Monday, May 21, 2012

Unexpected Ending...

Devastation.  Our pregnancy journey has ended.  My 8 week appointment showed no heartbeat or growth past 6 weeks.  Tomorrow I will have a D&C.  We naively did not expect this coming at all.  I had falsely assumed that the biggest hurdle would be becoming pregnant and not staying pregnant.  The doctor reassured me that my body had nothing to do with this loss; rather, it was likely a chromosomal imbalance but of course, I cant help but think I did something wrong.  Time will help with the emotional pain & numbness I feel now.  I only hope for some other miracle to happen for the boys where they can be parents in the near future.  But my journey in becoming pregnant has ended. I wish you all the best in your pregnancy dreams & hope for nothing but dreams to come true for you all!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

7 Weeks Along

Well Ive attended two prenatal yoga sessions now and alls I can say is Im a bit rusty on core strength.  Granted I have never done yoga in any sense before, so this is all drastically new to me, but I had little idea of just what was in store.  My ADD doesnt allow me to enjoy the 'breathing' parts of class, which for prenatal'ers includes the use of mats to lay down and 'relax your eyes' for about 5 minutes.  Clearly you are supposed to let your mind be free of thought and concentrate on your breathing.  I, however, cannot seem to accomplish this as my mind floats from thought to thought - primarily focusing on what I am going to eat next...  Overall, I can see the benefit of doing the yoga - both for stretching and strengthening the body.  I look forward most to the Wednesday evening classes, as I already determined that is going to be my 'date night' out.  I am going to stop in at my favorite restaurant, which is near the studio, and treat myself to dinner out!  Woohoo! Oh the little things that make me happy!  Nothing has developed prego wise.  Still not feeling sick or any 'bad' symptoms.  I have noticed an excessive amount of dreams at night which Ive seen from everyone that that is pretty common for some reason.  My energy level is up and good as Im walking about 5 - 6 miles a day.  I have on rare occasion taken a short catnap, just about 30 minutes, but it feels good. I dont think that is prego related, just me wanting to snooze for a minute or two!  So far no real cravings or aversions to positively identify but I have had a thing for healthy snacks: salads & veggies w/ dip.  So far so good in this journey.  I cant help but think Ive been given a gift of an easy **knock of wood** pregnancy as a small repayment for the gift I am giving to the BDs...  I believe strongly in fate so that is what I am sticking with!  Our next appointment is this upcoming Friday where I will get another ultrasound & a full gynecological exam.  Until then... just lounging & baking the baby!

No real baby bump yet!  A picture from this week, only 7 weeks along...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What you do for surrogacy...

Just a little something more to add to my resume... BD1 & I using the First Aid station at the Cleveland Indians stadium during the game to give me my Prog-Shot.  Yup, thats right, shooting up (legally, ha) at a professional baseball game.  Most people try to sneak in food snacks or water into the game, but we snuck in needles & my baby-making juice.  As BD1 was shooting me in the bootie, he commented, this will be something we have to tell the kid about...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Seems like all I do is wait...

I had no idea just how stressful & how much patience I would need for this pregnancy...  It seems like all I do is deal with two week waits.  Although there is absolutely no indication anything is wrong - heck, I was just at the doctor on Friday and had great news from the ultrasound - I find myself now anxious for the next checkup & ultrasound on 18 May.  I know this is what everyone feels during the first trimester, but for some reason, I thought I would just skip over all this and just truly embrace being pregnant.  Instead, what I find is that I keep saying to myself, "oh I will feel much better once we get to the second...third...fourth beta...first ultrasound -- now the 2nd ultrasound."  I keep delaying my moment of embracing pregnancy UNTIL ________ (fill in the blank).  I THINK once I get to my 2nd trimester, then I will feel more relaxed.  So far **knock on wood** still no morning sickness or extreme exhaustion or such.  The only 'symptoms' I have is that my face is more rough (almost pimples) than normal and my body size is changing.  I dont know about actual weight gain but I have noticed that my pants are a bit tighter in the hip area.  My clothes still fit relatively well in the waist area but are a little tight around my hip bone area.  So intrigued to see how my body is going to change - hopefully for the better - during and at the end of the process!  Wednesday is my first prenatal yoga class and Im excited but yet nervous. I have never done yoga before so this could be interesting...

