So I am back from my trip to Chicago for my med screening. It went great! Despite a 6 hour drive each way with a baby, a rainstorm, and a VERY late night the night before, I would say the trip was a success!
My appointment was at 9:30. The agency had arranged for someone to babysit my daughter at our hotel room during the appointment so both of us could come. Since I was supposed to be meeting with three different people (doctor for ultrasound, tech for blood draw, nurse coordinator for information regarding the cycle), I brought my Kindle to pass the time while I was waiting. Well, it was totally unnecessary. I think I got 2 pages read total! The place was huge and there were a ton of people there, but everyone was moving through the process so efficiently. I felt like we were all on a perfectly timed conveyor belt. But even though there were so many people filing through, I felt like all of the staff took the time to make us feel welcome. I especially liked that the nurse coordinator spoke about my IPs in a way that let me know that she actually knew who they were, and that they weren't just a number to her.
First we met with the doctor, who was very nice. He took a look at my uterus using the saline sonogram and said it was just beautiful. The procedure wasn't too bad, not any worse than a pap smear. I had a little bit of menstrual like cramping for a little while afterwards, kind of like I remember feeling as my uterus was expanding in early pregnancy. The whole procedure only took a couple of minutes.
We got blood taken to test for various contagious diseases (mainly STDs), which we should get back next week sometime. I'm not worried about those coming back badly, but it will be nice to have that formality out of the way.
Then we met with the nurse coordinator to go over the medications and the schedule for taking them, as well as signing various consent and acknowledgement forms. I will go over the meds in more detail in another post. I was expecting to get a general rundown of the drugs and how to administer them, but in addition I got my actual projected calendar! I will start taking my meds on August 24, and the transfer will be sometime between September 23 and the 27th! I let the NC know about our vacation to Italy in October, and she said she's not worried about it at all. She said the meds will travel fine and she can give us a doctor's note to travel with liquids and needles. She also said there would be no harmful effects on the pregnancy, since it will be at the point where it will either be sticking around or miscarrying, and there will be nothing I can do to help or hurt the pregnancy. Based on the calendar, the worst thing that could happen is that I could already be in Italy at the time I should be getting my blood drawn to confirm a pregnancy. She said if that's the case, she will just give me instructions on when to take a regular home pregnancy test to determine whether I should continue meds until I return to the US. I'm thinking the timing of this is actually going to work out well, since I should be back in the US before I am 6 weeks along, which is when my first trimester pregnancy symptoms really started kicking in last time.
The calendar right now is contingent on a couple things:
-The egg donor. She is currently cycling with another couple. This is her third donation, and ours will be the fourth. For her first donation they ended up freezing all of the embryos, so we don't know if any did/will result in pregnancy. The second donation did not result in pregnancy. So the NC said that if her third donation ends up not resulting in pregnancy either, they will recommend that my IPs consider choosing a new donor. Unfortunately that will mean starting from scratch with screening/contracts with the donor, so we will probably be pushed back to November. So we are keeping our fingers crossed that this cycle results in a pregnancy! We should know in the next few weeks.
-The contracts. The NC told me that in order for me to be able to start meds on August 24, they need confirmation of signed contracts by August 23. So it seems like it should be plenty of time to get our negotiating and signing in, but you just never know. My IPs already have a lawyer, and we are working on getting one for me. Since we will be delivering in Missouri it's a good idea to get a lawyer here too, and there are really only a few that are well versed in surrogacy matters. I'm hoping to get someone within the next few days and get started on the contracts by the end of next week.
I'm so excited to actually know what my timeline is now. Hopefully my IPs will be parents come next June!