Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A few things going on behind the scenes

So I got all of my meds in finally! So I am ready to start whenever they say "GO!" LOL! Hubby & I had blood drawn for the HIV/HCV DNA test (special testing required by the FDA when you are either an egg donor or "donating" tissue to someone, i.e.; using a surrogate) That was a feat in itself! We had to go to THREE different places before we could have it done! The 3rd time was a charm! Tomorrow I go for a hormone level check (to see where I am in my cycle since I don't have a period) and to check my ovaries again. I think after that I should get my schedule of when to start meds and BCP's... Both of my shipments of meds were LATE! Thank God the overnight one was packed well enough on ice so that it was still cold when it arrived A DAY LATE. The other one was just 4 hrs late... On a positive all my meds were cheaper than I thought they would be, yippee! Please pray all my levels are on track tomorrow!  I hope everyone is ready for the holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Changes...

Sorry for no updates lately but, I have been deathly ill! I have been fighting ear infections, sore throat, a horrid cough and some other not so glamorous things! So kinda some thinking and processing has been going on in our heads lately, as we have some decisions we need to make regarding how we are going to proceed with this cycle. This is crucial because we are in a unique situation right now where we still have options. NO, that does not mean we are looking for a new surrogate, that part is the only thing we ARE SURE ABOUT! Let me explain the backstory:

My wonderful friend and surrogate did NOT have her blood work done! Not her fault, after being told by the RE's nurse that it would be done and giving me the cost and also telling me they would contact me after the consult with my friend and her husband, I never heard back from the clinic/nurse and I had to hear it from my friend that they didn't get blood work! I was NOT happy with this news. She informed me that the Dr. made that call and said he didn't want them to do it until all parties had signed contracts. Because it's my friend that doesn't worry me, but WHAT IF IT WAS A STRANGER??? The blood work is MUCH cheaper than the contracts, so it makes better sense to me that the blood work be done in advance, so if something came back positive (or negative) on a blood test for the surrogate and her husband, that would rule them out, the intended parents would not be out money on a contract they would have to have changed or possibly not need based on the surrogates location! (If you have a surrogate in one state and find one in a different state, the 1st contract wouldn't be valid and you may have to even find an attorney in the new surrogates state!!) So I am not sure how I feel about that. Well I DO know how I feel about that, but it's not easy to put into words.

Another thing that is bothering me is the RE during my initial consult informed me that he was sure my hormone levels were going to be higher, or more in correlation with someone who is almost 37 (this was before my birthday) and that based on what he was pretty sure they would be i would probably be on protocol A. I said "Well protocol B worked really well for me and I am nervous about starting a new med that I have no idea how it will affect my egg production" (the goal is to have the "most" eggs produced SAFELY, in the event your embryo transfer does not work, you have additional embryos to work with for frozen transfers later). So RE says "I will be shocked if your hormone levels are in line with what they were 7 yrs ago (the last time we tried this and what I am basing the protocol I feel I should be doing on), but if they are then we will probably put you on a protocol very similar to what you were on 7 years ago (the answer I wanted to hear!) So RE has me do some hormone testing in addition to what I already had done (which was pretty much in line with my 7 years ago testing) and he said this final test would give him a better idea of the bigger picture of egg quantity and quality. So I have that test done and it comes back "REALLY GOOD!" according the nurse. So I say, "OK, so does that mean I am on my old protocol, or pretty close to what I was on before?" (in my very excited voice). Then the boom is dropped... "NOPE, Dr. S thinks you will do fine on protocol A" WHAT THE F*&K!?!?! "That is NOT what me and Dr. S talked about during the consult, he said...." ( I ALWAYS write down what they say so I can refer back to it if need be" she pauses and says "Well he wrote in your chart that you are doing Protocol A and he believes you should have a good outcome" I was very upset by this news. So being me I do some research using Dr. Google and find that protocol A is generally used for older women or poor responders to the stimulation meds (the meds used to produce numerous eggs) and also that embryo QUALITY is not as good with protocol A as it is with protocol B (the one I want to use). So I email nurse lady and inform her of my findings and she goes on to say "Yes, you are correct this protocol IS used for older women or poor responders to the meds, BUT Dr. S feels that you will do fine on this..."  UMMM, NO. is what I am thinking.. And here is my problem folks: First off, let me say I AM NOT A DR.... BUT I DO know that if it ain't broke DON'T FIX IT. And I also know that I REFUSE to be someone's guinea pig.. If they were offering me another cycle at NO CHARGE in the event his theory turns out wrong, I would say SIGN ME UP, I'm game! But seeing as that it will cost me over $12,000 JUST for the IVF cycle (not including testing) I am NOT comfortable agreeing to this protocol. So We have decided to NOT use this clinic for the egg retrieval portion of the cycle. Sounds weird? Let me explain further. I put a call in to my old clinic and explain the situation to them. They said they feel I should do "protocol B" based on my hormone testing. I said "OK sign me up". So I am going to use my old clinic for the stimulation portion and egg retrieval. Once they fertilize my eggs and freeze my embryos, I will have them moved to the clinic that we planned on going to and have them do the transfer to my surrogate. This is the plan we feel most comfortable with. I get the protocol I know works for me AND my friend gets the convenience of us still using the clinic local to her for the embryo transfer and monitoring. It's not pretty, but it works! So, with all that said, I should be starting birth control pills (yes, you take birth control pills to HELP you have a baby with IVF) anytime now and starting the injections 3rd week or end of January, YAY!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holy Protocol Batman

