Friday, December 14, 2012

Finally, an Update.

So, here it, December 14th. It''s been a long month and a half since I last wrote you. Every time I thought I had something to update on, it would change.

My transfer has been changed so many times I have whip lash from it all. first it was End of November. then Early December... Mid December...Late December.... you get the idea.

I never got my "cycle" back like they said I would. In fact, I haven't had once since the loss. So odd.

Because of that, I went from having only 10 days of bcps to take to a whole cycles worth (24) and now it's down a bit 20.

Either way, I have...


In fact, I just spent the last few minutes scheduling all my blood work an Ultrasounds.

Finally. We're heading forward. I feel like I've been standing still for the past month, and sometimes as if I'm slowly walking backwards.

Anyways... here it is.

11/28-12/16= BCP
12/20= First Appointment. (U/S for lining, folicle size etc, and blood work for estrogen levels)
         = Estrace Tablet and Vitamins Start
12/21= Estradiol Injection Start
12/27= Second Appointment
1/3/2013= Third Appointment
1/6/2012= Progesterone Start
1/11/2012= Transfer!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012


I sort of can't believe it's November already. I'm really just hoping for December. I THINK we'll be transferring then. If, that is, my body cooperates. The clinic said I should get another period around 4 weeks after the "miscarriage", so going off that, and then the time I have to be on medicine, I THINK we're looking at either the 14th or the 21st as a transfer day.

That's really all the update I have at the moment

Believe me... I wish I had more...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

17 Days

These last 17 days have been probably some of the longest in my life.

The last time we "spoke" I told you I was having a "Chemical Pregnancy". Things have changed... a bit.

So, as instructed, and against what my gut was telling me, I stopped meds. They told me I would start bleeding in a few days and that on the 3rd day of the bleed, we could start birth control and then soon after start meds again.

So I waited.

One day passed, then two, then three... they kept going. With no sign of anything happening. What "symptoms" I did have, I still had. I was still bloated, couldn't fit into my pants, my sense of smell was through the roof...etc.

They had me schedule a follow up blood draw so they could see if my numbers were near being less than 5. So, you can imagine my surprise when I got a call just an hour or so later, saying they had actually raised another 200 or so "points".


It was no longer a chemical, they didn't know what it was, so I finally got the U/S I has asked for after being told "chemical". 

I lay there, legs spread with a wand up my stuff, and staring at a screen. They checked my tubes. Nothing. Good. My ovaries... also good. Then we moved to the uterus. I saw it, briefly, something was there. It was not empty, I was pregnant.

No. I had saw something, a sac.. measuring between 4-5 weeks with nothing else inside of it. All that was in there was an empty sac and some "free fluid". The remainders of Embryo #2??? No idea.

I started bleeding that day, spotting really. And that continued for days. Finally, it got a little heavier, and then it lightened up again.

That brings me today.

Today I had an U/S. They told me it was a "pre-op" U/S, to see what all was left, as they didn't think I had passed the sac with minimal bleeding I'd had. They told me I was going to have a D&C.. next week. Finally, it would be done.... but I hated the thought of it as it would put off the transfer for another 3 months.

Today, I lay there, legs spread with a wand in my stuff.....nothing was there. No sac, nothing. It looked liked it did when I had my monitoring appointments....

It was the strangest feeling... I was happy to have an empty uterus... I finally feel like it's done.. I'm ready to give these people a baby, and now we can start soon.

I don't have dates yet, I'm sill waiting for the official email... but I feel like I can exhale a little....

Those days of no bleeding, followed by bleeding that was nothing like the "miscarriage" bleeding I'd heard about. It was painful though, but non unmanageable. Finally they are over, and when I wake up tomorrow I will know I am NOT pregnant.

It was so weird... people would ask how the pregnancy was... I'd tell them the babyies) didn't make it. They'd day "so you miscarried?" No... not really.... they're still in there....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Day Everything Changed

Yesterday morning, I was planning on updating this blog. I hadn't yet because of some confusion over my due date. Was I 5 weeks? or 6 weeks? Hard to update when you're not sure.

Yesterday morning, I was still going to update. I went for my final HcG, so excited to be moving past the beta and on to U/S. My U/S was going to be the 22nd. Only a week away. It was exciting. I'd finally know if we had one baby in there.... or maybe two.

Instead. I got these words in an email:

"Biochemical pregnany." "...discontinue meds..." "We're so sorry."

The emailed made my heart sink, but I didn't cry until the phone call. The nurse at the clinic called  me and told me to "expect a bleed". That was hard to hear. I was sad for the baby/ies who didn't make it. Sad for the parents who finally got a BFP, and then now we're miscarrying.

I don't care what people say, a chemical is a miscarriage. I was pregnant, and soon, I won't be.

I was conflicted yesterday, some of my fellow surros told me not to stop meds, to demand an U/S. What if... what if... what if....

It was the hardest thing I've done in a while, leaving my pills this morning, sitting at home. No syringes in my bag, a few pads stuffed in there instead, just in case "it" starts.

At first, I blamed myself. Did I miss a shot and somehow never realize it? Was I an hour late one day? What did I do?

My husband told me it wasn't my fault. But I feel like it must've been. The Emryologist said the embryos looked great at transfer, what happened? Why would my levels slow down. I went from 165 to 272 in 2 days. They said that was fine. My progesterone and estrogen had always been good. nine days later, after the 272, it was only 529. What happened in those 9 days?

