Wow! This is the longest I have gone without blogging. Here is a list of my excuses:
1. We are living with my parents this summer while we build our new home
2. Darren hurt his back really bad and is currently getting spinal surgery
3. I have twins
Jessah at Dreaming of Dimples has been in the blogging world forever and recently brought home a gorgeous baby boy. She is inspiring and has been fighting this nasty battle for years. She recently posted something that I could totally "amen" to. She wrote about how she will never forget the struggles and doesn't want her blog to just turn into another "mommy" blog. She feels a bit at a lost of what to do with the space. She wrote "Pain inspires more than happiness."
I never really thought it about that, but it's so true, at least for me. When I was in my weakest moments of failed treatments, early miscarriages, and then losing Jude and Brinly, I personally could only relate to pain. I know there are several women with different personality types that are struggling with infertility and are genuinely happy for anyone who gets pregnant, but I was in a much darker place. For mental health I had to unfollow blogs of people even going through treatments because it was too much for my heart. I just needed the mommies who had known loss this tremendous as well. I know my case was extreme, but I'm so sensitive to those old feelings that I don't want my blog to turn into a place that followers cannot relate to. So I'm a little lost myself in my own blog. Here's a little update on our life the last year...
August 24th marked the 1 year anniversary of when we spread Jude's ashes with the family and then surprised everyone with our gestational carrier Becky for the first time.
We are nearing Noah and Beckom's 1 year birthday which will be November 14. I can't believe it. We tried for 4 long and hard and nasty years to be parents to live babies, and here we finally are 9.5 months into it.
I have been MIA for so long, I wanted to answer some common questions people ask me (I'm an open book and love helping spread awareness about infertility and options). Feel free to email me or ask questions in the comments to, I love answering:
Are they identical?
Nope. 2 embryos were transferred. Beckom has blue eyes and is about 1 inch taller, Noah has brown eyes.
Are they genetically you and Darren's babies?
Yes. When I did IVF the 2nd time, we had 9 embryos. We transferred 3 and froze 6. Noah and Beckom were frozen. It is literally the situation of our bun, her oven.
Typically the term surrogate means the surrogates eggs/husband's sperm. Gestational Carrier is when the woman carries the couples embryos. Many people do not think the babies are connected to me, which is fine. It's a confusing situation (specially for older people). Science is amazing.
Was it hard on you that you could not carry your own child?
No. If you would have told me when I was 20 I wouldn't carry my babies I would have been sad. When I held Jude in my arms knowing he would have survived in someone else's healthier body, I wanted so bad to have given him that. Becky was an answer to prayer in the most amazing way. I knew my babies were safer with her. I cried once, feeling bad that I could not provide that for them, but out of love for them, I wanted them to be in the safest place they could be and that happened to be someone else's body. She worked really hard to include me in their kicks and flips. It gave me a really unique experience because essentially I got to "feel" like how the husband usually does-excited and out of control watching babies grow in someone else's body.
Did you nurse them?
Kind of. I was able to induce lactation and got a full milk supply, but wanted to make sure I was dividing it evenly since they were preemies. I pumped 97% of the time, 6 times a day, and would sometimes comfort nurse at night. I weaned once the boys turned 6 months, to give my body a break from the 8 pills a day I was taking to keep the supply going.
Do they sleep through the night?
Miracously Noah and Beckom started sleeping in 8 hour chunks through the night at 3 months and are still going strong (about 12 hours now). We never get up once we put them to bed. I know we got lucky in this department but we deserved easy babies!
Will you use a carrier again?
I am planning on doing an FET soon. We are so done with infertility and treatments that we want to move forward and close the door on all the "what ifs" forever. I always wanted to have my kids back to back. After much research and thought, I'm going to go an extreme route and get a surgery called a TAC. Basically, they do a C-Section cut and tie my cervix shut with a thick band. Apparently my water breaking early is almost impossible with this surgery-which would allow me to carry to term. I could do a traditional cerclage and was given a 75% chance to carry to term (I could do this cerclage in 1 day); the TAC takes up to 2 weeks to recover and eliminates my chance to have a vaginal birth, but it gives me 95% success rate to carry to term. Honestly, I would have done IVF this summer, but the TAC isn't covered by our current insurance and costs 7k out of pocket. Darren and I both felt that patience would be a good choice. We have 2 babies. We are not in a rush. I can wait till January to get the surgery and then a few months after that to TRY. Notice the all caps on TRY, we know there is no guarantee an FET will work, and we accept that. Any child now is an added bonus.
