Friday, April 13, 2012

a little closer

I got a call from a woman at the agency today. She said she has a couple for me, but they have "unique" requrements that she wanted to make sure I'm ok with. I cant really get into too much detail about my mystery couple, or their requests. All I can really say is that I'm fine with the requests they've made.

So, now the agency is going to send them my "profile" and if they like what they see they'll allow the agency to send me theirs. If we all like each other on paper, then we'll have a phone conference. 24 - 48 hours after that each side will tell the agency if we'd like to proceed, and if everyone likes eachother then we'll be considered a match!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The hurry before the wait

So, I spoke with my coordinator at the agency today. She said that due to my history with surrogacy I should match really quickly. That is most certainly good news! She is putting on my "profile" that she sends to potential parents that I need to schedule my pregnancy a certain way, so that the parents know up front about it.

I suppose that you may be wondering what about my history would cause me to be matched quickly. Well, basically, its because I get pregnant really easily, have a big uterus (apparently thats good for IVF?) and have virtually no complications aside from normal stuff like morning sickness...

My first pregnancy was very easy, and my son was 9lb 9oz. His weight alone made me a desirable candidate to potential IPs. For some reason they all liked the idea that I would be comfortable, if not capable, carrying a larger than average baby or two average sized babies at once.

The first surrogacy we did a frozen transfer (meaning that the embryos were frozen for nearly 6 years before they were thawed and transferred to my ute), and I got pregnant the first time. There is some debate about the survival rates of frozen embryos. One side claims that embryos that survive thawing are more hardy, and more likely to implant. The other side argues that frozen embryos become compromised because they loose a few cells in the process of freezing then thawing. I dont really have an opinion either way. We transferred two embryos (a 7 cell and an 8 cell) and both implanted. One did not survive past 5 weeks, and the other turned out to be an 8 pound 6 ounce baby girl.

My second time was a fresh transfer, and again I got pregnant on the first try. Only one embryo stuck around, but we did transfer two. I had a really low level of PAPP-A (pregnancy associated plasma protien - A) likely due to the biological mother being 41 at the time of egg retrieval, which raised the odds of a few things. Down syndrome, stillbirth, pre-mature labor / birth, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, just to name a few. The parents elected to do a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) at 13 weeks. Everything with the CVS turned out fine, but since the level of PAPP-A was so low the pregnancy was still considered high risk for all those other possibilities. So, I ended up with having a monthly ultrasound until 32 weeks, then 1 per week, and a weekly non-stress test after 32 weeks. Everything went normally through the entire pregnancy, and their baby boy was born at 39 weeks weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces.

So, I guess all of that = my womb being in fairly high demand.

P.S. - I want to forwarn everyone that once I start injections I'll be posting pictures. You're liable to see needles, some blood, and probably bits and pieces of my butt. I'll preface those posts with a warning, for the squeamish or prude readers :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Getting started

Now that the whole "I'm Jennifer, blah blah blah..." stuff is done, I can talk about what's happened so far, which isnt a whole lot.

I decided to work with the same agency as my second surrogacy. Even though I just delivered in December, I had to put in another application. I suppose some information changes, so I understand. 13 pages of questions later and my application is in, and accepted. All I need to do now is get a copy of my medical records from my last pregnancy, and get my IUD removed.

I'm feeling excited, but nervous at the same time. I think the nervousness is because we'll need to plan the due date to be between mid May and early August. I need to deliver while I'm on summer vacation from school, which means that I need to be pregnant no earlier than late August. I guess I'm worried that potential intended parents (IPs from here on out) wont want to wait that long to get pregnant. I suppose if they cant wait that long I'll just match with someone who will, right?

Is this dry so far? I'm attempting to put my personality into it as much as possible, but its hard! I feel like I'm talking to myself rather than to someone reading this. Maybe when I know someone is actually reading (even if it is just one person) it'll get easier.

Here we go! (again)

Ahh, new beginnings. There are so many of them in life, really. Here are two in one; a new surrogacy + a new blog = a new surrogacy blog! So I suppose a little "about me" is in order right?

Well, I am just an average person who happens to one un-average thing. I spend my days going to school (associates in registered nursing) and my nights with my insane asylum of a family. Husband, son, dog, and some fish. We also share an abundance of our time with our friends, who are pretty stinkin cool. Oh, and both my husband and I are pretty heavily tattooed, which isnt really a personality trait, but I suppose its worth knowing. A quick synapse of my life:

-Born in Washington state (between 20 & 30 years ago)
-Mostly raised in Nevada, graduated high school there, then moved back to WA
-Served in the US Air Force for 4 years, bringing me to Delaware
-Met my husband, had a son, and started nursing school in DE
-Did two surrogacies so far, and I only want to do one more.

 I knew after I had my son that I would be ok with just one child, but I REALLY wanted to be pregnant again. That is what led me to surrogacy, I would get to be pregnant, but I wouldnt have to bring home another baby! Its like a win-win for everyone involved really. I knew I wanted to do 3 surrogacies when I delivered my first surrogate baby. There was something about changing a person's life that just got me. It was like an epiphany, realizing that I, in all my baby carrying greatness, could actually do something for someone. That I could make someone else's dreams a reality, forever impacting their life.

I've never before kept a record of my surrogacies, but I have attempted plenty of blogs, all of which I lost interest in before I gained any "followers." I'm not a wonderful writer, but I can type till my fingers go numb. I'd like to share the process, the emotions, the surrogate - intended parent relationship with others, as it unfolds (of course from my own biased point of view). So, here we are, at the beginning of a journey. All will be aired; the good, the bad, the monotonous at times. Feel free to comment or ask questions, everything is welcome!