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Life After Surrogacy

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I’ve had quite a few people reach out to me in the past three months to ask about my life after surrogacy. I’ve been asked how I’m doing, do I miss the baby, will I do another journey, etc.

First. Thank you! It means so much to me that you’ve wanted to check on me or have still been interested in my story.

Life after surrogacy has been great. I’ve had absolutely zero feelings of regret or any postpartum issues. As I’ve said from day one, baby R was not my child, and, so, all I feel is a sense of pride and happiness that I played a part in his story. His parents and I keep in contact as time allows. I know how time consuming it is to work and take care of a baby. I do the unexpected pictures or updates, though. They say he is doing wonderfully. He’s healthy, happy and SO very loved. It shows in his pictures and the way they speak of him. It fills my heart with such joy to know their dreams of a family are a reality now.

Physcially, I’m doing really good. I’m still focusing on losing weight and getting back into shape. Once I had R my blood pressure issues completely resolved themselves. Other than my squishy stomach, I tend to forget I had a baby just a few months ago. 😛 Ha!

In the few months since my journey ended, I’ve been a busy woman! My daughter started fourth grade; I left my full time job in retirement planning to go to part time hours and nanny part time so I could have a better balance of work and family time; My partner and I were married on October 18th; We just bought our first home together (we close on the house and move in around Thanksgiving!); and We leave for our honeymoon on November 8th.

To say I’ve been on cloud nine would be an understatement. I feel incredibly blessed and very lucky right now. Our wedding was AMAZING! We planned everything ourselves and couldn’t have hoped for a better day. We were surrounded by twenty of our dearest friends and family members as we said our “I dos” by a lake at local bontanical gardens, and then we had a lunch reception at a restauarant we love.

“So, now what?”

That’s the question most people ask. “Will you do another journey? You were just married. Do you want a baby together?”

Such good questions! They are ones we are discussing together right now.

I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I hope to do another surrogacy journey. There is no other feeling that compares to seeing a couple become parents except for maybe having your own child. It’s an addictive feeling, to be honest. I imagine it’s like completing a marathon. You spend months preparing and training. It challenges you physically, emotionally and mentally. The big day arrives and you give it all  you have and it takes absolutely ALL you have. At the end, you’re exhausted. Your body aches. You wonder how you even did it. BUT, you DID! It’s the biggest high. In order to allow you body the chance to rest and recover after a baby, you need to wait at least six months after a regular delivery. I will be six months postpartum in January, so I have a few months still to decide the WHEN of another surrogacy, since the IF isn’t really a question for me.

That leaves the question: Will we try for our own baby?

Honestly, we’re not sure. Going into surrogacy, we felt our family was complete. My daughter, P, was eight, almost nine. She’s been the only child for nine years. I’m nearly a decade older than I was when I had her. That’s a lot to change. A big factor in deciding that our family felt complete was also the fact that “gay marriage” wasn’t legal in our state at the time I started my surrogacy journey. I knew I didn’t want to bring another child in our family that wouldn’t have the legal protections that marriage offers a child. I didn’t think it would be fair to the child or to my partner.

Then, June happened, and marriage equality became the reality of our country. It caused us to reconsider the topic of family size.

We’re currently discussing our options. It’s not as simple as, “Let’s make a baby!” for a gay or lesbian couple. Straight couples decide to have a baby, and that is that. Assuming they have no fertility issues, it’s just a matter of timing and practice.  That’s, obviously, not the case for us. There’s a lot more involved and that makes the decision something to even more carefully think about. (Please know I realize this isn’t the case for the MANY couples who struggle with infertility or other complciations that make conceiving hard or impossible. I mean this strictly as a comparison between uncomplicated straight couples and that of non-straight couples)

When we make our decision, I will likely blog about it either privately or publicly. I found blogging to be such a good way to keep track of everything, share with others and learn from others. That’s another decision to be made at a later time, though. For now, we’re preparing to leave for our honeymoon cruise and move into our new home. What an amazing year 2015 has been!

I’m really enjoying continuing to follow so many of your blogs and journeys. I love reading about the progress you are making towards your own babies or babies for others and the other incredible things going on in your lives. ❤

Many have you have asked to see pictures from our wedding, so I will upload those in a seperate post after this for easier viewing.

