Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stick around for a while, little embies!

We've just gotten home from a whirlwind of an amazing journey. We left home Christmas Day evening to go to Tony's mom's house for Third Christmas, and then the next day to Tony's dad's for Fourth Christmas. It was wonderful spending time with so much family (First and Second Christmas happened with my family), even if our time wasn't as long as we would have liked.

And then, on Thursday, we dropped the kids off with Tony's mom and headed off to SFO. We ended up almost missing our flight because the first two long-term parking lots we tried were full. The kiosk wouldn't let us check in because it was too close to take-off time, and the attendent tried brushing us off, saying that we could just get on another flight. We still had a half hour to get there, and just carry-ons, so Tony talked her into printing our boarding passes, and we hustled off to our gate, with just enough time to pee before boarding.

We made it to LA and our very nice hotel with no incident but an amazing view of the moonrise. After our yummy dinner with W, we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the big day.

I enjoyed a breakfast of pineapple and leftover fajitas and W drove us over to the clinic. They did my blood draw real fast, and we had to wait another 10 minutes or so before we headed back to our room. I did the typical undress from the waist down and then we waited patiently for the real stars of the show, the embryos. There was a brief period of miscommunication while a nurse was explaining the status of the embryos to W and J (on the phone) and they thought that none of the embryos that were thawed were viable, which, of course, was very upsetting. Fortunately, that was not the case. Of the 14 that were thawed, 3 were looking ready to go. Unfortunately, they weren't looking quite as nice as they were hoping, so we had to have an important discussion. The original plan was to implant 1 or 2 great looking little embies, but the 3 they had weren't looking great. They might have looked great if given a little more time, but the embryologist thought the embryos would stand a better chance in my nice, cozy womb. So I got to decide whether we implanted 2 or 3. Nobody is particularly keen on triplets, but I spoke with the nurse, and she said that, with the way these 3 embryos were looking, the likelihood of any pregnancy is approximately 50%, and the chances of a triplet pregnancy are 2% or less. I don't remember the exact number on twins, but Tony thought it was 20%.

So, being the vessel for these little cuties, they allowed me to choose. And I chose 3. I was comfortable with the minute chance of triplets, and I want to give W & J the best chance we can for a successful pregnancy. They've had a long road to hoe on the way to get here, and I'm hoping we can make the rest of it as smooth as possible.

They brought in a regular, baby-sized incubator that housed the embryos, and we all got to take a look at the tiny little embies (one or two were on their way to being blastocysts, if I understood correctly) before the doctor loaded me up. :) He inserted a small catheter into my cervix and delivered the three little pre-babies directly unto the comfy lining of my uterus, where hopefully one of them will get cozy and want to stay a while. :-D

After putting my feet up for about a half hour, they released us back to the hotel. I got my relax on while Tony and W headed down to the local grocery store and stocked up on some of my favorite snacks, including a huge salad with all my favorite toppings. And some Life cereal. :)  Tony and I ate our lunch in bed while catching up on some Battlestar Galactica, and W headed out to the gym and for a massage. He came back to hang out later in the afternoon, and we had a great time talking and getting to know each other some more.

I really enjoyed just hanging out, and catching up on our grown up shows, eating some of my favorite foods, but it was a little tough mentally doing nothing all day. I felt so darn lazy, and felt a little bad Tony and W had to get things for me, but I understand I'm working on growing a baby or two in there, so my efforts were not wasted. :)

This morning W took us to a really gorgeous place for lunch, and then was nice enough to take us to the airport as well. All-in-all, it was a fantastic experience, and we really enjoyed spending time with W (missed J and their son, though), but I really hope it's not one we have to repeat with them. :)

Now we're back to the really hard part: waiting. Our beta, the blood test that will confirm pregnancy is a week from Monday, on the 7th (relatively early, I think), but W & J have given me the go ahead to do home pregnancy tests, and I'm hoping to exercise enough self-control such that I can wait until at least Tuesday, although I won't be surprised if we don't get a positive until Thursday at the very earliest. Oh, this is so exciting!!! :-D

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The big day has arrived!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow! I can't believe it's really, finally happening. Around 10:30 tomorrow morning we'll be transferring 2 little totsicles into my nice, comfy uterus where at least one of them will get comfortable and take up residence for the next 9ish months. Then we'll head back to the hotel for a day of rest and relaxation.

We had a very nice dinner with B this evening. I enjoyed my last diet coke and Margarita for a good long while. :-)  Tony and I were both very sad that C couldn't join us. They were also going to bring their son, but both him and C got sick and they didn't want to risk exposing me to anything, so B came solo. It was so nice to spend some time with him, and we're looking forward to more of it tomorrow.

So, I've got my lucky transfer panties, and my lucky socks ready, eating my pineapple and hoping to get my hands on some Life cereal for breakfast tomorrow. Please feel free to perform any personal rituals you observe to wish us a successful transfer. :-)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Progesterone is a cruel mistress

I don't know if this is something I selectively minimized during my extensive blog reading, or if it's something other surros tend to gloss over a bit, or if I'm just having a particularly acute experience, but progesterone hurts like a bitch. The actual shot isn't a big deal, but the next day I wake up, and it hurts to sit down. To the point where I gasp sometimes. Tonight is my third night, and my left butt cheek isn't properly healed from the first night, but we have to stick it anyway. To make matters worse, today is an estrogen day, so we also have to give a shot in the side that's still super sore.

I wasn't expecting it to be pleasant, by any means. I had read that it can burn when injected, and that you have to massage and heat the area well afterwards, and that knots and soreness aren't uncommon after a while. But I was expecting the soreness would come in time, not after the first day, and that soreness would be an understatement. And it may sound weird, but I'm also bothered by the idea of it: that my body is so uncomfortable with what's being introduced into. If it was pain at the injection site, that would be different. Of course my skin doesn't like sharp objects piercing it. Hasn't stopped me before. But I do wish my gluts were more receptive to the hormone.

On the very bright side, we had a wonderful, very blessed Christmas, as per usual, and transfer is in just over 2 days! Oh my goodness, cannot believe it! We're at my in-laws for the next 2 nights, so I had to pack today for my transfer, and girls in my surro group are always talking about lucky transfer panties (and other fun, silly stuff) and I was inspired to bring the panties I wore on my first date with my husband. Which is not to say anyone got lucky that night, but that date was the beginning of pretty much the best that ever happened to me, so they've got that going for 'em. ;-)

When I was going through all the other steps, and all the waiting, it seemed like all of the other girls in my surro groups would get pregnant before me, but I'm really excited to have a great group of girls all transferring within 3 weeks of me. At least 5 others, I think, 3 of whom are pregnant already. I love having preggo buddies. :-D

Only approximately 54 days of progesterone to go, give or take a week or two. :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Triple stripe!

I can hardly believe the ultrasound was yesterday morning; yesterday was such a busy day it felt like 2 days. But, the most important happened just about fist thing. We drove out to San Ramon for our appointment, and encountered very little traffic on our way there (and back), and there was no waiting in the actual office. I zipped right through my blood draw and then into the ultrasound. During which the tech informed us my uterus is sporting the coveted triple stripe. Whoo-hoo! That means my lining is very nice and thick for the little totsicle(s) who will be making its home there next week. Measuring, on average, 11mm, which is great. I didn't ask exactly what our doctor was looking for but I've heard anything over 6-8 is good, so my uterus totally kicked ass here. :-D

I believe I may have mentioned, once or twice, that I was nervous that my body wouldn't respond properly to the meds, and this would be the end of my story. It wasn't a strong fear, but it was there, so this was a great relief to me. This was the final hurdle for my body, as far as I'm concerned. That was new territory. The rest, getting and staying pregnant? That we know. We're good at that. I feel confident we're going to wholly rock this transfer and this pregnancy. I'm on board, my uterus is on board, let's do this! :-)

After the appointment, it was my job to inform everybody as to what was going on. The travel agent for my agency and my IFs had yet to book travel; that was all contingent on that appointment. And while I could tell them my interpretation, I needed our nurse's confirmation before I felt comfortable telling everyone to buy plane tickets. Five hours, two phone calls and two emails later I finally heard back. Turns out she was in a smilar boat: she was 99.9% sure we were good to go, but she was waiting for the doctor for the go-ahead. As a matter of fact, I believe the term she used was "textbook perfect." If my uterus could get any larger, it would have swollen with pride. ;-) She felt confident enough to say we could book travel, and followed it up with an official email about 1.5 hours later, assuming after Dr. R gave us his stamp of approval.

So, it's officially official, ladies and gentlemen. Progesterone starts tomorrow (lucky me, I get suppositories and shots) and we transfer on December 28!
I believe that makes me 2 weeks pregnant tomorrow. ;-)

The guys said last night that they would toast to my uterus and the Mayans. :-D

Thursday, December 20, 2012

1 Week, 5 Days Pregnant

Okay, so the title is a little (lot) misleading. I'm not technically pregnant yet. But I realized, based on a successful transfer of a 5-day embryo on December 28, and the silly way we track pregnancy (based on last menstrual period instead conception), I'm currently 1 week, 5 days pregnant. ;-) And let me tell you, I feel it. The estrogen is definitely having an effect on me; since Tuesday my uterus has been feeling very heavy and tender. So I'm taking that as a good sign. I've been paranoid that my body wouldn't respond to the meds and my career as a surro would be over before it really started (but the pre-season sure was extended). So, I have some evidence that we're really on our way to Babyville here, but tomorrow will be the official test. We're heading out to the Bay Area for our one and only monitoring ultrasound to determine how well my uterus is thickening up. After we receive the good news, I've got to notify the travel agent so that she can book our travel for the transfer next week. Which is to say, there's a lot riding on this ultrasound, so think thick thoughts for us!

