Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mother's Day



To all the women who are on the baby path, to all mothers, to those who have lost a child, to those who have entered a relationship and are in a role of stepmother, to the men who have wanted a family and adopted the role of  both mother and father, to the grandparents. And grandparents who have by chance ended up being a parent, again. To every Auntie. And to those who time and time again have another year pass without having a title of mother, You hold a special place in my heart, and hold the title of hero.

This day belongs to every person who loves a child, whether it be your own biological or not. When you give love unconditional to any child you deserve a shout out today.

Happy Mother's Day. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Sad news in the surrogacy world.




It's like Déjà vu.
 First in India, now Thailand.....seriously WHY!?

What is it about this journey that governments don't get.
 IPs are being treated as criminals. Governments making rules that have no benefit to them or the surrogate.

Not one person ( surrogate ) has been forced into doing this. It's a conscious decision. And a binding contract made between 2 parties. They know FULLY what they are doing and arevery aware.
The very contact that I have is written in English and in Thai directly underneath. And It's signed by both parties.

I know this article is in reference to Israel, but it's something that affects us all.
Choose your clinic wisely people, get the right insurance for travel and very importantly insurance for baby.
Do the research.
And unfortunately be pre paired for anything.
The rug can be pulled out form under your feet at any time.

I'm truly at a loss for words.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/65-surrogate-babies-born-to-israeli-gay-couples-stuck-in-thailand/#ixzz2qtPnYYi8

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Adrenal Glands Role in Hormone Balance & New Beginnings






I've never written about this nor really mentioned it in any of my past blogs.
Adrenal glad.
I'm sure somewhere I'd mentioned my liver toxins my kidney infection all due to the medication in the attempt to have my biological baby. But never have I mentioned adrenal glad, and it's role in fertility.
I guess healthy mind equals healthy body. And I'm happy to say, this is where I'm at now.
Please remember that I'm in no way a doctor a Naturopath  or have any professional opinions other that my own research and my own personal experience.

Ok, so this is your biology lesson for the day. The Adenal gland is sung ontop of each kidney, they are there to produce certain hormones for us, mainly the production of cortisol & aldosterone, and they also produce estrogen & progesterone. So they're kind of a Big deal regardless of their size, cause they're kind of small.
If you find yourself stressed ( as you do on this fertility/ surrogacy journey) tired, and no energy what  your Adrenals will do is work on pumping certain hormones wanting to help balance you. But, being stress & tired most times leads to a quick meal and most times without you you realizing your quick meal lacks vitamins. Poor food assists in adrenal deficiency. You see your adrenals will work extra hard when needed but, your body's reserves may become depleted, which in hand affects the immune system.

Knowing that I wasn't able to have my own biological child was bitter sweet. That feeling was like a stab in my heart.. But knowing that my body can now start to heal was a relief. Then feeling that relief came the guilt for feeling the relief. Yeah.....Bloody, Damn circle of fire.
Susan Walling my friend and Kinesiolgist has kept me balanced and let's say "stable" On this end.
But then there are things you just need to take controll of.
As long as I've know about my Adrenal Gland I been doing pilates, and keeping "hard" training at a distance.
I've always gone to the gym, and always kept a light flow of excerise in my life so not to weaken my adrenal gland. But believe me, NOT one Doctor mentioned "adrenal gland" and it's role in my fertility.
It was first brought to my attention by my Chinese herbalist ( yes I went down that road too ) the one thing that she said that has forever stuck in my mind is " doctors will keep trying to get you pregnant without really looking at the cause of WHY you can't get pregnant" she spent a months on the "why" and this is where most of my knowledge has come from. NOT from any Doctor..
Some professionals will tell you to excerise others will tell you not too. But if you have major adrenal deficiency chances are getting out of bed will be pretty hard.
Now while I was on the wonderful (said with sarcasm) egg stimulant drugs for ivf, the doctors here in Australia said it was ok to excerise. However when I was in India for egg stimulation it was suggested NO excerise. Ugh!

Personally,  Just remember that exercise   is a necessary part of good health, but when done excessively it can make the situation worse by causing the adrenals to pump out more hormones than is needed. So don't go train for a triathlon but find a balance. Pilates has worked for me and is wonderful. It's low impact, with great strengthening exercise.