So I have my protocol! That's a MAJOR step in this as that is the medicine I will be taking to produce the eggs needed to make the baby!! My wonderful friend and surrogate is having her consult and blood work done tomorrow so hopefully I will have some great news next week! One step closer to the starting line!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Small Change in Plans

Well my wonderful surrogate had to change her consult date! Her hubby had a meeting at work that he has to be at on Tuesday so they changed it to Friday the 10th. Atleast they both will be able to be there and get their stuff done at the same time and she will have her support system with her, so all things happen for a reason! I put a call and email in to the Dr. through his nurse to find out about my cyst! I have had it for over a year and it's a pretty big one at 3cm so I want to know if I need to go on BCP (birth control pills) now to try and shrink it and also if it will interfere with me taking the stim meds, that would be a disaster!! So hopefully I get some news on this next week! Saying prayers that this doesn't hold anything up!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tests Results are in!

All of our bloodwork is finally back!! All the results are either negative as they should be or within normal ranges as they should be! That was the preliminary bloodwork, but still a major step. Now my surrogate is scheduled for her appt. on Tuesday and will have her consult and bloodwork completed. Her hubby is going to try and make the appt. as well and if so he will be finished with his part, with the exception of the psych eval. Things are taking a little longer to coordinate since we are in different states and testing is being handled by 2-3 different places depending on what the test is.. My patience is definitely being tested at this point, but I know I can survive this and just keep praying that all things stay on track or as close to on track as can be. Right now we are waiting on the contract draft (we still have time for this, doesn't have to be completed until I start medication and we are a bit away from that still) and then however long it takes to get the psych evals back.. So, that's about all I have for an update for now, but things ARE moving forward so that's a blessing in itself..

Thursday, November 25, 2010


 As I finish getting my Thanksgiving dinner ready, I look around and smile at how much I have to be thankful for.. I have a great family and great friends. We have a lovely home and beautiful things. We are by no means rich, but we are not poor. God has blessed us infinitely... We are thankful and hopeful for our future and this journey we are embarking on and excited about what the New Year will bring us. I hope you all take a second and just relish in your loved ones today. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Mini update- My bloodwork is done and results should be in next week. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baby Steps

So we got our scripts for our bloodwork finally! Now to have them drawn. :( DH is having his SA (semen analysis) done Tuesday, and hopefully we can get these bloodtests done this week so we can move on to the next step! Our pysch eval is scheduled for Dec. 8th and our contract should be drafted and us getting to see it also next week! Lots going on in the next 2 weeks here (well 3-4 really factoring in the holiday) so 1st of December should be smooth sailing after that! Next thing on the list is getting the AMH results, then I will know what my protocol is. You will know when I do. Until next time!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Consult Update

So I had my consult with the fertility clinic today and it went GREAT! Found out some great info about the tests we need to have done and the Dr. went over each person and what they need. Now, back to me (LOL!) I have to have another test done to determine my ovarian reserve. This test is called AMH or Anti-Mullerian Hormone. This test does this: Since AMH is produced only in small ovarian follicles, blood levels of this substance have been used to attempt to measure the size of the pool of growing follicles in women. Research shows that the size of the pool of growing follicles is heavily influenced by the size of the pool of remaining primordial follicles (microscopic follicles in "deep sleep"). Therefore, AMH blood levels are thought to reflect the size of the remaining egg supply - or ovarian reserve. So, this test is going to tell them if i have a decent amount of eggs left in my ovaries.. I don't know why but I am nervous about this test! I already had a blood test done to see if I can produce eggs and that came back favorable (FSH was 6.55, which is great for being over 35) So this new test caught me off guard, since I thought I had already "passed" the egg issue portion of the exam..

Anyway, so based on the results of this test I am going to be on birth control pills for either 2 or 3 weeks and then start my injections 3-4 days after that. I was given 2 different scenarios for stimming (taking the injections)
Option A (if I am shown to be a lower producer) Take lupron after BCP's and my protocol will not be that much different than it was years ago when I did this.