And rather than let this stupid app eat the rest of my post for a third time, I'll just post this and rest up for our 90 minute drive first thing tomorrow. :-/

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I am awesomesauce :)

This is totally ridiculous, but I feel like a rockstar. Last night was my first shot, delestrogen, and it was nothing! I know it's not progesterone yet, but it's not lupron, either, and I rocked that shot. ;) Seriously, though, it was barely a pinch. I could hardly believe that Tony had actually done it. The build up was the worst part, and even that wasn't that bad, thanks to my HypnoBabies training. It was mostly excitement at getting started and a tiny bit of anxiety regarding not knowing what to expect. And now that I know, pshaw, bring 'em on! My blood draw in the morning was, like, 50 times worse, and even that wasn't that bad. I was able to talk with Teagun throughout, as opposed to my previous posture, which included biting my hand and trying not to pass out.

I'm actually a little disappointed I don't do a shot tonight. I know that's super crazy, but it's so wonderful to feel like I'm doing something after so much inaction. It really makes me feel like a surrogate. I feel like I've been working for so long to get here; reaching the meds stage really feels like an accomplishment. I am now actively preparing my body to be ready for B & C's baby.

I'm so lucky that I have Tony to do my shots for me. I think having an experienced hand really helped with the extreme ease of the process. I think that heating the very thick solution in my cleavage for 45 minutes beforehand helped as well. Even though I wasn't in any pain, I was sure to heat and massage afterwards, because I know knots can become a problem after a while.

We'll do another delestrogen shot on Thursday, and blood test on Friday to check my levels to see if/how much we need to increase my delestrogen for my Sunday dose. I'm still not sure when I start my progesterone, but I will have another blood draw on the 21st, as well as an ultrasound to check the progression of my uterine lining. That appointment is the next real opportunity for me to be anxious. The transfer depends on the thickness of my lining. So we'll be thinking real thick that day. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Three needles poking

Yesterday was a very important day in my journey as a surrogate. My meds arrived! I almost feel like I can call myself a surrogate now. As per instructions, I went through all of the package immediately to confirm that everything that was accounted for. The contents matched the packing slip, and I was familiar with the whats and whys of about 90% of it. There were a few things I wasn't expecting and am not exactly sure what they are for, but I feel confident somebody will let me know, eventually. :) I was surprised that I received progesterone suppositories, which I didn't think were part of my doctor's protocol. I'd be thrilled to do the suppositories instead of the shots, but, alas, it looks like I've got both. And then, of course, after taking inventory, I had to organize them all pretty-like. :-D

So, now, I believe I head in for bloodwork tomorrow morning to check estrogen levels, and hope for the go ahead to start meds tomorrow evening based on those results. I'm only not 100% sure that's the precise plan because that plan was based on me starting my period yesterday, and, instead it started late today (that was actually a calculation error on my part :-/). I've got an email into my nurse, and I expect to hear back from her by the time I wake up tomorrow morning, so we'll get it figured out. If not tomorrow, I believe we'd just go ahead and do it Tuesday instead. I don't know that that would impact the transfer date at all.

So, one hurdle down. Period showed up, on time, just not exactly when I thought it should. :) Next hurdle for my body: estrogen levels. I'm not sure what they should be at, but let's hope for a good number so that I can start poking! :-D Or, my accurately, my RN husband can start poking. And, actually, there will be some poking, regardless, because I gotta get the blood drawn. And, now that I'm over my cold, I should get a flu shot tomorrow. I'm really gonna be putting my recent bravery regarding needles to the test tomorrow. :)

T-minus 19 days until we get me knocked up! :-D

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is this for real?

All of a sudden, after months and months of nothing happening, everything is happening, all at once. I can hardly believe it. Today we got our meds calendar, and the pharmacy called to confirm delivery of my meds (Saturday!). Calendar says blood test Monday morning for estrogen levels, and provided I can find a local lab that can turn around my test results same day, I should start my shots Monday evening. Since we're doing a frozen embryo transfer, we don't have to worry about syncing my cycle with an egg donor, I'll be starting with Delestrogen shots, every 3 days. Good, because we're avoiding one drug entirely, Lupron. "Bad," because that's the one that comes with the small needle. The estrogen and progestrone needles are a wee bit bigger. :-)

This same calendar confirms the tentative (provided everything goes according to plan) transfer date of December 28. Which, of course, means I had to look up a possible due date for this potential little baby. We're looking at B & C having their baby around September 15! I'm gonna go ahead and round that up to September 17, my mom's birthday. :-) That means a hot summer, fat with child. ;-)

I'm so excited about this all, but I can hardly believe it's really happening for real yet. In just over 3 weeks, we'll be pregnant, and all the true unknowns about the process, all the waiting on someone else for each step, that will be over. The rest, I know how to do. I know how that part goes. Everything will follow in a timely manner because Baby says so. :-)

Now that everything seems to be flowing so swiftly on the other end, I'm now getting anxious about my performance. What if my labs on Monday are all wonky? What if my body doesn't respond to the meds? What if a house falls out of the sky and crushes me like a bug? What if, what if, what if? What if I can't help B & C grow a baby, for whatever reason? What if something is my fault? So, in about a month or so we can relax, mostly, on that front. :-) In the meantime, I'll just follow directions and do the best I can. First stop, starting my period, tomorrowish. Let's go menses! :-D

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holy crap, things are happening!

Remember when I was all like, "Wah! Things are taking too long!" And then I was all like, "I'm just going to relax and let things happen as they may." Today's post is "Holy crap, things are happening!" :-D

I was under the impression legal clearance got sent out yesterday, but that actually didn't happen until today, which is no biggie, because I was being patient. :) But I did speak with the nurse about whether or not to keep taking my pill, and she asked go ahead and keep taking them while she figures out what day in December we can do this. And I was all, "What?! December?! That's, like, now!" I figured, with the holidays and everything, that even January 10 might be a little too soon. So I told her I had been looking at January 10, and then she asked if I could come in for monitoring on the 3rd, since I'll be down in LA anyway, and that was the last I heard from her.

IFs called just before 5, when I was just giving up hearing from the nurse again, and it turns out they had been talking to her, and wanted to know if December 28 works for us! Turns out, there's a very good chance it will! That's right in the middle of Tony's 5 days off and HOLY CRAP 3.5 WEEKS FROM NOW! I literally just had that realization. I could be knocked up in 3.5 weeks. Holy wow. /breathing That must mean I would have meds before the week is out. Wow. Please see title above. Eek, getting all good shivery now. Okay, breathing again and trying to catch that speeding train of thought. So, um, yeah, wow. :) It sounds like we will decide tomorrow morning (whose morning? The one downside of East Coast IFs. ;) ) whether we'll be sticking some totsicles in my womb in 3.5 WEEKS. :-D So, that's super exciting.

The only 2 negatives about this is that we'll be leaving the kiddos shortly after Christmas, either the day after or the following day, so that's a little bit of a bummer. And the other downside has nothing to do with the timing, but I just learned that with frozen embryos, your transfer date is your transfer date, and they won't push it back 2 days giving us free time in LA. But, on the bright side, I just learned that the show I was hoping to see should that happen isn't even in LA anymore. It's in San Francisco. And sold out. :-/ But they do do a lottery before every show, so there's a chance we could still catch it, but with all the time we're spending away from the kids this month anyway, we probably won't (heading to Reno for a quick getaway next week. Kids may or may not be joining us.). Oh, and we'll probably head back home on the 29th, and then we have to drive back to LA on January 2nd.  :-D That's life 'round here.

Okay, now off to channel my excitement into something productive, like laundry or eating cookie dough. :) Oh, and happy East Coast Birthday to me. :-D


Monday, December 3, 2012

Psych! But only a little...

So, it turns out I jumped the gun a little on the whole contract thing. Turns out the contract I received was not *the* contract, but was a draft. I had to go over the draft with a lawyer (my lawyer, apparently), approve it, and then they send out the final draft for signatures.

There were a few little things in the contract I did want to clarify with the lawyer, since I had to talk to her anyway. But I wanted to discuss them with my IFs first, so I text B (just because he had been the one I was talking to most recently). But my texts to him were getting out of order and confusing, so they just called me, and we got everything cleared up. Even though there are somethings they prefer to do differently than the way I would prefer, they took extra care to be overwhelmingly respectful and open-minded regarding my opinions, and I really appreciated it. I'm happy to do things their way (to a reasonable extent, of course) because is going to be their baby, and I can tell already that they will take great care to balance my well-being with that of their child. So, I got off of the phone with them feeling better than every about our blossoming relationship and the adventure we are embarking on.

I went right from talking to them to talking with the lawyer, who summarized the important parts of the contract for me, and, since I didn't have big questions (I felt I cleared up everything with B & C beforehand), the conversation took maybe 15 minutes, not the 45+ minutes I as told it might take. It was nice talking to the lawyer, and I did feel that she was invested in my well-being as well.