 

 

 

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The Birth Story of Baby R

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I have sat down to write this several times, but I just never could seem to finish it before now. Writing this all down makes it so official. So much love, energy, hope and work goes into surrogacy. To finally arrive at the long awaited, and much anticipated, culmination of the journey is bittersweet.

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Thank you for your patience. I give you the birth story of baby R as I remember it (which is fuzzy in places because of the anxiety of the moment, the meds, the long hours and the post-delivery complications):

July 16th, 10:00 am: I arrived for my follow-up appointment on Thursday, July 16th and my palms were sweating as I waited anxiously in the lobby to be called back by the nurse. I tried to do calming focused breathing so as not to have an elevated blood pressure when I was called back to be check. This appointment is when I would get my results from the 24 hour urine test and we would set a date to be induced based on those results. My doctor had mentioned that we would likely either induce on Saturday, Monday or Wednesday. At the time of my appointment I was 38+1 weeks along, and we wanted to try to get to 39 weeks which is the new recommendation for inductions.

My blood pressure was checked and was high. I forget the exact numbers, but I know it was above the 160/90 mark which is the danger point they cautioned me about previously. The doctor came into the exam room and we went over the results of the 24 hour urine protein test, blood pressure and my symptoms. My 24 hour test results came back over 400 which means there was too much protein present in my urine. That coupled with the blood pressure and other symptoms meant I needed to be induced, but when? The doctor asked me to wait a few minutes while she consulted with my regular ob (she was on vacation) and said she would be right back with me. A few minutes later she came in with news I was not expecting…

“Okay, so based on everything we’ve decided it’s best to deliver you today…. so, I’m going to send you downstairs to be induced now. ”  (My doctor’s office is located in the Women & Children’s portion of my hospital, so labor and delivery is just one floor down.)

Panic immediately set in. I asked her to repeat herself. Surely I had just misunderstood her. Nope, they were inducing me now. I asked politely begged to wait until the next morning. I said I could go straight home and not leave the bed until I cam in to deliver the next day. I explained the dads had just taken off from Paris and wouldn’t be here until late that night. I started crying a little bit. They’d waited so long and we had worked so hard and now they might miss the birth of the son. How could this be happening?!?

10:17 am: The doctor gave me a hug (I love her!) and sympathized with the situation, but explained that because of the test results and blood pressure waiting any longer could have very dangerous consequence for my health and, as a result, the baby. She explained a few things about what would happen and then sent me on my way to labor and delivery.

I stepped out into the hall and as I walked to the elevators I realized I was crying. Ugh. I hate crying. I was just feeling very overwhelmed. I sat down in a lobby chair and pulled myself together and began to text and call everyone involved… my partner, my agency, our third party coordinator, etc.

My poor partner immediately started crying. Bless her heart, she’s just an emotional person and was freaked out by the thought of all this happening so quickly. I got her calmed down and gave her instructions for exactly what all I needed her to do: get my hospital bag (so glad that was already packed), pick up my kiddo from camp, board our dog, etc. Once I gave her all the instructions she talked to her boss and left work early to take care of everything and come to hospital to be with me.

Super glad I'd already thought to pack my bag!

Super glad I’d already thought to pack my bag!

Since the parents were in the air, there was no way for me to update them. We sent messages to let them know, but it would be hours before they landed in Atlanta and got them. :-/ This made me so anxious, but there was nothing I could do, so I hopped on the elevator and went down to be admitted to L&D.

I met with the head nurse in charge and reminded her I was a surrogate and she assured me she knew all about it and had my paperwork. She was so nice. I asked about the guys having their own room with baby and she said they were pretty full right now but she would make a note and check again when discharges happened later on.

I got settled into my room and met my nurse who was AMAZING. She was beyond nice and so considerate of the entire situation. I got into my hospital gown, went to the restroom and hopped into bed. Next came a ton of paper work and instructions. Because of the blood pressure they were putting me on magnesium through IV. This meant I wouldn’t be allowed to get up at all… i.e. bathroom only in a bedpan, how lovely, I snuck to the bathroom one last time when the nurse left the room. I wanted to avoid a bedpan as long as possible. No getting out of bed also meant I had no hope for naturally getting the baby to progress down on his own and try the pain management techniques I’d been practicing to try and avoid an epi as long as possible. No birthing ball. No walking. No squatting. Just me and the bed. I choked back my frustration and disappointment.

