Monday, December 16, 2013

The End of an Era

In 6 hours, surrobabe will be 3 months old already! It seems impossible that time should fly by so very fast ~ yet that's exactly what it does.

For me, this seems like the time to finally stop pumping and donating breast milk to local families. In the last three months, I've pumped over 3300 ounces (or about 26 gallons) and donated it to 4 different families - helping them to reach their goals of providing a diet of exclusively or mostly breast milk, rather than commercial infant formula. I'm so very pleased to have been able to do this for them but as I seriously contemplated stopping this process, I realized that some of my dedication to pumping was tied into avoiding a more complete end to this whole surrogacy journey.

It has been 4 years, 5 months, 2 weeks and 1 day since I've not been in some stage of the reproductive process. I've either been pregnant, breastfeeding, preparing for pregnancy or pumping. That is a long time to be focused on such a narrow area of who I am. I think that makes it hard to have a broader view and move forward ~ but that is something I must do. And there is no time like the present. 

I have been working hard to lose the "baby weight" that has hung around since my first pregnancy over 9 years ago. At this moment, I have about 20 pounds to go and I'm confident I can do it. I've finished 5 weeks of a 9 week "couch to 5k" program on my treadmill. I'm very proud of myself for the dedication I've given to the activity as I usually fall off after a week. Also, during my last workout, I ran for over 20 straight minutes. I've NEVER been able to do that. NEVER. Not even as a teenager. 

I'm really looking forward to getting closer to my fitness and health goals... and still really hopeful that another surrogacy is in my future. But I know I have ALL of 2014 to dedicate to myself and my goals. And that's exactly what I intend to do! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

One Month Later

It's been a month since Baby M arrived and I'm feeling great! Physically, my energy levels are back to normal and I've managed to lose all the extra weight from the pregnancy. Dealing with the emotional turmoil the first few weeks was kind of challenging.

During the pregnancy, I didn't have any problem with not getting too attached to the baby. Babies, before they're born are more of a "concept" (to me) and less of a reality. Once he arrived and I got to see the joy literally written on the faces of his parents, it was impossible to maintain that distance. It wasn't long before they felt like family. I've had so many people (whose support I am unbelievably grateful for) tell me how wonderful it was for me to become a surrogate and help create a family. After going through the whole process, I can tell you that even knowing how much this meant to my surro-family, I feel like the winner. It has been so rewarding to see and feel all that happiness and know that I was a huge part in creating it!

So now life returns to normal. Doing all the things I was doing before - but without a baby bump. This includes therapy appointments, preschool, housework and tackling some of the bigger home improvement/maintenance things that were put on hold for a while. As much as the end of pregnancy is challenging, I totally miss it already.

One thing that is different for me is that I am still able to help others right now. I decided long ago that I would pump breast milk and donate it to others through either a local network or a milk bank. So far, it's going wonderfully and I've been able to help several local families. At the one month mark, I'm just shy of a total of 1000 ounces ~ that's the equivalent of almost 8 gallons! (or over 29 liters for all you metric-loving folks out there) Amazing!! I'm hoping to keep it going for another 2 months at least. Perhaps more....

I hope that one day, I'll be able to do this all again. In the meantime, I have wonderful new friends on the other side of the Atlantic and the satisfaction in knowing that I really changed a life ~ several lives ~ for the better. That's the best!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


This post is essentially the tale of how my surro-baby arrived Earthside. If you're not into labor stories, you may want to skip this post. I swear I did my best to leave out anything which would be considered "too much information." Consider yourself warned. 

With my last post, I mentioned that the countdown had begun... Little did I know that there would be no actual countdown. The next day (at 36 weeks and 1 day pregnant), after putting my youngest children to bed for a nap, I started having regular contractions when I laid down on the sofa for a rest. Once a few hours had gone by and they were still just as regular, I thought it might be a good idea to call the doctor and see if they wanted me to come in for an exam to see if I was actually in labor or not.

As I suspected, they did request that I head on over to Labor & Delivery at the hospital. I didn't feel it was an urgent situation, so once my husband arrived home from work and had dinner managed for our kiddos, I packed a small bag of essentials (just in case) plus the camera and kissed everyone goodbye, while assuring the older ones that I was fairly sure I'd be home later that evening.