The parents seem to be handling it ok. The mom called me last night. She said we'll just try again. I apologized  She said it wasn't my fault. I still feel like it is.....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

4 Weeks!!

I started this blog on Monday, but never got around to posting it, on Sunday, September 30th, I was officially 4 weeks pregnant. Here's the scoop

The Bump

The Baby

The Info

Weight Pre Transfer: 182
Weight Now: 181
Weight Difference: -1

Symptoms: None to specific. If I had to say anything, my sense of smell is starting to heighten as well as I'm starting to be all.... phlem-y in the mornings, like I was with Cody. Not sure why that is a symptom for me, but it seems like it is. I am bloating, but I was even before the transfer thanks to Progesterone :S

What's happening inside: At 4 weeks, the ball of cells it once was is now splitting into the embryo and the placenta. I'm not sure exactly what stage I'm in... since they were already embryos when they were transferred....hmm....Anyways-- the baby's neural tube is already formed, The amniotic sac as well as the fluid in it are forming, and will provide protective cushion until birth.

Beta Day

Today was Beta. I know my IPs were hoping for a high number, as it COULD indicate twins.

It came back at 127 for 18dpo/13dp5dt

In Beta laws. I am now officially pregnant. :)

I was a little bummed at the low number, especially after a jerk of lab tech kept telling me it was "awfully low".

I refuse to be bummed now. I'm just glad I'm definitely pregnant with at least one baby for these amazing people.

Briefly, I worried I was going to miscarry, but then I heard several great stories of people with even lower betas that produced healthy babies.

Plus, I looked at my most recent pregnancy tests.......

Check out the line on the last one (taken this morning).

This baby isn't going anywhere :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

So.... I've been a little bad

I started testing 1dp5dt! (one day past five day transfer)
Got a shadow of a line (that no one else could see) on 4dp, a faint but THERE positive on 5dp, and today.... well... here's todays:

I apologize for the crappy quality, as it was taken from my phone, it looks better in person.

I didn't want to tell you all until after I'd told the IPs, and now that I've told them (this morning) I can tell you. so sit back, relax and read:

(btw, sorry it's hughlighted, I copied it from a forum where I post, and I didn't want to re-type)

WOW. So after all yesterday of trying to think of a cute way to tell them they were pregnant. Everything flew out of my mind as I gave into the urge, and told them to call me. 

Around 8:45 I sent S(mom) a text. "Hey! Are you busy?"

"I can chat in 2 min..."

"Alright. Give me a call "

"K.. J 
(dad) is finishing with a patient & he is going to join me to call u "

I should pause here and explain, by this point, I think she knew she wanted her husband to be there. I've never asked them to call me (we usually just text or email because we're always at work). Last week, she told me to call if I got a positive, so I think she was hopeful as soon as she got my first text.

At 8:57 the phone rang, and they were both on the other end.

I don't have this recorded, and I'm kinda bummed I didn't think about it, so this may not be word for word.

When I answered, we did the whole "Hi, how are you? I'm great" exchange. Nothing special, but I could tell in their voice they were anxious.

I said, "So, do you have any guesses why I wanted you to call?"

They kind of jointly replied, "Well we have guesses, but we don't know..."

S spoke first and said "Did you take a test at home?!"

"I did.... and....... it was positive!"

They said something to each other, but it was garbled, and I couldn't make it out. I did hear her laughing though, not in the way that she thought something was funny, but in the way that she was sooooo happy."

J is a doctor, so, although he was glad, he said something a long the lines of, "I know it doesn't mean everything is set and we're clear, but that is really good to hear."

She said I just gave them the happiest moment of their lives. I can't wait to see their faces when they hold the baby(ies).

We spoke a few minutes longer. She asked how I felt, and thanked me a ton of times. He asked how it compared to getting a positive with my own son. I told him I was equally excited, and I am. Really. 

I knew they were working and had patients to see, so I let them go. As soon as I got off the phone, I text her the picture you guys just saw above.

She text back " :::: ))))))))"

And then the last text "I am sooooo excited I can't even think straight!!! : )))

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm a Slacker

I know. I've been so caught up with all of this Surro stuff I just forgot completely about poor Blogger. Transfer went GREAT. We transferred two little 5-day embryos. The doc said they looked great, so I'm really optimistic about everything :)

I should mention, the transfer was on Sept. 21st. So, if one (or both) babies stick around, I will be due June 9th, 2013. So crazy to think that I may be having another baby in 9 months.

I can't wait to be able to tell the parents that I'm (if i am) pregnant.

The First Beta is Oct. 4th, with one again on the 8th, and the 15th (<- I think.)

Speaking of which, that reminds me... I really need to go schedule those appointments....

Update more tomorrow!!!  (And I'll try to add pics later ))

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2nd U/S and Blood Work...

..was today. I'll find out results tomorrow. It went really well, and the tech was awesome, I didn't have to have a vaginal u/s they were able to so an abdominal one.

On the med front, I'll find out tomorrow if any of my doses will be changing. I took my third estrogen shot today, and on the 16th (should) be starting progesterone daily.

I talked to the head nurse at the hospital I work at it, and she's given me a different gauge needle to inject with as she says the ones the pharmacy give me are too small for progesterone. She told me to imagine injecting myself with pancake syrup. Blech.

I text-ed a bit with IM today as well. She can sympathize with me on the med/procedure front as she's done IVF as well. She also told me they'll be giving me a call before transfer as well, since they won't be able to make it.

That's all I have to update on as of now, but.....

Hopefully more tomorrow! Bye ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Counting Down

I really can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that I'll be starting Medicine for everything in just a few days. 3 days, actually. I was telling my husband tomorrow is my last "normal" day. On the 30th, I'll be going in to the hospital to have an Ultrasound and Blood Work done, Then, on the 31st I'll give myself my first shot, and start taking all my vitamins and the Estrace pills.  And then, hopefully, my life is not-normal for the next 10 months. I have about 3 weeks of meds prior to transfer, and then I stay on them until almost my second trimester.

One  a side note---they told me to travel with all of my medication. How do I go about that? I always take a carry on. Does TSA let you carry needles on the plane? LOL

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Well, I got my box of medicine on Tuesday. It was actually kind of interesting; and maybe a little overwhelming. I also got my final calender on Monday, so now I know when to start doing what.

