August 2

There was a mix-up with my OB's office so the med record transfer took a bit longer than I expected, but good news - the IF's fertility clinic approved me!

Now on to a physical medical screen.

July 22 - Back in the Game

I just got an email from the IFs. They're still interested in moving forward with me, working towards a January transfer. Exciting!

I don't yet know what the next steps are, but I'll share more as I do.

May 19

So, I'm not really sure what's going on.

We had amicably walked away from the match so the IFs could find a surrogate that can transfer sooner than I can. Then I got a message from Keith asking about my travel plans, and I answered that both my June and November trips (both booked and paid for) are to Zika zones. He told me that the waiting period is 6 months for egg donors, but only 2 months for surrogates, which is good news. He made comments that made it seem like I'm still in the mix, but nothing explicit.

Then nothing.

I followed up a few days later and said that I'm ready to proceed with all the pre screening steps if they still want to transfer in January, or I'm OK if they're still looking for another surrogate. No response but I know he read it - thanks Facebook messenger! - so I honestly have no clue where we stand.

I really like them and hope we can make it work, but I'm obviously not going to push them. We all agree the most important thing is the safety of the baby/babies.

May 6 - Break-Up Song?

The IFs and I have amicably walked away from the match.

Sorry if that was blunt, but I didn't want to dance around it.

Things were going well, reviewing medical records and scheduling the psych evaluations. We had all known from the get-go that I have a family cruise booked for June and we were all working to get the pre-appointments before the trip, and then start med protocol after I was back. However, my trip includes a stop in the Dominican Republic, which we discovered is in the zika zone. The fertility clinic they're using has a strict zika protocol that includes a 6 month waiting period before we can transfer embryos. We asked, and the protocol applies even if I don't leave the boat since it's all the same mosquito-infested air. I've never seen a mosquito that far out to sea, but fine, safety first.

Understandably they don't want to wait 6 extra months, and I don't want to cancel a family trip that's already paid for. So that left no other option than to walk away and seek other matches. At least neither of us had invested any money in the match, so nothing wasted but a few months time.

I still want to be a surrogate, and even told them to reach back out if they don't find anyone else, but I doubt that will happen because they're great guys and any GC would love to work with them. For me, I'm going to wait out my post-travel zika time - which includes another cruise in November that we booked after the match fell through the first time - and then try again. I can't decide if I want to go independent again or try to find an agency, but I have time to decide all that.

April 14

Not much happened this week.

I had my annual pelvic exam on Tuesday and told my doctor I'm in the process of becoming a surrogate. I wasn't worried about his reaction, but it was reassuring that he was supportive. When I left he said "I'll see you in a year for your next exam, if not sooner with a belly," ha!

While I was there I had the opportunity to request that the office:
a) send my medical records to the IF's fertility clinic and
b) call my insurance agency to pre-authorize my surrogacy.

Once the fertility clinic has my records, they'll review and hopefully approve me for the next steps.

April 4

We're making progress! At the beginning of the week I had consults with 2 potential attorneys (I have an attorney and the IFs have their attorney, to ensure there's no conflict of interest) and I chose the second one on the spot. She seemed to really know her stuff and she talked me through some potential stress points in the contract.

Next steps are to get my medical records over the the fertility clinic so they can start their screening process. Luckily I'm due for my yearly pelvic exam anyway, so I can knock that out next week.

Keith and Nathan are being so great to work with. At each step of the way they check in to make sure I'm ready to proceed, which is so thoughtful and sweet.

March 31 - Hello? Is this thing still on?

It's been almost 2 years since the last time I posted, and quite a few things have happened since.
  • I heard back from my hematologist. The report came back with little to no markers of a clotting disorder and, if not for a prior diagnosis, this current blood test would not be enough to indicate that I have Von Willebrand's. So that's a good sign for surrogacy, and for me in general.
  • I changed jobs! The move was a good one - getting back to practicing architecture after over 6 years away.
  • The agency went cold. I asked the hematologist and my OB to forward all the results to my agency - and I have no reason to think they didn't - but I never heard anything from the agency verifying that they had received anything. With the new job, it wasn't a good time to pursue a match anyway, so I let it drop. I have no idea if I'm still even registered with that agency, but their lack of follow up left me disappointed.
  • Time passed. I never took surrogacy off the table, but I set it aside so I could settle into my new job and keep up with my family. Meanwhile, I followed a few surrogacy groups on Facebook to keep myself educated and to make sure surrogacy didn't stray too far from my mind.
  • Mid-December 2018 I saw a post on Facebook about 2 IFs (Intended Fathers) from Charlotte, Keith and Nathan, looking for a NC-based surrogate. I poked around their profiles and it turns out Keith and I have some mutual friends. That made it less intimidating so I messaged him. We talked back and forth and got along well but work got hectic for him so the chat dropped off. I was disappointed but obviously these things can't be forced so I let it be.
Now we jump to the present. 

