Friday, March 30, 2012

Moving Slowly

I'm being impatient. I suppose it's not one of my better qualities - but to look on the bright side, it usually keeps me proactive rather than reactive! The agency came to my home to answer questions and make sure I'm living in a safe environment for a pregnancy. It went really well and I was told I should be receiving a profile for the IP's they have in mind at the beginning of next week. I know it's not long to wait, but yet for me, it is.

To pass the time, I contacted my midwife from my most recent pregnancy and requested a copy of my records. She was so great - she emailed back to me that evening stating she'd mail them to me. If I had needed to ask them from my original OB office, I would've been charged a copying fee and had to explain why I wanted them, etc... My midwife is so super!

So now, with not much else to do, I'm perusing blogs about surrogacy and lurking on chat boards, trying to make sure I'm going into this process as informed as possible. Hopefully I'll have more to update soon!

Monday, March 26, 2012

In the Beginning...


I'm so excited; I don't even know where to start! Several years ago, after our oldest son was born, I approached my husband about becoming a gestational surrogate because I recognized how many people around me were struggling with infertility and my heart went out to them. I felt that I could help because getting pregnant and being pregnant - and delivering a healthy baby came so easily to me. At the time, I didn't realize all the science behind the process, but that didn't matter because my hubby wasn't comfortable with the idea.

I agreed to table the issue and we went on with our lives. In the meantime, I knew that my heart belonged to working with pregnant women and babies and so I decided to return to school to pursue a career in midwifery. Fast forward several years and we've added two more children to our family. We are absolutely sure that we've reached our limit and so I re-address the question of being a surrogate with hubby. To my astonishment, he says he's supportive of the idea - with no debate. I honestly don't know if I was prepared for that. I should have been. He's an amazing man and never fails to surprise me (except when it comes to giving actual presents - THAT is rarely a surprise) Ha!

Anyway - so it's mid-March 2012 and I can't wait to get started. I'm currently nursing my almost-9-month-old son and plan to continue to do so until at least the end of June when he turns one. If I need to wean him at that time because I need to start taking the medications to prepare for cycling & transfer, I am comfortable with that. I think that (if we're matched and contracts are signed and all the prerequisites are complete) I will be physically ready to attempt a transfer by the end of September. That will give my body a 15 month break from pregnancy. Some people might say it's too soon - some may not. But I know what my limits are and I think that to prepare for a successful transfer, it's for the best. I suspect that it may take that long just to get everything together legally anyway.

I applied to an agency on March 16th and anxiously awaited a response. On the 19th, I spoke with a team member of the first agency with which I'd applied and she said that she had a couple in mind as a potential match (already!). What's crazy is that they're located very close to where I reside and so if things were to work out for us as a match, I wouldn't have to fly or travel far at all for all the medical care at their IVF (in-vitro fertilization) clinic. That's a huge plus as far as I'm concerned. That also means that when it time for baby (or babies) to arrive, there's a very good chance they'd be available to be there for the birth! I'm prone to quick labors, so there's no guarantee...

She's going to share my profile with them and then will follow up with me to share their profile if they're interested in talking to me by phone. If that works out, the next step is to do a face-to-face meeting and then work on the medical stuff and contracts. There are a few points on which I need to be absolutely sure we're in agreement and hopefully the rest will fall into place! Have I mentioned how excited I am?!? I can't wait to hear back from the agency again...


Today I did some digging into the medication protocol associated with the pre-transfer and post-transfer period. Everything sounded great until I read up on PIO (progesterin in oil) injections. Giant needle, thick liquid, inserted into buttock daily. Yikes! Generally speaking, I have no problem with needles, but oh boy! I didn't see this one coming... so although I'll figure it out if I have to, I did think it may be less stressful if Hubby handled giving those injections to me. The problem is that Hubby has more of an aversion to needles than the average person. Sooo... needless to say, he was a little leery when I asked if he'd be willing to try to help me with them. But being the awesome & supportive person he is, he said he'd do it if I needed him too. That's my guy!


I got a message today from the agency saying that the IP's loved me (hehe - okay, my profile) and are excited to move forward. She wanted to let me know that she's sending the IP's profile to me and I'm to call her so we can talk about what I'd like to request in compensation. Ick - that's the scary part of the whole negotiation process! But that's why I wanted to use an agency; they can help me get through this part with as little stress as possible. I called and left a message. Hopefully I'll hear back tomorrow.


I reviewed the IP's profile and didn't find anything that concerned me (after doing some further research). My hubby had a couple of questions he'd like to get answers to, but he's entitled - he's part of this journey too. I suppose we'll get a chance to ask them soon enough.

I spoke with my agency contact again and confirmed the fee I'm requesting. Just like in "real" life, it seems kind of taboo to discuss monetary compensation for something like this, so I won't go into specifics. Some people seem to think women who become surrogates only do it for the money. I'm convinced that if they knew the committment of body, mind and heart that goes into this process, they would completely change their mind. This process is not for the feint of heart. I read somewhere that if you divide the typical amount of compensation per hour that the surrogate spends "working" on surrogacy (appointments, taking meds, growing the baby, labor & delivery, etc...), the rate would be close to $0.50 per hour. Seems like there's probably other ways which are more effective at earning a salary - and they don't necessarily include giving yourself injections with a very large needle, in the rump, every day for (potentially) several months. Ouch!

Anyhow, I also reiterated some of my most important points with regards to what I'd require for compatibility in a match and she mentioned she'd be sure the IP's were aware of my conditions. We also scheduled my home visit for next week. Either she or another contact from the agency will be driving several hours to my house to be sure I'm living in an environment which is safe and secure for the best chances at a healthy pregnancy. I'm very much looking forward to that day and completely wondering what comes next. I presume a phone call with the IP's is in the works!

I've been working hard this week to fit more exercise into my schedule in the hopes of getting more fit (for myself but also to prep my body to receive a precious little bundle later in the year). I managed to lose about 3 pounds, but hormones come into play and so who knows what is water weight and what is really gone. I'll know better next week. Of course, I started slacking hard-core this weekend and we ate out twice. Bad for the diet - good for my taste buds. I do much better with exercising during the week.... my schedule is more predictable then. Perhaps if I got myself to bed earlier in the evening (it's close to midnight right now), I'd be able to get up before the kids more often and get that workout in more consistently. Sounds like a good reason to end this post for the night....

First Post on a New Blog

I've been blogging about my family life for almost nine months already and I'm super excited because I get to work on having another dream come true... becoming a gestational surrogate! Check back soon because I plan to write lots and lots about my adventures in surrogacy.