Why Surrogate

If you haven’t followed our story for the past few years, it may seem odd to you that we have decided to use a surrogate to carry our baby. This isn’t how we wanted our story to end (or begin,) but after years of struggles, we have decided that this is our best option. One thing I do want to point out is that we will be using my egg and Dave’s sperm, so the baby will have our genetic make up. Back when surrogacy began, it meant that the woman carrying your baby, was, more than likely, using her egg, and the father’s sperm. So, the term for someone who carries the intended parent’s egg and sperm is called a gestational carrier. So, we are using a gestational carrier, but I say surrogate to keep things easy.

I became pregnant in 2014.  We got to hear that wonderful heartbeat at 8 weeks, and I’ll never forget at our 10 week ultrasound she said, “Yes, the baby has grown, but unfortunately its heart has stopped.”  I immediately had a D&C (surgery to remove the baby.) We did genetic testing on the baby to find out it was 46XX, and that made everything more real. A girl. It was obviously an emotional and a terrible time for us, but we assumed we would get pregnant easily after that because it only took six months of truly trying to conceive this baby. We were so optimistic, yet so naive. Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t get the placenta out, and worse, she didn’t realize that for another two months. At that time, the placenta had very much attached to me. So, surgery #2 happened to remove the placenta. Again, we thought, “voila, this is it, we will be pregnant in no time!” Sadly, I didn’t get a period again, and after basically turning into a “Google Girl,” I continually begged my fertility specialist to take another look because I thought I had Asherman’s Syndrome. She laughed, and said there was no way.

Asherman’s Syndrome is very serious, and the doctors don’t talk to you (well mine didn’t) about the risks of a D&C. Asherman’s typically occurs after extensive damage to the uterus. It is scar tissue, and without having it removed, it’s unlikely for an embryo to implant and for a woman to become pregnant. I want to shout to the world… “If you ever have to have a D&C, and I pray you don’t, please know the risks!!!!!!” There is a 25% chance of being diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome after a D&C, yet, so many people aren’t aware of this condition.

After four more months of fertility, absent periods, obsessions with Google and begging my doctor, we decided to get a second opinion. It was the best thing we ever did. We went to Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine and Dr. Debra Minjarez was absolutely phenomenal. She took one look in me, and immediately let us know that I was scarred and had a zero percent chance of conceiving a child. Here we had been spending thousands of dollars on fertility each month in Omaha, and it never would have worked. So, onto the THIRD surgery…. ahhh!!! Dr. Minjarez was able to remove all of the scarring, and said 95% of the time, the uterine lining will return. Sadly, we tried every crazy thing (tons of drugs, hyperbaric oxygen, acupuncture, vitamins, fertility yoga, fertility massages, shopping, lots of wine …hahah… the list goes on) possible to get my lining back, but no such luck.

After two years of fertility, we have learned, that either I will get pregnant with thin lining (it does happen… just not as likely, but there is always hope, right?!) or we will use a gestational carrier to bring Baby Klein to us. We transferred a normal, genetically tested embryo in October, and the embryo didn’t end up attaching to my thin lining. After that, I kept thinking, had I transferred that embryo to a woman who could carry, I would be holding my baby boy in 2016. I’m trying not to be so selfish and give our future babies the best chances of coming into this world. And, this so happens to be the best route.

Please reach out to me if you ever have questions about Asherman’s Syndrome, miscarriage or a D&C. I would love to spread awareness and have this happen less and less. Wow, this was a long post, and too many facts for my liking, but we want you to know why we chose this path. I have met many “thin lining friends,” and that has helped lessen all of the pain.

Here is a link to the Asherman’s Website
http://www.ashermans.org

Announcement from the Klein’s.

After years of thinking on it and writing out my story I have decided to start a blog. This way I can keep our friends and family informed on our crazy ride! We are thrilled to officially announce that we have decided on a surrogacy agency and submitted our application! We feel anxious, scared, crazy, and mostly excited for a new path. The longer you struggle on one path, the more attractive the other road looks, and we have come to that fork in the road where the next path seems more appealing that what we have. The process is much like adoption, and it’s a long waiting game. Our agency, The Surrogacy Center, in Madison, WI told us that the process is typically 15-18 months from application to birth! This means, we could have a baby in our arms by the Fall of 2017! After this much of a wait, that seems unreal and amazing. Our next step will be going to Madison, WI in May, where we will do our psych evaluation (4-5 hours!!!) and meet the team that is matching us. Then, once they find us a match, they will call us, show us her profile, and we will go from there.

