Friday, December 21, 2012

Comprehensive Medical and Psychological Appt.

My husband and I left home at 5 AM to travel to Chicago to attend the appointment at the fertility center.  We had blood work, I had a vaginal ultrasound, met with the nurse to discuss scheduling and medication protocol, we had a meeting with the psychologist, then I had to take the MMPI.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat near the clinic, then got out of that crazy, busy, city as fast as we could.  I have become such a country girl.  I don't even like visiting the city anymore.....

My reproductive organs looked great.  However, my blood pressure was slightly high for me at 140/90, then rechecked at 142/90 later in the morning.  Yesterday, I attended my endocrinologist appointment, where I was surprised at the blood pressure numbers at 135/88.  My thyroid levels were a little low.  They increased my dosage from 88 mcg to 100 mcg.  Because of the high BP numbers, I am to get it rechecked at my local clinic and get a medical clearance letter.  I hope these numbers are just a fluke and we can move forward without delay.   They will also let me know the results of all the other tests.

IF everything goes as planned, the end of February will be the embryo transfer. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A new journey moving forward

Meet Enrique and Ricardo from Argentina!   They are in town to take care of some surrogacy business.  Brian and I drove up to Chicago area to meet them in person.  We had a relaxed meeting at the agency.  These guys are genuine and sincere, with great senses of humor.  I am excited about moving forward.  They are comfortable with the blog and me using their first names.

My understanding is that the embryos will be frozen, then transferred to me.  That way, I do not have to synchronize with another woman's cycle.  I was told the egg donor is a beautiful, young woman who is of African/Peurto Rican descent.  This will be her 3rd donation.  Ideally, they will be able to transfer an embryo fertilized from each of them.  They are going to have embryo genetic testing done and will even be able to tell the gender of the embryo.  Pretty amazing.  If possible, they would like to transfer 1 boy and 1 girl.  This all depends on how the embryos thaw and what ones are in the best condition for survival.

If everything goes as planned, they want a transfer between February 23rd to March 2nd.

Next week, we travel to the fertility clinic for my medical and psychological exam.  After I am medically cleared, we can iron out the legal contract and start on hormone injections.

I am ready for a second/final healthy and successful journey.

This is for Enrique's enjoyment:  :)  He was making fun and getting tired of all the Christmas music playing EVERYWHERE he went...even at the hotel pool.  lol


Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Grace!

This past weekend, we drove 3.5 hours to celebrate Grace's birthday with her family.  It was so nice that I was able to meet her family and friends.  Grace's mom and aunt sure know how to give sincere, awesome hugs!  Grace is surrounded with love.  It was wonderful to be included on her special day.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Grace!

I got to see baby Grace today and celebrate her 1 year birthday with her family and friends!  I have picture I will post later!  It was a great day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Started BCP's today

I started birth control pills today to get my cycle on track where the fertility clinic wants it.  I will have an appt in a couple of weeks where they will do a saline injected vaginal sonogram.  Yippee! .  I will then have blood work done and a psychological evaluation.  As long as everything checks out okay, we can get started on legal contracts and start the more extensive hormone medications/preparations.  The agency gave me the guys e-mail and contact info.  We have exchanged a few friendly e-mails and look forward to meeting each other in person next week. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Moving forward!

A nurse from the fertility clinic e-mailed me with initial questions and will be scheduling my appt soon.  YAY!  In other news, I guess I will be doing some extra traveling up to Chicago area as there will be the appt at the fertility clinic for the initial exam, then down the road - the transfer.  I also have been invited to Miss Grace's (surro baby delivered last year) 1 year old birthday party in December!!!!  I have made her a couple things and look forward to seeing her and her family.   They live near Chicago. E and R, new intended parents I am matched with, will also be in Chicago in December taking care of some stuff and I was asked to drive up to meet them in person!   Whew!  This winter is BUSY!  Starting those dreaded hormone injections may be just around the corner!  :) 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Friend is recovering

My fellow surrogate/friend is recovering from her ordeal.  She is still in the hospital, but will hopefully be coming home this weekend.  She has been in my thoughts these last couple of days.  Despite everything she has been through, she took the time to mention how the parents are trying to decide names for their baby girl and boy and how blessed they are.  She has given an amazing gift.   

Monday, November 26, 2012

Worrying for a fellow surrogate

A local friend and 1st time surrogate has given birth to 2 healthy babies yesterday, but is in ICU after losing 80% of her blood, then 50% again.  Her husband reports that she is recovering, but OMG!  so scary!  She has made an amazing sacrifice to bring these 2 new lives into the world.  I am hoping for continued recovery for this amazing woman!  

Friday, November 23, 2012

All records are SUPPOSED to be received

Got a note from the agency that all records have been received at the fertility clinic FINALLY!!!!!  I got the e-mail the day before Thanksgiving, so expect to be hearing from them soon about scheduling an appointment, hopefully next week!  Let's get this show on the road!  I am not getting any younger!  ;) 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's move forward ALREADY!!!!

