Thursday, June 30, 2011

Med and Psych Screening Tomorrow!!!

I will be up bright and early tomorrow morning to head up to LA for my 9am psych evaluation with Growing Generations and 12pm medical screening with Dr. Kolb at Huntington Reproductive Center in Pasadena. As much as I'm trying not to get too excited about all of this, it's definitely hard not to. A step forward in the right direction is always a good thing!! Oh, and Hubby went in this afternoon for his blood screening again. It will be nice to get both of our screenings out of the way at the same time.

I feel that if I can keep calm, collected, and not "expect" anything, a "let down" will be easier to take. I've been let down, hurt, confused, and so frustrated about the recent HTLV issue that I'm almost waiting for the next set-back to jump in my face. I don't have any expectations right now, I guess as a way to protect myself and my emotions. So, I'm not allowing myself to get too excited just yet--if that makes sense?  Definitely proceeding with caution.

I'll updated again soon with our screening results and what will happen next.

Until next time, I'll leave you with a picture of some Growing Generation Surrogate's:
Kelly (Just the Stork), Misti, and I at dinner the other night. Surro's Rule!!!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Surro-Sister Bond

The bond that surrogates have with one another runs deep. There is a special connection that no one else can understand unless they were a surrogate. This bond drives me to do "crazy" things according to some family members and close friends of mine. They shake their heads in confusion when I say I'm going to meet up with another surro-friend for dinner.

I hear things like:
"You don't even know them!"
"Why would you want to meet up with someone that you've met over the internet?"
"That doesn't sound safe!"
"Ummm, are you crazy! Why would you do that!?"
"What if they are an ax murderer!!!"

Believe it or not, but my best friend actually said that last comment to me the other day. My family and friends freak out when I say that I am going to visit a surrogate friend and her family that live hours away from me. They think I'm crazy. But, I get it. I understand their concerns for me and my safety. I assure you though. None of my surro-sisters are ax murderers!

The bond that I have built with these few special surro-sisters is indescribable. We may not see each other very often, and some surro-sisters I will never get the chance to meet because the miles between us is too great. But, we talk every day believe it or not. We know all about each other through discussions in our private Facebook group and by following each other's blogs. We know where each other is at in our surrogacy journeys. We root each other on and support each other through all of the ups and downs. We get each other. We understand what each other is going through. We support each other. We lift each other up. We are Surro-Sisters. No matter how near or far a part we are, we have a connection like no other. A connection that runs deep and will last a life time.

Now don't get me wrong--My family and friends support me being a surrogate 110%. They are excited for my journey to get going. They just don't understand my desire to befriend other surrogates and do "crazy" things like attend another surrogate's transfer and spend the entire day with her on bed rest because I didn't want her to be alone (her IP's are international).

It's not every day that you meet another surrogate mother in person. They are few and far in between, and most times than not you meet online. When you find a fellow surrogate you hold on to one another, build a friendship, and do "crazy" things like meet up for dinner or gather your families for an afternoon BBQ. We all have one very special thing in common--We have babies for rightfully deserving people who are not able to have these children on their own. We assist in making dreams come true. Now this is one bond that I am ever so proud to be a part of!

Call me "crazy", but I love my Surro-Sisters and I could't imagine going through surrogacy with out their support and friendship. They play a key role in my support system and I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

Now let's get this party started!!! I am meeting up with a few surro-sisters next week for dinner and I have my medical and psych screening next Friday. I'll be re-screened, cleared for take off, matched with great IPs, and bakin' someone else's baby in no time (I hope!)!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Prayers for Madyn Frazier

I'd like to take a moment to broaden the prayer circle for Madyn Frazier. Madyn is a good friend's cousin and she was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. Madyn is only 1 1/2 years old.

This is sweet little Madyn. Isn't she just the cutest!!
Madyn is fighting like a champ and her parents are taking great care of her and ensuring the proper treatment is being done. Of course, all of these treatments, medications, and hospital stays do not come with out a cost. The first bill received was over $65, 000!! This is where my good friend Johanna comes in. Jo has set up numerous fundraising opportunities and has also set up a donation spot on her blog. Every little bit helps and I am asking if you can please help out where ever you can, please do! If you can donate, even $5, the Frazier family will be eternally grateful for your kindness.

To read Madyn Fraziers full story, inquire about participating in a fundraising opportunity and/or to donate, please check out my friend Johanna's blog. Jo's goal is to raise $1500 by July 31st. WHEN she reaches that goal  (I say "when", because I have all the faith in the world that she will succeed!) she will be shaving her head in honor of Madyn who is already starting to lose her own precious locks due to the chemo treatment.