Not 3 hours later, I received the final draft of the contract, which I was instructed to print, initial, sign and scan or fax back. All 30 pages. Unfortunately, the document was password protected, or else we could have signed it all with our fingers on my phone. Instead, we printed it out Saturday evening. And my printer ran out of ink on page 14. So, Sunday we headed to my mom's and printed the rest. Initialed every page, signed, scanned (on a flat-bed scanner, so I had to individually scan each page), and I'm just getting ready to email it when I realized we had initialed the wrong corner. Doh! So we go through it all again, and finally email it in. IFs told me they sent theirs' Saturday, so we started off this business week with legal FINALIZED! I kinda got the chills writing that. This is really happening, really, for reals. Finally. So excited.

So, the lawyers should have sent word to IVF office that we are good to go, and we should be getting calendars real soon, I think. As a matter of fact, as soon as I hit "Publish" here, I'll be emailing the nurse over there to see what I should be doing with regards to my birth control pill. I know they don't have the calendars ready yet (and I'm okay with that; check out my mad patience skillz, yo!), but I'm coming to the end of an active packet, and I don't want to stop for the next 5-7 days if that's going to mess up the timing one they do have a calendar, because I don't want anyone to have to wait on me, because we are on our way! Next post *should* have dates in it! And then I get my meds and get to start getting poked regularly! :-D

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On Track

(You must read the following in a sing-songy voice.) I got it, I got it, I got it. We got our contract, we got our contract. We're really doing this thang! Finally! :)

There was very little in the contract that I haven't heard many times before in other paperwork I've seen, and nothing that we can't deal with. One thing that Tony brought to my attention is that we'll need permission to travel outside of a 50 mile radius after 24 weeks, which is a tiny inconvenience seeing as my in-laws live about 70 miles away and we usually visit them once a month. But I imagine if we ask politely and know exactly where a nearby, covered hospital is, it won't be a problem. Especially since my in-laws live closer to most of the nearby airports. We'll also need permission to leave the country for the cruise I'd like to take in March that includes a stop in Ensenada. :)

There also seems to be a little concern about my dyed hair, which my case manager from my old agency brought up up as well. My IFs seemed to have made the effort to be respectfully, assuming that it's important for me to dye my hair. I've had fun with my hair the last year or so, but have always planned on stopping before transfer, so that's so not an issue to me. I think that, while pregnant with my own, I dyed my hair maybe once, if at all. And definitely not in the first trimester.

Tony still needs to finish reviewing the 30 page contract, but I'm hoping to have it emailed back before we go to bed so that they can let the doctor know we're ready to go. Maybe I'll get meds for my birthday next Wednesday! :-D The lawyers' office would like for us to call and discuss the contract, but seeing as I don't really have any questions or concerns, I'm hoping we can gloss right over that and get this show on the road!

My new fantasy timeline is meds for my birthday, 3-day transfer scheduled for January 10, beautiful embryos push us back to 5-day transfer on the 12th, meaning I can surprise Tony with tickets to The Book of Mormon on the 11th for his birthday (the 14th). And then a fantastic positive beta near the end of January and a happy, healthy baby 9 months later. :-D

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chilling out max

I let my case manager have a whole week off from my annoying emails last week (I generally try and keep them to once a week unless I have something relevant to say), and waited until Monday to ask for an update. So, on my behalf, she bothered the lawyers for news and they said the contract was sent to my IFs last week, and once they approve it, it comes to me. Yay!

Getting this information made me come to terms with the fact, which has been apparent for sometime, but I've been refusing to see, that we won't be transferring in 3 weeks. And I was a little bummed about that. But then I thought about it, and realized there is really no reason to be bummed. That was just an arbitrary date I had chosen on the "Get Tiffany Knocked Up ASAP" timeline. This timeline had been in place with the idea, originally, way back in March, that I would complete my first surrogacy in time to celebrate our host son's birthday with him in August 2013. With every delay along my whole journey, that has become less and less likely, and became an impossibility around the time I switched agencies. But I have been having a hard time letting go of the idea and the associated sense of urgency. Until last night. During one of my many awake hours laying in bed, I realized that I don't *need* for this to happen right this very second. Of course, the sooner the better, and I'm a little bummed I won't be giving B&C a positive pregnancy test for Christmas, but I don't need to stress about a timeline right now. As a matter of fact, transfer after Christmas would be better, because we're going to Disneyland the first week of January and I love me some Space Mountain. :-)  So, for the first time in this very long process, I'm going to not worry about how fast things are moving. As long as they're moving. :-P

Also on Monday, I was thinking, casually, I hadn't heard from my IFs last week, and then I saw C liked my new family pictures on the Facebook, and I was thinking, that was nice, and that's good enough for me, a friendly, casual relationship. And then he commented. :-)  And then he texted to wish us a preemptive happy Thanksgiving, and we got into a discussion regarding Black Friday. I know the relationship is in its infancy, and things will be different once we really get going, but I am just so happy with what we've got going so far. Even though things aren't moving as quickly as I thought they would (which is no longer a big deal, see above), I still feel like this is definitely the family I should be working with. Heck, I would have been content with the like on Facebook. I'm easy (as evidenced by the fact that no one will know who the father of my next baby will be). ;-)

And it's late now, and I'm rambling, and there's cranberries to make tomorrow. :-)  Wishing all of my American friends a happy and hearty Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lawyers and Politics

Turns out my optimism was not misplaced. :) Now that I think about it, that is accurate in several regards.

I emailed my case manager Monday afternoon, and heard back Tuesday morning that, in fact, she did make the legal referral last Thursday and forgot to tell me about it. Yesterday afternoon I got the retainer from law office, and signed it and returned it before bed. I'm not sure how soon contracts will follow after that, but I'm choosing to be optimistic and guess 2 hours. That sounds about right, huh? :) I've been my squeaky little self and just emailed my case manager to make sure that it's been requested that the lawyers hurry their bums up with the contract. Some of my surro sisters have me paranoid, saying they've waited up to 2 months just to see a contract.  Eek!

I am also feeling quite relieved about the results of the election. By no means do I think Obama is the second coming, but he was the best option by far. The embarrassing and tragic backwards leaps in human rights that may have occurred under Romney's rule made me so anxious until those final numbers were in.

I am beyond thrilled that marriage equality triumphed in three states (and voters shot down discrimination in a fourth). This is the first time same-sex marriage has won when taken to the polls. I love that this seems to represent a huge shift in the way the general public feels/thinks. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if we'd be here, I don't think even I would have been that optimistic. It's such a contrast from the bittersweet of four years ago when Obama won but Prop H8 was passed here in California. We're finally supposed to hear back from the Supreme Court on that this month sometime. Finally. It's really embarrassing that California is lagging so far behind.

Despite my happiness with the turn of the election, I was terribly disheartened by the vitriolic remarks of a few people on my Facebook. Mostly friends of friends and my Mormon aunt, but the harshness of their comments was really disgusting. You would think they (successful individuals with good jobs and nice homes) had spent the last 4 years in hell under the rule of an iron-fisted Obama. I was especially concerned by one of my very good friends, a single guy very proud and attached to his money, ranting about a tax that passed here in California in order to fund schools. I know that I should let post-Election Day comments roll off my back, but... :-/

I'll just enjoy being on the winning side for a while.  :-D

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Waka waka waka...

Guess what I am doing in Surro World right now? Did you guess waiting? Then you've obviously been paying attention. :) I think we are still pre-legal (I didn't realize there was a step we needed to complete before the lawyers could start working on the contracts, but apparently there is), because my case manager told me she would let me know when she sends us off to the lawyers, and she didn't tell me that happened yet. And, really, I'm kind of afraid to ask, because if I don't ask, I can pretend that that actually did happen, and she just forgot to tell me. :-D

To be fair, an actual natural disaster may be responsible for a little bit of our delay, so I'm trying to be sensitive and patient regarding all that. And I really have been. The only place I'm not patient is here and in my head, so it doesn't affect anyone involuntarily. :)

I've been in contact with my IFs a little throughout this week (I totally involuntarily grinned when I wrote "IFs." And used "involuntarily" twice in 2 sentences. :-/ I strongly dislike being repetitive in my prose, but this Daylight Savings business has me exhausted and my brain no work good right now.), which has been nice. Checked up on them during Sandy, and wished them a Happy Halloween, and got to see a picture of their son all dressed up. :-D

I'm a little unsure about how to progress the relationship at this point. I certainly want to know more about them, and share more about myself, but texting seems like an odd medium for that. I'm leaning towards email, but I know how hard it is to get a chance to respond thoughtfully to an email with a two year old running around and an otherwise full day. And there's that tiny little voice that says "Don't be too anxious! They'll think that's weird! Chillax!" But I like them, and think that we could be friends, and I think that they're waiting on me to take the lead on this, because they emphasized having a relationship that *I* was comfortable with. But maybe I'm being too eager... And, hey, if they've gotten the chance to venture over to my blog, now it's all mote. :-p :-D But the main plan for this week is to write them an email, touching on some of the things I forgot to ask but am curious about (For example, do they have any interest in me pumping? Do they want me to test before beta?), and sharing a little bit more about Life Thompson. :-D

Two things before I rest my weary head: Don't forget to vote for equal rights on Tuesday. I won't say who, exactly, you should be voting for, but I trust your judgment. ;) Secondly, we had a super fantastic Halloween. Witness us in all of our glory:
(Oh, the classiness of a picture of a picture. I think it's the only picture we got where everybody is looking in the same general direction.)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

MMMM (My Magical Match Meeting)

Ah, Sunday, the day of rest. For reals and for trues today. Firmly planted on the couch for the time being, and I hope only to make it as far as around the block if the kids want to go on a bike ride. A big agenda of blogging, story reading, dish washing, and lawn mowing, for the most part. :-D

So, back to our little trip down to LA...Tony and I flew out Thursday night, making to the (very nice) hotel just in time to go to sleep. Despite the comfy bed, we both slept poorly (Nerves? The fact the I forgot my pillow for, like, the first time ever?), but jumped out of bed at 6:30 to make sure we had plenty of time to get to the agency offices in Friday morning traffic.