There has been some delay as my clinic records were not sent with my records request, then the pap appt I had in 1/12 seemed to be missing, so we had to request that again......ugh!  Sometimes this process can be so tedious!  I am excited about moving forward and want to get the show on the road!  The appt can be made with the fertility doctor for a comprehensive exan and psych eval. as soon as they get this last piece of information.  waiting..........

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I am matched for my 2nd journey!

The skype call went very well and we have all decided to move forward together!  I will not use full names for privacy reasons or if they tell me it is okay.  E and R have been together for 25 years!!!  E is an investor, R is a physician.  They live in Argentina!  Wow!  How is that for exciting?!  I had a wonderful journey last time and expect I will again.  I like to make my life as interesting as possible.  I think working with an international, gay couple will definitely keep things interesting!  :) I am excited about moving forward.  The next step is medical and psychological screening.  I am waiting for contact information so I can schedule an appointment.

Moving forward?

I did a skype call last night with the prospective couple.  They were nice.  I liked them.  They were just like I thought from their profile and pics.  We will see if they want to move forward.  I prefer to meet people in person, but due to distance, this will not work for the time being.  I like that the technology is there to do video calls, but it is hard to feel natural and totally comfortable using the video call.  I will let you know more details later.  :)   

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Plans to skype with couple

I have been busy getting medical records released and all the other initial paperwork sent off to the agency.  The couple liked my profile and we intend to do a skype video call later this week.  If they decide to move forward with me, I will feel more free to share who I am having a second journey with!  I am excited to see where this goes! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Profile has been sent to 1st couple!

I completed my profile late last night.  My contact person has sent it to a far away place for review......I am anxiously waiting for feedback.......oh me, oh my!  This is truly a wonderful, roller coaster of emotion to be part of!  I will let you know something when I can.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Working on profile questionnaire

Hi!  I am moving forward on all the initial paperwork involved to do a second journey.  I am updating my profile.  I guess my contact person is excited as she has already forwarded me a profile to look at!!!!!  I am excited about the possibilities of being matched with this particular couple.  I am not going to give any details yet, until things are a bit more set in stone.  There is LOTS of things to get done/paperwork to get in order....let's do it!!!!!  :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2nd surrogacy?

Well, I told myself that I would make a decision about a second journey by the end of summer.  Labor Day (which is the official end of summer for me) has passed and my decision is yes, I would like to try another journey!  :)  I was reluctant after the c-section I had to have with baby Grace.  I also wondered if I should put baby making in the past and move on to new adventures/phases of my life.  After much discussion with the hubby and reflection, I think I would have regrets if I did not do a second/final journey.  I gained so many emotional rewards doing surrogacy.  I loved being part and helping a family become complete.  I am 37 and don't really have the time to put this on a back burner and come back to it later in life.  If I want to do it, it needs to be now.  The agency I work with does not take women over 40 and other agencies stop at a younger age.  I downloaded the 2 required documents from my agency to get things rolling.  I e-mailed my contact person to give her a heads up and she is excited and happy that I am interested.  She wants to call in a couple of days to talk prospective matches, time line, etc.  HOLY CRAP!  :) 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I made more babies!!!!

Mother to 3, surrogate to many! :) Baby guinea keets started to bless our home at 1 AM!!! I hardly slept as I was so excited! There are currently 3 hobbling around, and a couple with pipp lines and/or tiny holes. Survive lil' ones!!! Did I mention that I am excited??!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dinner with fellow surrogates

Last night, I enjoyed dinner with 2 wonderful mothers and lovely women at my favorite Thai restaurant.  Both are in the beginning stages of surrogacy.  One is 5.5 weeks pregnant with 2 transferred embryos - she goes next week for an ultrasound.  The other had a failed transfer, with the parents finding a new egg donor for the 2nd transfer and now she is waiting for the egg donor to get medical cleared and start legal contracts, etc.  She will be waiting for a few more months. 

It was such a pleasure to meet up with these ladies. We were set up through a  mutual friend. We were at the restaurant for 2.5 hours!  :) 

I am still considering a second journey, but want my mind to sort out all my thoughts before making a final decision.  I would like to make a decision by the end of summer whether to move forward or not. 

I have talked with Grace's momma.  She is busy back at work and they are trying to sell their home. 

Life is good.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beautiful baby!

I received a few pics from Grace's mom today! Grace is so beautiful...seriously. Look at her big, bright eyes, ton of dark hair, cute, little lips, and chubby cheeks! Amazing!

with her big brother, who obviously adores her. ;) PRECIOUS!

Feeling very proud to bring this baby girl into this world for her family. Feeling very blessed to have continued contact with the family. Love the new pictures! Absolutely adorable!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thyroid results

I am to start on half of the dose that I was taking 5 weeks ago. My vitamin D levels are low, so I am to supplement. I no longer am taking pre-natal vitamins and take a Flinstone vitamin 4-5 times weekly. I hope the medication kicks in quick as I have been dragging ass the last few weeks. It is amazing the differences when my levels fluctuate. I am glad to be seeing a specialist.