Friday, May 4, 2012

First Ultrasound

We nicknamed our anonymous donor, "Miss Singleton" because we had said all along the way, "we only need one, we only need one."  It was a close call there for a bit and she appeared to have taken her name seriously when she only gave us THREE eggs total from retrieval, but you know what?? We only needed ONE!  And today at our first ultrasound, we have confirmation of our ONE!  One baby in there with its heart beat flickering!  Everything looked great from what the doctor could see today.  Our next u/s will be in 2 more weeks, which will put me at 8 weeks along.  Until then I was given clearance to begin prenatal yoga and simply continue as Ive been doing. Which has been super easy so far as I have still not experienced a lick of pregnancy symptoms.  I have read on some of you girls' blogs that the nausea set in around 6 weeks which I'm at now so maybe it will kick in or maybe I wont experience it at all.  Time shall tell!

I took a picture of my belly yesterday which was exactly at my 6 week mark.  I decided 6 weeks seems to be the good starting point of taking weekly belly shots so I can monitor my growth. I will admit, I am so excited to see my belly grow into a true belly bump.  Last night as BD1 was giving me my prog shot, BD2 commented, "OMG, you totally already have a baby bump!"  Unfortunately, I had to explain to him that my belly is 'skewed' by the time the evening comes (this was after 9pm) and it was only bloat.  I then showed them the belly picture I took in the morning and they were shocked just how much bloat can occur by the end of the day!  One of these days Ill wake up with the belly bump and it will stay for the day!  I needed to gain weight when this journey started as I was about 10 lbs underweight due to stress of my job in D.C. and not eating good nutritious meals.  Thanks to BD2's cooking, I put on the 10 lbs in the few weeks leading up to and immediately after the transfer.  My weight has stabilized in the last two weeks so Im going to start the "official baby weight gain" from the point Im at now - a nice healthy weight that I was back in the stress free days of life -college, ha!

                                                 So my 6 week shot in a tanktop & shorts!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Read. Write. Have Baby

I had read the book "Eat Pray Love" years ago but never actually came around to watching the movie.  Because Im an uber nerd who loves to read (I've already devoured well over 10 books in the last few weeks) & also because it is a good place for me to write, I usually made a pit stop at the local library every day for some "me" time.  I happened to see the DVD on the rental rack for the movie so I decided to have a movie night last night.  I chuckled within the first 30 minutes of the movie thinking how much "Liz's" journey measured up to mine... 'a year off in search of herself.'  I suppose I can incorporate the "Eat" part into my journey here as BD2 is a phenomenal chef but I appropriately retitled my journey as "read. write. have baby."

                           ****Tomorrow is the our first ultrasound****

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stretch Mark Cream

Just thought of something tonight....

1) What kind of anti-stretch mark creams do you all recommend?  [HOLY CRAP - I typed that I happened to look up at the TV in the background and see that a Mederma commercial was playing. A sign??  BTW... I notice that when bloggers type out name brands of things they put random periods in the word like 'Med.erma'... am I supposed to do this? Whats the point?]

2) When am I supposed to start applying said anti-stretch mark creams?


And we have movement...

I figure at this point, three days in a row can not be a jinx or coincidence...rather I might be on to something.... Sunday morning, BD1 & I went out to breakfast with BD1's papa and I had good old fashion oatmeal and a cup of decaf coffee.  Nothing crazy but different than my standard peanut butter toast & cup of decaf tea that I have had consistently, every morning for the last 4 weeks.  And shortly after breakfast, we had movement... Yes you have got to know what Im talking about by now... (think about it relating to constipation...) So yesterday I went to the store and bought instant oatmeal and had a bowl of that and cup of decaf coffee for breakfast.  Success again!  And yes, today, day 3 of my trial also followed up with success.  Which makes sense due to coffee being something that has always kept me regular in the past. Im not sure why I ever switched to tea anyways because Im totally a coffee drinker.  But LADIES! IM ON TO SOMETHING!!  OATMEAL & CUP OF DECAF COFFEE!!  DO IT!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Beta #4 - Reassurance