I’m a control freak and in one quick swoop they took away all of my control. I also wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything except ice chips in case a c section was needed. Ugh! Sure wish I would have known that in advance. Suddenly my meager breakfast that I forced down because I was too nervous about appointment to really eat anything was coming back to haunt me. Why, oh why, hadn’t I eaten more???

Once paperwork and all that was out of the way it was time to get the show on the road. I had stalled as long as possible and couldn’t come up with any more excuses to make things go slowly. My nurse tried to start my IV. Twice. No luck. Apparently my veins weren’t happy about my induction either. She called in another nurse. She looked to be about 12, but she assured me she wasn’t. Two more sticks from her. No luck. Damn veins. I didn’t want to be induced today, but I also didn’t want to be a human pin cushion. Third nurse. Fifth stick. We have a vein! Thank you, Jesus!

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1:51 PM: Magnesium and pitocin started.

2:26 PM: Felt first contraction. Pitocin is definitely working. Contractions aren’t too painful and I’m handling them okay with just focused breathing.  Somewhere during this time Cindy made it up to the hospital to be with me, but I can’t remember exactly when. We chatted and I fussed at her for talking to me during a contraction. She got upset and I reminded her to get it together and none of this was me being mean I was just in some pain and focusing on breathing during contractions so couldn’t talk then.

3:00 PM: Contractions regular but not too painful yet. They checked me and I was only at 3 cm. Doctor broke my water.

3:33 PM: Top green line is baby’s heart rate. Middle white mountain looking line is my contractions.Contractions

4: 35 PM: Contractions picking up in intensity, I still didn’t want an epi and doing okay with focused breathing. Cindy went to pick up our daughter from summer day camp and bring her to see me for a bit before she spent the night with a family friend.

Baby was pushing around on left side of tummy. Hopefully, looking for an exit!

5:21 PM: Baby was being a stinkier and wouldn’t stay on the heart monitor so they had me lay on my side. They upped the pit about every 30 minutes to keep labor progressing.

6:48 PM: Dilated to 5 cm and then got stuck there but contractions kept coming and coming. Finally gave in and got an epi. My blood pressure dropped really low after epi was working and I got sick and felt very loopy. They stopped the mag and worked to get BP back up.

8:13 PM: Got BP up to 108/63. Started to finally feel better. That was completely awful! Dilated to 6 cm. Heard from the guys and they made it to Atlanta but were delayed so wouldn’t be to Birmingham until about 11 pm. I was very worried about delivering before they arrived, but felt a little better because at least they were now aware of what was going on and the possibility of arrive to a baby.

OH, you know, just trying to have a baby.

OH, you know, just laying here trying to have a baby.

8:40 PM: Hospital staff is amazing and so accommodating. They’ve got separate room ready for guys and baby, baby will be listed strictly under them and they’ll get both id bands instead of me having to have one. The hospital lawyer came and talked to me. He said because there’s no biological link to me, once I deliver the baby everything related to him can be listed separately with the guys like he’s his own separate little patient including billing!

9:44 PM: Still at 6 cm… Doctor a little concerned that I’m not progressing very much. Pit is at 42 (whatever that means) which is above the typical limit of 40. At this point I started to freak out a little for fear that this would end in a csection.

10:44 PM:  IPs landed in Birmingham!

 11:31 PM: Another cervix check. I’m at 8 cm, 85% effaced and having bloody show. Woo hooooo!!!! Nurses had me sit back up for a while to try and get more pressure on cervix. I tell ya, this baby was waiting for daddies!

12:05 am (so now July 17th): Daddies finally arrived and are washing up. They made it, they made it. I felt such an immense sense of relief. Even though the day had been painful and crazy and I was BEYOND ready for it to be over, I was thrilled daddies wouldn’t miss the birth of their son. I was at 9 cm with regular steady contractions.

