Sunday, March 20, 2011

Overview of Me and My IF/TTC Journey

This is for all the folks here for ICLW this month (and anyone needing a general overview) Sorry for the length, but when shortened it to a bullet-point-format I felt like you lost a sense of me.

My name is Kira.  I am 26, married to a fabulous husband who is 27.  I'm a Pisces and while I don't really believe astrology, it kind of fits me perfectly.  People pleaser, loves the water,  sensitive yada yada yada.  I have a soft spot for hot shoes (designer knock-offs usually since I can't afford Stuart Weitzman all the time) and cute jewelery (think Claire's) I love horseback riding, singing and my three pembroke welsh corgis.  I grew up outside of Seattle and moved to Colorado for college, got married and haven't been able to leave (yet).

I was married back On October 7th, 2007 to my "Teddybear", Scott :)  We were young by today's standards (Me 22, he 23) although at that point we had been together for 4 years.

In August 2009 we decided to start TTC.  (For all those doctors blaming women for waiting to long to start a family, I tried starting young and it hasn't gotten me anywhere) I gave away my horse so we could focus financially on preparing for a family.  6 months of charting showed no change in temperature, and my OBGYN refused to refer me to a specialist until we had tried for a year.  I decided to get a second opinions and went to specialist anyway.  They looked at my charts, ran a LOT of bloodwork, and vaginal ultrasounds (Gooooood morning!) and determined I was not ovulating.  They started 100mg of Clomid... without a change. 

They added an hCg injection to induce ovulation for the June/July cycle of 2010 and for the first time, we got pregnant.  We shouted it from the rooftops, announced on facebook and called up the grandparents-to-be.  However, within the week we found out the the hormones weren't doubling, and were told (after two vaginal ultrasounds) that we were going to lose the pregnancy.  My doctor decided not to schedule a D&C and instead wait for nature to take its course.  While probably wise medical advice, it was hard to sit and wait for bleeding to start. 

(Equally hard was the lack of support found in Scott's parents who were "relieved" because they don't support us starting a family... but that's been vented in other posts)

I was finishing up my degree in Veterinary Technology at the time, doing rounds at the local veterinary teaching hospital.  I took a week off to lie in bed crying and avoid interacting with people when we got the diagnosis, then returned determined to just focus on finishing and graduating. 

I also decided (overnight) to move to my home state of Washington.  I lined up a job and a place to live when I finished school in August, and in September 2010 I packed up my three dogs and drove halfway across the country to my fresh start.  This fresh start wasn't all it was cracked up to be, Scott was stuck in Colorado trying to sublease our house, and the job I got wasn't the best fit.  By mid October, exactly 1 month after getting there, my job was done.  I took a week, moved in with my mom to regroup.  Applied to a job back in Colorado and got the interview.  Loaded up my car again (with three dogs!) and drove back again and got the job! 

I guess the good news is I still had a house to come back to, and had a place to unload.  Of course as awesome as the job was, it was just a temporary position and ended in February 2011 and I have not been able to find another job since.

After moving back in Mid-October 2010 I reconnected with some great friends, one of them being Elizabeth who introduced me to her new roommate Rachel.  Over lunch at Panera one day Rachel and I got to talking about my infertility.  She asked me if Scott and I had ever considered surrogacy.  At that point Scott and I had had two friends offer to be surrogates, but both times it had been off-the-cuff and there is a lot to consider.  So I told Rachel yes, but not really.  Then she told me that she had been wanting to be a surrogate, had put a lot of thought into it, and offered to be one for Scott and I.  I went home that night and talked about it with Scott.  I googled.  (My search results were unhelpful to be perfectly honest)  I prayed.  A lot.

The whole way, faith has played a big role in our desires to be parents.  And it continues to be. But no amount of prayers or tears has given me some kind of direct memo from God so I continue to try my best to discern His plan for our life. We are currently catecumins in the Eastern Orthodox Church (meaning we are learning about the faith and what it means to be a member)

And yes, we have considered adoption.  But there is a lot to consider, and a lot of requirements, some of which Scott and I would not meet per the State of Colorado and/or local adoption agencies.  So for us, at this time, adoption wasn't right.  But I applaud all those who bravely go down that path and perhaps one day we will too.

After I had moved back in October we did pick up TTC, doing Clomid and hCg injections without success.  My doctor finally scheduled an HSG... that showed nothing.  I was really disappointed, if we couldn't find out what is wrong, we couldn't fix it.