As for surrogacy and the possibility of a second depends on the moment. Sometimes, I feel like I am all done being pregnant, especially with the c-section I had to have. But, then there are days/moments of strong desire to have 1 more experience with a deserving family. I am going to be 37 this coming June, so need to make a decision in the next year or 2 if I decide to move forward with a second journey. Agencies tend to not accept women over 40. I keep telling myself I will give myself till summer and see how I feel. There is so much stuff to get done around here on the farm and want to feel useful around here this year. If I decide to move forward with a second journey, I will start paperwork later this year. We will see how my mind continues to process/evolve/think about future possibilities....

I continue to read a few select surrogacy blogs and enjoy hearing about other stories along the journey of surrogacy. So many feelings about different kinds of experience - thanks for sharing!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thyroid doctor appt.

I went for my endocrinologist appt. yesterday. He stated my thyroid in my neck was larger than normal and asked a bunch of questions. I have been feeling sluggish lately. At my 2 week post partum appt, I had lost 30 pounds in 2 weeks and maintained that weight to my 6 week followup. However, the TSH numbers were extremely low signifying that I was taking too much medication. It is often required to take more thyroid medication during pregnancy since the baby is taking some from you. I guess it is common to need medication increases during pregnancy, then decreases after. My OB physician referred me to the endocrinologist then I had to wait several weeks to see. The endo. doctor advised me to stop taking all thyroid medication until I saw him and have blood work done. I discontinued the medication and in a matter of 4 weeks, I gained back 11 pounds! I thought I had put on weight again, but was surprised to see how much in a short amount of time. What significant, drastic changes in short amounts of time! I had blood work done after the appt. and am supposed to wait for a call from the doctor office to discuss the treatment plan. I will be shocked if he does not put me on some dose of medication. We will see!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reversible dress for baby Grace

I made this dress pattern for a couple of special little girls in my life. It is a reversible dress from Frog Legs and Ponytails Boutique. It can be found here.

I made one for my daughter -Iris, my niece - Elizabeth, and surro-baby Grace. I love this pattern and the reversible nature of it makes it so much fun to pick out coordinating fabric for. I made my daughter a brown one a couple of years ago and she STILL wears it as a long top with pants underneath it. I like that it can be worn by itself in summer as a dress or layered in the cooler months with pants and a long sleeve shirt. SUPER CUTE!

I have talked with Grace's mom a few times this past month. She is enjoying all the time staying at home with the kids, but will be returning to work mid March. I saw some recent baptism pictures of Grace and she is growing quickly and is so beautiful and has TONS of thick, black hair.

I am doing well, physically and emotionally. I have felt a little tired lately and wonder if it is the depth of winter blahs or if my thyroid is off. I hate having low energy! I am looking forward to seeing what the specialist has to say this coming week.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Endocrinologist appt scheduled

It will not happen until March 1st! Details will follow after.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TSH levels are VERY low.

I had blood work that showed my TSH (thyroid) levels are very low! The OB/gyn is going to send a referral to an endocrinologist that will be calling me to set up an appointment. hmmmm....I have not been feeling "off" lately. I have not been overly tired/sluggish. I have had a little stress with some family stuff that wears me out, but mostly feel good. However, I am glad someone will be taking a closer look at it all. I will write updates as I get more information.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

6 week follow up

I went today for my 6 week follow up from delivering Grace. My weight is holding steady at 181. I am satisfied at this weight as I am 5'10", but I would like to get down in the low 170's. In order to do that, I will probably have to actually work on it, and well, it is just not high priority.

My blood pressure is good. Everything else looks good. I got my thyroid levels checked before the appointment. After I got home, the lab called to tell me they did not get enough blood to do the test!!!!! WTF?! The guy that did it earlier gave me bruise poking around, did not get very much, but said it should be enough and sent me on my way. I live an hour away! I will make it back soon so they can check those levels. I am guessing that the levels are fine as I am feeling good.

I REALLY like my doctor. I initially was not thrilled about the parents wanting to co-manage the midwives with an OB as I had only worked with the midwives with my children. However, I ended up REALLY liking my physician. He is a tall, skinny, 50-ish year old, gay, black man who is very sweet. He was touchy feely, often holding my hand as he talked or touching me gently on the shoulder. Today, he walked in dabbing tears away and explained he just got done watching a video of his 13 yr old goddaughter giving a speech about MLK, Jr. and he was very proud. :) He hugged me, asked lots of questions of how I was doing, and chatted about other things. If I decide to do a 2nd surrogacy, he is happy to complete paperwork for me. When talking about the possibility of a second surrogacy, he responded that HE wants a child. I smiled and said we should talk. ;) Before he left, he hugged me again, said he admired and respected me for what I have done, and said I love you. Yes, I love you! I laughed and said thank you. Wow, what a nice doctor! :)

So, this should officially wrap up this journey, except for the continued contact I may have with Grace's family.

I am sure I will post more on here with anything surrogacy related. Later this year, I hope to make a decision if I want to experience a second surrogacy journey. I imagine the posts will be few and far between until then. I will check in on other surrogacy related blogs and wish all of you the best in your journeys.