Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Match update!

I'm about 5 days (!) behind in posting this update about my meeting with IM. My little family and I went out of town the following day, and school is out all this week for the holiday so time has just gotten away from me. You'd be surprised just how busy a home can be with 6 people and 2 pups! Well, maybe you wouldn't really. 😉

On to more exciting news:

The meeting with IM last week went quite well. I often find meeting new people can be a little awkward. Despite this, I felt that our conversation flowed rather smoothly. We shared a bit about our personal lives, and of course IM's desire to have children and my desire to help make that happen! I saw no reason why we shouldn't to try to build her dream together. So...

It's A Match! 

We are getting the ball rolling over here! I'm waiting to hear from my attorney about our next steps. I also have an appointment with the RE on Dec 12. I'm not entirely sure what this appointment will entail, but I suspect it will be a medical screening appointment. I'm thankful that the clinic is close (less than an hour) away, so no airplanes for this!

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to carry again, and even more fortunate to have the burden of travel removed! I'm confident in this decision and I'm excited to see what this journey holds!

Have a very Happy Turkey Day, friends!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Match meeting!

Hello, faithful followers! So much has happened since I last updated! As you can tell by the post title, we have made some forward progress. I'll get to that in a moment.

I have officially been accepted by one of the agencies with whom I applied earlier, but they currently do not have any IP's who would consider a "no terminate" surrogate. So for now, that's a waiting game. Also, I'll add that this agency has been wonderful throughout the application process and I'd love to plug them here: Family Source Consultants.

I am still waiting to hear back from the other agency on my official acceptance. Their insurance risk management had some problems with my insurance's clarity in benefits and exclusions as it pertains to a surrogate pregnancy. After many phone calls to BCBS, my attorney, and to my husband's HR department, I think we are finally squared away. (I'll leave it at that lest I jump on a soapbox about healthcare and insurance companies!) Also, one of the RE's that they work with has declined to work with me due to the number of pregnancies I have had. This isn't unusual as many doctors have their own protocols; it does not concern me in the least. The agency has now sent my medical records to be reviewed by another facility to see if they will accept me. So at the moment, I am not "officially" accepted as a surrogate with this agency, but I will say that they too have been wonderful up to this point.

Now, for some EXCITING news! I mentioned in the previous post that my attorney was also working on a potential match for me. We have been able to make some progress here and I am meeting with the IM in a couple of days!! We are very fortunate that this family is much more local (a few hours away) than my previous families, so I'm hoping - if we do indeed decide to "match" with one another - that they will be able to more closely be involved due to their proximity. Also, it would be no flying for me (bonus!) as their chosen clinic is within driving distance. 😊

I'm looking forward to meeting her and I am hopeful everything will go well. I'll be back in a couple days with an update on that!

Thanks for hanging in with me, friends!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Green lighted

Y'all, I've been green lighted.

My post-op appointment was yesterday, and I'm happy to say everything (down there) has healed up nicely. I asked my doc if she felt comfortable with me pursuing another surrogacy and carrying again she said, "Go for it!" So I am - yay!

I mentioned in my last post that I had some things in the works. I have applied to two agencies, and although I haven't been officially accepted yet (so much paperwork!), I am confident that I will be soon.

In the surrogacy world, I am what they call a "hard match," meaning the agencies could have a harder time finding parents for me because I choose not to terminate a pregnancy or reduce the number of embryos after they have implanted. So, I chose to apply with two agencies - neither have exclusivity agreements - in order to increase my pool of potential intended parents.

In another interesting twist, my attorney contacted me yesterday to let me know that she is actually helping a local family search for a gestational surrogate and wondered if this is something I would consider. Of course it is! I would love to be able to carry for a local family. They are working with Nashville Fertility Clinic, so no travel would be required of me. Since there are no agencies in TN, this would be an independent journey, meaning no agency would be involved. Of course, all the appropriate legal matters would be handled as usual. I am looking forward to hearing more about this opportunity, and really hope that it turns out well. I should know more in the coming days.

For now, I'm just waiting for my match to continue on to my third surrogacy, knowing that my future IPs are worth the wait.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A little getaway before surgery

October is my anniversary month. It also includes a mini Fall break for the kids. During their break from school, they got to spend time with their grandma while the husband whisked me away to the beach for a little early anniversary celebration. We are celebrating 17 years of marriage this year. (If any of my readers have been married for any length of time, y'all know this is no easy feat.) No marriage is without it's trials; it's what we choose to learn from them that can determine what kind of marriage we can have. I'm grateful for the many (and I mean many) opportunities for my husband and I to learn from our trials and grow in our marriage.

It's about a 6 hour drive to FL for us, and we ended up in a bay side condo on Navarre Beach. We were able to leave the windows open, let the breeze in, and listen to the waves.

