Their Lovin, My Oven

My Journey as a Gestational Surrogate

Gettin’ the Oven Pre-Heated August 31, 2012

Since my last post, I’ve passed a lot of mile markers on the road to our frozen embryo transfer of one or two of M&Ts little totsicles. Every new milestone brings with it a whole new level of excitement. I just can’t get over the fact that I’m going to be blessed with helping another couple complete their family once again – Who gets that lucky?!


A few weeks ago I received a GIANT box of fun in the mail. If you had asked me two years ago what I liked to get in the mail, I can guarantee my answer wouldn’t have been a box of medicine, needles, syringes, alcohol wipes and a sharps container LOL But now, as a surrogate, it’s an important day! Check out my goodies! (In the box, sheesh!)


Box O Fun!


Shortly after the box of fun arrived I FINALLY received my official calendar! For those of you not in the surro world, this calendar dictates what meds I take, either in pill form or injectable form, from now until transfer to give my oven the best chance of being properly preheated and ready to bake an adorable baby (or two.) Once you’ve got an official calendar, you’ve also got an official transfer date!! WE ARE TRANSFERRING ON SEPTEMBER 15th FOLKS!!! Here is our calendar 🙂 And yes, I made it color coordinated so it’s easier to read and remember what to do each day LOL. I’m kinda crazy like that.


Time to make M&T parents!! ❤


The list of medications for this cycle is significantly different and much more extensive than my protocol with E&M. For that journey, I took birth control pills, doxycycline for 5 days before transfer, Estrogen injections and PIO (progesterone in oil) injections.


This time around we are doing the following:

1. Birth Control Pills – Only active pills, no placebo week

2. Lupron injections – A subcutaneous injection into your belly fat (which we know I have plenty of) to suppress the bodies normal hormones involved in ovulation. This ensures that none of my lil eggies make it down where they aren’t supposed to be while we’re trying to get ready for M&Ts lil embie to snuggle in.

3. Prenaplus prenatal vitamin with extra folic acid

4. 1000 mg of calcium per day

5. Folgard – An additional vitamin supplement with folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12

6. Dexamethasone – A low dose steroid that acts as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant to aid with successful implantation of an IVF transfer

7. Doxycycline – An antibiotic taken as a preventative measure

8. Florajen – A probiotic to help restore the “good” bacteria that can be killed off by being on an antibiotic for an extended period of time (helps to avoid common GI issues associated with antibiotics)

9. E2V (Delestrogen) intramuscular injections – This injection (in my tush 2x per week) will help get my uterine lining aka baby hotel nice and fluffy and all ready for M&Ts totsicle

10. Baby Aspirin – Promotes positive blood flow

11. Lovenox – A blood thinner due to testing positive for both an A & C mutation of the MTHFR genes – Google it LOL.

12. PIO (progesterone in oil) intramuscular injections – This injection (also in my tush but daily vs 2x per week) will help my body produce the progesterone hormone needed to sustain a pregnancy until the placenta takes over hormone production at approximately 10 weeks of pregnancy


So yep, it takes quite a lot to make a baby for someone else LOL. Some of these things won’t be easy (like the Lovenox injections) but I am 100000% okay with whatever it takes to have our transfer be a success and to be handing M&T their sweet baby (or two) in May or June of next year. There are only 4 injectable meds so that’s not too bad at all =) Here are the pills I’m taking right now. In the morning, I take: Calcium, Dexamethasone and Doxycycline. In the evening, I take: Another Doxycycline, Folgard, Prenaplus, Calcium, Baby Aspirin and Florajen.


My pills (minus the florajen which is in the fridge)


Handy Dandy Pill Box

I am doing a Lupron injection of 15 units each morning, which will decrease to 10 units tomorrow. I will also start the E2V injections tomorrow evening. I can totally handle doing the Lupron injections myself – They use a teeny, tiny diabetic type needle and are injected into the belly fat…. However, I will never attempt to do my own E2V injection (or PIO for that matter) since those needles are no joke. They’re gigantic. My Hubby gets a little too excited about getting to stab me in the tush 2x a week and then daily once we start PIO as we get closer to transfer 😉

In just over a week on 9/9, I get to fly up to SF to see M&T and have a visit with Dr. Zouves and the dildo cam for a lining check. I am fully anticipating my lining to be praised for being nice and fat (totally a good thing) because I reacted incredibly well to the E2V injections with my last journey =) Not only do I get to see and spend the day with M&T, they are being absolutely AMAZING and letting my 5 year old come with me!! She loves to look at planes in the sky and is fascinated by them so I am hoping she is as excited in real life as she is in my mind to get to fly there with me LOL. The best part is that she has NO idea! It’s a complete surprise 😀 I can’t wait! Even though my trip on the 9th is super quick (flying up there and back home the same day) in just a matter of days after that (9/14) I will get to head back up to SF and this time I’ll stay a little longer! I will fly up on Friday evening, transfer 1 or 2 of M&Ts sweet totsicles on Saturday and hang out relaxing and letting that sweet lil babe snuggle up until Monday afternoon!