I arrived at the hospital and got to visit the triage room in Labor & Delivery - something I'd never done before. In my own pregnancies, I was always in active labor by the time I went to the hospital, so I was always ushered directly to a delivery suite... but not this time.

fantastic hospital attire

The nurse got me hooked up to the monitoring equipment and after getting my vital signs and a good tracing on the baby, informed me that I was having regular contractions and that the midwife on the floor would be in to see me shortly.

contraction monitoring

When she arrived, I found it was the same midwife who delivered my daughter 8 years ago. She was not part of the OB practice I visited, but was the on-call from another practice who delivers at the same hospital. I thought she was great the first time and I was very excited to see her again, though I still had my doubts that I was actually in labor.

After she examined me, she concluded that she needed to check me again in another hour or two to see if I was making any progress. If I was, and still having regular contractions, then she would be admitting me to the hospital.

In the meantime, I had sent a message to the intended fathers to let them know not to panic (yet) - but that I was at the hospital getting checked to see what was going on. Unfortunately, the time zone difference put all of this activity in the middle of the night for them and I was worried that they were losing a night of sleep for no good reason at all. I wanted to keep them updated but also disturb their rest as little as possible in case of a false alarm. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long for an answer.

I did some walking in the hallway while texting with my husband and some of my friends who knew what was going on. The contractions continued and while definitely noticeable, were not REALLY painful. I was still hopeful that this was just prodromal labor, getting things started for the real action later in the following week or two.

When the midwife checked again around 10:00 pm, she found that I had dilated just a little more and she was pretty confident that this was the real thing. Less than 10 seconds later, I realized that my "water" broke and I knew I was staying. The nurse helped me gather my things and shuffle (waddle?) across the hall to my labor room. I called my husband and told him to have our sitter come over to the house to stay with the children overnight and then hurry himself over to me. This was a different situation as I'd never had my "water" break so early in labor, but in the past, once it did, the whole thing was over in about an hour or two - sometimes much less.

At that point, I contacted the intended fathers and my surrogacy agency and let them know what had happened and they started making all the plans to get here as soon as possible. At that point, it became very real and I started to get a little more excited - even though I knew I had a long night ahead of me.

Side Note: It was at this point that I made a mental note that this would be the fourth baby I delivered who would arrive in the middle of the night, after I'd been awake and busy the entire day before. Babies should seriously be more considerate of the mama's schedule and energy levels!  :-)

Luckily, it was only another hour or so until my husband arrived and at that point, I still wasn't terribly uncomfortable. I know that I handle labor better when standing and that in the past, warm water has been helpful in relieving pain, so once the contractions picked up in intensity, I decided to pass some time in the shower. After that, I planned to stand and sway through contractions with my husband as my support, but I repeatedly would become very dizzy and feel faint following each contraction. Finally, I reached a point where I felt I didn't have any choice but to lie on my side in the bed, even though I wasn't able to manage the pain as well in that position.

Thankfully, that really hard part of labor didn't last long. Correction: at the time, it felt unending, but realistically it was only about an hour. In my mind, I had acknowledged that this labor was harder than the last two I experienced and I had reached a point where I was seriously considering giving up on an non-medicated birth and asking for an epidural. But in my heart, I knew that could bring it's own set of complications and it was very likely there wouldn't be time anyway. That's when the benefit of having a midwife to tend to a laboring mother became very evident - she was able to stay with me and talk me through it all and reinforced the belief that I was able to do this on my own. Quickly, the end came and with just a few pushes, I delivered Baby M into the world at 3:35 am. My guess was 6 pounds, 6 ounces. He weighed 7 pounds, 0.2 ounces and measured 18 inches long at only 36 weeks. I was stunned!

7 pounds, 0.2 ounces or 3.180 kg

Because he was a late-preterm baby, I was concerned about his health but he quickly proved that he was going to be fine. He had a nice healthy cry and all of the other measures assessed were just as good. At that point, my husband's job as a support person to me was mostly over so he switched to photographer and went to work trying to capture all those first moments that Baby M's daddies weren't able to witness themselves.

getting footprinted

After getting weighed and cleaned up a bit, they brought him back to me for some skin-to-skin care, which is especially helpful to preterm babies in regulating body temperature. We spent a few hours in Labor & Delivery before moving up to the Maternity unit and since my husband had to return home to help get all the kids started on their "business-as-usual" day, I had the pleasure of Baby M's company all day, on my own. His daddies were on their way, but wouldn't be arriving until very late that night and so would plan to come to the hospital the following morning.

