Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ok, since I received a few reprimands for leaving the story hanging, I'm picking it back up. :)
One day after much research, it really hit me. I wanted to try surrogacy. I felt like this might be our only opportunity to have our own biological children. We had talked of adoption (at this point Doug was willing to consider it since we didn't have many options) but I was very scared of getting close and it falling through like the horror stories I have heard. I talked to Doug about it and I was way more on board than he was. He was on board, but not giddy and all into it like me (I guess that would be because he's a guy). I became obsessed. I searched certain sites where surrogates and intended parents could post ads about themselves and what they were looking for in a match. I never really put an ad out there because I wanted to be the one to find my surrogate instead of them coming to me. I also knew I really wanted someone local. Since I'm not able to carry a child myself, I wanted the next best thing to that. To be close, to be able to attend appointments, to "see" our baby growing in someone's belly, to be able to "feel" it kick (unless Jenn would kick me if I touched her belly-trust me, I'll ask before zooming in). I wanted to be involved in the journey as much as possible. And I wanted to find a friend and develop a lifetime friendship. Many intended parents and surrogates want to keep it almost like a business transaction. And I don't look down on that, everyone is different. I guess some of them do it to keep their emotions out of it, so as not to get attached.
I started getting my feet wet by responding to some of the ads, asking different questions, etc. One day I saw an ad for a girl who lived in SugarLand. I thought I had hit the jackpot. I couldn't believe my good fortune. We e-mailed a few times, then met for lunch. We seemed to agree on most of the major issues and by the time we left the restaurant, we agreed that we both felt this would work out. I was so excited. Long story short, I e-mailed her 5 days later and it took her almost 3 weeks to respond to me. She told me that she had agreed to carry for a friend of hers. I was shocked. I was not expecting that. I wasn't depressed, but I was really down. I just kept thinking, I'll never find anyone else. Never!!
So, I started grazing the ads again. I was addicted. I would check different ones probably every couple of hours. I know what you're thinking.....crazy! Well, you're probably a little right. I don't remember how long it took, but I was searching one site by "Houston". A new person showed up. And she looked normal!!!! Ok, this is where you might also say I'm a little looney. One of my BIGGEST fears in this process was matching up with a NUT. I'm serious. When you start reading some of the message boards about some things that happen and people that other people have come into contact with. Hence my fear. When I saw the picture of Jenn, I thought, I'm getting this girl. My heart started beating fast, I couldn't believe my luck. And she's here in Houston. How perfect!!! So, I sent her a post to her page and she sent me an e-mail not very long after that, probably within an hour. Jenn, tell your part of the story about this too and what you were thinking. I love hearing it.
I thought that I would not find anyone after the first person didn't work out, but you know, I know for "sure" that God allowed that to happen so that I could meet Jenn. I truly and with all my heart believe that. Things have just been so great with our journey so far. I mean, we've had little bumps and hiccups, but nothing even close to being a stumbling block. We have become great friends. We talk every day by e-mail and some by phone. I think we're both e-mail kind of people.
It's just been so great. I couldn't have even hoped for connecting with a better person to carry our child for us. I feel so blessed that Jenn put up a page on the website that I checked frequently. I am truly so grateful for Jenn's giving spirit and I am so confident that our child will be in such good hands (or tummy) with Jenn.
Jenn - You really are my hero, the answer to my dream and I admire you tremendously! I love you!
Flexibility - (from Websters) the quality or state of being flexible.
Flexible - (from Websters) able or suitable to meet new situations.
This is mine & Allison's vocabulary word for the day. Due to certain circumstances beyond anyone's control, we are having to change our calendar and protocols, which will cause our transfer date to be pushed back to the end of February or first part of March. Its disappointing, to say the very least, but we just have roll with the punches and see it for what it is...a speed bump! Its hard not to be, at least, a little upset since everything seemed to be going so smoothly, but in the big picture, we want God's perfect timing. So, we will adjust, wait, and learn to be more flexible as we continue down this path :)
Meanwhile, a few extra prayers for the 2 of us would be appreciated!
