Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Surrogacy the many steps to creating life in the lab.

So I usually post when I have something new. I don't right now. BUT I always feel like I am talking to myself here! No comments. But then something odd started to happen, no comments, I started getting emails! With all sorts of questions in them about my surrogacy/journey So that means some people must be reading this after all!

I will take you step by step through the process. Now first you must understand that different clinics all have different protocol and No two REs are the same or practice the same theories. So If you are planning to be an IP (intended parent) or an GS (Gestational Surrogate) do not take this as your gospel to surrogacy. Because all IPs GSs and REs are different!!!

This is going to be a novel so get get a cup of Coffee or wine or pop or whatever, cuddle up and get comfy.

With my first surrogacy, I had a friend (who is NO longer a friend to me) She did a traditional Surrogacy, and always spoke out so angrily and bitterly twards the process and how she gave up HER baby. I always just said stuff like "uh huh" and "yeah ok" always thinking to myself what did she expect to happen? And how horrible I felt for the men and women who get surrogates that end up keeping there babies, not giving them to the rightful parents the IPs.

But not knowing a whole lot about the process I decided to do some research, What I found where WHOLE HUGE sites and forums and articles and just a font of info about doing this.

to decide to be a GS over TS was simple, I do not wish to be related to the baby, I would rather the parents be related to there child.. simple as that.

I mulled everything I learned in the first week or so.... thinking about it.... I couldn't get it out of my head.... Why couldn't I do this? I am very fertile... I could get pregnant just winking at a guy. Then to hear all the stories of How this surro was taking drugs, this surro wouldn't surrender the baby. This surro taking money from people and then vanishing! And scam agency taking money from IPs to find them surrogates and taking off with the money. There are hundreds if not thousands of these "scams" going on. Giving the surrogates who do follow the rules and are in it for helping create families a very bad rap. Even talk shows have made surrogacy out to be some black market baby selling.... I have seen the pictures of one talk show guest sporting a sign that reads "womb for rent" I have read words from this women who was pretty much duped into the photo... Society needs to muck it all up, to take something that has pure intention and make it look dirty.

So I decided to just hint and feel out my husband on this . I said to him "What do you think about surrogacy" he admitted he didn't know much about it. I told him what I knew, let him search it out. He decided it was a great thing to do, then looked confused and said "we don't want any more kids, do we>?" I said "oh no, not for us, silly, But we could be surrogates for someone else" and he was like he always is... ok with it. My husband is a very laid back, go with the flow kind of man. If it was somthing I wanted to do, then he wanted it to.

So My next step was researching more.... Hours and hours spent in front of my computer deciding if I wanted to go with an agency or go indy.

The difference? Well an agency pretty much works with a clinic/IPs and GSs. They say that it takes the "paper work" out of it. So I picked an agency (who I won't name) and filled out an online application. I chose this agency because it seemed like it had a large number of Gay Intended parents. I thought it would be great to have a baby for gay parents. The things you have to decide are very important when filling out an application. Things like:

Your views on Selective reduction
Your views on Termination (abortion)
Your views on working with a same sex couple,
Your views on a multiple or higher multiple pregnancy.

Those things where easy for me. As for selective reduction, and abortion I don't feel those choices are not mine to make for someone elses's baby. Oddly enough I am pro-life. Pro Life for ME. Not for anyone else... So if It was MY baby I would be able to make a pro life choice for it. But its Not Mine, so that choice is not mine to make.

So the agency did call me about 4 hours after I filled out the application. To confirm and to chat about my life and my expectations and so on and so forth. What kidn of IPs I would like.

Then not more then 10 minutes later the doctor that we would be working with for the next 3/5 months called me. He Thanked me in a very tired monotone voice that I am sure he does for every surrogate.

And in just 2 weeks I was matched with M and J. Two very sucessful men in NY. They had one son through adoption but never went through the pregnancy stuff. I liked them right off the bat.

Then it was a trip to a fertility clinic here for a baseline hystosonogram! Big word for looking at the thickness of my uterus and seeing what happens when a small balloon was inflated in it.. or something like that. I guess I have a super star womb and they ended up asking me if they could tape the u/s to show in classes because it was well defined. I just mumbled through the whole thing. They then took about a gallon of blood (jk but you get my drift) from me and a little from my hubby.

Then I rushed home to take my MNPI test to make sure I was sane. I WAS!!!! (or so we thought)

I then had to speak with a counselor about what I was doing and why.... I met with my lawyer to discus our contract.. the contract was the longest part of the whole first faze.

Contracts are important business. You can very easily get caught up in the money aspects of surroacy. Thinking back on it today, I don't think we were learned up enough for this part of the journey, but things have been learned and life is one big lesson.

And for those reading wondering what kind of money is involved in surrogacy I will tell you what my comp was. It was 23,000.00 yes thats twenty three thousand. With more comp coming for unseeable things such as multiple births and c section as well as bedrest. average comp for a first time surrogate can be anywhere between 16-25 thousand.

