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HUGE UPDATE

There has been a lot going on and I have been too lazy to write my blog (Yes, I am to blame). On 4/08/17, Jane came into town as she has a appointment at CCRM. She invited me to come with her. I met her in Lonetree at a day time eatery called Snooze. It was a really fancy, yummy breakfast place. I got lemon filled blueberry pancakes. They were so delicious! At the appointment we learned some very important details about Jane’s embryos. I wish I could say, but for right now the details of the embryos are going to be left out until she tells me it is okay to release the information. She wants to make sure all her family knows as well as, make sure the transfer goes well before getting hopes too high in the event the transfer fails. In thus, I totally understand. This is her journey too and they are her embryos. All I will say is they look amazing! We also found out that we were able to move the transfer up by a whole month as we will not be doing the 3 weeks of birth control pills. It was great to see her for a few hours. Pretty exciting that the next time we will see each other is for the transfer.

The last thing I blogged about was waiting for the results of my mock. Well, great news! All went well. I went to CCRM on April 10th to find out that my uterine lining was at a 8 mm! That is exactly where we wanted it (needs to be between a 8 mm to 12 mm). After having passed the mock, I am now 110% cleared to be a surrogate with CCRM. How exciting!? Listed below is the email:

Hello everyone!

I hope that everyone had a great weekend!  Ashley came in for her lining check and labs today and everything looks great. Her lining was 8 mm, triple pattern (we like 8-12mm, triple) and her estradiol was 967 (we like >300).  As Ashley meets our requirements and has done all of her follow up regarding clearances that I can now officially grant medical clearance!!!  This means that we are good to schedule a transfer date. I did speak with [other donor nurse] and also with Ashley this morning and the game plan is to start her Prometrium tomorrow along with decreasing her patches so that we can get the May 15th transfer dates.  Ashley starting tomorrow I want you to go down to 2 patches ( you will still change 2 patches every other day just as you have been).  You will then start your Prometrium suppositories three times a day. You will do this for 10 days total. Once you have placed your last Prometrium suppository you will need to take off your 2 patches.  Please know that all of this is tentative based on when Ashley starts her period.

I have requested 5/15 but will not know until tomorrow morning once I get the confirmation that we have the date.  At that time I will send out a calendar for the FET along with instructions.  I don’t think it should be a problem as there are not very many people on that date. Ashley and I did discuss that Dr. Schoolcraft will not be there. [Jane], I know that your preference is for the earliest appointment time. I will put in that request but really have no control over that. We will know the transfer time 2 days prior as it depends on who all is stimulating and getting retrieved on when the transfers will be. They are usually later morning-afternoon.

I have ordered all of Ashley’s medications from Freedom and also her prenatal vitamin through VitaPearl. I will let you both know once they are ordered. Please watch for a phone call as Freedom will be calling [Jane] first for payment and then Ashley for delivery and then VitaPearl will be calling Ashley first and then [Jane].  Ashley is going to see if her insurance will cover any of the prenatal and then [Jane] you would be responsible for the co-pay if she has any left over.  As discussed, if her insurance does not cover anything then it should only be $25 a month.

I will also be decreasing Ashley’s vitamin D down to 2,000 IU once we get into her FET calendar. If you have any questions please let me know.

Best,

[Donor Nurse]

How exciting is that? Also, did you see where we talked about the sFET (single frozen embryo transfer) date? That is right, we have a date confirmed and ready to go. The count down is on. Jane and I are so excited. We are still in shock that this is all happening, now, all so fast. It feels so surreal to us. That is a good things as we are both in this together. Jane and I are ready to conquer anything that comes our way. Here is the other email:

Hello All~

I have received confirmation from our embryologist for an FET on Monday May 15th.  I have attached the Calendar and the Do’s and Don’ts for Ashley to review as these go into effect the day that she starts her Lupron on [April] 20th.  I sent Ashley’s orders via the patient portal.  Ashley I will be calling you to go over the calendar step by step to ensure that we are all on the same page.  Ashley my assistant Nicole can contact you to schedule your appointments on 5/1 and 5/9. Please let me know when the best time would be.  I am going to briefly outline the calendar above.