First Day of Life

The moment they arrived was pivotal and so sudden. At one moment it was just myself and Baby M and then next, there was a new family created! It was so fantastic, I had to resist the urge to leap out of the bed and literally almost toss the baby into their arms. So, calmly, I greeted them and introduced them to their little guy. I wish I could share a photo of the moment ~ it was priceless, but for privacy reasons, I have to leave their faces out of this blog. Thankfully, I can share photos of Baby M instead.

That morning was a whirlwind of visits from the pediatrician, the nurses, the audiologist who administered the standard hearing test and the newborn photographer. We also met with the clinical specialist at the hospital, who was in charge of the paperwork needed to transfer medical responsibility of Baby M from myself to his fathers. Once everything was done, they were able to move to their own room next door and begin bonding with their son.

sleepy baby

This was my first real opportunity to reflect on all that had happened as everything prior went so quickly. It was a bit of a shock to know that the project that kept us all in touch for the last 18 months was suddenly at an end, especially considering we had expected to have almost another month yet. But mostly, the feelings were positive. Watching two people, who had waited so long to become parents, learn to hold and care for this new little prince was very endearing and sometimes a little entertaining too! Parenthood has a steep learning curve but they handled it wonderfully.

My husband was able to come by and join us for a while and then the next day was filled with the signing of all the paperwork required to officially terminate my parental rights and responsibilities and get them all set to proceed with a second-parent adoption to remove my name from the birth certificate and replace it with the name of Baby M's other father.

Before the end of their visit, we also found time to get together for a professional newborn photo session outside of the hospital as well as a family dinner to include them, myself, my husband and my older children. Unfortunately, the littlest ones were not feeling well and so had to stay at home instead. My older children, who are 8 and 7, were excited to meet the baby after waiting so many months. I had initially explained the surrogacy idea to them back when we first met with the intended parents. I think it was good for them to have a chance to meet the little person to whom the whole project was dedicated (essentially) and to be able to say their goodbyes.

Finally, the fathers returned to their temporary residence to finish gathering all the required documents to be able to return home. I was lucky enough to be able to return to see them a few times (on "official" business) and they were always generous in allowing me to have the place of honor to hold Baby M as much as I wanted. I even got to feed and change diapers too. Woo hoo!!

Now they are excited to be able to go home and introduce Baby M to all his family waiting for him there. I have a lot of emotions to work through in seeing them go home. I definitely grew to feel much closer to them than I initially expected. I imagine a lot of surrogates feel the same way. I wonder if it's harder for the ones whose surro-family lives nearby or far away?

I feel like there is more to write on the topic of the emotions involved with processing all of this, but this post was meant to be about Baby M's arrival and has already gotten quite lengthy. So, until next time...

love & support - I have the best friends!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Countdown to Launch

It's here! The last month of pregnancy! My longest pregnancy reached 39 weeks + 5 days and the others were 37, 38 and 39 weeks, so I anticipate delivering sometime before my due date this time around too. That's a good thing. This lady is tired and feeling huge and very much looking forward to handing Baby M off to his daddies in the next few weeks.

With my last pregnancy, the baby arrived a full week earlier than even I expected and so I missed my opportunity for maternity photos. I learned my lesson and set them up a week earlier this time around.

In a few days, I'll begin seeing the doctor every week until Baby M arrives. So far, everything has gone along just perfectly. Measurements are on track and he's in the right position. Hoping everything stays just the same!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Seven Months Done...running out of room?

Today, I have reached the 7 month mark in this surrogate pregnancy. I feel huge, though I don't think I look it (yet) and my doctor says it's only because this is baby #5, not because he's the size of a toddler.

With less than 2 weeks until my older kids return to school and about 3 weeks until my three-year-old starts preschool, the summer is quickly winding down. On one hand, I'm thrilled because we've been SO busy all summer, I feel like I've run several marathons in the last few months. On the other hand, that means all the fun summer activities, like camps and amusement parks will be done. But that's okay - this lady needs a break. I feel very strongly that I need to tone down the physical activity to make sure Baby M doesn't arrive before his Dads get here so a laid-back couple of weeks is definitely in order!

