Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My old friend birth control

My Nurse called from the clinic today. I start birth control pills on Saturday. It's been about 12 years since I've taken them. Should be interesting.

Then, next Wednesday I'll go have an ultrasound to check out the old uterus, and make sure it's still in good shape. I'll also have bloodwork/screening for HIV, Hepatitis etc, to make sure I haven't contracted anything in the last 10 months.

I had screening done in February when I cycled with Sally and Don, so it's really a pain in the ass that I have to do it over again, especially since I'm with the same clinic, but I understand why they need to check. I also have to go to my Ob-Gyn's and get a copy of my most current pap. Gah. It feels like I just did this stuff...oh yeah...I did.

Oh well. You do what you have to do. I can't wait to get to the actual cycling part. The exciting stuff. The nail biting 2 week wait.

I just don't want to be let down again. I don't want Carly and Ben to be let down. I want this to work.

It's going to work.

3rd cycle's the charm right?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Who wants to hear about my period?

Well, it's here! Full flow baby! CD1- Yahooo!
And AWAY we go!
Hoping for healthy embryos and a BFP in January!

New addition to the family

His name is Jack. He's 10 weeks old. He's a good boy. Now the other one, Kate, she's not always such a good girl. :)

No Worries

I talked to my nurse at the IVF clinic today. She said not to worry, that I am supposed to start my BC pills on either day 3 or day 5 of my period, not day 1 as I had thought. She's going to check with Carly's nurse, and let me know which day to start taking them. As my period hasn't started full flow yet, and I believe Carly already dropped my perscription in the mail today, everything should be fine.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Getting Closer

Well, Carly called me this afternoon to tell me that both of our birth control perscriptions arrived at her house. Why didn't the clinic mail mine to me? Ugh. Carly and I live 45-50 minutes apart. She's going to drop my script in the mail Monday. I should have it by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.
The thing is, I'm due to have my period any day now. I'm guessing that I'll be CD1 between Mon-Wed, so that's cutting it a little bit close.
If I start before I get my script in the mail, I'll just phone the clinic and they can phone it in. As a matter of fact, I think I'll just call Monday morning anyway and have them phone it in.
Yep, that's the plan.
I'll call Carly tomorrow and tell her to save herself the stamp.
Glad we got that worked out.

Carly also asked me if I got the email from Dr. Psych's office, back on Wednesday.
Ummm that's a no.
Carly forwarded a copy of it to me, and everything looks great. She's going to talk to Dr.Psych Monday and tell her that we think everything looks good, and to go ahead and send us the actual contract so we can sign it and have it notarized.
We should get it in the mail by the end of next week, barring any unforseen complications.
Looks like everything is in place.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Didn't think it would be this bad...

This is Kate when she was 4 years old, and Chewy was 1.
Kate is now 13.

I miss my dog when I go to get up off the couch, and I glance down to make sure I don't step on him. He always layed right underneath wherever I sat.

I miss him when someone comes to our door and we don't hear a deep warning "woof."

I miss him in the morning when I wake up alone. He always climbed into bed and slept in my husbands spot, beside me, as soon as my husband left at 7 am.

I miss him following me into each child's room as I tucked them into bed at night.

I miss having to make sure the door is completely shut behind us when we go out the front door, so he doesn't follow.

I miss watching him and my husband wrestle on the living room floor.

I miss kissing his big snout.

I miss him wandering up and laying his head in my lap while I'm sitting on the couch.

I miss my shadow. He followed me from room to room throughout the day. Everywhere.

I miss him coming into the kitchen after dinner, to see what handouts he could get.

I can't even finish this because I miss him so much.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I had to put our dog down today.
He was 10 years old.
He was the best pet I've ever had.
I am so fucking sad.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I've been neglecting you.

Sorry about that.
There wasn't much to report.

Yesterday- Allen, Carly, Ben and I went to Dr.Psych's office. She was great!
We were there for about 2 hours. Basically the four of us sat in comfy chairs in her office, talked and drank coffee and tea. We went over everything that we agreed to from amount of embryos to transfer to where we will deliver. We went through all of our plans.

We agreed to 2 more counselling sessions, one at 12 weeks of pregnancy and one at 5-6 months. More if needed. Just to keep the lines of communication open between the two couples. Many issues can crop up during a surrogacy, and she wants us to be aware of that.

She gave me the psych test as a take home assignment. I did it in the car on the way home yesterday, and mailed it back to her last night.
It was the Milan test,and you answer with a True or False. I think my favourite statement was "I was on the cover of ten magazines last year."
I also enjoyed answering "I haven't seen a car in the last 10 years."

So now Dr. Psych is having our contracts drawn up, and we'll have them to review by email in a couple of days. If we agree to everything and no changes need to be made, then she'll send us the hard copy at the end of this week, beginning of next. The 4 of us will go and have it notarized, and we're done.

Now, we're just waiting on my period, which is due in 7-9 days. I'll call the clinic and start on BCPs. Things are about to move quickly now. Yes!

Friday, November 11, 2005

IVF here we come...

We have dates! Carly called the clinic today and spoke to Dr.Ego's nurse. This is also the same nurse that my last IM (Sally) and I had for our cycle.
So, Nurse Christy said that this is how we'll proceed.

She's mailing Carly and I our birth control prescriptions.
We will wait until my next period and then call the clinic on cycle day one.(due to start Nov 28th-30th)
Then, I'll start taking my birth control.
This is when we'll go meet with Dr.Ego, and bring in our contract that was drawn up with Dr.Psych. I will also have my ultrasound etc with Dr.Ego, to make sure the old uterus is still clear for takeoff.
Carly is due for her period about 4-5 days after me.
Then she'll start her birth control.(approx Dec 4th)
I believe somewhere around the 20th of Dec is when we get our depot lupron shots? I'm a little foggy here, as this is different than my last two times cycling.
We'll stay on b/c pills until the week of Christmas.
At that time we will stop the b/c pills and have our periods again.
That should be around Dec 28-30thth.
Nurse Christy said she expects to see Carly in the office around January 2nd or 3rd for her baseline ultrasound and to start stims.
I'll go to the satellite office near me and have my baseline ultrasound at the same time, and start on my estrogen patches and pills to build my lining.
Cary has been through 7 IUIs and 5 IVF cycles, and she told me tonight on the phone that she has never stimmed for more than 8 days before she's ready. So egg retreival should be around the 10-12th of January.
She also said that she usually gets at least 20 eggs, last time they ended up with 17 fertilized, so instead of doing a 3 day transfer, Dr.Ego took them to a 5 day blast before putting them back.
I don't know if he'll do a 3 day transfer or a 5 day this time, but that puts our transfer around January 15th-18th, give or take a couple of days.

I am so excited!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Mother

Oh, I could tell you stories about my mother.

Let me give you some background. She's 52 years old. She met a man on the internet around 1997 . He lived in Montana, she lived in Ontario, Canada. They dated for a while, visiting back and forth. She moved to Montana and married him around 2000?
(I forget what year they married.) I really like my Step-Dad. I'll call him Rob. She made a good choice.
My Step-Dad Rob has 3 children and two young grandchildren.

Now, I just got off the phone with my mother.
The conversation went something like this.

Mom says "Hi Honey, how are you doing?"

"I'm good, how are you?"

"Oh" she says, "I just called to tell you a funny story. Remember how when you had Kate I told you that I was never going to be a babysitter, or be a Grandma that stayed home and baked cookies? That I was going to be a Grandma that would be more likely to go roller skating with them when they got older?"

Me (guardedly) "Yeah..."

Mom " Well it was Maize's (step grandaughter's) 6th birthday and it was held at a roller rink. So, you know me, when she asked me if I would put on skates and skate with her, I did. Of course I was skating and snapping pictures and of course Rob was laughing at me. So I made a face at him over my shoulder and I ended up crashing to the floor. The roller rink girl , you know, the one with the whistle, skated over to me to see if I was ok. I told her yes, and that I didn't think anything was broken. But, I did hit the floor pretty hard.
The next day at work (my mom works for a nursing home) my left arm was really bothering me, so the people at work convinced me to have it x-rayed. Well, I did, and it turns out that I broke my arm!" (she laughs)
Then she says...
"I was upset because Daddy Rob and I had planned to go deer hunting this weekend coming up. I told the Dr. about our plans to go hunting, and since I shoot my rifle with my right hand, I asked him if I could please go. He said yes. So I can still go shoot a deer this weekend!"