The detour to our bump has been nothing short of heartbreaking. But we truly feel that this is where the road turns; this is where we find our hope.

Dave has been amazing though all of this, and has fought this fight right alongside me. Through the bumps in the road, I have grown stronger, and can honestly say that I’ve never been more proud of myself. I have had plenty of days where the tears just won’t stop and the pain in my heart is unreal, but I have also learned that I have more people on my side than I could even imagine. If prayers were the only thing we needed to have a baby, we would have enough babies to fill this house, but I have learned over time, that God has a different plan. I’ve learned instead of asking WHY WHY WHY, ask HOW….. how can I use this to make a difference? How can God use me and my story to help someone else? I have been so passionate through this journey about helping other couples who struggle with infertility. Unless you have struggled, it’s hard for you to fully understand. And, if you have struggled, I am so sorry. I know the pain down deep in your heart. I would take it away if I could, I really would. I wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone in this world. Things like this don’t make sense, and we may never have an answer of “why,” but we will move forward and I promise everything to my heart, that I WILL make a difference. My detour will help someone, I can guarantee that.

I hope you enjoy my blog! I will be using this to keep you all updated. Thank you for your love and prayers.

The Girl That I’ve Become.

 

It’s hard to explain to you
the girl that I’ve become
This chapter in life has changed me
more than any other one
It’s ripped me into pieces and left
me lying on the floor
It’s taken away my pride
It’s stripped me to the core
It’s left me feeling empty
only a broken heart to show
It’s hurt my heart and spirit
more than you could ever know
I’ve been negative about this life,
something I’m not known to be
I’m overwhelmed with bitterness and fear
and consumed with jealousy
The tears roll down my face
Another month gone by
The ending doesn’t make sense
and I wonder if God even hears my cry
But the girl I’ve become is stronger
than the girl I used to be
I’m not even sure the girl of the past
would even recognize me
I’ve fought so many sleepless nights
but managed still to smile
This girl that I’ve become
will be here for a while
No where in my story will they
ever say, “she decided to quit.”
Because I’m stronger than that option
And, oh, my fire’s been lit
With my head held high and fists in the air
I will continue this bumpy fight
I’m not sure how my story will end
but I know it will be alright
One way or another
my baby you will be
you’ll be worth the longest fight
my pain will be set free
The courage I have gathered
has kept me standing tall
The girl that I’ve become will continue to stand
no matter how many times I fall

My Baby You’ll Be

To my unborn child,

One day you will see how hard we fought to get you. I have never, ever in my life fought so hard for something. I won’t give up on you, because I do know that you will be worth it. I can’t wait until the day that i see your sweet face and hold you in my arms. I will rock you each night, remembering my fight, and knowing you were more than worth every single tear.

I have cried so many nights longing for you. I have had days where I couldn’t get out of bed because all i wanted was you. I love you more than anything, and I have yet to even meet you. I promise to give you the best life possible, and I can guarantee you will feel loved. More than loved. I often wonder what you will look like and what will you be like.

I do not know how you will make it to me, and I definitely don’t know when. You may be carried by another woman, and, my sweet baby, that is okay. I will be here for you, patiently waiting, and will get to you as soon as possible. I can’t wait for your laughter to fill our home. You will be beautiful.

My second fertility surgery the nurse said to me, “Honey, if you want to be a mom, you will be.” That statement angered me. How did she know? I was scared at that point and that was almost two years ago. But that advice has stuck with me in the hurdles. I will be a mom. It may not be the way I pictured it my whole life, but I will be a mom, and I will love it. We are so ready to meet you now, but God has other plans. I will trust him knowing that one day he will bring you to us.

We love you so much already, and I can’t wait for you to know your daddy too. Oh, he really is amazing. He has fought so hard for you, and held my hand each day. He has given me shots, dried my tears, and stuck with the crazy me. The crazy me that just wants you so badly. He will be the best dad ever, and will love you more than life as well. We will keep waiting. We love you Baby Klein.

Love, Mommy

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Another Year Failed. 12.30.15

I Failed Again

Yesterday I counted, and we have been trying for a baby for 1,187 days. That’s a lot of painful days. We are two days away from 2016, yet fighting the battle we began in 2012. I will say, 2015 was no where near as painful as 2014, and just for that, I am thankful. Looking back on 2015, here are some things I learned.

