Monday, April 29, 2013

Match Meeting Gifts

I read about surrogates who bring a match meeting gift to their first meeting with the couple. I just love the idea. Especially because I love the couple. But it's difficult to decide what to give. We don't know one another at all yet, so I can't get something that caters to interests or personalities. I certainly don't want to spend too much money because that would just be awkward for everyone. Especially if the meeting doesn't go well...  But above all, I want it to be a sentimental gift. Something that means something.

So what to give? It's the sort of question neither mom nor Google has the answer to. Yes, I googled it. Several ways. I asked other surrogates. I thought about stealing an idea from another surrogate who recently did the same thing. But none of the suggestions seemed personal. And stealing someone else's clever idea isn't me at all.

So I dug around on the web... and ultimately found these:


Which I turned into these: 


Of course it won't have my name on it. I've ordered one with each of the IPs names on it. The price was right, the sentiment was right and it was just original enough.

I added a soy "Happy Day" candle, wrapped it and came up with this: (Names still blurred to respect privacy...)



Can't post this until after I give them out, because I want it to be a surprise. Hope these little coins are a hit!

UPDATE!!


The gifts were a hit! I am so glad!

The guys even thought to bring a little army of gifts for us. Here's a picture:

The brought a couple of stuffed animals from Australia for the girls. I promise to eventually post a video of Adelia getting her "Kang-a-new" because I am sure it will be epic. A koala bear for Emrys. They also sent a book on families for the girls. Such a thought filled and sweet gesture. I really wasn't expecting it.

They also brought a book for me. It's set in Australia and is apparently an author they are found of. Honestly  the cover art is similar to that of Sophie Kinsella, who does have a new title out that I have not yet read. As I opened the book I thought it was going to be that book.. and had it been, things would have been very awkward indeed. I would have been so impressed that they could have pinned my favorite author without my telling them, that I would have jumped across that table and hugged them. :) As it is, I am so excited to read this, and see what types of authors and stories they love. I am digging into this book probably as we speak, with my feet up on the balcony of my cruise ship.

Ahh... vacation. 


Sunday, April 28, 2013

A truth.

I keep reading, re-reading and re-reading my last post. And all the comments you all have left.

Why?

Because I am just.so.happy. over this whole thing.

It's just a "lock" feeling. Like when a combination lock slides into place. Other surrogates know this feeling well. I wish I was a better writer to accurately describe it to the rest of you.

I cant believe this, but I'm actually looking forward to those shots now.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wrap Up

Today was simply amazing. I have so much I want to share that I feel like my thoughts are racing every which way and I am just terrified I am going to leave out some important detail. Something I am going to want to remember later. But, I will try to walk you through the wonderful time that was today.

First and foremost, please allow me to introduce you to the team. 

Four Hearts. Two Families. One Dream 

These are the guys. My guys. :) Travis and Mark. Hence forth and forever more referred to as "T" and "M". And oh yeah, Chris too.

What's that in my hand you may ask? Well, it's a novel about Australia for me, and a children's book for the girls. What you don't see are the adorable koala and kangaroo stuffed animals in my purse. The guys thought to bring us match gifts as well. They are so thoughtful!

Here's a walk through of how the day went.


Chris and I killed some time before our meeting seeking out some geochaches around the offices. This turned out to be such a great idea! When we finally got into the office we were high off a cool find and feeling good. We had a brief meeting with our meeting facilitator and she then left us in the room to wait on the guys.

Like caged animals.


The anxiety of his moment was kind of like being at the top of a big roller coaster... and then the car stalls just before the big drop. We eventually heard some very adorable Aussie accents on the other side of the frosted glass and knew it had to be our guys.

We could hear them well enough to know they were happy, but not well enough to hear what they were saying. Yes, I tried to sneek a peak through the unfrosted seams of the window. It didn't work. Should I be ashamed of this behavior? Probably.

So anyway, the doors open and in strut two rather tall (like seriously tall) and happy fellas with great big smiles. There was maybe an instant of "do we hug or shake hands" before we just embraced in a hug. It was pure jubilation in that room.