BD1 snuck a peek at my chart when the nurse was drawing my blood and noted that today's 4th Beta test was appropriately, officially named "Reassurance Check."  And actually our 3rd Beta we had last Wednesday was also a reassurance check, hah.  Basically we are such a pile of nerves during this waiting period until our u/s on Friday that we have needed several of these checks to ensure our sanity.  Of course the lab took forever to get the results from my 7:45am blood draw, so they just called now, right around 4:30pm.  My number was 18,800 -meaning the number has been doubling every 64 hours which is fantastic because at this point with the last level being at 5200 normal is to double between 72 - 96 hours.  So all is going well!  Now just a few more days to countdown until Friday!!  I still am shocked that I have had absolutely zero pregnancy symptoms.  I wonder if they will kick in soon or if this is going to be a very easy trimester.  Since I havent had any other kids, I am not able to compare this experience to any other time.  The only uncomfortable thing I have experienced is the constipation.  My nurse said today that the prog shots are the biggest problem so hopefully once I get off the shots towards the end of my 1st trimester, it should get better.  In the meantime, after much great haggle and debate, I have gotten approval from BD1 to take Colace/Pericolace.  Our doctor swore it was safe to take for pregnancy, but it has been a debate because BD1 has been so concerned with any possible negative side effects of the fetus.  The doctor & I had to put him in reality check today when we explained that me being in pain and straining due to constipation is not humane nor safe in itself.  And I had to remind BD1 that the doctor does know best and if they say its safe, regardless of what nonsense one can find on the internet, than its safe to agree with doctor.  Phew!  Hopefully I can get some relief by getting more regular because as everyone knows... constipation pains can be crippling!

Friday, April 27, 2012

My bootie is numb!!

Yes, it is actually true... my butt is numb!  I noticed numbness in a spot on my butt last night but figured it was just temporary as I had been sitting in an awkward position.  I tried not to think about it too much as the night progressed.  When I woke up this morning to my surprise, it was still numb!!  An area about the size of two quarters on one of my cheeks!  I figured it had to do something with the lovely progesterone shots I had been receiving nightly.  Once again, I have been so lucky with the shots.  BD1 for some ODD reason loves giving shots so he gets really excited once 9pm rolls around.  And I will tell you the absolute truth - he is FANTASTIC at giving them!  They barely hurt when he stabs them in and three different nurses have seen my rear end and all commented that they have never seen a 'better butt' after 3 weeks of shots.  No lumps or bruises anywhere! I wasnt too concerned about the implications of a numb spot but placed a call into the nurse regardless.  She called back and reassured me that it was common for some to experience numbness and simply recommended that we avoid that particular spot for future shots.  She told me to continue rubbing the spot and using a heating pad after the shot, to which I exclaimed, "we have never done that! Should we be?"  She was astonished I have been lump/bruise free without using a heating pad at least!  Has anyone else gotten numb spots? Does the feeling eventually return?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Patiently waiting for it all...

What exactly is it all?  I suppose the concrete feeling of being pregnant.  At this point, for numerous reasons, I haven't quite grasped the feeling that I am actually pregnant.  #1- I feel (along with BD1) that it is still too early in the process to get truly excited.  Yes, we have overcome so many hurdles already but we still have a long way to go to truly feel confident that this is a viable pregnancy.  Our 1st u/s/ is in one week and *hoping* we get good news, then maybe it will sink in that there is actually a baby growing in my belly.  #2 - Because I haven't experienced any pregnancy symptoms, it is also hard for me to accept that I am pregnant because I don't have any constant or even daily reminders of it - other than my mind thinking about it constantly, ha!  Our nurse told me to keep everything as 'status quo' - continue whatever I am doing.  So for me that means eating the same breakfast at the same time, walking before lunch, writing before lunch, then eating the same lunch, then reading/writing for a few hours, then eating the same snack before dinner, vegging with the BDs before dinner, eating and then walking again after dinner to help with my digestion issues.  Tonight will be my third night eating prunes before bed in attempt to help with my constipation issues.  I am totally a creature of habit which is why I eat the same foods for breakfast & lunch.  Ironically, I don't mind eating the same thing everyday! My dinners would be the same as well but BD2 is a gourmet chef and he makes delicious meals every night.  I feel like I have reached an impasse, where I haven't yet crossed to the side of the street where I can proudly claim/feel pregnant.  I am really excited for the bump to show!  I am excited to attend prenatal yoga classes!  I am excited to flaunt my pregnancy - but I am just not there yet physically or emotionally yet.  Hopefully with good news at the u/s will bring some relief and allow me to embrace the pregnancy finally.  I didn't think BD1's hesitation with believing we were having a baby would ever affect me.  But it has. I am definitely cautiously approaching each step at a time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beta #3

