Thursday, December 30, 2010

I lied. One more post =)

I am in awe at how many people have viewed my blog since I first created it back in September. It's amazing to see that not only are my friends and family following (yes, I can tell who's checkin' out my blog--i see you!), but people from all over the world have been reading my posts, too! Very cool.

Here's a screen shot I took today that shows how many viewers to date and from which Country. Neat! 

United States
United Kingdom

I hope that my blog (thus far) has provided even the slightest bit of support to other surrogates and IP's out there who are searching the web as I did, and still do, for support. If it wasn't for other surrogacy related blogs that I have come across (and so very thankful for!), I wouldn't have the knowledge and support needed to get me through this journey. I wanted to take a quick moment to say THANK YOU for following my blog and THANK YOU for your comments. Your thoughtful and encouraging words truly mean a lot. 

For those of your who are "silent" viewers/followers, please don't be shy; introduce yourself. =) I'd love to know what brought you to my blog.

One last thing. To all my new surro-friends---YOU ROCK!! You "get" what I am going through like no one else does. You help to calm my nerves when I'm starting to freak myself out over nothing (most recently, my upcoming medical eval.). Your blogs have provided so much support for me and I just LOVE reading all about your journeys and viewing picture updates of growing bellies and babies.

Well that's it. My final and last post of the year--For real this time, haha! Happy New Year everyone. May this upcoming year bring you all Peace, Joy, Love, and Happiness.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My last post of the year

It's kind of weird saying that this will be my last post......of the year! I'm am sooo ready for 2011. It's going to be a great year, that's for sure! I am very excited about whats to come in this surrogacy journey.

Here's what I am looking forward to:

  • A smooth, stress-free medical evaluation with nothing but GOOD results.
  • The signing of our contract.
  • Building a great, solid friendship with Eleazar and Angeline.
  • Starting injections. 
  • Successful 1st cycle and a positive pregnancy test.
  • Meeting up with other local surrogates.
  • Attending doctor appointments with Eleazar and Angie.
  • Witnessing the joy and happiness that Eleazar and Angie share together during our first ultrasound of their baby/ies.
  • Introducing Eleazar and Angie to my family and possibly meeting their family as well. (their family are all up North, so might not be possible) 
  • Carrying their baby/ies to full term with no complications.
  • Handing their baby/ies over and witnessing the instant love and overwhelming happiness that Eleazar and Angeline have been longing for.
  • Watching their baby/ies grow up. 

That's a lot to look forward to.....and I'm ready for every bit of it!!

A quick, short and sweet update on my journey:
My medical insurance has been approved and will go ACTIVE 1/1/2011!!! I have scheduled my medical evaluation with Eleazar and Angie's Fertility doctor for Wednesday, January 12th @ 2pm. Eeeek. Nervous!!! I have been waiting for the day that I finally had this appointment scheduled. But, now that's it's scheduled, I don't want to go, ha! And to top it off....i'm going by myself (Hubby has to work). Maybe I'll have my Nana come with me to help ease my nerves a little. I'm sure she'd enjoy a trip to Los Angeles for the afternoon. Maybe we can even grab lunch together.

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Christmas for the Muehlhaus' this year is going to be big. We went above and beyond for your kids this year and are anxious to watch them as they tear through all of their gifts. Our son, Aiden, has been counting down the days---"4 more days, Mom!!!!!!!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another beautiful birth story to share

Congratulations to my surro-friend, Ivy, on the birth of her surro-daughter, Taryn, last week!! What an amazing accomplishment--I can't wait to be in her shoes very soon!! Ivy wrote a beautiful birth story on her blog and also shared some pretty amazing pictures. Get your tissues ready!! My favorite picture is the one of  the IM (Intended Mom) showing her oldest daughter their newest addition (baby Taryn!), and in the background the grandparents' faces are priceless!!

WELCOME TO THE WORLD, BABY TARYN!!! You are already loved and adored by so many.  

Birth story, CLICK HERE.
Pictures, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meet my IP's!!!!

I am so very excited to introduce to you,

Eleazar and Angeline
My Intended Parents! 

I will no longer refer to them as "E & A" on my blog (although it is easier and quicker..hehe). They have gladly given me permission to use their full name going forward.  :)

For those of you who may have noticed: YES they are me!! 