The timeline gets lost after that because I’d stopped updating people. The guys come to my room and we talk and they sit and then pace back and forth between the couch and the monitors. I explain what the various lines mean: heart beat, contractions, etc. Richard* (name changed for privacy) asks me questions about the induction and baby’s heart beat and other things. He’s read online about various aspects of it all. I try to answer his questions and explain why they insisted on inducing right away and whatnot.

I’m feeling completely exhausted and anxious as we approach the end. Some where around 1-2 am the nurse comes to check me again and the guys are asked to step out. They go back to their room to wait until it’s time for the pushing so I can rest for a bit. I manage to nap for about half an hour. Before I know it, it’s time!  My doctor and the different nurses come in and start getting everything set up and ready to go. My partner goes and gets the guys.

About 3:00 am, and we’re ready to start pushing. There are a million people in the room. Okay, we’ll more like 10 or so. Definitely not what I was expecting and MUCH more than I appreciated being present (not even counting the doctor, guys and my partner). Apparently word had gotten around that this was a surrogate birth and so about half of the labor and delivery staff found an excuse to be in the room. I remember feeling very exposed, vulnerable and frustrated. Nearly of the people were down south, i.e. right in view of my lady parts! Because of the layout of the room, the baby’s monitoring station stuff where they clean him him and measure him and all that stuff was set up in the area directly opposite my hospital bed, so I was looking straight at them, meaning they were all looking straight at me and seeing every bit of the action. Did I mention I felt exposed and frustrated. I really wanted to throw a fit, but I was exhausted… going on 12+ hours or labor and had been awake for nearly 24 hours. Instead, I tried to make jokes about the situation and and just tune them out.

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Ready to get the kiddo out!

Around 3:10 am the pushing begins. I could barely feel anything because of whatever it was they put in my epidural line to help with the pain. Everything was completely numb south of my belly button and this made pushing beyond hard. My nurses and doctor were incredible though. They were so patient and encouraging. We kept trying different ways of pushing. They had my hold the handrail things and push, hold a rope that one of them was holding (tug of war style) and push, hold my legs and push, you name and we tried it. FINALLY, after about 45 minutes they could see the head starting to move down and almost ready to come out. By this point the medicine making me so numb had also started to wear off and I was able to feel more.

Seriously, I wanted this kid out NOW!

Seriously, I wanted this kid out NOW!

We went back to pushing and at 4:04 am, little R made his debut into this world with his proud daddies standing right beside my bed.

The doctor put R on my belly while they wiped him down and clamped the cord for the dads’ to cut. He then immediately went to his dads for skin to skin contact on the couch in my hospital room. That was such a precious moment and I felt a little like an intruder to their private time. After some skin to skin time, the baby went to the warmer to be cleaned, measured and checked. The guys stood right by baby to witness all of these and learn the details of their son. He was a perfectly healthy 7 lb 15 oz and 19 inches long baby with a head full of hair and great lungs!

Baby R is here and papa is cutting the cord.

He’s here! One of the papas cuts the cord.

While all of this was taking place my ob was focused on the delivery of my placenta. After it delivered she saw that part of it had not detached from my uterus and had to remove that by hand. I thank God that I’d had an epidural or I’m sure I would have passed out. She kept reaching into my body and feeling around in my uterus to get everything out. While I couldn’t, thankfully, feel the pain of this, it was an uncomfortable sensation each time she reached and scooped, reached and scooped. I’m not sure exactly how long this went on, and there was some quiet discussion between my doctor and the nurses and scary looking instruments were handed to her. I learned afterwards that they’d been discussing a possible D&C if the doctor couldn’t get the rest of the placenta.

Things get less clear after that point. My blood pressure dropped really low, I spiked a fever and I developed the worst chills I’ve ever had in my life. My teeth were chattering so hard I actually was afraid they might break. No exaggeration. They covered me with heated blankets and started me on IV meds. The nurse said this was likely from the trauma of everything and placenta issues. I don’t remember how long it took to get things under control but it was scary and exhausting. I ended up with an infection and had to stay in the hospital from the time I was induced on Thursday until Sunday afternoon.