I learned that sometimes even the greatest doctor in the world cannot heal you. I’m still glad that we found CCRM, and sought out the best opinion in the country. But still, they couldn’t undo what has been done to my body. They couldn’t make things right. We can officially set aside every experimental option for thin lining, as i have now tried most of them. None worked, but at least we know.

I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought. I’m proud of myself for all that I have learned and the challenges I have faced. If you would have told me 1,187 days ago that the journey would have been this long, I would have gladly passed, but I am still standing tall. Probably taller than I was when this began. I have learned new terms and met many new people, but I am still me.

The girls that grew up with me, are truly some of the best girls in the world. They care and they hurt for me. Two of them became pregnant with their second babies this year. They struggled telling me, but they did tell me. They cried when telling me the news. It’s always a crazy awkward moment when this happens. It’s awkward for everyone; me and them. They’re scared to tell me because they want it for me so badly. They want me to join them in motherhood and share in their joys. Does it hurt a bit everytime? Sure it does! I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. That doesn’t mean that I’m not happy for them, it’s just to say that I really want that for us too. So many girls struggle with finding real, true, honest friends. I have the best ones in the world. I can promise you that.

Surrogacy is as intimidating as it sounds. This year, I have become more comfortable with talking about using a gestational carrier. It is such a mountain, i really don’t even know where to begin with this. I know I need to get more serious, as we do have it in our plans, should our current plans fail. I have read different blogs and even had a conference call with one lady from Pink and Blue agency in WI. She was fantastic! She did put many of my fears aside and explained to me many myths about gestational carriers. They are married women, who had easy pregnancies, are done having their own children and want to give something back to someone while making their financial situation a little better. She said most women will say that the best moment for them is the time they find out they are pregnant, and the moment they see the intended parents’ face as all of their dreams come true, and the baby is placed in their arms. I think we could be as involved as we wanted, and today’s technology will sure help the situation. We can face time during ultrasounds or whatever we choose. I could barely say the world “surrogate” last year, but it has become part of my vocabulary in my world of fertility. I’ve learned to keep in mind that I have one end goal- to be a mommy. If this is the way we will get there, then we will do it. We will try a few more times of IVF transfers on me, and if we continue to fail, we will move on to using a GC.

I can build a friendship without ever meeting someone. I have made a few friends this year that have really gotten me through my struggles. It sounds so crazy, but they have stuck by my side and kept up with all of my appointments. They get my pain and celebrate each success with me. These girls give me hope.

I am one of the luckiest girls in the world. Truly. I have the best husband ever, by a long shot. He has taken so much care of me, and stuck right by my side. Whether he is making me laugh, drying my tears, shooting me with a needle, or helping me “forget” my problems, this guy never lets me down. He’s so cute and has learned right next to me in this struggle. I could never do this with out him, and I thank God everyday for him. I have an amazing family, puppy, friends, job, house, neighbors….. I mean, the list could go on and on. Sometimes it’s so hard to focus on what you DON’T have, and lose sight of what you do have. I have definitely let things slip and had that happen to me. But with a little kick in the ass, I set myself straight! My life is pretty damn awesome. I am so blessed to have what i do have, and I will continue to fight for what I don’t have.

I am fairly certain, that we are closer to the end than the beginning. We have a pretty good plan, and I hope that in 2016 either I’m pregnant or we have chosen a gestational carrier to carry our child. I pray so much that this is our year. I feel silly even saying that, as I have said that the past three years. But, a girl’s gotta hope! I refuse to lose that. I will hope that 2016 is OUR YEAR! Cheers!!!

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10.4.15

IMG_8304It’s becoming more and more real that I will never ever carry a baby. I’m not sure if this is something that will ever be accepted by my heart, but I’m hoping that in time, love will outweigh the hurt. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my alternate route. I think I’ve gotten so wrapped up in “being pregnant” that sometimes I take my eye off the real end goal…. being a mom. I’ve been reminding myself all week that we could make it through this together. Would it be hard? Sure it would! Do i have the best partner to run this race with? Sure I do! And, we have God on our side. Somedays it seems like he’s not on our side, but I can’t help but think that he is truly trying to teach me something here. What is it? I just don’t know. But I think there is more to our journey than pain and hurt. There has to be. There has got to be a better ending. We are in such limbo right now. We continue to get our hopes up about my lining, and each appointment we learn that my body has, once again, failed us. Somedays I carry more anger than I should. I’m working on that.