This week Keith messaged me again! Work has calmed down and he and Nathan are ready to pick things back up. The 4 of us facetimed today and we all seem to like each other! We didn't get too deep into the nitty gritty, but we talked about some general preferences and wishes and we're all on the same page. We're going to go the independent route (meaning no agency) and so the next step is for me to hire a surrogacy attorney. Meanwhile they'll be focusing on creating their embryos. They're using donor eggs - not mine, obviously - and we think she'll be ready to donate soon!

Assuming all goes well with the contracts and embryos, we're still a few months off from implanting. Our family has a big trip planned for June and we all agreed it would be best if I wasn't pregnant for that, so we would implant no sooner than July. On one hand that seems so far off, but on the other it's just around the corner! There's plenty to do between now and then so I doubt it will feel like waiting around.

One last thing... Keith and Nathan aren't their real names. Out of respect for their privacy I'll use these pseudonyms until there comes a point where we all decide to share this publicly.

Now that I have something to talk about, I'll post more than every 2 years. Promise!

Apr 20 - Bout Damn Time

I know, you probably think I lost the ability to type or that I gave up on this crazy adventure but, thankfully for you and the fabulous gay couple* I hope to carry for, neither of those things has happened.

*This is my dream couple. They probably need more adorable kids, right?
Image found on Pinterest - if you know a source, lemme know.
Anyway, I FINALLY have a dang appointment with my hematologist. 

You know how people joke that being a meteorologist is the perfect job because you can be wrong most of the time and not get fired. Well, that's not true. The MORE perfect job is being an admin for a doctor's office (or anything in the medical field, really) because you get to not submit records, not fill out forms, or not call people back and your customers get to JUST DEAL WITH IT. Not that I'm frustrated or anything...

My appointment is next Wednesday and it will involve some basic labs and then a consult with the doctor. Fingers crossed this is just a formality and then I can get back on the baby train!

March 29 - Bump in the Road

And not the good, belly kind of bump.

I just got word from my agency that, after nurse's review, I am not a good candidate. Obviously, I was very disappointed and I asked my case worker if she was allowed to tell me why, hoping it was something I could improve on – BMI, diet, exercise – and try again.

I was told I was rejected because of my Von Willebrand's disease. I have the mildest form of the mildest type and I've never had issues with nosebleeds, heavy periods, or other common symptoms. The diagnosis popped up on an unrelated blood screen when I was six and it has had no real affect on my life. My hematologist once told me if I were to lose a limb I might bleed out in 90 seconds instead of the usual 2 minutes, but otherwise I'd never know I have it. Not a cheery picture, but it's pretty good way of putting it into perspective. And seriously, I've lived a completely normal life except for these 2 things: A) I'm not allowed to donate blood (apparently blood banks find value in blood that's able to clot) and B) I got to go to this free summer camp for kids with chronic illnesses.

However, all is not lost because I'm not taking no for an answer, yet.

Here is my (hopefully polite and reasonable) response:

I respect your nurse's expertise, but I disagree with her assessment. I was approved by a hematologist prior to both of my births and was deemed not at risk. It was an option to have been given a preventative dose of clotting agent prior to delivery, but it was found to be unnecessary. Anecdotally, my original hematologist, who made my initial diagnosis, remarked that I could have lived my entire life with no symptoms of my condition, but it just happened to show up on a random blood screen.

Would it be possible to discuss this further with the nurse? If possible, have my OB and/or hematologist provide additional information on this topic?

Is there anything more terrifying that hitting "send" after you've just stood up for yourself? No, there's not.

While I was writing the first half of this post, I got a response from my case worker! She is having my records reassessed by the medical director and, to be on the safe side, she wants me to get a clearance letter from my hematologist. So now I'm working on getting a referral appointment so I can get my letter and get this show* on the road!

*There is no show. I'm not going to show you anything.

March 23 - Waiting

So, it's been pretty quiet these past 2 weeks. I had a quick phone call on Tuesday clarifying the OB practice for both pregnancies, then I got an email yesterday saying that my medical records have been transferred to the agency's nurse for review -- I guess this means they have everything they need now? Still no word on if or when my in-home interview will take place, but I'm assuming the fact that they're reviewing my medical records is a good sign.

I'm trying not to feel anxious, but this lull is a bit of a bummer after the flurry of activity in the first week.