Category Archives: Phone Calls

I’m Offically Un-Matched :-/

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WhyAll weekend I tried to stay positive. All weekend I had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. I anxiously awaited the call from my case manager, Jill, scheduled for Tuesday morning following the Labor Day Holiday to see what our revised timeline looked like.

The call finally came.

When I hung up the phone I sat on my bed in shock. I was left with a dozen different emotions whirling around inside me. Confused. Upset. Sad. Anxious. So many emotions all at one time that I never saw coming.

Jill broke the news that my IPs had made a decision NOT to go forward with surrogacy at this time.

She said she honestly wasn’t sure why they made this decision so, unfortunately, she wasn’t able to offer me any type of closure or explanation. She was as surprised by it as I was because they had seemed excited and eager for our journey to be in motion based on her interactions with them.

This information caught me completely off guard. I kept thinking back on our Skype meeting and picturing their smiling faces. They had seemed so eager, so motivated, so excited to get this process going to the next step and have their precious baby.

Did I somehow miss something?

Was there some sign I missed? Hesitation in their eyes? A too-bright smile? An overly enthusiastic attitude? The unexplained ending of my journey with them makes this even harder. Did it end up being too big of a financial burden? Were they too afraid to risk their last embryo right now? Is someone sick? Is their marriage facing problems? Are they moving? I guess I’ll never know.

I do know this: I with them nothing but the absolute best. They seemed like such good, kind people and I hope the ending of our journey together is the result of a positive, happy change in their life.

So, where does all this leave me?

Jill said the the Directors at my agency were already working to find me new potential IPs to meet and be matched with. She was encouraging in her positive attitude. She said she felt confident I would be matched again quickly. We both hope she will get to continue to be my case manager.

While this unexpected “bump in the road” of my journey knocked the wind out of my sails, it will not keep me down. I still believe with my whole heart this is the path I’m meant to be on. I will continue to trust the process and have faith the “right” IPs will come along.

I received such an outpouring of encouragement and support from my amazing Instagram “surro family,” for which I’m extremely grateful. Thank you to everyone who’s shared an uplifting comment or a personal experience with me already.  It helps to know others have been where I am and were able to move forward and help a different family than they first envisioned.

Now, I wait again. Fingers crossed A or D will reach out to me soon with a new family to meet!

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How Do I Get from Here to There?

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its-worth-the-wait_thumbI had a great first chat with my case manager, Jill, yesterday! She is beyond friendly and I feel very fortunate to have her as my case manager for this journey. She will be my main point of contact throughout the process, so I am sure I will be spending a lot of time talking to her. 🙂

The main thing we went over was the timeline for the next steps in my surro journey to get me from here to baby! I have mixed emotions about the timeline. On the one hand, it’s super exciting to know what’s next, but it’s also a little disappointing to know each step takes so long. The best way to describe it is that it’s like going on the most amazing trip of your life. You have the road map in front of you and it’s thrilling to see each stop on the way to your destination, but it’s also daunting to see the number of miles between each of these stops.

I’ve been reminding myself that it’s worth the wait and also trying to remember to put myself in my IPs’ shoes… they’ve been waiting so much longer than I have!

Basic Timeline::

  • The IPs fertility center has my records for review and will contact me with any questions or additional information they may need. Once finished, my Med Screening appointment will be scheduled. (3-8 weeks)
  • Depending how the Med Screening goes, I may have to do a “Mock Cycle“. (3-4 weeks)
  • Once results from all that are back, we can move on to legal and do the contracts. (6 weeks to 2 months)
  • After legal, I’ll receive my Med Calender and start meds (4 to 6 weeks)
  • Transfer!

So, for now, I’m waiting oh so (not) patiently to hear from the fertility clinic. Surro friends, what did you do while you waited for your Med Screening appointment? I’m trying to eat extra healthy, stay more active (exercise!) and take a good multivitamin. I figure the healthier I am going in to this the more prepared I’ll already be! 🙂

I like you! Do you like me?

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A few days after “A” and I spoke about the IPs who were interested in me, she e-mailed me to finalize plans for our Skype meeting. The e-mail came on Monday and the Skype call was set for Wednesday… that meant I had roughly 48 hours to finalize my list of questions and plenty of time to be nervous and excited!

I don’t think I slept more than a few hours both nights. My brain just wouldn’t get quiet!

Wednesday arrived and I rushed home to freshen up and get ready for the call. I made my partner change shirts. Twice. First impressions matter, right?!? 🙂

We logged on to Skype and awaited the call. “A” messaged me to let me know the IPs were running a little behind. I was thankful for a few extra minutes to calm my nerves.

The call connected and there on my computer screen were two nervously smiling faces. It felt like a blind date. We had all of the same emotions I imagine. Anxious. Hopeful. Scared. Nervous. Excited. Hoping to make a good impression. Wanting to be liked… to be chosen.

They had an advantage over me in that they’d already had access to my full profile so they knew a lot more about me (and my partner) then I did about them. It was a humbling feeling to know this couple had read all about me and were interested in me carrying their child. I wish I was also allowed access to the profile. It would be fascinating to see what exactly it says about me!

