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Embryo Transfer and more……….

Where do I even start! I swore I would keep this up to date but life seems to get busy and blogging became the last thing on my mind. So much has happened since my last post its crazy! I was matched with an amazing couple from Paris, France whom I met when I flew to Las Vegas for my medical screening and psych evaluation. Thank god those are out of the way and I passed everything with flying colors. My medical screening was quick and afterwards I went to lunch with my intended parents(IP’s). We had the most amazing time talking and just trying to get go know each other. He is a pilot and she a flight attendant. So after the Las Vegas trip came the fun part of legal contracts! I had a over the phone chat with my lawyer and once my IP’s lawyer finished the 51 page contract it was sent to me for review. I only had to make a few changes and hope that my IP’s would accept them. Thankfully they did with no problems and we moved forward in the process. I started talking with the fertility clinic more and then we arranged lots of Dr’s appts and all my meds were overnighted to me!
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I will tell you that I was totally freaked out about having to give myself injections! I had Chris give me my first shot of Lupron and since then I have done the rest myself even the progesterone shots with a 22g needle! OUCH! Over the next 2 weeks I had numerous appointments to measure the thickness of my uterine lining. It needs to be above 8mm in order to do an embryo transfer. Thankfully mine was at an 8.8 days before my transfer so we had no issues. My transfer date was set for August 17th! In this photo the uterus is the area that is a darker white circle with a line through the middle. They want to see this as they call it triple line pattern.

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Now it was just a waiting game until transfer day! Chris and I were going to Las Vegas for 5 days 1 day for the transfer and 2 of bedrest in a hotel! That was not fun LOL. The morning of the 17th I was so nervous and anxious because I had no clue what to expect! When I finally got called back Dr. D(who is amazing) welcomed me and informed us that my intended mother would be joining us on a video chat system. It was great to see her again and talk to her. I was also so glad she was able to be there and be a part of the transfer. Everything went great and they transferred one amazing quality embryo.(On the photo below you can see 2 white lines the top line is the embryo that was transferred.

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I then had to wait for 20 minutes laying flat before leaving the clinic. The 2 days of bed rest wasn’t fun at all but it was for a good purpose! When bed rest was finally over we decided to go see the Hover Dam and walk the Las Vegas strip. Oh and of course we did a little gambling! Now we are back home and waiting for our blood pregnancy test on the 27th! I hope that the days fly by because I’m so excited to find out if my IP’s will finally get to live the dream of having a child.

 

Blessings,

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More twist and turns….

I realized today that I haven’t updated about my surrogate journey in awhile. The last time I wrote I had been matched with a single man from Canada but that didn’t work out and my heart breaks for him. I was then back listed on the agencies database and available for couples to look at. I had a couple from Spain that showed interest but at the same time another single man from Los Angels was interested. We set up a skype call and talked for around 30 minutes. He seemed wonderful and I was very excited to help him create a family. He wanted to meet in person before making his choice which I had no issues with but then he wanted to meet my husband. Everyone that knows me knows that Chris is hardly home and works out of town on a regular basis. I decided to pass on the intended father because who knows when our schedules would actually be able to let us all 3 meet. A few days later I received an email from the agency regarding a couple from France. They took some time to get back if they wanted to possibly match with me and finally they said yes and the agency set me their profile. I was instantly drawn to help them, we have spoken on skype twice now and both times it has been amazing. We became officially match after that second skype call and my medical records were sent off to their IVF Dr for review. The IVF Dr called me and we spoke briefly Wednesday, he was great! Then yesterday I received a call from his third party consultant asking a few questions pertaining my medical records! She was asking me about procedures I had never even had and I replied via email letting her know that those things in my records were false and that I never had them done. That is when panic mode started!!!!!! I kept thinking to myself oh great now I’m going to be denied by their IVF and the process is going to be over just like that!!! Today as I’m dropping Thayden off at pre-school my phone rings and its the fertility clinic, my heart sank and I became super nervous. The woman at the clinic said with a friendly voice that the Dr wanted to speak with me and that she would be putting him on the line if that was ok. I of course agreed and he asked me questions and took the time to listen to my side of things and made the changes in my chart! I was at that point so relieved that he was actually listening to me and not some stupid records the navy FUCKED up! After I answered all his questions he then said I was still a great candidate and that he would let the couple know and get everything set up and he would see me in Vegas soon! I swear my heart skipped a beat because I was so excited and happy! Now I’m just waiting for his office to call me and set up the date of my medical screening and get all the travel arrangements made :) So yay for moving forward.