My last bcp (birth control pill) is on Saturday. Then I'll have a period and my first Ultrasound and Blood work is on Aug. 30th. The clinic will use the results to base my dosage's of medication. They may choose to up certain things or keep them where they are.

So, starting the 31st:

  • I'll be giving myself  .1cc of Estrogen every 3 days. Depending on lab results, this may go up to .2cc
  • Estogen Tablet- 2x daily then moving to 3x daily
  • Prenatal Vitamin 3x daily
  • Folate : 1x daily
  • DHA: 1x daily

Then, closer to transfer, (which is set for the 21st of September), I add:

  •  1cc of Progesterone daily
  • vaginal progesterone inserts 3x daily
  • medrol pack 
I feel like a pharmacy.... or maybe a druggie. Hahah

I have a total of 3 appointments prior to transfer, they will all be blood work and ultrasounds. Once a week until the week before transfer.

Well, that's all for my update really right now....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Well, I got a few emails the past few days

One of them being the official "you are legally cleared" memo from the Law firm.

The other was from our case coordinator at the fertility clinic saying they would be scheduling appts and ordering my meds sent off this week. How exciting is that?

I've asked the coordinator if my monitoring appointments could be in my town rather than at a clinic which is a 6 hour drive. Once wouldn't be bad, but I'd hate to do it once a week the three appts before and the two after. She said it should be possible, she just has to contact my ob/hospital and work it all out.

As of now, nine more days of birth control pills, and then I'll stop those for a week before beginning estrogen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tentative Dates

That's right, you read that correctly. I got my email last night with Tentative Dates for meds/transfer. How exciting is that?

Birth Control pill— Do not stop - Plan to continue on active birth control pills only at this time, (no sugar pills/no period).  If you need refills please refill as needed.  
8/26/12Take last ACTIVE birth control pill and expect a period
08/31/12 Appt. -US/E2-If OK, start Estrogen 
09/07/12 Appt.- US/E2-Lining check
09/14/12 Appt.- US/E2-Lining check 
09/18/12-Possible Progesterone Start
09/21/12-Possible Embryo Transfer

Exactly 1 month and 1 week until I could (possibly) have a little baby (or two?) in my belly again...

Speaking of which, I still have no idea how many they are'd think I'd find that out soon, right? hahah

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm hesitant to say....

that I'm done with my side of legal. Late last night I received my second "final" contract from Legal. I signed, dated and faxed. I won't be able to know if the fax went through until Monday however as the legal contact is out of office today and for the remainder of the weekend.

Supposedly, as soon as the parents and I have both sent in our signed copies (I'm sure they'll be on the ball as well) Legal will message our fertility center and they will ship out the meds.

On a side note, I feel a little silly for not realizing something before. I was thinking that aside from the transfer, I was pretty much done with traveling, only to find out that before and after the transfer we have several monitoring appointments that have to be done at a fertility clinic. That will be a six hour round trip drive each time. Blah!!!

Hubby is the big driver of our family, but I doubt he'll be able to get that many days off, so it looks like I'll be on my own.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We've Hit Our First Snag

Yesterday evening, as I was stressing about not being able to send out my signed application, I received a call from Legal. The parents, upon further looking at the Utah provisions of the contract, have decided that they will not sign it until they can talk with out Agency.

That worries me a bit. Utah has very strict guidelines, and if they don't want to/can't meet those, I feel like I'm going to end up going through all of this stuff again.

I really hope I'm worrying about nothing, but I won't feel comfortable again until I get the go ahead on signing and mailing in the new contract they will send, with an updated date.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Update Time!!!

Hello everyone!

It's been a while since I updated, I know. I was on Vacation, and then there was just not too much to say. Last Monday we received our first draft of the surrogacy contract. We found only one question, and we addressed that  in a conference call that Thursday. On Friday I received the Final contract for signatures, and I emailed that out yesterday.

Today I got an email from Legal saying that they couldn't open my scanned copies and asked if I could instead fax them or send them as a .pdf file. I chose to fax, and that didn't work either. They got 5 copies of the first page and then one more fax with just 6 of the pages. Interesting.

So now we're delayed another day, as I have to go home and download a file converter and try to change my JPEG files into PDF files.

Meanwhile, the parents can't sign it until I get it back to them. Ridiculous!!!

On a happier note, as soon as the contract is signed and in their hands they will send the okay to the fertility clinic to send out my meds. NIFTY.

Our Doctor has told the parents that we're looking at an early September transfer. That's so soon! I can't believe it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Killing Time

Alright, Well we're now.....19 days past the Match Meeting. I know I have updated since directly after, but honestly, not a lot has happened.

On Friday July 14th, we had a conference call with the agency, myself and the parents. Although it was great hearing their voice, we didn't really discuss a lot, and the call was only about 20 minutes.

Basically we talked about the next steps: Account Funding, Legal Retainers, and then after all of that mess.... finally we get to the transfer.

I got a note from my intended mother that the account has been paid on their end, so now we wait for the lawyers to send us out retainers and then eventually the contracts.

Also, the parent's have arranged for their frozen embryos to be sent to the fertility clinic I went to for my medical clearance, they are looking at an early August ship date.


I've been told by a few fellow surrogates that this is the longest part.

After the retainers are signed and sent back in, then the contract is sent to the parents to review/make changes, after they've looked at it, it's sent to me to do the same thing. Finally back to them to agree/not agree. Back and forth until we all agree and sign the contract. I understand why all the legal is necessary, but wow! That seems like it could be a lengthy process.

On the plus side... I think everyone is hoping for a September transfer still, so maybe we can all cooperate, and get legal over with ASAP.

Done rambling now.