We were downstairs just before 7:00 to meet the taxi I had ordered for a 7:00 pick-up Thursday night. Which wasn't there. At 7:10, it still wasn't there. I called them again, and they tried telling me that my taxi voucher number wasn't valid. If that was why they didn't send a taxi, it would have been nice if someone called to let me know that was going on. Some other random taxi was there, and he told me the voucher was just fine with him. It made me nervous, since I know nothing about taxis and vouchers and all that, but he insisted it was fine, the woman on the phone from the taxi company seemed to have no interest in sending us a cab, and I was anxious to get going, so we hopped in.

The ride to downtown LA was mostly unremarkable. We arrived early, which was a unfamiliar situation for us. :) But that did mean that we got to wait in the meeting room on the comfy couch and anxiously exchange glances every time we heard the office doorbell ring.

Everyone arrived, and the psychologist talked with us very briefly before B & C came in and the official meeting started. The psychologist directed the conversation, and it all went pretty much exactly as perfect as I could have hoped. It was the amazing match meeting that everyone says they have that I used to be so jealous of. I loved them, and especially loved hearing about their son (just a month older than Teagun!) and the level of communication they said they are interested in. They talked about casual texting with their last surro, and checking in at least every few days, and being open to hearing any little complaints and comments I want to share. And that is exactly what I've been looking forward to! Feeling like a valued member of a close knit team, and sharing all the little highs and lows of pregnancy in real time. That is so important to me. The only thing we don't see eye-to-eye on is having an amnio (they want one, I'd prefer not to), but I would absolutely do it if it's something that's important to them, as it's not a deal breaker for me. However, I will admit that I hope that the new MaterniT21 test will dissuade them, as it's supposed to be significantly less invasive, posing no risk of miscarriage, and significantly more accurate (0.2% false positive versus 5% with amnio). :)

After the official meeting, we headed over to IHOP to just hang out for a bit. Despite my general "distaste" for breakfast, Tony and I split a crepe meal, and it was quite yummy and just the right amount of food to tide me over until lunch. We all talked for a good long while until B & C had to run to catch their plane. I guess it's a great indicator of what an amazing time I was having, because I have no idea how long the whole encounter lasted, and that's saying something, coming from somebody who constantly needs to know what time it is. I didn't check my phone once (I don't think). I so enjoyed talking to them, hearing about their lives and their activism and their son. B gave me his card so we didn't have to wait for the agency to share our contact info, and we split with hugs and in mutual agreement that we're all really excited about this match.

I wish that we had had more time, but I totally understand that they want to get back home to their son, and I can't wait to meet the little guy I'm going to help make a big brother. I kept thinking of all the things I forgot to ask, but I keep reminding myself that we now have phone and texting and email, etc. to continue to get to know each other. We've already started exchanging little texts. :)

I was a little thrown when they asked about my blog, as I had forgot I had mentioned wanting to keep one in my application. I had fully planned on telling them about it, and having them read it throughout our journey if that was something they were interested in, but it just wasn't something that was on my radar Friday morning, so I was a little surprised when they brought it up. Officially, I'm thrilled they're interested, and that was always a goal of this blog, when the time rolled around, for my IPs to be able to follow along with everything pregnancy. But after I shared the link with them, I have to admit, I got a little nervous. Primarily regarding all of the stuff that went on with my previous IPs. Would/will B & C think I was a flake or a bad person for discontinuing that relationship? I hope not, but I can't change what happened. It was a very hard decision for me to make, but I ultimately think it was the right one, especially since it led me here. And I certainly don't want to hide anything from them, and I think this is the best way for them to fully understand the situation. I think the only real mistake I made there was agreeing to the match in the first place. When my old agency presented the couple, I felt like this was their last ditch effort at keeping me with them, and (my own doing, not their's, at all) I felt a little backed into a corner. They were trying so hard to make this work, I felt I should too, even though I always had little doubts that I kept trying to ignore, trying to talk myself into that being the match I wanted. And that part was my fault, and that part I regret. I never should have tried to force it, and I am very sorry that my actions hurt J & S in the end. I still feel bad about that. But now is about onwards and upwards, and there are no doubts, quiet or otherwise, here.

So, tomorrow, the legal department should be getting the word to expedite the contracts, and the psychologist said we could see those as early as this week! (I'll believe it when I see it, but, still, EEE!!!) And once they have our signed contracts back, the doctor can start making up a calendar for when I can start meds (double EEE!!!)! She (the psych) estimated we could be good to go with their 28 (!) frozen embryos in as soon as 6 weeks! Happy birthday to me!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Aloha!

I know you all missed me whilst we were living it up on the island, Aloha-style. And let me tell you, it was an amazing vacation. I could very happily live on Oahu. Once you imported the rest of my family. Or most of them, at least. :-)
We were super-extra lucky that my mother-in-law was able to join us. Like my mom, she pretty much takes over the children whenever she's around, and that's really A-okay with me. To me, a vacation implies relaxation, to some extent. Without my mother-in-law joining us, it certainly would have between a Hawaiian adventure, but I'm not sure any relaxation would have been achieved. As it was, we definitely managed some relaxation and grown-up time. Whenever my mind starts to wander, it inevitably ends up back in the ocean, during our midnight swim. That's pretty much where I want to spend the rest of my life. Or, at least, until I get pruney.
Soooooo, guess what's happening Friday!!! Match meeting, match meeting! I'm so excited. It seems like it's been such a long time coming, I'm feeling more relieved than nervous. Finally! /sigh The biggest issue I have is that the meeting takes place at 8:30am, and to say I'm not a morning person is quite the understatement. We don't even get into LA until almost 9:00 the previous night, so it's not like we're going to have a lot of time for rest beforehand. And B & C will certainly have the upper hand because, to those East Coast boys, it will feel like 11:30. After the official meeting, we are all supposed to go out together for breakfast or coffee, but...I don't eat breakfast or drink coffee. :-\ A piece of fruit will get me through until lunch, at which time I would love to share a giant burrito and a diet coke. But a big breakfast makes me feel blah all day. Oh well, I totally understand that they want to get home at a reasonable hour; they've got a much longer flight than we do.
I've decided to take them some baked goods because that's what I do. I think I've settled on my latest invention, chocolate chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter cookie dough chunks. Yeah, you're jealous. ;-)
Sending special love to my host son, Adii, who said he loves my blog because it's so me. That means a lot, that somebody who knows me feels like my blog is an accurate representation of my craziness. :-)
And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll leave you with the Hawaiian equivalent of several thousand words. :-D  Next time you hear from me, I should be matched! (Oh, just got a little nervous tummy feeling...oh, holy crap, what should I wear?!) Aloha!

























Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Soon, but not soon enough

Good news is that my new case manager, L, called on Monday (while I was on the stair machine at the gym, huffing and puffing) to discuss my availability for our match meeting. I let her know that I would *love* if we could do it Thursday, 10/11, since we're going to Hawaii on Friday. She said she'd get back to me after she talked to B & C. Turns out, unsurprisingly, this Thursday isn't doable for them, so we're scheduled for 8:30am on Friday, 10/26. Since getting down to LA by 8:30 would mean getting up ridiculously early, and would make me a zombie, we're heading down the night before to, hopefully, get a good night's sleep before our big meeting.

I'm pretty bummed we have to wait 2 weeks to meet B & C, but I am so excited about having that magical match meeting. I don't want to put pressure on the meeting but, ya know, too late. :)

L was nice enough to answer my request for a optimistic timetable for our journey here, and she guesstimates a transfer around Christmas/New Year's. I'd prefer earlier, of course, but I'll take what I can get. :-D

See if you can follow this little amusing bit: L said, in her email, that part of our journey will include transferring of my records from Dr. K to Dr. R, and a phone consult with Dr. R to establish me as a patient. And I'm reading this thinking, Oh, doesn't she know that Dr. K already has my records, and I already did a phone consult with him? And then I read it, and reread it, and realize that she's implying that Dr. R is going to be my doctor. The part she doesn't realize is that Dr. R is actually the one that did my initial screening, back with my old agency. I've already been to that office and did all of my screenings there. Apparently, B & C must be one of the very few couples with my new agency that happen to work with Dr. R. I'm hoping that little coincidence will help things move a little smoother. Only a little bummed it sounds like the transfer won't be taking place in New York. Que sera. :)

Like I mentioned, Friday my lovely family and I are hopping a plane to fly on over to Hawaii for a week. I am so looking forward to sandy beaches, Mai Tais and surfing lessons. My mother-in-law will be joining us on Monday so that I can more thoroughly enjoy the latter two. :) Nothing at all should be happening in my Surro World over the next 2 weeks, anyway, so don't feel like you're missing anything if you don't hear from me for awhile. Aloha!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Well, who wouldn't love me?