We have reached another big step in this surrogacy journey: The exchange of information! We now have each others contact information (address, phone, email) and we have been emailing back and forth for a few days now. It's been nice to receive emails from them. I have given them the link to this blog and they have already shared with me that they've thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I am so glad. I've heard of other IP's not wanting their surrogate blogging about the surrogacy for privacy reason, so I am relieved to know that Eleazar and Angeline are ok with it. Blogging about our journey not only helps to keep my family and friends up to date with the latest, but also allows their family and friends to stay connected as well. 

A little bit about my Intended Parents: 
Eleazar and Angeline are high school sweethearts. It was love at first sight when they met during high school and while working at a local K-Mart in Northern California, about 20 years ago. They went on to attend different colleges, but their relationship continued to flourish since both colleges were local. 

Soon after graduating college, Eleazar accepted a full time job with a major aerospace company here in California. This meant relocating to Southern California and eventually settling down with Angeline in Orange County (side note: They are only about 15-20 mins away from me, which I think is fantastic!!). Eleazar has been with the same company for just over 16 years now and is once again back in school pursuing another graduates degree! In his free time he enjoys going out with Angeline or just spending quality time at home with her. 

Angeline suffered complete kidney failure as a teenager, which required her to have a kidney transplant. Since then, she has had 3 more kidney transplants. For this reason, Angeline has decided to be a Homemaker. Her last kidney transplant is doing very well, thanks to the advances of modern medicine. However, carrying a child is not an option for Angeline due to potential risks associated with her transplant and the medications she takes on a daily basis to prevent rejection. In Angeline's spare time, she loves to cook and try new recipes (this could be good because I love to eat!). Angeline also loves to decorate. 

Well there you have it--my Intended Parents!! They are wonderful. I am very much looking forward to getting to know them more. I am honored that they chose me to be their gestational surrogate. I am honored that they have chosen me help make their dream come true of one day (very soon!) having and baby.....or two. ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A+ Psychological Evaluation!

I just got off the phone with the therapist for my psychological evaluation. The call went smoothly and quickly; only lasted about 17 minutes and ended with "....everything looks great!....". :) Some of the questions that were asked were very similar to the ones that are included in my profile. She had to ask me these questions in order to build knowledge of me as she will be seeing me through this entire surrogacy journey. She will also be checking up on me on a monthly basis to offer support. 

Here is what she asked me: Name; age; birth place; hometown; my parent's background; family medical history; siblings; relationship status with family members (Mom, Dad, Sister, Husband, Children); when/how did my husband and I meet; how long have we been married; my character strengths and weaknesses; my hobbies; why I want to be a surrogate; how do I feel about selective reduction, amniocentesis, and carrying multiples; do I have support from family if I have to go on bed-rest; how I will feel after delivery and handing the baby over; what I plan to do with the money that I am compensated for being a surrogate; what type of relationship I would like with my IP's; and would I want a continued relationship with my IP's after the birth.

This psych eval was nothing compared to the written test that I had to take during my home visit a few months ago. There were over 300 questions; and silly ones at that! Example: Do you like to collect stamps? Umm, no.

Monday, November 29, 2010

No Crazies Over Here!

I am scheduled for a psych eval tomorrow morning. This will be handled over the phone and should last about 30mins. I am confident that this will go smoothly. 

After that, paperwork will be filled out to apply for medical insurance. Once my insurance is activated, I will then have an appointment scheduled to see E & A's doctor for a medical evaluation. This part I am nervous about, as I mentioned in my previous post. It will most likely be another few weeks until I go in for the medical eval, so until then, I don't want to think about it and get myself all worked up.

In the meantime, I have been spending a lot of quality time with my family. We took the kids to San Diego Zoo this past weekend and also spent time visiting with my Husband's Aunt and Uncle while we were in the area. With Christmas coming up (so quickly!) I am looking forward to many more memories made with my family. This is our favorite time of the year! Happy Holidays, Everyone!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Thankful

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to share what I am most thankful for this year.

I am most Thankful for my Husband, Eric. 

