Sunday, August 31, 2014

Paddling Right Along

We're moving right along with all our formalities and we have our phone consult with the transfer clinic Tuesday. I don't know that we will get our calendar then, but it is one step closer. 
It's been a busy week all around, and the biggest change has been my Sunshine starting kindergarten. 
Again I'm so glad our transfer was delayed after all because my hormones were already a mess. I waited until I got out of the building to lose it, but oh boy did I lose it. Blubber everywhere. 

I don't think the constant reminders from Sweet Pea helped. "I miss my sissa" she said all morning. 

But we made it through our first week, and to celebrate we took a trip to the coast. We packed up the camper and headed to the beach, which was just a hop skip from Baby Mama & Papa!

I asked if they wanted to meet for lunch, but they totally rocked my socks by asking if we wanted to go paddle boarding! I'd never been, but I'm always game for a new adventure so we said heck yeah. 

It was a blast! It was way easier than I thought. I just knew I was going to end up face down in the water most of the day, but I didn't fall once! 

I even managed not to drown the kids. Win. 

The best part was our girls getting to meet Mama and Papa. Sunshine is vaguely aware that I'll be hatching an egg for them. But to put a face with a name was really neat. 
 Ya know how they say kids are a great judge of character? Well suffice it to say that these people must be pretty decent because my two mamas girls wanted to ride on Baby Mama's board before we even left the boat dock!

It's really funny because I was honestly too scared to have my girls on my board at first because I'd never done it before. Since Baby Mama is a pro I felt like they were super safe with her, and they must have too because they willingly left my board and climbed up on hers. 

We paddled around and she was so sweet and gentle with them, but she made sure they had a lot of fun too. She helped them into the water when they wanted to swim, then back on the board when they were done. 

It was sweet to see her taking such great care if my babies, and it really made me realize how excited I am to take care of hers! 

After our paddling adventure we threw on some clothes and met for lunch. It was so nice to just be able to hang out with them and get to know them a little better as friends. 

We were talking kids when the manager walks up to check on us. For whatever reason this lady starts blabbing about how she's preggers and how she's already disciplining her fetus. I secretly giggled to myself because that poor woman has no idea what she's in for. 

But I also thought about Baby Mama. I remember when we were waiting to get pregnant with Sunshine how insufferable I found pregnant women. I wonder if she feels the same way.  It was always annoying to me when people would ask stupid questions about when I would hurry up and get pregnant. I know they meant well but I couldn't help it. I felt the same way toward that manager today. I was like quit flaunting your pregnancy in front of my face lady. We're trying to get pregnant here, and we'd rather not hear about your rambunctious baby. Get your fetus out of my face. 

If Mama felt that way she didn't show it. They are both such sweet and kind people. And they're going to be naturals at parenting. In fact our server thought the girls belonged to Papa and asked him if they needed any barbecue sauce. I answered for him, but he must've just looked like a Daddy sitting next to my kids. He did help them with their crayons and what not during lunch. It was pretty cute. 

They brought little gifts for the girls, which again was so sweet. I got them a little something in Key West, but I'm saving it for our transfer. 

All in all it was such a great day, and I hope our families remain friends for a long time. I feel so lucky to have found such a great couple, and seeing them with my girls today made me realize what incredible and deserving parents they will be. 

More updates to come after our phone consult on Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

California Girls

Everything in the world of surrogacy has been on hold for a while, but it's just as well. This month has been insanely busy with the rest of my life! I published my book, and I've been in crazy marketing mode. I even scheduled my first book signing!
Then Hubs and I just got back from celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in the Keys.

It was completely overdue, and it was by far the best vacation I've ever taken. It was the definition of rekindling a romance among the sand, sun and fish. Pure magic.

While we were gone I got a very important email...OUR FINALIZED CONTRACTS!!

I'll back up a bit. Before we left I talked for a while with Baby Mama over the phone about all of our embryo drama. It turns out that we have the test results we need to move forward, just not the test results we need to move forward with our clinic here in Texas. But the doc from our clinic called to discuss the sitch, and she's completely confident in the safety of the transfer. She's just not legally allowed to do it without submitting paperwork to the FDA that could delay things for 9 months! That's crazy talk, so it looks like we will be heading to sunny California for our transfer!

I'm actually pretty excited. I think Hubs will stay here with the kiddos and Baby Mama and I will have the ultimate girls trip hopefully resulting in me getting pregnant. Maybe if she takes me to dinner and comments on my sparkling eyes it'll work.

Once I talked with Baby Mama and Baby Daddy and the doctor here and got an email from their original clinic I had all the info I needed to give them the green light. Since transmittal of disease is basically unheard of anyway, PLUS we have clear test results before and after their retrieval, the doctor here said there's no logical reason not to proceed.

So we got our contracts back and I mailed them off this morning. Baby Mama is getting in touch with her old clinic so we can coordinate everything, and the ball is once again rolling. Her old clinic is being super helpful in facilitating everything, and our doc here said this is actually not unheard of. Sometimes things just slip through the cracks.

One thing that has touched me is the amount of support I've received from everyone. My friends have all been beyond supportive, and then I got a message from a mom I know through Sunshine's school. Her boys went to school with Sunshine and are the most handsome little gentlemen you ever saw. Their momma messaged me to tell me she's been meaning to reach out because she read my blog and could relate because of her own struggles with fertility.