3/23: CD1

4/11: start Prometrium vaginally 3 times a day; Decrease to 2 patches still changing every other day

4/16: Start Lupron 10 units a day (you can pick AM or PM just once you pick one you need to be consistent) DO’S AND DON’T START (see attached)

4/20: LAST Prometrium; Remove patches after you have placed your last Prometrium suppository

We should expect CD1 around April 23rd  (this is a variable date and the below are tentative)

~4/25: Start patches changing the same time every other day; Lupron DECREASES to 5 units daily; start baby aspirin and prenatal vitamin daily

                  You will continue your patches every other day until instructed otherwise (8.5  weeks pregnant weaning starts)

~5/1: lining check and estradiol level (we will instruct any patch changes after lab results are received)

~5/9: lining check and lab draw

****RN WILL INSTRUCT ON ALL MEDICATIONS FOR BOTTOM OF CALENDAR AT THIS TIME DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING WITHOUT OUR DIRECTION****

Ashley you will need to be in Denver the day prior to the transfer.  We will not have a transfer time until 2 days before when we call with arrival time/ transfer time and transfer instructions.  [Jane] will also get a phone call with all transfer instructions.  The acupuncture is $250 and can be paid in cash, check, or card and will be performed in your room that the transfer is happening before and after. I will get all of the scheduling for the acupuncture taken care of.

All of the dates below April 23rd are tentative due to the fact that Ashley’s period could be shy and not come when we predict that it will.  We have built in a few days into the calendar to help aide in not having to change our dates much but we are at its mercy.  The variable is that Ashley’s lining might develop too quickly so we may need to move transfer up or not develop accordingly (she did great in her mock so we don’t anticipate this but you never know) and we may have to push the transfer out.  As discussed, it is ideal that travel arrangements are not made until after we are sure that we are going to start progesterone unless they are made with an airline that doesn’t charge change fees (like Southwest) or has traveler insurance.  It is very important that you read the fine print in the travelers insurance as some have clauses that exclude IVF patients.  Ashley your bed rest will then be the rest of the day of the transfer and then the whole following day.  You would be able to fly out the next day.  For example transfer on Monday: bed rest the rest of Monday, all of Tuesday and you would drive home on Wednesday.

Ashley, when would be the best time to call and review your calendar.

I know this is a lot of information.  Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

Best,

[Donor Nurse]

So much is happening right now. It is insane. I did not imagine it being so eventful. It is worth it though and I am so excited! I have started my vaginal suppositories x3 a day. Let me tell you they are not pretty. I feel constantly wet in the downstairs region. I will not go into further detail. If you want more feel free to ask, I will tell you ha! The most exciting part is having to do one of them at work. It is funny to see the look on my nurses face when I tell them I need to take a full, strict 30 min break. They ask why so I tell them. You would think it was the first time they ever heard of such a thing. The progesterone tablet takes 30 mins to fully dissolve so I was advised to rest for 30 mins to ensure my body absorbs it. This tablet is considered the end of my mock as we are awaiting my CD1. The progesterone tablet and the x2 patches every other day will help bring on my CD1 as they are acting like birth control working together.

End of the mock, but that start of the busy work started. My meds for the next, now, 29 days came in on Friday (see pic below). There was a lot happening in the package that I received, but I will get it organized and it will be okay. I also received my sFet schedule. To look at it seems overwhelming. However, if you look at it one day at a time, you realize it will be okay. The first day of the calendar starts on 4/16/17. In which I am to still change out my patches x2 every other day, do my vaginal suppositories, take my Vitamin D… now I have added x1 shot a day of 10 units of Lupron and a prenatal. I did my first shot and I survived. I will see if I can upload the video.

Have you seen the facelift on my blog site? It got embellished and I even added a Facebook page, Instagram and a Twitter. Feel free to check out the side bar and follow these pages as I will update my social media pages more often for faster, quicker updates. If you are using the app, you may not see the side bar so log in from chrome or on a desktop.

Surrobaby is already so loved by their momma Jane!