Option B BCP for 2-3 weeks then 3-4 days later start only FSH drug no lupron and then 5-6 days in add in another drug that I am not familiar with (Ganirelix- yes I am researching this) and then use LUPRON as the trigger to ovulate. This is a very new protocol for me and I am not good with new things.. I have to take this for what it is though, and that is I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I have put my faith in this Dr. (who is amazing) and this clinic and I have to go with that, so with that thought, I am excited! new things are happening and tomorrow I should be getting a call back from the clinic to give info for them to fax me all the many Rx's for bloodwork we have to have done.. So the train engine has started but we aren't moving yet.. BUT WE'RE CLOSE! Overall, today was a very good day...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Beginnings and Making Progress

So my consult with the new clinic is TOMORROW! Yep, you read that right. 1PM I will be chatting up the RE (reproductive Endocrinologist) and seeing what our next move needs to be. This is a major step forward for us and we are so ready! My goal is to have all my questions ready for the Dr. and ask him what we need to have ready and when in order to be at egg retrieval and transfer by the end of January or middle of February. We have this time frame in mind for several reasons. The main one being I don't want my friend at delivery during the Holidays! As much as a Christmas baby sounds wonderful, I don't want her missing Christmas with her family for us. So as long as we transfer no later than the end of March we are ok. Goes something like this:
End of Jan transfer = End of Sept baby..
Beginning of Feb Transfer= Beginning of Oct due date
End of Feb Transfer = Beginning of Nov due date
End of March Transfer= Beginning of December due date (very latest time we want)

The dates are funny to figure because the woman is technically already 2 weeks pregnant the day of the embryo transfer, cool huh?! So when the bloodtest rolls around and then ultrasound you are already 6wks pregnant by that time.. So, that's the method to our madness. Please say a prayer that things continue to move in our favor!

OK, that's your education for the day. Back to your regularly scheduled programs..

Enjoy your Sunday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Major Changes and Updates

So, as you know we met our surrogate and matched relatively quickly and with no (major) problems.. Things have been kind of bumpy due to her not having insurance and us trying to find an affordable plan to cover her. In all fairness, all of the bumps are not her fault. Some were I hope just working out the kinks, while others are issues.. Anyway, the insurance is one of the biggest problems that we were not able to overcome. Also, our clinic that we had been in talks with and had our consult set with rather offhandedly informed us that we had not been told about an additional $10K fee just for using a surrogate (this is more than the actual IVF cost!) I was devastated. They apologized for not informing us sooner, but that doesn't help us, we still do not have an extra $10,000 sitting around! So, we decided to part ways with this clinic and we have since found a new clinic. Even with travel it is cheaper for us (travel is only an 8hr drive to GA).

OK, back to the surrogate.. The insurance hurdle has been a huge one. I have tried to find her a plan and THOUGHT I had one, until the health care reforms started taking effect. Now the plan I was looking into was not available when I was ready to purchase it! So our surrogate said what if she tried to get on with her work insurance, she said someone told her it wasn't as expensive as she thought. Turns out when she told me it was really expensive, she really meant when she looked online for individual policies it was expensive for her and her husband (not the same thing...) I told her to check into it and get back to me. Well long story short, she didn't for whatever reason. This is not something we could wait on as time is of the essence with these things and you have to be on top of it in order to move forward. So we have decided to part ways. I know all of that is a bummer, but in the midst of all of this something AMAZING happened..

My really dear friend who I donated my eggs to almost 7 yrs ago has been my rock in all of this and my sounding board. All of this time I believed she was gearing up for a sibling project. Turns out she was getting her self ready to offer to be our surrogate! When I told her what was going on and that we were going to have to get back into search mode she made the amazing offer to carry for us! This has been such a blessing in so many ways. The most important is that the trust is already there. I know she is going to do what she says she will and what is needed of her. She is experienced since she already has been down this road for her own journey. The best part is the clinic we chose is in her area so we don't even have to go back to the drawing board in that aspect. Things are just falling into place like this is what was supposed to happen all along.. I actually had a dream that this was what was going to happen and she had offered years ago, but I was not comfortable with moving forward down that road until their family was complete. Now it is and we are really doing this!

I am so overwhelmed, overjoyed and in awe of my friends amazing and generous spirit. She said she feels like this was how it was meant to be from when we first started this journey long ago and I feel the same way.. I am just so thankful that things are still going to move forward and that our dream still has a fighting chance! So now we have LOTS of work to do to get started!  A basic rundown of what needs to happen now:
  • Fill out the questionnaire for the lawyer so the contracts can be drafted and send him a check.
  • Phone consult with the clinic (and give them c/c payment)
  • Give clinic a HUGE check so we can get our rx's for testing
  • Have lots of blood and other things drawn, poked or prodded
  • Then start meds and get the ball rolling
So that's where we are right now. The contracts have to be finished in order to move to transfer so we are working on that part now. And I am still hocking my wares to help finance this whole baby party!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finally, something to talk about!