We are getting SO close and each day the excitement builds more and more! It’s baby baking time, folks!

<3, Danielle


The Good, The Bad, The Honest Truth May 8, 2011

Filed under: Gestational Surrogacy — Danielle @ 11:51 pm
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First things first – Let me give a huge shout out to all the amazing Mama’s that I know! Our job is by far the most difficult, but  most rewarding job in the world. It’s such a privelege for me to be a Mommy to my two princesses, even when they’re driving me crazy. Happy Mother’s Day, ladies! 🙂

Now back to business… I started this blog months ago for a few reasons… To chronicle the in’s and out’s of my surrogacy journey as a record for myself, IPs, my children and their future children…. To document everything for fellow surros… To be completely honest and in doing so, hoping to educate people on surrogacy and my journey in particular. So, here goes. Here’s the good, the bad, the honest truth (so far.)

Let’s start with a little Q & A. I’ve been getting more and more questions about my surrogacy journey lately and thought that  I would take the time to answer a few of the major ones here for my faithful readers, whoever you may be 🙂

1. Why do you want to be a surrogate? To know the answer to this question, one only needs to spend 5 minutes in my house. Even when they’re being complete and total brats, talking back, testing their limits and trying my patience, I absolutely love and adore our two daughters ANGELS more than words can say. Even at it’s toughest moments, being a Mommy is a dream come true. I simply cannot imagine life without my daughters. I can’t imagine struggling with infertility for years, or being told that because of who you fell in love with that you can’t have a family. Family is everything. Bottom line. If I can help create a family, and see someone experience the joy that I do on a regular basis – That’s pretty darn amazing.

2. How can you give away your baby? Won’t you be attached?  Let me be very clear – I am a gestational surrogate. This baby has no genetic relation to myself or my husband whatsoever. He was conceived with his Daddies genetic material and that of a wonderful egg donor. Therefore, I am not giving away my baby. I am carrying him, acting as the “baby oven” until he is old enough to go home with his Daddies. As for the second part, I will be attached, but not in the way that I was attached to my daughters during my pregnancies. I will love Gabriel as I love my best friends son. I will care for him until his is old enough to go home to his Daddies, but, have no desire to “keep” him. Our family is complete as is. Now, I’m helping to complete Esteban and Michele’s family.

3. How much are you getting paid? I’ve addressed this question before, in a previous blog, but will do so again since it’s a common theme of what I get asked. My answer? None of your business. I don’t ask you what your annual salary is. And I’m pretty sure if I did, you’d have some not so kind words for me. My compensation for this journey is between six people. Myself, my husband, Esteban, Michele and our respective legal representation. If you aren’t one of those six people, butt out.  Just because I’m a surrogate doesn’t instantly make any of that your business or give you the right to pry where you wouldn’t otherwise dream of prying. I’m not doing this for the money. End of discussion.

4. Don’t you feel wrong doing this for a gay couple? Don’t you feel wrong asking me such a stupid question? Esteban and Michele love each other. I love them for loving each other. I love them for wanting to have a family of their own. I love them for trusting me to carry their child. If you don’t love them, you’re missing out. Your loss. “It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves. And if you’re not comfortable with yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.”

Should you have any other questions at any time, please don’t ask them of others. Talk to me, ask me. I will be nothing but honest with people about this journey, and anything that it involves. It is only through educating people that we can ask that they understand.

As I come up on 6 weeks pregnant with Esteban & Michele’s little angel, I will soon be “talking” more about how I’m feeling, what I’m experiencing, etc. It might not always be pretty, so, I’ll give you guys a warning if you’re going to venture into “personal” territory. Yes, this is the world wide web, and yes, I will be putting myself on “blast” but I feel that’s important. When I was researching surrogacy and turned to blogs of surrogates who had “been there, done that” I didn’t want some sugar coated version of their journies. I wanted the truth so that I could make an educated decision about what I was going to embark on. If I’m not honest, there’s no point in having this blog.