We spent a good little while talking. Well, I spent a lot of time talking, they spent a lot of time listening. Par for the course with me, really. But I got to tell them both of my birth stories, why surrogacy and what kind of relationship I'd like to have with them during and after this journey. We talked about advances in technology and how it would be cool to Email or Skype during doctor appointments and the like. We talked about difficult decisions that sometime have to arise in the instance of baby making (selective reduction etc.)

One thing we didn't get a chance to talk about and probably should have was their preferences for the birth. I REALLY need to talk with them about induction. I want to avoid it at all costs if possible, but I'd rather be induced than have them accidentally miss the birth of their child. So maybe it isn't even worth discussing.

After the meeting we went to the original Marie Callender's for pie. Instead we opted for nachos and a few Sam Adams. Did I mention I love these guys? Here we talked about more surrogacy related items, exchanged the "how we met" stories and learned that M and Chris are both tech minded. The pair of them hit it off like old chums and talked tech shop. T and I were left scratching our heads. We exchanged gifts, which was such a sweet moment.

After food we walked next door to the La Brea Tar Pits. Chris and I had another surprise in store. We led them onto a bridge where we had found a very cleverly disguised cache just before the meeting. We snagged it and showed it to them, introducing them to our family hobby. They seemed so over the moon by it! Like not just humoring us, but honestly interested. I get the impression we may have made a few new cachers today. We toured the pits and found a park with music and had someone snap a picture of the four of us.

After more getting to know one another talk, we realized that a lot of time had passed and we'd spent nearly 6 hours together. The guys were itching to get back to their rental and get a more hearty dinner, and Chris and I were pretty tired ourselves. We decided it was time to call it a night. But not before grabbing one more cache.

The guys very generously offered to drive us back to our hotel, saving us having to call a taxi. What a hoot this experience was! M tried to get into the passenger's side of the car to drive. And then watching them try to figure out the interior heating was to die for! Since they deal in Celsius, not Fahrenheit,  they had no idea where to set the interior temperature. They asked if 80 was cool or hot. It was precious. Then the GPS came on and instructed M to make a right hand turn in half a mile. He burst out laughing, having no idea how far half a mile was. They use kilometers. :)

We were finally able to get it figured out and got home. We asked a few more questions of one another. One of the things they asked me referenced a previous blog post. They wanted to know what it was that they had written in their profile that made me instantly laugh and know we'd get on quite well. I told them (and they gave permission to share with you) that it was the statement T made stating, "They say it takes a village to raise a child. In our case it has taken a village just to get this far."

We all hugged and said goodbyes. I can't believe I won't see them again until I am 20 weeks pregnant. Insane.

I won't lie and say there was no first date oddness today. There were some awkward silences, and a few "hmm..."moments. But not many. And really, it WAS our first date. A pretty darn good first date.

So good in fact, that we decided to have a baby together.


That Went Well!

Well, our meeting was delayed by an hour, which means we flew into LA, had some time to get dressed and look pretty, then go downtown and do a little caching, and then on to the match meeting.  I think things went very well!  They were very easy to talk to, and we agreed on the important issues, but we already sort of knew that.  We had our supervised meeting, then we went off for lunch, where we chatted for several hours, it seemed, just getting to know each other.  I found it difficult to try to respect the pace of getting to meet someone who is still fairly new, but also realizing that we will likely not see them again for months!  But I think we did a good job.  I'm definitely looking forward to working with them, but we still have to make our formal yea/nay to our coordinator and find out where to go from there.  We'll find out more soon, hopefully before I'm out of cell range again!

here we go!

just about to get started.
my heart is in my throat.

That Was Fast

Here we are in the lovely Le Parc Hotel, courtest of Growing Generations, where we get a view of... green? I didn't know there was any green here!  And yes, I am talking about the giant wall of plant life that sits three feet from the balcony.  But there is a balcony, and the fresh air and the sound of birds is lovely.  People keep asking us if we need help with our luggage, and are left confused when we grab our backpacks and head on our way.  I do love the lightweight lifestyle!

