Thursday, November 28, 2013

So much stuff...

First of all, let me wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!  I hope you all have a wonderful day, however you are spending it.  Personally, I will be working this evening, so I'm spending the earlier portion of my day with Matt.  He'll be at the sitter until tomorrow at some point.  I did get out this morning and run with some of my favorite mamas at Disney World for our own little Turkey Trot.  We had a blast, despite the super cold temperatures!

I've started the medications for the surrogacy.  I have the protocol for all the meds in my email and just looking at it makes me dizzy.  Lol.  I started to write on our calendar what I have to take when, but there's not enough room.  For now, it's just one medication, but it will increase to 4 in a couple weeks.  I got the box with everything in it and it's pretty large.  They sent it all at once instead of as needed like they did last time.

I had my first blood work and ultrasound on Monday.  Obviously, everything came back well or I wouldn't be on the meds.  This week, I'm lucky to remember my own name, much less to take the meds, which is why I wrote them on the calendar.  I'm working a crazy amount of hours this week, but it'll all be worth it when I see my paychecks next week.

I've got less than a month until the transfer!  We're getting more and more excited by the day!  I'm so ready for it.  Granted, it will be FREEZING when I get up there, but I'll make sure to pack layers.  Lol.  I really hope I get to see a couple people while I'm up there, but we'll see what the timetable looks like.  I'll keep you all posted!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's a date!

Well, the clinic has all my records and test results and the contract has been signed, so finally, they gave me a transfer date today!  In just one short month, on December 20th, I will have either one or two embryos transferred into me to become pregnant. That's just 5 days before Christmas!  What an amazing Christmas present for the parents!

So, here's how it's gonna go down.  This Friday, November 22nd, I will take my last active birth control pill.  On Monday, the 25th, I will go to a clinic down here in Orlando to get baseline blood work and a scan done.  After that, I will start injecting myself with the medication.  I bet a lot of you didn't know I'd have to do that, huh?  Yup.  I have to inject myself with one medication in the stomach and the other medication in my caboose.  I'll start off with just the medication in my stomach and the other medication will be started shortly before I transfer.  Both medications are to trick my body into thinking I'm already pregnant so it doesn't reject the embryo/s.  I'll have bloodwork done every couple weeks, just to make sure my body is responding normally to the meds.

On December 19th, I will fly up to CT again and spend the night.  On the 20th, the transfer will happen.  I will have to lay around in bed for 24 hours, and then fly home on the 21st.  I'm kinda hoping I land early enough on the 19th that maybe I can sightsee a little bit in NYC.  I'll most likely fly into La Guardia again.  I'll be making this trip solo since I already know what to expect and my hubby and I don't want to leave our son alone too much this holiday season.  We'll both be working like crazy as it is.

It's funny, though, because earlier today, I was thinking about how difficult the process has been this time around.  It seemed to have gone much more smoothly last time.  I think because I felt much more rushed this time and stressed out about having to get everything done in a timely manner.  I had a random thought, though, that now the hard part is done and the pregnancy will be easy.  I realized that for so many women, pregnancy is not easy and becoming pregnant is not easy.  That's why I'm a surrogate.  I'm blessed to have relatively (for the most part) easy pregnancies and have no difficulty becoming pregnant.  I don't take that for granted.  I'm so thankful to be able to help families out in this way.  I can't wait to share the rest of my journey with all of you!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The results are in!

The results from all the testing came in and...

I am good to go!

That's right.  I'm normal.  Lol.  Woohoo!  Although, I'm not sure that most people I know would describe me as "normal".  Anywho, now I need to send the clinic the rest of my records from Winnie Palmer and get the signed contract to my lawyer and the IPs' lawyer.  It may take a little time, but we'll get there.  Meanwhile, I'm still waiting on the reimbursement to be sent from last week.  Hopefully, they send it out today.

I'm also trying to find out if I can switch my birth control.  I switch between really nauseous and really hungry and working in a kitchen at Disney is proving to be difficult.  I'm getting really intense headaches, too.  I think that's from all the smells mixing together.  I may need to be moved to outdoor foods, if possible.  Hopefully, we'll have a transfer date soon!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I hate paperwork.

Let me just say that I hate paperwork.  It seems like it's never ending with the surrogacy.  I've sent all the medical records from the last surrogacy to the new clinic, but now they're telling me that they're incomplete.  I'm not quite sure how, considering it includes all my prenatal appointments and the delivery report.  Anyway, I spent most of my lunch break on the phone today with the agency and my doctor's office.  Now, I have to call the hospital where I gave birth to see if it's possible that they didn't send some of the results of tests I had done there to my doctor.

