Friday, December 21, 2012

25 weeks

Yesterday marked 25 weeks! Moving right along! K came into town for a regular OB appointment on Monday. She came by the house to pick me up, and she brought some Christmas presents for the kids and each of them a shirt from their family trip to Disney world! So sweet and the kids love the doll and pirate ship!
At the office, we ended up having to wait a while. Two of the ladies from the agency met us up there and kept us company in the waiting room. Everything looked good with my health and the baby's. I am a tad concerned with my recent weight gain (6 pounds since the last appointment!) but my doctor isn't so I suppose I'm doing good! Baby's heart rate was 141 this time. He was kicking around while the nurse was doing the Doppler, but sadly K didn't get to feel him this visit. In a few weeks I will go in just for the glucose lab (diabetes screen), then on January 24 K and M (and probably one or more of baby's big siblings) will be able to come to the next appointment which will include a 3-D ultrasound! How fun! I had one done during my first pregnancy and it was so neat! I think it will be really special for baby's family to get to "see" him before he's born! Oh and they have decided on a first name! Yay!

Here's one from 25 weeks 4 days (Christmas Eve)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

20 weeks

Thursday marked 20 weeks! The baby has been moving and I think we're almost to the point of feeling his movements from the outside of my belly! I can still tell the difference though with the anterior placenta (as opposed to with my kids, posterior placentas). My next OB appointment is tomorrow, and K may not make it to this one if she doesn't find a sitter for the kids. But hopefully the next time I see her she will get to feel her little one's kicks!
I woke up early Friday morning sick and it continued throughout the day. I started having sharp cramps that felt like contractions to me during the day so I called my OBs on call line and he got back to me and said to only drink water, Sprite, and Ginger-ale, no food, for at least 24 hours. He said that cramps and even contractions are common when you are sick and dehydrated, but if they got severe or persisted to go in to L&D at the hospital. He said if the cramps had stopped within the 24 hours that I could switch to the BRAT diet. (Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). It was a little scary having the sharp contractions, but they were up higher only, and I knew everything would be okay. I checked the baby's heartbeat and continued to feel him moving, so besides feeling terrible, I was at peace. Thankfully this morning I'm feeling almost 100% better and my appetite is back full force, just a little weak from not eating much the last two days.
Here is a picture from Thursday. The left side of the picture is from
K & M's baby is about 10 inches long from head to heel now; and is producing meconium which will accumulte in his intestines until he's here and makes that first poopy diaper, which his wonderful parents will be so happy to change!
20 weeks

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sono picture

This is from the last appointment, baby was sucking his thumb in the bottom picture, so cute. K&M have now shared the news with their family and friends, and their kids are so excited of course!
I started feeling some movement two days ago, they're still subtle but I am glad to feel the kicks/stretches!

Monday, October 29, 2012

17.5 weeks

Today K & M drove down for an appointment, which included the anatomy sonogram. We found out baby is a boy! They planned on telling the big siblings tonight about the baby, then later do a gender reveal for them with balloons in a box! Funny thing is, although they still did not know about the pregnancy and soon-to-be sibling, one of the boys recently requested "a baby brother that is a boy". So cute! Although big sister argued she'd prefer another little sister! I'm sure either way all four big siblings will be so excited to welcome their baby brother in five months!
We also found out at the appointment that the placenta is on top (anterior) which is what I was suspecting since I have yet to feel any for-sure fetal movements. It still may be a few more weeks before I can feel anything because of this. Its fairly common and shouldn't cause any issues with the pregnancy or delivery.
When Dr Reeves was adjusting the due date back to April 4th, (it had somehow got changed in the computer to April 2) he said March 28th would be when he would recommend scheduling the repeat c-section for! That will be on Olivia's 4th birthday! I think that would be so special if it works out to have him on that day! One of the happiest days of my life, and now might be the day I deliver a family's bundle of joy to them! Olivia was thrilled to hear this news!
The baby was measuring 18 weeks today (will be 18 weeks on Thursday this week), and my uterus is measuring 23cm, big I know!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