Without him, I wouldn't be where I am at today. Without him, I wouldn't be in love and happily married. Without him, I wouldn't have the most amazing, beautiful, happy, healthy children. Without him, I wouldn't have such an awesome set of in-laws. Without him, I wouldn't have a beautiful sister in-law that I adore. Without him, I wouldn't be an Auntie. Without him, I wouldn't be able to stay at home with my children. Without him, I wouldn't be able to sleep soundly at night. Without him, I wouldn't know what true love really is. Without him, I wouldn't have enough support be a surrogate mother. Without him, I wouldn't be me.  My husband completes me. I am so very blessed to have him in my life. I love him dearly. He is an amazing father to our children. He supports me. He loves me unconditionally. He makes me laugh. Eric, Thank You for loving me. Thank You for supporting me. Thank You for all that you have blessed me with. I love you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Surrogacy Support Group

While I'm waiting to fill out insurance paperwork to begin my surrogacy journey with my IP's, I thought I'd do a quick informational post. :)

Most of my online surro-mom friends already know about Surrogate Mother's Online, LLC, but for those of you who are new to surrogacy--whether you are the Surrogate or the IP's--I encourage you to check out Surrogate Mother's Online, if you haven't already done so. This website is FILLED with a TON of information to include but not limit to:

  • Surrogacy Articles
  • Birth Announcements
  • Message Boards
  • Classifieds
  • Surrogacy, infertility, egg donor, pregnancy, postpartum, ect. links
  • Sample contracts
  • Success stories
  • And much more!
To be redirected to Surrogate Mother's Online, please click HERE

I am new to the Surrogate Mother's Online Message Boards and still familiarizing myself. I plan to use it to the fullest during my surrogacy journey for support from other surro-mommies. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I just purchased my first little gift for my soon-to-be surro-baby/ies. :) 

Play music and voices to the womb!

You can share loving messages with baby from parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends. This way, when baby meets the person who recorded the message for the first time, their voice will already be familiar. 

Military moms are playing recorded messages from husbands overseas.
Adopting couples are sending their voices for the birth mom to play to her belly.
OB/GYNs are helping turn the baby “toward camera” for ultrasound pictures.
Surrogacy couples are familiarizing their baby-to-be with their voices.
Moms with breech babies are helping turn the baby downwards.

I can't wait to share this with E & A and have them record themselves maybe reading a book so that I can play it to their baby/ies while they are growing in my womb!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surrogacy Insurance

We are waiting. Again. I'm starting to get used to this whole hurry-up-and-wait game.....But, that doesn't mean that I like it. I know that once things start to get rolling; once I start my injections; once I see two pink lines; it's all craziness from then on...and I'm excited about that! I am thankful though that I get to take it easy and focus on my family during the upcoming holidays. This is my favorite time of the year!

My IP's (E & A) are in the final stages of choosing an insurance company that will cover me through the surrogacy and allow for me to deliver at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Being that I will have a c-section and will be spending a few days in the hospital, this was important to me--I wanted a room with an ocean view while recovering from my battle wounds!! Hoag Hospital is a perfect location for the delivery and equal distance for us all--about a 15 to 20 minute drive. Hoag's Women's Pavilion is also home to an expert Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff of highly trained nurses and neonatologist who provide specialized, around-the-clock care for infants born prematurely, or with complications.

While the insurance paperwork is about to be filled out by all parties and then processed by the ins. co. (this will probably take another few weeks *deep sigh*), I will (hopefully) in the meantime take care of speaking with the psychologist to get that part out of the way. Once my insurance coverage goes active, we can then schedule my appointment and physical with E & A's fertility doctor, Dr. Paulson. This part worries me a little. I'm worried that Dr. Paulson will find something...maybe a tumor, or a cyst, or find that my uterine lining is too thin, or something that will no longer allow me to be a surrogate for E & A. I would be devastated. I know E & A would be devastated. This just would not be good. So, prayers please!!! Please, please, please, please pray that my physical with Dr. Paulson goes smoothly and we receive great results and are given the thumbs up to move forward with the contract and finally start injections....YAY!!! (ouch!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Match Making SUCCESS!

This couldn't be anymore perfect. Really. I am so very thankful that this is all shaping out to be "the surrogacy of my dreams". Seriously. I'm not even sugar-coating anything. This really is perfect--Thank You God for my answered prayers!