Also, there's the paperwork dealing with the legal contract between myself and the IPs.  I've gotten the final copy of the contract in my email, but I have to print it out and then my husband and I need to sign it.  It also has to be notarized and then faxed back to my lawyer.  I then have to send the original to their lawyer.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but when we're rarely home at the same time, it's difficult to find time to get it notarized.

Then, there's also the paperwork for us to get reimbursed for expenses incurred on this trip, such as lost wages, childcare, and pet boarding.  We have to get pay stubs, copies of schedules, and receipts together, scan it all in, and email it to them after we've filled out the form.  Luckily, my husband got most of it together earlier today, so now it's my turn to finish and then send the email out.  I just feel like I'm overwhelmed at the moment. I'm trying to find a few free minutes at a time to get stuff together or at least plan when to do things.

Here's my to-do list right now:
1. Get all the paperwork together and send the email out to be reimbursed.
2. Call the hospital and get any records not sent to my doctor so I can send them to the clinic.
3. Print out the contract, sign it, get it notarized, then fax and mail it back.
4. Take my birth control and prenatal vitamins!

I forget #4 a LOT.  Lol.  The hubby has to ask me every day if I've taken them yet cause he knows I forget.  Hopefully, once all that's done, we'll get a transfer date!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meeting the new parents

Well, Sunday evening began the trip up to Connecticut to meet the Intended Parents and do all the necessary screening.  I know I was nervous and I'm sure they were nervous, too.  The trip started in Orlando International Airport, where I learned my flight was running 40 minutes late.  Of course, that's pretty normal for Delta, especially considering we were flying into La Guardia Airport.  So, instead of leaving at 6:40 p.m., we flew out at 7:20 p.m.  Apparently, it was windy in NY, which caused Air Traffic Control up there to bring flights in slower.  The flight itself was pretty uneventful.  When we landed,  since I didn't have any checked luggage, I was able to quickly find my driver.  Yep, they hired a DRIVER since the hotel was in Connecticut.  So, around 9:30 at night, I got into a car and got prepared to be driven an hour to another state.

I made it to the hotel and man, was I impressed.  The hotel is absolutely gorgeous.  It's called Hotel Zero Degrees and they have a hotel in Norwalk, CT (where I stayed) and in Stamford, CT.  I really wish I had taken pictures of my room.  It was amazing.  It was luxury without being overbearing.  There was even a robe in the bathroom.  It was one of the best nights' sleep I've gotten in awhile.  I had an alarm set for 8 a.m. because I wanted to get a quick run in before I met the parents.   I woke promptly at 8 and ran almost 2 miles.  I wasn't prepared for how cold it would be and wore just a tank top and long pants.  I was freezing, considering it was 43 degrees.  Anyway, I finished my run and got a quick little bite to eat at the continental breakfast they had available at the hotel.  I quickly showered and got ready to meet the parents.

At 10 a.m., the parents showed up in the lobby of the hotel to take me and my husband to breakfast.  I probably should've mentioned earlier that he came with me.  Lol.  We both had to do the screening.  Anyway, we immediately realized they were a very nice couple.  We all piled in their SUV and drove to the diner to eat.  It was a little Venezuelan place and the food was excellent.  Everyone else got omelets and I got a wrap.  We were all stuffed when we finished.  Then, we all headed off to the clinic to have all our appointments.

After finishing all the new patient paperwork, my husband and I first spoke with the doctor regarding the previous surrogacy and making sure we were aware of all the risks and the entire procedure.  Then, it was time for a sonogram for me to make sure my body was normal.  It is, in case you were wondering.  We also had to have blood work done.  They took 5 vials of my blood and 3 vials of my husband's.  We were also supposed to have a group session with the psychologist, but she had a family emergency and was unable to be there.  So, instead, my husband and I had to fill out a 344-question psychological test.  We took the same exact test last time and it was just as tedious this time around.  All of that took about 4 hours, then we were done.  The parents dropped us back off at the hotel where the car service would pick us up to take us back to the airport.  We all parted ways amiably and are all very excited to continue moving forward.

We got home late last night, but we did make it home safely.  Now, it's just waiting on test results to say everything is hunky dory, then we'll continue moving forward.  While we were up there, we did find out that the couple has been through this before, but for whatever reason, it didn't end up working out on the gestational carrier's end.  All of a sudden, a lot of the stuff we'd been wondering about made sense.  The process has been much speedier this time around than last time.  We also found out that the first time we did it, it took much longer than normal.  Apparently, going this quickly is fairly normal.  Once all the legal issues are done, records have been obtained, and test results have been returned, we'll be able to set a transfer date.  I'll make sure to keep you all updated!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Why are you a surrogate?"

