Saturday, May 29, 2010


I decided to cut ties with the agency and thus, the IPs. It sucks. It really, really, really sucks b/c they have to start over and they'll probably never really understand why I had to walk away but I just couldn't take that big of a risk. Basically, I was asked to forego lost wages in the event I was put on bedrest by my OB. It was too much of a financial risk for them because it could be a lot of money, which was exactly MY point. What if I was on bedrest for several months? The agency proposed that I pay it out of my comp. Let me assure you, I've talked to lawyers, surrogates, IPs, other one...I mean not one person felt like this was a good idea and they all said the same thing. "Run. Run fast. Run away while you still can." So, I followed my gut and now I am starting from square one. A much more experienced square one, but a disheartened square one. I'm trying to look forward and not let this affect my enthusiasm for surrogacy, and it won't be a permanent damper, I know...but it did bum me out.

So, my many new surro buddies over on the SMO boards have given me more than I can handle when it comes to new avenues to pursue and I am completely grateful to have so many "strangers" care enough to spend time helping me look and pointing me in the right direction. It's been a strangely warm comfort to know I have their support. I still very much want to help the right couple create their family. So, I press on, but for now, I need to sleep so I can get up and exercise away the 4 lbs. I need to lose to meet the BMI requirements for some agencies. (In truth, this is a little bit of a joke because said agencies have told me 4 lbs. doesn't make it or break it, but alas, the truth remains that it is 4 lbs. I still need to lose. For me.)

Weekend at the beach house with friends. Can't wait!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No songs, just a post...

It's with a heavy heart that I told the agency I could not proceed with the contract we signed as I learned some new things and I realized the way it was written right now could potentially place a huge financial strain on my family if I was put on bedrest. I didn't get into surrogacy to make a lot of money, I did it to help someone make a family and it was a huge perk that you could actually get compensation from it. The way the contract's written right now, I could stand to PAY money if I'm on bedrest for more than a few weeks...this is not something I can do to my family, much as I want to help these IPs have their baby. I've cried so much about this already...I feel like I've let these people down and I agonized over it all day before deciding that going forward would not have been fair to anyone involved.

There is a slim chance that they will be agreeable to changing the contract, but at this point, I don't forsee them wanting to do that. It breaks my heart. You get attached so quickly.

More than Words

A contract's more than's an agreement, a promise, terms you agree upon and it's a statement of your intentions to do certain things. A contract is hard to change once you've already signed and agreed upon it.

Be warned that you should not let your enthusiasm for being matched with IPs that are great make you look through your contract too quickly and think that "everything's fine" the way it is. Honestly, my contract is pretty much fine...there was just one thing that I should've brought up before signing and now, I fear, that I've caused my IM lots of grief because I tried to change it after we'd already signed, sealed, delivered...

I definitely didn't do this to manipulate or hurt anyone, I just thought it was something that wouldn't be that big of a deal, and it likely won't become one, but if it does arise, I will need to be prepared to abide by the contract. Out of respect for the IPs, I'm not going to elaborate on the situation, because they are being fair and understanding about it all and honestly, it was my fault for not noticing it in the first place, but I just hope I didn't ruin my IM's week by causing waves.

I guess this is a lesson to be learned. I trust that God will take care of it all and that it won't even be an issue. I just hate to cause conflict, even friendly conflict!

So, I'm waiting to hear from the IPs to see if they still want to go forward. There will be no hard feelings if they don't, but I will admit that I'll be a little bummed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Everybody Hurts

For the past few months, I've been reading blogs of other SM's experiences and researched how to become a surrogate, what the process entails, how to pick an agency, how to pore over contracts and scrutinize details. I've read posts on message boards describing the best way to give injections and learned words like "betas," "blastocycts," "chemical pregnancies," and "progesterone ethyl oleate."