My consult with the fertility clinic is scheduled for November 19th! I am really excited to finally be moving forward. All this time waiting to have something going on and it is! The clinic made a lot of sense when I asked when should we even be getting things rolling considered we want to be at transfer in the Spring? I was shocked when they said "NOW". Excuse me? Did you say now?? Ummkay, getting on that! Apparently, you have to have all sorts of tests done and things drawn (like blood folks) and analysis of the hubby's "swimmers" and we don't want to be starting that a few weeks before we want to transfer, ya know? So, now we are going to meet with the clinic talk about our options and game plan and get our next steps to move forward. Today is a very exciting day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guess it's time for another post

So nothing really new going on on our end, still hurry up and waiting... Felt the need to let everyone know that we are still puttering along. There will not be anything really worth noting about our journey until after the holidays, besides updating on our savings efforts, which are coming along quite nicely I might add.. Once things do take off, they go fast, so I am trying to enjoy the quite before the storm so to speak. So hang in there, that's what we are doing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nothing much new to report except

Made another small dent in our savings plan! That's always good news, we are that much closer to our goal!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Egg Donation Update

So my egg donation journey has come to an end... Things didn't work out with the financing aspect for the recipients. I am so sad for them!! The good news is, their journey is not over, they will still do an IVF cycle and I pray it is successful for them.. How does this affect my own surrogacy/ivf journey you ask? Well, it does put a bit of a speed bump in the financial road for me, but that just means I have to trust in God to provide and make a way for it to happen. I KNOW He can and will! The good thing is, our surrogate isn't going anywhere, she said she is here for us when we are ready. We had a goal of February (no later than March) in our head as a start date, otherwise it will be babydreams 2012 for a due date :)

We are just working as hard as we can to get all of our finances in order and still be able to make that Spring start date that we planned. So I am hitting the ground running with me eBay stuff and I opened an eBay store to help push my stuff out front better, I hope the $16 a month is worth it! So that's my update for now, I wish it was a better news one :( I do believe things happen for a reason and maybe this was the way my journey was meant to play out.

I don't want to close on a sad note, so with that; I DID have some nice sales this week and I found some AWESOME things that i am getting prepared to list on eBay! Oh and for those that wanna take a gander, this is my new eBay store stop by and check it out!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pleasant Sunday

Well, it's been a while since I have had an update! Nothing major going on right now, this is the hurry up and wait portion of the show.. We did have a nice BBQ with Casey and her family. We grilled and ate and sat around and talked, it was really nice! We ate ourselves full and just really got to know each other a little bit better. IVF and infertility in general will REALLY test your patience, so it is a relief to just have a normal day of fun and relaxing in this crazy rollercoaster of a journey we are on!

Oh and of course we had a financial update as well, yay Ebay!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lovely Day

So today has been pretty sweet so far. This morning I met up with Casey at her house and we went shopping, my FAVORITE past time! Her daughters birthday party is this weekend so she had to get some stuff for that and we also checked out a few thrift stores (I am SO addicted to thrift stores!). It was really nice and gave us a chance to just relax and talk and get to know each other a little better. We had fun asking each other what kinds of things we liked or didn't and it was funny to see each others reactions! We both don't like watermelon but she likes watermelon candy (YUCK!) she doesn't like CHOCOLATE! WHAT!?!?! Who doesn't like chocolate right?? I know, I know.. I was in shock.. We both LOVE salty foods (chips are AWESOME!).. And she doesn't like cherry flavored candy, reminds her of medicine (dude, seriously!?!) I told her I didn't think we could be friends anymore, HA! Cherry is my favorite flavor for ANYTHING sweet, right after chocolate.. Juice, cherry coke, you name it, it tastes better with cherry! But the craziest thing she said? She hates BACON..WHAT!! Everything tastes better with bacon y'all! So, yeah that was how our day went and it was just really nice and fun. Hope we have lots more days like this.. Next weekend they come to our house to meet the boys and we are grilling for them. So that's my update for now.. Oh and I made some more sales so a few more pennies in the baby fund "jar".. That's always a nice update.. =)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Setting the goal and reaching it - UPDATE

Nothing big to report, just wanted to update on our savings progress! We decided to break it down into little victories.. This is where we need to be for our Contracts and where we are:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

OK, so MAYBE I AM on to something..