 

Blessings,

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A little food for thought post……..

Imagine a world that didn’t have modern day medical tools that are so commonly used in childbirth. That would mean no epidurals, or pain medications! For some women the thought of that is daunting but what would we do in that world. What if I told you that in this world with no pain medication there was a woman or person that could offer you physical support to help ease your pain during labor. This person is a Doula! The doulas role is to make sure the woman has a rewarding birth experience, by staying with the woman throughout labor. For example the world you are birthing in is a post apocalyptic world and your spouse or husband had died or needed to stand guard to ensure your safety. A woman wouldn’t want to be in this situation, would she? Doula’s understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor. Having a doula by her side would allow the woman to feel comforted that she was not alone in this situation and that she had someone that could help her through this journey emotionally and physically.

Would you want a doula in this situation? How about in the world we live in today?…

More bad news….

So the surrogate journey I’ve embarked on has had some major twist and turns. I don’t think I expected it to be like this when I signed up. I knew that normal hick ups would happen but never did I imagine that I would be matched 3 times now and not one of those end up working out. Yesterday I received news that my IF(Intended Father) had canceled the entire process and would no longer be pursuing having a baby through a surrogate. It was unforeseen issues with his fertility and since he wanted biological children he opted not to use a sperm donor. I was devastated for him! I cannot imagine what he is going through. So now here I am back at the beginning looking for a new set of IP’s. My agency doesn’t have any domestic couples right now so I have opted go overseas and work with couples from France. I’m pretty hopefully still that they will find me the perfect match and that this journey will take off full speed with no more ups and downs. My dream would be to carry for a LGBT couple and maybe my next couple will be just that. If you are following my story please say a prayer for me and my next couple that things work out. I will be updating once I am matched again and have more exciting information to share.

 

Blessings,

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Intended father, medical screen and more!

So the past week I’ve been feeling a bit in limbo waiting to hear back from the IVF and how things are going regarding my journey. I was really getting bummed because I didn’t want what happened last time to happen again. I’m sure my case manager is totally annoyed by me but oh well LOL life goes on. I finally got a chance to talk to my IF(Intended father) on Monday. It was a little awkward just as it normally is talking to a stranger on the phone for the first time. He asked me different questions and then I asked a few and that was it. Our conversation lasted about 30 minutes with the agency on the line also helping with keeping the conversation going. After we hung up I started thinking about if I wanted to work with him or not. I weighed the pros and cons and decided that I would in fact be moving forward with him. Not even 15 minutes after talking with him I received an email from the agency and it was a message from him saying how he wanted to move forward with me as his surrogate and hoped that I would be willing to help him create his family. I was really surprised and expected that I would be the first to email the agency! I replied right away and let them know that I had decided to move forward as well and to tell the IF that I was very excited to help him create a family. My case manager said she would get all the paperwork into the IVF clinic he would be using and then let me know if she needed any further information. The days went by and I was seriously going crazy waiting to hear something! In that time frame I really felt in limbo, yes I know that this is normal and a long process but waiting to hear really drove me a little crazy haha. Today I finally heard from the agency and they set me up with a tentative date of May 8th for my medical screening! I will also be meeting the IF for the first time!!! Hes flying in from Canada eeek! I’m so excited to meet him and actually get to know who I’ll be helping. I’m praying that everything works out as planned and the 8th is the for sure date! I’m so looking forward to taking the next step in my journey. During my time waiting I decided to ask the agency to email the IF and see if he would be ok with me nursing the baby in the hospital or if he would prefer that I pumped milk for the baby. I waited a couple days for his response and his response was YES! I seriously jumped for joy when I read his reply. So this is where I’m at in the journey and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

