Friday, May 13, 2016

The Surro-coaster :)

I can't believe I haven't done an update in so long! Partly I was having trouble with my password and partly there was a lot going on.

High-Level Summary: We have 6 - SIX!!! - genetically tested normal embryos in the freezer. We are still waiting to be matched with a surrogate. We had one through an agency that we didn't move forward with after meeting them which was disappointing and emotional. The agency is still looking and we've had TWO people come forward to say they want to do this for us. AMAZING!!! So, our agency is putting them through the process. Likelihood of a transfer happening with anyone is still 3-6 months away. Surrogacy is a whole other ballgame!

The Embryos Update
We had signed up for 2 egg retrievals last fall and got a special deal on them because our doctor really wanted us to go into surrogacy with 4 genetically normal embryos and in my past 4 cycles where we did genetic testing I came out with 2, 1, 2, 2.

Well, low and behold, I got 3 on the first one and 3 again on the second one!!!! We were over the moon thrilled.

I half wondered if my body felt the burden lifted that it somehow knew these babies were not going back into me. Who knows. But we were ecstatic. I cried happy tears when we got those results!

The Agency
We signed up with an agency in December and went with a smaller one to get the more personal touch. We liked how it was run by a former IM (Intended Mom) who had her babies through surrogacy, and her surrogate coordinator is a former surrogate, so we liked how they would be able to understand both sides and have those perspectives.

Match #1
We got matched in February with someone way far out of state, met her and her husband over Skype in March and had them flown out to our clinic in April for testing and joint counseling.

It was nerve-wrecking. How do you prepare to meet people who could have one of the most important and intimate impacts on your life? It all went really well. She was extremely lovely. We enjoyed meeting them.

And to make a long story short, the agency recommended the husband go through more psych screening and the psychologist recommended we not move forward with them. We were heartbroken to not be able to move forward with her. I had really started a connection with her, she's warm and sweet and already, in just a few weeks, I knew I'd miss her a lot. She sent me a big emotional email after the agency told her and we had a couple of nice exchanges.

It's also a time setback. We had planned on a July transfer with them and I had already started thinking about a baby in April 2017 but we're a ways away from that now. And we're out a few thousand dollars for all that testing and their travel and stuff. But this is a long game and we recognize that.

We were also grateful that the agency recommended further screening because this was too important for us to potentially have issues later. It was hard to get that news, though, because it was hard to know whether those results, and particularly because it was him and not her, would really have an impact. But ultimately, we had to go with the psychologist's and agency's recommendation. And while that was hard, we know that hedging our bets to remove any potential challenges is best at this time in the process.

Potential #2
Another amazing thing happened during all of that - someone from our church came forward - to our pastor first - to say she was interested in being our surrogate! How amazing is that?

Since we were already in process with Match #1, I told her that while that is amazing, we owe it to this couple to see where this was going and when it looked like it wasn't going to happen, she and I had lunch, had a great conversation around all of this. I mean, I know her and trust her, but didn't know her that well.

She's going through the process with our agency and I don't want to get my hopes up because there may be a couple of hurdles but I'm staying relatively hopeful. The fact that she even came forward to want to go through this is amazing.

Potential #3
Yes, there's a 3rd one! A best friend of my brother's who told us last week she wants to do this for us!!! Amazing. I just can't believe that there are people out there who really feel compelled to do this. It's so incredibly humbling. And yet, I'd hope I'd feel the same, that if I enjoyed my pregnancies and could do this for someone else, I would. But geez, it's A LOT!! And I don't think most people enjoyed their pregnancies!

So this person is going through screening as well too. And this one is earlier in the process so we'll see...

But amazing possibilities including our agency is still looking in case these two don't work out.

Emotional Update
Emotionally, I'm doing well. It's been great to not be on the IVF journey anymore and doing this endless cycle to my body and emotions. And B and I are in the best place we've been ever. We got through some tough stuff last year and are so much better for it now. It will be 10 years for us this fall!

Other Update
Travel: I did take a solo trip over Christmas and New Year's to Tulum, Mexico, which was gorgeous and then went again in April with B when we had the opportunity with friends. Great, great time and great for the soul. I also got to visit my cousin with her 4 kids in Feb in FL which was wonderful. And a nice girls weekend away in PA to a spa with some hiking with my best friend and her sister.

Exercise: This was also Operation Get My Body Back mode. I trained in Jan & Feb for the DC 'n Ro.ll Ha.lf Mara.thon in March which was awesome (my 4th half marathon!) and did Jill.ian Mich.aels' 30 Day and am now doing 30 Days Rip.ped. So great. Went down a size and feel great!

So good things, but a lot of patience involved! My friend who has gone through this said to me when all this stuff was going on, "oh, that's just the surro-coaster"! :)

It's just different when you are having to involve others that you need to trust in this process. And while our agency said that was extremely unusual, we're just chalking it up to things not going smoothly for us with all of this. I've become pre-programmed to know that this won't be easy.

We'll get there, though, somehow. I'm hopeful for that.