16 weeks

Tuesday night I started getting worried that I hadn't felt the baby's movements yet. I couldn't remember when I felt Olivia and Conner's first flutters, so I tried looking back through old emails and such, and found I had probably felt Olivia around 18 weeks, and no clue about Conner. Once I got myself worrying it was hard to shake, so I told Mike yesterday morning that I was worried and was going to call my doctor and see if I could go in for a quick heartbeat check. I let K know and she was praying and nervous too. I think we both still felt that everything was okay, but better to check and have peace of mind. I called and got an appointment for 2:30, and me and the kids headed to my moms house to visit my nephew who was visiting. The kids stayed while I went to the appointment. Once there, the nurse did the routine checks and then used the doppler to find the baby's heartbeat. It felt like it took sooo long to find, but once she caught it for a split second we heard why. The baby must have been turning flips because we could hear the commotion. He/she then calmed down and let us listen to the heartbeat for a while at 154 beats per minute. Dr Reeves came in and talked to me and reassured me that I do everything I'm supposed to, my previous pregnancies have had great outcomes and so will this one. He also said its common when you're dealing with someone else's kid (he calls them kids, even when they're itty bitty in utero) to be more cautious. We are keeping our next appointment on October 29, which will include an ultrasound! K will be coming and will likely have the sonographer write down baby's gender and do a "gender reveal" with her family. I'm also having Mike come with me to this next appointment. I want him to be able to see the doctor again too before the day of delivery.
Yesterday evening I went to a friends house to pick up a pocket doppler which she's letting me borrow. Olivia and I tried it out this morning and I love it!
Today is exactly 16 weeks, less than a month away from halfway!
Baby's heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood per day, his/her toenails have started growing, and baby will double in weight over the next few weeks.
I'm feeling good, and haven't had any crazy cravings lately, just been on this lemon water kick, with a very high lemon to water ratio! So sour but so good. I of course don't do it too often since I need it to be real lemon. I tried the packaged kind and it is not the same! In fact I'm going to squeeze the other half of the lemon I have left and have some now! Yum!
Thanks everyone for all the support, it's really great having such positive people around me during this!
The avocado picture is from; the other is Olivia helping me with the heartbeat "microphone."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Recent picture

It seemed like my belly has started growing quite a bit this week, here's a picture from Wednesday (one day shy of 15 weeks)

Monday, October 8, 2012

change in plans

Last friday (Sep. 28) K and I went for another OB appointment. It was great seeing her again, and I'm really glad that it looks like she'll be able to make it to many/most of the appointments. We had talked about a week before that and decided to see the doctor, Dr. Reeves, who I saw when I was pregnant with Conner (and also delivered him.) I had originally ruled him out as I was wanting the option of a VBAC. Dr Reeves doesn't do VBACs and we talked to him about that. I'm still a little torn but I do trust him as a doctor. Mike was a little upset too because he knew that it was important to me to have the option, although he trusts me and the doctor to do what is best. Its weighed heavily on K's heart too and I feel there's always a reason for things like that. She also loves Dr. Reeves. We did an ultrasound and got to see baby moving around, and heard the heartbeat. I think the heart rate was 136 this time but I've slept since then so I can't be sure! The baby was measuring a couple days big. Conner was the same way, and he was a big baby when he was born! I've also read that for some reason babies that were "frozen" embryos tend to have higher birth weights, so I'm guessing this baby will be pleasantly plump! K&M's other children have been big too.
K and M's little one at 13weeks 1day

Our next appointment is in 3 weeks at 17.5 weeks gestation. We forgot to ask if we will be doing the anatomy ultrasound then, but I'll probably call and check. If I remember correctly, we did Conner's right at 20 weeks. Today (Oct 8) we are 14 weeks and 4 days. OH! Good news, I've been off all meds for a couple of weeks now! Yay! I'm starting to show a little but I think I really just look bloated still. Baby is 3 1/2 inches from head to bottom, about the size of a lemon now, according to babycenter.

Here's a picture Olivia took, one day shy of 12 weeks:
I'll take an updated one soon, but I don't feel like getting dressed today. And yes, the day is almost over, haha!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

rancho grande!

