Thursday, March 26, 2015

Getting matched!

Hi everyone!

Well, I have lots to update on. When I wrote my last blog post, I was in the early stages of starting back up again with the agency and getting the paperwork going. This process has gone much faster this second time around! I actually can't remember doing half of this stuff, but somehow it got done or I wouldn't have been able to complete my first journey.

I was assigned a social worker that works at Circle to help with the screening of me as a surrogate again and she also assists with matching me with a couple when that stage comes. Once all of my paperwork and medical records were reviewed by the doctor's at circle, and the legal team signed off on my insurance policy, we were good to go with matching. During one of my first conversations with the social worker, she asked me some questions about what I was expecting for this last journey of mine. I told her pretty much that I wanted to work with a couple that lives here in the United States and that I was thinking it would be nice to work with a couple who doesn't have a child yet. Then came the funny part. The social worker calls me on the phone, which I thought was weird because all of our previous conversations have been via email for the most part. So I answer the phone call, and she asks the typical, hey how you doing, great thanks, blah blah. Then, hey by the way, Kansas has a law for surrogates that they are only allowed to carry for intended parents where the embryo is 100% biological theirs. So the use of egg donors to conceive would not be allowed. When I had talked to her earlier in the week, she had told me that they had three couples that were a potential match for me and they were still figuring a couple of things out, legally, but looked like three was a good number to start with the matching process. When she found out the information about Kansas and egg donors, that brought the 3 down to 1. One awesome couple. The second reason why she was calling me was because of our earlier conversation and me saying that I was hoping to work with a couple who doesn't have a child yet. The one couple left after the news from Kansas, have a child. She wanted to make sure I was ok with that. I don't know why, but I paused for a second. After some talking some more with her, I told her that I wanted to go ahead and move forward with the matching process with this couple and receive their profile. Once I got off the phone with her, I called Troy. He is my "support person" after all. I told him the whole story and the two minute conversation went like this:

Troy:"So, what's the problem? Why do you think you have the right to decide who gets a child or not?" "If Hanah and Caleb (my twin sister and brother in law, who are struggling with secondary infertility) asked you to become their surrogate, would you say no because they already have Bailey?"
Me: "Heck no!"
Troy:"Okay, then what is the difference? Does this couple not deserve a second chance to complete their family with a second child because they already have one?
Me: "Okay, you've made your point!" :)

Then, just like that, I was completely on board, and didn't think twice about my decision to tell the social worker to send me the intended parents' profile.

So I received it. This is their first time trying a surrogate. They are a such a sweet couple who have been through a lot and don't really believe that this process is finally happening for them. They live in New York, and have a young daughter. I am going to respect their privacy and that is all I will say about them for now.

We met on FaceTime last saturday night, and it was so nice to get to know them a little bit besides what we had seen on paper, and the same for them as well, I'm sure! So, we are officially matched! I really do believe that this is going to be a great last journey for me!

The medical process will be slightly different this time around since we will be using frozen embryos that the couple has made, instead of the fresh embryos I did with the first intended parents. I will also be working with a different clinic, as the couple has chosen a clinic located in Connecticut. Yes, the other one was in Connecticut as well!

I actually did a little bit of research on the clinic after I read the intended parents' profile and knew who we would be working with. They seems like a great clinic and I actually learned something new. The powers that be in the field of fertility medicine, recommend that only one embryo be transferred in, if the woman is under the age of 35 and has a good chance of achieving pregnancy! After my first experience with the very first intended parents who had frozen embryos, I was a little worried that if we only transferred in one, we might not have great news to report. But after talking a little more with  the clinic over the phone and discussing some logistics, I feel great about transferring one in! But that doesn't mean I won't be needing your prayers and well wishes, and good thoughts headed my way! It is still a science and still so much unknown and unpredictability! I, of course, am going to do everything on my part to ensure that this little embryo has the best chance of latching on! Think sticky thoughts!