Does the carrier see the boys?
As we were friends before we wanted to keep a very close relationship. Becky and Tom love our children to death and we love them for it. We see them a couple times a month and Becky will actually be watching them 1 day a week when I return to work.
Are you afraid to be pregnant again?
Of course. Its kind of like people that have been in horrible car accidents-they are scared to drive. This time though the doctors know the issues and precautions will be in place. When we made the decision for me to get the TAC our MFM said it was like I was putting on a helmet and bubble wrap to be extra safe. I did love being pregnant and would love the life experience of being able to carry a baby to term. I never have lost that biological desire.
So many topics I want to write about-their sweet baby dedication at our church, their relationship, my heart, but another day <3
Have you read this blog? She got a TAC and has had successful pregnancies after many losses, including a second trimester twin blog.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for the update. I've checked daily to see how you all are doing. So glad to see you are doing well and your boys are doing amazing.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear about hubby's back...I hope he's on the mend soon!ReplyDelete
Even if this place becomes another "mom blog" - it's your journey, and you are a mom...so, it kind of makes sense!? I wouldn't beat yourself up about how life has changed! It's so awesome and incredible in so many ways!
Glad to see an update. Keep on writing! :)
I read Jessa's blog too and here's the park I guess where I felt slighted. My first preg had it's complications and of course I'd gone through years of IF prior to that child, but after she was born I also didn't want to turn my blog into a "mommy" blog and instead stuck to some of the major milestones, but blogged less and commented more. I needed those who were crying, praying, struggling day after day to know that was there. After Jessa's baby was born, and don't get me wrong, I know it was a rough start and she had to take care of herself and the baby, I felt abandoned. Okay, you have nothing to blog about, but I didn't see the comments anymore either. I think on my blog I have one from her.ReplyDelete
I get I conceived twice with injections and IUI and to some who've had IVF, surrogacy, and DE that's the same as natural BFP, so maybe there's little sympathy for me. However, I've now had a major loss and I am very confused and I'm TTC again and very confused, loss, guilt, etc. You've been amazing at reaching out to me considering we did not know each other prior to my loss and I'm glad to see your post and know where things are with you. The book you sent me has been invaluable to me. Thank you! Thank you for not leaving those behind even when IF isn't the focus of your life.
I also want to close this chapter. IF has been nothing but a nightmare, nothing I ever even imagined it would become, but I want to try and succeed or accept the living child I do have and close my TTC chapter while continuing to support those who are still begging, hoping, and praying every day.
I'm glad you blogged and I'm glad you're open with where you're at. I hope TAC is successful and you can complete your family the way you want to. *hugs* I also hope nothing I said here was out of line. Feel free to delete my comment if it was. I mean no disrespect to anyone.
I think back to back is a great idea! I waited 3.5 years after my twins and it was hard to get back into baby stage. We also "tried" for a year and a half, so I didn't feel too rushed. Wishing you so much success with your FET!!ReplyDelete
Love the update - love all the answers! Excited for your upcoming surgery! Good hearing from you againReplyDelete
Ugh so I discovered if I post a comment on my phone and then back up to Bloglovin again... it eats my comment. SO I'm trying again. I love what you write. After my miscarriage I only wanted to read blogs about others going through the same thing. Forever, I only read IF blogs, nothing with pregnancy and motherhood. Even now, I don't read or comment much on motherhood blogs because... I don't know. I don't know what to say. I'm trying to be better about that. I've always loved reading your blog because I love your honesty and raw emotion. I can't believe those boys are almost a year old. Where has the time gone?ReplyDelete
Great to hear from you :) Prayers to Darren!ReplyDelete
The TAC sounds amazing, I have never heard of it! I was wondering, how do they do the FET with your cervix tied shut? Also, do they remove the band after you carry to term, or will it stay forever? It is so good to hear an update from you!ReplyDelete
Your family has a special place in my heart. I think it's a combination of the fact that we are both from Oregon, and that your story has gone through such heartbreak with a pot of gold at the end. I appreciate you sharing with us, and wish you the best as you move forward possibly extending your family. Science truly is an amazing thing! I've never even heard of a TAC, but it sounds amazing!ReplyDelete
I had a TAC in the summer of 2009 after we lost twins in early 2009 at 24w1d (they lived 3 days) due to IC and we had a healthy baby boy born in 2010. I did not have any issues during my TAC pregnancy.ReplyDelete
Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work.ReplyDelete
Exciting to wait for the next post about your sweet baby dedication <3ReplyDelete