My mother is insane.

Batshit crazy? The Dr. decides...

Carly just called.
The pychologist received our info from Sugar.
We were offered to go to her office this Sunday, the 13th, for our screening.
Or next Sunday, the 20th, at her office.
Or she will be at our RE's office on Mon, the 21st.
The psychologist's office is about 1 1/2 hours from us.
The REs's office is about 30 minutes from us.

Due to the fact that my husband has an NFL football game to attend this Sunday, we won't be able to make it to this Sunday's appt. My husband only gets the opportunity to attend a couple of games a year, and the tickets are already bought, and plans have been made for him and a friend to go together, for about a month.

You know I was bummed, when Carly told me of the offer to go this Sunday.
But she was good with the fact that Allen had previous plans, even stating that this Sunday may not be the best day for her and Ben either.

We talked about waiting until Dr.Psych comes to our REs office, because of how much less driving and time would be involved.
But that idea was nixed due to the fact that she teaches school, and for Ben it isn't a good day for him to take off of work. Allen has Monday's off of work, so it wasn't any problem for us. Also, Dr.Psych said she woudn't have as much time for us if we met her at the REs on the Monday. Carly told me that she wants to spend as much time as we need with Dr.Psych, so we can get everything accomplished that we need to in one shot, if possible.

We decided to go out to Dr.Psych's office next Sunday, the 20th.
Allen and I are driving to Carly and Ben's early in the morning.(they live about 40 minutes from our house.)
Then we'll drive with Carly and Ben to Dr.Psych's.
Dr.Psych also told Carly to go ahead and set up our appointment to see Dr.Ego. They work together, and that she would make sure our contract was finished quickly.
She said we could go ahead and start meds, if Dr.Ego was wanting us to, because she'd have our contracts done before a transfer. Wow.

So Carly is calling Dr.Ego's office tomorrow (they're closed now) and is setting up our consultation with him. Since he's out of town until the 14th, my guess is that they will fit us in later in the week, or early the next week. Probably have our appointment with Dr. Ego between the 15th and the 22nd.
Like I mentioned in my last post, Dr.Ego isn't the type to mess around. We could possibly catch this cycle, and have a transfer in Dec.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


So, I've talked to Carly about 4 or 5 times since we met. Every single phone call has been great. I've never, not once, felt uncomfortable or had any doubts about how we'll get along.
I'm seriously excited to start cycling. Carly and I both said that we have a very good feeling that we're going to get me pregnant. We know that they have good stuff to work with. That is, eggs and sperm. She has been working with our clinic for about 6 years now. Our clinic had gotten her pregnant 5 times. 3 times through IUI and 2 times through IVF.
Now, I know I'm tempting fate by even saying it. But I'm going to carry a healthy baby to term for them. Carly and I both know that it may not happen the first time. IVF is a crap shoot we know. Even with the best quality embryos, sometimes they just don't implant etc. But they're going to try again. Hopefully, we'll have enough embryos to freeze some from our first cycle- to try again if we need to. If not, she says we'll cycle again. She tells me, "Oh, we're going to get you pregnant girlfriend, don't you worry."
I LOVE her optimism. She's already told me to "be ready to do this again for us if it works."
In the surrogacy world we like to refer to this as a "Sibling Project."

Just for shits and giggles, here's my fantasy timeline.