You might be thinking "holy crap!! thats a lot of cheese!" well your wrong its not. The comp breaks down for fetal care... so its not like you have a baby for people they come and get it and you get this big lump sum of money. You are paid 1 to 2 thousand dollars a month. Then whatever money is left after the baby/ies are born you are given within 7-10 days after the baby is born.

SO now all that was left was to get my med cycle from the RE. My IPs already had an egg donor in place. All I know about her was that she was a Greek med student. So our cycles had to be matched. So once she had her egg retrieval then I could fly out to California for my transfer.

I got my calender about 1 week later... so about 2 weeks after I started this whole ride. I wait...wait and wait for Dear old AF (Aunt Flow) to show up..

2 days before my period starts I get a wonderful box full of pills and needles and vials.

I am instructed to take only the active Birth control pills that are in the package.

So I do.. for 3 weeks... then I am instructed to start shots of E2V injections... those are big needles but just a little bit of fluid. So i do that for a bit... things are getting closer and closer to transfer, We start to tell our friends and family. Almost all of them take the news very well and are very supportive. A few however are not as open minded as we are and have a hard time with it. That was ok with us, we where not doing this to gain favor.

We get the call that our transfer is going to be sooner then we thought and we are rushed on a plane to California where we are picked up by M. This was our first face to face meeting and it was awesome. We got to see all over California and drove through Compton!

The very next day we are in the clinic to transfer. Our Egg donor only gave us 3 embryos. One was already dieing and the other 2 looked good and strong. Each IP had fathered one embryo in hopes one would stick or maybe both! I had to start taking my Progesterone in oil shots... these are huge thick oily needles that are about an inch and a half long and you have to put the whole needle in. they hurt, but you get lumps that hurt even worse from them! But even with all that It was so exciting and I was happy to get the shots! My hubby gave me every shot needed! He is blessed with a good stabing hand, I only felt one or two stings the entire surrogacy... everything else was like a knife through butter I didn't feel a thing.

So I was loaded full of water and sat through the transfer, then the horrible part was laying on a tilted table for 2 hours with a very very very full bladder. A lot of surros can't make it, so they pee there pants and I was so terrified I would too, I was saying "oh God don't let me pee my pants in front of my IP) Thankfully I didn't!

Then it was back to the hotel, for 36 hours of bed rest. My IP made sure we got whatever we wanted, So for 3 days we had room service and pay per view on cable, besides not being allowed to get out of bed it was great!

Then after a very bumpy flight back home, the 2ww started (2 week wait) for a surrogate its not really a two week wait, because we start peeing on sticks right away. Looking for that faint positive. Well on day 5 (5 days after the trasfer) I got the 2 lines! I was so amazed

here is pic of the positive

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its so faint but trust me its there, you get surro eyes and can detect anything, even when everyone else is saying, I don't see anything! then you download it, invert the colors and then you hear "oh now I see it"

that was one of ALOT of positive tests! everytime I took a test I would take a picture and email it to my IPs who were took shocked for words.

I scheduled and early beta with my doctor.... and my beta # was 24.. anything above 4 is pregnant so I just had to pray my numbers would double every 48 hours... and they did!

then at 5 weeks I started having horrible scary cramps, so I went in for an ultrasound... this is what I saw

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Twins, witch meant I was carrying one baby from each father! twins with two dads! I was so excited and just couldn't wait to tell them!

everything went fine for awhile, I was doing good with very horrible morning sickness! But things where good and the babies were right on target.

Then at 14 weeks I started having horrible right sided belly pain, I couldn't have x rays or a scan so they had to only guess I needed my appendix removed. So the babies where just on the safe side of the 2nd trimester, I had my surgery and the babies made it through fine, it took me 6 weeks to recover!

Here is my twin belly with scar
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and here is me at 20 weeks finally up and about
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then everything was fine... I did well up until 32 weeks then had to go on bedrest! Fun fun, I had a trib pump in my leg because of high blood pressure. I made it to36 weeks then tests came back showing mild toxemia so they felt I should deliver the next day.

This was taken the night before the twins where born
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I will not post the pictures of the twins because I feel that there image belongs to there parents.

I will say that I had a planned c section, both girls where healthy and needed no NICU and weighed in at 5 pounds 1 oz and 5 pounds 12 oz. they were the spitting image of there fathers.

I do not keep in contact with them and I never find myself wondering about them. Some people I know think thats odd.... But to me there not my children and are where they belong. I don't need to know they are ok. My job was done. I know the fathers are greatful and have thanked us enough! I don't feel like having someone tell me thank you all the time. Because Its me that was thankful for the journey!!!

The babies where born october 18th 2006 and I knew before I left the hospital I would be doing this again.

If you made it this far..... thanks!!!!!

feel free to ask any questions you like!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Well all I can say about your "venture" is Thank God you are the type of person you are.
I wish things were different when I had my hysterectomy at 30. I have been depressed ever since I found out I could never carry a child when I was 17. We tried adoption but that went out the window.
I am so happy for the couple-couples you are giving children to.
I know they give thanks to you everyday.
I cried all through your story but yet I found myself crying tears of joy also for all those you are so happily & able to help.
God Bless you & your husband
You have a great weekend, you are a very special lady.Hugs