Last week was our first OB appointment! K was able to drive down and Denise and Wendy from the agency also met us there. K arrived into town a little earlier than expected so she met me at my house (I was waiting for my hibernating bear to wake up) and then we went to eat. My mom met us at my favorite Mexican restaurant Rancho Grande and we all ate and mom took the kids with her afterwards. We also got to see some wonderful friends while we were there too! K loved the food and has been craving it, and after talking to her again today so am I!
We got to the doctor's office and I started filling out all the wonderful paperwork, then we were called back. The nurse had a ton of medical questions for myself and K. Once the doc came in, he had some more questions for us and we got to discuss some things with him. Then was the fun part- the sonogram! We weren't expecting to do one but since there had been some fluid noted in the last ultrasound he went ahead and did another. The baby had clearly done some growing and developing in the week and half or so since the first ultrasound! He/she was wiggling around and dancing for us. Over all the appointment went well although there were some overwhelming moments. He discussed different invasive tests that we are already certain we aren't going to do. Also talking about the risks involved with a VBAC was a bit scary. He does do them in the right circumstance, and says the risk of uterine rupture is .8%, but when it does happen it can be a very bad situation. I'm not sure where I stand on that now but I think I am more comfortable with a repeat C section than I was before! I just want to do whats best for the baby and myself.
In other news, I've been going to the lab once a week to have my hormone levels checked in order to start weaning me off the meds. Last week I switched from three pills daily of estrogen, down to two. And today I got to go down to one pill daily of estrogen, AND from 1.5mL to 1mL of progesterone injections! yay!! my hips will be so happy with my smaller injection tomorrow! Although strangely I was a little nervous this time when I was told to go down on the meds. I think I've considered them my safety to keeping things going right, but obviously the doctor is reviewing my labs and my body must be taking over the hormones so the artificial ones aren't going to be necessary. So now that I've thought about that, I'm less nervous and super excited to be moving past the meds part of this soon!
Our next appointment will be September 28th, at 13 weeks (yay, second trimester time!)

Things I've been craving the last couple weeks:
Iraqi bread, and now Rancho Grande salsa!!

How I've been feeling:
TIRED! very tired! Much like the first trimester of my pregnancy with Conner. Could also have something to do with my rambunctious duo!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sneak peek!

Today Mike and I drove to Frisco to meet K and M for the first ultrasound. We found out there is one healthy little baby growing, and we got to watch baby's heart fluttering on the screen at 170 beats per minute! We were all a little upset about the baby that didn't stick, but we know that God is in control. K and M brought their youngest child to the appointment, and she is so adorable! I can't wait for all our kids to meet, but we'll have to be careful since Olivia knows about the pregnancy while K and M are waiting a while to tell their children. (The one they brought with them today is too young to grasp the situation) It was wonderful seeing K and M and they were so happy to see the healthy growing baby.
I will be weaning off the medications over the next few weeks, and should be done in about a month. I can't wait to be done with those injections! They actually haven't been bad overall but the last few days have been a little rough. Our first regular OB appointment will be next Friday, and K will be able to drive down for this one.
Here is a picture from today's sonogram. Isn't it amazing that this little one has been frozen since 2006, and today is growing, with a heartbeat?!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

second beta

Sunday after church I started feeling REALLY nauseated, hooray! As much as I hate that feeling, its just a good ole symptom of pregnancy! Mike and I grabbed a bite to eat and went to a local resort here on Lake Conroe to spend the night, so I started feeling much better when we got there! The kids stayed with my parents but we definitely want to go back with them sometime too!

I woke up early Monday morning and drove to the lab to do my second beta test. Generally you'd do the second one two days after the first, but I did three days since it was over a weekend. The nurse called from the clinic Monday afternoon with the results: 754!! I was certainly thinking it was going to be higher after all that nausea, but its a great number! The number should double every 24-48 hours and mine double in a little less than 40 hours. I looked up numbers on a chart that women submit to a website. The median for singleton pregnancies at 18 days past ovulation (I was 13 days past a 5 day transfer, so 13+5=18) is 416, while the median for twins at 18dpo is 809. So my number is a little closer to the twin median! K & I texted throughout the day and she's very excited that we have good numbers, and we are all ready to see that sonogram on August 20th!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's official!