So back to Rachel.  There was much discussion, and of course the contract, but we officially began attempting a Traditional Surrogacy in February of 2011.  We chose Traditional Surrogacy (where it is Scott's sperm and Rachel's egg) over Gestational Surrogacy (IVF of embryo[s] formed via my egg and Scott's sperm) because we were not comfortable with the ethical dilemmas associated with IVF (What to do with extra embryos) and honestly, because of the cost associated with IVF.  We aren't rich, and frankly I don't think you need to be super-wealthy to be a good parent, but the fact is IVF is very expensive.  (I don't judge people who pursue IVF, it just wasn't right for us) 

February's attempt to impregnate (I hate that word but I'm not sure what word to use in its place) Rachel didn't take, and March ended up being a wash because Scott was out of town for work and was not in town to deposit his "sample" when Rachel was ovulating.  (I should mention that we could not find a doctor in our town willing to work with a surrogate so until we find a doctor to perform an IUI we are doing ICI at home, also referd to as the "turkey baster" method)

I cannot describe how crazy it is that we met Rachel when we did, that Rachel and I would connect like we did.  I very rarely make such statements, but I believe God brought us together.

And this blog, is about our path into surrogacy.  You can check out Rachel's blog by clicking the link on the right side of the page.  She is super awesome, amazing, intelligent, witty... I could go on and on but you'll have to check it out for yourself. :)

And on a final note, I am working to lose weight.  My whole life I have struggled with my weight, and an eating disorder of food addiction.  In late February of 2011 I realized I had hit 250 pounds wearing a size 20 pant, and was scared sh*tless.  My dad and his whole side of the family has struggled with weight and I have seen the long-term side effects of cancer, heart disease etc and I do NOT want that to be me.  So I am trying my darnedest to be Paleo (a diet based on anthropological study of what people naturally eat as hunter/gatherers) and trying to increase my exercise.  I have dropped one pant size (Yay!) and am determined to get down to single-digit-pants! (Although that is a long term goal, one that may not be reached for a year)

So read, comment, and please let me know if there is anything you want to know, or if I should change anything about my blog to make it more reader friendly :)


  1. Thanks for visiting me... What a great intro.. i feel like I really know what you have been going through. I believe that fate brought you and rachel together... I wish you luck!

  2. Ahhh, so honest and refreshing, which is what blogging is all about. I have my fingers crossed for you and Scott and Rachel, I really do.

    And I think it's wonderful that you are Paleo and just wonderful that you realize how beneficial it will be for you and your entire family to be, to shed some of that weight. My mother has struggled with weight her entire life and sometimes I think it affects me more than it affects her.

    In any case, the way you feel now because you dropped one pant size, well times that feeling by five and you will be flying even higher when you shed the next pant size and the next one. It's a brave thing what you are doing, so keep it up and heck, you never know, keep TTC because your new body might just respond differently.

    A word of advice about your blog, in Blogger you can add Name/Url as a way to leave a comment. It comes in very handy for those of us not that host on Wordpress. Also, check out Linkwithin. It's a great way to keep readers on your blog.

    All the best... for now. I look forward to following you! :)

  3. Good summary, even for those of us who are kinda up to date.

    I like the sound of this Paleo diet, though doubt I could keep it up very long.

    Here's my question: are you still "trying," just in case you do ovulate one day? Do you hang onto any hope there, or are all the eggs in Rachel's basket at this point? (Pun intended.)

  4. I love puns!

    Ah, yes, we are still "trying" but it's fairly casual. There is hope that as I lose weight my body will perhaps start working better and begin to ovulate naturally. But at the same time I'm not really expecting it to either. With my medical history any pregnancy of mine at this point would be miraculous.

    However, I also have to admit that after TTC my libido is zilch. Scott offered me birthday sex and I was like "eh..." Which is interesting because I used to have a raging libido when we first were married and Scott was the one saying "I have a headache, I'm tired..." Perhaps though that is a topic for another post though.

  5. Hilary - Thanks for checking out my blog :)

    Reedu - I couldn't find how to change my comments settings, and linkwithin doesn't seem to want to work *pout*

    Maybe one of these days I'll make it to a blogging conference and someone can walk me through it in person lol.

  6. Kira,

    Your story is quite amazing and gives me hope. You sounds like such a remarkable woman.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your encouraging words.

  7. Great to read your whole story in one... best of luck with the surrogacy and thank you for your lovely comments on my blog :) This is a tough road but we're all on it together :)) xo

  8. Oh wow, thanks for sharing your story. Very interesting to read. Wishing you the best of luck.