Coming up next month will be the medical screening. It requires me and Troy to fly to the clinic in Connecticut. They will be taking blood work from the both of us, just to make sure we do not have any diseases that could pass to the baby. They will also be checking out my downstairs to make sure there aren't any polyps or anything that might not make my uterus a cozy little oven for a baby. They will perform a saline sonogram which includes injecting a couple of teaspoons of saline into my uterus, but is not painful other than a little cramping during that time. After that, we will be free to go and visit with the couple and get to know them a little bit more face to face! The result of the ultrasound and our blood work should take a week, and then we will be good to move forward with the next step medically.

That next step can't happen until we have agreed upon and both parties have signed the Carrier Agreement. Should be the same as my last contract, with a few minor changes, but otherwise, not something new to me! Once that is done though, it will be embryo transfer time! The weeks leading up the transfer, I will start medication and start the twice a week monitoring with the clinic here that can send same day results to the clinic in Connecticut. I am definitely not looking forward to the shots again, but it's only for three months! :)

For now, we just use the time to keep getting to know the couple via facetime and preparing for what is ahead! I will keep you all updated as progress comes! Thanks for reading, please don't stop praying, and I appreciate all of your support! :)



Thursday, March 5, 2015

I have some news!

Hello people!

I realize it has been a while since my last post but I finally have some news to share! I have officially decided to be a surrogate...ONE MORE TIME!!!

This will be my second and last time as a surrogate and to be honest, I'm kind of more excited that I thought I would be at this point. I just went to my doctor for my annual check up and she gave me the OK to have another baby, and even put it on paper for me so that I could send it in to the agency! So much easier this time to get that beloved piece of paper.

I can't tell you what really solidified my decision to rent out my oven again, other than this feeling that I can't seem to shake. I feel like I am supposed to do this one more time. Like, there is one more couple out there, just waiting for a surrogate to deliver them their baby. I can do that right? One of my friends that was pregnant with me at the same time last time, reminded me of something I said to her while I was pregnant and very uncomfortable. I told her to tell me I was crazy if I talked about doing this again lol. But the timeline of the last pregnancy is the same as this. It is 9 months. There is an end to some of the misery that comes with pregnancy. The truth is, I felt great with this last pregnancy, once the nausea was over with and I could control the heartburn towards the end. The payoff of seeing the joy in the parents' face when they are handed their newborn baby is more than enough to tough the 9 months out. I mean, really! I'm healthy, able, and willing to do this one more time. I ask myself a lot if I would regret not doing something when I am contemplating it, and the answer to this one is yes, I would regret it if I didn't do surrogacy again. So here I am! I know, I know, I'm crazy! You can say it, I know some of you are at least thinking it! :)

Baby Alice is almost 7 months old! Can you believe that? A lot of people have asked me how I am feeling since the birth and whether in the days and months that have passed, if I feel sad or regretful in any way that I don't have the baby. NOPE! Not at all! She was never mine to begin with and I don't have any sadness or regret! I actually feel like giving birth to Alice was something I did more than a decade ago or even in a passed life! It's weird to think that I gave birth to a human being 7 months ago! I kept saying during the whole pregnancy that it was like my brain and my body weren't attached because of the lack of emotion that I felt regarding the baby and any kind of attachment you would feel carrying your own child. Apparently, that hasn't changed even after birth and throughout the passed months! Maybe that's the way it should be?

I have been back in contact with the surrogacy agency and will be working with them again during this second and last journey. They were great to work with the first time, and I don't anticipate them being any different this go round! Being a surrogate the second time around is much easier than the first and far less time consuming. I did have to reapply and submit my latest medical records from Alice's birth, otherwise, I am good to go! I could potentially be matched with a couple next month! I realize, of course, that this second journey may not go as smoothly or as easily. I may not get pregnant on the first try, or I may end up on bed rest due to complications or being pregnant with twins. These are risks I am willing to take as I am fully aware of the large realm of possibilities. In the meantime, I would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts sent my way. One try and a healthy pregnancy would be the most ideal but I am committing to this knowing that it may be a longer journey. The payoff is worth it though. Keeping my eye on the prize! :)

I will, of course keep you updated as things progress. I appreciate the support more than you know, and am looking forward to this next journey and the love and joy it will bring to a couple who so has a desire for a child of their own.

Thanks everyone, I will be in touch! :)