Thursday, May 14, 2015

Contract and Cycle Time!

Hey all,

I always feel like I have to apologize for the length of time between some of my blog posts! AHH! Sometimes though, the thought of typing everything up is somewhat daunting, because that means it's actually happening. And happening it is!

The last time I updated, I was just newly matched with the new intended parents. We have since met each other in person and attended the medical screening together as well! It was great to spend some time with them and meet their adorable little girl. She will make a great big sister! (Fingers super crossed!)

I feel like I need to mention a few things about the fertility clinic that we have been dealing with. Since the beginning of working with them, they have struck all of us as very. thorough. I say that with a nice semi-sarcastic smile on my face. For those of you that know me well, you know that smile well too! The paperwork they sent me to fill out before my medical screening was 12 pages long! I think most of the paperwork was geared towards infertile couples hoping to carry their own baby through the help of the clinic, but I was still asked to fill it out. The second big issue that was raised was about my BMI. I just need to pause for a minute and say that the subject of my weight is a touchy one for me. I feel like I have struggled with it my whole life, and in the last 2 years, I have really made a strong effort, even when pregnant with my last surrogacy pregnancy, to stay healthy and eat the right things and not give into my cravings for fast food and junk. So when the topic of my BMI came up, I was a little caught off guard. This clinic is the third clinic I have worked with throughout my journey as a surrogate. This was the first time that my BMI has come up. The way the process works normally is that the intended parents have been working with a clinic where their embryos are. This was the case with my last journey and also with the first failed attempt. In this particular case, the intended parents have their embryos somewhere else, and so they have the freedom to chose a clinic to work with. The clinic we are working with was highly suggested through the surrogacy agency because of their success rate at getting surrogates pregnant. That is a good thing, and I have had to remind myself of that fact a few times during this process. When we attended the medical screening, we sat and talked with the fertility doctor for about an hour.  He was fantastic! Totally personable, very interested in what I had to say, was definitely making sure I wasn't crazy for wanting to do this again, especially after he heard my last birth story lol.  I have nothing but good things to say about him! He even called me personally after our appointment to ask me which form of medicine I would prefer when we got to the cycling part of things. I took that as a good sign that I would be approved to move on as a surrogate for the intended parents and to work with their clinic. They took 11 vials of blood from me, and only 3 from Troy. For Troy, it was to test his blood to make sure he didn't have any STD's he could pass along to me while pregnant, just like last time. The amount they took from me was also to test for STD's but also check my hormone levels, thyroid and whatever else they could think of. I was also weighed there, which I knew was coming thanks to the agency. They gave me the heads up. For the month leading up to the medical screening, I started getting really strict on my calorie counting, and kept my same morning workout routine that I do at home. It is vigorous exercise, and I hate it, but I'm sweating 5 minutes into it, and at the end of it, I'm glad I finished it! As most of you know, I'm pretty short. 5 ft 2 inches on a good day! There's not much space for the extra fluff to go, if you know what I mean! Anyway, I lost 12 pounds before the medical screening and was feeling pretty great about myself and what I had accomplished. So when the issue about my BMI came up, I was a little defeated. I had met their requirements but just barely, and so they wanted me to have a Skype meeting with their nutritionist on staff at the clinic, just to cover all of their bases. That Skype meeting went great! She told me that I was on a great track and to keep doing what I was doing, but to add a little more calcium into my diet. Noted, and done!

Then came the signing of the contract! It took a little longer than my last signing with the last intended parents, as each intended parents are different, as is the journey itself. I'm not sure I completely realized how different it really can be. Don't me wrong, not in any shape or form a bad thing, just different!

So now, since the contract is signed, and the fertility clinic informed us that I had officially passed the medical screening, it was time for a cycling schedule! Cycling just means that I am preparing my body for the embryo transfer with the required medications and shots, and attending the monitoring appointments to make sure that the medications are doing their jobs. We are back to thinking thick and sticky thoughts, people! We need a good oven again!

So, last Friday I received my shipment from the pharmacy with all of my supplies and medications that I will need to get ready for the embryo transfer.

The picture on the left is my Lupron shot. I have to give it to myself every night. It's just the shot in my tummy with a small needle. No biggie, though I may have slightly hyperventilated when I had to give it to myself the first night! The picture on the right is of everything I have to take between now and the embryo transfer. The big shots with progesterone are coming, and that is what I am really not looking forward to!

So, I am down another 5 pounds since the medical screening, and am trying to lose as much weight as I can before the embryo transfer. Pointless, some might say, but it makes me feel better, and hopefully won't be as difficult to pick up where I left off and get back right on the weight loss train after this pregnancy! A girl can hope right?!

For those of your wondering about baby Alice, she is doing well! They send me texts here and there about her and it is definitely nice to know she is growing and learning to eat new foods, she even has her first tooth! I have a FaceTime meeting with them tomorrow afternoon, and I am excited to see them and catch up! Our last conversation was slightly uncomfortable and tearful, but all is good! They weren't aware that I had decided to pursue another journey and were a little caught off guard and sad. They had decided that in the event that they wanted to give Alice a sibling, that they wanted to do it with me, or with no one! I was not prepared for that, and I immediately felt sad and so we had our moment together via FaceTime with some tears. They also told me that while they would like another sibling, that they're not sure if it is reasonable and practical for them at this point in their life. They are so thankful and over the moon for their daughter, and couldn't ask for anything better in her.

The embryo transfer is scheduled for June 8th! We are doing one embryo transfer, and I've been told the odds are 40-50% success rate that it will take. Pray and don't stop until I tell you to! I will be back  with an update as soon as I have something to update you with! Don't stop! :)

If you have any questions, or are wondering anything, I am happy to answer! Send me a private message, I'm an open book! :)