We had our Match Meeting yesterday. Eric and I...well ok, just me--I was so nervous! I woke up at 7:00am. I felt "off" and I'm sure it was because of the time change (seriously, is the time change thing really necessary?!). I felt like I was late already, even though we really weren't--meeting wasn't until 10:15am. So I jumped out of bed, hopped into the shower, hurried around to get dressed, got the kids up, yelled at Eric to get out of bed (sorry babe, I love you!), did my hair, put my face on, Eric took care of getting the kids ready and the car gassed up, we loaded up in the car, stopped at the local donut store, dropped off the kids and dog (oh that dog!!) with my Mom (LOVE YA, MA!), and then we were off!! Our agency, Family Creations, is located in Woodland Hills, so we had a good hour ahead of us. I used that time to go over all the questions I had compiled a while back (see questions HERE) that I would be asking my Intended Parents. I went over each one with Eric to get his input and thoughts. It was a nice drive and allowed me the time to get my head into the game, so to speak. As we merged on the the 101 Frwy, we got a call from Stephanie saying that the Parents had arrived early and that if we too arrived early to just come on up. Okie doke!

So we arrived at the office building, which we knew ahead of time would be closed since technically it was not a business day. The doors were locked, and I knew they would be. Stephanie mentioned that there would be a security guard and that he would allow us inside the building, we just had to mention Stephanie's name. Ok. Hmm. We didn't see a security guard? Knock, knock, knock. Nothing. So we walked around the building thinking he may be at the back entrance. Nothing. Hmm. I called Stephanie on her cell phone. No Answer. Hmm. Ok, now i'm worried--are we at the right building? I walked out front, all the way out to the street to reverify the address. Yup, we were at the right building. I called her again. No answer. Now i'm really worried! As I'm pacing back and forth and wondering what the heck is going on, Eric did some investigating around the building (God love that man!!). He ended up finding this LITTLE itty bitty box like thing with buttons on one of the pillars outside the doors. He pushed the button....waited...and we heard a voice. Yay!! Such nerd-balls we are!! Who knew we had to ring the "door bell"? Haha! The guard came down and let us in. Phew!

Now i'm nervous as hell. We had to take the elevator up 7 floors. I can feel my heart starting to beat more rapidly. My body getting hot. My legs feeling tingly and numb. My hands starting to sweat. As we reached the 7th floor, Eric said he needed to make a quick pit-stop at the restrooms. Ok. So, I waited in the hallway. By myself. Waiting. Thinking. Anticipation rising. His quick pee stop seemed like it took 20 minutes, when really it was more like a minute and a half. He's done and we continue down the hall to suite 760. I grab his arm tightly in an effort to release some of my nervousness, and we entered into the office. We were greeted by Stephanie herself. So pretty and such a sweetheart--this was the first time we had met face-to-face. She quickly hugged me and was so excited to have us there. "Well, are you guys ready?", Stephanie said with a huge smile on her face. "Yes, of course!", I quickly replied. Stephanie ushered us into the front conference room where we finally got to meet the people that I was going to help make a family.

For privacy reasons and until I can get their permission to use their names on my blog, I will call them E (the daddy) & A (the mommy).  It's a funny  coincidence that their initials are the same as my husbands and I.

Our meeting with E & A went perfectly--it really did. We were all very nervous and didn't know what to expect. Stephanie helped to keep us on track and facilitated the whole meeting. There were a lot of "what ifs" that had to be brought to the table, and thankfully, we agreed on each one. It was a little uncomfortable talking about the scary things like how we felt about the idea of carrying twins or triplets, selective reduction, or what if the fetus was known to have a birth defect--would they want to abort the pregnancy? As uncomfortable as it was answering those questions, we had to. If we didn't see eye-to-eye then this match would not work. And thankfully, both parties had the same views and thoughts and there weren't any problems. It was really comforting to hear that E & A were also concerned about ME and MY wellbeing. We each shared our story of how we met (as hubby and wife), what led us to Surrogacy, our hobbies, ect.

I don't want to reveal too much about E & A until I talk with them about my blog and get their approval to discuss. But what I can say is that they are great! They chose us and we said yes! They are local and only about 20 minutes from us. They are so excited to get started. They welcome a blooming friendship with Eric and I. "A" even promised to make me chocolate chip cookies when the cravings start (and I'm holding her to it!). They LOVE LOVE LOVE that we have such a strong support system. They are working with one of the BEST fertility doctors IN THE WORLD. So, once again, I have piece of mind knowing that (literally) I am in good hands. If you want to research this doctor, Google Dr. Paulson, USC Fertility.