Just a few more days until we get to schedule our match meeting! Let me tell you how very much my head will explode if they don't call me on Monday. As much as I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get to make it out to New York at some point, I would trade New York for the opportunity to get officially matched before we head to Hawaii next Friday. It would be super awesome if boring paperwork stuff could happen whilst we're in Hawaii and we can get a jump on all the good stuff.

Now that all of our other drama has abated, I've had a few minutes here and there to do what all completely sane people, as evidenced by my passing of the MMPI, would do given this sort of delay, is try and google the hell out of my new potential IPs. I am very disappointed to say I have yet to locate a Facebook page, but I am relatively certain I've found a profile of one IF on another social media site, and have been using my apparently considerable self-control to stop myself from messaging him. :)

Even in the security of having been "chosen," I've had time to get a little nervous...what was it they chose? Who are they expecting? Did I oversell myself in my enthusiasm? To assuage these little murmurings, I went back to my profile to see who they think I am. Turns out, they love...me! In rereading my letter, especially, I felt like I did a great job of explaining who I am, which is good because I apparently wrote quite the novella. And I gotta say, I may be a tiny awesome. Of course they love me. ;) Actually, all this proves is that I have a little talent with the written word, but I think it's a fun little synopsis of Tiffany. If you've got the time. :-D (For the sake of clarity, I have to admit I've apparently left out my tendency towards messiness in my very brief list of faults.)

Dear Intended Parents,

Hello, my name is Tiffany, and I want to be your surrogate. :)  I'm sure you'll understand if this is a sort of awkward letter to write.  I'll do my best, but I apologize if it lacks proper narrative flow. :)

I don't remember when the thought of being a surrogate first entered my mind, but I can tell you that it's been somewhere in my head for at least 10 years.  It hasn't been so much a question of if I'd do it, but when.  Now, 2 children later, with definite plans not to have another right now, it seems like the ideal time.

I cannot even fathom the joy it will bring us all to work together to make you parents.  We were lucky to become parents pretty much exactly when we planned, and I look forward to helping make your dreams of becoming parents come true as well.

While, admittedly, there are parts of pregnancy that are not exactly a walk in the park, overall, I found it to be an incredible experience I look forward to repeating, especially labor and delivery.  With my son, I used a self-hypnosis program to manage the contractions, and we had an amazing, drug-free birth.

I'm hoping to be matched with parents who would like to form a real relationship with myself and my family, and to continue that after the birth of your child.  I would like to help you experience this pregnancy as much as possible with me (I hypothetically plan to keep a blog), to the extent that you're comfortable with.  After the birth, I'd like to continue to hear how your family is doing, as long as it works out for both of our families.  Depending on circumstances, maybe we could get together for a picnic once in a while.  :)

About myself: I am lucky enough to be a stay-at-home-mom to 2 crazy awesome little kids.  Our daughter, Kismet, is 4, and is the poster child for precociousness.  She's the life of any party and makes friends as easy as the rest of us breathe. She enjoys reading, exploring and experiments. Our son, Teagun, is 2, and is a loving, sensitive boy, and a study in unpredictability.  He's as likely to start a random dance party as throw a tantrum. He likes balls, blocks, trains and babies.  They keep me very busy with trips to the library, park, kung-fu lessons and just general climbing all over.

(This part is no longer accurate, but it's what they saw.) We also currently have an exchange student, Klara from Sweden.  She attends the local high school as a senior, and is managing to have a blast, even in our little town.  She'll be with us until June.  She's the 5th exchange student we've had, and we love it, despite the inevitable pain of good-bye (so we have experience at giving kids we like back to their parents).  :)

My husband, Tony, works as a critical care transport nurse, and we're lucky to have him home 7 full days every two weeks (he works 12 hour days the other 7 days).  He is my best friend and soul mate (gag, I know ;) ), and I know everyday how lucky we are to have found each other.  We've been together for 7 years, and we look forward to holding hands when we're old and wrinkly.

We currently live in Manteca, a small city just about smack dab in the middle of California.  My family lives here as well, and we're lucky enough that they are all incredibly supportive, and willing to lend a hand anytime we may need it.  Tony's mom comes out to spend the night once a week and get in her grandchildren time, and that's usually the point where Tony and I run out for a few minutes of grown up time. We also have a lot of friends and family in the San Jose area, so we try to make it out there at least once a month.

I was born and raised in Manteca, but was lucky enough to live in the Bay Area for 8 years, 6 of which were spent in San Francisco.  While I was in San Francisco, I attended San Francisco State University, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with minors in Human Sexuality and Special Education.  I never quite figured out what I wanted to do with my degree, and have spent the years between then and now working with autistic children, as a nanny, as a tutor, an exchange student representative, a substitute teacher, and finally as a stay-at-home-mom.

If I had to describe myself, I'd first like to point out that I find honesty, in myself and others, to be incredibly important.  I despise lying, even about little things.  I find it a matter of respect, something I also feel is vital.  I try to treat everyone with respect, including children.  I'm also an overwhelmingly happy, easy-going, open person who appreciates the fun, little things in life (and was incredibly lucky to find someone to spend my life with who also enjoys pretty sunsets and silly jokes).  On the flip side, I battle laziness everyday and am only lately getting better at managing my time.  I also am finally really growing out of my shyness.  On good days.  :-)

We consider ourselves a little bit hippie.  We cloth diapered, breast fed, co-sleep and wore our babies.  We try to grow some of our own food, with moderate success (gophers not withstanding), and make most of our meals from scratch.  I make yogurt for the kids, and we just started making our own bread on a regular basis, in an effort to keep highly processed and artificial stuff in our foods to a minimum.  Which is not to say I don't enjoy my daily Diet Coke, but we do try to eat better than average.  We usually eat out once a week, and that's usually just Tony and I, for our weekly lunch date, and 90% of the time, we frequent a local Mexican restaurant or taqueria.

I really enjoy baking (I fantasize about turning my hobby into a career someday), and look forward to someday having time to play videogames again.  I used to especially enjoy Final Fantasy games and World of Warcraft.  I also love reading, mostly fantasy and sci-fi.  I'm a proud geek, and some of my major geek outs include Buffy (and most things Joss Whedon does), Star Trek: The Next Generation, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Harry Potter and True Blood.  I also like running.  Oh, and bargains.  Bargain shopping is definitely a hobby of mine.  :-)  I also love traveling, and hope to finally make it to Europe for the first time in the next 2 years.

I hope that you've found this letter mostly informative, and I've given you a decent little snapshot of who I am.  I think this is going to be an amazing experience, with a lot of ups, and a few downs, probably (I hear there are a lot of needles involved ;) ), and I am really looking forward to finding an incredible couple with whom to join on this journey.  If I'm not the super-awesome surro for you, I wish you the very best in finding her, and a happy and healthy experience for you all.  And if my letter and application do speak to you, I am very much looking forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
Tiffany

Sunday, September 30, 2012

And the verdict is...

Jumping right to the end, and to what everyone is here to see...B & C received my profile on Friday and I wasn't expecting to hear back, since they're on the East Coast and I know they got it on the later side, but they must have been almost as enthusiastic about me as I am about them because I got a call just before close of business yesterday saying they "absolutely love, and I mean love" my profile (I may have listened to the message once or twice more than necessary). It was a needed high in an otherwise rock bottom kind of day.

I guess my whole agency is going on vacation next week, so, had my IFs (Can I call them that now, even though we've gotta do the match meeting to make it official?) not been so enthusiastic, I would have had to wait not only the weekend, but a whole additional week to hear about how awesome I am. I was not pro that. As it stands now, I have to wait until Monday the 8th to schedule our match meeting, which is super awesome that it's happening, but the delay pretty much dashes my hopes of a match meeting in New York City before we leave for Hawaii on the 12th. The likelihood of the match meeting happening at all before Hawaii seems pretty slim unless they can do it on the 11th, which means we would fly home on the 12th and then turn around and fly to Hawaii. Which doesn't seem like a particularly good idea, on one hand, but if it means we can avoid a 2 week delay... We all know how these weeks add up. And I imagine B & C are similarly motivated to move quickly. We'll see. In a week. :-p

And now moving backwards another day, to Thursday and our trip to LA! This was a helluva a day, lemme tell you. We left the house at 6:30am for what was supposed to be a 1 hour drive to make our 8:45 flight. Sitting in ridiculous stop-and-go traffic on 580 (How do people do this everyday?!), we get rear-ended. We were in the far left lane, and the other driver tries to pull over into the center divide (very dangerous and should never happen except in emergency situations), but Tony eventually coaxes her to the right shoulder. Inspection shows no damage to either car, and the surely psychosomatic twinge in my neck has now abated, but all of this means we're parking at the airport at 8:15. Super fast walk to the terminal only to find we're in the wrong terminal. Now, despite both us of sporting flip-flops and overly full bladders, we're running. We get there, get our boarding passes, and get into the security line that's 3 rows long. We make it to row 2 and I ask with desperation in my voice and eyes, if someone can please let our plane know we're here, and we're trying, as it is now 8:22 and our flight leaves at 8:45 (I don't know if I thought they'd hold the flight for us or what, but I felt like I had to do *something*). She let us cut the rest of the line, and we sped through security and ran to our gate, where they were just lining up our section. We ran to the bathroom in record time and made it on, the last people on the flight. Phew!

