A Womb At The Inn

March 29, 2011, 1:58 am
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I was just walking around today and felt so excited about this new life.  And what better time for it to start than spring?!  Birth, renewal, energy…what comes to mind when spring is mentioned.  I’m feeling so much more anxious with this pregnancy (which, btw, was reconfirmed today with another blood draw that showed “perfect” hormone levels…not seemingly threatening of twins).  I have a sense that everything will be just fine, wonderful even…but still it all feels more fragile than with my own pregnancies.  Most likely because of all the micromanaged parts that need to go into making this a success.  While I was resting up after the embryo transfer  I started reading about other journeys through surrogacy.  It’s amazing how different each womans experience is.  Some women have had hardly any relationship with the family they are helping make a baby for, some live near-by or far away from the IPs, some go on monthly girly dates (massages, mani-pedis) with the IM, and (my favorite of all) some IP have arranged for their surrogates home to be cleaned on a regular basis from before the transfer to weeks after the birth!  There have been, from what I’ve read (but then again how many people with bad experiences blog about it?) mostly very positive relationships…and it seems that the closer the surrogate and intended parents live, the better the relationship is.  The more they can be involved in the process together..and outside of the process stuff.  My friend, the IM, said that she wishes we lived closer together and she would be over all the time with ice cream and cleaning my house.  All I can say is damned long distance relationships! Haha.  No but really, I would so love for the distance to not be so great.  How wonderful to be able to meet up for lunch (oh all the things that go into a lunch during a pregnancy…what foods will I be craving/baby be wanting?  How is baby acting that day, sleepy, active..? All those things that she wont get to be as much a part of.  Who doesn’t want to hang out on the couch in pj’s over some ice cream and Grey’s Anatomy…let them experience everything that I will be experiencing with their baby through this journey. 

As for what I’m experience up to now..my husband says I’ve been “a little bit annoying sensative when you disagree now”.  Thank goodness this is something he sees as a change though, right? 🙂  On the topic of my husband…he has been amazing through this.  Normally I ban him from the house stuff (for two reasons: he has proven his lack of housewife skills, and he has medical problems that aren’t helped much by house work, or at least that isn’t where I would rather his energy go when he does have the good energy to spend.  However, he has gone out of his way to make sure he is flipping the ratio in who does the housework.  This is both a plus and a negative for reasons I wont get to into but I am wonderfully happy to have him as my partner through this and everything else in my life.  Wouldn’t want it any other way.  Lighter not,  I’ve been super hungry, mostly for toast with butter and jam…I’ve almost gone through a loaf on my own since the transfer.  And lets not forget sleepy…extra sleepy. You know how children grow so much while they are sleeping?  I wonder if that holds true for a fetus while the fetus holder (I couldn’t say mom bc that isn’t me in this case..but, haha, fetus holder isn’t nearly personal enough either) sleeps.


Life goes on, and then life is MADE!!!
March 25, 2011, 6:11 pm
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Okay, so last post things were little crazy for everyone but inside and outside of our surrogacy life.  Although life can still be crazy, life does go on.  Hopefully, though, this news will make it go just a bit (haha, to say the least) more hopefully!!!  I woke the kids up super early this morning and in had to harden myself to their sadness at drop off at daycare being rushed and for those of you who have children..most things done while they are sleepy is not done happily.  Again, life must keep going so I tried to harden myself to their little tears and rushed off to get to the pregnancy test…of course knowing that they would wake up once they were around the other kids and start having fun and (life would go on) they would not want to leave when I come pick them up in the afternoon..that is the cycle for now.  Anyhow, 830am pregnancy test.  Same time as the last embryo transfers preg. test.  It was the first time I have had to be mutli-poked to get blood out..ohhh for better or worse my family has wonderful veins 🙂 Like the first time around I was told to wait until 1 or 2 and I would get the results.  Last time I called in at 145 and still had to wait for the results..excrutiating to me at the time.  But today..not the case.  Here I am sitting on the couch with my dogs sleeping next to me, his monster size head on my lap and I type some stuff up on my laptop (yes I do feel amazingly accomplished when I can balance the laptop and my dog’s head in my lap (as his head rivals the size of my laptop and my lap is only so big).  Phone rings and I actually pushed the “off” button so I didn’t have to listen to the phone ringing, as I had no intentions of answering the “unknown” number that was calling me.  But last-minute I figure, ahhgg, what if it just might be important, not really thinking it would be.  Glad I took the call because it was of course our good news.  The test came back that quickly, 1 1/2 hours!  So numbers are looking “healthily high” but not quite twin high.  Again, good news!  I go back in on Monday for another blood draw so they can see where my numbers are at that point (going up-and how far up, one baby up or two?  Or is it going down and…but we wont go there).  So, happy as a clam but anxious, too, because my the other part of this baby making party hasn’t gotten the news yet…no one will answer the phone.  If it is anything like last time they just might be trying to busy themselves until this afternoon, when we expected the results.  Again though, hopefully this news will lighten the craziness of what our world is handing out in the non-surrogacy part of our lives.  SO VERY excited for this to be starting and hope everyone can share that.