---> CLICK HERE <--- to be redirected to Johanna's blog.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Say hello to my little friend

Aunt Flo arrived tonight--thank God!!

Today marked 40 days since the first day of my last period. My previous cycle was 45 days. The normal menstrual cycle ranges form 25 to 35 days, with a 28-day average (according to So, you can imagine how frustrating it is to go 40+ days, have negative pregnancy tests, and still no period. I blame it all on the the damn Mirena that I had removed back in January, and my body trying to adjust. Let me just say......NEVER AGAIN will I get the MIRENA IUD. Never. It does horrible things to your body and mind.

On a more positive note-I have finally been able to schedule my medical/psych screening. Not knowing when my period was going to come (once again, thanks alot Mirena!!), I was able to talk the agency into making me an appointment with the hopes that by the time I have to go in, I will have had my period. The appointment is scheduled for next Friday, July 1st. I am going to try and see if I can get an earlier appointment now that AF has decided to show herself. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 13, 2011

IUD Removal

Its been 5 months since I had the Mirena IUD taken out at my first medical screening and man oh man is it taking my body a long time to adjust!! I had the IUD taken out in January and by February I had the biggest, heaviest, and most painful period of my life. I was leaking through the super tampons in an hour. So not what I am used to. Freaking out, I called my Mom because she always has the answer to everything and she told me that if it continues like this on my next cycle to call the doctor. Ok, so my first period after having the IUD out came and went and I was glad to see it go, that's for sure.

Then March came and it seemed to be back to normal. Phew. Mom was right. My body just needed time to adjust from having the Mirena out. After all, I had the Mirena in for the past two years!! Surely it's going to take some time to adjust.

Ok, so April comes.... and it goes....and NO period. What the heck!! It was going on 44 days since the beginning of my last period back in March so I was freaking out that maybe I was pregnant. Long shot--but it could be. I took a test and it was negative. Thank God!!! The next day, of course, it arrived. May 11th, 45 days since the beginning of my last period. Errr!!!

So, now as I'm preparing for my next medical screening, I have to wait until my period starts in order to schedule the screening. Of course....i'm late AGAIN!! Today is day 33 and while i'm not THAT late (I normally go 30-31 days), it's still a few days late. Let's just hope it's not another 45 day'er like my last cycle.

I was super bitchy last week, and crazy emotional this past weekend. Today my boobs are sore so I'm hoping this is a clear sign that Aunt Flo is about to show herself very soon. This evening I treated myself to frozen yogurt packed with bits of reeces peanut butter cup and sliced almonds. Hoping this will help to welcome Aunt Flo with open arms.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where oh where can Aunt Flo be?

Aunt Flo is not late, but this month it would be helpful if she would visit just a tad early. Like this weekend would be good. As soon as my cycle starts this month, I am to call the agency to give them a heads up. My medical screening has to be performed 5-14 days after the first day of my period. In order to stay on track with my goals of having the screening done within the next two weeks and matched by mid-July, I need AF to come visit NOW!!

I wasn't expecting this go to so quickly, just cause how things have been in the past, but I actually already received my first Intended Parent's profile--yay!! I am really excited about it, but nothing can happen until I am cleared (again) and ready to go!!

Come on Aunt Flo---LET'S DO THIS!!!! I soooo deserve this part to fly by.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

So what's next you ask?

I will be getting a call from my new agency on Monday. Even though they originally said that I could transfer all of my medical/psych screenings over from the previous agency, it is more than likely that I will be screened again, at the doctor's request. So I'm thinking Monday we will be scheduling all of that stuff. Piece of cake compared to the madness that we experienced in the last four months.

My goal: To be re-screened and cleared within the next 2 weeks. Matched with new Intended Parents by mid-July.

I told you I was hitting the ground running!!

HTLV And How It Affected My Surrogacy Journey

I am now able to share with you exactly why I was "let go" by my Intended Parent's Reproductive Endocrinologist; why I lost the Intended Parents that I was previously matched with; why I had to switch agencies; and what I've been dealing with for the past (almost) four months now. Here is my story.

When starting this surrogacy journey in early 2010, I really had no clue what I was getting myself in to. I did a bunch of research on surrogacy before signing with an agency, but there are things that can come up that nobody can be prepared for. I was so nervous about my medical screening, I didn't even give it a second thought about my husbands screening. It never crossed my mind that something could be wrong with my husbands test results. Especially after my results came back perfect! I thought for sure we'd be ready to sign those contracts as soon as I was cleared for take off. Boy, was I so unprepared for what hit us next.

