In Case you Were Wondering...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Atkinson Baby FAQ’s
Do you have an increased chance of having multiples?
The short answer to this question is NO. We are only implanting one embryo so our chances of having more than one baby is slim. Many people, who do not use a surrogate, will implant more than one embryo, to increase their chances of conception. I was the only one on board for implanting two embryo, but lost the battle to Ambree and Lucas (which I totally get where they’re coming from, too).
Whose eggs and whose sperm are being used?
We are using my eggs and Lucas’ sperm, so it’s 100% ours. Ambree is literacy just the carrier, this is why she is called a gestational carrier, not a surrogate. A surrogate usually contributes their eggs to the cause.
Can you pick which gender you will have?
Believe it or not you can do this, however, we are not doing any kind of genetic manipulation. Meaning, we are getting what we get! We have no intentions of choosing a gender and won’t be doing this during the process.
Why don’t you just adopt?
This question has popped up a lot, and while we aren’t going to go into extensive detail here, we just feel like it’s not the best option for us RIGHT NOW. Not to say it will never happen, but we feel strongly about this choice for now. Adoption is also VERY expensive, emotionally exhausting & scaryjust like what we are going through now. We fully support adoption and love those around us dearly who have chosen adoption.
Why do you both have to take hormone treatments?
Well, the short(ish) answer is that both of our bodies are being prepared to do their parts. My body is being prepped to grow as many eggs as possible, healthy eggs, and lots of them. My injections are to give us many eggs to choice from, to then create an embryo. Ambree is having her body prepped to be ready to take on an embryo. Her drugs build up her uterine wall to its optimum condition for accepting and embryo. Before either of our bodies can be prepped, doctors need full control of our cycles and hormones so we both start out by stopping everything inside us, so science can take over and control it.
What if this doesn’t work?
If this doesn’t work, Ambree will try again, up to six times. However, each time we attempt the procedure we are looking at about $1,000 a pop. We are crossing our fingers we get lots of good embryo and that that sucker will attach right away. HOWEVER, we know the odds are good, but not great, so there is always a chance it won’t workbut we are thinking positively.
Luckily if Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.doesn’t work, we know God has a letter in the alphabet that will work for us.

*Neither Ambree nor I are scared of needleswhich is great because there’s a helluva lot of them!
*Our contract specifically states that Ambree is no allowed to go off and get an ultrasound to find out the sex of our baby without our consentwhy is this in therebecause this is something I can see her doing! :)
*We do NOT want to find out the sex of our baby until delivery day! Most people (including Lucas) thinks this is crazy, but my heart has been set on having the best surprise ever for as long as I can rememberso I won this argument (reason for above addition to the contract).
*The day the baby is bornaccording to Utah Law---Ambree and Lucas will be the baby’s parents until some unknown weeks/months later when we go to court and change the birth mother to my name. So for a few weeks/months baby Atkinson’s mom and dad will be his/her aunt and daddy. Awkward much!?!
*If we get pregnant on the first attempt, we will have a December 2015 baby!

The Little Wooden Box

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Kindness has a beautiful way of reaching down into a weary heart and making it shine like the rising sun."

I laid down this afternoon after returning from work, just simply not feeling well.
There are times in my infertility journey I feel scared (what if this doesn’t work?), alone (does anyone understand my exact situation?), angry (why does it have to be this way?), impatient (when is it my turn?)…the list goes on. I feel sorry for myself, is really what it all comes down to.

I fell asleep, and as God often does, he answered all of these questions I’ve had in my heart through a dream…

Lucas and I decided to hold a small garage sale at my mom’s dance studio. We had maybe 20 items, not much. A woman showed up at the studio and asked us if we would like to look at a few things she brought that WE might be able to sell. We said sure. The next thing we knew we turned around and there were rooms and rooms, and rows and rows full of beautiful things! Stunning rugs, sparkling decorations, jewelry, the most stunning quilts, everything glittering! Lucas and I were stunned as we walked around and admired all the beautiful things.

Suddenly, the place was full, I mean people everywhere! They were filling bags and baskets, carts and armfuls of these beautiful things. Suddenly I felt out of control, I couldn’t keep track of everyone. There were no prices on anything. I couldn’t find Lucas. I couldn’t find the register. It was chaos, but I kept getting distracted by all the beautiful things. Everything was glittery, stunning and in perfect condition! I was so over-whelmed and amazed. It seemed like hundreds of people came in and out, all with armfuls of stuff. I wondered if, how and where they were paying for the stuff!?