We're heading out on a trip to my home town, so I'll update if there is anything to update on, when I return.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

After the Match Meeting--

This trip has flown by.  in the past 48 hours I've been to Arizona, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. That is a lot of traveling to do in that amount of time.

I've already told you in another post about the basic itinerary and all the flights.

We got to Pittsburgh on time, and were picked up at the airport by the hotel shuttle. We went to the hotel, kicked back and relaxed for awhile and then we went out to eat at Olive Garden, and walked around a mall for a bit.

When we got back it was a little after 10pm EST, so I got our stuff ready for the Friday, took a shower.. went to bed.. all pretty basic. I was a little nervous, but in general, okay.

We got up at 7:30 and HOLY COW. My nerves had jumped up a few degrees.

We got ready, ate breakfast, and headed down to check out at 9:30. Our car was already outside waiting for us, so we hopped in and off to WV we went. Passing through Ohio on the way.

My husband enjoys meeting new people because he gets to ask them questions, so it kept me pretty entertained on the way hearing the driver talk about his fear of snakes and calling us crazy to live out here where it's so cold.

About an hour later we were in WV and he showed down in front of a tall building to let us out. My nerves came back again, but I was still in check. We went in, found the floor, rode the elevator up and walked into the Agency's office. They greeted us and led us into the "living room". When she opened the door, I expected the parents to be there already.


So we sat and waited. In those 15 minutes my nerves really his a peak. I can't remember being that nervous. Ever.

My stomach was rolling. Every time I heard a noise outside the door I'd think it was them, and then nothing. Finally, the door opened and in they came. We shook hands, sat down and the meeting began.

They may have been nervous, I'm sure they were, but they seemed really calm. Thank gosh for one of the agency ladies in on the meeting, she kept the conversation flowing, and there was never a lag in conversation.

We went through a lot of basic questions. What brought us to surrogacy, what we were open too, communication, etc.

After, my husband and I, along with the IPs, went out to lunch and it was really nice. We talked about our lives and got to know each other a bit more. I asked if they were fine about me blogging/vlogging about the surrogacy and they told me to knock myself out, haha.

Our flights left within a few hours of each other, and the IPs had rented a car, so they'd offered to take us to the airport.

We talked the whole ride back, and when we got out in the airport garage they thanked us and I thought that was it. We walked into the air port and  they stopped near the restroom. The mother had walked away and I went over to the father and said something along the lines of "well,  it was really good to meet you both"

Before responding, he called to her and said "they're leaving!"

She hurried over and both of a huge hug. He hugged me too, and then shook hands with my husband.

We're both supposed to tell the agency on Monday what out decisions are. I know what mine will be. Here's hoping they feel the same way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Anxious Ramblings

Last night I dreamed about the Match Meeting. You know those dreams when you can tell your dreaming. It was that ridiculous.

IF (intended father) was quizzing me on definitions of words. I remember "Relic" was one of them....I have no idea where that came from. Really.

I came out of the dream feeling pretty good about it all, I'm hoping that's a good sign.

On the less crazy side of things, I got itinerary yesterday. It looks like I'm in for a crazy trip.  Holy crap, jet lag here I come.

I leave from the SLC airport at 7. We'll get to the Phoenix, Az Airport at 7:51 their time, but technically almost two hours later from when we leave. We have a 1 hour lay over there and then a 3 hour flight to PA. Which is actually kinda funny, because it'll be 6 hours later....when the three hour flight lands.

Go to the hotel, grab dinner. Do...something? Then it's off to bed because we have a car picking us up at 10 the next morning to take us an hour away to the meeting place. We've then got a one hour long meeting with the IPs (intended parents). Then we're supposed to go to lunch/dinner with them.

Afterwards, we're all heading back to the airport together because our flights leave the same time.

The flight back is pretty much the same except then my 3 hour trip back to Phoenix is only "1 hour" haha.


On a more personal note. I feel like it's gonna be forever until I see my baby. I'll have to drop him off at his sitter's Wednesday night, to avoid a 2 am drop off. And then as we'll be getting back early Saturday morning, I'll have to wait until 8 or 9 to pick him up.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Match Meeting

So the agency I'm working with, as I think I've mentioned before, lets you meet your IPs after you've both "accepted" each other. This basically gives you one final shot to decide if this is the couple, or in their case, surrogate, that you want to work with.

On June 19th, I got the email saying that they were sending my profile to the parents I had selected. On the 22nd I got a phone call saying that the IPs really liked my profile and they wanted to meet us. That was actually a shock, for some reason I just had let myself believe that the wouldn't like us back. It was definitely one of the times I've been glad to be wrong.

The next part was even more shocking. They wanted to meet me in 7 days. On my end, it was fine, luckily my job is really understanding about the whole surrogacy thing. I asked for the woman on the other end to email me with her contact info and I would email her back as soon as I know if it would work with Glen's schedule, and also if we could get someone to watch our son on that short of notice. It all worked out great, so a few hours later I was emailing them saying that we could make it on the 29th.

She said I'll have my itinerary on Monday. I'm excited, but I don't think it's truly set in yet. I'm sure withing the next few days I'll probably go into full blown panic mode.

I hope they like me after they meet me.

I've got to end for now, I've work tomorrow and a lot to think about..

xx- Michelle

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Choosing a Profile

I was hesitant to right this blog just yet, mainly for fear of disappointment, but then I realized that the whole point of this blog was to document my journey. The good, and the bad.

On Friday, June 15th, I received my very first IP profile. At that point, it had been 8 days since I got an email about my medical clearance.

The Monday before, I got a telephone message saying they had a profile in mind for me, but wanted to make sure everything was going to work out, legally, before sending it on to me.

The very first thing that came to mind, was a same-sex couple. I was really excited by the prospect. Then another surrogate, who went through the same Agency, told me that same-sex was a definate no-go with surros in Utah. (at least through our agency).