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The pics in order are  the medications I am on. Then the sFET instructions for my meds. When I was getting my lining checked and pom juice is a good beverage due to it is suppose to help with increasing the thickness of the uterus. The Easter basket Jane got me when she saw me at breakfast. I got her one too but I did not take a pic of it. However I did get her a book with a card as well as, some Easter candies. Then of course my social media pages, feel free to follow as well as, share my social media pages on your own personal pages or groups.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns you may have. Since I am a newbie and all, if I do not know the answer, I will find it.

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How could you?

How could you? This is a question I am asked many times in a given week. How could you just have a baby for someone else? How could you just be able to hand over a baby and not blink? How could you not have a bond with that baby? How could you do that? I see the look of anger on their faces as they do not understand the reality of what is to come with the journey I am in. I see the look of confusion as they do not fully understand what surrogacy is. I stand there and look at these faces; trying to explain to them what is going on and how the process works. I try to tell them that this baby is not genetically related to me in any fashion. I try to tell them it’s like extreme babysitting. I try to tell them that even though I am pregnant I go into this knowing it is not mine. I know that with every doctor appointment, every hurdle of morning sickness or even feeling the baby kick that I am not bringing this baby home. I will not go through the motions of bringing a baby home or preparing to being baby home. It’s as if you work for a daycare. You love all your daycare kiddo’s, but at the end of the day you know they must go home to their parent’s. I try to tell them any analogy to help get the point across as I know everyone learns and understands differently. Do I love this baby? Of course! Would I do anything for this baby? Absolutely! I would also do the same for my brother or sister, but do I feel like I am their mother? Not for one second. I never know how to fully answer this question. I have not had my surrobaby so I do not know what to tell them. So I try to help put them in the shoes that IP’s walk in everyday.  The shoes of hope and joy. The shoes of nervousness and being a complete mess. The shoes of happiness and outright hopelessness. The shoes that have no idea where to walk to as their path has been derailed. The shoes that some have been walking in circles in for years. No one could ever fully understand the shoes IP’s walk in everyday as everyone has their own story. No one can truly know what it means to wear those shoes until they are on your feet. I see the shoe’s in forums: “looking for surrogate,” “transfer day!,” “My family is not complete,” “…another failed transfer.” The shoe’s that are scared to name their child even though the surrogate is 35 weeks. The shoe’s that are scared to have a baby shower as they are afraid to have hope. The shoe’s that worry about HCG levels and numbers. The shoe’s that worry when the next appointment is and if you made it on time. The shoe’s that will do anything to have that perfect little baby. The shoe’s that lost it all and need a little hope to keep going. That is what I tell people.  The moment I hand that perfect, sweet baby over to its parent(s), is the moment that I’ll know that this is how I could. I imagine the surrobabies birthday all the time. I even dream about it. It won’t be a moment of sadness and regret. It’ll be a moment that I will never forget.  I imagine seeing the parents looking and holding their baby for the very first time. A smile of hope. The tears of joy. The breakdown of reality as their baby is finally here after so many years. I know that baby will be loved without a doubt. I know that surrobaby and it’s parent(s) will be ok. I know that I have a beautiful and loving little girl of my own at home. I am happy to see my intended parent(s) get the baby they have always wanted for so long. I am just honored to be apart of their journey for their baby. That is how I know I could.

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Mock Update

Short update: If you have not figured it out already, surrogacy is a hurry up to get things done and then wait process until it is time for the next step in my journey. We are waiting to start the mock cycle. I was expected to start my monthly cycle last week on 3/16/17 with the mock starting on 3/18/17. However, we cannot control what will or will not happen. It has been a waiting game to when we will start the mock. We cannot start the mock until my March cycle starts. My cycle came on 3/23/17. I was so happy. I text Jen and Jane to let them know. I also emailed our donor nurse to let them know so I could get my schedule of what to do during the mock. I start the medications on 3/25/17 per my chart that I must follow. I am getting my lab draw on 3/31/17 which works out because I am off that day. I get my ultrasound and second lab draw on 4/10/17 which also works out because I am off that previous night at work so I will be able to drive to CCRM with no issues as I am to be there between 7 am and 9:30 am. The purpose of the mock cycle is that on the day of the ultrasound, my uterine lining goes from a 4 to a 7/8 or more. It is important to have a thick lining to ensure that the embryo will implant to the uterus wall. The donor doctor, Dr. S, is not worried that I won’t be thick enough, but CCRM rather be safe than sorry so that is why we are doing the mock. Fingers crossed for a thick lining when we do the ultrasound in a little over two weeks.