The flight was nice and quick, and we landed into Burbank to find a driver waiting, holding a sign with my name. For serious. I was so bummed I forgot my memory card (remembered my camera, but forgot the memory card), 'cause I totally would have made him take a picture with us. The drive to the agency was nice, especially considering we got to enjoy it from the back of a Lincoln Towncar. We got all touristy when he drove past Warner Bros. Studios. The only downside to drive was I got a very surprising email saying that our exchange student, who was supposed to be here until June, would have to be going home next week. It's a very long story, but suffice to say, it was a really upsetting, stressful email to get at the beginning of our exciting day in Los Angeles, and it hung like a giant boulder over my head all day, as I had immediately wrote an email back trying to argue with the organization, and they never responded to me.

Anyways, we made it to the agency office, which I have to note was on the 13th floor, and got situated in a nice little room to await our meeting with the psychologist. We appreciated the view of the Hollywood sign while we waited. Our meeting with the psychologist went very well, and then I got to do the MMPI again. Apparently last time I only had to do an abridged version, because I'm fairly sure the one I did last time was only about half of the length of this 567 question behemoth. And regardless of how assured of your own sanity you are, it can be kind of intimidating when you're exhausted, overstressed and the statements use words like "oftener" (Am I the only for whom that was terribly distracting?! "More often," not "oftener!"). On several occasions it took me several passes to make sure I properly understood a statement, and more than once I had to go back because I accidentally clicked true instead of false or vice versa. But I did eventually get through it, and therefore completed all of my screening. Huzzah!

After that, since all of our medical stuff was already done, we were free to wander LA until our return flight at 4. We meandered down towards The Grove (Thanks Andrea!), passing through the La Brea Tarpits on the way. I suppose I admire the ingenuity of Los Angeles to turn a natural blight into an attraction, but lemme tell you, that stuff is noxious! The Grove, however, is a very nice little area, and we ate above and beyond at The Cheesecake Factory. It was so very, very yum. After which, we headed back to the airport, where we arrived in plenty of time, and zoomed on back to Oakland, and then home. Had I not had other stress weighing me down, it would have been a more or less great day, but, as it was, it was pretty darn nice.




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My take on The New Normal

I've been meaning to write this blog for a few weeks now, and I'm glad I didn't get around to it until today, because I finally got a chance to see the 3rd episode, and it was the best by far.

I imagine 99% of you already know about this new show, The New Normal. If you don't, it's an NBC show centered around a gay couple and their surrogate. Supported by the surro's daughter, the surro's bigoted grandmother and the sassy African American assistant of one of the Intended Fathers.

The good: just the fact that this show exists is awesome. We've got to start somewhere. I love that they don't shy away from affection between the IFs, and that the surro, despite looking like a stereotypical airhead, is intelligent and well-spoken. There are some great lines.

The "bad": with the exception of the stereotypical sassy black assistant ("This is why my people spank!") who seemed to be completely absent from the third episode, the show is practically lily white. This issue clearly isn't unique to this show, but for a show that is showcasing diversity in other areas, I had hoped for better. I also don't appreciate the over-the-topness of the grandmother. There's addressing bigotry in a realistic, helpful manner (Episode 3!) and then there's playing racism/heterosexism for a laugh, which is what I feel like they do 95% of the time with the grandmother. I guess I'm a prude because I don't find prejudice funny. ;-)  Also, I guess I was a little annoyed by how flippant the IFs were portrayed regarding the whole process; deciding to have a baby because they make good accessories; choosing an egg donor because she looks like Gwyneth Paltrow... :-P 

Episode 3: I am very glad I decided to continue giving the show a chance, because I thought this was the best episode yet. It dealt with real life-type bigotry in a heartfelt and humorous manner, as well as touched on the fears all parents face with pregnancy.

I hope the show continues to move in the same direction, and they mellow Nana out quite a bit. I can't imagine anyone willingly spending time with someone that awful, and my grandma still calls black people "colored." :-\ Regardless, I'll probably still watch it because there's nothing else that comes close on TV.

In other news, nothing of note except half of my test results came back and I have to do a quick course of antibiotics (boo!). Oh, and we're going to LA in 36 hours! Woot! :-D

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm not going to get my hopes up...

Aww, it's too late, my hopes are up. I received a profile yesterday of a couple on the East Coast, W & J. When my coordinator initially gave me an overview of them over the phone, I was a little iffy because they already have a child through surrogacy, and I always envisioned my journey to be with first time parents. But then, when I was reading their profile, I found that I felt more connected to them because we have the parent thing in common.

Actually, there were a lot of things I really love about them. Their son is 2, like ours. They've also been working on this journey for several months and have suffered major setbacks. They're all ready to go with frozen embryos, which is super awesome. They seem like great guys individually and like a loving couple and wonderful parents. They are also very politically active in the LGBT community, which I love.

A possible super bonus is that they might be working with my agency's New York office. Which might mean we could possibly go to New York for match meeting and transfer. I've never been, but I've always wanted to, so that would be amazing.

The one thing I wasn't thrilled about with their profile is that they want to have an amino done, which I am not keen on. I'm hoping we can talk them out of that.

So I love them, but they don't even know of me yet. The agency won't share my profile with them until I'm completely cleared. I've completed all the medical tests they need, we're just waiting for the results. And, whoo-hoo!, on Thursday Tony and I are jetting down to LA for our psych screening. Yay! So, I'm thinking they're going to be rushing results, and as long as we can get those other pesky test results, we might be all clear on Friday, and W & J might be able to peruse my profile by next weekend. So, I'm hoping that, next Monday, W & J will let the agency know they love us, and want me to carry their baby, and then we get to schedule our match meeting. I'm keeping all of my fingers crossed that can happen before October 12, when we go to Hawaii, so that boring stuff can happen while we're in Hawaii. :-)

I'm also having issues getting proof of coverage from my insurance. I'm covered through my husband, and there is nothing that says that surrogacy is excluded, but I need to get a letter officially saying that our insurance will cover me. I called last Friday, and was told it would take a week to research the issue. I got a voicemail yesterday saying it would be another week. Which is ridiculous. So I'll be on that Monday. It's not necessary that they cover me, because I've been approved for back-up insurance, but having our own insurance makes me a more "attractive" candidate.

So, not getting too excited that these guys are the "ones." Except I am. ;-)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nothing to see here

I'm sure you're all wondering how many wonderful and exciting things happened in Tiffany Surro Land this week, huh? None. Yup. Big, fat nothing going on here.

Monday, the day I was supposed to be scheduling my jaunt to LA passed with nary a peep from my main contact. I did hear from the finance guy (actually, I found his email in my spam box from Friday, as well as 2 other, less vital emails from my agency. Bad spam filter!) and I got my compensation package signed and back to him. I also heard from their IVF office liaison about a few extra tests the doctor needs from me to have me completely cleared, and clarification on a few items on my medical history, like my tattoo from last October. They prefer a full year between tattoo and pregnancy, and that's going to be the case here, but it's not quite a full year yet. Also on Monday, my old agency briefly tried to poach me back (with the snail's pace we're moving at here (okay, it's probably super-fast in surro time, but seeing as it's Take 2 for me, it seems like it's taking forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver), I wish they had been successful). The director was meeting with a gay couple in Sacramento, and they wanted to know if I would like to hear more about the meeting, no obligation, but then it turned out they're still in the planning and saving stages. Doh.

Tuesday...really nothing. Except an email acknowledging the checking in email I sent Monday, and saying Agency Insurance Lady should call me.

Wednesday, I emailed again. I always try to find some minor, relevant piece of information I need to impart as an excuse to email, so I can slip in a request for a profile or a trip to LA. Astonishingly, this email was fruitful, and I got to see a profile in the late afternoon. Of a wonderfully delightful couple...from Hong Kong. :-/ Seriously? I felt like I was quite clear that having a domestic couple was super important to me. :( I was assured they both spoke English, and visit the US often but, still, I could not even consider trading a couple from China for a couple from Hong Kong. It would be like trading a Gala apple for a Fuji. Yes, two great apples, but if I really want a peach, I'm not going to put everyone through a lot of hardship just to get a different apple. That simile is a little lacking, isn't it? :-/ I regretfully declined, and was told maybe she'd have another profile for me by the end of the week. I figured I shouldn't hold my breath. I was supposed to hear back from IVF liaison today, also.

Thursday...really, really, totally nothing.

Friday, Insurance Lady calls me while I'm right in the middle of getting my kiddos dressed and out the door. Says she'll call back in an hour. I call her back 3 hours later. Apparently she has not been able to email my insurance to confirm surrogacy coverage, so she needs me to call them. I do, and my question throws the very nice customer service rep for quite the loop. She says she'll have to research the question and will get back to me. By next Friday. Of course. I also call IVF Liaison because I got into my OB/GYN at the last minute, and need to know the tests they need (I forget to ask her whether Dr. decided he's okay with my tattoo and stuff). She directs me to the nurse. Nurse is out to lunch. Entire nursing staff is apparently out to lunch. I'm finally able to get ahold of them right before heading into the Dr. office. My nurse at my OB/GYN went above and beyond to find out if she could run those tests and how to get them processed. I was so impressed and grateful (we're talking, like, 30 minutes on hold with the lab). I sent one last email out, early afternoon, begging for that promised profile...

And today, of course, nothing, because early stage surrogacy sleeps on the weekends. Didn't even get to start my period today. Le sigh. But, in case you can't tell, PMSing like a champ. ;)

I will end this entry on a bright note. At my dr appt yesterday, I did a blood draw. Previously, this would leave me a blubbering, light-headed mess. I usually request to lay down and bite the hell out of my hand to distract myself. Yesterday, I sat up, breathed calmly, smiled serenely and took it like a woman. So ahppy with my HypnoBabies "Needles are Okay" track! :-D

Monday, September 10, 2012

Finally, a chance to breathe...and blog

Oh my goodness, was that an adventure. As evidenced by the title of my blog, I have a bit of an interest in baking, which I, some days, dream of turning into a profession. Well, on Saturday, a friend of mine got married and had asked me to do cake/cupcakes. Nevermind that my previous biggest request was for 50 people, I decided I was up to the task of 200 cupcakes and an 8 inch, 3 layer cake. 3 different flavor cakes, which I had to mix in 5 batches due to volume, and 5 different types of decoration. I lost count of the eggs and shortening used (more than 30 and more than 7 cups, respectively). I worked on the decorations off and on for more than a week, and, with the exception of sleeping, devoted most of the 48 hours prior to the wedding to baking. I also had the help of Tony, and for several important hours, my mom. Due to the perils of traveling with frosted cupcakes, we had to decorate on site. I missed the ceremony, but we got it all done, just under the wire, and was able to enjoy the accolades (and alcohol) for the rest of the evening. I'm not sure I'd do such a request again, at least while I'm working out of our house, but it was quite the experience. I can't forget to mention the invaluable help of my mother-in-law, who watched the kids whilst I got my crazy bake on.

Friday was actually a good day in Surro World. The doctor for the new agency called me first thing in the morning, and the only reason that didn't warrant verbal abuse on a day my husband got up with the kids is that he called with good news. He approves my previous screening, so I don't have to redo it for him, which will save a little time and resources. Unfortunately, we'll still have to go to LA for the psych screening, which seems silly, but we can't do that until the counselor returns from vacation (do they not have a back-up? That's surprising to me.) sometime after the 18th. Which I'm just now realizing is less than 10 days from now. And Tony will be off work for 5 days starting on the 19th, so that's perfect. And my coordinator said we'd get to schedule our travel tomorrow (Monday)! Woo! She also promised profiles early in the week (I'm hoping tomorrow as well), since I was, in fact, deemed insurable by their backup insurance. Woot. They've excluded covering everything that ever happened to me before, but they will cover my pregnancy if need be. I'm also supposed to be receiving one more paper from the finance department to sign, and then I think we're all done with the boring stuff! Woo and woot!

In more somber news, ex-IF2 emailed me on Friday, imploring that I come back and "be the surrogate mother to my children!!!" :-( :-( :-(  I married my high school sweetheart because I didn't have the ovaries (instead of balls, get it? ;-) ) to be the bad guy even when, deep down in my heart, I knew it was the right thing to do (being the bad guy was right, not marrying him). I refuse to make lasting decisions motivated by guilt any longer. Or, at least, I'll try not to. That makes me sad, and a little selfish (maybe a lot), but this feels like the right decision. I wrote him back an apologetic, but hopefully firm, email. I am so sorry for the sucky situation I contributed to, and I desperately hope they're matched soon.

And now, cupcakes (and then me collapsing, exhausted)!

P.S. Blogger almost crashed and lost the entry I just spent a half hour Swyping. I would have lost my freakin' shit.



Friday, September 7, 2012

The waiting game sucks...let's play Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Mmm, just finished enjoying the fruits of my labors; I'm baking cupcakes for a wedding this weekend, and part of the decorations involve white and dark chocolate shapes. Fortunately for me, there was a bit of melted chocolate leftover, and apparently, fresh peaches in white and dark chocolate is super yum.

A long weekend, and the necessity of processing time at this point has meant that, despite me checking my email like a crack addict, nothing much has been going on this week. I'm hoping tomorrow (this tomorrow I refer to is Friday, still 10 minutes away for us West Coast Girls) is the big day for news. The insurance company is supposed to approve me within 5 business days, but I don't know if I got my app in under the wire last Thursday, and if the Labor Day holiday will push us back. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow, if not, it should be Monday for sure. But the piece of mind before the weekend would be greatly appreciated.

We should have a tiny bit of exciting going-ons tomorrow. I'm hoping for more than a tiny bit, but the agency's liaison with the doctor called me today and said that he's received my previous screening records (yay!) and she couldn't confirm, but sounded hopeful that they should all be in order. If that's the case, we'll be able to avoid redoing those, and that should cut 1-2 weeks off of our time before matching (YAY!). Either way, the doctor should be calling me tomorrow,and if all the records are in tippy-top shape, and I understand correctly, this will count as my official consultation meeting with him (Yay!).

If all of that goes according to my plan, then psych screening is next. I will do my best to talk them into doing that over the phone as well, since flying down to LA for one meeting is extremely silly to me. But my next best plan is to jet down to LA next Thursday, when Tony is off.

And, then, once all those little things are wrapped up in a pretty little bow, guess what? That's right! Magical match time! (I think I misunderstood before, and I'm not sure when I start to view profiles, but I know it's gotta be soon! :-D)

In other, sadder news, I got an email from J last night. He wasn't sure that the old agency had explained to me exactly what happened (they had), but he felt he owed it to me. He was very sad about my decision, but, according to the 2 translators I used on the email, he either really did or really did not understand my decision (see what I mean about translation being an impairment to a relationship?!). I'm choosing to believe he does understand. He mentioned us being friends, and broke my heart by ending the email with "I'll miss you" (undisputed in translation). I would like to remain friends with him, but we really have no relationship outside of working on his baby, and now that that's not happening, I'm not sure what to discuss. I hope so dearly that another surro is ready and willing to take my place ASAP...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back at the beginning

After technical difficulties on Wednesday, I had my phone interview with my new agency yesterday (Thursday) morning. The coordinator directed me to the place online where I could start filling out my paperwork, and said it should take about a week. Ever the overachiever, I had it all back within 24 hours. :-)  I'm obviously anxious to speed up this process, plus a lot of the information was already in a tidy little folder on my computer.

Part of the application is applying to their insurance company, regardless of the fact that we'll almost certainly use mine. This is the only part that makes me at all anxious. I've never had to apply for insurance before, and nevermind the fact that I'm in good health, there were some questions I had to answer yes to, and I've heard that insurance companies are ruthless. I should have a response from the insurance company in 5 business days.

When I spoke to the coordinator yesterday, she said they should be able to get my medical screening records transferred to their doctor, and as long as he doesn't need anymore information, we should be able to avoid doing that again. She did mention still flying us down just for the psych screening, though. I wonder if we could do that on Skype if I can get the results from my MMPI transferred as well. In addition to wanting to save everyone time, I desperately hope that, if I can avoid incurring much cost for my screening, I can convince the new company to reimburse the old company at least part of the screening costs. That would take some steps towards lessening my guilt.

If I understand correctly, I can start seeing profiles once my background check is completed, and maybe once the insurance approves me as well. So, hopefully late next week? Oh, and the coordinator said she has plenty of American IF couples waiting! Yay! I love that it sounds like there are lots out there so that I won't feel pressured to choose the first profile I see, even if I don't get that magical feeling. I'm not going to try and force anything. That doesn't end well... And then, once I'm medically and psychologically cleared (if I have to go down to LA, it can take up to another 2 weeks after the appointment), they can start showing my profile to any couples I've liked, and we can be matched! And then down to LA for a match meeting, and then contracts and then meds and then transfer and then pregnant and then BABY! :-D  And it will all happen just that smoothly from here on out. :-)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do :(

So, it's official. I'm breaking up with my IPs. I am heart-broken over it, but it's just been one thing after another, and this just isn't feeling like this is where I'm meant to be. The last time I ignored that little voice in my head that said maybe this isn't my ideal situation, I ended up divorced less than a year into my marriage. So, at least this time we didn't get as far as swapping bodily fluids, right?

After some emails to the nurse, the doctor finally called me at 4:45 this afternoon. Turns out there's an issue with J that can take anywhere from 3-12 months to resolve. Apparently they've decided to use S as the genetic father at this time, but I'm just not feeling like this is the match for me anymore. And, based on our history, if I stayed with this couple, as great as they are, something new would happen next week to push us back yet again, and then I'd be kicking myself.

I have massive guilt over this. I like J, and the little I know of S. My case manager is going to write the break-up email, but she said I can email them myself after she's had a chance to if I feel it's necessary. And I do. I  don't imagine us maintaining contact, but I just hope they aren't mad at me, and I hope they get their baby as soon as possible. I haven't met S, but I know J is going to make a great father. I wonder if I can send them a baby shower gift, whenever it does happen.