Addendum: I just re-read the email I received from the IVF clinic and, if I am reading it correctly, it says that we will be looking at a transfer date during the week of 2/22 - that's only 2 weeks from our original date. Not as bad as I had originally thought! Anyway, that's assuming all goes like it should from this point forward, so keep the prayers coming!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Jenn has been so kind as to let me be a contributor to this blog and I'm very appreciative. I'll start by introducing myself and telling just a little about me and how I came to need a surrogate. I am 37 years old and married to my sweet hubby Doug. We live in Katy with Maggie (puppy) and until 3 days ago, Kooky (cat). He's currently missing. Doug and I will be married for 2 years in May. I am originally from NC, moved to Baton Rouge for about 8 years, then back to NC for 1 yr, then Doug dragged me here to Texas. I don't mind, I like it here, but I do miss my family in NC. Doug and I knew we wanted to have children sooner rather than later because of my age. He's just a youngin, but I'm an old lady, according to him. We began our family planning by going to a fertility specialist. The reason we did this is because I have endometriosis. I had been told by my OB doctor years ago that I would probably need a little help in getting pregnant. So, we went to the specialist for the consultation and he brought up the issue of my kidney disease. I have had proteinurina for around 13 yrs now. He told me that he was a little concerned about that and referred me to a pre-conception counselor to go over my medical issues with me. I wasn't able to get in to see the doctor he referred me to until about 2 months later. This appointment would be one that I will never forget. This is the appointment that I was told I should not get pregnant. This is the appointment that reality slapped me right in the face that I would never be able to carry a child. He went over all of the risks to me and to the baby/babies; premature birth, miscarriage, birth abnormalities, kidney function loss, death. Doug was not with me at this particular appointment. One of the last things the doctor said to me was actually a question. He said, "If you and your husband decide to go through with this and get pregnant, is he willing to make a choice between you and your child if need be?" WOE!!! Almost knocked me down. I left his office that night around 6pm and cried most of the way home. When I got home, I told Doug everything the doctor went over with me. Then I said, maybe we should just try it and if God wants me to get pregnant, then it will happen. But right after I said that, I also told him the last thing the doctor asked me. When I told him, he said I am not willing to make that decision. We can't go through with this. He was very supportive and comforted me. I tried not to let it bother me too much since we had another appointment with the specialist to go over the other doctor's recommendation. When we went for that appointment, he suggested either adoption or surrogacy and sent us on our way. I cried almost all the way home again. I felt so guilty and inadequate. Doug had told me from the beginning that he wanted a boy to carry on the Obert name. So, of course there's this pressure to produce a boy for him. Now, I'm in a real pickle, I can't give him a boy or even a girl. I felt horrible. He also had told me early in our relationship that he would never want to adopt. I knew that I would probably have problems getting pregnant, but had no idea that the kidney problem was going to be the deal breaker. He was so supportive and told me we'll deal with it, that we don't have to have children and that he was ok with that. But I was not. It's just normal to have children, doesn't everyone do it? Well, almost everyone. So, we just dropped the subject for a while. A few months later, I remembered that my previous supervisor's daughter had her baby through surrogacy. I really didn't know anything about surrogacy and had no idea what was involved. I called my previous supervisor one night and asked her to tell me about her daughter's surrogacy experience. She gave her daughter my e-mail address and we started chatting back and forth and she was a major help. I also started researching it on the internet and learning more and more about the process. The more I learned, the more I thought, we can do this! This might just work. To be continued............
Ok, I think I'm going to end it there for now. I'll pick up on this story in the not too distant future. I don't want anyone falling asleep (like I do) when reading LONG blogs. Actually any kind of reading puts me to sleep.
I'm going tomorrow for blood work, scan and suppression check. Yippee, I'm excited.
I'm outta here.......
Monday, January 26, 2009
Thankfully these little things are relatively forgiving...thankfully!
Friday, January 23, 2009
I think the point of the post is to simply say thank you all for your kind words of encouragement & support. Receiving reassurance from people I don't know, and to have complete strangers say that they are praying for us (all of us) means so very much - you just cannot imagine. I know that I have chosen the path less-traveled, but have found such strength and support in others that I have crossed paths with, those that are traveling this same road along side me. And to those that may not understand the reasons or reasoning behind my decision to be a surrogate, I simply say that I don't need you to understand, but trust that I am sitting in the center of my Savior's hands. I haven't entered into this decision lightly or without allot of prayer, but I trust that He has guided me to this place in my life, for a time such as this.
May the Lord richly bless you this weekend!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Yesterday was my last anti-biotic, so today I just have my Lupron shot :) I'm learning to dislike Lupron since one of the primary (and apparently guaranteed) side effects is a headache. But, I only have 2 more weeks of it and then I'm on to bigger needles and other pills to swallow. Transfer is just weeks away...I'm so excited!