Next to mind, was an international couple. The idea was neat, but there was some worry about the language barrier. I hadn't thought of that until my husband said "are we going to even be able to talk to them?" Oops. good point, there.

So on Friday, I opened up the email and the attachments; "IP Questionaire- "last name", then "last name"Profile" I couldn't for sure judge where they were from with their last name. So then I opened it up.

I read the questionnaire first, it said their first names, ages and location. They were actually a US couple. I was not expecting that at all. It really, truly, didn't even cross my mind that it was a possibility. I was at work, and too anxious to wait to read it at home. I spend the next hour or so half working, and half reading my profile. I'd minimize, read a few lines, then go back to whatever I was actually supposed to be doing.

I formed my opinion, and when work was finished, took the papers home to my husband. I refused to tell him what I thought, I wanted to hear his own first. He read through, asked me what different things meant, and then said "Well, I think we should send them our profile! You?"

We agreed.

I emailed the agency back right away, hoping someone would still be in the office. Apparantly not, as I didn't get a message until Tuesday the 19th saying that they would forward my profile to them. Here's hoping.

I really don't know what my reaction will be if they turn me down. Part of me would be glad, it's better now than to spend the next almost year in contact with someone who didn't care for us, at the same time.... I think I might be slightly....put off. Why wasn't I good enough?

So, I was told they had 2-3 days to respond to the profile with either a yea or nay. This is day two..... let's see what happens....

Friday, June 8, 2012

You Have Medical Clearance

I didn't realize that those 4 words would turn around my morning like they did today. 

When I left LA after the screening, they told me that the medical results would be back within 7-10 days. But talking with other surrogates, I wasn't going to start worrying until around 3 weeks, as most of theirs took 14 days.

I woke up yesterday morning, pretty excited because it was day "7". I knew the odds of getting it that soon were slim, but that didn't stop me from checking the inbox every few hours at work, and the same when I got home. 

The agency has two of my emails, and I get different things from them sporadically through each of them. So while I was at work yesterday, I checked both. By the time I got home, I checked only the main one. This morning, my husband told me to check. I laughed and told him there is no way there is anything there as it was only 6am in LA. Checked the main email, nothing.  So I really wasn't expecting anything from the 2nd. Low and Behold, new message from the agency, time marked 2:55pm yesterday........

I'm officially a surrogate with them now Which means in as little as hours or a few days... I could be getting the profile of the couple I'm going to work with. The idea of that seems so crazy! So exciting!

Now I have a whole new reason to constantly check my email............

Surrogacy and the Media

Surrogacy has become more well known than it was previously. It may be in part with the surge of celebrities who have expanded there families with surrogates.

In 2008, Ricky Martin was present at the birth of his twin sons being delivered by a gestational carrier. He said it seemed quicker and easier, although plans for adoption may be in his future.
In 2009, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick announced that they would be having twins via a gestation carrier.
In 2010 Neil Patrick Harris and his partner, actor David Burtka, used an anonymous egg donor and a separate surrogate to give them twins.
In 2010 Nicole Kidman and Husband Keith Urban welcomed a little girl via a gestational carrier.
In 2010 Elton John and his partner, ad-exec-turned-filmmaker David Furnish, sought help from a surrogate mother. Friend and fellow parent via surrogacy, Neil Patrick Harris, was one of the first to know of the upcoming arrival of their baby son.
In 2011 Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman decided that after years of TTC and failed Fertility Treatments to use a gestational carrier, who delivered a little boy to them.

In recent news, controversies of foreign surrogacy are headlining. This, I feel is another big part of why more people are finding out about it. Of course, the media isn't always shedding a good light on it. 

The following information can be found by clicking HERE.

In her book, the Intended Mother (IM) explains: Surrogacy advocates in the United States will tell you not to get involved with poor surrogates under any circumstances because it can lead to exploitation,""I initially disagreed with this line of thinking. Charges of "renting a womb" and exploitation have long tarnished the practice of surrogacy. But in my mind, a woman going through the risks of labor for another family clearly deserves to be paid. ((While the idea of doing a completely free surrogacy is wonderful. It's not practical. In any country. Yes, the IP (Intended Parent) will usually pay less than she would by doing it in the US, but with less money comes a few more struggles. ))To me, this was not exploitation. This was a win-win, allowing the surrogate to have a brighter future and the couple to have a child. If my money was going to benefit an Indian woman financially for a service she willingly provided, I preferred that it be a poor woman who really needed help because the money that a surrogate earns in India is, to be blunt, life- changing." ((to put this into perspective, on average a US surrogate gets paid around 1 year of salary, later the IM will explain how much they India surrogate gets))The book chronicles her struggle to cope with having a surrogate halfway across the world while fielding criticism from others over the decision to spend about $30,000 on the process, less than half of what IVF costs in the United States.

In an interview with CNN she spoke about the entire process.

CNN: What were some of the moral and ethical dilemmas you had to confront in using a foreign surrogate?
Arieff: I never wanted to exploit anyone and there's so much exploitation in India. (( This is where I would be, if I were in the IMs shoes, hesitant. You need to know that while the money is wonderful they genuinely want to help someone who needs it. )) I definitely wanted to make sure that my surrogate was really on board and wanted to do this and felt empowered as a woman to be doing something to help me and her family. The whole "womb for rent," that's where the medical contract and the business transaction side of things comes in, but after doing my research I felt comfortable that she was helping me because she wanted to and I was helping her. You have to be an advocate for yourself and surrogate and I always made sure she was OK. I wanted her to feel special because for the rest of your life I was going to put her on pedestal. With a lot of clinics in India you never meet the surrogates and that's weird, so there are definitely a lot of horrible things that happen in India with surrogates. It's big business but like with anything, you have to do your homework and be really smart about what you're getting into, financially, professionally and personally. So yes, there is a lot of corruption and exploitation with surrogacy in India but that was not the case in our journey. ((Obviously, as a GC in the US, I'm glad when people choose to work with surrogates here. However, I think it's important to know that you cannot judge all experiences with foreign surrogacy as equal. Just as there are good and bad experiences with it here in the US. )) I was surprised by some of the criticism I got from people, especially ones who knew about my infertility and our history with miscarriages. This wasn't the way we'd planned it or wanted it. But still, it was shocking sometimes to hear the judgments in spite of everything we'd been through.