We are debating whether/where to eat, and when to get into our nice clothes so we don't sweat through them in the SoCal sun.  I'm sure I'll survive; I'm more worried about my impending appointment with the hotel iron than anything else.  I'm not too great with an iron, but we'll make it happen.  Time to go take care of that, before we run out of time to eat before our appointment!

Here

We are here at the beautiful Le Parc hotel.

It is really a cool suite hotel. If it were just Chris and I, the size of this suite is really all we'd need to get by.

The meeting is in like 4 hours, which gives me just enough time to pretty up (and post pics, per requests) and go grab a bite to eat. HQ is only about three miles away, so I think we will throw my heels in a handbag and walk our way to the meeting, caching along the way.

Hope I don't get stinky.

Know what's pretty cool? My IPS, who usually live on the other side of the world, are now in the same city as I am. Just wandering around. Anxiously waiting to meet me. :) It's a cool surreal feeling.

Oh Screw It

So I've spent the past three hours in bed.
But not asleep.

I give up.

So that crazy girl who will be in LA having a great big day tomorrow... you know, the one shaking from caffeine just to stay awake? That'll be me.

Off to watch some TV. The nanny will be here in another 3 hours.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Got a Quick Minute

Today is one of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I'll try to organize my thoughts though.

I put off my weekly house cleaning until today, so that I have the best chance of coming home from Alaska to a clean house. I also always do laundry on Thursdays. As minamalists, we really only have enough clothing to last a week or two at a time, so in order to pack our favorite items for Alaska/LA we needed to do laundry today not only to get it done before we leave, but in order to have enough clean underwear. :)

The girls also needed a bath this morning. Not only because they didn't have one yesterday  but also because I don't want to task the nanny with having to do it tomorrow. So, I was a home maker extraordinaire today. I was cleaning house while cooking breakfast. I was bathing kids while moping the floor. Packing clothes while doing hair. Domestic diva. This leads me to my next point.

There is a major difference in a house wife and a home maker. 


A house wife is a wife who stays at home. A home maker is a house wife who makes that house a home. Although sometimes it can be stressful, Chris and I treat my 9-5 as a real job. It is my responsibility to do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, lawn work and child raising. I get to clock out at 5 pm (though I rarely do), but during the day, I am to stay busy making this place a home. I make and keep  schedule. Designated laundry days. Designated left over days.

Anyway... this has nothing to do with the match meeting tomorrow... which is what I wanted to pop in to talk about. See, even my thoughts are running around like a chicken with it's head cut off!

So about this time tomorrow I will be in LA, at the beautiful LeParc hotel getting my face on. Let's be real, I leave the house at 3 am. I am not doing hair and make up that early. Sorry Alaska Airlines folk, you get me in my natural grandeur.

The meeting itself is tomorrow at 1:30. I'm told we will talk in a monitored session about medical issues, legal issues and other hot topic issues that may arise. After that happens we are supposed to go out together unsupervised for coffee or dinner. Unless the facilitated meeting falls apart and it's obvious we won't be working together. My hope is that day will turn into night, and things will move seamlessly. It'd be great to do  this early dinner, and then maybe explore the city a bit together, or enjoy the hotel spa and continue talking. While all this has to flow organically  the one thing Chris and I have agreed on is that we will be available to the couple as long as they want to be in our company.

At some point in this process we will both confirm that we want to continue on together. If we both still say yes, then I will likely start contracting when we get back from Alaska. A month after that I will likely start the meds. A month after that I will likely have a transfer.

The reader's digest of all this? 

If all goes as planned, I could be pregnant by my birthday. What a gift that would be! Would mean an early spring baby for the couple.

My case worker at GG assures me that the couple has been in contact with her and remain as excited to meet Chris and I as I am to meet them. That's good news, because I was starting to worry that the shine had worn off of me for them and maybe they were having second thoughts.

Truth is, it is a 17 hour flight from Australia to LA, So the couple is already on a plane. I wonder how they're feeling.