Despite all of the unplanned craziness, the scary moments and talks of cesection and D&C, the infection and exhaustion, the 24 hours without sleep or food, and everything else, it was worth it. It was completely and totally worth it. Baby R may not have come into the world as we’d all planned, but he came into the world healthy and with his parents right there to witness it all. This is a priceless moment that I will carry with me my entire life.

My precious love holding baby R for the first time.

My precious love holding baby R for the first time.

Baby R was discharged from the hospital the same day I was and went to stay in a hotel with his parents until it was time for them to fly home. They were here for about four weeks while they got everything finalized with the birth certificate and passport. We all got together several times and enjoyed some baby snuggles and watching the guys take care of their son. I’ve had absolutely zero attachment issues to him. Despite carrying him inside me, he never felt like my child and he wasn’t… not biologically or any other way. I know that’s a hard idea for many to understand, but it’s something that only those who’ve been a surrogate will ever fully grasp. I was just an  extreme babysitter who had the rare opportunity to carry a child under my heart until it was time for his parents to take over.

Baby R and his parents are safely back home and settling into their new life as a family. I’ve no doubt it will be a life full of love and shared adventures. I hope we will stay in contact and share pictures from time to time, but I am taking things as they come with no expectations.

That is the birth story of R and the end of my first surrogacy journey… I would love to carry again in the future for another family, but that will be a bridge to cross at another time. Thank you, thank you for following my journey and sharing so much love and wisdom with me. I wish you all baby dust or luck in whatever journey you find yourself on. ❤

With Love,

Liz

 

Meet Anne: A Slap-In-The-Face Interview With a Child of Surrogacy

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Have you ever wondered what a child born from surrogacy thinks about his or her origin? I know I’ve recently been thinking about it as I near delivery of my intended fathers’ baby boy. This is a two-part interview between a father through surrogacy and a young woman born via traditional surrogacy in the early 90s. It was a really interesting blog post!

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Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the first ever WordPress-sponsored Press Publish conference in Portland, Oregon. While I was there, I met tons of awesome people, but the one who probably sticks out the most to me was a young woman named Anne who spoke to me after my presentation. She wanted me to know that she was born through surrogacy herself. She was curious to meet my kids, because she’d never met anyone else who was born through surrogacy.

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She was a wonderful person — smart, polite, down-to-Earth, and we had a very nice chat. I promised to put her in touch with some people who might be able to help her find other people her age born through surrogacy, and she gave me her card.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about her, because I often wonder how my kids will feel…

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29 Week Bumpdate and Pictures from France!

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France was AH-MAZ-ING. I still can’t believe I got to go. It all feels like a dream.

After a long and somewhat bumpy plane ride, I finally made it safely to Bordeaux and was met by my IFs at the airport. I could go on and and on about them and the trip, but that would make this a REALLY long post. They are simply fantastic, though. They’re just as kind and considerate as I thought they were prior to meeting in person. The took me exploring around Bordeaux where they live and then we went to Paris for more exploring.

France is beyond description. The history and beauty of it is something you can only understand if you’ve actually been. I loved the architecture. Even the mall in Paris that we visited was a work of art. Standing before the Eiffel Tower, or the Hotel de Ville, or Basilique Sacré-Coeur felt surreal. These are places that you read about in history books, and I got to see them in person. People watching was very fascinating… their clothes, mannerisms, conversations. It all just intrigued me.

My IFs completely spoiled me and showed me some of the highlights of Bordeaux and Paris and made sure I was well fed both from their home cooking and out and about. I’ll never be able to eat American ice cream again without longing for French ice cream (glaces).

Yummy, yummy food everywhere. The guys made me fondue my first night in France (top left) which was simply amazing.

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There she is! The famed Eiffel Tower (and me in front of her). We took the metro there and when we came up the stairs and around the corner, she was standing there in all her glory.

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Did I mention I was well fed? 🙂

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The Hotel de Ville right before dark. The fact it was cloudy and had been raining made it all the more beautiful to me.

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We walked this beach along the Bay of Biscay. It is part of the gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal. Those huge concrete things in the water are leftover bunkers (or something like that) from WWII with Germany.

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Me on the steps to the Basilique Sacré-Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). It is a Roman Catholic church and familiar landmark in Paris, located on the highest point of the city in Montmartre.