Here is what my schedule will look like for the next few weeks:

mock

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Jane Face to Face!

Prior to the big day, I was so nervous. I was texting Jen asking her questions on what I should or should not do. I was so emotional that day that I was crying on and off as I was imaging seeing her for the first time in person. I was so worried about that first impression. Since I knew she would be coming over to our house, I went to Walmart to get some new house décor. I truly wanted her to be a little impressed. As my apartment is not the Ritz, I still felt like I could bedazzle it a little. It worked out because I do like the things I bought and it does make the apartment look so much better. Overall, my stress of having her over at the house played out well. Even though Jen told me not to worry about. I am sure my apartment was fine the way it was, but I was so nervous.

On March 13, 2017 was the moment I have been waiting for. I finally got to meet Jane in person face to face. That morning I had an 8 am work training. It went by so quickly thankfully. After my work training, I decided that I needed to make a great first impression. I wanted to give her something to remember this day. I stopped by Walmart, I know of all places however it was last minute, and got her a small bouquet of flowers and a bracelet. The bracelet had ‘Celebrate Life’ engraved in it. I thought it was a great bracelet since this meeting was our first-time meeting in person. Due to the circumstances of having a baby in the end, I thought it was the perfect fit. We are celebrating the life that is to come.

We met at Sonterra Grill which is a Mexican restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs. Honestly, Mariah and I were not the biggest fans of it, but to each their own. Of course, we did not have Lexie at this time either as she was with her daddy. Ellen, a lawyer in Colorado Surrogacy LLC, met with us for our first meet up. Which I am glad she did for I have not meet her yet. Prior to everyone arriving to the restaurant, I text Jen asking her to text Ellen asking her to get a picture of the first time we met up as well as, to let us know when they got their first so we could show up second. It was a little after 1 pm when we found parking and decided to go in. We were still the first one’s there after we scooped out the place to see that they had not arrived yet. We requested a more private area so we could visit. They took us to the back in a cozy booth. Jen text me telling me that they were a few minutes behind. Ellen walked up to us first with her camera ready after we all gave hugs as Jane was putting on some last-minute lip gloss. When I first saw her, I just knew that this was going to be perfect.  She even came with a present for Lexie and I. Lexie got a book about San Francisco and a bunny for Easter. I got a little spa kit with a face mask, eye mask and aloe socks. It was a cute little present. She told me it was to soothe me as we await the mock cycle to start. I felt so bad for our waiter as we were just so excited to just talk and look at each other that we kept asking him to give us time as we were not in a hurry. He was able to get drinks out of us right away. We got appetizers and had lunch. We shared stories about each other and backgrounds. We talked about the past and the future. We stayed till 3 pm when Ellen had to get back to Denver. I also turned in a huge stack of paperwork that entailed the legal contracts that outlined the arrangement of surrobaby to Ellen

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Jane, Mariah and I had planned to go to my house to show her where we lived then to go to Manitou Springs to waste some time until 6 pm. We got to my house and started talking about which OBGYN we would use. We were stuck between two doctors, but after 30ish minutes of talking we decided to use Dr. O’Connell at Academy Woman’s Healthcare Associates who delivers at St. Francis Medical Center. It was also, decided that we are going to do one embryo transfer per transfer due to my age due because if they do two the odds of twins is much higher as both may stick. Before we knew it, it was already 5:30 pm and we had to get going as we had an appointment to tour the hospital at 6 pm. We got so lost in conversation that I was just not watching time. It was worth it though, as much as I wanted to show her the small town, I am glad that we spent the talking and getting to really know each other.

