Monday, October 27, 2014

My Surrogate is her Egg Donor

This is going to be my most favorite post ever. It doesn't matter what's to come...this one post, is how it all began.

I've wanted to share this story for five months now...but I needed it to be official. And now it is.

Something that has been on my mind often these past several months is how fortunate we are when certain individuals come into our world at just the right moment. It's those special people that touch your soul and really make a difference. Friends that you know without a doubt will be part of your life, well...forever.

Back in January, I shared that I got to meet Jessah (and her husband) for lunch in Colorado. We were both at CCRM for various treatments. She was there for her last retrieval and I was there for my hysteroscopy to attempt to treat my Asherman's Syndrome. Neither of those procedures worked out as we hoped and I've realized that even though they didn't, maybe it's because we were destined for something so much bigger. Fate lead us together in a truly serendipitous moment that day in Denver.

And that day I met a friend that I will cherish and love for so many years to come.

I'm so thrilled that she's finally, after so many years, expecting her Baby Sunshine. She is going to be such a loving and fantastic mother...and A is going to be a great father. And because of a very special circumstance and very loving woman...Jessah and I are well on our way to having our dreams come true.

That's right. I said woman. That's what I'm so thrilled to share. My very special also Jessah's egg donor.

It's K...K is Kelly.

During their communication, K expressed her wishes to become a gestational carrier. She's already helped Jessah reach her dreams of becoming a mother...and two other women before her through egg donation. Like Jessah's story, we came to meet K in a less traditional way..."outside the box" as she mentioned in her post. I met her because Jessah knew in her heart that this could be a match. Because Jessah loved and cared about me enough, as I was learning that I couldn't carry a child, that she gave me a light in the dark.

It's difficult enough to come to the realization that I will never experience pregnancy. To be faced with the cost of surrogacy when we had already gone through so many infertility treatments, can be overwhelming to say the least. A huge part of the surrogacy costs are the agency fees. Fees for finding and being matched with a surrogate. For us, the difference in having an agency vs. not having an agency made using a gestational carrier within reach.

Jessah has bonded us forever because of her actions. Our children will always be connected through their stories. I can't wait for the day that they can play together and learn the beautiful story of how much they were wanted and loved by so many...even before they were here.  How intertwined their lives were before they were born. I am so thankful for that day in January. I'm so thankful for this blog and for all the women that I've met (even if not actually in person) and have supported me these almost four years. Where would I be without you? Without Jessah? Without K?

Jessah made this happen for us. There is no way to ever express in words how much that means to me. January 9, 2014...very likely, changed my life.

And especially to Kelly, who I've grown to care about so much in these past few months and not just as my surrogate, but as my friend. Who I hope in the coming months, will lovingly, graciously and kindly carry our child for us. I want her to know that because of this gift, I will be carrying her and her family in my heart for the rest of my life.

I look forward to sharing so many moments, big and small with her...with Jessah and with all of you. This is my hope and my dream. For the first time in so long, it feels so close.

Whatever I did to deserve Jessah and Kelly in my life...I couldn't be happier or more grateful.

Our very first meeting (July 18, 2014)

Agreements signed!! (October 25, 2014)
Transfer in December/January

Monday, October 20, 2014

Moving along...literally

Got the great news on Friday that our gestational surrogate will NOT require a mock cycle! I don't even know what to say about how quickly and smoothly things are going at this scares me a little, because I just want it to continue.

This means that with her next period in early/mid-November, she'll start birth control pills to prep for her FET. Who'd have thought I'd be here at this point after our failed transfer in May?! It's all so surreal.

I still do not believe it will happen this year. With CCRM's lab closing from Christmas through the New Year holiday, I believe they will schedule it for early January. Still lots to do over the next few weeks. Waiting on labs and her "official" medical clearance. T and her hubby are in the process of getting vials of blood to ship to CCRM because of their lovely "it must be done in our lab" rules and we're drafting contracts. But literally...we're in the final stages of going full steam ahead.

So, so happy.

And on that note...I think we bought a house.

Yes, you read that right. Apparently I like to keep myself at the max overload of chaos in my life at all times. We've been casually looking for almost a year and a half and we've been in a condo for almost 10 years. It's been great, but I miss things (and I want to get rid of other things).

I want a yard. We love to entertain and cook and our condo is not conducive to that. (unless you like grilling in a parking lot and walking 2 flights of stairs to serve/eat)

I want space. Especially if we just might be bringing a baby home. Right now, we have 2 bedrooms, but the layout is pretty bad for a baby (or guests in general) since the guest room is practically in the kitchen.

I don't want massive amounts of stairs leading from my car to our main level. I will never, ever miss this. Large grocery trips and big Target runs of stocking up on house hold essentials like heavy cat litter, etc. are not fun when they require multiple trips of hauling stuff up all those stairs...even if it kept me in shape all these years. (Let's be honest, usually I put about 6 bags on each arm and leave the cat litter for T, but you get it...I still huff and puff the whole way with that many bags)

I don't want a tandem garage that requires us to park one behind the other. It's also so narrow that adults can't even get in and out once the car is "in" the garage unless they are on the drivers side, and even then, it's a squeeze. So imagine me trying to get any kind of car seat in and out. Dare I think of ahead, but this is me having hope that one day...soon.

We didn't plan on doing this until maybe next spring...guess the right one just came along.