Now I'm not some well balanced meditating exercise health fanatic. Believe me. But, 
I'm a massive believer in new beginnings. And every morning is a fresh morning a
new day where I can make new beginnings.
That's the beauty of life, we get to hit the refresh button every 24 hours.
Trust me, I crash and burn. Often. But I now have the tools to get myself back up.
And it's taken me a very long time to appreciate each new day and it's new offerings.
I use to look to others for support, mainly because I was tired of all the crap, and just wanted someone else to fix it for me, take away all that emotional hormonal mental physical pain.
I leaned on my husband a lot. My mum & some friends did amazing things for me. Even the tough loving ones helped me. Although it didn't feel that way at the time.
But I knew deep down what I had to do.
This smash in the face with a baseball bat, emotional roller coaster ride has given me my life lesson.
I have gained my personal power back. Not that anyone took it away from me.
I just gave it away.
I have with some sorrow distanced myself from situations and people so that I can become a new strong healthier version of me.
I'm still not ready to make certain leaps. I know this cause Im clear enough to recognizes the signs in me.
I however have a new strength that I can't help but smile about.
I've spent A LOT of months detoxing for the "experimental" drugs given to me while I was trying to have my own biological baby.
-side note - [ Let me clarify MY interpretation of "experimental" drugs.  1. There are new drugs on the market all the time. 2. No one knows how a drug will affect you. Everyone's different, everyone's body is different, everyone's fertility issues are different. Hell 2 people can look at the exact same sunset and  experience something completely different.]
Detoxing for me isn't just  food or ivf drug related it's chemical, physical and mental.
And for many many months all 3 of these thing were completely taken over by Aliens, so to speak.
I started weight training, I eat a diet that we all know as Clean eating, introducing raw juice and super foods into my every day food intake. Cutting out sugar for weeks at a time, and when I did introduced it again found myself sick and on the loo [ gross I know, sorry.]
I can't stress how important exercise and a healthy diet is.
I decided to rid the toxins from my Kidneys and liver and replenish my Adrenal naturally.
I didnt want to do that by popping another pill. Infact  I don't  want to every pop another pill again. So other than the odd Panadols for a headache that's exactly what Im doing.
I'm now using food to help my life balance.  And the best natural ingredient I've found for adrenal healing is licorice. Weather it be in a form of tea or the actual root. It balance adrenal hormones and let me tell you....I'm feeling wonderful.
- note - don't eat a whole pack of licorice thinking it will help, and don't cheat and buy the chocolate coated ones. [ even though they are so yummy! ]

I Wish  you all a Happy New Year. May each day bring you new Beginning with memorable moments. And as we  Greeks say - πάντα Με υγια και χαρά.
Translated - Always with health and happiness.






Saturday, 28 December 2013

M.I.A

i know i have been MIA, there's a very good reason. Apart from redesingning our shop and adding a new line and working 70hr weeks, ive been researching lots, which i will write about bit by bit in the weeks to come.
I've also been active on our "baby making end" this ride is the Mother Fu#%er of all rollercoaster. as once again we were left crashed,depleted,and devistated, but this time we had a twist added to our rollercoaster ride. as it seems that the Universe/God would like us to experiance Every aspect of this joureny.
Am i ok with that. Well......i have to be. But once again, i hope my foot steps, will help others.
in saying that to those who have emailed me privetly, i havent forgotten you, just taking me some time to gather the info.
but always remember, to those just starting. To Fly, you must first jump.