I took a wrong turn getting to the hospital as I drove us in my car. We only arrived 5 minutes late. I used my work badge to get us on the faster elevators and to get better parking. We toured the hospital and that took roughly 30 to 45 minutes. It is an amazing hospital and we are glad that is where we settled on. The delivery rooms are so big. There is no number on how many people we can have in the room when it comes to birthing surrobaby. They will be able to get Jane her own room when we are all in the hospital until we are all discharged. Jane, surrobaby and whomever else in Jane’s family comes will have their own room. Then I will be put in my own room for recovery. Jane is happy that the hospital has a level 3 NICU for just in case. Jane asked about birthing classes and other classes the hospital offered. Jane and I briefly talked about doing classes a month before due date to help prepare her for what is to come. I am honored to take the classes with her and to help her along with this journey as much as she has been a great help to me. Overall, we are very happy from what we were told about the hospital and from what we saw. After the tour, Jane had to get back to Denver for she had an appointment early the next day at CCRM.

In synopsis, after our awesome day spent together, Mariah and I were very happy with Jane. We feel so lucky to have her as our IM. We got so lucky to of been matched with such a strong, inspirational woman. We are very ecstatic to see where this journey takes us as all individuals as well as, how it will build our relationships (Mariah and I, Jane and I). Also, to see where it will take Jane on her journey of becoming mommy.

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Update on Legal, Mock Cycle and Jane

Update on all going on. After talking with Jen, it was decided to go ahead and start doing contracts before I start my mock cycle. I received an email from my lawyer (the lawyer was set up by the agency) with the possible contract as well as, their terms and conditions of their services. I find it funny of the agency they use for the lawyer as it is the same agency that I had contacted in the past to go over the legality of Mariah and I having a baby. If anyone ever needs a good, reasonable priced lawyer (who is very LGBTQ Friendly) for such things contact Elephant Circle. The contract was 24 pages of small font so it was a lot to read and to comprehend. I just took it page by page, line by line to make sure that I do not miss anything important. There truly is not anything I would change on the contract. It is straight forward overall. I replied to my lawyer’s email to set up a date so we can go over it together and start the signing process. I told her I was available this upcoming week so we shall see what will work for her. I also, have had a benefits package from Colorado Surrogacy that Mariah and I need to get initialed. It is very similar my contract, but goes a little bit more in depths of the different pays and what would make me eligible for added payment to me. I get my based compensation for being a surrogate, but if I were to have more than one baby, have any of the number of babies reduced, a mock cycle fee, a medication injection fee, embryo transfer (per attempt) fee, a c-section fee, a hysterectomy fee (I hope it does not come to that)… I mean the list goes on, I would be paid for such services on top of everything and each service is paid different amounts. The benefits package just goes over it all. I am excited to be in this part of the process. It means things are moving and we are getting closer to our first transfer.

I received a letter in the mail today from my CCRM doctor, Dr. S, telling me some of the results from my one day work up. My pap came back normal and my herpes testing came back negative (not that I was worried), so just even more good news and nothing holding me back so far in my journey. Last week I received a phone call from the IVF pharmacy to go over my mock cycle medications. I will be receiving my medications on March 8th with my expected monthly cycle to start, hopefully, on or around March 16th. It is good that I will have my meds on hand and ready to go once my monthly cycle starts.

To answer the question that a few have asked, what is a mock cycle? According to Growing Generations:

A Mock Cycle is when a doctor will put a surrogate on full or partial medicines and monitor her as if she was planning to transfer with the clear intent that she will not transfer an embryo. This can be ordered for a number of reasons with the most common being that the doctor wants to observe how the surrogate’s body responds to a certain medication.

A mock cycle allows the doctor to ensure that the body, most specifically the endometrium lining, is capable of reaching levels that will support pregnancy and make implantation likely without the cost of preparing an egg that could potentially be lost to unfavorable conditions.  At the conclusion of the mock cycle medicines or dosages may be changed or fine-tuned in order to create optimum results in the real cycle.