Its official, BD1 & I have zero ability to be patient.  So naturally we went in for a 3rd Beta level "just to make sure" all was well.  Despite asking the doctor three different times, by the time BD1 got off the phone, he couldn't quite remember the exact number but it was approximately 5200.  Our last beta was collected four days ago and it was at 971, so we are in the right range still!  Naturally BD1 convinced the doctor to let us come in AGAIN for a 4th reading this upcoming Monday.  I cant determine if these unnecessary checkups are good for us or bad... but regardless, it does feel pretty darn good once we get the results back! I am still not experiencing any pregnancy symptoms at this point so I am wondering when they will kick in.  I have done research and found a yoga studio that holds prenatal yoga classes.  I am totally going to sign up for them as all of my research indicates it is really good for both pregnancy as well as labor.  Our doctor suggested I wait until I get a good healthy heartbeat before starting the classes.  Hopefully we will get that strong heartbeat during our 1st ultrasound next Friday.  Nothing much overall to report although today I was quite lazy. Lack of energy, but I think that was just due to me deciding to have a lazy day!  Although I laid around for most of the morning and early afternoon, I did complete my afternoon & evening walk, so I suppose I wasn't too worthless.  It appears that possibly my body has adjusted to the rage of hormones that quickly entered my body; ie, the progesterone. It appears I have stopped growing with more bloat and my emotions have evened out.  Everything is smooth sailing!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Where did my appetite go?

Where on earth did my ravenous appetite go? And where are all of the other pregnancy symptoms I should be expecting?  (secretly, I have been very excited about the crazy food cravings!)  This past week my appetite has dropped off.  Not that I am not hungry, because I am.  But I am no where craving the food I did a few weeks ago.  I think possibly all of the hormones are maybe starting to settle in to my body.  Even my emotions seemed to have leveled off.  Possibly my body took a bit to get used to all the progesterone I was suddenly getting every night with my shots.  The good things is that even when I am not hungry, if you put something appetizing in front of me, I will gladly eat it.  Although I have also noticed at times I am not able to eat as much as I would like. I think that is due to the constipation/gas thanks to the hormones!  I have increased my water intake, began walking daily and as of yesterday began eating prunes to help keep me regular.  There was quite a debacle with what I could/could not take for constipation.  Both things my doctor approved to take were told strictly by the pharmacy & internet research as "no-no's." Like many things in the pregnancy world, it seems you can get two different opinions about whether something is OK or not on just about anything.  So for now, I am going to just stick with the prunes and see if that helps.  Because BD1 is highly anxious and a worrywart, we talked the doctors into allowing us to have a 3rd Beta level check, so tomorrow morning we are going in just to ensure the number is rising as it should!  My first ultrasound is scheduled for Friday, 04 May.  I cannot wait for that first look inside of my belly!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Reflection on dates...

I am a long believer in fate and 'signs', finding nothing to be a coincidence in life. Everything has a meaning.  When I had received word that the transfer date had been moved up to Easter Sunday due to the need to change from a 5 day transfer to a 3 day transfer, I couldn't help but feel my heart flutter in a good way.  See Easter Sunday 2008 was a horribly traumatic day for me.  That fateful Sunday I had been kidnapped & assaulted by an ex-boyfriend.  Clearly that holiday has remained engraved in my heart since that year. So when I found out that exactly four years later I would be embarking on a journey in which I hope to give life to my best friends, my heart swelled with joy.  The circle of life would hopefully return to the beginning - with the birth of a baby.  It is amazing to think back at this exact moment and recognize the growth I have made as a person and strength acquired in the past four years.  I could not feel more blessed that the transfer occurred on this date as I find it to be a way to overcome the pain previously associated with the holiday.  And even better is sign #2.     I learned that if I carry the baby to exactly full term, the birth date is projected to be on 26 December 2012.  Christmas has another 'negative' holiday in my eyes for 14 years now. I was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder when I was 15 years old and it would be over 7 years on chemotherapy and high steroid treatments in order for the disease to go into remission.  The Christmas holiday was always a happy time as a child and teenager - leading up to the Christmas when I was 15 years old as this was the 1st Christmas we celebrated when I was sick.  I can recall laying in bed Christmas Eve depressed and extremely sick and telling my mom with tears in my eyes that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was "to be normal again."  My parents have tried their best for all subsequent following years to make Christmas time joyful & happy but I have never been able to shake that memory from when I was 15 years old.  I totally gave up Christmas about 5 years ago - not even going home to family to celebrate.  And I must say the last several years of Christmas' have also been quite horrible from my beloved dog dying on Christmas and my grandmother passing away on Christmas. I am truly a Scrooge!  However, as soon as I found out that as long as everything goes well, the baby will be born around the holiday, again my heart fluttered.  This could yet again be the full circle of life coming around.  My opportunity to see the joy of the holiday season again.  What better gift could one give than the gift of life??   No such things as coincidences I tell you...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2nd Beta!!