Friday, January 16, 2009
All 4 of us had to attend the hearing this morning in downtown Houston, and after a little coaching from the attorney met with the "associate judge" to be officially heard and questioned. He had such a nice face that I was immediately at-ease, but still uncertain as to what things he might require. Thankfully, no home studies were requested and other than him being certain that we all knew what we were doing, he approved the PBO and sent us on our way.
Hallelujah! Transfer day is just weeks away!!!! We're all thinking "sticky thoughts" :)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I think I'm going survive this afterall :)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Hi Everyone!I know this might seem relatively impersonal, but it’s the best way I know to let friends & family know about a big occurrence in our lives, without having to make multiple phone calls and repeating myself over & over again :) So, please forgive the informality, and don’t take my lack of personal contact as anything but my having too many things preventing me from making lengthy phone calls to everyone individually.
So, I guess the only way to say it, is to say it…I am going to be a surrogate! A Gestational Surrogate to be more specific.
Ok, now for the why’s and how’s…back in July, Michael & I started talking about the world of surrogacy and decided to investigate further. I had actually thought about how wonderful it would be to be a surro to someone, but never mentioned it to Michael since I figured he wouldn’t ever go for it. But, when he asked me if I’d ever considered it, out of the blue, I figured that maybe “someone” was trying to get my attention. So, after several weeks of researching, praying, talking, praying and researching some more, we decided that we were feeling a definite “tug” this direction and figured we’d take the plunge, then see what happened. I posted an “ad” about myself on a surrogacy website, and literally within hours had an email from someone living in nearby
After several months of medical testing, contract negotiations, a psychological evaluation (required by the state of TX for all surrogates) and more medical testing, we have finalized & signed our contract, and will be heading to court for the final “filing” on Friday the 16th. Once the judge gives us the PBO (pre-birth order giving them full legal responsibility for the baby), we will be working toward our embryo transfer around 2/13 or 2/15! I will begin my meds this coming Sunday the 11th, which will include anti-biotics to “clean” my system of any possible bacterial infections, taking several different hormone therapies which will include some injections (all very low-dose and temporary), and will be preparing my uterus for the 2 embryos we will transfer in just weeks. These embryos are in no way connected to Michael & I, as they are Allison’s eggs and Doug’s sperm. This baby will be 100% theirs in every way. Let me emphasize that I AM NOT GIVING AWAY MY BABY!! As odd as that statement is, that is literally the first thing that everyone asks me, so I wanted to get that out there :)
Another question I’ve been asked is why? I don’t really have a simple answer, but to try to simplify it, what better gift could I give to another couple than to help them start a family? Allison has kidney disease and has been told that if she tried to carry a pregnancy, it would probably kill her. So, the only way they can have a family that is biologically theirs is to do so via IVF and surrogacy. She said that they have considered adoption, but just didn’t feel “excited” about it. They truly want a child that carries their DNA. She said that they may consider adoption at some point, but for now, this is the path that they have chosen to travel. And, by God’s grace, we are hoping to make this journey with them! We are all very excited about what lies ahead and are praying for a successful first-round transfer that would result in pregnancy on the first try! That said, we are prepared to make several attempts via IVF and are praying for God’s perfect will to be done.
And yes, the kids are all on-board! We talked to them a very long time ago about this and received their approval. We explained that we would be “helping a mommy with a sick tummy that cannot have her own baby” by putting their baby into my tummy to grow. Alex thought this whole concept was very cool, and while Morgann didn’t exactly “get it” at first, she now seems to understand and is excited. For Ian, it hasn’t really registered since he is only 4, but we have frequent discussions with the kiddos and everyone cannot wait to see Mr. Doug’s and Ms. Allison’s baby be born :) The kids have met Doug & Allison and really love them – Doug & Allison even sent Christmas gifts for them! We have all really meshed our families together and feel very blessed to be making this journey side-by-side.
For me, I am simply thrilled that they live nearby. This will allow Allison the chance to experience pregnancy through me, without having all of the negatives that go along with it (morning sickness, indigestion, sleeplessness, etc.). Allison will be attending all of the doctor’s appointment throughout the pregnancy, and both she & Doug will attend the birth of their sweet little boy or girl (or both?). We have all discussed our expectations and hopes and truly feel that God brought us together. Regardless of what happens down the road, we know we will be life-long friends.
So, this is a very condensed version of something that has been in the works for more than 6 months. Please keep us all in your prayers, as we know that the coming weeks are going to be very emotional and exciting. We truly want God’s absolute best, and are praying for a healthy baby/babies by the end of 2009!!
Blessings to you!
Much love ~ Jennifer & Michael
GS to Allison & Doug