 

Until next time,

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Sadness and disappointment…..but then

Monday morning I had a Skype session all set up for 10am so I could officially “meet” my IP’s. I was so nervous but also excited at the same time. I knew they were amazing people and looked forward to our journey together. I got a text from the agency saying the IP’s needed to reschedule and they would let me know that day what time and date. I didn’t hear back from the agency until this morning and found out the most devastating news for all parties but mostly for the IP’s whom really wanted me as their surrogate. The IVF Dr they were using denied me and I could no longer be their match! I was angry, sad, and just overall emotional over the entire ordeal. I cannot imagine how the parents were feeling. The agency didn’t know why at first that I was denied as I’m very healthy and have had 4 children of my own. Finally after what seemed like forever I got an email saying…..

The IVF Dr does not way the IF(intended father) to have a carrier that has given birth more than 2 times. He confirmed with the agency that there were not medical reasons from my part and it was simple due to the IF’s age and he didn’t want to risk his cycle. When I started this journey I knew that it would going to be emotional and trying at times but I had no idea that even the matching phase would be full of so many ups and downs. I so far love the agency I’m working with and hope that things continue to go well. I have heard some not so great things about them in the surro world that made me a little uneasy.

Later this afternoon I received a profile for and Intended Father who down right seems amazing! I’m waiting to arrange a Skype call with him and hope that he will be my for sure match! The thought of making someone a father that wants children so badly  but hasn’t found the right person yet is just simply amazing. So please say a prayer that this will be the perfect match for both of us!

 

Until next time,

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A journey isn’t a journey without twist and turns………

What is a journey if it doesn’t have some twist bumps and hurdles to overcome! I was officially matched but with a heavy heart and much thought have canceled my match with this couple. Chris and I have made the decision to only pursue domestic matches. The language barrier was just to much for us and made communicating that much harder. I have already been set up to talk to a couple that only lives 3 1/2 hours from me in the Los Angels area. We have a skype call all ready to go for Monday and a lunch date when I go to my medical screening. I felt instantly connected to this couple and Chris and I both are happy with our decision to pursue a match with this couple. They reached out and expressed the eager desire to work with me as their surrogate. I really cannot wait to work with this couple.

I honestly thought that in order to do this I needed to feel disconnected from the family I was helping so no attachment would be formed. This couple is different and they want a close relationship with me and my FAMILY! This is huge its not just me but they want to know my family as well. That was a huge factor for me being ok with having a close relationship. They want picture updates of my pregnancy, birth photos and video(and we all know how much I love birth photography) Listening to my friend Jocelyn tell how she was so connected to her family made me do some real soul searching to figure out exactly what I wanted from this process. I actually made a little list of wants to help and my wonderful husband was on board with every single thing. He told me that he much rather work with someone within the US and I value his honesty because this is something we are both taking a journey through.

  1. Must be domestic( within the US)
  2. Would like a relationship with myself and family
  3. Need to speak English as a primary language

Today I received the word that they want to move forward with me and that I’m what they have been looking for….I’m very excited about this new match and cannot wait to meet them at our lunch date!

Until next time,

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I have a match!!