Both BDs joined me today for my second HCG blood work appointment.  The nurse told us that she would give us a call TOMORROW with the results as the doctors office closes shop at 10am and the results would not be back from the lab until 1pm.  BD1 politely let her know that tomorrow would simply no do!  We are way too high maintenance and worrisome to wait that long for results! Quite ridiculous if you ask me that anybody would be able to wait another day for the results. The doctor's office must know just how panicky all of us are at this stage.  Thankfully, the nurse was nice enough about our polite demand and stated she would have the lab call her personally with the results and then she would call us.  1pm the phone rings and its the nurse.... Results in: 971!!!  Definitely more than the 70% increase that our doctor was looking for.  Makes me scared that there is like 14 babies in my tummy!  We already forewarned the office that there was no way we would be able to last the full two weeks until our first ultrasound so we asked if we could come in for blood work mid week.  Thankfully, they are more than happy to take our money :-)   At this point, still no symptoms or side effects from the actual pregnancy (nausea, food cravings/aversions, etc).  Just a very swollen belly & thighs likely from the progesterone - yuck.  I have been walking everyday which makes me feel better mentally & physically.  But overall, I think I am just going to blow up with the progesterone and there is not much I can do about that.  I wish my belly was from the baby already and not the meds!  I cant wait for a true baby belly!

PS.  If anyone is reading this that has their blog published online or such, could you give me advice for how to get more followers? I would love to be more interactive with other women so I can bounce my questions off those who are experiencing things ahead of me!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A baby step forward (no pun intended)

Beta of 361!!  I am officially pregnant! But as you all know, there are plenty more hurdles in the upcoming weeks before there is really time to celebrate... at least by BD1 & my standards! We are extremely cautious about the pregnancy and do not want to get ahead of ourselves in any sense of celebration until it is truly time.  Which means.. waiting for our beta #2 blood work to be done on Saturday (two days of waiting, ugg) and then the fateful ultrasound after that. But of course, I feel happy to know my number is much higher than the 50 the doctors office was looking for.  Of course, one of the first thoughts through my mind was TWINS with that number, but my doctor actually said on the phone today that it is a myth to suspect multiples from a high beta count.  I have experienced no symptoms of pregnancy yet - to my surprise.  I am sure they will hit soon but for now the only negative symptoms I have experienced are from the months of hormones leading up to this day: swelling & weight gain!  I didnt think I would be gaining weight before getting pregnant, but I suppose thats part of this process!  So now just on to more waiting and waiting... I have been mentally and physically in a standstill for the last month and will be for the next 3 weeks until the ultrasound. I found a prenatal yoga class that I want to take three times a week for 'exercise' but I dont want to start that until after the ultrasound confirms a healthy pregnancy.  Until then, I have been going on daily walks around the neighborhood and doing some mild strength training exercises around the house for my legs as they have been most susceptible thus far with swelling. But I have the itch to do more, but I dont want to jinx anything at this point as apparently truly a month of lounging around has done wonders thus far!  In terms of writing my book, I havent gotten too much done lately either. I think about writing everyday but just have not quite had the motivation yet.  I keep putting it off for another day and instead find myself reading or watching television and daydreaming!  But sooner rather than later, I am going to get my butt into gear and pack up the laptop and head to the library and dedicate a few hours a day to writing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Moment of Relief

