Monday, January 16, 2017

Almost there

We are many steps closer to beginning the "fun" part of this process!

In the last 4 weeks, I have completed a psych eval to include a 567 question MMPI test - wow! I passed, so I'm not as crazy as my family thinks I am. ;) I also received a clean report from the fertility clinic for my hydrosonogram, meaning there are no signs of uterine polyps (yay!) or scarring from the D&C or previous pregnancies, or any other uterine abnormalities. I am clear to go! Additionally, the husband and I also attended a fertility counseling session together, and then another session with the IPs.

I have also been reviewing the initial contract draft with my attorney and we should have a final draft to send to the IPs for their approval this week. We'll see if the process moves faster than in previous journeys.

In the meantime, IM is waiting to start her retrieval meds; she hopes to undergo egg retrieval by the end of January. If the retrieval and fertilization is successful, the embryos will under PGD testing. I will be able to begin my medications after the embryos have been graded and frozen. Our hope is for me to begin in Feb or March, giving us a March or April transfer.

During this time, we traveled for Christmas to see my family. On Christmas Day, we surprised our children with a family trip to Gatlinburg as their Christmas present. We had a wonderful time there and the weather was perfectly unseasonably warm!

I hope to keep this page updated much more regularly as soon as things start to progress and I actually have something to report! Keep on keeping up with me, friends!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Medical screening complete

I wanted to pop in during this busy holiday season and post a quick update (and a few pics, yeah!).

I had my medical screening with the RE last week. I shared my medical records, had an ultrasound, and met with the IVF coordinator. The RE says I am an "excellent candidate" for surrogacy, yay! I will have a saline sonogram in about a week and a half (no appointment date yet) to make sure my polyp removal was indeed successful. I also have an psychological evaluation scheduled for Dec. 30. After that, the IPs and I will move on to the contract phase. This will be slightly different as I am basically in charge of determining what goes in the contract, with the help of my attorney of course, as opposed to an agency telling me what HAS to be in there. I am confident in my experience to choose the necessary pieces for the contract. We are planning to begin contracts the first week of January, and are hopeful that the process will move much quicker this time around.

IM and I have been in touch about doctor's appointments, psych appointments, attorneys, etc. I feel like this will be a very communicative journey.

I have been very busy in my kitchen this season. My oldest son asked me to make cake pops. I have never attempted them before as I consider them quite above my skill level. But I gave it a go, and I surprised myself with how well they turned out:

They were delicious!
I have also spent the last month preparing cookie dough for my family's annual Christmas cookie baking day. Every year, we (ok, mostly me!) bake hundreds of holiday cookies and treats to enjoy. We also box them up and pass them out to teachers, friends, and neighbors. It is something that I look forward to every year. Here is a photo of the results from this year:

This is how we box them!

Keep checking in on me, friends. I'll post an update after my sonogram. For now, we just keep on keepin on!

Merry Christmas!!

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.