March 23, 2011, 6:41 pm
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So, word to the wise, ask for advice about a surrogacy contract from the lawyer assigned to you before you agree that it is completely adequate. It may seem perfectly reasonable before you know what you are getting into but maybe not so much afterward. The problem also lies in the right balance between surrogate protection and intended parent protection. IPs are already putting out so much money in the process and it is difficult to say “I see what you are already burdened with but, hey, I don’t feel I am being taken care of the way I think I should.” Asking for more than what is being given is never a comfortable thing…and I cringe at the idea of them thinking I am trying to take advantage of them or their generosity. For those of you who have found this wonderful balance between give and take, congrats and I am very happy for you. No one wants to feel like they are being taken advantage of? I don’t want to be guilty of that or the victim of it either. Unfortunately, and (I think) of no fault of the IPs…more-so a fault of our inexperience with this process, I feel I have let my family take a financial hit in order to let me give this amazing gift. I hate…amazingly hate…that this is the situation and that I have to bring this issue to the IPs. We have a wonderfully non-business relationship with the IPs but of course having issues with the financial details (that we feel could be improved to better protect us-meaning my family) of our contract is not a way to protect that relationship. I hope that the topics I am raising do not also raise any hard feelings on their part…that they understand where I am coming from. What mother wants to tell their son that they have to hold off on putting them in day care (preschool), that they can’t be a part of that before planned and highly anticipated sports teams, or can’t have something that would have other-wise been bought had (uncompensated) money not been spent on surrogacy related trips? I hate to have to go to my friend (the IPs) and say that I want more money…but really, and please do tell me the truth, am I expecting too much to when I ask to get back the same amount I put in to surrogacy related trips. Examples of this are me, my husband, and my children’s meals being covered, cab fare to and from meals covered, and not to be made to feel guilty for asking for that. That means that my husband and children’s food and transportation to be covered when they come with me on surrogacy related trips (granted these trips are over, at a minimum, over 300 miles and usually several days long). Is that too much, am I being unreasonable? I would really like to have an outside perspective…as well as those of the IPs. I don’t mean to be unreasonable…just want things want that balance of protection between my family and their s.

Waiting Game
March 22, 2011, 3:04 am
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In my normal fashion..I give a big sigh.  Each day I’m thinking about the life (or lives?) that I hope are growing inside me.  I wait until this Friday…but I feel like I already know.  Like I said before, this is our second embryo transfer and this round feels so much different to me.  Not just the product of the hormone injections like the first time.  I’m hoping that my gut feeling is leading me in the right direction…would be pretty crushing to hear the opposite this Friday with everything that is being put into this by my family and the IPs.  Mostly them though…they surely deserve this opportunity and my husband and I are sure they will make wonderful parents.  I’ve been catching myself doing a lot of silly little things to protect “Faith and Hope”-names given by the IPs- (walking a little different, smoother), sitting up/down slower…those are the voluntary things but there are the other things, too, that I don’t enjoy doing like not being able to pick up my children.  My girl is going through her clingy mommy stage and it has been hard having to tell her she can only get her hand-held and not picked up….it wont kill her but she is too young to understand it isn’t about her.  On a slightly more shallow note, I do miss my hot showers/baths.  Normally I am the type to soak in water hot enough to turn my skin red but for now  I need to keep the temperature down more than normal so I don’t accidentally boil the babies…obviously a sacrifice worth making but it is one of those pregnancy things that get you to missing it even more because you can’t have it.  Hopefully soon enough that thing will be sleeping on my tummy, also my type of thing.  But I really hope I do get to give that up for awhile..would mean I get to give something even more wonderful…amazingly moreso.

Til Friday!

My Journey Midway
March 19, 2011, 1:15 am
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    About six months ago I decided to do something most women (and many of their husbands) would not be able to understand.  I decided to be a gestational surrogate.  This means I will be the home to a lovely little embryo belonging to another lovely couple.  Well, I say couple but a GS can carry a baby for any combination of parent(s) be it a heterosexual married couple, a single man/woman, or a homosexual couple.  In my case, however, the intended parents (IPs) are a heterosexual couple. 