When I went for my CCRM work up, it was found that my uterus lining was measuring a 4.5 out of a 7. The nurse told me this is more likely because I was measured one week after my period and have not had a whole lot of time to rebuild my lining. To be on the safe side, we are doing the mock cycle to ensure that my uterus can build a lining and be ‘sticky’ enough for the embryo transfer. How the mock cycle works, is on my first day of my period I am to call my nurse. On day 2 or 3 of my cycle, I will start a Vivelle .1g patch (which is a form of estrogen). I am to change the patch every other day for 8 days before I am schedule to get my blood drawn to check my levels. I will continue to use the patch with an increase in patch on day 10 to 2 patches, then 3 patches on day 12, then 4 patches for 4 more days. Then I will be scheduled to get my blood drawn again as well as, to go to CCRM for another ultrasound to check the thickness of my lining. We are expecting the cycle to be done by April 3rd. Once the ultrasound is done, I will continue to use 2 patches as well as, 1 200 mg tablet of Prometrium (which is a progesterone) to be taken vaginally 3 times a day. I am to take my patch off once my 3rd pill of the day has been taken. I am to do this repetition of the patch and the pill taken vaginally for 10 days. Which means during this time I will not be able to be sexually active. It’ll be a busy month of keeping up with my medications.

Jane and I are prepared to meet on March 13th at 12:45 pm for lunch. We are still deciding where to do lunch. Ellen, who is Colorado Surrogacy’s lawyer, will be joining us for our first meet up. Of course, Mariah will be with me in the process as well. Lexie will be with her dad during this time. Jen has also set up a hospital tour at 6 pm at St Francis Medical Center that same day. This will be good so we can check out the birthing center as well as, figure out how we will all manage the day of surro baby(s) entrance to the world. Sometimes, if there is room, hospitals will give their surrogate their own room and the IP’s their own room to be with baby until time of discharge. I am ok with sharing a room as I hope we are only there for a few days before discharge. As it will not be fully fined tuned, we will at least have a good sense of what to expect during the birthday.

I am super excited to meet Jane in person. As it has only been a few months since we started the process, it has been a long 3 months. Becoming a surrogate is not as simple as just showing up to get pregnant or anything that you see in the movies. There is so much paperwork involved and appointments to attend. I am just glad that I was matched with Jane since day 1. I was able to get around the whole waiting around during the matching process to find the right family that would be good to work with. Jane and I have clicked since day 1 and for that I am thankful. Stay tuned for the next blog which will more likely be a little after my lunch with Jane.

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CCRM One Day Workup

2/23/17 was the big day, but also one of the last hoop’s I must jump through to get cleared. The previous two day’s I had come down with a head cold that took all my energy and left me in bed with a 102.6 fever. I knew I had to rest as my CCRM appointment was coming up. However, I am also mom and have mommy duties. I am so grateful that I could do my mommy duties, but my amazing wife took over most of them to care for Lexie so I could get some rest in preparation of my appointment.

Thursday started off super early as Mariah set her alarm for 4:10 am to get showered and whatnot. My alarm went off at 5 am because I always wait until the absolute last minute that I must get out of bed. I was still feeling a little froggy. I did start to feel faint like when I was trying to put on make-up and that was more likely because I had taken Nyquil that previous night and did not give it enough time to wear off before I woke up. Mariah got Lexie up and ready a quarter till 6 am. We decided to take Mariah’s new car as it got better gas mileage as well as, I was not feeling so hot. I am glad that Mariah offered to drive. Knowing it would be a long day, we grabbed breakfast to go from McDonalds.