I feel like I have a mountain in front of me right now. There’s so much to learn about using a gestational carrier. I found out this week that NE and MD are the two least surro friendly states…. awesome! Maybe one day I can change that and help other women. I will have our first call this week with an agency in WI. This should help answer a lot of our questions. The scariest part is the cost…. but we have agreed that it will be worth it one day. Our gestational carrier will, more than likely, live in another state. It’s definitely scary and intimidating coming to the fact that I won’t really be very involved in those 9 months. I may not be able to be at the appointments and see that pretty baby on ultrasounds. We may even (oh I hope not!) miss the birth of our sweet baby, but this will get us what we want. I have got to remember that. This will make us parents. This will start to fill our empty rooms and will start the greatest journey of our lives. We’ve got this! Together, we do!

So, we will continue to work on my lining for now. If we can get it to a decent number, even 5.5, we will transfer one at a time of our two precious embryos. It’s so hard to think that they may be “wasted” on my shitty lining. They are little humans and even their gender has been determined. After that, we will continue on with CCRM to make more embies, all the while deciding which agency we will use, and will start the long legal battle. We will be matched with a gestational carrier and go from there. We will meet her in person and determine if it’s the right fit. It’s so amazing to me that there are women out there that will do that for something. It’s the biggest gift ever, and she could be the person to make our dreams come true. I am praying for her already, as maybe we are just a small thought in her mind. I will continue to ask God to lead us in the right direction, and to hold our hands as we face many scary days. We are thankful for what we do have, and feel guilty for wanting more, but we still want more. We are more ready than ever for you, Baby Klein

The Word… 8.15.15

She said the word. The word I had dreaded and the word that made me me sick not so long ago. The word that suggests that my fear will become a reality. The word that makes me feel like less of a woman and suggests that I will never carry my own baby. I will never feel that deep bond with someone I have never met. The word that means my struggle is heading down another path, and I’m up against a whole new battle. Someone else would have to carry MY child. As if my heart could break even more.

Surrogate. Jab.

I thought my pain was close to being over. Shouldn’t what I’ve experienced count for my misery? Every mother has gotten to feel “that,” right? A kick, a hiccup, a heart swelling from an ultrasound, some gross, sugary drink, an epidural and labor. I wouldn’t get to feel this. Isn’t this all a normal part of a woman’s life? Bearing a child. Should be. That’s what I have thought ever since I was a child. Women carry babies. Women give birth. Women become mothers. And they get to feel something that men will never, ever begin to feel.

Why did she say surrogate? “If you choose this in Nebraska, whoever carries your child, her name will be on the birth certificate and then you will have to petition the state of Nebraska to adopt your baby?” Adopt MY baby? It’s my egg, his sperm, and our embryo. This unfairness pains me. How can someone steal this from me?

I want to cup my hand on my stomach, giving my unborn child a reassuring touch. I want to hum songs and laugh, knowing that sweet baby can hear me. I want to know that someone else in this world needs me. I want all of those terrible things too- the stretch marks, the morning sickness, the sleep deprivation. Bring it on! I would take it all. I would take the chance of losing anything I have ever liked about my body. In a heartbeat, I would. That nine months of fear, I want that. I just want to bear my own baby. Before they even see me, I want them to know me. I want that irreplaceable bond.

I don’t know how to accept this. I’m working on it. I have been working on it for over a year, and every time I fail, the idea becomes more real. Scary, yet closer to the end. I believe that we are getting closer to the answer, even if it isn’t the answer in which I have prayed. I saw a quote this week that said, “I don’t know where my story will end, but I do know that nowhere on the pages, will it say, ‘She gave up!’” I love that. And, I will live that. Maybe this is just my story, my path, my answer. I don’t have to accept it today. I can think on it, sleep on it and cry many long nights on it. But I will make it.

Life isn’t easy. It’s beautiful, but God never promised it to be perfect. We all struggle. Yet, we all have lives that someone else is praying to have.

If having “her” carry my baby is the way my story unfolds, then that is my story. There has to be beauty in this. I promise to inspire someone through this. I will get to hold my baby, no matter how that baby comes to me. I will be a mommy, and I will have so many sleepless nights. I will rock that baby to sleep, and love them just as I would, had I carried them. I love them already. I will love them unconditionally. That is what being a mommy is. So here I am. Waiting for years for you and counting down the days until I hold you. Loving you already.

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