View from the condo
We took the time to just enjoy being together and even went on a few adventures. We explored some historical sites at the Pensacola Naval Base and visited the National Aviation Museum. We took our obligatory beach dolphin watching cruise where we got to see a few Flippers. We even rented a jet ski for a little bit to have a little fun on the water. We decided that perhaps we are aging out of those kinds of adventures, haha!!

We traveled to the Orange Beach area to visit one of our favorite places

Us- about to enjoy some FABULOUS beignets at Brick & Spoon
After 4 days, it was time to head back home and get ready for the surgery. The pre-op appointment was easy enough of course. The next day, we had to be at the hospital at 9a to prepare for the procedure at 11a. My husband was with me the whole time; he takes care of me well.

Looking unafraid ....I'm lying.
I was super nervous about the anesthesia. It's a very vulnerable thing to know you are going to be put to sleep and be at the mercy of total strangers with none of your own control. That's some fear right there. Thankfully, I had a wonderful team who made me feel as comfortable with the procedure as possible. All in all, it went very quickly. My team wheeled me back to the OR around 10:30a and I was at home resting by 1p. My doc shared some photos of my uterus -- showing off her work. ;)

Polyps circled on left; all clear on the right!
I spent the rest of the day sleeping off the anesthesia. And today I'm back to normal with no cramping or spotting. I have no activity restrictions other than vaginal rest (no intercourse, tampons, douches, etc) for 2 weeks. I hope to get medical clearance to carry again at my post-op appointment on October 26.

I have not heard from K & J, or their attorney regarding their decision of legal liability in the matter. We have reached out several times, but with no response. I am ready to put that journey completely behind me and move forward in my search for another match. I may have some prospects in the works, but it's a bit too early for me say at the moment. You'll have to check back in for that update!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Going under (the knife?)

I'm back with an update -- I was hoping to have the legal side of things cleared up before I posted but I'll share where I'm at so far...

My consult with my OB was rescheduled for another day due to my doc having to deliver during my appointment time. The nerve of that laboring mama, right? ;) I did eventually have my consult about having these polyps removed. I shared the medical notes from the saline sonogram with my OB. Initially, the nurse performing the ultrasound said my polyps were "tiny." However, my OB said they were a "pretty good size." Those are my relative terms. I guess I agree with the "good size" description since my cycles have been AWFUL! I don't want to share TMI, but I literally can't go anywhere for the first 2 days of my cycle due to heavy bleeding and horribly painful cramps. I have never had cramps like these in my life. These symptoms have been present since the chemical pregnancy back in January. I knew they were likely from the hormonal changes from the IVF medications, but I didn't realize they would be permanent! So, surgery is my only option to take back my life from these monster cycles.

My d&c is scheduled for Oct 12. It will be an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. I did not realize that I have to be asleep for this procedure. I am a bit nervous, I confess. But it has to be done, so on we march!

As for the legal side of this situation, it is still being "discussed" among the attorneys. The discussion is revolving around whether the IVF medications actually led to the development of the polyps. If they did, then the IPs would be contractually liable. Their attorney is stating that there's no proof that the medications caused the polyps, therefore the IPs shouldn't be liable for the cost of removal. *cue my eye roll here*

A very simple internet search can you tell that polyps are a very common side effect of IVF medications. K's previous doctor told her that as well as my OB. But the attorneys need it in writing from a doctor. *cue another eye roll* My OB will not put this in writing for me as part of a legal document because I was not in her care during the IVF medications and procedures. K's doctor does not consider me a patient -- K is the patient, not me...so that doctor cannot offer that. And of course, the clinic we previously worked with did not diagnose the polyps, so it's doubtful they would provide documentation of the cause.

It goes without saying that had our journey continued as we agreed, the IPs would have been responsible for the procedure in order to move forward with the next transfer attempt. Since they broke the contract before that could happen, this now seems to be a grey area in the contract.

While I do want to carry again, in light of this current situation, it's highly unlikely that I will carry with the same agency. I'm not feeling very confident in their abilities or desire to be an advocate for the surrogates as well as they are for their intended parents. (And I never even shared here about some issues with the previous surrogacy.) I'm certainly not comfortable with the surrogacy agreement resulting in me being left with a large medical bill as well my husband's personal time off from work to care for me during recovery. As this looks to be the likely case, it seems that perhaps I could not afford to work with this agency again. It's obviously my personal belief that the surrogate should not be left financially responsible for any medical procedures that are a result of the surrogacy agreement.


Other than all of the above, life has been pretty good to me these days. My oldest child at home just turned 16, got his permit, and got a job. He's working to save for a car.

My youngest (the one with the football) plays flag and is his team - that his daddy coaches - is currently undefeated.

The husband took me to see Boyz II Men with The Nashville Symphony. It was a super fun date night!

All in all, things are going well at the moment.

I do hope to seek another match after my procedure and complete a third (and most likely final!) journey. Stay tuned, friends!