First things first. Injections. Delestrogen and PIO (Progesterone in Oil.) I have to have daily injections (that my husband lovingly administers) of synthetic versions of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The injections are needed because your body is normally triggered to start producing them when you ovulate and the egg becomes fertilized and implanted. Since I did not ovulate, this is not my egg, and fertilization occured in a petri dish rather than inside my uterus, my body does not know to produce these hormones. Progesterone is especially important – It is what sustains the embryo until the placenta takes over at appoximately 10 weeks of pregnancy. Until we reach that point, Hubby gives me one injection of 2cc’s of progesterone every day, and .25cc’s of estrogen every Wednesday and Saturday. The injections suck. I can’t lie. There isn’t a part of my upper tush that isn’t bruised or sore. I have lumps where the oil hasn’t spread out because it’s so thick. Please do not take this to mean that they are not worth it. I would do 1,000 injections if that’s what I needed to do to keep Gabriel safe for his Daddies. While not fun, they are a necessary evil. I know that each shot gets me one day closer to handing Gabriel to his Daddies for the first time and knowing that their family is now complete. Totally worth every shot.

I get asked on a daily basis how I’m feeling. As of right now, 5 weeks 4 days in, I feel pretty darn good. I’m tired, but that’s to be expected. I only get rare bouts of nausea when a smell doesn’t agree with me, such as too much perfume. I am back to craving spicy foods (I can only eat spicy foods when I’m pregnant, I know, I’m weird) and that’s about it.

We have an ultrasound scheduled for this coming Wednesday! I simply cannot wait for Esteban & Michele to get to see their precious Gabriel! I will be exactly 6 weeks pregnant so, fingers crossed that we get to see  (or hear) Gabriel’s strong little heartbeat.

*****Warning: Content not approved for those who are sensitive to TMI (too much information***** <—- I’ve decided I’ll give a “Warning: TMI Content” message before anything “personal.” If you don’t want to read the nitty gritty details about things, stop reading here. If you continue, I can’t be held responsible for what you read LOL. Like I said before, I want to be as honest as possible with this blog. I’ll try to keep the TMI info at the bottom of the blog so that if you stop reading now, you won’t be missing anything.

**Warning: TMI Content**

The only other pregnancy symptom I have thus far is sore breasts. Even if Hubby and I were cleared to… ya know… I wouldn’t want to. I’ve invested in uber supportive sports bras. *Note to other potential surros… No “horizontal mambo” with Hubby once you start injectables until you’re cleared by the RE. Make sure your Hubby is amazing and totally supportive of your surrogacy journey (as mine is) since this affects him in a major way.*

**End of TMI Content**

That’s about it for now… I’ll update again Wednesday after the ultrasound 🙂


My tushy is not happy :( March 27, 2011

Filed under: Gestational Surrogacy — Danielle @ 12:43 am
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Well, tonight my DH had to administer the second Delestrogen shot. From what I understand, the purpose of these shots is to make my uterine lining nice and thick so that the embryo can snuggle up comfortably for 9 months.

I wasn’t scared this time because the first shot went so well. My confidence unfortunately didn’t help me 😦

I used a heating pad to warm my bum before Hubby injected… We’re thinking maybe we weren’t in the perfect spot because I felt the needle going in the whole time. The worst part? These needles aren’t tiny, folks. Think half the length of a pencil and subtract just a smidge and you’ve got the length of the sharp object that has to be stuck, in its entirety, into my rump. Ouch.

Needless to say, my butt isn’t happy tonight and I’ll be sleeping on the opposite side. I just keep reminding myself that every shot will be worth it when I see E & M holding their bambino!

Better luck next time, I hope!

P.S. I’ve included a picture of the needle… See what I mean when I say “Ouch” LOL.

22 Gauge Needle

22 Gauge Needle


I’m not a big baby! March 25, 2011

Filed under: Gestational Surrogacy — Danielle @ 9:03 pm
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Well, I did it! I had my first shot, administered by my Dear Dr. Hubby on Wednesday night. I had myself convinced it was going to be absolutely awful, but, I followed the advice of a fellow surrogate and survived!

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be! I have a little soreness at the injection site (the upper quadrant of my tush, if you’re wondering LOL) but that’s about it.

The most exciting part is knowing that we’re making so much progress and moving closer to the embryo transfer!

We’re shooting for April 8th-11th. I’ve got my fingers crossed (and could you cross yours too?) for the 8th because E & M will be visiting from the 2nd to the 9th! I would sooooo love for them to be here for the transfer.

I’ve got another shot on Saturday and go back to the RE next Wednesday the 30th.

This is it folks – We’re making E & M Daddies!!! 🙂