After the initial introductions, “A” did a great job of leading us in conversation. We started off with the basics: Jobs, families, hobbies. It was a good ice breaker for all involved. I could feel nerves subsiding somewhat.

Then we moved on to the harder topics: Selective Reduction, desired involvement/communication throughout and after surrogacy, expectations, thoughts on labor, etc. A lot of these topics ended up being  “none issues” for us because the IPs will only be able to transfer one embryo.

By the end of the conversation I knew in my heart that these were the people I wanted to help. Their story tugged  at my heart. They had faced such difficulties to try and create and then build their family. Despite all of those struggles, they appeared to be so full of hope and positive energy.

They were kind, down to earth, funny and just seemed like genuinely good people. I felt a strong connection to them and it seemed mutual.

“A” told us she would reach out to us both in 24 hours so we each had time to discuss and think about it with our partner/spouse and make a decision. We ended the call and my excitement and nerves were back in full force.

I immediately e-mailed “A” and told her I knew I had to wait 24 hours but that I LOVED the couple and wanted to be their surrogate if they chose me. She said she felt confident they would but that we would wait the 24 hours and then make our final decision.

I didn’t sleep that night except for a few hours on and off. I kept thinking about all of the things I wished I’d said or said differently or didn’t say at all. I had a million thoughts running through my head and was feeling such emotion.

For years I’ve known this was something I wanted, but after that call it became real. I’d actually “met” people who I might be helping. There were faces and names and details that colored in all of the vague mental pictures I’d had of surrogacy.

Prior to this experience with them, I’d spent a lot of time thinking about what surrogacy meant for a surrogate. The physical, mental and emotional toll it takes on a GS. The time investment it requires. The shots and medicine you take. I’d thought about it all.

Of course, I’d also thought about the IPs. That’s why I wanted to be a GS. To help them. To contribute to their family. To give other what I was blessed to be able to have so easily.

But, I hadn’t really THOUGHT about them. It occurred to me during our conversation how frightening it must be for them. I stress and worry when my daughter is with a new sitter for a few hours. What must it feel like to have to trust someone who is essentially a stranger with your baby for nine months? What courage and hope and faith and LOVE that must take.

That realization was very powerful for me. It made this journey I am on seem like even more of a miracle in the making. I desperately hoped that I could be the one to try and bring their dreams to life. repay you quote

The day after our Skype session I checked my e-mail religiously as I waited for a response from “A”. Finally, FINALLY I got an e-mail from her just as I was packing up to leave work.

It said: “[IM] and [IF] absolutely loved you and [my partner] and definitely want to work with you!  They are anxious to get things going as soon as possible.  Are you on board??”

I e-mail her right back and said, “Yes, yes, YES!!!…” 🙂

So, I’m officially matched now! It’s a very surreal feeling. Less than three months ago I submitted that first preliminary application and now I’m matched with an amazing couple.

There’s still a lot that has to be done before we actually (hopefully) get to the “fun” part. Legal contracts. Medical screenings. Medicines and blood work and the dreaded shots! I’m ready for it all, though, now that I know who this is all going to be for.worth it quote

I’m eagerly awaiting word back from “A” on where we go from here. I especially can’t wait to get to know the IPs better! 🙂

How did you feel about your IPs after that first meeting? Tell me about it in the comments!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match!

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Have you seen the 1971 musical Fiddler on the Roof?

No? Why not?!? You’re missing a classic! That point aside, there’s a song in it about a matchmaker making (marriage) matches for the characters in the movie. Part of it goes:

“Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match, Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match”

Now, why am I telling you this? Because, I got a call about a possible MATCH today! 🙂 The song has been in my head ever since then and I think it’s very fitting.

Granted, I’m not looking for a marriage match, but it still seemed really perfect because I’d been waiting impatiently for seven long days to hear about a match.

I’ve heard it can sometimes take take a while to find a good match between IPs and the GS. With that in mind, I really wasn’t expecting to hear back so soon from Alicia, who is one of the directors at my agency. Today only marked exactly one week since my profile went active.

“A” said the couple she was calling about LOVED my profile and were very interested in working with me. They live in the Southeast like me. I won’t share too many other personal details, especially at this point, for privacy reasons. I will say that they sound awesome and I’m excited to learn more about them!

One part of my surrogacy profile with my agency talks about my pregnancy experience with own child(ren). It’s sort of an informal “get to know me” section for the IPs. One of the things it asked about was my pregnancy cravings and I said I really only craved OJ, BBQ Pringles and peanut butter M&Ms. Well, apparently the IPs are also crazy about all things peanut related! So I guess there were excited and thought this was a sign or something. 🙂  mnms

A and I talked about my schedule next week and she will be calling back soon with a date and time for her to facilitate a Skype meeting between me, my partner and the IPs.

I’m trying not to get too excited in case for some reason the match doesn’t end up working out, but it’s REALLY hard not to be ecstatic!