26-11-13

10 days ago we did a eft. With a new surrogate. Not my choice to have a new surrogate. But it happend  and I had to get over it.
We transfer 2 embryos both a day 5 blast one hatching the other a collapsed hatching. I've done extensive reading on embryo growth. Let me tell you, minuets even seconds make a difference in their development. Dr Pisit chose 2 beautiful embryos, our surrogates uteral lining is perfect. This is all and everything that you can ask for at this stage.  And......
Today we found out  we are pregnant. We finally got our BFP and I can't share it with anyone.
Actually not that I can't. But we decided 10days ago we wouldn't tell anyone that we were trying again. As I said in one of my last posts. It's become  a broken record and I hate hearing myself saying over and over again "negataive"
So we decide that cause no trip this time was needed so lies needed to be told we would just keep this to ourselves. And that's exactly what we did, no parents, brother, sisters, friends. No one.
And we are pregnant.
We still aren't jumping for joy, as our surrogates hcg levels are only 90.82 not as high as high like. But the doctor seem to think all is good and sent her home with her meds and to go back for test as per usual in a week.
If he thought they were low he' ll ask for a test in 3 days.
At this stage all I know is that our surrogate is hungry all the time....
I just can't seem to get excited. I'm so scared that her levels won't increase.
Why couldn't just be high levels, happy surrogate happy IPs and in 9 months
Healthy baby. Is that so hard. Give me a break!
Now in saying all that I'm writing this thinking. You got what you asked for. A positive result. So smile and be happy. And I am. But I can't relax and be excited. I'm holding my breath till the next blood test.
Feels like the stress never leaves you.

1-12-13
It's like this...... We have a positive. A BFP. And I've told no one. Nothing. Nada. I call a friend on Saturday thinking I was gunna tell her. But she didn't answer. Then I saw a friend to and I was going to mention something. But I didn't. And then I realized what I was doing. By not telling them they can't  get excited. Which in turn stops me from allowing my self to be excited. Safe. So not how I envisioned it.  Beta is at 90. Not strong, but anything above 50 is a beautiful positive.
Now we wait a week, Untill our beautiful surrogate has her next bloods.

8-12-13
Telling no one has been hard. I wanted to share it with those who have held my hand throughout this journey but just felt like we needed to to this alone this time.
Keeping busy with work has helped.
Found out a beautiful friend who's journey for a family has been a long hard road is now expecting twins. And boy, let me tell you it's the first time I cried with so much happiness.

Our results came through and wooooohoooo beta is at 2835. Now that's high and we are pregnant. WE ARE PREGNANT!!!!! Our surrogate is feeling hungry ALOT and wants to sleep all day. All good healthy signs.

As for me, I can sleep a little easier tonight.
And in my head I started to work out dates of birth. I never allow myself to think that far ahead. But this time I'm planning at the 8week mark to tell my family on Christmas Day WE ARE PREGNANT!!!

Next stage is the 6 weeks. Where Dr looks for sac, maybe a little flicker of a heart beat. But that is more at the 7-8 week mark.

15-12-13
That feeling of looking at your watch every 5mins but it feels like hours have past.
Wellllllll.... That! Keeping busy during the day is easy. But come 6pm and no email no phone call, I stressed. And in my gut I knew something wasn't right.
V kept checking in with me. But hours had past and still nothing.
I kept clam, and started putting a new plan of action into place. Working on back up plans has become my second nature.
As it turns out. Gut feeling was right.
Our beautiful surrogates Hcg levels had dropped to 150.
This pregnancy will not continue.
Anger,sadness,feeling like we've been cursed, energy levels on empty, how can this be. But more importantly WHY!?!

16-12-13
Emailed Dr Pisit. In short he also was surprised.
V and I spoke extensively as to how I felt. Honestly this lack of control is a Bitch!
I can't change the past, but I have learnt a lot of lessons both in my surrogacy journey and my personal life.
I asked Dr Pisit directly to continue ASAP with a surrogate from his clinic.
I need to be involved in this as much as I can. Letting go and allowing others just doesn't work for me. However in saying that I'm am forever Greatful to Meg and her assistance.
But I need this to feel right for me, and these are my next steps in my path to my baby.





Sunday, 24 November 2013

My opinion ~ India V's Thailand

Exactly what the title says. This is purely my experiance and MY OPINION  based on what I've experienced.

I'm one of the few [of course I am :) ] in a position as an IP where I have experienced the surrogacy journey in both countries. 
Again no need for anyone to get all huffed about what I'm going to write. Each and every IP will experiance something different, however I'm sure that some IPs would share some similarities in each country.
I'm from Australia so this is what was need for me.
What you need to get started.
Once you've chosen you Doctor and clinc.