In February, my husband's medical screening results came back positive for a very rare retro-virus called HTLV. HTLV stands for Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus. Scary name right?!!? Well, right in deed! As soon as I got word of this virus, I immediately logged onto the internet and Googled HTLV. My heart broke into a million pieces as I read about this nasty, potentially life threatening virus. The retro-virus HTLV causes T-cell Leukemia and T-cell Lymphoma in adults. Areas of the world that are endemic to the HTLV-1 virus are the Caribbean, Japan, Africa, Middle East, South America, and Melanesia. Not the United States. So, you can imagine how terribly scared and freaked out my husband and I were (not to mention why I wasn't able to spill the beans on my blog about why I lost my IPs). I was told by both the agency that I was working with and the RE's nurse that they often see false positives with this test, and that they were going to further test by performing a test called the Western Blot. Not to panic just yet and lets wait for the second, more in depth test results to come in. Well, back to the lab my husband went to have more blood drawn. I had high hopes that the first test was a false positive--I mean it had to be. If my husband truly had this virus, I would have tested positive for it--it is sexually transmitted. I tested negative for HTLV, so there is no way that my husband had the virus. No way. It had to be a false positive and the Western Blot was going to give us more answers.

Another two weeks had gone by while we were waiting on the results of the Western Blot.  We were informed by the RE's nurse that the results are back and now reading "undetermined". At this point, the doctor is no longer willing to work with me as a surrogate and has asked the intended parents to look in to getting another surro. What the heck!?!? I had done countless hours of research on this nasty virus, and I had come across even further testing that can be performed when the Western Blot comes back uninterpreted--not readable. This third test is called HTLV by RIPA, and only the California State Department of Health can perform this test for us (since we live in CA). I begged and pleaded for this doctor to order the third test. I even said that we would pay for it out of our own pocket--just write the script so we could have it done! My agency begged and pleaded for the doctor to give it one more shot, but he was having none of it. He had made up his mind. No advise to us, but to have my husband seek an infectious disease specialist. Thank you and goodbye--door slammed in our face...or so that's what it felt like. I was devastated. Heart broken for my surrogacy journey that was cut short, and scared out of my mind for the life of my husband. So many emotions. So much confusion. So much heartache. I was now un-matched and no longer able to work with the agency until we could prove that my husband was negative for HTLV. We needed that third test performed!! But how?

I made an appointment for my husband to see his primary care physician. We didn't know where else to start, so we figured we might as well start from the bottom. When at the doctor's office, my husband asked her if she'd ever dealt with HTLV cases before. Her response, "Only one other time, and it happened to also be another surrogate's husband....he eventually tested negative". I thought that was very interesting to say the least. Anyhow, she retested my husband using the Western Blot (the 2nd test), and once again, "undetermined". HTLV is so rare in the US, and not many doctors know how to deal with it. All the doctor could tell us was to retest in a month. Another flippin' month of waiting!!! I couldn't take it anymore. Something had to be done. There had to be other options.

I know I have mentioned it before, but I am sooo very thankful for the surrogate support group that I am a part of. With all of my confusions and frustrations regarding my husband's results, I reached out to my surro-sisters and one of them was able to get me in with her agency, Growing Generations. Growing Generations agreed to work with me and see that my husband's HTLV issue was tested further. They took us under their wings and sent my husband to a doctor who ordered the necessary test that needed to be performed--HTLV by RIPA. On April 14th he had his blood drawn for this test. This was it. This test was going to give us a definite yes or no. This test would ultimately change our future--for the good, or for the bad. We will have our answer and I prayed every night that it was the answer that we wanted--A big fat negative!!!

Fast forward to today, almost four months after we first received news about my husband testing positive for HTLV; Four months of our life waiting in limbo; Four months of not knowing what our future holds; Four months of torture. I received a call this morning that my husband is NEGATIVE!!!! I knew in my heart all along that he was negative. I just knew it. I fought hard for what I believed in. I pushed forward and persevered. We concurred this madness. I didn't give up and we succeed. My husband is 100% negative for HTLV and I am now moving forward with my journey in becoming a gestational surrogate.

Move outta my way, people!!! This Momma is hitting the ground running to help another couple's dream come true of having a baby.

To help you understand what HTLV is: