Why this blog exists...

This blog is a journal, a memento of my feelings, thoughts and personal experience of being a gestational carrier.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My match and the beginning of the process

I was matched in September 2010 with a gay couple who live in New York City. The agency matched us and then we spoke on the phone to make sure we were felt like it was a good match. We had a nice conversation. I told them about my family and thoughts about what was going to happen. I could tell they were so excited.

We check in once a week and they came to visit in October. I was so nervous. Even though we've been matched, I was nervous that that there would be something that would make them not want me to be their carrier. This is not justified but I'm always a worrier.

Next came the contract, a 30 page document that spelled out what would happen to cover any scenario. It was somewhat of an unsettling process only because I didn't like talking about the money and I would get this amount for this and that amount if this happens. It wasn't something that I felt comfortable talking about. These guys want a family, not a second mortgage. I couldn't imagine trying to gouge them for more money than they are already paying.

So once all the papers were signed, Mike and I crossed our t's and dotted our i's. We had to sign a celibacy contract to last the month before the transfer and the month after.

I went for my medical screening right before Thanksgiving and the doctor said that everything looks good and I shouldn't have a problem getting pregnant. It made everything more real. Connecticut Fertility Associates is a wonderful place and the people there are awesome. I look forward to going back for the transfer.

At this point I'm in the middle of taking my medicines. I received a huge box of them on January 7. I started with Lupron. An injection in my stomach once a day. I remember my first time. I read and reread the instructions on how to do the injection. I was practically sweating before I had to stick the needle in. I knew once I did it that I would there was no turning back. This medicine would be changing my body in ways I hadn't experienced before. I took that for two weeks and had an ultrasound and bloodwork to confirm that my ovaries were being suppressed. Hooray! I found out Friday January 21 that everything looked great and I could start Estrace and aspirin. So it continues. I look forward to the end of February when I really begin my journey...

Look back for more

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Backstory and the Application Process

This journey began in August 2010 when my dear friend Lynn suggested to me that she thought this would something I would be good at. I had in fact in the past offered to be a carrier for a friend of mine who ironically suggested I create this blog. Brad, the offer still stands should you ever come to need it. I credit Lynn however to make me think about it seriously enough to apply. I did so shortly after speaking with Lynn.

I did massive amounts of research, scouring the internet to find agencies that not only looked credible but would consider me based on where I live. The agency I found was was one located in Boston. The website was inviting, with upcoming due dates, pictures of parents and surrogates. There were numerous stories, many from news casts and international stories. My excitement began to increase and I realized "I was meant to do this". Yes it sounds a bit silly and I realize that but I am not an average person. I actually care about people, sometimes too much. I wanted to do something for a family that to many sounds almost crazy when for me sounds so natural. I enjoyed being pregnant so much with my two children that I honestly couldn't imagine never experiencing it again. Never feeling that power of creating a human life. I felt this was something I could do to change someone's life in a way that no one else could. There is much more demand for carriers then there are carriers themselves. This isn't to say I am a saint. I have my faults as we all do. I don't claim to be selfless however I have always had dreams of doing something big but knew I was never to have the capabilities, whether monetary or the fact that my family had started and I couldn't pack up and do something as immense as I felt I needed to do. I can only say that even if I had the time and money, would I go through with what I claim to want? Maybe not. I am shy, painfully aware of this and I don't always have the courage that I wish could help me do the things that I would like to do. I'm a homebody who really enjoys spending time with my family. This was something that would be personal, on a level that while my family and friends will be outwardly affected, would be on me. This is something that I can do that I will take with me for the rest of my life. It is terrifying and exhilirating at the same time. I spoke with my husband who was on board right away, then my family who I believe were taken aback. I could understand. If I had told them I was pregnant with triplets I would have received less surprise. They still are supportive but don't still don't quite know how to talk much about it. This doesn't bother me much. I don't let this quell my excitement. I am doing something special, not to be ashamed of.

After finding the agency I wanted to work with, I immediately began the roughly sixty question application. Some of the questions were easy, talking about me and my family, why I wanted to do this. These were questions I expected. The questions I didn't expect were of course the toughest. These questions right off forced me to question all my morals and thoughts of right and wrong. Questions about termination of the fetus, things that are not to be talked of in every day conversations. I battled with these. Some were easier to answer such as whether I would let parents choose to abort should the fetus have serious complications or disease. The one question about whether to abort if the fetus had down syndrome I admit I first said no. I was so afraid that I would be seen as someone who didn't care about the fetus and that I would abort any creature without thought behind it. It is not a black and white type of answer. Saying no to this one question was enough to disqualify me.

I was not going to give up that easily. I reapplied and this time chose Yes as my answer to the question. I had thought about it and had to realize that this was not my child, nor my decision to make. I'm not getting on a soap box here and I don't want this blog to be about abortion and my thoughts about it. I just want to state that while I personally could not see myself doing that to my own child, I take on this as a potential reality should the parents deem it necessary. That being said, the parents are screened and frankly are putting a lot of time and money into having a child which I do not think would make them take aborting it lightly. There, I've said my piece.

Once the questionnaire was complete and I was initially "accepted", I was flooded with paperwork. Forms to release medical records, forms about my medical past. All necessities but I was realizing day by day that this was going to be really big. If I had any second thoughts, now was the time to say so. I trudged on, not thinking for a minute that I shouldn't do this. I got the heads up that a psychological exam was to be taken. The MMPI. This was a 600 question True/False exam which was designed to make sure I'm not a nutjob. The questions ranged from asking things like whether I'm happy to whether I hear voices in my head. I can't see how it would be hard to pass but maybe that's just me..

Anyway, following that I had a conversation with a social worker at the agency. She was great and while I knew in the back of my head that this was almost like an interview, it was an easy conversation to have. I talked about my family, my upbringing and my intentions. The next day she talked to my husband. She told him that out of 200 applicants, they would only choose about 6-8 to be surrogates. I was one of those chosen. It was the beginning of my surrogacy journey.