I'd never known that she used IVF to conceive her boys, but of course she never asked if Sunshine was conceived in a corn field in Indiana...

Still fertility struggles are such an underdiscussed subject I think. So many people go through it, but I guess people generally like to keep some things private. Maybe not everyone likes to blog about their uterus...but to each their own.

She went on to tell me that they actually transferred in California as well! Small world! So I'm pumped to know someone who had Cali success. She then blew my mind.

She said she and her husband debated over what to do with their remaining 8 embies. That has to be one of the trickiest things about fertility treatments. At the time you're not thinking about having a surplus of babies. You're just thinking about the fact that you might not ever even have one baby. So when they retrieve eggs they try to harvest as many as possible. Out of those harvested there's no guarantee that any will even be viable, and so once you fertilize them you end up with a smaller pool of viable embryos. After three retrievals my Baby Mama only ended up with one. You just never know how many will survive.

The options for the surplus are basically to terminate them, donate them to science, hatch them yourself and have 10 children, or put them up for adoption. I can't imagine being faced with this choice. There is no easy answer. Keeping them frozen forever is quite costly, but terminating them can't be an easy call. Having 10 kids just isn't practical for most families, not to mention the cost of the necessary IVF treatments to actually carry those remaining embryos.

Putting them up for adoption means knowing you'll have full-blood siblings of your own children out there somewhere, but it's honestly one of the most selfless wonderful things I've ever heard. Knowing the pain that other couples go through to build their families and then giving them such an amazing gift just gives me hope for humanity. That is the ultimate mama gift. And that's what this mama has decided to do.

She has two beautiful little boys, so whoever adopts her remaining embryos is getting a real gene pool jackpot. And I had tears in my eyes as she told me she wanted to extend the offer to my Baby Mama should we not have any luck with the one embryo she has.

I told Baby Mama and she too was beyond touched. I'm sure she knows more than I do what that could mean for a family.

But for now we will cross our fallopian tubes that this one little embryo takes. So I know I've said this before, but we're that much closer to getting our calendar! They don't call this a journey for nothing!

As for now I'll just focus on the craziness of my own baby starting kindergarten. It's definitely best that I'm not starting any hormones right now. I'm already going to be a mess.

We're also planning a trip to the coast soon, which will put us just a few minutes from Baby Mama! We're planning to meet for lunch so they can meet our girls, and so Sunshine can see that Baby Mama is not an actual chicken. I think she's still imagining I'm hatching a real egg.

I'm just hoping she doesn't pull her latest adorable ridiculousness and ask Baby Mama if she's pregnant. It's her favorite question to ask women these days, but I think it might be a bit more humiliating in that situation. Thankfully Baby Mama seems to have a good sense of humor, so I'm sure she'd just brush it off. She is thinking about dressing in feathers and a beak for her first meeting with Sunshine after all...

I really hit the jackpot with this couple.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Something Weird

Well we are STILL waiting for our calendar, and I'm not as spazzy about it since I've got a lot of exciting things going on with Sunshine going to kindergarten, my new book coming out and our 10 year anniversary trip just days away.

But we've hit a snag. 

Contracts should be fine. I talked with Baby Mama this week and we got the childcare junk ironed out. That's no big. 


She told me they got some devastating news from the clinic. It's possible we can't use their one remaining embryo for transfer. 

They had Embie conceived and frozen at a super rad clinic in California. It's supposed to be top notch but...

We got Embie all the way to Texas,which is no easy feat. And they tell us we're missing vital paperwork necessary to do the transfer. 

Major buzzkill

Baby Mama and Baby Daddy did three retrievals and therefore three rounds of bloodwork. All of it came back normal or they'd have had to either scrap the embryos or label them as possibly contaminated. 

They have everything from the first harvest. They have everything from the third harvest. But the middle retrieval...the one that their one and only surviving embryo came missing one page of results. 

There is a still possibility that we could do the transfer at their original clinic, since they have already cleared Embie for transfer. The clinic here hasn't seen the results for that particular retrieval but because the other retrievals were done so close together they said there's no real risk to doing the transfer. It's just a technicality. 

So we are in yet another waiting game. Mama was so upset she couldn't even bear to tell me. But we talked and I assured her that we are down but not out. 

She's hanging in there but said "what if we get all this worked out and it doesn't even stick!"

It's kind of funny because there's always something with kids. It's a very real possibility that it won't stick. But that's the nature of parenting. It's such a crap shoot. 

You don't earn your P card until you recognize that you know nothing and nothing goes according to plan. People have perfectly easy pregnancies that are conceived at the drop of a hat and deliver babies with mysterious birth defects. Some people deliver healthy children only to have them contract some obscure illness from licking a public trash can. 

Kids are messy business. 

I assured her that this is just parenting initiation. We all have something weird. For me it was a weird rash I got while pregnant with Sunshine. Then it was figuring out what was causing her to projectile vomit and poop blood. For Sweet Pea it was trying to find the cause of her severe anemia or trying to keep her from sustaining yet another head injury. 

There's always something weird. This is just her something weird. 

I'll just take it as a good sign that this Embie is causing trouble. It's a sign that things might be normal since we've got something weird. 

But until we figure out the solution...we wait.