OK, this might just be my longest post ever- totally not what I intended to do. I'd better get back to home making :)

Husband's wardrobe

Well well, another day and we'll be at our match meeting.  It even has an acronym, MM.  So we'll be meeting our IPs at the MM, then we'll get assigned to an FC (financial coordinator), and then we'll head from LA to LAX where we'll leave for SEA.  Yeah, I'm a programmer analyst, I eat acronyms for breakfast.  So, here comes yet another subset of my life that's full of abbreviations and jargon.  Are we so lazy as a culture that we have to do that, or do we think it's cool?  No idea, but I admit, I find myself using them at home while I'm chatting about our upcoming trip.

Our new coordinator asked what I was going to wear; I'm far more thrilled about finally having a replacement for my laptop bag to take to the airport than about what I'm actually going to be wearing when I touch down!  The west coast is a fascinating place; I will be wearing jeans and a dress shirt, and yet, if I walked in wearing a suit, it probably wouldn't be abnormal at all.  You can get away with almost anything here; sometimes I feel like it's costume night every night.  Hopefully the Aussies don't think the whole country is like MTV or something; I want them to like it here!  Because as we all know, we Americans think Australia is super cool (seriously), and I want to make a good impression to their representatives.  Was I supposed to be talking about surrogacy?  These are the things that keep me up at night!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time Machine



Today I am pleased to announce that I have done what Albert Einstein never could. 

I've found the method for time slowing. 
Maybe even time reversal. 


What's the trick? Two very big occasions, that have been very long awaited, coming all at once.. just a few days away.

I fly to LA in like... 48 hours? And the Alaskan vacation starts in 80 hours? While neither seem long off... the truth is that every time I check the clock, time hasn't changed.

I'm pretty much packed for both trips. This leaves the girls and I wearing third choice outfits all week. We look hot. Sometimes we even match.

I think I might take the girls to the park today. Maybe we will go treasure hunting (caching) or to the mall to kill time. If it is even possible.

I am putting off weekly house cleaning until tomorrow during the day so that I can (hopefully) return to a clean home after the trips. That always feels nice. But it did mean that when our nanny came yesterday to go over procedures for while we are in LA the house was a wreck. Last time she was here we hadn't bought furniture yet. Oh what she must think of us.

In other news I have learned that the folks renting our house in Ohio are pregnant. This means they want to purchase a house. Just not ours. They think it will be too small. The good news is, she is due to deliver the month the lease is up. I've told them if they are willing and able to start their house hunt NOW, we can get the house on the market NOW and that we're OK with that. Waiting to hear if they got preapproved for a mortgage. This is of course good news for us because Spring is the best time to sell. And as soon as we're out from under that house we can buy here. I really thought I'd retire in our Ohio house. This will be sad. But, time marches on.

Or in my case, it marches backwards.

Monday, April 22, 2013

What to wear What to wear...

Given that I am leaving for Alaska a week from today... and LA  in 4 days... I decided to take a look at my wardrobe today.

I'm pretty excited to report that all of the sudden I am a size 8 again. I haven't lost any weight, but I am losing inches. Probably a result of all the caching I've been doing. Being this size again means some very cool things. Most notably, I love to play dress up.

I can't decide what to wear to my match meeting now. I love my old clothes. I love my new clothes. I actually bought a dress from White House Black Market (my favorite store of all time) for this occasion a while back. Actually, I bought it for my screening meeting, but chose to hold onto it for a potential match meeting outfit.

Well, now said meeting is upon us... and the dress just hangs on me. I can probably still get away with it, but who wants to hide a shrinking frame in an over sized dress? Plus, I feel like the dress might look like it is trying too hard.

So now I'm thinking some skinny jeans, a nice blouse and some killer heels. That's an outfit that's more representative of who I am and how I normally dress. Especially the heels part.

Friday, April 19, 2013

It's a small world afterall

I have been so surprised to learn what a small (and very loving) community the surrogacy world is. I am beyond touched at the real world links I have made  in such a very short time.

For example. ....


I recently learned that a follower of this blog, Jen, knows my first cousin in Kansas. Kansas. Really? We're planning to potentially meet up next week in L.A.

Jenni, of Love Makes a Family fame, was my first contact in my second search for this world. She was my first contact at Circle Surrogacy. While I ultimately chose to work with Growing Generations, we remain friends. An odd type of instant kinship I can't really explain.

