogates going to embryo transfer it is essential to engage an estate planner to draft directives and desires and prepare effectively for any unforeseen circumstances. This provides the most protections for all involved parties.

Building the foundation for treatment is essential. Knowing all available options, researching the viability of each options, interviewing several reproductive specialists to determine if you are in the right place are all very relevant and key factors to consider before patients begin the journey.
When making educated decisions to pursue treatment options, I encourage my clients to take into consideration all the facts. Because making informed medical decisions is the best way to maximize their chances of success and minimize their financial expenditure.

As one of the first infertility consultancies in the United States, Lotus Blossom Consulting, LLC was founded by Mindy Berkson in 2005. With more than a decade of experience at physician’s offices, and egg donor and surrogacy agencies, Berkson assists individuals working through the often-challenging roadblocks of infertility, by providing the best information and resources available to them from around the world – all in one location.

Lotus Blossom Consulting works with individuals on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration clients’ emotional, physical and financial infertility issues and then develops an individualized, comprehensive plan, to help clients make informed decisions and pull together a team of unbiased professionals to accomplish a treatment cycle. Mindy is a sought-after infertility expert and has appeared on countless media programs and speaker panels educating audiences on the topic of infertility, egg banking and surrogacy. For more information about Lotus Blossom Consulting, LLC, call toll free (877) 881-2685, email mindy@lotusblossomconsulting.com or visit the web at www.lotusblossomconsulting.com or www.infertilityconsultant.com.

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7 Weeks 5 Days

So I have finally finished work for the Christmas holiday and now the worrying starts. There are now only 2 sleeps until we go for our early scan. I’m so convinced I’ve just made all this up & there’s nothing to be nothing there.

I know it’s silly, but since the last time we visited the hospital which was about 3 weeks ago I haven’t done any HPT or had any blood tests to put my mind at rest. I have had a few cramps and headaches, but nothing that you would definitely put down to pregnancy.

My friends have tried to put my mind at rest by saying they felt the same when they were pregnant, but nothing is changing my mind.

My husband isn’t sleeping very well as he’s worried too. Hopefully we’ll get some kind of closure on Friday, ready to let the worry start to kick in for the 12 weeks scan after the New Year.

I’m going to try & keep my mind off it over the next few days, with a bit of Christmas shopping with my mum and some Christmas present wrapping.

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7 Weeks

I’ve not blogged for a while as I’ve been busy back at work and I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself. I spent 2 days at work last week for the 1st time in nearly a month & I come away with a sore throat. This week that sore throat has got so bad that now no one can hear me (which some may say is a good thing)

This week has just been a constant worry. How to soothe it without hurting my little bubble, my beautiful little blueberry? With a little help from my twitter friends, OH & a close friend I have been sucking on Jakemans Blackcurrant Menthol sweets, drinking the odd glass of hot honey & lemon & one or two paracetamols. This is soothing it a little so hoping it will go by itself real soon.

Tonight was my works Christmas night out which I’ve dibbed out of due of feeling a bit rubbish, but if I’m honest I was really scared about it. I was so worried about what questions would be asked about my non drinking & my illness! I’m so glad I’m not there.

So here I am, bang up to date, sat under 2 blankets in my pjs, cuddling my teddy, watching Neighbours! Yup, that’s me…this is my Friday night!

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