Soon it was time to end the “garage sale” and nearly everything was gone (p.s. I had a few things in my arms—girl’s gotta shop I guess). I finally found Lucas and told him my concerns: How will I know who paid? How much did people pay? What if they just left with the stuff? (I even worry immensely in my dreams-yikes). He just stared at me (again, very realistic of real life). Suddenly, the same woman who brought all the beautiful stuff walked up and handed me a small wooden, etched box…

In it was MONEY, so much money. Tiny notes (that I couldn’t read). Little cards. Money folded around postcards. MONEY! I sat on the floor of the dance studio, still surrounding the chaos that just ensued at looked through the box. I didn’t count the money just thumbed through the piles. I just couldn’t believe something so amazing just happened to us!

Later in my dream I sat staring at an ultrasound screen, just waiting to hear a heartbeat…

I have lots of crazy dreams. Over the years I’ve had many, many remarkable dreams that have truly shaped my life. They have left me feeling strong emotions and have stuck with me through life—I believe this one will be with me forever.

I get donations, emails, little notes, cards in the mail, comments on social media, letters, postcards, anonymous donations, phone calls, texts, personal words, ideas for fundraisers…nearly every single day since we started this campaign. My heart just over-flows most days with the love, support and energy we get from friends, family, and total strangers.

My heart aches because I know I have not thanked each of you enough! I get a knot in my stomach knowing I haven’t sent out thank you cards, or even thanked each of you personally. I want to do that, I want to, somehow, thank each of you for all you’ve done for us, and don’t feel adequate in doing that. What am I really supposed to write? Thanks for helping us get the single most important gifts of our entire lives! Maybe, but yet that’s not enough.

I want you all to know, that no matter what happens, what the outcome may be. You have shown my family the most sincere, honest, hopeful, loving gift! You have opened my eyes to all I have to be thankful for. I have felt your love and prayers, more times than you’ll ever know. You have restored my hope in humanity, when the news tells me the world is bad and messed up, I smile because I don’t believe it anymore. You have given my family and I more smiles and joys than you could know. You have healed my broken heart.

Many of you have little money, and give what you have. Some of you have given me a donation automatically EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. Some of you have given us a portion of each paycheck. Some of you have given us your well-earned saved money, some have given me the left over souvenir money you had from a trip, some of you are barely making it and have given to us…even more than once. Those of you with the least money, have given so often. Some of you have dug deep in your pockets to help us. You’re generosity has not gone un-noticed—we have seen it and felt it.

That little wooden box, filled with love and support, is something I look at often, and I cry. I also smile. I am continually amazed at your out-pouring of love, support and generosity. No matter the outcome of this journey, I know we are loved and cherished and for that, for that I am forever blessed!

All those beautiful things in my dream…they were you! They were you shining and sharing your beauty with us. Without question, without second guessing, without hesitation…you have mended our broken, beat-up, tattered, hopeless hearts.
Thank You!


P.S. So sorry for not editing this, just wanted to get it posted.

It's OUR time!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Red Velvet Cupcakes - I think these were invented just for me. I mean, they're like a little piece of heaven baked into a single serving snack :)
Red Velvet Cupcake
It’s been a while since I updated, so it’s long over-due.
We have big news!
We are starting this baby making’ process…like THIS WEEKEND!
This journey has been a crazy one, BUT nothing could prepare us for our plan of care meeting.
Several times during our appointment Ambree, Lucas and I turned pale white when we heard what we were all about to go through.
I honestly can’t explain my emotions over the last 24 hours, since our appointment, I’ve cried more than I have through the entire process.
So to try to explain to you what’s about to happen would take a few hours (that’s how long it took us anyway) so let me tell you, these March and February calendars (one for Ambree, one for me) are going to dictate our lives…

Let me explain it to you:
Ambree takes a bunch of drugs.
I take a bunch of drugs.
Blood work.
More blood work.
Even more blood work.
More drugs for Ambree.
Ultrasounds GALORE
More drugs for me.
More drugs for Ambree.
Egg extraction for me (surgical procedure)
Lucas does his thing.
Scientists make little embryos.
We store them in a freezer.
They pick “the one”
Ambree takes a BUNCH more drugs.
We implant the embryo.
Ambree is pregnant (we hope).

Did you get that? Just remember loads of drugs+sperm+eggs+science=baby!

So all of this takes just 6 weeks. By April, we could be pregnant!

Are you freaking out? Cause we are!
Between Ambree and me, we have to be at the doctors nearly every day (including weekends), and will be injecting ourselves with a variety of drugs, nearly daily of these 6 weeks.
It’s going to be quite the journey, but holy moly, 

There’s the details for you all.
We will need lots of prayer and good vibes sent our way these next two month.
Pray, send good vibes, think of us…whatever it is, we need it!
We could never have gotten here without your love and support!
So here we go!
(More on my thoughts to come soon. Stay tuned, we will update you at least weekly…you’re with us now on this ride…hang on!)