I met Duska, who has been my personal cheerleader and support system for months now. I can't wait to meet her in person (We live fairly close, as surrogacy standards would have it). It will be like meeting an old dear friend.

I met Michelle, another self proclaimed "hippy mom" like me. And thank GOD for that.

I met Kira, another blogger whose stance on gay/surrogacy partnership I admire.

I met Traci. A surrogate with so much experience it makes my head spin. She's becoming my mother figure in this process, weather she knows it or not.

And then I became friends with Kelly, who got engaged tonight. I've never met her in person, but somehow I feel like I know her. I honestly cried happy tears for her... and we-just- friended on Facebook.

And Chana, and Carla... and so SO many other amazing women. So many instant friends who understand what a unique journey this is. Women who don't flame my stupid questions. Women who comfort me when a couple declines me. Women who cheer me when I make a new match. Women who truly GET it. Who truly get ME.


I am beyond blessed.

Always the Multi-tasker

Anyone who knows me knows I never do anything the easy way. When it comes to major life choices anyway. Here are a few examples.

In 2008
I bought and closed on a house the week I got married.

in 2009
I sold a house and bought a house.. moved... all while 5 months pregnant.

in 2011
I hand laid 1800 sq ft. of hardwood flooring.. while 9 months pregnant.

in 2012
I decided to move my two kids under three 3,000 miles away.

in 2013?
I'm tackling another house hunt while planning a surrogacy.

It's not a lie or an exaggeration to say I strive under stress and pressure. But... I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. While I know that everything that is supposed to shake out will, I'm still feeling the pinch. I want to be the best at everything I do. It means being the best surrogate I can be. The best mom I can be. The best wife I can be. Get the best deal on a house I can. And these days it means I'm feeling a little lost as a result. And pretty lonely out here in Washington by myself.

Deep breath. Vacation is coming up soon.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Small World Strikes Again

I'm working from home at the moment because things are pretty crazy at home.  I'm listening to my wife work out the puzzle of "who is the surrogate I'm going to meet next week while I'm in LA?"  Apparently there is another surrogate who is going for her second journey, and they exchanged numbers... and Mandy recognized the area code as the area of Kansas where her family lives.  Same first name as a cousin of hers, could it be?  No.  But her husband is friends with Mandy's cousin if the information checks out.  'Tis a small world indeed.

Painfully Standard

I'm sorry I haven't been writing much. There isn't much to write.

Aside from ticking the days off the calendar waiting for our LA trip... in just over a week... there is nothing new to report. I did catch Emrys gnawing on my birth control pack... I wondered what would happen if a baby actually ingested a baby stopping pill. Combustion? Spontaneous reversal? Hmm....

I have been spending a minute thinking about the couple I will be meeting. I can't lie... well, I can. But I won't. I googled them. Didn't learn much.. and I won't share what I did learn... because while it is not identifiable of who they are, I still don't know what's safe to post here and what's not. Per their comfort levels.

I wonder if they're nervous to meet me? Because I'm not nervous at all. I feel like I know them already, and like this will be like meeting up with an old friend.I wonder if they're dreading the flight. I sure would be. As it is I am dreading the 1 am wake up call I will likely have on the day of.

I wonder if they read this blog already. I get a TON of hits from their country, but that could be coincidence. It's not like I had no Aussie readers before. The numbers have just gone up by like... 125% since we "matched". If they DO read this, then they probably feel like they know me already too.

I wonder if they are Geochachers? Because that would be great fun, and a wonderful way to get to know one another after our facilitated meeting.

Again though, too much thinking about things I cant control.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Confirmed

My flights have been confirmed for the match meeting. So here we go! Two weeks from right now it will all be over and we will know.

Hopefully if all goes well we will be moving on to contracting.

Pretttttty excited.

And oh yeah, we will get to stay overnight at the same hotel we did last time. So I know allll about that rooftop heated pool and spa. The one I didn't pack a suit for last time. This time I will surely be packing a suit.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Good Things Take Time

But great things happen all at once. 