What's next? I will have an appointment setup with a psychologist and another appointment will be setup with Dr. Paulson to check out my baby-making organs. Once I am cleared to go by the two docs then our lawyers collaborate, draw up contracts, we review and make changes if necessary. Once the contracts are signed by both parties, then we hit the ground running and we're clear to start INJECTIONS (more on that later)! We are hoping to start injections the first of the year.

I'm off to Vegas this weekend with my girlfriends. I'm looking at it as a celebration and last hoorah before getting knocked up. :oP

Until next time....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I got THE CALL!!!!!!!

I've been chosen by the local couple that I mentioned in my previous post!!!!!
I JUST got THE CALL!!! Thank you ALL for your positive thoughts and prayers--they have been answered!!
My body is literally numb, my hands and feet are sweating, and I can hardly gather my thoughts from all of these emotions running around my body like crazy!!!
I will post an update soon. Hold on to your seats!!!!!

This pic best describes how I feel right about now!!! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Matching Update

Oh I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself! I don't want to jinx anything, but I can't help but to give a quick update!! For some reason I feel that if I get too overly excited this will fall through, but I'm trying to think positive thoughts! 

So I got a call from my agency, Family Creations, this afternoon--they call about once a week to once every other week to provide me with an update on the match making process. Let me just say that Stephanie (my case manager) is so amazing!! She's the sweetest lady and you can truly feel how dedicated she is to you just by talking with her. She's the best--so caring and passionate about her work and wants to make sure that you are matched with the perfect IP's! Anyhow, back on track--Ok, so there is a new couple that is very much interested in me being their surrogate and (according to Stephanie) they felt "drawn" to my profile. And---get this!!! They only live about 15-20 minutes from me!!! THIS IS SO COOL!!! It's like this one is meant to be. Going in to this whole surrogacy adventure, I really felt like it would be best to match with someone locally (and my husband Eric agreed), but I wanted to be open to the possibilities of working with a couple outside of California as well. So, I hope this is it--I really hope this works out!! It's (once again) down to me and one other surrogate (who is a 2nd timer). But, Stephanie said this couple sounds promising (oh I hope I'm not jinxing myself!!). So, once again, we wait and see what happens.

As for the Hungarian couple, they are still interested, but waiting to hear from their doctor about the possibility of choosing a second surrogate (I would be the second surro since they have already chosen their first surrogate through another agency). So, still waiting to hear what their doctor says.

Well, that's it for now. I'm anxiously waiting by my phone for another update from Stephanie saying, "You've been picked!". Seriously, every time my phone rings my heart drops and I think OH THIS COULD BE THE CALL!!! Please send your positive thoughts and prayers about this local couple being THE ONE!! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Beautiful Birth Story

I just had to share this AMAZING blog post from another surrogate mother on the birth of her surro-son. Her birth story is intense and the pictures brought tears to my eyes -- especially this picture of her handing baby Thomas over to his Mother who had waited nearly a decade for this very moment. Simply beautiful. THIS is why I have chosen to become a surrogate mother.

Click Here For Thomas' Story 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Waiting Game

I hate waiting. I'm not very good at it. I go crazy thinking about all of the "what ifs". I hop on the internet and research every single possibility to educate myself about those "what ifs". My mind races at a million miles per hour during my down time like when trying to get to bed at night, which in return leaves me with only a few hours of deep sleep. I wake groggy and start the process all over again. I hate waiting. I didn't realize the matching process would take such a long time. When I first started my surrogacy journey, for some reason I was under the impression that this would go quickly. I know there are Intended Parents looking at my profile. I know they are interested--the agency told me. But why is it taking so long? I hate waiting.

There is so much involved when being matched for surrogacy. It's not just about matching personalities and personal views between surrogate moms and the Intended Parents. It also includes lawyers, insurance, and other doctors. I have peace in knowing that all of the proper steps are being taken to match me with the perfect couple. It's just hard for me to sit back and wait. Did I mention I hate waiting?? :)

While I sit back and wait, I have really enjoyed looking at other surro moms' BLOGS online. I love reading their personal surrogacy stories, updates, and seeing pictures of their milestones. I also have connected with a few Intended Parents via their BLOGS online. It's really neat to hear the IP's point of view on the whole surrogacy adventure. This all just re-solidifies why I am taking this surrogacy journey and makes me THAT much more excited to get started!

I guess I should let you all know that one of the 3 IP's interested in my profile backed out. The couple from Los Angeles decided they wanted to go with a surrogate mom who has done this before. I'm ok with this and wish them the very best.

The couple from Hungary is getting close to saying "OK". Their doctors have reviewed my medical history. They are now working with a lawyer and an insurance company to see what they are up against before moving forward with the matching process. I did find out today that this couple would like to match with 2 surro moms. They want to grow their family now and not have to go through this process again down the road. I'm not sure how I feel about this. My first thought was that I don't want another surro mom embarking on MY journey, but then I quickly realized how neat it would be to rely on each other for support and grow a friendship together. I will have to sleep on it, talk with my husband Eric, and also rely on my support network.

Last but not least, I recently purchased a few books on surrogacy. Delivering Hope is a book on the extraordinary journey of a surrogate mom. I just read the first chapter last night and I'm hooked. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! The other book that I purchased was for my son Aiden called The Kangaroo Pouch. This book helps to introduce the concept of surrogacy to children. I don't want to read this book to Aiden too prematurely. I will wait until we are officially matched to do this.

Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On a more exciting note...

Last Friday I received a call from Family Creations, the agency that I am working with to get matched, and they informed me that I have 3 possible Intended Parents looking at my profile and that they are working with their doctors to see if I'm the right candidate for them (medically). My medical history (that I authorized the release of) is in their doctor's hands for review. I was told that I would hopefully hear something by the end of this week and that it is highly likely that one of these three will be the one (with our approval, of course!)--How exciting!!!

Location of the 3 possible IP's:
--Los Angeles (the first couple that showed an interest and that I mentioned previously)
--Northern California
--Europe, Hungary to be exact (neat!!!)

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am! All of the things that are running through my head are keeping me up at night. 

Once one of these three couples decides to go ahead with me, I will then get the opportunity to view their profile and agree to a match meeting. 

Yay, so excited!!!! :D

Q & A

I have been asked a lot of questions regarding this whole surrogacy adventure and so I thought it would be nice to compile them all and share on this blog. I'm sure more questions will roll in, so I will post a part II later.

Are you sure you want to do this?? We are absolutely, 100+% sure about becoming surrogate parents. Eric and I have talked about this a billion times and are confident in our decision to move forward. This is something that I have wanted to do for a while now, and I am very blessed to have my husband stand by my side and support me unconditionally. We are both very excited about this whole surrogacy journey.

Will fertilized eggs be placed inside you? Yes. This will all be done through In Vitro Fertilization (a.k.a. IVF). On average 1-2 eggs will be transferred--yes, that means there is a good possibility that I will carry twins!! For more information on IVF click HERE.

Whose egg and sperm will it be--especially if they were a gay couple? If a traditional couple (man and wife), then their egg/sperm will be used. If he or she is infertile, they will choose a sperm or egg donor of their choice. If a gay (male) couple, it is up to them to choose who's sperm they will use. Also, they will have to select an egg donor of their choice. My eggs will NOT be used.  

Are you getting paid for this, and if so, how much? This is an awkward question; particularly because this is really nobody's business. Yes, we are getting compensated. But let me make this very clear from the beginning--we are not doing this for the money.  Yes, the money will be helpful in getting our finances together and will put us that much closer to buying our first home, but, the MAIN reason (especially for me) we are doing this is for the amazing journey. To be able to provide another couple the gift of a child means the world to me. My husband and I are so honored to take part in such an incredible journey. The compensation is just a nice little "Thank you" for the 24/7 work that myself, my body, and my family will be going through over the next year. 

Will your kids wonder where the baby is going? I anticipate a lot of questions from Aiden (my 5yr old). Addison not so much, obviously, because of her age (21mos). Eric and I will be open and upfront from the very beginning and do our very best to educate them on what's going on.

Do you plan to do this more than once? We'll see how this first experience all goes. I would still like to have one more child of my own someday (wishful thinking!!). I have been reading other surrogate mom's blogs online, and it looks like almost every one of them come out with a positive and amazing experience and they are continuing on to be a gestational surrogate more than once.