Today is Wed Nov. 9th.
Psychologist receives our info from Sugar and calls me either today or tomorrow for an appt to be screened.
Appt for screening is set up for sometime between Nov11th and Nov 15th.
Screening gets done, and contract gets written up between parties.
Nov 14th Dr. Ego returns to office. (he's been away)
Nov 15th-20th We have a consultation with Dr. Ego.
Nov 23rd I have depot lupron shot. (the timing would be perfect)
Nov 30th would be cycle Day 1 (trust me, I'm like clockwork)
1st week of Dec Carly would start stim meds.
By Dec 15th at the latest Carly would have egg retreival.
By Dec 20th at the latest we'd have the transfer.
By New Years Eve we may know if it worked.

Now, I know that sounds far fetched, but let me tell you, with the last couple I worked with, since we had the same Dr as Carly and I have now, from the time Sally and I went to Dr.Ego for our first consultation, to the time of transfer, was only 5-6 weeks. Our second cycle was only 6 weeks as well.
It just so happens that Carly and I are only 4 days apart in our cycle right now naturally. It won't be any problem to sync us, I know that.
I also know that Dr. Ego doesn't play aroound. Once you're ready to get started, he gets started with the very next opportunity. That's what he did with Sally and I, and we were both new there.
With Carly and I, she has been with his clinic for years, and I've already had all of my preliminary stuff done, and cycled with them two times this year, and my records are right there. They've already got everything they need.
And it just so happens that right after he would see us (if we can see him the week of the 15th) is the point in my cycle I would have lupron started.

Ok- I know that it would be a stretch for everything to fall into place like that.

So my logical mind says there will be a little snag somewhere. The psychologist won't be able to see us for a week or two, and neither can Dr Ego.
That means we catch our next periods at the end of Dec, and transfer in Jan.
And if all goes haywire, we'll be transferring in Feb.

No matter what, it's going to be soon. I can't wait.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Things are good

Nothing much has happened progress-wise since I met Carly and Ben. Sugar sent our info to the psychologist and now we're just waiting for the psychologist to call us. She's going to set up an appointment for the four of us to be screened ,and make sure we aren't bat shit crazy. Then we will have our contract drawn up and then we'll meet with Dr.Ego (our RE). We should be starting to cycle by Dec. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that we'll have a January transfer. For sure by February.
More soon.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Meeting - part four

I remember Sugar telling her that we were down in the restaurant.

Things get even hazier and more sped up from here.
I have little flashes of moments or scenes, but not a full recollection of what happened.

I remember seeing Carly come through the restaurant door.
I remember feeling a quick wave of comfortableness ( is that a word?) because she was smiling and laughing about something.
I remember Sugar asking where Ben was and her saying something about Ben being in the lobby with the valet, or still outside waiting for the valet to finish...
I remember being introduced to her and I started to shake her hand and then I ended up saying something like "let me give you a hug too" and hugging her.
I remember thinking that she was so much prettier in person than in her photo.

I'm pretty sure she was introduced to Allen.
Then Allen excused himself as he had yet to load our belongings into the car, and check out.

Seconds later Ben arrived. We were introduced to each other? by who? I don't know, and with him there was a quick handshake and then he pulled me in for a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I was nicely surprised by that, and it made me feel even more comfortable. The three of us stood there making chit chat for a couple of minutes. The only thing I can remember saying was something to Ben about how he and Allen must have just passed each other in the hallway.
Allen has us checked out and our luggage loaded into the car in no time. It felt like 2 minutes and he was back. He was introduced to Ben, and Sugar asked Allen if he had met Carly? Umm yeah, just 5 minutes ago...
I guess she was flustered too.

We were seated at a long rectangle table that seated 6. I remember Sugar ordering Carly and I to sit "across" from one another. I guess so we could talk directly to each other. I had planned on it anyway. Carly and I sat on the end of the table across from one another. Allen sat to my left and across the table from Ben. Sugar sat on Carly and Ben's side of the table, at the end, across from the empty seat.
The waitress brought us menus, and I had no idea what to order. My stomach did not feel like eating, but I knew I had to order something.
They still had the breakfast menu which was OK with me, but everyone else wanted lunch. Carly asked the waitress if they could have lunch instead and the waitress looked at her watch and said yes, lunch would be ok too.
I decided on whole wheat pancakes, with fresh apple compote and lowfat vanilla yogurt. Allen decided to have breakfast instead of lunch, ordering eggs, toast, etc.
Sugar changed her mind also, and had the same as I did.
Carly had soup and a mushroom ravioli dish, Ben had a salad and some yummy looking pasta dish.