Labs confirmed today with a beta of 219, we are officially pregnant! I spoke with K today and she is of course excited that it is confirmed now. We were both trying to analyze the number and figure out if both babies implanted or one. It's a good strong number but it really doesn't tell us much except that I am indeed pregnant with at least one baby. The number should double every 24-48 hours, and I'm going back to the lab Monday. We have a date set for the first sonogram- August 20th, at which we will be able to see if both babies implanted. And we will likely see the heartbeat(s) at that time! It's amazing how much growth happens in such a short amount of time!
So far I've had only very mild symptoms of pregnancy, much like my pregnancies with my kids.
Funny story: Olivia caught me slouching the other day and told me that I shouldn't sit like that because the babies don't like it when I do. That's my little bossy-pants! And tonight while playing restaurant she asked if I wanted Dr Pepper, Sprite, or Sweet tea. I acted all sad and said I can't have two of those! She asked "do you have a baby in your belly?" I said yes. She asked "right now?" "yes". "well then you'd better have Sprite!" This girl knows I'm missing my Dr Pepper and sweet tea!
Conner is really too young to know what's going on but I'm curious how he will be as he nears age two closer to the due date. I'm thinking he'll be more interested in hot wheels than anything else haha!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Big fat positive!

So excited to announce I've been testing positive with home pregnancy tests! I got the first very faint line on Saturday at about 4 days past transfer! The lines have continued to get darker and this picture was yesterday's test. Of the seven tests I've taken, all have been positive except the one I took the morning of three days past transfer. (I know, why was I even testing that early?!) K wanted me to tell her when I tested positive so I sent her pictures Sunday morning. Mike thought Saturday's was too faint to tell her. I'm so excited for K and M and now the next step is beta (official hcg test) this Friday! We won't find out til next month if it's one baby or if both stuck around. I'll be going back up to Frisco for that appointment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"two week wait"

Well we aren't waiting quite that long, official labs will be 10 days after transfer, which was Tuesday morning! Denise came and got me early EARLY Tuesday morning and drove me (along with her sweet daughter) to Frisco for the transfer! I started to get nervous right when it was time to drink my 32 oz of water prior to arriving at the clinic, I was hoping the nerves wouldn't make it all come back up! Once we got there, Denise gave me a wonderful gift in the car, a scented candle, shower gel and lotion, and of course a pack of home pregnancy tests! We went inside and K&M were already checked in and sitting in the waiting area. We hugged and I could tell K was feeling a little nervous. M went out to their car and came back with a large picnic basket filled with all kinds of snacks, and things that I could use while on bedrest, magazines, face wipes, etc. So sweet and greatly appreciated, I kept it right next to me the whole time I was on bedrest.

Denise and I ran off to do my morning injection of progesterone (Mike normally does them for me, I don't prefer to do them myself). Not long after that, the nurse called us back! Just K and I went back, everyone else waited out front for us. We donned our wonderful gowns and hats and I was given something to help me relax during the procedure, so I got on the bed and chatted with K while we waited. Soon enough the embryologist came in with pictures of the embies, and filled K in on how well they were doing. She said they looked much like K&M's youngest child (as far as embryo quality goes) so that was great news!
K with the picture of her babies taken just before transfer:

And here they are up close. They were 5 day old (blastocyst) embies. Aren't they cute?! ;-)

It was time to go to the procedure room. They wheeled my bed just across the hallway, and got me situated. The ultrasound was shown on a screen hanging above me where K and I could both see. We got to watch the catheter go in and the embryos enter there new temporary home! It was great being able to see the ultrasound! Makes me think of how absolutely amazing God's ways are, especially when it comes to the miracle of life and modern medicine. We have seen His hand over and over again in this situation.

After transfer, it was off to the hotel for bedrest! It went well, I did get a headache and got sick at night, but other than that, I slept, relaxed, watched TV, read magazines. K came back and checked on me before they headed back out of town. Denise and her daughter kept checking in and bringing me food. After 24 hours of bedrest at the hotel, it was time to head home. Denise drove me back into town, and my sister Lacey came over with my kids and her son. Lacey and Mike were both great about taking over with the kids, I'm so grateful! Today Lacey and I did a couple things with the kids, then tried to go shopping (total fail with 3 kids around naptime!) Mike had me go home and told me he'd stop by the store for me after work. So I've been doing lots of "taking it easy" to help those embies get a head start hopefully! I plan on doing a home pregnancy test sometime over the weekend and/or Monday. K doesn't want to know until its positive, so I don't see the point in testing TOO early even though I'm dying to go test NOW!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Let the fun begin!