Through all of my internet research I had learned that 8 days after a 3-day transfer, if an embryo had implanted then this would be the first day that you would would start secreting the hcg hormones used to test for pregnancy. So naturally... I took a HPT and to my utter amazement it was POSITIVE!  I have had all sorts of symptoms over the last week and noticeably yesterday I was extremely moody.  I noticed myself tearing up about three times throughout the day and just feeling over all "different."  But I have been so scared about not getting too excited for something that may not happen that I was absolutely in shock when I saw the results of the pregnancy stick.  I have placed a call into our nurse asking her opinion on whether or not I should let the BDs know at this point.  I figured that I should 'maintain' atleast this positive pregnancy through Thursday when I am going in for my 1st set of bloodwork but BD1 is so terrified of jinxing anything that he simply does not want to even mention the word baby.  I would be devastated if I got their hopes up without cause, so I am waiting to hear back from the doctor about his recommendation.  I know that we are not "out of the clear" until we hear the baby's heartbeat during the first ultra sound which wont be for a few weeks still, but I am allowing myself to become a little bit more excited and optimistic that I could actually be having a baby for these guys! I did research on attending prenatal yoga classes and I think that is something I would really enjoy doing both for physical benefits and mental benefits!  That is something else on the "ask a doctor" list.  I am most definitely going to be playing by all the rules for the next 9 months! This baby is far too special (and expensive!!) to do anything else other than what is absolutely safe!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The dreaded two week wait...

I was approved medically in January 2012 to be a surrogate for the BDs.  It is now 13 April 2012 and I have entered into what is known as the dreaded 2ww in the fertility world!  Two weeks after you go through the embryo transfer to see if you are pregnant.  Doctors will not do the first pregnancy test until two weeks after the transfer, so pretty much you just sit around waiting and thinking about the best case (baby) and worst case (no baby).  It is truly dreadful. Although at this point, the three of us are so fortunate even to be at this stage as we had quite a scare during the process.  We named our donor, "Miss Singleton" because we just need ONE SINGLE embryo to implant and thus grow into a baby.  Boy, we were definitely cutting it close on that one.  Miss Singleton was described as "pokey" during the process.  She was a first time donor for our doctors, which was kind of fitting in a sense considering she has never donated eggs before & I have never had a baby before.  "Pokey" terrified BD1 who is most definitely a Type-A, worry-wart.  He has been careful not to even use the word "baby" yet because he doesnt want to get his hopes up that this will all work out and result in a baby.  We found out that Miss Singleton was about 4 days behind the doctor's original schedule because she was not progressing as quickly as expected.  Not great news, but not terrible news.  Things improved and eventually the doctor felt comfortable giving her the trigger shot as he saw enough growth to determine there would be about 10 mature eggs for retrieval.  8 days ago, I was sitting on the couch when BD1 walked in from work in the middle of the day with tears streaming down his face. Terrible news he said, they did the retrieval and after looking at the eggs up close later, they only retrieved THREE mature eggs.  THREE.  Which is extremely low.  Our hopes were crushed as we still needed the eggs to fertilize and the odds were not with us that we could even get one fertilized egg.  We would know more in 24 hours... Well we got the call from the doctors the following day with miraculous news.  All three eggs had fertilized!  Absolutely unheard of!  Looks like Miss Singleton was going to pull through for us after all.  The doctor chose a 3-day transfer due to the low amount of eggs retrieved so I went in for my transfer this past Sunday, Easter 2012.  Five days later I have read every single blog there could be on pregnancy and embryos and pre-pregnancy symptoms, anything and everything you could think of!  Of course, I already decided that I am going to take a HPT (home pregnancy test) tomorrow, even though it is extremely early.  Why?  Because I know its likely too early to take a test with effective results, but by chance, it comes back positive, I will be elated. If its negative, I can just chalk it up to being too early to test!  The thought of waiting 6 more days for my blood test with the doctors is killing me!  I have symptoms of early pregnancy but also realize the same symptoms can be from the progesterone shots that I am on.  Today was definitely an interesting 'google' search.  I noticed yesterday that I am extremely stuffy in my nose, which just came on all of a sudden. I thought, 'what the heck' so I searched "stuffy nose and pregnancy" and to my surprise, getting a stuffy nose is an early sign of pregnancy due to the change in hormones. And this was not found on a blog where anyone can write this stuff.. it was actually found on medical websites.  I decided tomorrow morning I will take the HPT... hope its surprisingly good news!

How it all started... The background.