When Carly's soup and Ben's salad came Sugar prompted us to talk about ourselves. She asked Allen to tell them about what he did for a living etc.
She asked me to share why I wanted to become a surrogate and a little about the last couple I worked with.

When our breakfasts came we ate while Carly and Ben talked about what they do for a living and why they need a surrogate. Carly told me her medical history and how she came to be referred to Sugar's agency. She told me about the babies they lost. One at 5 months, a girl they named Gabrielle. The second was a baby boy at 4 1/2 months. The third and fourth losses happened at 8 weeks. Their last loss was boy/girl twins. Elizabeth and Conrad at 24 weeks. (some of this was shared with me last night when we talked on the phone)

We talked about the Dr's at our clinic, since we both have the same one. We talked about the different RE's and their personalities.
We talked about our families.
I don't remember much of what was said by Sugar, Allen or Ben. I think there was two seperate conversations going by this time. One at their end of the table, and one at ours. I remember being totally absorbed in talking with Carly.
She is such a vibrant person. I could have stayed and talked with her for hours more.
I remember a lot of reaching across the table and touching/hitting each others hands or arms. During a shared laugh or moment of something one of us said and the other would say "Yes!" or "I feel the same way!"
I remember talking about Allen and she kept saying "Oh my gosh, him and Ben have so much in common!" and "Ben, he's just like you!"
I remember at one point she said "I just love you already!" and I said something like "Me too!"

Lunch was finishing up when Sugar said " So, can we all assume that we're going to work together?" By this time it was a no brainer that everyone had hit it off fabulously.
I think I answered first with "I'm 100% comfortable enough to say right now that I'd like to" and Carly said some thing like "Absolutely, are you kidding me?"

The Sugar got out "the list" and we made quick work of that. Sugar made notes to be sent with the basic compensation list to send off to the lawyer to help draw up our contract. Carly and I shared contact information. Email addys, phone numbers etc.
The guys took off so Allen could have a smoke over in the sports bar.
Sugar shared her book of sucessful matches and babies born to her agency with Carly.
We left the restaurant, grabbed the guys from in front of the sports bar and the three of us gals used the restroom. It was going to be a long ride back to our home state for Carly, Ben, Allen and I.
The valet pulled our cars up and we said our good-byes.

Allen commented in the car on our way home that he was amazed at her positive outlook considering how much loss they have been through.
We talked about how they are so much like us.
She is a spitfire, full of passion and emotion. She runs the ship.
He is more laid back. Supporting her choices, going along for the ride because he loves her.

I was so happy to have met them. I was so excited to begin the process again.
Carly and Ben are superb people and they will make wonderful parents.
I want us to have success.

The Meeting - part three

I walked through the lobby and looked for Sugar. There were about 10 people down there. None of them looked like they were waiting for me. There were a couple people standing talking to each other. There were a few people at the registration desk. There was a lady checking out the jewellery display. Hmm. The lady at the display had her back to me and she was carrying what looked like a couple of briefcase type bags. I decided to walk past her and say Sugars name, to see if it was her.
I walked past and in a casual voice I said "Sugar?"
The lady never turned and I smoothly kept walking.
Well. I stopped near the registration desk and looked around, starting to feel a little silly. Where was she? I scanned the entire area and decided that the only person in the area that could be Sugar was the lady in front of the jewellery. I tried again. I started walking back towards her, when she turned around and saw me approaching. "Sugar?" I asked. "Hiiiiiii" she said. We shook hands and she told me that Carly and Ben would be there in about 45 more minutes. We decided to go to one of the restaurants located on the lobby floor.
We sat at an empty bar area, while a waitress set up a table for the 5 of us.

From here things get a little sketchy, as I was quite nervous and excited. I think my brain kind of shut down as things speeded up.

