Monday, December 30, 2013

Am I or am I not?

Well, today marks 10 days since the transfer.  It also marked the day of the pregnancy test.  I went in at 7:15 this morning after dropping Matt off at the babysitter to have the blood work done.  I then went to work at Macy's til about 1.  I had to pick Matt up, then we had to drop my car off at the auto shop because my brakes need to be replaced.  It's a crappy time to have it happen, that's for sure.

Let me just say that I have had a ton of nausea.  I had to leave work early yesterday because of it.  It's frustrating to say the least.  I really hope it doesn't last like it has with my previous pregnancies.  With Matt, I was sick during my first and third trimesters.  With the twins, I was sick the entire pregnancy.  But, it was totally worth it both times.

In case you didn't figure it out by the last few sentences, my test came back positive.  That's right.

                                     I'M PREGNANT!!!!!

My due date is September 12th, which is just 4 days after my own birthday.  I want to start taking bets now that I will spend my birthday in the hospital.  Lol.  All my levels were good.  My HCG levels, which told them I'm pregnant, are a little high, so I go in on Thursday to check that they're rising normally.  My first pregnancy scan will be sometime next week, I believe.  That will tell us if there really is only one or if the egg split on its own and there are 2.  We might even get to hear the heartbeat.  The parents are absolutely thrilled, of course.  Now, it's just 9 months of waiting.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Adventures in Connecticut

Well, I am home safe and sound from the procedure.  I flew up Thursday, had the procedure Friday, then flew back Saturday morning.  The trip was fairly uneventful, which I suppose is a good thing.  The procedure went well, as was expected.  The pregnancy test is the 30th, so just one more week!  Here's my rundown on what happened.

Thursday morning, I woke up at 5:20 a.m. because I had to be at work at 6.  I had to give myself enough time for my injection and to get ready.  I got to work at 5:50 and proceeded to work til about 12:15 or so.  I went home, finished packing (I had packed the majority Wednesday night), and got everything into the car.  I had to check my bag because of the needles I had to take for the injections.  At 2:30, I left the house and headed for the place I normally park at when I fly.  I parked and took the shuttle over to the airport, where I quickly checked my bag and then went through security before heading to my gate.  At that point, I had about 1 1/2 hours before we started boarding the flight.  I killed the time by reading, playing games on my phone, and texting people.  We finally boarded the flight (it was a full one) and took off for Westchester County, NY.

Headin out for the great unknown!

When we landed, I realized just how tiny the airport is.  Only a few carriers fly out and they only have about 6 or 7 gates.  Apparently, it used to be a private airport before they brought in the bigger airlines.  The driver that took me to the hotel called it the "rich people's airport."  The description fit, I suppose.  It felt small and exclusive.

We got to the hotel and the first thing I saw was the Christmas tree.  It was small, but gorgeous, and made me feel at home.  They also had a tray of sweets at the reception desk, should anyone want to indulge a little.  I resisted the temptation, though it wasn't easy.  I got my room and discovered it was very close to the lobby, which was nice.  I don't enjoy traipsing all over a hotel to get to where I need to be.  The room was also nice.  It was a king-size bed and felt very homey.  Well, as much as a hotel room can, anyway.  I tried getting a workout in that night at the fitness center, but it was so small with only a few machines, it was difficult. I ended up running a lap around the outside of the hotel to get the rest of it in.  It felt good to get outside and run.

So beautiful!

My lovely room

The next morning, I tried to sleep in.  My body wasn't having it.  I was up before 8, showered, and headed to breakfast before 8:30.  The parents were supposed to pick me up around 11:30 and take me out to lunch.  After enjoying a lovely breakfast,  I headed back to my room and waited.  They sent me a text that they would be a little late because traffic coming from NY was horrible.  There was a lot of construction, apparently.  They finally arrived around 12:30.  We had to be at the clinic at 1.  You know what we did?  We stopped at a diner and grabbed lunch to go.  We got to the clinic a little after 1 because traffic sucked in town, too.

Ready to get pregnant!