_TOL9195I have officially been matched with a family from China! I cannot wait to get the process started and help this family out. Although I am a tad nervous about meeting them at the end of this month. I’m sure everything will go amazing and it will be a great emotional meeting but I’m always worried that my first impression might not be great. I keep getting asked a lot how I’m doing with things especially because they are happening so fast…..I’m doing pretty well with it all but of course I have things that I’m worried about and some emotional things to work through. I need to wean my son in order to start the IVF process. Yes I have been blessed with an amazing nursing relationship with him for almost 3 years its still bittersweet that it will soon come to an end. I plan on cutting out feedings(which are really only 1-2 per day) slowly until we drop all feedings. It really does take a tole on my heart but I know that our journey has been amazing and I’m very thankful for this bond we have shared. So far the process is going well and slow just like I wanted. Hes nursing once a day now usually at night but there are times I feel the need to nurse him in the daytime so I do :/.

A lot of people have been asking me how I’m doing and making the comments they could never do this. Most of these comments steam from not really truly knowing how surrogacy works. There is still a lot left that I have to learn about the process. I can tell one thing to my readers is that this child I will be carrying is in no way my own child! This is all done through IVF either using the IP’s egg and sperm or a donor. I feel that most people hear the word surrogate and think that I’ll be having a baby with some stranger and giving away MY child to them when this is just simply not the case. I am a gestational surrogate not a traditional. I really hope that clears up any misunderstandings that people may have had.

Last night I had the pleasure of listing to a friend and past surrogate tell all about her journey to bless 2 different families with twins! She shared the ups and downs and brought a beautiful album that was put together by her from the intended mother full of pictures before during and after the process. I thought it was such a great little gift she got. I learned so much last night and bombarded her with questions about legal stuff, medical and psych exams. I think now I have a little bit clearer understanding of how it all works. I feel nervous because that little fear of the unknown is always enough to drive someone crazy. My paperwork has kind of came to a little hault waiting for my husband to return so he can sign the paperwork as well. That is my current update and I look forward to my next post being about medical appts and other important dates on this journey!

Blessings,

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I have 2 potential matches!

The last few days have been kind of a whirlwind of crazy but exciting things. Monday I got a call from the surro agency and a potential IP wanted to speak with me. I talked to her for about 30 minutes and it was amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. Listening to her share her struggle to have a child really  made me feel that much more excited to help out a family. The agency told me they would let me know in a couple days if she decided to choose me. I felt good about our conversation and just waited for the call. During this process I have already thought about my support system and how much I will need to be support emotionally throughout this journey. I decided to set up interviews with some local doulas and ask them 10 questions I prepared. Here are the questions….

Doula Interview Questions

  1. How much do you know about surrogacy?
  2. Will you be open to supporting me at prenatal appointments and other important appointments during my pregnancy?
  3. Can you travel with me to IVF transfers? Only if my husband is working out of town.
  4. Do you understand that I’m carrying a child for someone else and that I have no biological attachment to the child?
  5. If I need more emotional support during the pregnancy are you willing to provide that?
  6.  Since this is different than a normal doula client how much would you fee be and if the intended parents want your support would that pose an additional cost?
  7.  Are you willing to meet the intended parents?
  8. What are you not willing to do?
  9.  If I conceive twins and need a cesarean and my husband isn’t home are you willing to attend before/during and after the delivery if the hospital allows it?
  10.  Do you have any questions for me?

I did however put my first doula interview, Avira on the spot and ask some pretty difficult and emotional questions for both of us. She was amazing as always and answered what she could honestly and needed to think about some of what was thrown at her. While I was meeting and talking to Avira I had 6 missed called from the agency and a voice mail. I called back after our meeting and was informed that one of my potential matches went for her egg retrieval and she didn’t have any eggs. My heart really broke for her as I know its been a long journey for her and her husband but the agency informed me that they were trying to match me with another IP from China! Her eggs were already here and frozen in San Diego! The agency told me the IP wants the process to go very quickly and she was looking for a surro that was ready now! HELLO that is totally me. So now I’m just waiting to talk to the IP and hopefully start the process. I know there is medical screenings and legal things that need to be done but I’m so excited to start this process. I have 2 more doula interviews to do and I’ve already arranged a birth photographer! Can you tell I’m ready and eager to do this……..

Until next time,
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