What kind of requirements did you have to do for them to give approval for you to become a surrogate? For the basic requirements that I had to meet, click HERE
Once my initial application was approved, I then had to complete a more in-depth application, phone interview, create my profile that will be viewable online to intended parents, submit pictures of myself and my family, release medical history from my previous pregnancies, agree to a background check on myself and my husband, complete a psychological test, and have a home-visit from the agency.

Are you going to be able to give the baby up once he/she is born? Yes, of course! The baby (or babies!) will have no genetic connection to me. This will not be my baby. Eric and I will have no part in the creation of this baby--I'm just the oven for the bun. I believe that throughout the 10 months of being pregnant we will use that time to establish a bond and close friendship with the intended parents. When the time comes, I will be so happy and proud to hand the baby over. I don't look at it as "giving up" a baby; I look at it as I am "giving back" THEIR baby. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Must Watch!!

This surrogacy special was on ABC Nightline last night. It's short and sweet, and made me that much more excited about becoming a surro-mom!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Must Have Support!

I received a wonderful card in the mail the other day and I am so excited to share it with everyone (of course with permission from the sender!). It is so very important to have the support of your family and friends throughout this whole journey. I am very lucky and blessed that I have a strong support network. Without it, this whole surrogacy experience wouldn't be possible. So, thank you--Thank you all for your love and support. It truly means the world to me! 
The card reads:
I was sitting in one of my counseling classes when I received your email about you actually being a surrogate. At the time I was learning how to be an effective counselor and how I can help people. As I began to read your email I was touched by your decision. I realized this is your way of helping others and making an impact in someone's life. Then I immediately thought of your Dad. You are your father; You love kids and you are always willing to help others. 
When I had first heard about this I must admit I was shocked. However, while reading your email I became tearful and I realized how important this is to you. I want you to know that I understand and respect your decision. I am lucky to have a giving friend like you in my life. 
I wish you luck and God Bless you and your family. 
Cindy P.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prep For Our Match Meeting

I got a call this morning from Family Creations, the surrogacy program that I am working with to get matched. They said that my potential IP Mom had a few questions for me before she decides to go further with the matching process. I don't blame here--I would have a TON of questions too if I were in her shoes, that's for sure! This all got me thinking--I better get my list of questions ready to ask during the match meeting!!

Here's what I've come up with so far. If you have any input or other questions to add to my list, please share!!
  1. Where are you from?
  2. What do you and your spouse do for a living?
  3. Where did you meet?
  4. How long have you been together?
  5. Do you have any children? Together or from previous relationships? Do you have legal custody of all your children?
  6. Does your family know that you are looking into surrogacy? If not, do you plan to tell them?
  7. Do you have support from family and friends?
  8. Describe your personalities. What are your interests? Hobbies?
  9. Has anyone in your household ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?
  10. Why are you looking for a potential surrogate mother?
  11. If you could have the best surrogacy experience ever, what would it be?
  12. How many IVF attempts (or cycles) are you willing to try to conceive a child?
  13. How many embryos do you foresee implanting during each attempt?
  14. What are your feelings on becoming parents to twins or triplets?
  15. What are your feelings about terminating the pregnancy for medical reasons (for example if the child was found to have a serious birth defect or abnormality that would affect his or her quality of life)?
  16. What are your thoughts on selective reduction?
  17. If an amniocentesis was recommended, knowing the risks to the fetus, would you still want one performed?
  18. What type of relationship do you anticipate having with your surro mom and her family?
  19. How much contact would you like with your surro mom and her family during pregnancy? Will you be attended doctor appointments, ect?
  20. How much contact would you like with your surro mom and her family following the delivery?
  21. Do you plan to tell the child (or children) about this surrogacy journey?
  22. Can I choose the hospital that I will deliver at?
  23. Who do you want present at the birth?
  24. Are you comfortable with allowing my husband and children to meet the baby (or babies) in the hospital? What about the rest of my family (Parents, siblings, et.?).
  25. Would you want your surro mother to express breast milk for the baby? 
  26. If you could choose one thing about my profile that you like best, what would it be and why?
  27. If you had to choose one thing negative about my profile or about me, what would it be and why?
Well there it is. My list of questions to ask my possible Intended Parents (IP's) during our match meeting. Please share your thoughts--Am I asking too much? Too little? Not enough??....You get the point :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

OMG--We may have a match!!

