Category Archives: Medical Screening

What Happens in Vegas…

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Las Vegas is my new favorite city!!! Granted, I spent absolutely no actual time in Vegas, but it’s still my favorite city and this is why…

I flew from my home airport in Birmingham to Houston, Texas. Due to bad weather, the plane was delayed landing which meant I missed the connecting flight into Vegas. The airline was, thankfully, able to get me booked onto a later flight to Vegas that night. I quickly messaged Samantha and she contacted the fertility clinic so they could adjust the car service. I’m extra grateful I hadn’t checked any bags! I used my gorgeous new Vera Bradley duffel as a carry on bag. Luggage would have been a nightmare with the delays and flight cancellations. (Picture especially for you, tummymummy11 :). )

photo 1Once I made it into Vegas I found my driver (how cool and fancy is that?!?) waiting for me and he took me straight to my gorgeous hotel. It was late and I was starving, so I ordered a chicken quesadilla from room service and took a quick shower while I waited for it. The quesadilla was yummy, but it was also a fortune! I’m glad I wasn’t paying for that or I’d probably have just gone hungry! Who knew room service was so expensive!?!

Not even an hour after checking into the hotel I was in my comfy bed and out like a light!11The next morning I got up and ready, checked out and went down to the lobby to meet my car service (fancy again!). As we drove to the clinic I was a basket of nerves. This didn’t stop me from admiring the gorgeous scenery, though. All around me were themed resorts and tons of lights, but the sky was clear and baby blue and the mountains in the near distance were such a breathtaking contrast to the cityscape. I could have spent hours just riding around, but we shortly arrived at the clinic.

I immediately loved the nurses at the clinic. The one who took my blood was friendly and funny. There was also another GS getting her blood drawn beside me and we chatted about surrogacy. She’s starting her second journey and also has international IFs! Before I even knew it the nurse had filled her many vials with my blood. I hadn’t even noticed how much blood was being taken because it happened so quickly. I’m certain fertility clinics are secretly supplying vampires with the amount of blood they take!12

My intake coordinator, Maria, took my vitals and then led me back to a room and I donned the dreaded paper gown and hopped up on the table to wait. I stared in slight horror and the ultrasound machine thing beside me. I’d seen pictures of it on friends’ Instagram accounts (my favorite nickname for it is “Mr. Weenie Wand”) , but it was still intimidating.

I thought to myself, “Wow…. they’re putting that where? They could at least buy me dinner first!” 🙂13

Soon, Dr. D and Maria came into the room and the medical screening began. Dr. D was beyond nice. He explained everything to me step by step and kept asking if I was okay or feeling any discomfort throughout the process.  The two procedures he did were a sonohysterogram and a trial transfer. The sonohysterogram involved injecting water into the uterus through a catheter that is inserted into the cervical and uterine canal. During this process the doctor did an ultrasound to look for any uterine abnormalities that could interfere with pregnancy. The second procedure was a mock transfer. During the mock transfer the doctor used the same instruments he’ll use for the actual transfer so he can determine the size of the uterus and best positioning when he transfers the embryos. This helps to ensure the actual transfer will go as smoothly as possible. The entire process took less than 20 minutes and didn’t hurt at all.

2Dr. D showed me the sonogram of my uterus and told me it was a “beautiful uterus”.

For those who don’t know, that’s basically the best compliment a surro can hope to hear! He said everything looked great and perfect to carry a surrogate pregnancy! As long as everything from the lab work comes back fine, I’ll be officially medically cleared!

After I was redressed Maria introduced me to my nurse coordinator, Sarah. Like everyone else at the clinic, I adored her. She will be my point of contact at the clinic from here on out. We went over everything again and I signed a bunch of consent to treat forms and other paperwork. She told me she would keep me updated and as soon as they have my medical clearance and contracts she will order my meds and set up my med calendar!

I finished up and went outside where my driver was waiting to take me to the airport. The trip home was long and tiring! There were lots of delays because of the bad storms that came through Thursday.

While at the airport I checked my email and had two awesome messages. One from the clinic 4telling me my blood levels had all looked good! The other from Jesse at my agency saying the clinic had said they loved me. 🙂

This made up for the frustration of the travel delays. I finally made it back to Birmingham around 2:00 am Friday morning and went straight to bed.