OK, so remember a few posts back I was asking if I could REALLY make this happen with eBay?  Heheh, well I started a new account on eBay specifically for our IVF/Surrogacy fund and lemme tell ya folks, in FIFTY (50) days, I have made 809 BUCKS! Now I know that's pennies in the grand scheme of things, but HOLY eBAY Batman! We Juuuust might be able to pull this thing off AND get tah keep our house! (I kid, I kid we are TOTALLY keeping our house... Anyway I will squat in this beyotch if I have too) But for serious y'all if I can keep this up through the New Year, that will put a MAJOR dent in what we need to have on hand!

On other fronts, nothing much new to report. Had a meeting with a lawyer and decided we are going to go with our first choice anyway so this one won't be getting the 2nd interview call. We didn't agree on a few things and in the end I want someone I feel is going to FIGHT for what I believe in and not just there to collect a check, ya know? So I have the retainer paperwork from our "chosen" one and now we have to send her a nice big ole check for $2500 bucks and she will email us the contract draft. Then the fun begins.. We go over it, change what we don't like and send it back. Get it back and then once it's all good we send it to Casey for her lawyer to look over. Since we already know what we do and don't want, we don't anticipate any of the back and forth that can go on. We were smart enough to hash out as many "what if" scenarios as possible face to face and surprisingly we all (hubbys included) agreed on everything!

The lawyer estimates we should start contracts in October or November since we aren't looking to start before the New Year (Well, we would if we could afford to but since we can't...) so That's where we are. Some time in the near future I will start a "we did that when? and it cost what?" outline so y'all can see how much it costs step by step and what we have to go through (each IVF step) in order to bring home "baby". That should be an interesting set of entries, ya think? After contracts the next step is testing and we estimate to start that in December and it's just blood work for us and a "swimmer sample" for J and then Casey's testing is more intrusive since she's the oven (look at her tubes and uterus and blood work as well) and blood work for her hubby too. After we are all cleared we get our schedule to start BCP (birth control pills) then I start the IVF stim medication. SO, that's the next step in the process for us. That will be after the holidays...

In the meantime, we are taking this time to get to know Casey, her hubby and their daughter. We want things to proceed nice and slow so everyone is comfortable and fully aware of the process. If you know me, you know PATIENCE is NOT my thing, so this is a big step for me... But I'm not complaining, 'cause it's giving me time to get as prepared as possible and it's giving me more time to work on this: Babydreams IVF FUND 
every little bit helps!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Laid Back Consult for my Egg Donation

I had my consult yesterday afternoon, with the recipient's clinic. Talk about laid back! If I was there in person, I think they would have offered me a massage or some chamomile tea! The consult lasted about 15 minutes and pretty much were the same questions that were on the new patient forms I filled out, but it was all good. We talked about my protocol and what would change based on my "advanced maternal age" (Dontcha' just love that phrase?) but let's face it in the world of makin babies, 36 is basically what 46 is to Hollywood stars..

So Dr. D is going to bump up my medicine protocol to match my age and then monitor me closely in case my E2 (estrogen) spikes too high so they can back down my stimulation medicine. To give you an idea of what it will be like here is a run down of an egg donation (from the donor's point of view)

  • Birth Control Pills to synch the cycle of the recipient to the donor (this can be 3 wks or more of active pills only)
  • Lupron (think of the needle a diabetic uses, injections in your stomach for about 2 weeks, this keeps you from ovulating) This is the baby of the IVF meds.
  • After week 1 of Lupron, you are checked to see if you are suppressed (not about to ovulate) if so they introduce the bad mamma-jamma drugs, the actual IVF stimulation drugs. These are LONG needles that are either injected into your hip/thigh OR if you get the short straw into your BUTT yes think penicillin shot. Some meds have to be done intramuscular (or IM ) and well that's the broadside of my big ole big ole.. This happens for about 7-12 days, depending on how well you respond to the drugs
  • Transvaginal ultrasounds along the way to check the egg growing (tube up your vajayjay
  • Once they are "ripe" so to speak, one final BUTT shot of HCG (this is the chemical pregnant women produce that makes your EPT say yes or + or  2 lines, you get it.) to super charge the eggs maturation, kinda like the shot they give women in premature labor to rapidly mature a babies lungs.
  • Retrieval - long metal vacuum attached to a long needle that is used to pierce your ovaries to retrieve each egg visible on the ultrasound (so think if you have 12-15 on each side, that's getting stuck 30 times) LUCKILY most clinic knock you out for this part. Some do just give twilight sedation or Valium (I don't think so for me buddy!!) So when you wake up you just feel crampy and want to take a nap.
  • Your part is finished after that!
  • Eggs are mixed with recipients husbands sperm and hopefully 12-24 hrs they get a call that all of their eggs fertilized and they have embryos! 
  • 3 -5 days later 2-4 embryos are transferred to the recipient and hopefully they implant. About a week after that a pregnancy test is done at the Dr. office via a blood draw this is the BETA and lots more blood tests and ultrasounds follow if things went well.
And that folks, is how you make a baby in my world! 