INDIA
Medical visa which requires  paperwork to be sent to VFS
- must have one IP of Australian citizen
- must be married for 2yrs
- provide marriage certificate
- must be a heterosexual couple
- choose your clinc I went directly to the clinics. No agent. [ but lucky Meg was working at the clinic       I choose ]
- have your "tests"  sent to clinics.
- fresh transfer is the only way to have your biological child, as no shipment of frozen embryos are allowed anymore.
- choose a time frame that suits you and clinic for ET
 - surrogate profiles are sent out. You can pick a surrogate or you can leave it up to doctor to choose.
- Surrogacy visa are required  paperwork application to VFS- provide a Statutory declaration stating you and your husband/wife will
   Lawfully and legally provide for your child born through surrogacy. This must be signed by a JP
- A signed contract of your surrogacy contract. [ original, but a copy my be acceptable. ]
- photocopies of passport.
- $240.00 Aust Dollars for  Surrogacy visas
- once you have visa check if it's valid for 3 months or 12. VFS have been inconsistent in this.
- Fill out FRRO forms and have lots of passport photos for these forms. [ only done once your are in india ]
There are a lot of inconsistencies here too.You can refer to a past blog i wrote "Welcome to the Hunger Games, AKA FRRO

Fresh cycle, Doctor monitoring drugs, and scans. Wonderful. Much better than here in Australia.
  The updates of how your surrogate is medically including scans leading up to ET, are none. You have the choice of wether you meet your surrogate. But you can't meet your Donor.
Egg collection, doctor will come and speak with you and tell you how many were collected and will give you a date for ET. Recovery thankfully is not rushed Dr will advise day 3 or day 5. I've spoken with 2 Doctors in India both say a day 3 transfer is best.


THAILAND. [ donor path ]

- Must have one IP of Australian citizen
- choose your clinic
-  choose whether you go directly through the clinic or use an agent.
   [ I've used Megan Sainsbury ]
- If you have frozen embryos then choose a shipping company.
- Choosing a surrogate  depends on if you go through an agent or clinic. But a surrogate is chosen for  You. 
  Their prep and medical state is determined by the doctor.
- choose your donor [ Caucasian or Thai ]
- dates of cycle are sent
- book your tickets and accommodation.

Going through the process in both countries was very different, Again different clinics may do things differently.

We used a donor, so i don't know what the bed side manner of the doctor was like, but he later came out and spoke with us to tell us how many eggs were collected. And he believes in a day 5 transfer. ( as do i)
If your using a donor, you have a choice to meet with her if you like.
The updates of surrogate are wonderful, ultrasound scans are emailed with a scan of the uteral lining explaining  thickness in detail. Every scan is emailed to you. Now the best part is images of your embryos are sent to you.
It's important to feel this connection we'll to me anyway. Nice to feel like your part of the process somehow.

In India when your baby is born your names as biological parents are on the Birth Certificate. 
This is a big drawing card for India and is what won us over in the beginning. But honestly, now for me, it's simply a piece of paper that sits in a filing cabinet.
In India At this stage applying for exit visa and waiting time is appox 14 to 20 days. Before you can leave.
In Thailand the name of the surrogate mother is on the birth certificate, [which is also the protocol for surrogacy in Australia ]
What this means is that once you apply for your baby's exit visa waiting time is approximately 4 weeks to return to Australia  soon after You can apply for a Parental Order.
For those who don't know, this is a court order that transfers parentage from the surrogate  to the intended parent/s. This means the intended parents become the legal parents.

Based on my experiences, India, was a pleasant surprise. Doctors, nurses were great. Hospital and clinics were wonderful. However for me Thailand wins.  For me is a better place nice environment ( especially since you need to be away for anywhere up to   2, 3, 5 weeks when you have baby pick up. The hospital is gorgeous. The clinic is like being in a friends living room. The doctors and nursing staff have a wonderful energy about them.
There's more to do in Thailand. It's  super clean,  modern, the people have a beautiful peace and respect about them and it's cheaper in terms of accommodation, food, and shopping. 

I'm ending this by reminding you this is my option. I have no doubt that others who have been to both countries for the exact same reasons I have, have experienced something different.
And I'm not saying that I did not have a good experience in India ( regardless of my negative results) I'm simply saying I preferred my experience in Thailand more.

Fact is you want a baby. You will go to the end of the earth to have that. Where that point on the earth is, is your choice. 