Baby M is a very active little guy. He likes to roll and kick just about every time I hold still long enough to feel it. He's up to around 4 pounds now and still has lots more growing to do. At some point, I'm going to make an official "prediction" on weight and length. Not yet - maybe around 8 months. At this moment though, I'm thinking that despite only having gained about 16 pounds so far, this baby is going to be about 8 pounds - maybe a few ounces more.... I guess it really depends on how long he bakes in there.

I'm also looking forward to getting to see Baby M's dads again. It's been a long time since the transfer.... hoping they arrive early enough to visit a little before he makes his appearance!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Third Trimester has Arrived!

This past weekend, the third trimester rolled around and we are all very excited. Once again, I am amazed at how quickly time goes by during a pregnancy. At first, it feels like the due date is years away and then next thing you know, you're packing bags for the hospital. Okay, I'm not there just yet, but soon... very soon!

I had an opportunity to get a little dressed up so here's my "six months done" photo. Only 13 weeks (or less) to go!

27 weeks!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's Possible that the SIXTH month is the longest....

Two weeks ago, I posted that I was about 5 1/2 months pregnant. It seems I'm STILL 5 1/2 months pregnant...


But while this month seems to be lasting forever, I'm guessing month number eight will probably be worse since baby will be a whole lot closer to arrival AND it also is another month with five weeks in it instead of just four. I'd say the same about month nine, but since I've not yet carried a baby to 40 weeks, I doubt I'll have to wait through that whole month. My guess is somewhere between 38 and 39 1/2 weeks is when surrobabe will arrive! We will see in just a few short months....

In the meantime, I think he's about doubled in size in the last few weeks. Here's my 25 week photo.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A First Father's Day

Today, I got to wish my intended fathers a "Happy Father's Day" for the very first time! I know their little one isn't here yet, but yet, he "is" so there is definitely cause for celebration! Time for a photo - I'm 23 weeks. (almost 5 1/2 months pregnant).

I've complained in the past about worrying about weight gain. I won't go on and on about it, but I'm very proud to report that so far, I've only gained about 13 1/2 pounds. I have about 17 (probably a little less) weeks to go and my goal is to keep the gain to about 10-12 more pounds. I'm right on target! Go, me....

Next week, I get to see the doctor again and "enjoy" their nasty orange concoction known as Glucola. For those not familiar with it, it tastes like an over-sugared, flat, orange soda. I get to avoid food for a couple of hours, drink this nastiness and then get my blood drawn an hour later to check for gestational diabetes. As long as I pass this test, it's a one-time deal, so I won't complain too much. Failing the test means repeating a similar version and then possibly having to alter the diet and track blood sugar values for the rest of the pregnancy, so as always, keeping my fingers crossed for good results!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Halfway There!

This past weekend, I reached the end of the 20th week of pregnancy. Surro-baby is halfway baked. It is an exciting milestone, commonly marked with the excitement of an anatomy scan. Today, I got to spend a good hour peering a baby's heart, head, limbs and belly. To be honest, baby kidneys and bladders aren't the most thrilling thing ever, but the rest of it was just fabulous!

My intended parents have a seriously active little baby in there. Sprout wouldn't hold still for long - the ultrasound technician had to go chasing after baby to get all the pictures she needed. I was thankful to see that Sprout's growth was right on track - about 50th percentile for all the measurements. Glad to see I don't need to worry about having to give birth to a baby much larger than the ones I've already grown. Ha-Ha!

Of course, the BONUS information that comes along with the anatomy scan is the ability to decipher the sex of the baby, assuming that baby cooperates and shows off a little. The ultrasound technician was easily able to determine whether Sprout was a boy or a girl and marked it on a paper for us. I then took the paper to the store and had a color-corresponding balloon placed inside a box so that the intended parents and I could learn the sex of the baby together. They are the parents - they should be the first to know!

So, after of couple of rocky starts to a Skype video call, we managed to get all updated on what's going on and then it was time to get down to the exciting business at hand.....

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE.......................




HOORAY!!! Congratulations to my IP's on their SON-to-be!   