So that's what I have to look forward to in this next few months, depending on when we get started..
I am going to update here each step of the way once it is underway so you can all cheer me on! I am hoping for at least 12-15 mature eggs so my recipient "D" has a better chance of having nice quality embryos at the end.  

Stay tuned for the Egg Donor Chronicles

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Setting the goal and reaching it

So we are on our way with saving for this journey. I still can’t believe we are trying to pull this off by Spring 2011 (I always was an overachiever) I am praying this time I didn’t set myself up for failure. I mean look at the numbers folks, they ain’t pretty. We need approximately $30,000 to make this happen and that’s the LOW ball estimate. That’s the KIA version i.e.; no complications, no bumps in the road and success right out the gate. The Mercedes version runs about $45,000-$65,000 (and I will crawl into a hole and die because this version is NOT in my realm of possibility).

We will have a leg up in the next few months from some good decisions we made earlier (My egg donation, property tax refund, income tax refund) like paying our car off early and saving that money instead for the Babydream Fund, but is it enough? I mean, we already have our budget stretched threadbare and “J” is working on average 20 hrs of OT every 2 weeks. Now to do my part, I am kicking up my ebay sales and stashing every dime I make into our high interest savings acct (that gives us the ultra high 1.4% interest rate) but still is it enough? This is where we are and waaaaaaaay down at the end is where we need to be…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can I really pull this off?

I know you hear of people selling things online, having garage sales or fundraisers to help with the costs of adoption, some medical crisis and yes, even IVF, but can it REALLY happen? As soon as we decided to give this one last shot, I kicked it into full gear with selling anything I could get my hands on to help finance this massive undertaking. I mean let's face it, $30K is what some people make in a year and we need that by February if we want to start this journey by then. I say February because I REEEALLY don't want to proceed without have all if not most of the funds to do this upfront. This will alleviate alot of stress on our part and I am sure it will give Casey a sense of security knowing we do not have to scramble to get money for any procedure or testing she may need or just anything pertaining to this. So this leaves us with rearranging our budget to the tightest of tight setting (I mean Ramen noodle tight y'all!) not to mention "J" working on average 100 hrs every pay period (yes I am thankful he has the option to do this).

BUT.. Yes there is always a but no matter how much budgeting we do, we still have our normal bills which are not pennies by any means. Mortgage, Car payment, utilities, hell these eat up a nice chunk of cash each month. Luckily our house payment is going DOWN, since we homesteaded when we purchased and that should kick in right about now since 2010 property taxes are just about due. We stand to save over $100 a month on this, plus the refund of the overpayment of taxes during the year. This will help but in the grand scheme of things, it will be LESS than $1500 dollars and it doesn't even cover the meds for a cycle (how's that for jaw dropping!)...

So where does that leave us you ask? Well, I will tell you.. It leaves me hawking my wares everywhere I can, that's where! Any free website that allows me to list, I have stuff there.. While I detest the amount of money I have to pay EBAY for selling items, they are still by far the best way to reach alot of people quickly. And also... While reading blogs of others who are in the same or similiar boat as we are, I too decided to build us a fundraising page. It will bring readers to my story (I hope) so someone else suffering through this may find some support and it gets more eyes on my fundraising attempts. I am sure some naysayer will pipe in and say "that's kinda like begging".. Well when your dream feels so far away that you sometimes in a tiny corner of your heart feel like it maaay not come to pass, you will beg, borrow and steal to make it happen, that's my reply to that in advance.. With that said check out my stuff y'all K, thanks! =)

A Lovely Day

So we met with "C" today! I will now use her name, with permission. Casey is an AMAZING young lady. We hit it off right away! Her DH (darling husband) is super sweet and very quiet, with just enough humor thrown in. They are such a cute couple and you can see how much they love each other. It was really nice having lunch with them and then just sitting and talking for a few hours. Before we knew it, it was getting late and a storm was rolling in so we all hauled it back to our cars!

We talked about everything we could think of regarding the contracts, insurance and anything in between that we felt would or could possibly come up. That way we were all on the same page and there won't be any surprises once the lawyers get involved. We have decided to get the policy I found Casey looked it over and we went over the pros and cons of the policy vs. a maternity indemnity plan card (kinda like AFLAC) or just paying private pay at a birthing center, and while all would be fine to go with the birthing center private pay, in the event of twins, the birthing center is no longer an option for delivery and that would leave us uninsured for a hospital delivery.