This is a question I get A LOT.  Pretty much every single person that finds out asks me this.  The agency I'm working with has asked me more than a few times.  Lol.  So, I figured I'd let you all know why I decided to become a surrogate.

In November 2008, I found out I was pregnant with my son.  I was so happy.  We had been trying to get pregnant and it didn't take very long for it to happen.  Shortly afterwards, one of my best friends found out she was pregnant as well.  We were both so excited.  Our due dates were super close together and we were thrilled to share our pregnancies.  Unfortunately, she lost hers not too long after that.  After that, she and her husband found they were having difficulties conceiving.  I saw her struggle while I carried a healthy baby boy and I hurt for her.  Once I had my son and recovered, I told her that if she discovered she was unable to carry a child for some reason, I would be happy to carry for her.  It was an emotional moment for both of us.  Luckily, on July 4th, 2010, she discovered she was pregnant and they now have a healthy 2 1/2 year old gorgeous girl.

In August of 2010, she and I were talking and she said to me, "If you would carry for me, why wouldn't you carry for someone else?"  For me, the answer was that I knew her and had a special connection with her.  But, I realized she might have a point and it was something I should look into.  I started doing my research and looking into all the requirements and experiences of other surrogates.  I decided it was something that I wanted to do.  I had a fairly easy pregnancy, compared to others, and I was getting the baby bug, but having another child of our own just wasn't going to happen any time soon.  If I could help someone grow their family and give them the gift of a child, I would be happy to do it.

I approached my husband about it in early September and showed him all the research I had done.  He could tell it was something I was excited about, but he was cautious.  One of the biggest questions he posed to me (and one that I also get quite often) was, "Wouldn't you form an attachment to the child or children?"  I didn't think I would because it would be easy for me to remember that I was just the bun for their oven and I would have absolutely no biological attachment to the child/ren.  So, once I convinced him of that, he did his own research.  He wanted to make sure he knew what I would be getting myself into and could be supportive.  He eventually told me that if I really wanted to do it, I should go for it.  He would support me.

So, that's why I became a surrogate.  A year later, we were paired with our first set of parents and it was one adventure after another after that.  Tonight, we fly up to Connecticut to meet with the new parents.  Tomorrow, I'll have blood work done as well as a saline sonogram and the psychological screenings to make sure all is well with our home situation.  Don't forget, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them and I will answer!  I won't post until after we get back from Connecticut tomorrow night, so expect a new post around Tuesday or Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The beginning of the journey...

Hey, all!  This is my blog devoted to my second surrogacy journey.  I have been matched with Intended Parents and we are currently in the legal process, as well as pre-screening.  I have to head up to CT on Sunday for testing on Monday to make sure everything is hunky dory.  So far, this journey is proving to be a VERY different experience from the first one.  

Here's a little history for all of you who may not know.  I first applied to be a surrogate mom in August 2010.  In May of 2011, I got accepted to the agency I am currently working with.  In October 2011, I got matched with my first set of parents.  They were great, and I still get pictures of the twins!  That's right.  I had TWINS.  In March of 2012, we all met each other for the first time.  I got pregnant in June 2012 and on February 13th, 2013, I gave birth to healthy twin girls.  It was my first c-section (I had my son naturally) and it was definitely a very different experience for me.  Having twins in general was an eye-opener.  Luckily, my cousin had had twins of her own in May 2012, so I was constantly asking her questions about things that my body was doing.  She probably got sick of it after awhile.  Lol.  But, she was gracious enough to answer all my questions and offer as much advice as she could, which definitely helped!

I took about 7 1/2 months and thought about whether or not I really wanted to be a surrogate mom again.  I decided I did.  For the most part, I enjoy being pregnant, but having another child of my own just isn't in the cards right now.  I got back on the list in early October, before the Tower of Terror 10-Miler race at Disney World, and within a few days, I was already paired with a second set of parents. Things are moving very quickly this time around.  I've already been started on some medication that will help get me ready.  Like I said, we're already in the legal process which, at this point, means the contract is going back and forth between lawyers while we tweak it.  My pre-screening in Connecticut next week will include both physical and psychological testing to ensure that my body and my mind can handle it.

That's it for now.  Later, I will do a post on why I decided to be a surrogate in the first place, so keep an eye out!  Thanks for reading all of that and I sincerely hope you'll stay with me for my journey!