Tuesday, 19 November 2013

deep breaths.




Hope.
Wikipedia's definition ~
'Hope is the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or in the world at large. Despair is often regarded as the opposite of hope. Hope is the "feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best" or the act of "look[ing] forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence" or "feel[ing] that something desired may happen".Other definitions are "to cherish a desire with anticipation";

I almost lost it. Hope that is. I almost lost it. I found myself saying for the first time I'm tired of this emotional pain. Im embarrassed and exhausted  of failing so often. I'm drained mentally. I miss having a life, and I miss shopping. Afters days of being in a daze from our negative result. I realised that I'm still breathing, I'm functioning around people, I'm able to go to work. I'm able to be around certain people  and pull off a very convincing act that I'm ok. I'm breathing. It's long deep breaths. But I'm breathing. What dose that tell me. That I'm bloody strong. 
I know I'm not the most positive or hopeful person at the moment. And I'm choosing the people I surround myself with very carefully. It's not because friends don't care. But, it's because I'm over it. I'm Sick of herding the same crap coming out of my mouth and sick of hearing the same response from people. 'Have hope', 'Don't give up'. By all means I love every single one of these people who have said that to me. But I'm just numb. And their words are just not having the same affect as they use to.

After weeks off just keeping to myself and staying off and away from anything baby and surrogacy and only completely focusing on my business( which I have mentally neglected for well over a year). After finding out our sixth attempt had failed 4 weeks ago, I wanted to just switch off and distance myself from everything. No baby news, no emails, no questions, no answers, positives or negatives. However, As it just happens (thanks universe) in the last 3 weeks 4 of my friends have announced they are pregnant, and a family member just had a baby too. As happy as I a for them, and believe me I am. The sadness I felt and have been suppressing for weeks kicked in. And inevitable i finally snapped. And the obvious sadness is visible in my eyes now, so trying to avoid eye contact with people. 
Have I mentioned that all I want is a baby?!, but I feel like I'm planning international espionage. Looking at bank balance, Saving, Planning, talking Visas. And Citizenship, sacrificing, researching, more research, and more sacrificing. 
So, With the greatest of smiles i congratulated all these people. 
as its a beautiful celebration of a new life and family that so many people take for granted.

My amazing hubby and i had a little picnic last weekend our topic conversations are mainly about backup plans. Somewhere in between the chicken and my new low fat salted Carmel brownies, our steps for "what if's" evolved.
Let me tell you, its a wonderful feeling to know that the person who you want a family with, thinks, feels, breaths the same ideas as you. There is no compromise in reference to our family our ideas are exactly the same.....cause everything else we are like chalk and cheese...hehehe,  but we always find a happy medium. 
I think that's how we survive this journey, our selflessness for each other the desire to want the other to be happy. 
We each put each other first. That's what makes this work. 
I'm not going to lie.... There have been moments... Ok LOTs of moments where our relationship had more than a few cracks. But we take it back to basics and remember, we love and respect each other. 
So I may have more than one drink at night to get by.
But. I get by.

You know that felling of going to the gym, working out so hard that for the next few days breathing is and even the action of squatting to sit on the loo is painful. But you know that it's the only way that results will happen.
It's that exact feeling.
I clearly can't give up hoping. I'm to excited about the idea of a baby to give up.



Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Champagne chilling in the fridge...



This post won't take long to write. Our results were negative.
 The 2 Embies that looked perfect did not attach to our beautiful surrogate. So no celebrations, the champagne is still in the fridge the  journey of hope, anger, grieving, frustration still continue. Man!!!!, What a cocktail of emotions. Infact this time I'm so over it I kept a very low key from everyone.
Thankfully the news came while I was redesigning our shop. So I had no choice but to be focused and switched on. At least with the shop I have control.
The one difference I can say is that NOT being pumped full of drugs to produce foilics and NOT being pumped on drugs to support a pregnancy, I'm dealing with this grief as me. And that's a new feeling that I can cope with.
Now......., well now, I've spoken with Meg, & we put backup plans into action.
I don't give up that easily.
 It is what it is. I'm just grateful for Susan Walling who manages to balance me and my emotions and redirect my energies, and grateful to God for giving me the strength to continue.