I cannot believe how quickly the transfer day is approaching! These last couple of weeks have seemed to fly by. I am getting a little nervous, and super excited! I have been on the estrogen pills for a couple of weeks now, and just started the progesterone injections yesterday morning. I have been getting up with Mike before he goes to work so he can give me the shots. I got some pineapple yesterday and plan on having some everyday up til transfer and a few days after; its supposed to make for a very cozy womb! I've already stocked up on a few home pregnancy tests, there's no way I could wait til the first lab test, which will be the 27th! I've been speaking with K (Intended mother) these last few weeks and we are so excited and ready!
I went to a get-together last weekend and met some wonderful surrogates. Its nice meeting others who have been through it all or are going through it now; we are all part of different groups/forums online and its great to have them there for support. And of course, having Denise as the coordinator during all this is so wonderful!
Alright, we are five days away now! Send us lots of prayers and "sticky" thoughts this next week please!
Just a glimpse of my bathroom turned clinic for those morning shots!

surro get-together, yep, those are my kids looking fabulous in there ;-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

summer time!

Its been a busy few weeks for sure! I had my son's first birthday, mine and hubby's wedding anniversary, daughter's adoption, and vacation all in the last month!
This is my family at the courthouse for my daughter's adoption by my husband!

We spent all last week on vacation at Port Aransas (LOVE that place!) It was so much fun and even had some relaxing moments! (hey, those are rare with a teething toddler around)

And on to the surro stuff!
Yesterday morning AF arrived so I called the IVF clinic to start Estrace (estrogen pills). But when I called I was told that the lab would be closed and would not be ready in time for a transfer the 2nd week of July as we had planned! I called K (IM) and told her and she was of course even more upset than I was. M (IF) works out of town and it was going to throw everything off as far as labs being done in the right time frame. I've also got my cousins wedding, which my daughter and I are both a part of, which is July 21st. Knowing that this clinic's protocol for bed-rest after transfer is 48 hours was really going to cause problems if we couldn't do the transfer early enough that week. After several phone calls amongst the clinic, the agency, and K and I, we got it resolved to work for everyone. We now have the transfer set for either July 17th or July 18th. Everything will work out with K&M's lab work, and I will be able to make it to both the rehearsal and the wedding. I wont have to stay up there for the entire 48 hours, but instead can go home the day after transfer. So with the minor set back in dates, I will have to start back on a BC pill so we can reset my cycle. (Yes, that means another period within two weeks from this one, fun right!?)

Oh and I checked out this book from the library called "The Kangaroo Pouch."   I actually had to have it sent in from another library in another state since our local libraries don't have it. I wasn't too sure about it at first, but Olivia (my 3 year old) seems to like it! It is a children's book about surrogacy. She's been hopping around and yesterday she said she has a baby kangaroo in her pouch. I still haven't told her what all is happening, but I think I'm just gonna play it by ear! I think I'll end up buying the book so Conner can enjoy it later on too. (He won't sit still long enough for most books right now!)

That's all my news for now!
Oh, and congrats to my surro friends and their IPs who are getting positive tests this week! So exciting!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