I am sure it will probably work out with a normal singleton delivery and we end up going to the birthing center, but that LEEETLE chance of twins or any complication is outweighing everything else and we keep saying we want to do this right so that means making sure Casey's coverage is great! So, we are planning to have Casey, her DH and their little one over one weekend soon to grill and just hang out, we are really excited and can't wait to see them again! Man, February can't get here fast enough!

In the meantime, we are just saving every penny we can get our hands on and stashing it for this expensive, exciting journey. With that said, back to my Babydreams Fundraising Listings or for all my ebay listings go here: Baby Fund Ebay Listings

Friday, August 20, 2010

Surprised Myself

Well today I actually got more accomplished than I thought! I researched all day trying to find an affordable health plan option for "C". We still both are in agreement on the birthing center, BUT with IVF there is ALWAYS the chance of multiples and if that is the case then, the birthing center option is out. I have talked with 3 different facilities who all told me the same thing. "Unfortunately, this would move the pregnancy into the high risk category and while we could provide prenatal care, we absolutely would not be able to assist in the delivery" OOOOOOOk... So, I FOUND a great insurance policy!! The only scary thing is the plan *may* change before it goes in force. Due to the changes in healthcare reform, somethings that are available won't be and some that aren't will be, yada yada... I don't want to get the policy too far in advance BUT I do need it, so that there is the current dilemna folks..

Oh and also too (thanks Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, I love saying that now) I totally found a few lawyers who are well versed in surrogacy law and have a few estimates on contracts and affirmation of birth (our names going on BC directly) I have a meeting with another to see what their fees are (not sure why they couldnt tell me over the phone but whatevs) So Insurance issue solved?= CHECK! Contract lawyer found?= CHECK!

The only catch in my day is a girl that uses the clinic we are looking to work with stated they don't have the best "one on one" care with the patients.. She is using them for a different issue than I would be but now I am on the fence.. I mean, I am a big girl and all and I dealt with that PLEN-TEEE with my last clinic but is that as important as their take home baby stats? (For all who don't know each clinic has to publish their success/failure rates to the Society for Reproductive Technology ) so having amazing stats is a big bonus, 'cuz let's face it no one wants to work with the kid that failed science class on their science project, ya know? Yeah, so The clinics with THE BEST stats are out of my league, but I CAN go to a clinic with some pretty damn good stats and this clinic is one of them... There are a few others in the running but this one is within a few hrs of my house vs. a plane ride or SEVERAL HRS in the car.. So what's a girl tah do?? I guess I will keep researching until it is closer to my estimated start date (After the holidays and this egg donation I am in the process of doing) and see how I feel and whichever place seems like it is going to give us the BEST chance of taking home a baby (or TWO) then we are going with them (as long as they fit nicely into my cute black budget clutch)... Ok quit reading this and go to bed!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Making progress on this journey

We have been actively working on the surrogacy portion of our journey and I can now tell you that we have OFFICIALLY chosen our surrogate! Well, we chose each other really... It feels SO amazing knowing that we have that part of the journey behind us. If you have read any of our story, you know this part is the scariest, because you have to trust for all intents and purposes a STRANGER to carry your baby. As an intended parent, you hope that as your first act, you chose someone who will treat this pregnancy as you, yourself would. For us we have found that in let's call her "C" for now.. She is amazing. While she is young at 21, she is very mature and well spoken. She has a supportive husband who is more reserved and laid back, a nice fit. They have a beautiful little girl and she had no complications during her own pregnancy. Her extended family is also very supportive and that is a HUGE part of this process as a surrogate, if your family doesn't support you, the chances of you actually ever being in a surrogacy arrangement are slim. But we have none of that to worry about luckily. We have been in talks with "C" for a while now through email and then we moved on to phone calls. Our official meeting is this SUNDAY! We are meeting for a nice lunch just the four of us. We have already agreed on all the major parts of the contract so that's just a formality getting it written up and having all parties sign it.

The next item on my agenda is interviewing birthing centers. This is something "C" and I both felt strongly about. We want to experience the birth as calmly and relaxing as possible. And in the interest of honesty, this option is MUCH more affordable than a hospital birth. Most people would be surprised to know that lot's if not majority of insurance companies have a surrogacy exclusion written in them (I know our policy does) meaning any pregnancy acheived FOR surrogacy is not covered. That means we would have to pay out of pocket for the Dr. visits, delivery and any other things needed (the average is $15-$20K) and that could easily spiral out of control. So, I rambled all of that to say, we have decided to go with a more affordable AND natural route, i.e, the birthing center and midwives.. I am so excited with all of these things we have going on, it's so much but it's wonderful at the same time.