After a few hours of sleep and dropping the kiddo off at school, my partner and I had the psych evaluation phone session with the psychologist for the clinic. It went very smoothly and I wasn’t nervous at all compared to the first time. I felt calm and sure of myself because of everything I’d learned over the past several months. We wrapped up the session and the psychologist wished us well on our journey.

Now, we begin contracts and wait for the medical clearance! My IFs are anxious to move on so we’re starting the contracts right away with hopes of having them done with in a couple weeks. They been amazing and kind. They’ve sent little messages to check in with me, or thank me again or wish me safe travels. I feel so blessed knowing I’m helping such wonderful guys become fathers!

How long did contracts take for you? What are some things you added or wished you’d added? Help a girl out with any advise you have! 🙂

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Wonderful, Whirlwind Week

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photoThis has been a whirlwind week. I feel a lot like Dorothy after she woke up in Oz. My head is spinning and I’ve been asking myself, “How did I get to this amazing place?”

I first applied with the new agency less than two weeks ago. The owner and I emailed back and forth as I sent her all of my paperwork and records. One week ago she and I had a phone session to discuss the process with her agency, my questions, etc.

As we were talking, she told me she had a set of IPs she’d just thought of that she’d like to “earmark” me for even though my profile wasn’t scheduled to go active until a few days later.

I gave her the go ahead to do that. Later that day she sent me their profile and told me to let her know if I was interested. As soon as I saw their smiling faces and read their profile I knew I had to “meet” them. With my permission, she sent them my profile and they they liked me, too! We set up a Skype call for a day-and-a-half later. (See, whirlwind!)

They are an international couple, so I was at first concerned about the language barrier. It turned out to be a non-issue because we have an amazing interpreter (who is also their friend and works in surrogacy) and they are able to communicate in English some as well. Samantha* (name changed for privacy), the interpreter/friend, led our conversation and helped translate as needed. She was such an asset to the conversation because of her knowledge with surrogacy and the extra steps involved with an international match. She was also very kind and I loved her right away. I feel very lucky to get her as a package deal with the guys! 🙂

My partner and I both ADORED the IFs. They had been through a lot to get to this journey as well as having recent disappointment when their planned GS had a family issue that resulted in her having to walkaway from surrogacy at this time. They appeared nervous, but they also appeared hopeful. They tugged on my heartstrings, especially since they are also a same-sex couple which is what I’d originally most hoped to work with.

Richard* did most of the talking for them, I think partially because he is able to speak English the best and it also may be just his personality. It was mesmerizing to hear him speak in French. Adam* was very quiet, but he had these incredibly soulful eyes (I had time to notice when Samantha was translating what my partner said to them.) that seemed warm and made me feel like I could trust him. They were both polite, asked good questions and appeared to care about us having a healthy experience and being respectful of our family.

As soon as we finished the call my partner and I discussed our feelings and we were both in agreement to move forward with the guys.

I had this feeling of absolute sureness in my head and heart that I realized I’d been missing before.

I emailed Jesse (owner at my new agency) and let her know it was a match for us. She emailed me back shortly after and told me it was a match for them, too! She also gave us phone numbers/emails for each other so we can begin openly communicating as we feel comfortable. That really surprised me because it was very different from before. I really liked it though! I hope to keep a friendly, open communication with the guys throughout the process so they can feel as involved as they like.

Jesse emailed to let us know my records had been sent to the IFs’ fertility clinic for review. I prepared myself to begin another session of weeks of waiting. I was very wrong! Within a few days I received an email saying my records had been reviewed and I was approved to move to screening and then the next day (today) the clinic called with my med screening date (October 14th!!!!!).

To say my head is spinning would be an understatement! In less than two weeks I’ve gone from submitting a preliminary application with the agency, to matched and a medical screening appointment set.

I feel like everything has led me to this point. I’ve learned so much, including patience (well, sort of, ha!) since first beginning my journey towards surrogacy back in May. I know there could still be plenty more bumps in the road, and I am prepared to face each one. My IFs are precious and the thought of giving them the child they’ve dreamed of for so long is a feeling I can’t put into words.

In 17 days I fly to Las Vegas for my medical screening! I want to pinch myself just saying that. Did you do anything to prepare for your screening like taking vitamins? Any suggestions are welcome! 🙂

Trust