meet the doc

Yesterday morning was the first medical appointment in Frisco with IM's ivf doctor (Dr. B). The appointment was at 10am and I was told to get there a little early for paperwork. I got there really early so I went to grab some food and come back. I started filling out the paperwork and K (IM) met me there in the waiting room. She of course knew the entire staff and they all were saying hi to her (she did two IVF procedures with them before) I got all the paper work filled out and K and I sat and visited while we waited. One of the things we talked about was how to explain everything to our kids. Her kids are age 9-girl, age 5-twin boys, and age 1-girl. I told her about the book I've heard of called Kangaroo Pouch, which I'm having sent to my local library to check it out. I'm concerned also about explaining it to my 3 year old daughter Olivia, and also told her about my concern about talking to her about her own adoption (Mike is adopting her yay!!) Conner won't need much of an explanation at first but I know he will too. Ive heard people say one of the important things for the carrier to do around her kids is often say "K&M's baby" and not just "the baby" when talking about the pregnancy.
The office had some scheduling mishaps which put us about 45 minutes late being called back, but it ended up working in our favor because they were able to spend 2 hours with us! Dr. B brought K and I back and we went over our plans with him. He asked a ton of questions and went over possible dates. The tentative plan is for me to finish out my birth control pack, aunt Flo comes to visit, then I start estrogen pills the 2nd day. Once we have a for sure date set for the embryo transfer, I will start the progesterone injections 9 days prior to that, and continue them for 4-6 weeks after pregnancy is confirmed (and/or switch to progesterone suppositories at that point). Right now the transfer is tentatively scheduled for the 2nd week in July (9-13). (Right around the corner yay!!)
After we talked, I had some regular vaginal ultrasound pictures taken of my uterus and ovaries. I had a saline sonogram done, which means the doctor and sonographer filled my uterus with saline and performed an ultrasound to get pictures. It felt weird but not painful, just a little crampy afterwards. I also gave them blood and urine samples. The care coordinator went over how to do the progesterone injections with me. I'm gonna have to teach Mike, he offered last night to do them for me although I had planned to do them myself. I love my sweet husband!
We finished up the appointment and K and I said goodbye and went our separate ways! I said "next time I see you we'll be making a baby" but of course in reality the babies are already made, they are just awaiting a comfy spot to grow! The embies were fearfully and wonderfully made back in 2006, which is a great answer to the question "how can you just give a baby away after you carried it?" Well these baby/babies were never mine, in fact they were in existance before I was even pregnant with my first child. Even if we were doing a fresh embryo transfer, the baby is never the gestational carriers.
K told me one of her friends asked her why a woman would want to seek being a gestational carrier. I will do my best to explain.
I love pregnancy, I loved being pregnant. I love the medical appointments. I love the energy I had during the second and third trimesters (which was lacking drastically during the first!) I love not having migraines. I love seeing baby bellies! And yes I now have stretch marks and pregnancy has done a number on my body. I also have had some friends who have suffered with infertility and it breaks my heart. I cannot imagine the pain that has to be. I love my kids so much and although I had at one point thought I wanted a large family, for now we are considering IF we will even have more, but also we know if we do it will be a little while. So I wont be needing my womb anytime soon! Most of all, my reason for doing this is unexplained, I just have this God-given desire and am drawn to it. Even when my husband asked me why I want to do this so bad, I couldn't give him a real definite answer. Yes there is compensation involved for time, pain and suffering and expenses, but that is not my reasoning, and in fact Ive read that those women that look to it as just a way to make money usually end up not going through with it one way or another. The more I researched and met other surrogates, the more I saw what a beautiful thing it is. Additionally, I cannot wait to see K and M's faces when they hold their newest addition!!

Here is K & I after our appointment!

Friday, May 4, 2012

movin' right along

I spoke with our lawyers office Wednesday and they emailed the contract to me. Man, that thing is looong! I read through it Wednesday and Thursday, taking notes of questions/concerns etc. My husband and I will be looking it over and discussing it this weekend, then talking to our lawyer again next week. Once we get this part finished the next step will be a screening appointment with K & M's IVF doctor near Dallas. (K is the intended mother, M is the intended father, I'll be using their initials for privacy purposes) This screening appointment will consist of checkin' out my uterus, which can be done different ways but often consists of a saline ultrasound. This needs to be done around day 5 - day 10 of my cycle. (Which for my next should be around May 18-23ish, so if we get contracts done in time we might be able to do this appointment this month!)
I have a busy weekend coming up as my in-laws will be visiting from out of state, and I'll be finishing up my semester with finals! I will update more next week!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Its a match, its a match!

