Thursday, September 11, 2014

It first needs to rain in order to see the rainbow.

   One month from today until the event that *hopefully* is the beginning of changing life as we know it for Ryan and I. My emotions are all over the place as I take it all in and remember every step along the way. It's so hard to believe how far we have come. None of this would be as amazing as it is now without first having gone through some of the hardest, saddest days of my life. I am amazed that Ryan still wanted to be with me, propose to me, and marry me after seeing how sad I could really be. Without his love, support, and devotion, I don't know how I would have gotten through those first months, and years even.
   This December will mark 5 years since I got the initial devastating news and he has been my rock every single day through it all. With him by my side, I was able to break the news to my family, and his family. Both of whom have supported us so incredibly much.
   Having our amazing and wonderful friend offer this gift to us even before we knew what we were doing or where we stood with it all has been more than a blessing. Knowing we had her offer, and her friendship throughout all of the good and bad days made the entire road just that much easier.
   I am so far beyond grateful for everything that has happened so that I can truly appreciate it, and to everyone for their undying love. I owe all of you that have been with us on this journey more than I can ever repay, or truly express.
   I am so anxious to see how it all unfolds. My fingers are crossed that this dream really does become a reality, but if, for some reason things don't work out, my gratitude will never diminish. I will always know how loved and supported Ryan and I have been, and that is priceless. <3

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Completely Overwhelmed, in the Best Way Possible

   To say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement. To say that I am filled with joy and gratitude is also an understatement. Honestly, there are no words to truly describe the way I have been feeling these past couple of weeks.
   Things are moving right along and we couldn’t be more excited. I am so happy, proud, and thrilled to say that we officially don’t have any more appointments or steps to take between now and when we begin hormones for the egg extraction! We have made it through all of the rigmarole involved in surrogacy leading up to actually creating a baby!
   We had our last appointment a few weeks ago. We brought in our legal agreement and excitedly handed it over to the doctor for his approval. He looked it over and gave us the go ahead. We are not able to begin any actual steps in the egg retrieval (IVF) process until we have the legal agreement approved by the doctor at the clinic, so, of course, we were very happy when that was all done.
   That last appointment was exciting for other reasons too. We signed all of our contracts that are required by the clinic with our surrogate and her husband, and went over everything that is going to happen once we “begin” working on getting pregnant! It’s still so surreal to me that we are actually talking about getting pregnant. It’s not in the distant future, or something that we are going to one day do, it is really going to happen, and soon!
   I will need to take hormone treatments at home. We got a lesson in how to do that, which, if you aren’t aware, is injecting a needle into your belly every day for up to two weeks. I am lucky in that regard because some women need to do it for up to a month. But whatever levels they test, mine were sufficient to only need the hormones for two weeks. I am grateful for that as I hate needles, but really, in the big scheme of things, it’s very insignificant. Since I turn into a blubbering baby at the sight of a needle, there is absolutely no way I will be able to give them to myself so Ryan will be the lucky guy.
   At that same appointment, he had to give me a practice needle… I wasn’t sure how that was going to go but we both did great! Since our surrogate was there with us, I held her hand tight and squeezed my eyes shut while Ryan worked up the nerve to give me a poke. He was calm about it until the second before actually injecting me. With my eyes closed tight I was more attune to his voice, and just before he did it, I could hear his nerves giving him a challenge as he said, “I’ve never stabbed anyone before.”
   Haha!! Oh man… I just thought, Do it already! Then he did, and it was totally simple and quick and easy. The nurse let us know that when doing the real thing, he will be injecting something into me (the practice needle was empty) so it might hurt a little more and take a few seconds longer while he makes sure he empties the needle. I will bruise and have marks all over my belly… a small price to pay. They will make me crazy though, I hear, and that is what I am most nervous about. I pre-apologize to everyone for any outbursts or bitchiness I display. And that was it!
   When we left the appointment, the nurse said she will see me next when I am coming in for blood work and an ultrasound, when we start with the hormones! The hormones are ridiculously expensive and are not covered by insurance, so again, we really need, and are grateful for the fundraiser.
    And speaking of that, it has got me so overwhelmed. The past couple weeks have been significant as the weather has grown colder and school has begun. Everyone seems to be gearing up for fall, and therefore, thinking about Thanksgiving. The fundraiser is on Thanksgiving weekend so I guess we are also on people’s minds.
   We have received a lot of prize donations and sold some tickets, and a lot of people have been asking me what else we need, how things are going, and sending us all of their best wishes. Every single time someone says something to me about it, I am reminded that I have told the world about this hugely personal experience in my life. And every time, I am both a little embarrassed and also very proud of myself. I feel embarrassment because we need to have the fundraiser at all. I wish we were made of money and could just do it all without having to ask for help. Unfortunately, that is not the case and we do need the help. Remembering that brings me to feeling proud of myself for having the confidence to be able to share this journey, the ups and the downs with my family, friends, community, and the rest of the world. It is definitely not easy, but I have had the assurance from more than one person that this blog has helped them in their own life. That makes it more than worth it. It is also so incredibly humbling to know how many people are out there thinking of little old Ryan and I, and rooting for us to succeed. It’s a truly unique and blessed feeling, one that I just cannot describe.
   All of the people behind us, most of whom know either Ryan, myself, or both of us, but there are also others who don’t know us at all and are helping us out to try to create one child and that  is something I never really understood the gravity of until now as it all comes to fruition. This baby, if we are successful in making one, is going to be a true product of love and compassion.
   Although we are not making a baby the “old fashioned way” and that has been hard to deal with in and of itself, I am now realizing just how wonderful all of this really is. I have always believed in the goodness of humans and the power of people caring for people, and that is the kind of world I have wanted to live in. As things in life became more and more complicated the older I got, the less and less I believed that such a world could ever really exist. I am now a believer again. People do love people, and the world doesn’t have to be such a horrible place. Strangers have been beyond kind to us, to people they don’t know, for the sake of a baby that might not ever make it into this world. People from my childhood that I didn’t think knew I existed any more have gone out of their way to help us out. And those that I thought I had lost touch with, or thought perhaps our friendship was over, have stepped up and reminded me that it doesn’t matter how often we get together or if we do at all, this dream is still important to them too. It’s sometimes just more than I can take so I am so sorry if I respond to any of you in a nervous or awkward way.
   Sometimes I just can’t believe that this is my reality. And, of course, not to mention our family and friends, who have been close with us from the very beginning. The love and support is hugely appreciated and does not go unnoticed. I can never adequately express our gratitude. But Ryan and I truly, from the bottom of our hearts, thank each and every single one of you, those who read this, those who pray for us, those who have sent money or prize donations, bought tickets, and plan to come to the fundraiser… all of you! We are completely overwhelmed by all of it, because of all of you, in the best way possible.