Pills & serums & needles – OH MY! Part 2 of my gestational carrier journey

It’s been on my mind for weeks now to write up part 2. I’ve done a little updating of the process or more of my progress as the weeks have gone on via social media (mainly Instagram). If you missed our video or part 1 be sure to pop over.

Since we let everyone in on the news in April we’ve had lots of people come up and comment to us and not so many ask about specifics or the process. I am always surprised when I am asked these questions that people don’t realize needles are involved. Being involved in the process it wasn’t a surprise for me but I didn’t realize people didn’t know this.

Being a gestational carrier and getting pregnant with another couples baby involves A LOT OF NEEDLES. A LOT. ha! 

Before transfer day even arrives (which is the day they implant the embryo) a lot of blood work has be done. They check and recheck me for everything. Then they check me a few times right before the transfer day to make sure I am not pregnant (it happens they tell me!). After transfer day the first blood draw is to see if I am pregnant and then also checks my hormone levels if I am. And that’s just a small portion of the blood work part of the process.

process of carrying another couples baby

No big deal you say? To most it probably isn’t. But I am NOT A FAN OF NEEDLES! LOL! Since I was a teenager and needed to have any blood drawn I would either faint or come really close. Just the sight of a needle in the dr. office or on the TV screen would set me off. Woozy feeling, light headed, pale in the face….. not even joking! After multiple bad experiences I learned a few tricks. One of them being not to look at the needle AT ALL and breathe…. remember to breath.  Luckily I never passed out at the clinic while getting my blood drawn.

Here’s the kicker. When learning about and being a approved to be a gestational carrier I found out it involves a lot of shots. Which I knew, but to what extend I was oblivious….but at one of my appointments the Dr. showed me the needle…..Oh my gosh I couldn’t believe now LONG it was! I am sure the shock showed ALL OVER MY FACE.  I also learned that this super long looking needle got pushed into my booty everyday for 10+ weeks….and sometimes twice a day. The Dr. just laughed and said it’s not as bad as you think. My reply was “I don’t have enough back there for that long needle.” Again, the Dr. laughed.

I remember my head swirling with all sorts of thoughts and then almost at the same time feeling a peace and calm. The kind of calm that just takes over and says “you’ve got this”…not the I am woman hear me roar, get up and kick butt type of you got this but a strong, steady, assurance that sort of takes over and pushes fear out of the way. That no matter what comes the reality that I knew I was supposed to do this was so big that it didn’t matter….it would be ok.

Onward we went.

The few weeks leading up to transfer day the shots started.

A few meds, some serums and needles – OH MY!

gestational carrier journey

 This became my daily routine.

My basket full of meds, and serums and needles. All handy to take at the set times of day.

Every morning one shot in my rear.

Did I do this myself? HECK NO!

I asked my husband to be involved in the process and do this part. The clinic gave us one on one instruction including permanent marker circles on my rear so he knew where to “aim” the needle. I KNEW I couldn’t do this part by myself. The first shot he went to give me I was doing all my breathing, not looking at the needle and trying to be “brave”. He laughed and giggled and got a little nervous doing the first one. He held it in his hand like he was throwing darts and aimed for the middle of that circle. I stood there waiting for impact and getting light headed. By the time he actually pushed the needle in and plunged the serum through. I headed straight for the bed in a cold sweat. LOL! I am sure it was quite a sight!

Day 2 went about the same. My husband had his doubts on whether or not I could handle this. Especially since we had about 11 more weeks of this go. Onward we went. We were in this whether I broke out in cold sweats everyday or not! :)

my journey as a gestational carrier part 2

The faster he got at the process the better it got for me. A week or 2 into doing it everyday and we were pros. No more dizzy head, cold sweats, or me bolting for the bed. A few times a week I had to have 2 shots a day. One with a VERY THICK serum that took longer to push through and left knots under my skin at the injection sight.

I bruised a lot. I had big round bruise spots on both my bum cheeks that were purple. We switched off everyday which cheek got the needle injection. Often my low rise jeans hit just right on the spot. There was a no spanking mom on the bum rule for months. Brushing up against anything or anyone passing by I cringed. It was a tender, tender spot. Getting to church early enough to sit in the soft seats was a must. One week we didn’t make it early enough and had to sit in the hard chairs. That was a long hour of sitting there. LOL! At this point NO ONE knew anything that was going on but I am sure if someone knew they would have offered at least me their soft seat.

Why all these meds and needles? Well they prep my body to

1) be ready to get pregnant – fluffs up my uterus lining wall to be nice and thick

2) prep my body for transfer day

3) help my body accept the embryo

4) help to make the embryo “sticky” in my uterus and keep that growing baby in there

takes a lot of needles to carry a baby for someone else

The above photo documents the day I had my last self injected needle shot (well husband injected shot). I had a series of monthly calendars that spelled out exactly what med or shot I had to do that day and if I needed done in the AM or PM. I loved crossing off those days and counting down towards the day we were done with needles. But also loved that each day crossed off meant another day pregnant and that little baby inside me grew another day bigger.

When we reached the end of our the self injected shots we estimated about 100 shots or 100 needle pokes in my rear to make this miracle happen for this couple. And that’s not counting all the blood draws and needle pokes in my arm. That also doesn’t include any needle pokes that the parents had to go through to harvest the egg and create their embryo.

It’s an amazingly long process that involves a lot of miracles, doctors and prayers along the way. Once I hit about the 10 weeks pregnant mark I was turned over to my regular OB and it’s been a “normal” pregnancy. Normal meaning I have once a month checkups just like most other pregnant ladies. No complications. Regular length and level of morning sickness. No extra shots, meds, etc once we got past that mark!

I’m now a little over 6 months along and feeling in the “home stretch”. By the end of Summer it will be GO TIME! The parents are so excited and feeling like these weeks will go fast. I have to agree.