We got to CCRM way ahead of schedule at 7 am. We realized the building was unlocked so we went inside to get out of snow that Colorado was trying to give us. My first thought when I walked in was, “wow this place is fancy.” I felt a little under dressed and we more likely looked like a hot mess walking through the doors trying to juggle the kid and the diaper bag among the small stack of papers we had. The receptionist got us checked in right away. She asked us if we had been here before and of course, I reply that we had not. She took us towards the back of the building and through a door. There we were greeted by another receptionist named Nicole and were placed next to her desk with an arrangement of five chairs. She gave me a clip board of papers to fill out. She told us that we both need to do a urine test and to let her know when we are ready. I told her I could go now so I could get it over with. I was taken to a bathroom with the needed supplies and given instructions. Of course, Lexie had to come help me too. After I was done I went back to the small waiting area where I tried filling out the paperwork. Mariah was taken back to do her urine sample too. Before Mariah could return, the ultrasound tech came to get me. Of course, Lexie came too. I was in another small room with instructions to get undressed from waist down and to cover up with the pink, crinkly paper… I mean cloth. Lexie was so excited to see mommy’s tummy on the screen. The tech took maybe 15 minutes’ worth of many angles of the whole inside of my uterus. Yes, this was a vaginal ultrasound. When she was done, I cleaned myself up and got dressed. When heading back to the waiting room the tech realized she forgot one shot so back to the room I went. She was so sweet as she apologized. She was telling herself, “I do this a million times a day and yet I forget this one shot.” I told her it was no big deal. She was very quick on getting her last scan. Once we made it back to the waiting room, it was time for me to do my PAI testing. Keep in mind, I am still juggling the clip board trying to fill it all out. I was only allowed in the room to take the test so Lexie had to stay behind. I could not tell you how long the test took as it felt so long and boring. I felt like I was staring at the computer screen for a good 20ish min’s if I had to guess. The PAI test consisted of 344 repeated questions. It felt like that same questions rephrased. They were questions like: Are you going to kill yourself? Do you think of suicide? Do you see or hear things that are not there? Do voices tell you do to things? Are you sad? I mean there was more to it, but you get the idea. There were also positive questions about my feelings, but there was also a lot of double negatives that made me think. Once the test was over, I went back to the waiting room. The next thing to do was to see the psychologist. We all went to see the psychologist. She was a very nice lady. Her voice was oddly calm, but soothing. The three of us sat on a couch as she asked us questions about ourselves, childhood, religion and our relationship. I do not know how long we were in there. As soon as we were done she took us back to the waiting room to Nicole. After 15 mins, the psychologist asked me to come back to the room as she forgot to ask me a question. So, I got up and we went back to the room. She re-questioned me about a previous medication I was thought to be on. I told her about this misunderstanding as we have told them what seemed a million times already. She told me that all should be fine and no big deal. Once, I was back in the waiting room I finished the paperwork. It was found that I needed to redo my urine sample as the first sample was too concentrated. I was given a bottle of water. The lab lady came to grab us as it was time for our blood draw. I was put on the stand first. Mariah kept telling me to watch her do it, but I do not like that. I just kept giving her the ‘shush it’ face. They needed 12 vials of blood. I was doing ok until the last few were needed. I started to feel light headed. She got the last few and laid me back in the chair. Mariah was making fun of me and calling me weak. Lexie was asking me if I was ok. I sat back up drank some juice and laid back down. That has got to be one of the worst feelings ever. I switched seats with Mariah and she got her 5 vials taken. While that was happening, I had to go to the restroom. I stupidly forgot that she needed another sample as when I got back Nicole questioned me if I went pee. I just told her nothing happened and it was a false alarm. After that I only was taken back into another room where the hysteroscopy was going to take place. The MA took my vitals and did a finger prick to check my iron. Then she proceeded to tell me what to expect. She told me I was be getting an annual exam with a breast check. Then once that was done the doc is going to thoroughly check out my uterus by pumping carbon dioxide into my uterus to blow it up so she can look all around it. Then she would also do a trial run of the cath placement to see how easily it will go in and how far they will need to put it in for when they do the actual transfer. Of course, you know me, my only question was, “when I sit up am I going to queef?” She was redder than red and laughing hysterically. She told me through her laughing that it would not happen as my body with absorb the gas. She took me to the exam room where I undressed and got up on the table and waited for the doc. The doc came in and told me about the process again. She told me that the gas could cause discomfort in my shoulders or lower ribcage. She said it is normal but uncomfortable. After all was done, I got up and sure enough the shoulder pain hit me hard and it was unbearable. I got dressed and complained about the pain and that it did not give me any time before it hit. I was taken to a small room where Lexie and Mariah were waiting for me. This is where the doc came in to tell me all the risk of surrogacy. As if I did not already know, but I was glad she was just doing her job. This is also the time I decided to re-leave my urine sample. Back to the waiting room we went, were Nicole gave her millionth ‘Welcome Back.’ Nicole gave us vouchers for lunch at their little stand and told us to come back in 20 minutes or so. We got sandwiches and sides. Lexie was so talkative as she greeted every person that came by and questioned them on what they were doing. Between my shoulder pain and still feeling faint like from my blood draw, I found myself laying on the couch as time passed. Once lunch was over we went back to the waiting room. We seem to be in this area a lot. Our nurse, Shawna, took Mariah and I back to a room where she went over the whole program, medications and instructions, did some more paperwork on the computer and my results from the day. Other than my uterine lining, all looked well. I passed all the screenings and test for the day. My lining was only measuring at a 4.5 out of 7… whatever that means. She said it is more likely because I am only a week out from my last period. To be on the safe side, I must do a mock trial (which I will blog more info about when the time comes) when my next cycle starts. I was place on an antibiotic as preventative care from the hysteroscopy to ensure I do not get any infections. Also, since I was showing signs on low vitamin D, I was placed on 5000 Vitamin D a day.