Any tips or words of advice for the session? Things I should definitely ask? Help a Surro out! 🙂

Home Sweet Home V

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Have I mentioned yet that being flexible is a key requirement if you want to maintain your sanity while pursuing surrogacy?

I don’t mean the gymnastics variety of flexibility, although I’m sure that couldn’t hurt either. No, I mean the ability to completely create/change/cancel plans often and/or unexpectedly. If this is a problem area for you, you’re in for a bumpy ride!

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Twenty-four hours after I got the call that I’d passed my psych. evaluation and was good to go on my home visit, P called me to schedule the visit. She was going to be flying in from Chicago, so we needed to pick a date and time that would allow for affordable airfare and that would allow my partner to be home also. We matched up our schedules and picked a weekday morning that was my partner’s day off.

Two days later P called and said she’d had a personal scheduling conflict and wouldn’t be able to make the trip. Read the rest of this entry

I’m Not Crazy…

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That’s the thought that kept running through my head while I waited for my mental health evaluation appointment to arrive.

Sure, I knew I wasn’t crazy, but what if somehow the test said otherwise? What if the Psychiatrist determined I wasn’t really a good candidate for surrogacy? What if she took issue with my relationship? What if…

The day before my appointment I was really nervous and, being the organizer and planner I am, planned everything to the T. My partner finally insisted I relax when I Read the rest of this entry

Medical Records Update…

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Hallelujah, my medical records showed up in my fax inbox today! As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve heard that getting out of state medical records can be an absolute nightmare! This proved to be somewhat true. While mine only ended up taking about ten business days, it took three faxes and seven phone calls back and forth.

Did you know that nearly all medical record keeping is done online now? I didn’t! This seems good in theory. Records are easier to look up and transfer, they can be accessed outside of the office and they are more legible. All great things, right? Sure! Unless you’re one of the many, MANY patients who had a baby BEFORE the switch to electronic record keeping.

Accessing my records from eight years ago meant someone had to go to a different building and dig around to find what I needed. The readability (is that a real word?) of the records is sketchy at best. A piece of advice to anyone who thinks she may ever want to be a surrogate: Get your records now! Trust me on this one. If you’re pregnant, go ahead and make a copy of your records and put them in a safe place “just in case”.

My former doctor’s office lost the first medical records release fax I sent to them and said they didn’t receive the second fax. When I spoke to someone a week later she assured me they had been mailed and I should have them any day. After two days I called back and pleaded my case with someone else. She said the woman in charge of records would be out until the first week of June.

I about had a come apart at that news. Didn’t they understand I was trying to make babies over here? The sweet woman took pity on me when I explained why it was absolutely imperative they go find my full chart and send it to me right away. She said she didn’t know how to work their fax machine but would have another receptionist do it the following morning. Lo and behold, she was true to her word and I got them today.

I emailed my records straight over to K at my agency and can cross that off my to-do list! Now I just have to wait until my doctor’s appointment on June 9th to get my pap and medical clearance!!! I’m not a very patient person; it’s a flaw I freely admit. I do believe this journey will either teach me patience or leave me crazy… maybe both. 🙂

 

The Phone Call and Catching Up…

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Less than twenty-four hours after I submitted my surrogacy application my phone started to ring. Checking the caller ID I saw that it was an Illinois number. I held my breath and said in my best ‘I’d make a great mother’ type voice, “Hello?”

It was someone from the agency calling! Kristina told me they’d gotten my application and everything looked to be okay so far and asked if we could schedule a time to talk. I made the appointment for the following afternoon, hung up the phone and sat in my desk chair staring at my computer screen. I’d read that some agencies can take longer getting back to you. I couldn’t believe I’d been called in less that 24 hours!

I immediately went back to my previously made lists and started double checking to make sure I had all of the questions I wanted to ask written down. I ended up adding a bunch more. That day seemed to drag on and on.

The next day I waited for the phone call, tried to focus on work and watched the numbers on my clock tick closer and closer to 11:00 am. By 11:05 I had started sweating. Finally, the phone rang and it was K. We talked for about an hour about my application, more details about myself, partner, and daughter, the process and everything involved, etc. Every so often she would stop and let me ask questions. It felt like a very natural conversation and less like the intense interview I had anticipated.

K was amazing. She was warm and friendly and very knowledgeable. I felt a great connection with her. She had delivered twins four weeks earlier as a GC (her second surrogacy), so I felt even better knowing she had first hand experience. At the end of the conversation she told me that I was approved and to expect a welcome email shortly. She went over what would be in it, requesting medical records, scheduling pap smear, and all those fun details.

After my conversation with her I felt even more certain of my decision. Then came the beginning of phone calls! I called and made an appointment (June 9) with an OB/GYN a friend recommended to get my annual exam and pregnancy clearance. I went online to request my prenatal and delivery records from my previous pregnancy with my daughter. I’ve read it can be a timely and frustrating process trying to get them. Fingers crossed it goes smoothly.

That brings us to where I am in my journey thus far. While I wait for my doctor’s appointment and records, I am researching hospitals in my area and reading LOTS of blogs. What blogs do you love? Leave me a comment and let me know!. 🙂