CNN: How did the relationship evolve?

Arieff: When I first met her it felt like a business transaction. She needed some money for her family, it was the equivalent of 10 to 15years of salary and I had fertility challenges so it was win-win, but initially it felt like more business transaction. It's surrogacy, it's not ideal but we came up with a business agreement for both parties. (( Following are the additional struggles I mentioned before)) I saw her for the first time in the beginning. After I left, we'd exchange e-mails through a translator and Dr. Patel would send photos during the course of the pregnancy. One of the most challenging things was the distance. When your surrogate's in the U.S. you're able to talk to her every day and you're free to be engaged in her life so I didn't have that option, which was really sad and unfortunate because I really wanted to feel connected to the pregnancy. I had been pregnant before, once until very far in, so it was hard for me. If I could do it all over again I would stay in India the whole time. I think it's such a big part of the process and that was definitely a huge challenge for me.When I couldn't do it any longer I got on a plane, and I was so happy that I did. We'd do things like braid each other's hair, do each other's makeup. We don't speak the same language so the relationship was based on these basic human principles and exchanges.We'd take short walks, watch movies, some Indian films. I got this drum set, and we played that a couple of times. Music, we really bonded on music and had fun making fools ourselves. There were lots of iPhone films and looking at films together and sitting around doing nothing. We'd look at magazines I'd brought. I think her favorite was when I bought Toblerone chocolate.

While this particular interview didn't really form negative opinions on surrogacy, others are completely different.

In 2004 a surrogacy mishap was reported in the UK. A Traditional surrogate who on accident gave her and her partner's baby away.  The full article can be found by clicking here.

Carole gave birth to a 9lb 4oz boy for a delighted London couple. The mother was unable to conceive and so Carole self-inseminated herself with sperm from the husband, a wealthy businessman.
Six weeks after the birth the furious father phoned  to inform them a DNA test had proved the baby was not his. A second DNA test revealed that the boy was in fact the son of Carole's partner Paul.
"When (they) phoned me I laughed at first because I just couldn't believe it and insisted on having my own DNA test carried out," says Carole.
"When the results came back we were stunned.
"This couple were very cross. They were threatening to call the police and have me arrested for fraud. They were demanding all their expenses back and said they weren't sure if they wanted to keep the baby.
"They even demanded that all my couples have their children DNA tested, which they refused to do. It was the most traumatic time in my whole life."
COTS advises all surrogates to abstain from sex while trying to conceive a baby for a client couple and, although Carole admits she ignored this, she insists she and Paul did take precautions and handed the baby over in good faith.
"I never promised I would never have sex.
"How can you expect married couples to abstain for months?
"We used a condom and it wasn't my fertile time, so I felt 100 per cent certain when I fell pregnant the baby wasn't Paul's," says Carole who insists this was her only slip-up.
You might have expected Carole and Paul to demand their baby back - as they were legally entitled to do - but no.
Carole is quite happy for their son to be brought up by an aggrieved couple who feel they've been cruelly deceived.
"They obviously wanted him otherwise they wouldn't have kept him. I kept my part of the agreement and refuse to give any money back. They got a baby didn't they?"
Since then, Carole has had no contact with the couple, unlike her other families.
Carole remains "very good friends" with two couples, "casual friends" with most of the others, but two have proved rather testing and have left her feeling "used".
Apart from the furious parents of Baby Number Nine, she also doesn't see the parents of Baby Seven any more - a 7lb 7oz baby boy, born in January 2002.
"They were very distant throughout the pregnancy. The mother would phone me once a month and after the baby was born they withdrew completely.
"Surrogates hold a lot of power over couples.
"Some women do enjoy that and it goes to their head. They like feeling important and being fussed over, but I've never abused the relationship because I have my own children and my own life."

With stories about "surrogacy gone bad" it's no wonder, really that so many people form negative opinions on surrogacy as a whole, without taking time to research it before coming to a decision. 

Nothing should be taken as fact blindly. In the same way I don't expect you to support Surrogacy blindly, I'd hope that you don't form a negative opinion. The good stories never get reported as widely as the bad ones. Remember that.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Screening Trip to LA

I would have a ridiculously long blog, if I wrote everything I was feeling. So instead, I did a vlog about the entire trip and how everything went.

In short, I really couldn't be happier.

They told me I'll be hearing from them in about 7-10 days. WOW. That's not long at all before I get the chance to begin looking at profiles of couples. I'm loving it.

I know it's my longest video, but SOOOO much happened. Enjoy!

I've a few blogs in mind that will be coming soon, so don't go anywhere!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Itinerary

Just in case any of you are interested, this is what our schedule looks like for the time we're in LA for the medical screening/evaluation.

Our flight leaves from our closest INT'L airport at 4:55pm. In general, you should get there about 2 hours prior. So we'll be dropping off our baby around noon, and then driving there.

We get to LAX about 2 hours later, and a car will pick us up to take us to the hotel. The rest of the evening is ours, pretty much.

Our morning starts early, we have to be at the Agency at 8:00am. The appointment takes about 2 hours, we'll have a test on a computer, and then we're scheduled for a consultation. Except I think we've already done the consultation part of it on the phone last week.

Our medical appointment is at 11:00. It's about a half hour away from the Agency. I will have a uterine evaluation and we will both have blood work and a urine drug screen.