This match just hasn't been what I was hoping for since the beginning. At every step we've met obstacles, and we were assured that they spoke English, which is important to the relationship I had hoped to build. J speaks English, but doesn't write it, and S does neither. Our emails have been mitigated by Google Translate, which amounts to us talking at each other more than communicating. I want so dearly to be part of a baby-making team, instead of being outsourced (that is not a disparagement to the fantastic women who have and will carry for foreign IPs, you're stronger than I am, just how I would feel working with IPs with whom communication is very limited). So I'm taking my out, and I'm running with it. I sincerely hope that I'm the one who is hurt the most in this situation, and J & S find a surro better suited to their situation to help them build their family.

And me, I still desperately want to be having me a gayby. ASAP. It looks like this decision will lead me to another agency, as well. I don't think that I've named my agency specifically, but regardless, I have nothing bad to say about them. The staff and the director have been amazing. They've gone above and beyond, and have been unbelievably accessible and supportive. Unfortunately, they don't tend to cater to a lot of American gay couples, just by happenstance, and we seem to be in agreement that, if that's what I'm looking for, and I am, this is not the place for me to be. I'm sad to be leaving them, but I am not interested in waiting around here when they are other agencies with plenty of couples that fit my desires waiting for a surro. I just hope that the doctor can transfer my screening records so that we can get this show on the road.

Tonight: wallowing. Tomorrow: new adventures.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How much is too much?

Warning, a rant fueled lightly by rum & coke lies within:

So, on Sunday we had a great visit with J, our IF, which ended with him telling me they were still going to try and use the original egg donor, contingent on J's not being a cystic fibrosis carrier. I knew that J was meeting with the doctor on Thursday, so I've been waiting anxiously all week for confirmation of some sort of plan.

Yesterday (Thursday) morning, I emailed my case manager, fishing for information about the appointment. Normally she's great at responding in a super timely manner, if only to say she's looking into an issue, so I already was feeling like it was a little weird I didn't hear back from her all day. Finally, today at 6:30 in the evening I got an email saying that the doctor would call me "with an update on J and explain the delay, sorry. Once you have heard from (the doctor) please let me know so we can see where you stand on waiting still." Um, huh? This sounds kind of cagey and serious.

Since it was almost 7 on a Friday evening, I was thinking I wasn't going to be hearing from the doctor anytime soon, so I responded, pleading for a bit more information. Are we talking extra testing, a few more weeks, or egg donor issues, a few more months? Turns out it's going "to be a longer wait, a few months, donor issues and more. Doc will explain." Wait, what? What's "more?" Why can't you explain? What's going on and why does it always have to happen before a freaking weekend when the business world shuts down, but my brain keeps on plugging away on its obsessive track? I will still be checking my email with a frequency bordering on addiction, just in case someone forgets that it's Saturday and decides to bless me with some information. And what is happening that is so important that the doctor has to explain? My case manager and the nurses have always been the ones to impart the information before, why is this so different? Clearly it's freaking me out a little bit.

So I have the weekend to stew. To stew over the "more" and the "where (I) stand on waiting still." On one hand, I am, at heart, an extremely loyal person. I literally have guilt for thinking these thoughts. On the other hand, if I'm being honest with myself, I'm having second thoughts about our current situation.

Pro: J seems like a really great guy, and I really enjoyed spending time with him, and my family liked him as well. I've invested time, and he's invested both time and money into this match. I want for him to have his baby(ies) as soon as possible. Also, what does it say about my character that I would jump ship over an extended wait? Who's to say if I found another couple, things would move any smoother?

Con: I understand that things don't always follow a schedule in the real world, but I was told, in May, that we should be transferring in September, at the latest. Now we're looking at, what, December? Next year?! If we hit no more roadblocks, that is. And this is where my biggest issue is, I think: I believe in kismet/fate/destiny/whatever. Things happen for a reason. And that small part of my brain sees all these issues as the universe's way of saying "get out while you can, this isn't the place for you." And the fact that I like J so much is actually playing largely into the con side. It makes me so sad that I'll probably only see him a few more times, at the most, and I don't hear from him on a regular basis; the language and time differences mean that I'll probably never text him to tell him his baby just kicked or post a sono pic on his Facebook. Tonight I am feeling that, back in May, I made the wrong decision to match with J & S. Not because they aren't great people, and won't make fantastic fathers, but I just don't know if they're the couple to make this journey what I've dreamt it could be. And I know it's not all about me; in the long view of this whole baby-making story, I'm just a supporting character. But, for my own mental well-being, I should try and make things a little bit about me, on occasion.

I am feeling so stuck right now. I can hardly stomach the thought of stepping out of this arrangement. I can't handle the idea of hurting J & S and wasting their time and money and forcing them to have to find another surro. On the other hand, I've been shushing this voice in my head for months now, the one I clearly should have listened to when it first said, "Are you sure you want to be matched with a couple on the other side of the world?" And the voice seems to get more ammunition as the process wears on. At what point can I say that this isn't working out for me? Do I want to say that? What is the "more," dammit?!

Monday, August 20, 2012

East and West meet. And have lunch. And bowl.

Oh, wow, that was a long day. Almost all good, but long. It started at 2:30am when my daughter came into bed, and then again at 4:30 when my son woke up, and continued to sleep off and on until my saint of a husband got out of bed with him at 7:45. At which point I got a wonderous half hour or so of solid sleep before I dragged my butt out of bed to face the million little things that needed to be done before J got here.

J text me at 7:00 to let me know he was on his way, and it's a good 5.5-6 hours from LA here, so I figured that we'd be good if we were all ready by noon, so that's what I was shooting for, with lunch being ready at 1:00. At 11:00ish, I got a call from J, saying something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, but I think I'm at your house." Apparently he couldn't sleep last night, so he'd actually left the hotel at 4:30am, and had actually spent almost an hour walking around the park herebefore he finally decided to come over. I was still in my scrubby pajamas that say "Evil Twins" across the boobs, and still had Clorox soaking in the toilets. Nothing cooked or even in the oven yet.  Regardless, we welcomed him with open arms, and I threw Kismet, a natural life of the party, at him to entertain whilst I gathered my wits

It wasn't long before things started to feel more comfortable (to me, at least). I feel like all the worry about communication was wasted energy. I don't think we understood 100% of what each other said, but I think we understood at least 95% of what he said, and I think he understood at least 85% of what we said. He shared with us a lot about his family (he's the youngest and only boy, with 5 older sisters), and Kismet and I subjected him to 5 volumes of our yearly photobooks, which he seemed to enjoy. We were honored to share his first American meal with him, and it wouldn't have occurred to me if he didn't point it out, but this was the first time he had ever used a knife and fork. He talked about S being the one who likes to cook in their house, and how he looks forward to sharing their food with us when we visit them in Shanghai someday. He mentioned S getting his visa, and the both of them coming back for maybe a month in January/February. He told me that last week, this was his dream, and it still felt like he was in a dream.

After lunch, I was sure to give him an out if he wanted to escape our craziness and go nap at his hotel, but he said he was good, so we invited him out bowling. We've never been as a family, and Kismet has been asking to go for a while. There's not much to do in Manteca, so it seemed like a good diversion. On our ride over, we learned something that may have contributed to J getting  here so quickly: when Tony stopped at the stop signs, J asked him why he was stopping so much, and we had to explain the concept of stop signs. :-o Fortunately J had made it here without any incident, and learned an important lesson. :)

We had a good time bowling, and I learned that bowling on game with the kids takes almost exactly an hour. It was especially nice that J, Tony and I were all pretty evenly matched: we're all just a step or two above sucky. :) Tony won, but it was close. Teagun wasn't that impressed with the whole process, but Kismet loved it.

After we got home, J left rather abuptly, and Tony and I were worried that he wasn't feeling well, but he wrote me a very nice email shortly after he got to his hotel, and apparently I was yawning at the bowling alley, and he was worried he was bothering us. I felt bad that he felt that way, and I hope I sufficiently explained that my children make me tired, and that's just the way of life around here. I don't let it interfere with my life. I was bummed he missed out on the brownies I made. And I didn't even get a chance to make the cookies I was going to send with him. Oh, well.

Besides the very straight forward "I'm so happy," my favorite quote from his email yesterday afternoon was (translated from Chinese) "The pleasant atmosphere into your home, I once had the wrong impression--I am at home. Oh, really good." Which I took to mean that he was so comfortable here he felt like he was at home. I hope, anyways. :)

Before he left, he said that they are still hoping to use the same egg donor, he just needs to get his blood test to confirm he's not a CF carrier. So I'm very much looking forward to the end of this week, when he meets with the doctor so that we can really figure out what's going on.

I am extra super excited about helping this man and his partner have a baby. J was amzing with my kids; you could really tell he loves kids, and my kids loved him. Kismet was so bummed when he left, and Teagun wouldn't let me help him with anything while J was here, "No, J do it!" Tony and J got along great, as well. Even my dogs liked him, and they never like new men.

So, yes, a very nice visit. A nice boost after my private little hissy fit regarding the state of things last week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the slim chance that we stick with this egg donor and I could be pregnant before Halloween. :-D

I was so bummed I forgot my camera, but I got a couple of cell phone pics of bowling. I got no good pictures of J at all.  :(