At 1:45, I was led into the back area to get changed and get ready.  They drew my blood and then brought the parents in so they could watch the procedure.  They sat at my head so they wouldn't see anything too revealing.  It was still a little awkward.   The procedure started around 2:10 and was done by 2:15.  It really is a very simply process.  We all got to watch the embryo go in.  It's pretty cool to watch.  After that, I had to lay flat for 20 minutes.  Remember how I said in the last post that I had to show up with an uncomfortably full bladder?  Well, it definitely was, and I had to PEE.  Finally, the dad went to find a nurse to see if I could get up (it had been closer to 25 minutes) and they said I was good to go.  I just had to take it easy the rest of Friday and all of Saturday.

Saturday morning, I woke up, headed to the airport, and flew back.  Now, I'm on restrictions until at least the pregnancy test comes back.  So, I have to miss work today at least.  It kinda sucks, but it's nice to get a day at home with the munchkin.  8 more days til we find out if the pregnancy took and then I'll have my first ultrasound shortly after that.  We'll find the heartbeat and then we might be able to change medications, or at least switch what I take when.  It'll be nice.  I'm excited, but nervous.  The parents are, too.  So, keep your fingers crossed that next Monday brings a positive result!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Are you ready, Freddy?

Well, there's only 3 more days until I fly up to Connecticut for the transfer!!!!!  I've started all the new medications, including the injection in my hiney, which causes it to be sore.  I'm alternating sides each day, so the pain is distributed evenly.  Unfortunately, I am sick right now, but the nurse has said that it's fine and won't affect anything.  It's just uncomfortable for me.  The parents are sick, too, so hopefully we're all over it before Friday.

The transfer will be at 2pm on Friday afternoon.  I'll have to go for medication about an hour before the transfer and make sure I drink 32 ounces of water because, according to them, I need to have "an uncomfortably full bladder."  No lie.  Those were their exact words.  I'm still not sure if they're implanting one embryo or two, but I'm fairly certain it's one.  The procedure really only takes a few minutes, but I'll have to lay flat for about 30 minutes or so, and then I'll be able to get up and use the bathroom, which I will need desperately.  After that, I'll just go back to the hotel and relax.  It looks like I'll also get to see a friend I haven't seen in a few years!  I'm super excited about that.  It's always great to see old friends.

So, for now, I just have to try to de-stress before Friday and relax.  I'm making sure I'm taking all the medications when I'm supposed to and I'm trying to get enough sleep at night.  I'll probably pack quickly Thursday after work.  I'll have to check my bag because I'll be bringing the needles and medication with me.  I'll also need to get some runs in before I leave since I won't be able to run on Friday and probably Saturday as well.  Saturday evening, I will be working at 4:30, but it won't be anything strenuous.  I'll just be working at Fantasmic at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The pregnancy test will be on December 30th, 10 days after the transfer.  Hopefully, it's "Happy New Year!  You're gonna have a baby!"  I'm excited and I'm ready!  Let's go!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It never seems to end

So, remember how I had posted that the results came back and my stuff was all normal?  Weeeelllll, apparently, one of the tests had an issue, so I have to redo it.  I find it kind of funny that I didn't find out until a month after I'd had the test done, but whatevs.  I have to go to a local LabCorp (there's one down the street from me) to have it done.  Unfortunately, it can't be done until Friday now because we didn't know that you couldn't pay over the phone and you can do an account bill, but you have to write it on the orders and they hadn't, and I don't have time with working to do it until Friday.  It's nuts.

On Sunday, my regiment of medications gets increased A LOT because I'll be getting my body ready for the transfer.  Right now, I'm taking one medication and prenatals.  Sunday, I'll be taking 6 medications, 5 of which are new, and prenatals.  I'll take those all week until the transfer.  After the transfer, I'll go down to 2 meds and prenatals.  One of those meds will be the one I shoot in my hiney.  Let me tell you, it is not an enjoyable experience by anyone's stretch of the imagination.  I remember with the last transfer, the nurses at the clinic offered to draw "window panes" on my rear so I would know exactly where to inject myself.  It's really funny to think about now.  It wasn't at the time.  Oh, and the mom actually wanted to watch me do it because we stayed at their home for the transfer.  I politely declined.  You'd think I wouldn't be so shy, especially considering that the transfer was the next day, but I just couldn't do it with someone watching.  Lol.  I won't even let the hubby watch, not that he'd want to.