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

3 months and gaining

I reached 14 weeks into this pregnancy this past weekend and so by everyone's standards, the first trimester is over! That means that pretty much all of Sprout's systems are "created" and now need to focus on final details and growth, growth, growth! 

Speaking of growing, I've been doing my fair share. Ideally, I would have made it this far with only having gained maybe 2-3 pounds. However, when my first trimester is particularly full of nausea and indigestion, I tend to gain more and so unfortunately, 10 pounds was my actual tally this time around. Eeek! Thankfully the second trimester tends to be kinder to me and hopefully I'll have some spare energy to spend on getting more exercise and the overall weight gain will slow down for a little while. 

I was fortunate enough to be discharged from the reproductive endocrinologist's office at 11 weeks. While they were great people and very caring, I was thankful to have a break from weekly visits to the office and all the injections. Since then, I've seen my OB/GYN for my regular appointment at 12 weeks and am looking forward to returning at 16 weeks. 

My IP's are crazy-excited about discovering the sex of the baby. My OB typically schedules the anatomy scan around 20 weeks gestation, but once I did have it done around 19 weeks, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that the IP's get to find out sooner rather than later!

Finally, I'm just waiting around impatiently to start feeling Sprout wiggling around in there. Every ultrasound I've had has shown him/her shadowboxing and dancing so (s)he seems like a very active baby. I did, however, find out that I have an anterior (towards the front) placenta, which means that it acts like pillow between Sprout and I - cushioning any kicks or rolls I might otherwise feel early on. 

I did have anterior placentas with my first two children. I didn't starting feeling any movement from them until around 18-20 weeks. And it wasn't very consistent for another couple of weeks after that.  That was a great difference from my third and fourth babies, who both had posterior (in the back) placentas. I felt their movements as early as 13-14 weeks. Thankfully, I have enough experience to know not to panic because I don't feel baby in there yet. It will be hard to wait another month or so to feel him or her, but it never hurts to learn another lesson in patience!

And since I feel I'm the least photogenic person ever, I will post this photo of my 12 week belly shot, but only begrudgingly and while mostly covering my eyes and barely peeking through my fingers... 

P.S. The bloated tummy is RIDICULOUS!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Moving Right Along - Month Number Two!

It's been a few weeks since that first test showed the good news. Since then, I've had the pleasure of having two ultrasounds. With the second, I even got to hear the heart beat. Very exciting! 

I'll be 7 weeks pregnant on Sunday and I've got at least one more ultrasound next week and about 2-3 weeks before I get released to my own OB office. At this point, I am looking forward to finishing up with injections and patches in the next 3 weeks. The nausea and the fatigue has kicked in to overdrive. Right now, I'm just rolling with it and hanging on for the ride. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Who's Happy?

The title of this post poses a question.... the answer:  EVERYONE!!! 

One week ago, we transferred a single 8-cell embryo from the petrie dish to my uterus. Then we all crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Today, the best has definitely happened! I got this answer when I asked another question: "Am I pregnant?"

I got to share the exciting news with the dads-to-be in the afternoon and they were overjoyed! I am so excited for them to finally get to be parents. They shared the news with some relatives, who were also very excited... And I shared the news with just a few close friends. And now the world.... well, the couple of people who follow this blog, anyway.

So even though it's been a long road already, it really is "the beginning" now... next up is the HcG blood test this weekend. Time to follow a new motto!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A New Waiting Game

Here I am, 3 days post 3 day transfer (3dp3dt), which is approximately the equivalent of being 6 days post-ovulation, which is the date that a woman not undergoing IVF would typically release an egg for fertilization. For those who are in the (sometimes) dreaded two-week wait, days post-ovulation is the typical measurement for trying to figure out if what they are experiencing could be pregnancy-symptom related or whether a home pregnancy test (HPT) might test positive.

The two-week wait (TWW) gets it's name from the two week period of time from ovulation until the next cycle begins. For many women, it can take all 14 days to pass before a HPT will turn positive. I happen to know that in my case, I've tested earlier and had results as early as nine days past ovulation. But that was with my own baby and definitely not through IVF, so it's a whole new game this time around!

I found this nice little chart which outlines a "typical" timeline for a 3 day IVF transfer.