This morning I sent an email to the agency that we are working with and asked for an update on our match-making progress. I know it's only been a week since my profile has gone active, but give me a break--I'm excited!!

Here's the response that I just received:

"Thanks for checking in Andrea! I do have a possible match that I will be working on over the next week. It is with a lovely couple that lives here in the Los Angeles area. They really felt a connection to you after reading your profile! They have been traveling this week and they return today. We are hoping to connect within the next few days to discuss the process further. I have also asked them to fill out a profile that I will be sharing with you if they decide to explore the match further. Thanks again for checking in and as soon as I have another update for you, I will be in touch!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The BIG Announcement

We recently sent an email to family and close friends announcing our surrogacy journey. We felt it would be easiest to send out an email and tell everybody all at once versus making a ton of phone calls.
Here is the email:
Dear Family and Friends, 

We wanted to be the first to tell you about an amazing journey that our family is about to embark on. 

For the past 12 years or so, and ever since I had the opportunity during my high school years to grow close with an amazing family that opened up their hearts and their home to foster children, I always told myself that I wanted to do something special like that when I grow up. At the time I felt that special thing would be to adopt a child once my future Husband and I were done having children of our own. To be able to provide for a not-so-fortunate, homeless, parentless child meant the world to me; and when the time was right, I was going to make it happen. 

After reconnecting with Eric in 2004 (for those of you who are unaware, we went to high school together. It wasn't until four years after graduating that we reconnected) I mentioned to him on several occasions about my passion on adopting a child down the road. Unfortunately, Eric and I do not see eye-to-eye on this topic. I'll be honest, I was a little heart-broken and felt that my dream of adopting was crushed. I didn't let it get to me at the time because we were so involved with the birth and upbringing of our first child, Aiden. 

A few years had passed after having Aiden, and I began to look in to other options to 'help out', so to speak. I came across Surrogacy online and I was intrigued. I thought, hmmm, I think I can do this, just not right at this moment. I was still trying to convince Eric that it was time for a second baby of our own. :) I brought the topic of Surrogacy up to Eric anyways just to see what kind of reaction I would get and surprisingly he was very interested to hear more details! I was excited and at the same time very nervous. I didn't quite feel ready to pursue Surrogacy any further until after having our second child.

Another two to three years have gone by since first discovering Surrogacy; we have had our second child, Addison; We don't plan to have any more least not anytime soon (wishful thinking on my part!); and we figured it was the right time to dip back into the whole Surrogacy thing to see if this is really something we want to pursue at this time in our lives. I did my research, connected with a great agency that matches Intended Parents with Surrogates, and I submitted my application. To my surprise, within 2 days I was accepted!!

For the past few months we have been working with the agency to determine if Eric and I are a perfect fit for Surrogacy. We have completed all the necessary requirements and passed the background check and psyche test. Next step: As of last Tuesday, September 7th, we have been approved to go forward  and my profile is now active online for Intended Parents to view (kind'a like a dating service website). Now, it's just a waiting game. We could get chosen this week, next month, or in a few months. I was told on two different occasions by my case manager that this will probably go quickly being that I am the only surrogate currently active with their agency that is comfortable with being matched with a gay couple. I couldn't believe it when I heard that--My jaw actually dropped in disbelief. So sad--But, I am happy and proud that I am that ONE person. :)

FYI - All Intended Parents go through the same screening and background checks as we did. And also, FYI - I will NOT be donating my eggs. I am only the 'oven' for the 'bun'. The child will have no genetic connection to Eric and I.

Eric and I have talked this over a billion times and we are 100+% sure that this is what we want to do. To be a part of something so big will be amazing. To be able to provide another person or couple with a child, I believe, is the ultimate gift. We know there will be tough times along the way, but with the support of our family and friends, we know this will be nothing we are not strong enough for.

As far as our own children, we plan on spending a lot of time talking and teaching them about what this journey is about and why we are taking it. We don't have any worries about them; we are a very close family and our children always come first.

Your thoughts and feelings are important to us--that is why you are receiving this email. Please be open with us about your thoughts and if you have any questions, please ask. We feel this journey not only involves us, but you as well because we will rely on you for your support.

To keep you all updated throughout this whole process, I have created a blog for you to visit for the latest and greatest on our journey through surrogacy.

We are so excited about what's to come and can't wait to share this experience with you all.


Annie & Eric.