That's supposed to all take about two hours. So we're out of there about one, and taken back to our hotel. I think. I'm not really sure when  check out time is. Our plane leaves at 6 that night, and it won't be until midnight that we're back in our town to pick up our son.I'm not really sure what are personal plans are for the time we don't have anything scheduled, but I don't imagine we'll be doing anything really exciting.

This is the last step before I officially become one of their surrogates. I don't see why we wouldn't pass anything, but I still won't feel completely content until I get that email saying we did....

Monday, May 21, 2012

The First Big Step

Okay, well maybe it's technically the second big step... or maybe even the third. Count with me. It seems that there are quite a few "big" steps already in this process, and I'm not even pregnant yet!

I guess the first step would be saying "I am going to be a surrogate." As mentioned prior, this comes with a LOT of thought and research. I've got past this one. So, CHECK.

Next comes a little collection of choices. Will I be a gestational or traditional surrogate? Will I work with an agency, a lawyer, or perhaps even independently. I will be a gestational surrogate, working with an agency. CHECK.

Third. Now that you've answered those questions, you get to apply at the agency, talk with the lawyer, or begin searching for IPs on your own. In the process that lead me here, I've done all of the above. As I am now officially with an agency, I'll say CHECK on this one too.

This leads me to FOUR, the step that I'm currently at. Medical and Psychological Evaluation. I can give myself a half check on this on. My husband and I have passed the psychological portion of this already over the telephone. Today I received the first look at my itinerary. I will have the final completely confirmed version tomorrow. How exciting, right? We'll be traveling down to our nearest airport (3 hours away, blech) on the afternoon of the 30th and returning late at night on the 31st.

It's 8 days away!

If you'd have asked me this time last month.... I wouldn't have guessed I'd be writing that.

It's not by far the biggest step in the process, but I'm nonetheless excited for it. I really don't see a reason we wouldn't pass the medical portion of the test. Unless my husband or I have become diseased in the past few months.... in which case... we have some heated conversations ahead of us. Hahaha.

They told me ABOUT two weeks after the screening I'll get to look over m first profile. That's less than a month away right head is spinning. I really and truly can't explain how excited I am.

More later.

Love and Hugs--

Monday, May 14, 2012

Surrogacy Update

I love the feeling you get when you feel like things are finally moving forward. It seems like I've been waiting FOREVER, and now finally something is is the motion.

I will be flying to LA on the 30th. On the 31st I'll have my screening and if all goes well.... I'll be getting profiles to look at it a couple weeks later.

I regret not signing with the agency beforehand. We would already be so much farther along in this journey. Live and learn. I think I said that my last post, but and learn.

The Psychiatrist will not be in town on the two days I'm in LA, so today my husband and I have a phone interview with her.

Now we'll just be in LA for the medical portion of it.

I received my benefit package for review. They had to fix an error on our wage compensation, but I have just sent it back signed.

I've also received by Benefit Guidebook and all my papers I will need to send in periodically throughout the whole process. Childcare coverage, food, etc before hand, and then I have papers to send in for when I get a maternity clothes allowance, for confirmation of the pregnancy. All of that.

I am supposed to receive my itinerary sometime this week. So I know exactly when my flight leaves and all of that...

This is exciting, in a few months, we'll be on our way for a transfer. (knock on wood...)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The "About Me" Post

I'll go ahead and start this off with the basics. My name is Michelle. I have a son and husband that mean the world to me. I'm 22 and have been blogging off and on since early in my pregnancy last year. I vlog a lot more than I blog, but I'm trying to even them out, slowly but surely.

I think this blog will be easier to keep going. My one other blog is just about my normal average life, and it's really not that exciting.

I decided to become a Surrogate in December of 2011, officially. I toyed with the idea earlier, but I didn't look much into it. This was just two months after I had my son, and if you'd asked me even a month earlier I would say I was never EVER pushing anything out of THERE again. You see how long I kept that idea going.......

Now not only am I on my way to becoming pregnant again... I'm also pushing out SOMEONE ELSE'S baby.

In the beginning, around January, I applied at a few agency's and acquainted my self with SMO. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, it's an online board for surrogacy. Classifieds, actually. I got the go ahead from a couple of them, but was still struggling with that I wanted to do. (explanation in a second...)

Let's talk money. Now, I'd guess 90% of the people,--I could be wrong, but let's believe in a higher percentage of decent people--are serious when they start placing/reading ads and thinking about surrogacy as  a great gift to give to a person(s). Then there is the other 10% that are either not completely devoted to the idea, or are just out for a scam, or for the money.

I don't think any Gestational Carrier/Traditional Surrogate that has received compensation will ever say that the money wasn't handy. It is...or for me, will be.

I didn't know in the beginning that Surrogates got compensation. It was a nice surprise when I found out they did. Honestly, I would love to be so financially set that I could just do a Compassionate Surrogacy, but i'm not. And I don't think a lot of people are in the current times. My husband and I both work, pay our bills provide for ourselves and our son, but that's pretty much it.

Returning to my aforementioned struggle....In my experience, the majority of the couples I had spoken to who were working independently, were offering more money. I'd be lying if I said that it didn't have a bit of pulling power. It did. So, I decided to focus more on independent couples rather than agencies.

This is when I met a couple. We spoke and I THOUGHT we hit it off fairly well. I sent them all my information. By Marc, nothing had been resolved, so I wrote one of my last letters to them asking if we were moving forward.  (keep in mind I wrote every other week or so. I always initiated it, never them). I was told I was one of  3 surrogates they were viewing and that they would have their RE call me. I did, after another two weeks get a phone interview with their doctor. I felt like were finally moving forward, and then nothing happened. So I waited two more weeks, and wrote asking if they had made a decision. I was fine if they hadn't chosen me, but I wanted to know. I was completely confused with the message I received back. 'There are no contracts at this time, Thank you for your interest."