Only 8 more days until I fly up and 9 more days til the transfer!  I'm ready for it, I think.  Lol.  I'm tellin ya, every time I think about the process up until now, all I think is "After this, the pregnancy will be a breeze."  Now, watch me jinx myself and get pregnant with twins again.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Financial questions

Hey, folks!  So, last night, I said I had been asked about the financial aspect to being a surrogate.  Just so I don't forget anything, I'm going to post everything someone asked me.  I'd hate to forget that one tiny detail that someone REALLY wanted to know about.  Lol.

"I'd love to hear about insurance considerations (do you have you own that pays some medical expenses, do the parents have insurance that pays?), legal fees (if they pay your legal expenses, can you trust that the lawyers are looking out for your best interests?), and if you have a c-section vs. a vaginal birth, is that worth more financially as your recovery will be longer?"

So, we'll just go in order to make it easier.  First off are the insurance considerations.  This is definitely a question I do get asked a lot.  For some reason, it just never occurred to me to answer it for everyone.  Lol.  I do not have any medical insurance.  I don't qualify at my jobs for one reason or another.  The agency knew that going in because it was the same way with the last pregnancy.  It's actually stated in the contract that the parents will pay for medical insurance that covers the pregnancy.  Obviously, I only use it for the pregnancy.  I feel bad using it for anything else.

When it comes to the legal fees, the parents also pay for those, up to a certain amount.  I remember with the first surrogacy, we were worried that the lawyer would cost more than that and we'd have to pay the rest of it.  However, we were reassured that the amount would more than cover the cost.  We used a different lawyer this time around than we did last time, but he's the lawyer we used for the birth order last time.  In Florida, my name automatically goes on the birth certificate, so we have to get a birth order done and filed to have the parents' names go on instead.  We know he has our best interests in mind because we went over the entire contract with him to make sure everything was satisfactory.  There were even things that we hadn't thought of that he suggested be changed to make sure that we were happy.  The first lawyer we had told us that we should never have to pay for anything out of pocket.  Even if we do, we get reimbursed.  

Having a c-section versus a vaginal birth is worth more financially.  Since my recovery time is longer, I'm missing out on wages from working.  So, I'll get some of those wages back.  Also, the contract states that I get a certain amount extra if I do have a c-section.  It is major surgery, after all.  The parents will also pay for all hospital bills and anything the insurance doesn't cover.  For example, with the last surrogacy, I had ultrasounds every month because it was twins.  Insurance only covered so many.  After that, the parents paid for the rest.  

I've also been asked what conversations are like with people once they find out I'm a surrogate.  The first reactions are pretty much the same.  They're either "Why would you do something like that?" or That is so amazing!" I get the latter a lot more than the former.  To be honest, it can get a bit embarrassing when people gush over you or something you're doing.  Then, we play a game of 20 questions, beginning with "What made you want to do something like that?" and ending with "How much do you get paid?"  For the most part, I do enjoy talking to people when they're genuinely interested about me being a surrogate.  Unfortunately, some just care about the money.  I'm not one of them, so I try to downplay it as much as possible.  Yes, it's great, but it's not why I decided to be a surrogate.

If you have any questions, ask away!  I like questions.  They give me stuff to talk about.  I like to talk, as anyone who knows me in real life can tell you.  Lol.  Until next time, I hope this has been informative enough for you!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Travel arrangements and random things

So, the travel arrangements have been made!  I will be flying into White Plains on December 19th and will land around 8:30pm.  I will be staying in Norwalk, though not in the same hotel, and the transfer will happen on December 20th.  I will fly out the morning of the 21st and be back in Orlando around 1:30pm.  I have an ultrasound this coming Monday to make sure the medication is working.  Once we have the results from that, we'll be able to nail down a time for the transfer on the 20th.  I'm hoping it will be early enough that I'll get to see a good friend of mine who lives in the area.  I haven't seen him for a few years, so it would be nice.

