Last week we went on our Babymoon Cruise...which in actuality we didn't know that's what it would be when we booked it last May, before we even did our IVF egg retrieval. By that time Heather had already offered to be our surrogate and we were planning our transfer for January (we KNEW we would have good embryos). So we planned this thinking, either we would try three transfers between January - May, and if it didn't work then this would be our regrouping/reconnecting time together to figure out our next steps. And if all went well it would be our Babymoon..... Thank goodness everything worked out!
This was our 7th cruise together.... yeah we're "cruisers" whatever! This cruise however was VERY different for us. We generally do excursions at each port and are on the go the entire time, we usually get bored very easily. This time however, we only booked one excursion, a monkey village in Roatan, Honduras, ummm who would pass up that?!?! and only got off the ship in one other port for about an hour for some shopping. We only put on sunblock once (in Roatan), because we really stayed in our room, on our extra large balcony, or in shaded areas of the ship relaxing. We tried to not make any plans other than where and when to eat next! It was very relaxing and recharging. We had a few intense discussions about what we want our future as parents to look like, things/lifestyles we want and don't want for our children and our family, and it was really cathartic to finally get everything out in the open to make sure we're on the same page on everything (or most things!).
Here's a video of us the Monkey Village:
The Friday before we left for our Babymoon we had our biweekly dinner at Heather & Stephanie's house. Although we seem to be in constant daily contact, its nice to have face (and belly) time as often as we can. We also sometimes use the Fetal Doppler I bought to hear our precious son's heartbeat and hopefully our son can get used to our voices with the bellybud headphones, and us recording audio of reading books for Heather to play.
Since my mom lives in Florida with my grandparents, they haven't had the opportunity to meet Heather. So we skyped and of course my mom cried the entire time. :-) It's a reminder to us that this isn't just OUR journey. Our family and friends have been cheering us on and waiting for this as long as we have! It's great to have such support.
At our 17 week Midwife appointment everything is still looking great! We talked about what future scans and testing there would be and what was absolutely necessary and what we could opt out of. Most clinics tend to "over test" and those tests can provide false positives for some really bad things that make you stress and worry and require more testing just to find out everything is fine and the stress can be damaging to me, to Heather and to the baby. So we have decided to do the 20 week Anatomy ultrasound (next week!) where they will look intensely at all of the baby's organs and bones to look for anomalies. If everything comes back normal then we will have no further scans or tests (unless something comes up of course), as everything up to this point shows this is a picture perfect pregnancy in all regards, and the "risks" of those tests outweigh any perceivable risks of anything being wrong.
On April 21st I spoke at an infertility event called “Pathways to Parenthood” hosted by the DCJCC and sponsored by the Cade Foundation & The Red Stone. There was a panel of experts ranging from an RE, a lawyer, a Rabbi, Adoption Counselor, etc. and about 60 people were in the audience. I was one of three speakers that took various Pathways to achieve parenthood. This was my 3rd time telling our infertility story in a formal setting, and each time my nerves seem to get the best of me and right after speaking I start to feel down about myself... and each time I am quickly reminded why even though public speaking does not come naturally to me I keep volunteering to share our story. After I spoke I was humbled by the compliments and encouragement I received from the participants and how me telling our story has encouraged them to do the same or in some way has given them Hope. I love connecting with others in this community. Infertility can be such an isolating and depressing experience, but it doesn't have to be. I had Lee videotape my speech and I was able to see that in reality… I didn’t do that bad!
Bram's Birth Story
Ways to Save Money
Things not to say to IPs
Tips for newly diagnosed
Mothers with MRKH
Our Gender Reveal
2000- Chrissy dx w/ MRKH
2002- Chrissy & Lee meet
2007- Chrissy & Lee Marry
2009- Chrissy 'hysterectomy'
2013- Awarded Cade Grant
7/3/14- IVF egg retrieval (5)
1/18/15- Embryo Transfer (1)
9/29/15 - Bram born!