That was that. We haven't communicated since late March/early April.

They were offering twice what the agencies would offer. My only assumption is that they realized they were no longer able to pay that, or they just weren't that serious about it.

I was bummed for awhile. I felt like I had wasted 5 months that I could have been looking/already pregnant.

So, I finished the paperwork on the agency I had previously been working with. I should add, so I don't sound completely horrible, I had asked to have my application suspended due to some family medical issues,  and this all happened while my application was suspended. I didn't just disappear from Radar.

Now, here I am. I'm 3 weeks from when I head out to LA for our Medical and Psych Evaluation. And it irritates me so bad that I could have already been through this and matched. Lesson learned I suppose. I really recommend going via an agency your first time. Wait until your more experienced to go independent.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Religion vs Surrogacy

The Vatican is against surrogate mothers. Good thing they didn't have that rule when Jesus was born. - Elayne Boosler
There are quite a few things I could write in this, my first surrogate blog. I feel strongly about them all, but quite possibly the strongest about this.  

The quote above refers to the Catholic Church, but sadly, it's not just the Catholic Church that feels this way.

In my opinion, every woman who is genuine in the want to be come a surrogate, has thought, prayed (depending on her beliefs) and researched all that is entailed with the process. 

In my own personal decision, it is something that I not only want to do, but I genuinely feel I NEED to. I'm supposed to do this. 

In the past days, maybe even weeks, I've had several conversations with people on this subject. I've had responses from one extreme to the other. I've found that these replies fall into three basic categories.

1.) Happy and Supportive. Thankfully, for my own sanity, 85% of the responses that I receive, fall into this category.  Usually they are at first surprised, but then are genuinely glad and supportive. 

  • "Wow, I've always thought that would be so great to do. I'm so glad for you. I wish I thought I could do it!"
  • "Really? That's pretty neat, and very nice."

2.) Hesitant. I really have no other idea of how to describe these ones. The 10% that reply are usually more concerned with how it will effect me.
  • "Are you sure you could do that? I mean, I could never feel a baby move and grow inside me and be able to give it away."
  • "What happens if something go wrong? Is it safe for you?"
3.) Negative. The remaining 5% fall into a category that really was the idea behind this post. I feel like I can safely say that at least three of that five percent are using medical or religious reasons. and the other two? Well honestly I'm not sure where their opinions stems from.
I really wish I was making those last two replies up. I'm not. Up to this point in my surrogacy journey, that has been the hardest part. The fact that those comments came from a person I respect and also a Church official, made it worse. 
  • "I've learned not to question God. It was obviously his plan that these people not have children."
  • "You know, they have a name for women that sell their bodies...."

There are people in your life that you EXPECT to be negative. It's just who they are, so it wouldn't have come as a surprise if it had of been one of them. Yet when you hear words like that come out of someone completely unexpected, it really throws you off course for a bit.

I'm not saying that I've let their opinions influence what I'm going to do, but it's still something that weighs heavy on your mind, creeping up when you least expect it, or even when your trying to AVOID thinking about it.

Although no one wants a negative response, in my own experience it has been easier to accept one of an admittedly personal opinion  rather than using, for example, Religion to back up your own views. If you don't like the idea of something, say that. If YOU feel it is morally wrong, say that. Do not say "the church, the group, the whatever-the-heck-else" feels like this, and therefore, I have done absolutely no research and follow blindly."

SURROGACY IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. Plain and simple. It's not for all to condone and accept, and it's not for all to discourage. It's research, it's praying, it's knowing and it's keeping informed. Not all childless couples will turn to surrogacy, the same that they will not all accept being barren or adopting children. Not all women will become carriers. Not all people will agree with it.

If you wish for me to respect your choice. Respect mine. If you wish for me to respect your opinion, respect mine. And finally, if you wish for me to even remotely consider/ponder your perspective, be dang sure that you have formed your own opinion and not mimicked someone else's. 

The following was taken from a article by Stanford:
"The ethical debate on surrogacy has often looked to religious roots and cultural backgrounds in search of an answer.  One of the first ancient references to infertility occurs in Genesis, when Jacob’s wife, like many of her Biblical peers, was unable to bear a child.  After praying to God and begging her husband, she sends Jacob “unto” her maid and then adopts the resulting child as her own.  Sara did likewise, sending Abraham to her maid Hagar, saying, “I shall obtain children by her.” (Full article may be found HERE

Denomination vs Surrogacy
In the LDS (Mormon) Handbook, it says: 


Surrogate Motherhood
The Church strongly discourages surrogate motherhood.

The Catholic Church:
"...articulated most fully in the Church's 1987 statement by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation" (the Latin title is Donum Vitae, and it can be found here.
In that letter, the Church spoke of homologous forms of assisted reproduction in which sperm and egg come from the married couple; and heterologous forms of assisted reproduction in which some third party is brought into the process of conception, gestation, and birth. Most homologous forms of assisted reproduction divorce procreation from sexual union of the man and woman; and all heterologous forms (such as surrogacy) do. As a result, neither is acceptable from within official Catholic teaching." (Entire article found here)

The Jewish Beliefs:
In Jewish law, a childless couple falls within the category of personal suffering and there exists a clear obligation to assist them in every permissible way, as long as no one is harmed in the process.

The Eastern Orthodox Church 
supports medical and surgical treatment of infertility, and 

The Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witness, and Mennonite religions all have liberal attitudes toward infertility treatments.  

Islamic law encourages attempts to cure infertility, but only to the extent that IVF technologies involve the husband and wife.   

Hindu perspective 
Hindus have never seriously debated assisted reproduction because of their belief in karma, which preordains the kind of life an individual would lead after birth. There is no conflict between Hinduism and assisted reproduction, which is generally accepted as a form of treatment and not an infringement on religious beliefs. 

(articles and reference notes to the previous 5 can be found by clicking here)