I am starting this blog a little behind when this whole process began.  For many years, I have always told my two best friends that I would have their baby for them.  That, in essence, they would be my baby's daddies.  Thus they have been officially (for this blog at least) renamed BD1 (baby daddy #1) and BD2 (baby daddy #2).  Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to be pregnant.  To have the big belly, feel the life grow inside of me and yes, remarkably, I have even wanted to experience the pain of child birth.  I can think of no greater experience in the world than giving birth.  Problem being is that I have never had the maternal instinct. I have never wanted my own child.  Yes, that could change someday, but I am 29 years old so I would have figured that instinct should have kicked in by now.  I met BD1 back in college, 11 years ago and we have been best friends since.  BD1 and BD2 met over five years ago and they have been dating since.  Although clearly not technically legally married, they are more secure, stable and happy than any straight married couple I know.  They have a huge mansion, a dog and each have very successful careers.  The only thing missing from their perfect life is a child.  Which is where I enter the picture.  I have been in numerous long lasting relationships but have still not found the 'one' yet.  My last relationship ended almost a year ago and since then, I have not yet had the desire to begin dating again.  I have an extremely successful career working for the US government in the security field and was living in Washington, DC.  I traveled to Spain in October 2011 for three weeks where I literally rode through the country on horseback.  When I got back to the states I had the feeling that I was missing out on 'something.' What exactly I did not know. But I had the feeling that there was more to life and I was not being bold and going after it.  I searched my inner self for the next several months trying to determine what exactly I wanted to do with my life.  I have led an interesting life up until this point already in my life and in sharing my life experiences thus far with people, most people remark with, "You should write a book about your life!"  I have always held on to this idea and have been telling myself for years that someday, I will write a book.  But I just never had the time to do it with work.  So finally by November 2011 I decided that I was going to take time off of work without pay and devote my days to finally sitting down and writing my life story.  I spent one year in Iraq working for the USG where I made plenty of money, so financially it was not a concern to take off time from work.  I threw around some ideas of where I wanted to move to as I most certainly wanted to get out of the DC area for some time.  Christmas 2011 my grandmother passed away after a long illness.  I traveled back to my hometown in Ohio for the funeral.  I have been living physically away from all family members for many years now so it is rare that I get together with them all.  Being back in Ohio for the weekend for the funeral really opened my eyes.  I spent time with extended family members and spent time with the BDs.  One evening after the funeral, I was telling the BDs about my plans for the future - that I was going to take some time off of work and write my book.  Take a 'life sabatical' if you will.  BD2 thought it was a great idea and suggested that I move back to Ohio for the time, that way I could be around family & friends and well they even had some exciting news to share with me... They were going to begin the process for adoption!  I was stunned with the news as I did not know they had reached the point in their lives where they were ready for a child.  I had tears in my eyes as they told me all of the details; tears of happiness as I knew in my heart there was going to be no better parents than these two individuals.  It was disheartening to hear how long the adoption process was going to take.  I remember one of the first things out of my mouth though was, "OMG, what happened to me being the surrogate?"  They kind of laughed off the question without giving me an answer really.  I returned back to DC excited about my gameplan and excited about the prospect of the boys being parents, although it really would not be in the not-so-near future.  About three days after I returned back to DC, I got a phone call from BD1 telling me that he was down about the adoption process: all of the hurdles in even getting approved, how long it would take to realistically be able to adopt a child, plus the greatest factor of them all - never having his own biological child.  I casually threw back out my offer to be a surrogate mother for them and this time, BD1 responded back with, "Oh Jess, we could never ask you to do something like that."  The conversation continued rather quickly from that point forward and within about 10 minutes, I promised BD1 I would really think it through and let him know in a few days if I was actually serious on the offer.  I was serious and I let him know that I was ready to take the next step in the process.  The next few months were a whirlwind.  Finding a doctor that 'approved' having a surrogate who has never had a child before (this is apparently rare), going through physical & psychological testing to ensure I was medically & mentally fit for this process (I was - heck, I had more screening to work for the USG than to carry a baby!), hiring lawyers to compose the contract (even though we are all best friends, legally I still needed a contract), selecting the egg donor (we were not using my egg as I want no biological ties to the child), getting my cycle regulated with the donor's cycle, starting medication, putting in my LWOP (leave without pay) at work, moving out of my apartment and moving into the BD's mansion here in Ohio and then finally the days have dwindled down to the wait....