There is a lot on our plate right now and we are both mentally exhausted. We're doing our best to manage everything (smartly). It's definitely a bit nerve-wracking.

But it's all very exciting too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BIG sigh of relief

First of all, I'm going to warn anyone reading this that I'm mentally and physically exhausted from the last 24 hours. So I may or may not be able to form complete sentences. I've received so many well wishes that I just wanted to update all of you as soon as I could...jibberish or not.

Our trip starting off rocky is a understatement at best. On my way to the airport yesterday, I received a text that her flight was delayed around 30 minutes. Problem was, this was pretty early on in the afternoon and I know that delays tend to get longer and longer. Her layover was one hour.

At some point it became clear that there was a good chance she wouldn't make her connection and found out the later flight to Denver was sold out. Her flight may or may not wait for her even though it was landing within minutes of the next departure time.

Aside from me feeling absolutely horrible for her being stuck at an airport dealing with delays (which we all know pretty much sucks)...I had to board my flight from Indianapolis. A flight which had no Wifi and having no idea if she would make it or not.

Longest 3 hours ever. By that time I landed I was darn near an anxiety attack. Well...either that or just wanting to vomit.

I had texted T all her information so he could help her out if needed while I was in air. Luckily I had a text from both of them when I arrived that a spot opened up on the last flight into Denver. So a few hours late, both of us bleary-eyed from stress and exhaustion, she made it.

Today we had time for breakfast before her appointments started. So amazing to be able to sit, talk, spend time with her and continue to learn more about each other.

So how did the ODWU go!?!

It went perfect. I know we won't have all the results for a few weeks, but what we do know is her uterus looks great! Ultrasound, blood flow, hysteroscopy...she passed all of them with flying colors.

What more could I ask for right now, this very minute??

Not much. I'm sitting in the Denver airport pretty darn excited about all that's to come.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Change of Plans

Last week wasn't the greatest week. Last weekend I found out my aunt had died tragically in an accident. I had to travel home to North Carolina to be with my family. I'm glad I did. They needed me.

Dear sweet Allison at Belle Haven Drive also gave birth to her sweet baby girls...but sadly, she lost Emmanuelle...and I know her heart is in a million pieces all while being strong for little Rowan. So my heart is with her.

And Sarah at Where the Heart is Today...who had her whole heart on the line with this FET that she's been waiting so hard and so long for...feels broken. I've felt that pain. I know what it's like, and I wish there was something I could do to take that pain away for her.

So no, last week wasn't good. I feel awful that I've been away from the blogs due to my own circumstances, but I want them to know how much they have been on my mind.

We've were on a bit of a high since finding out that our GC's records were approved the week prior. Since then I knew there would be a bit of a waiting game on her 2nd period (well...cause we were still waiting on her first).

Last Thursday, was cycle day 1 and that night my nurse at CCRM sent an email that changed it all...enough time has passed since the IUD was removed. There is no need to wait any longer. So what does that mean??

It means she's going to Denver on Wednesday for her ODWU (one day work up). Unfortunately, her hubby can't make it due to work commitments. So I'm going to go with her. I certainly didn't want her at CCRM's mercy on her own.

So this week is it...this week will determine us moving on to our FET. They'll do labs, an ultrasound, a hysteroscopy and her psychological consult. As long as all goes well...we could potentially have a transfer this year still (depending on the need for a mock cycle).

I'm thrilled. Ecstatic. And nervous.

I'm looking forward to spending a few hours with her. This is a relationship that we're entering into after all. One that will truly bond us forever. So yes, getting to know her better and better has made me feel comfortable and even happy and excited about where we are today and the decisions we've made.

So stay tuned...this is getting real!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

27 days

That's how long it's been since CCRM received her records. 27 very long days.

In those 27 days the internet has only added to my fear. The fear that they would determine some reason not to allow her to move forward. I read post after post about CCRM being one of the hardest clinics in the country to get a gestational surrogate approved. This has frightened me. While yes, Dr. G had said that the hypertension during her 2nd pregnancy and the fact that we couldn't even get records for that pregnancy or her 1st pregnancy weren't disqualifiers, I still had the nagging fear (daily) that there would be a red flag somewhere that would give them cause to turn her (us) away.

And we weren't prepared for that to happen. We feel connected to her now. We can imagine the next 12 months of doctors appointments, FET and hopefully a pregnancy with her. It's my heart, but I've been here before, where I believe this is our answer...and it's not.

So for the last 27 days, I've been hopeful, but very anxious. Yesterday this one little email from my nurse made my heart soar.

I got her record review back yesterday and everything looks good.  

Her records were approved. Another huge hurdle has been cleared. Yet, I realize, we're still only starting to even be able to see the starting line up ahead.

Next steps:

Phone Screen between GC and nurse
ODWU (one day work up) where they will do a psych screening and medical screening (November)
Contract negations with attorneys

Only then...will be be able to begin.

I feel miles away...but I can see what's ahead. Every little step brings me closer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

She Needs Us

Our sweet friend Allison from Belle Haven Drive needs all the love and support she can get right now. She's carrying two sweet girls and is doing her very best to get them a little further along and avoid the complications of pre-eclampsia.

Lets send her all of our well wishes, good thoughts and prayers that these babies get the extra time they need and that Allison stays healthy. She's been through so much, like all of us, and just wants to bring her baby girls home.

Much love to you, Allison.