I have those words stuck in my head to the tune of "I'm the map, I'm the map" from Dora for some reason. :)
We are matched! Yesterday my husband and I drove about an hour and a half to meet halfway with potential IPs and also with Denise who is working for the agency now. I'm not going to give too many details about them at this point until I hear that they are OK with being "blogged" about. (is blog a verb now?) Basically, we hit it off and conversation seemed so natural between us all. Their need for a carrier is different than many cases, but I really like the situation and their reasons. They already have 3 "embies" stored (from previous IVF procedures) and feel that these are their babies (which they ARE!) and want to give them a chance to join the family even though their mommy can't bring them in the same way she did with the children they have already. They seem to be a strong, stable, loving, Christian family and I am excited to starting this journey with them!
The next steps are to get all the legalities (contracts) done so we can start the medical process. We will be starting everything pretty quickly!

Monday, February 20, 2012

matching time!

I'm so excited! I've been "cleared" for the medical and psychological evaluations and am moving on to the matching process! I'm praying things go smoothly and that everything is in God's timing and His perfect will!

Monday, February 6, 2012

What's next?

I'm one week away from the next step in starting this process. Next Monday, Mike and I will meet with a psychologist, Leslee, a licenced social worker who specializes in fertility issues. We will be doing about a one and a half hour long session to discuss "what ifs" and be evaluated for surrogacy. After our session, I will be doing an MMPI, which is a personality inventory to assess and screen for personality and mental health issues. I hear its very long (I think around 600 questions) and takes a while. While I'm doing that, Mike will be taking more of my OB medical records over to Fertility Resources (the surrogacy agency) since I didn't have all of them when we met before. After this, our next step is being "matched" with a couple. Wendy (the CEO of the agency) has told me couples are already asking about me and she is hoping to find the perfect match so that this will be a wonderful experience. When she finds a couple or couples that seem to be a good match, she will send me their information, then from there I can decide whether I think its a good match, and can start communicating with and meet the potential IPs (intended parents).
I'm still learning all the details but I will try to explain as much as I can about the process. Once we have been matched, the legal and clinical process starts. Each party will have their own attorney, and we will have a contract detailing everything, medical costs, possible problems, etc.
The clinical process in a nutshell for me, starts with medical tests, ultrasounds, and starting meds. I will go through a mock cycle first, which is basically all the steps leading up to an embryo transfer minus the actual transfer at the end. I may or may not be put on a birth control pill, and likely Lupron injections, and Estrace. After the actual embryo transfer happens, I will be on progesterone oil injections up until about week 10 of the pregnancy, which, I hear are quite painful. I will either do the injections myself or have Mike do them for me. Up to week 10 I will be seeing a reproductive endocrinologist, then my OB/GYN will take over my care. Although I felt like I asked a billion questions when I met Wendy, I still feel like I have a ton to learn, and as much research as I've been trying to do, I think I'll still be learning every step of the way. I am so excited to be starting this process, and to possibly be bringing a baby into a family! How awesome is that gonna be!?
I haven't told Olivia yet about our plans, but I'm certainly curious as to what her reaction will be! She has said things lately that let me know she understands more of the baby process than you might expect a preschooler to understand!

Here are a few common acronyms used in the process, since I will be using them in my blog I figured I'd list them.

  • SM - surrogate mother

  • GS - gestational surrogate (carries baby that is not biologically hers)

  • IP, IF, IM - intended parents, intended father, indended mother

  • RE - reproductive endocrinologist

  • ED - egg donor

Monday, January 23, 2012

The starting point

When I first heard about surrogacy, I was intrigued. After my pregnancy with my daughter, Olivia, the thought entered my mind that maybe it would be something I could do. I never persued it, it was just a thought. After my second child, Conner, was born, I started thinking about it again. He is now 8 months old, and my husband Mike and I have decided we are going to do this. I feel like is is part of God's plan for my life. Last night Mike and I made notes of questions to ask, concerns, etc, and today we met with the president of an agency in Houston. After our meeting, we knew it was something we are going to try to do. Having no personal experience with infertility, I know that I don't truely "understand" or "relate" to those that do, yet I can only imagine the pain. I know this will be a blessing. I also feel I'm a great candidate for this seeing as I really enjoyed my pregnancies for the most part. I'm very excited to see what is to come this year. Our next steps are to continue getting some of the technical (ie paperwork) stuff taken care, and as of today, to start the process of being matched to a couple seeking a surrogate.