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The Dune of Pilat (French: Dune du Pilat, official name, also called Grande Dune du Pilat) is the tallest sand dune in Europe. It is located in La Teste-de-Buch in the Arcachon Bay area, France, 60 km from Bordeaux. Another amazing place we got to visit. What a climb!

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Beyond the sights and tastes, what I enjoyed most was the chance to spend time with both of the guys. It made me love them even more and more eager to see them with their son. They have the nursery all ready and it’s such a warm and happy place. The love and effort that went into getting it ready is apparent. Now they just need the baby to bring home and it will be complete. 🙂

So that is the short version of my trip to France. I arrived back home utterly exhausted, feet swollen, and completely enchanted with France and my IFs. I hope to visit again with my partner and daughter. We would love to see little Belly Buddy growing up with his daddies. 🙂

Since I’ve been home things have been going great with the little guy. No complications or anything of that nature. I had my 28 week ob appointment on May 6th. Hello, Third Trimester how did you get here so quickly? Both the baby and I looked perfectly healthy. He is still measuring about a week ahead, but the doctor assured me it was not of concern and he wasn’t “too big”. I also had my one hour blood glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. The results came back negative! That means Belly Buddy and I can keep cruising right along towards delivery.

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Starting at 30 weeks I begin seeing the ob every two weeks instead of four. I’m going to rotate through the office and meet with the other three doctors during this time. Even though we’re anticipating my ob delivering the baby, I wanted to meet the other doctors “just in case”. I’m confident they’re all equally great, but I thought it would be nice to meet the person who may end up all in my lady parts! ha!

In the next several weeks I’ll also be making the appointment to tour the hospital, register and meet with the social worker to go over everything. The hospital has had surrogate deliveries before, so I’m hopeful things will go smoothly. We finished the PBO (pre birth order) paperwork on May 6th, also! It’s back with my IFs’ lawyer to go before the judge. As far as I know, that’s all we were waiting on so we should be all clear for delivery when the time comes.

That sums up my past few weeks. I would love to hear any suggestions /advice you have for the last two months of pregnancy. What helped you stay comfortable? What questions/concerns did you go over with the hospital during your tour? Just anything and everything. Thank you all!

I can’t remember if I said this already or not (thank you pregnancy brain), but I also created a separate page just for my bump pictures. You can access that here.

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… and then there were two.

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TWINS??? OH. MY. GOSH. TWINS!!!

Yes, that’s EXACTLY what thought popped into my head while laying on the exam table Monday, November 8th, with Mr. Weenie Wand all up in my lady bits. I’d looked at enough ultrasound pictures over the past few months to know what twin sacs looked like in a uterus.

Taking a VERY slow, deep breath. I waited in nervous anticipation as the tech took all of the measurements and looked for heartbeats. She was great and explained everything to me as she went.

And then.

I saw them.

Two little flickering spots on the screen. Heart beats. My IFs’ babies had heartbeats! 

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At the date of ultrasound I was estimated to be 6 weeks and 4 days. Baby A was measuring at 6 weeks 3 day and had a strong heartbeat of 117. VERY healthy and picture perfect. Baby B was measuring 5 weeks and 4 days with a heartbeat of 88, which would be normal for that measurement. Baby B was smaller but still healthy. The tech said this early in pregnancy it is normal for baby B to be measuring smaller… they will continue to monitor and baby B usually will catch up to baby A. We are hopeful that will be the case, but we’ve also read about the “disappearing twin” where the body will “absorb” the weaker baby.

I messaged my IFs right away with the news and pictures and their pure, raw joy and emotion is one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. I can only imagine what it will be like when I (hopefully) deliver their babies!!! 🙂

I have my first appointment with my Ob on Friday, December 12th. I’m anxious and excited to meet the doctor for the first time. She came highly recommended by my lawyer because of her medical experience and prior experience with surrogates. It makes it all feel very real. I’m also nervous about the ultrasound. Several people have cautioned me to be prepared to only see one heartbeat now. I’m choosing to have hope that Baby B will still be growing and catching up to his/her twin.

For those of you who carried multiples, what were your experiences with the size and development of them? I’d love to hear about your pregnancies with them!

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!