In the mean time, today I received the official APPROVAL from "D's" clinic! So we are definitely a go! Now they will schedule my consult and I assume we will work out a schedule for meds and then I should be on the road to donating again! I can't wait to get to that stop on my journey because that means "D" will be that much closer to having her dreams as well. So today the news was ALL GOOD!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good News....Bad News

So my much anticipated Day 3 labs and ultrasound were done today. The bloodwork results are not known to me at this time (the clinic should have the results and I should know something at the latest tomorrow morning) But the ultrasound obviously I could see right then. So as the tech is cruising around, she starts measuring follicles and I am asking questions like the pest I can be ("does that look normal?, "Is this what you expect to see from someone on day 3?", "What's that?") You know, all the good questions... So after she measures the around 13-15 small follicles (good sign in case you were wondering) she also measures the KING FUCKIN KONG OF CYSTS!! this monster is as big if not BIGGER than my ovary! I was FREAKING out and I seem to be the only person freaking out! Apparently us women folk get them all the time and "it's no biggie".. OH WAIT.. Except it is! Ya see, in the world of stim meds, there will be no injectin in your stomach, your thigh or your ass unless that thing is GONE. So I am awaiting the Dr.'s decision right now on whether or not I take BCP, have it drained or have it removed.. So that's about all I know for now folks.. When I know more, you will...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tomorrow....You're only a day away....

Tomorrow is the big day. I am hoping the test results don't take too long to come back, but who knows, it's been AGES since I have delved down this road and I don't remember how long it took everything to come in. I do know that I will be able to see my ovaries and see if there are lots of follicles brewing or not, so at least that is something, but the waiting will be on for that elusive FSH test. I will definitely be asking them how long for that to come in as soon as they start drawing blood! Nothing much else going on, doing ALOT of fundraising for our journey by getting rid of stuff we don't need or can live without and going over our budget with a fine-tooth comb and trimming where we can, that's about all. Coupons are a way of life now and anything saved goes to the "baby2011" fund. feel free to check out our efforts here: Baby fundraising and here:Babydreams Baby fundraising 
Oh and we watched Children of Men last night... Very good movie! Sad, interesting and definitely a must see.. That is all...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where I've been...

I found my old blog today and it was interesting reading it. Since I am being completely honest here, I wanted everyone to know where I came from. this pretty much details everything that happened when we first started out and then brings you back here to my current journey. Enjoy your weekend!

EDITED: Easyjournal is DOWN constantly. Thankfully I copied all my posts from my previous blog and added them to the beginning of this one so now they are all in one place.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Antral Follicle Count & FSH testing aka Day 3 Labs

So Monday is the big day.. I go in for my Antral Follicle count ultrasound (herein known as u/s since I'm lazy folks, work with me here) and my day 3 labs (basically my follicle stimulating hormone level) or FSH. This testing is extremely important and is consuming my world right now. Firstly, the pass/fail of these tests determine several factors in my journey.  IF these numbers and u/s do not say what the Dr. thinks they should, I will not be qualified as a donor. This will be a devastating blow to us financially AND emotionally as I am already extremely invested in my recipient. I love her dearly and cannot even fathom the thought of not being able to help her. I love that we are helping each other! BUT first, I have to pass these tests and anyone who knows me knows I HATE TO FAIL... So for all the praying folks out there, say a little one for me that Monday reveals nothing but passing grades, (THANKS). I will update Monday with any new info I have on the testing.

Back in the saddle

This blog is to document our journey through IVF (invitro fertilization) to build our family.  J (the husband) and I had a long talk a few years back, discussing whether or not we would try IVF again in order to have a child together. We suffered an incredible financial and emotional blow when our then surrogate scammed us and caused us to lose all the frozen embryos we had from our first IVF cycle. After this devastating blow, J didn't want to try again, and I understood. I wasn't dying to try again either.... At least that's what I thought. Turns out I WAS DYING TO TRY AGAIN! I just didn't know it at the time.. As the days, weeks and years went on, I felt empty and sad, but lived my life. 

I had no idea that secretly the desire was also creeping back into J's mind... A few months ago, we were lounging and enjoying each others company when he said "I think we should try again".. I was floored. I immediately said "OK!" We both paused and looked at each other, then said "wait.. are we really doing this?" We then came back to reality and realized YES WE ARE.. We have gone over our finances and set aside what we could, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to what we actually need... So I am doing an egg donation to help a wonderful couple achieve their dream, as well as to help fund our own dream... 

This blog is going to be my therapy. I want to document what I am going through and hope that I can inspire someone else to make their dream happen, no matter what. I can tell you this story won't always be pretty, but it will always be honest. So settle in folks, cause with IVF, you're ALWAYS in for a long ride!

Check it out