One of the questions I've been asked has been what level of contact I will have with the parents during the pregnancy.  When we had our phone conference, we talked about how often we would communicate.  Obviously, if something happens, they're going to be the first to know.  Other than that, I'll probably check in with them once a week or once every couple weeks, just to let them know how everything's going.  Every time I get an ultrasound done, if they aren't there, I'll send them the pictures.  I'll also be letting them know about results from any tests I have to have done.  When it comes to after the delivery, it's totally up to the parents.  I still get updates from the previous family (the girls are getting so big!!!) and would love to have that kind of relationship with this couple.

Another question is where I will deliver.  It's actually stated in the contract that after so many weeks, I'm not allowed to travel.  At all.  The first restriction will be out of country, but after 36 or 38 weeks, I won't be allowed to travel for any length of time outside of Orange County, which is where I live.  I'll be giving birth at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Children, just like I did with the twins.  I had a c-section with the twins, but would love to have a natural birth this time around, if at all possible.  I had a natural birth with my son and I prefer it to a c-section.  The main reason, for me, is that it will provide a faster recovery time and that's essential for me going back to work and back to running.

I've also been asked about the financial aspect, which I will answer in another blog post.  I can tell you that, as an experienced surrogate, I will get substantially more this time around than I did with the twins.  And, I also get more for having more than one child at a time.  If you have any other questions or suggestions, comment!  Comment and let me know that you're reading this!  I enjoy all kinds of comments, even the nasty.  They make me giggle.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I did it!!!!!!!

Hey, all!  Well, today isn't strictly about the surrogacy.  I'm just so excited that I had to share a personal milestone with all of you.  This morning, I finished my very first half marathon!!!!  My goal was to finish in under 3 hours and I finished in 2:48:52!  I had a blast.  I met up with a lot of other mamas and made a couple new friends out on the course.

Moms Run This Universe!  We're missing a couple, but got most of them!

We started with our meet-up for Moms Run This Town at 5:30.  Then, Olivia and I walked towards the start line together and separated to head to our pace groups.  I started off with the 2:45 Jeff Galloway pace group.  I managed to stay with them until I had to stop to use the bathroom.  I caught back up with them, but ended up slowing down a bit and sticking with my new friends.  Olivia high-fived on the course when she passed me heading towards the finish line.  She was a lot faster than I was!

One of my favorite mamas, Olivia!  

Another favorite mama, Shelley!

Sadly, I didn't get to see Shelley on the course.  But, I know that she did cross the finish line and I'm super happy for her!!!!  I did, however, see lots of other mamas from my running group!  At least one of the ladies I ran with is also a mom, so we were talking about our kiddos on the course.  It helped the time to pass quickly.  I'm pretty sure that if it weren't for them and Olivia cheering me on, I may not have crossed that finish line.  But, I did, and I couldn't be prouder of myself!  My next half isn't until Celebration in January, but I'm so pumped!

I'm so excited I finished!!!!!

You probably don't know this, but I actually had to clear it with the doctor to run this race because of the surrogacy.  They had to make sure the timing would work with the transfer.  The transfer is in another 3 weeks or so, but they want to make sure it won't mess with my body too much.  I also had to make sure the parents were ok with me running the Celebration half, even though it's a full month after the transfer.  The doctor at the clinic doesn't see any problem with it since I'm running that much now, but he thought the parents might worry, especially since they're first-time parents.  They seem to be fine with it, though, and are excited for me.  I'm sure they realize that exercising during pregnancy is healthy and running won't hurt my body as long as I don't overdo it.  I've learned, as a runner, to listen to my body very carefully.  

Tomorrow, I go back for blood work again to make sure the medications are doing their job.  The lady who takes my blood at the clinic I go to recognized me from the last time I did this and she was happy to see me.  She knew I was pregnant with twins last time and was thrilled to hear it had been twin girls.  She'll be the first to find out if I'm pregnant once the transfer happens this time.  I'll be going every week for about 2 months for blood work.  I won't be handed over to my own doctor's care until I'm 8 or 9 weeks pregnant.  

That's all for today.  I'll keep you all posted as things happen!