As you can see, three days post-transfer, I can expect that the embryo-turned-blastocyst is now beginning to hatch. Implantation has not yet occurred. Sometimes this chart can be off by as much as a day or two... but realistically, that still makes it virtually impossible to be experiencing some pregnancy symptoms yet. So every time my mind starts wandering, I can refer to this to remind myself that it's too early... don't test yet! I know better.... but believe me, there are many, many women who just for the sake of needing to do something, will go ahead and test anyway. Not me! Not today, anyhow... my resolve is quickly weakening though. 

My goal is to make it until Thursday of next week. That will be 8dp3dt, the equivalent of 11 DPO. Technically it could still be too early and a false negative could ensue. But this girl is only thinking happy thoughts, so no worrying about that just yet!

So in the meantime, I will be tracking every little twitch or twinge I have for analyzing. I will be sure to keep you posted....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Transfer Day

Today was the best day yet of this whole journey! Yesterday, we received notification that our embryo transfer was most likely going to take place on Day 3, as opposed to Day 5. I'm not privy to all the details about why they chose to do the transfer earlier rather than later, but when we got there, we found out that the embryo being transferred was about as close to perfect as it gets. It had eight, symmetrical, nicely-formed cells and was looking big and beautiful on the printed picture they provided.

The transfer was easy-peasy and took all of maybe 5 minutes. Then I had to lie there on the table for about 10 minutes before getting up and getting dressed. After the transfer, we had a very nice lunch with the Intended Fathers and their interpreter and our contact at the surrogacy agency.

The only sad note in this bright day is that we won't get to see everyone again until they come to meet their baby.

The rest of the day for me was to be "couch-potato" activity. I did meet a friend for dinner and we had a lovely time sitting and not moving, but sharing lots of laughs. It definitely qualified as "relaxation" therapy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Calling All Eggs...

IT. HAS. HAPPENED!  My intended fathers are back in the States and the egg retrieval has taken place. 10 months after signing up to be a surrogate with my agency, we are "this close" to growing a baby!

The donor was kind enough to provide 24 eggs! Some of them are being set aside for a possible sibling project in a little while, but the rest will hopefully fertilize as planned and we'll have 12 (or so) excellent embryos to pick from for a transfer this week.

In other news, I'm no longer doing Lupron injections. This does mean that I am doing Progesterone in Oil (PIO) injections.

I had it all planned out. I had the nurse at the clinic mark my behind where the injections are to go. Then I had my husband (who isn't quite terrified, but isn't exactly comfortable with needles) watch a video of another surrogate doing her own PIO injections so he had a visual reference. Then, he put our son to bed and I chickened out and did the injection myself. If it's not obvious, let me just say, I have a difficult time relenquishing control.

Overall, it wasn't as bad as I feared. It was a huge needle (to my eye) but I barely felt it go in. Hooray! The hardest part was pulling the plunger out a little to check for blood - to make sure I didn't hit a vein. Then changing the grip again to actually inject the medication. Otherwise, easy as pie. This certainly doesn't mean that my behind will be spared from the ache that is typical for an intramuscular injection. But a bruised feeling surely can't be too bad, right? Not compared to the worry over an inch-and-a-half long needle coming at me!

So I'm glad the anxiety about that is gone. Now to look forward again to the next few days and see how everything goes in the lab. Very excited about hopefully having more good news to share again later in the week!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Creeping Closer

In the last week of December, I got to stop taking the Birth Control Pill and go see the IVF clinic for a baseline ultrasound and blood work. They said everything was great, so I started adding estrogen patches to my regimen. (at least I get to see what hormone replacement therapy is like for women who've gone through a hysterectomy or who are menopausal - is that a good thing? LOL)

So far, so good. More bloodwork scheduled in just a few days! Twelve more days until the Intended Parents arrive back in the States!

I'm getting very excited about the date of the transfer creeping ever closer. I'll be completely honest and admit that I'm getting a little more nervous too. The reality of possibilities such as a cancelled cycle or an unsuccessful cycle are becoming a little more intimidating, but I realize that remaining positive is the best thing to do. It works well in other aspects of my life. I really do believe that the power of positive thinking can bring good things your way, so I will focus only on how well things will go and look forward to getting a positive test result early in February!