She kept telling me how "cute" and "pretty" I was. I kept thanking her and telling her how nervous and sweaty palmed I was.
She told me that if I didn't feel right about working with Carly and Ben, not to worry, that she thought all of her waiting couples would be happy to work with me.
She kept reaching out and touching my left arm as she spoke to me.
I sipped on my ice water and willed myself to relax and tried to pay attention to her chatter.
We went over my list of fees. She talked to me about a couple of things that Carly mentioned she was unsure about. Things that could maybe be negotiated? I assured Sugar that I was flexible. She seemed relieved. They had to do with childcare costs and my husbands wages. Two things that I did not mind bending on.
She took out a photo album and showed me her agency's success stories. Each page had the couple's picture, their baby's picture and their surrogate's picture. It was almost full. I remember telling her to save us a page.
About 30 minutes had passed, and I decided to call Allen and see how things were going and tell him exactly where we were at. There are three restaurants in the hotel lobby- I didn't want him to search for us.
I called him and Sugar went to use the restroom.
She returned and he showed up a minute after.
I introduced them and the three of us chatted for about 2 minutes.
Then Sugar's phone rang and it was Carly.
They had arrived at the hotel.

The Meeting - part two

My eyes bugged out of my head.

What the heck was she doing in the lobby already? Why didn't she call me to say she was on her way? AAAGGH.
I told her that I was just finishing getting ready and that I'd be down in 5 minutes.
"Ok, no hurry" she told me. Ha. If only she knew.

Allen had just got out of the shower and was standing in the bathroom doorway dripping wet. I told him to get a move on it, that Sugar was in the lobby. He wasn't too happy. I told him that she said "no, hurry" and he said, "I didn't plan on it." I asked him to pack up our stuff and stow it in the car and meet me downstairs after he was ready.
He agreed and turned on the blow dryer.
I got an adreneline rush and my hands started to shake.
I hastily did my makeup. Coverup, eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara. 2 minutes total.
I shakily put on the matching cross necklace and earrings that my sisiter-in-law had bought me for good luck that day. As I was putting on the second earring I noticed that I was missing the back. I panicked just a little. Allen shut off the blow dryer and reassured me as he checked the carpet around my feet. "It's ok, it's alright, don't worry, I'll find it."
This only lasted about a minute. I found the missing back. It was on my other ear. In my nervous rush, I had put both earring backs on the first earring I put in.
OK then.

I grabbed my purse and my folder of important papers. With a quick kiss from Allen, I headed out the door to the elevator. On my way to the lobby I realized something.

I didn't know what Sugar looked like, and she never told me what she was wearing.

The Meeting - part 1

I'll tell you what I remember from our meeting Sunday morning.

Allen and I woke up and spent about an hour lazing around the hotel room.
I hopped in the shower. They have the best water pressure EVER at the H1lt0n, I almost drowned it was that good.
I blow dried my hair and decided to clip it up in back. With a couple of curls from the curling iron it was done and looked good on the first try. Miracle!
I got dressed, in a grey and black flecked knitted sweater and loose black casual pants for those of you who care about what I decided to wear.

At that point I decided to call Sugar, to see when she would arrive.

I have to mention that Sugar had called the hotel the night before to see if we had arrived and if we liked our room. Yes we had, and yes we did I assured her.
Sugar had also told me that there was a change of plans. Carly and Ben would be driving in, instead of flying. I guess that when Carly went to book the flights the day after we decided which day to meet, the cost had doubled. Since they also live about 5 hours from Big City, they decided to drive.
Sugar told me that she would come a little early so we could meet-as I hadn't met her yet- and talk until Carly and Ben arrived.

I dialed Sugar's house and her husband informed me that she was on her way, and had been for quite some time. Yikes. I knew that she only lived about an hour away from the hotel.
Allen was just stepping out of the shower, I didn't have any makeup on, and our room needed to be packed up. Checkout was at noon and we would be busy meeting and having lunch at that time.
How close was she? I called her cell phone. "Good morning!" I said when she answered.
"Hi dear!" she replied. "I'm in the lobby!"

Oh crap.

To be continued.