Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Next Step: Screening

Now that we are matched, the next step in this process for me is screening.  This takes place in two parts - medical and psychological.  The medical portion of the process includes FDA required infectious disease testing for both my husband and me, plus my uterus needs to be examined and given the stamp of approval from the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) who will be placing someone else's precious cargo into it in a few months. 

The psychological portion of the screening varies depending on the clinic's requirements.  Usually both the GS and her partner are required to attend, since it's important that the GS have full support from her spouse.   It also sometimes involves a written personality test.  The end goal is to make sure that you are just crazy enough to think that carrying someone else's baby is a good idea, without being TOO crazy - I think they are looking to weed out people who are not emotionally stable enough or don't have enough understanding of the process to handle the emotional highs and lows.  I'm sure they are also keeping eye out for cash-strapped women who are using surrogacy as a desperate attempt to secure income, or total loonies who are going to have a mental snap and run off with the baby once it's born.  You know, the usual stuff.

So, what are the requirements of my clinic?  I'd love to be able to tell you, but unfortunately I can't because I don't know them yet.  The clinic my IPs were trying to use at the recommendation of our agency ended up not being a good match for them.  Luckily, they actually know another couple who is currently expecting twins via GS through another clinic in their area.  Initial consultations with clinics are very hard to come by, so they had to book theirs several weeks in advance.  Their initial meeting is the first week of June, so I won't really know what exactly I need to do until then.  Our agency coordinator said she's planning to call and find out whatever info she can once we get closer to the appointment time - probably next week.  So hopefully we will get the ball rolling then.

The IPs are going to be using an egg donor (ED), so they are going to try to get access to the donor database sometime this week so they are able to choose a donor by their appointment date.  Hopefully once they have their first meeting things will move quickly.  Ideally I will be able to get all my screening done in June, then we can complete our contract and I can start my meds in July, and hopefully get pregnant in August!

In the meantime, I will just have to bide my time.  But now that I'm matched with my IPs, I can use the time to get to know them better.  I'm excited to get things going!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Hooray, I am officially matched!

Details on the IPs and next steps to come!

Friday, May 18, 2012

In Person Meeting

On Wednesday evening, we had our potential IPs over to our home for dinner.  They  had driven all the way down that day (5.5 hour drive), and were driving home again that night because IF had to work the next day.  We are so grateful they were able to take the time out of their schedules to make that huge trip...I would have been exhausted!

My husband grilled some steaks, and we just hung out on the back deck talking and giving IM the chance to love on our baby.  She was so cute with her, and by the way her eyes lit up I can tell that she's going to be a great mom herself.  At first it was a little awkward, no one knew where to start the conversation.  Most people don't go into a blind date with the knowledge that by their second or third date they'll be trying to make a baby.  But once the conversation got going we both found the IPs to be very easy to talk to and we really enjoyed our time with them.  They are such a sweet couple!

Yesterday morning I emailed our coordinator to let her know that we would love to match with them if they still want to match with us.  I had been waiting to post an update until our match was official.  But, well, we haven't heard back either way yet!  The coordinator had left the IF a voicemail yesterday to find out how it went but hadn't heard back.  Communication will probably be a little more tough this week because the coordinator is out of town for work, and IF works mainly afternoons and evenings, so they have probably just had a hard time connecting.

Here's to hoping that we will be able to announce a match soon!

In other news, my "assignments" as far as progress toward being a GS were to finish weaning my daughter and get on birth control pills (BCP).  As of last weekend I have accomplished both of those things, so I'm as ready as I'll ever be!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day!

This has been my first Mother's Day, and I must say it's been wonderful.  My seven month old slept 11.5 hours straight last night, so I got to sleep in a bit.  Then she and her daddy took me out to breakfast, and then we came home and she took an hour and a half long nap...and so did I!

Being able to become a mother and spend my days watching my daughter grow and learn has been the best gift of my life.  It brings me so much joy to think that by next Mother's Day, I may have helped to make another woman a mother for the first time!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Face-to-Face is Scheduled!

So I get to meet my potential IPs in person next week!  They are going to come to my city and have dinner with my family and me next Wednesday.  I'm really looking forward to meeting them in person, and I hope that both sides agree that we are the perfect match!

Our phone call mainly focused on the "business" topics about the surrogacy.  We all wanted to make sure right off the bat that we agreed on the big stuff, like how many embryos to transfer, termination, etc., as well as wanting to make sure that we had similar expectations about our level of communication and the IPs' level of involvement during the surrogacy.  That stuff is so important, because no matter how much you like each other, you really aren't a good match if you don't agree on those types of things.  But now I want to focus more on who they are as people, and let them get to know us as people.  The IM told me on the phone when we talked, "We think you would probably always be a part of our lives if you did this for us."  The idea of that makes me so happy, but if that's the case, I want to make sure that we get along and have some things in common!

As much as I'm looking forward to this, I'm also very nervous.  It feels kind of like being set up on a blind date.  Having met the love of my life way back in high school, I've never done something like this before.  What if they don't like me?  What if I don't like them?  What if we get stuck awkwardly staring at each other over the dinner table for an hour?  What if my kid pukes or poops all over them, or won't stop screaming the whole time, and they decide they don't want a child after all?  Ok, the last one probably isn't a concern on most blind dates, and probably isn't really one here either.  I feel like my husband and I are both pretty good at talking to people we don't know and keeping the conversation going, but I'm sure all four of us will be nervous and you just never know how it will go.

Here's to hoping that this meeting was meant to be!