One thing I hadn't done much of, until last week, was read blogs of IPs. Let me explain a little. I've known for quite some time that I wanted to experience being a surrogate for someone. I knew I wanted to help a couple that had faced the hard realization of not being able to carry their own child. I know this is something that one does not accept easily and while the knowledge that you can still have your own child is comforting, I imagine it cannot erase the pain that many people/couples go through before turning to surrogacy. All of the stories I've come across have been sad, but some of them are just heart-wrenching. They have me in tears wondering why pregnancy is so easy and under-appreciated for some and why it is so terribly painstaking for others. People who want a baby so badly they can taste it, smell it, dream it...I love my babies with every ounce of me. I have my bad days when I am dreadfully human and I lose my patience, and now I think about how patient my IPs have been in wanting this baby (they even waited a few months so I could transfer when it worked for my schedule/body/workplace). I have times when I get upset at having to clean the kitchen floor for the third time in an evening, and now I think about the frustration my IPs have had to face. I think about how sad I get when my children don't get along with each other, and now I think about people who want children so badly, they'd feel lucky to break up a sibling spat. The things I feel are all normal, parental feelings and I don't feel wrong or badly for having them. What I am thankful for is a new perspective at the joy I feel at being blessed with my life. If I can thank surrogacy for one more thing, it would be for reminding me how much more precious these days I have with my children are. I want to make my IPs' longing go away. I want to give them a baby (or babies) to fill up that space in their hearts. I want them to experience every part of being a mommy and daddy, good and bad. Most of all, I want to make their hurts go away. I already knew how important my role is to the success of this surrogacy, but this reaffirms the magnitude of the thing we are trying to accomplish. So many people play their parts in this process and I will do whatever it takes to get mine right. Bring on the needles. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

I have a headache and felt a little dizzy is day 2 without Caffiene, which is not an accomplishment yet, but it is the start of one. :) The light-headedness is more from me trying not to eat many calories, but I definitely dipped way too low so I had to skip my workout for fear of passing out. Not healthy...what was I thinking...I need to lower it by cutting out the crap. I did have a great meal yesterday (chicken breast w/seasonings, no butter or oil and a salad and fruit) but not nearly enough of it. Okay, lesson learned.

In other news...Mrs. Coordinator picks up contracts today!! :) The IPs had to sign the revised contract too, so hopefully that's not too big of an inconvenience, but at least we're all happy with the wording now, right? Surely everything will be in place so I can keep my appt. on don't want to do any testing, appts., etc. without a signed contract in place or you could get stuck with the bills if the other party changes their minds. I don't foresee any snags.

We have a wedding reception to go to this weekend. I was hoping I'd fit into my dress that I wore on this cruise a few years back but it's still just a little too snug. I need to remind myself that I'm only 2 mths post-partum & post surgery so it's going to take time. I met with the trainer for the first of the 4 sessions that A got me. We spent a lot of time talking about what should go into my daily diet and how to get the max out of my cardio sessions. Good stuff.

So, for now, there's not much to report regarding the surrogacy. I'm guessing that once we get contracts signed, we will start communicating more with the IPs? I'm at least hoping that's the case. I'd really like to get to know them more and for them to get to know my family. I think you can still be close without getting matching BFFs necklaces so I'm not looking for a new best friend; but this process is intimate. They will know everything about me. I will be carrying part of them and helping them grow the life they created. This won't be my child, but it will be my pregnancy and I want to be able to share everything about it with them. I think this is one of the most important parts of the surrogacy, for me: establishing the relationship.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Walking on Sunshine

So I sent the request to make a few modifications to my contract and the agency's lawyer has already called me and said it won't be a problem. He's going to change it, send it back for review and then I can have my own counsel review it, if I wish. I feel really good about all of the wording and it addresses everything I was wanting to-or it will when these changes are made-so it almost feels like a waste of money to have my own attorney review, but if I've learned anything from the SMO boards and talking to other surrogates, it's that this is the place where you don't want to skimp. Now, let me clarify, if I didn't feel 100% confident about this being a good match and things being laid on the table and all parties being on the same page, I would not move forward. The contract is basically my safety net if things should change or if we need some guidance as to how to proceed with things we've discussed.I'm just trying to protect the emotional, financial, and physical well-being of my family and the interest of the IPs too! No one wants to add any more drama to an already emotionally thick situation, so it's good to have everyone's intentions laid out on paper and to be prepared for the unexpected as it may very well happen. Nothing is for certain in life, but it definitely isn't in surrogacy! :)

My psychological evaluation is set for June 22nd. That was the soonest I could get it. Blah. I guess it's not a big deal b/c I'm going to go out on a limb and assume I'm going to pass!!! haha. So, it's a "formality" in my mind...something we all need to do like a background check for a job interview. It does feel good to have a date circled on the calendar though!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finally (it's happened to me)...

