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


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! 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!