    In the beginning this decision was a little hard for my husband to understand since, for us, pregnancy has been a very personal experience full of love and bonding.  He couldn’t quite understand how the process would work…would he (and I for that matter) know how to go about nurturing someone else’s baby without becoming as attached as we did with our own.  On that topic, we have two beautiful children of our own.  Our oldest is a 4 yr old boy and then comes our 2-year-old girl.  My husband took a lot of pleasure in my pregnancies with our children and wasn’t sure he would be able to make that separation with someone else’s baby while it was in my belly.  Also, he couldn’t understand why I would want to make that sacrifice..would it make it more difficult for us if we wanted more children down the road, why would I want to put my body, emotions, and family through carrying a baby that isn’t my own…and so on.  For me it naturally seemed much more clear.  Granted, I am not to that point quite yet (or am I?) but it seems to me that I would not develop the same type of emotional attachment to a baby that was not my own.  It made sense to me that it was more along the lines of me taking care of a sister or friends baby…nurturing and caring for baby but understanding emotionally and mentally that the baby in my belly would not be mine.  After a lot of talking my husband, being the wonderful man that he is, began to see what it was that drew me to the idea of being a GS.  We are a very lucky couple.  So far we have gotten pregnant within months of beginning to try to have had enjoyable pregnancies followed by uncomplicated (well, besides my boy being sunny side up) deliveries.  Not everyone gets to have that experience.  I am actually a strong believer that not everyone deserves that experience or that of being a parent.  But there are people out there (like the couple I am working so hard with to try to make a baby) who desperately want a child, are ready (in all the ways I can think of) to take on the challenge that is a child…I guess it can be summed up with ready, willing, and unable?  They are the reason I want to be a GS. 

Since this blog is starting after the start of my journey as a surrogate I will try to jump to where we are right now.  The IPs and I have already been through one embryo transfer that was not successful.  I hear that is somewhat normal and not something to worry about.  Luckily, they were able to go forward to try another cycle and we just did 2nd embryo transfer.  Both times we transferred two embryos (the mommy’s -IM- egg and daddy’s -IF-sperm already fertilized).  Obviously this runs the risk of multiples (which aren’t what either family is hoping for but my train of thought is two is better than none..but I am hoping for one).  Leading up the transfer, for both me and the IM, there is a wonderful cocktail of hormone injections.  And then just for me there is also the addition of hormone patches and pills (taken vaginally..oh joy).  The injections come in two types for me..one tiny one in the tummy to make sure I don’t let down any of my own eggs while I’m all estrogened out, the second is about 1 1/2 in needle to the upper/outer portion of the bum.  That’s the fun one..that lasts until I am 10 wks pregnant.  It is a joy that I will get to wake up to every morning until then…and feel the pain of every time I, well..do anything.  And as I know from the first transfer, that pain doesn’t go away until a good while after the injections have ended-as in a month or two.  BUT…the transfer process..that is a different story.  Outside of the discomfort of an overful bladder, which the nurse nicely offered to let me slightly relieve into a small cup as long as I cut the flow off after that…haha, if my bladder wasn’t so full I would have loved to laugh at that one because for all of you who have had children, preferably more than one child..I bet you understand that those muscles are just not as willing to work with you as they used to be (or maybe I don’t for your own good).  Anyhow, outside of that part..the transfer is amazing.  First of all it is painless -the transfer part, not the bladder part.  It is quick, too.  But the best parts are that you actually get to see the embryo’s on the big screen they have up so you can watch the embryo’s be transferred from dish to uterus!  Amazing right?!  Right there in front of you..well in front of me and the IPs anyhow, were two little lives ready for the cushiony home of the uterus I had been working hard to thicken up for them.  And right in front of us..from the IPs eyes, as I imagine it, were the two little lives they had built and were putting so much hope in.  This last transfer was a bit of a bonder for me and the IM as I was in a bit more discomfort than the first time (bladder pressure irritated by duck bills and an ultrasound wand pushing down on my belly) but she held my hand right through it.  It gave me a little flash forwards actually..there she was sitting by my bedside while my face turns red with discomfort/pain.  She reaches over to offer her hand, I squeeze without having to worry about bothering her.  All the while she is leaning in towards me taking loud, slow breaths..in through the nose, out through the mouth..deep and slow to remind me not to forget to breath.  What a sweetheart.  Now we wait..exactly one more week and we have the pregnancy test.  Please pray or hope or wish, whichever you want, for us that we will be able to help this lovely couple take care of this baby, and that baby is sticking in there.

Hello world!
March 19, 2011, 12:03 am
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