YAY, YAY, YAY!!! I finally got my contracts!! I've already noticed a couple of things we need to fix, but I'm going to spend the night going through them so that I can explain things to DH that he might not understand. My friend is taking the big kids for an hour or so tonight (DH is at a ballgame) so I can go over this (what? You think after all this waiting that I wouldn't read them the same night!?!?!) I've already scheduled my first meeting with the doctor that's treating IM for next Thursday and I'm waiting to hear back from the place to schedule my psych evaluation and the lawyer that represents the agency so that we can schedule a time for him to answer any questions about the contract and decide if we need a lawyer to look at it with us. (I've read that you should always get your own lawyer to look at it, even if it feels like everything's fine with it b/c, well, frankly, I am not a lawyer and I will probably not think of everything that could happen and we want to be sure we define as much as possible BEFOREhand) I definitely don't think the IPs or the agency are trying to pull anything over, I just want to be sure everything is spelled out in the contract so that we're not trying to figure out what to do if the wording is ambiguous.
So, I will be taking notes and reading, reading, reading. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keep Holding On...

Okay, I'm ashamed to admit that I emailed the coordinator to ask what the status of things are. I'm not in a rush! I promise! LOL I just wanted reassurance that they hadn't changed their minds or something. It's almost like going on a date and waiting for the guy to call you back....agonizing! :)

Hi C,
I should have the contract in my hand tomorrow and then will send your contracts etc, via email.
Thanks for checking in,
Mrs. Coordinator

Okay, okay, so I'm a pest now...I get it! haha I promise, no more "status update" requests and no more worrying that they've changed their minds. I will wait until she contacts me. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Right Here Waiting...

Well, I haven't received my contracts from my coordinator yet and I think it's because my IPs are still tweaking things on their end (as they should be until they are satisfied). I will admit, it is hard to wait though. :) I want to get the psych. evaluation and bloodwork done and get everything in place so we'll be ready to start meds. when the time comes. I know we have plenty of time, so I'm not in a rush, it's just a challenge for me when I have to play the "sit and wait" game and I wonder if they've maybe changed their minds about me or if there's some issue. Most likely, there is not, but it does cross my mind at times. My poor coordinator at the agency's been SO great about answering my questions and phone calls and she assured me everything is fine and the IPs are just very busy and they don't have the normal 8-5 schedules, so this is why things take a little longer. I'm just really excited about the whole process and I'll feel better when contracts are agreed upon and signed and I'll feel like we're really moving forward. Maybe it's because I've read on the SMO boards about IPs changing their minds (I can understand that things happen) and I just really felt like these are the IPs for me? Anyway, I'm sure things are fine and I have to put aside the "Planner" in me! haha

My best friend is coming into town today. We were supposed to take the kiddos to this "Family Day in the Park" that sounded like so much fun, but the water is steadily pouring and I fear that our outdoor plans have been thwarted. So, my friend is coming earlier and while we don't have any exciting plans, it will be nice to see her and visit. The kids love her! This should make up for some of their disappointment from this morning. They did get to play with the things at the gym this morning though, so I guess that's better than nothing. The TV just flashed that there's a flood watch for our county...I hope she doesn't get stuck in all of that rain! (She is driving an hour to visit us)