We are estimating the mock to happen March 16th. Overall, if all goes as planned, we are expecting to do the first transfer end of May or early June. That would put surro baby’s arrival March 2018 roughly. As I stated earlier, I will do a separate blog about the mock trial as well as, all the medications I will be on and that process. Jane is debating on doing our in person meet on March 13th instead of earlier since she has a CCRM appointment herself on the 14th. It all works out for me. It was a long day. We got home about 2 pm and we all took naps.ccrm-1ccrm2

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Jane emailed me

So, to add to all the excitement that yesterday had brought, Jane, my intended parent emailed me. It is official that we are now allowed contact with each other. This is a huge step and milestone because that means we are getting closer and closer everyday. It means that Jen has faith in that all will go well in the one day work up (or at least in my eyes). In the email enclosed her phone number, so of course, I immediately text her! Here is the introduction email that she sent me:

Dear Ashley,

I am soooo thrilled that everything worked out with CCRM and to start this journey together. The pic you sent was too cute! I’m working on coming out to Colorado Springs in the next few weeks (march 7-8) and excited to meet you in person 😊Jennifer said that you were available the 7th.

In the meantime, maybe we can chat by phone or you can text me on my cell at 6xx-xxx-xxxx anytime.

See and speak to you soon!

Jane

How exciting! I was thrilled to receive this message from her. Due to the fact that it was later at night, our text conversation did not last too long. However, it was just enough! In our text conversation we shared the excitement of ‘we are making it and I cannot believe we are here.’ We shared the emotions of being super excited to start this journey together as she stated, “This will be quite the journey I’m sure!” She is correct, this will be such an amazing journey filled with so many emotions. This is just the start. We are three months into this process already; which has been adventurous to say none the less. The conversation was mostly us sharing our emotions of how we are ‘tickled pink’ and having been filled with so many emotions already such as, being excited, scared and nervous all at the same time. I can only imagine how she is truly feeling in the inside. This is a journey she has been on a little longer than me, so for her to finally be at the point where we are only a few months of the first transfer… I am at a lost of words of how nervous and happy her heart is. We are both pretty ecstatic that we will be getting to meet here in person in about 3ish weeks roughly. Even though it has been three months in this process, it has been a long and stressful process. For us to be to the point where we are scheduling a in person met, its an amazing feeling knowing we have made it this far. I also in my text made sure she had access to my blogs. I want her to know that she is able to read about my half of the journey as well as, able to share my blogs with her family and friends.

Update on CCRM: I have called CCRM 3 times this morning.  I finally did leave one voicemail on the nurses line. I even sent an email to my nurse. I am in high hopes that they return my message before the end of the day so we can set up my one day work up appointment. I may try to call again this afternoon if I do not hear from them. Fingers crossed!