Even though we aren't doing the transfer for a couple of months, I've always thought you should start preparing your body for pregnancy ahead of time. I need to go to the store and grab some leafy spinach (folic acid can help prevent spina bifida but only if it's already in your system before you conceive). I'm assuming that this would still be beneficial in the case of an IVF scenario? Anyway, it's healthy for me and certainly can't hurt. I'm going to try and add a small salad with baby spinach to my meals every day. I've also started "weaning" myself off of the caffiene. I'm not a huge caffiene drinker, but I do enjoy a Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry or a caramel frappe here and there. It's not that caffeine is completely forbidden during pregnancy, but this isn't my baby and the IPs may not want me to consume any caffiene and I'd like to be prepared rather than quitting cold turkey! :) Again, good for me anyway, so not really an inconvenience. I'm also steadily hitting the gym. As I mentioned before, I have some weight that I want to get off before I start the surrogacy and before my reunion. I actually enjoyed my workout today! It feels good to take care of myself. :)

So, I wait for contracts which will probably be next week. I came across a blog that listed some of the questions on the MMPI (part of the psych. eval.) and DH and I had a good laugh at some of them. It's quite the compilation of questions! It would be so interesting to know why particular questions are asked. I've always wanted to be a counselor or a psychologist. Maybe after DH goes back to school and the kids are in school, I can go back and get my degree.

Speaking of jobs, I told my boss (and then my coworkers) about the surrogacy on Wednesday. The conversation went well, even though I know my boss doesn't totally "get" why I'm doing it and he was a little concerned about the details, but said he'd be supportive. This is another reason why I am doing surrogacy-to help educate people about how beautiful and meaningful this process is. I am both pleased and a little surprised that I haven't encountered any negativity when telling people about the surrogacy. People are naturally curious, of course, and want to know all sorts of things and I'm happy to tell them as much as I know. Ultimately, the support has been great and it's encouraged me even more.

Friday, May 14, 2010

You've got a friend in me...

I've decided to try and title my posts with songs titles...just to get something stuck in your head for the day. :) I had lunch with my good friend, "A", today. Sitting on the table was this note (it had pretty purple paper behind it and a ribbon, but it was too hard to scan that way) and an envelope with 4 training sessions with her personal trainer. (We go to the same gym and she knows I've been trying to work out to lose weight for my health and for my 10 year reunion coming up in July. Sadly, this is not pregnancy weight as I only gained 6 lbs. and my daughter weighed 7 lbs., 15 oz.-instantly hitting pre-pregnancy weight was nice though! haha) Anyhoo, working out is the most important thing to A, besides her daughter of course, so this gift speaks volumes. She gave me one workout session for each of the things listed on the note. What a great way to end the week. I can't wait to get contracts from my coordinator (and I'm sure she's ready to pass me off to my IPs and their RE so I will stop playing 20 questions with her!) So, I think I will do one training session a week. We're going to the beach with some friends and renting a beach house at the end of the month so I've definitely got incentive!!

I feel blessed to have A as one of the important people in my life. It's also a reminder of what a great support system I have for this surrogacy. Yay, warm, happy thoughts!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Decision

I've decided to be a surrogate. DH and I have been thinking about this for about 2 years now and it's finally going to happen. We met with the future IM (hereafter known as "T") and my coordinator and they've decided to use me as their surrogate. IF ("C") was not able to make it to that first meeting, but he told T to meet with some hopeful surrogates and whomever she was happy with was fine with him. We interviewed and found out last week that they want to proceed! I was so thrilled, I teared up.

Our coordinator's drawing up the final contracts this week and I should get mine soon. I am waiting until August to do the actual transfer because I have a High School Reunion I'm planning and I want to get through all of that craziness before I do any transfer so I can rest and let that little embryo get nice and snug in there. Also, I just had a baby in February, so I want to give my body a little time to recooperate in between .

We still have to do the psych eval and there will be a month or so of birth control and then some injections of hormones to prepare before the transfer. We think this puts us at transferring around the middle of birthday's the 29th of August..wouldn't that be the best birthday present? A BFP! :) It seems so far away in some ways and so close in others. Once things get started with appointments and whatnot, I know it'll become "real."

Feel free to follow along as we take this journey!

(P.S. At the time, I did not know I'd be labeling my posts with songs of titles, but I went back and found this song called, "Mulan's decision" and it felt inspirational)