Aunt Beck, Dad, Emrys, Grandma, Me, Adelia
Yet another morsel of wisdom from my youth. And it really seems to be the case of my life right now. Lots going on. So much GREAT news to report.

The first, and probably the most major, is that my father is FINALLY on board with this project. We've been on a "don't ask don't tell" basis for a matter of months. He just has such a hard time grasping that this baby won't have any biological relation to him. He always wanted a son... and then a grandson... and got neither. So he's terrified this will be a boy, an heir, and I'm just going to "give it away."

Well yesterday he FINALLY came around. We talked about the surrogacy, and specifically about this match, for almost an hour. It really makes my heart happy. It makes me feel so good to now have 100% support. And I think little buds of pride are blossoming in his heart too. Which is good. I think this is something to be proud of.

More great things? Our match meeting was APPROVED. So we will be traveling back to Los Angeles on Friday the 26th to meet this amazing couple. I talked with the GG team yesterday about travel arrangements and flights. I expect to have some kind of ticket information later today. WAHOO.

I've been thinking a lot about what first impression I want to make. I have already ordered a little token to give the couple. I OK-ed it with the staff at GG, and I'm told I even provoked a few tears with it. :) Not that I like to make people cry.... but that made me feel good. I've already got my match meeting outfit picked out. But I might need new shoes... any excuse, right?

Rialto Beach on "Our Coast"
More great news? We're going to the coast this weekend. Scratch that... in about 9 hours. It's been awhile since we've been to the coast so I'm pretty excited. We aren't going to La Push, it's a new beach town. While I am excited for a new adventure in Long Beach (WA, not CA) I always find it a bit hard to get too excited over anything that isn't "our" beach. It'll likely be late May or Mid June before we can get back to La Push though, so I'm just going to make the most out of this beach for right now. Hope it's not like Ocean Shores. That place was horrible.

One of the places I like
Last thing that has me excited today? Chris and I have decided to push our house hunt outward. Probably my best friend in Washington lives in Renton and has been trying to get us to explore her neck of the woods since before we moved here. It's SUCH a commute... but we're finding that in Renton we can actually afford to buy a house instead of a condo. In fact, prices are so nice that when you consider we won't take more than 1400 sq. ft (in fact we'd really like to keep in below 1200) we can even afford a house with a view. That means no 400-600 a month in HOA dues... and the only compromise is a commute. Which sucks. But, we can go ahead and get an RV and I can put a tanning bed in the basement. (Don't judge me. Have you ever seen a pale native american? It's scary when I let the German genes wash out my olive skin tone.)

So lots of good things. All at once. I find myself missing grandma desperately these days. I wish I could physically hear her cheering me on as opposed to only feeling it in my heart.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Morning for Goodbyes

The way this journey works (on a business end) is that my "case" is handed through lots of folks over at the Growing Generations staff. While some may think this feels a bit impersonal (won't mention any names...) I think it's actually wonderful. GG is a small company, and this tactic allows me to be on a first name basis with most of the staff... at least on some level. I just love that.

So far I've been managed by Anna, who first told me I couldn't be a surrogate in 2012 because I was still nursing, and then welcomed me back in Jan. of 2013. I've also been in contact with Lisa through the matching process, Mallorie, Dr. Kim and Dr. Kolb for screenings both medical and psychological and with Dan in finance.

Now that I am officially "matched" my case is handed off once again. This is to be my last hand off. Now my point of contact is Amy, whom I adore. I will stay with her until I deliver a baby.

I had an email this morning from Anna telling me she'd miss hearing from me and wishing me good luck. I hadn't even stopped to think about the fact that getting a new point of contact meant saying goodbye to the others. Well, I think I'll still bug her from time to time, as I feel like we're almost friends at this point. But still... this is the first bittersweet moment in this journey. I know moving on to a case manager is smart and good business. Anna needs to devote her time to new surrogates who are now where I was 18 months ago.

Just crazy, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A few more details



But not too many. 


Even though I am told that this couple enjoy my blog... (page views from their home country are SHOOTING off the page... so I'm pretty sure they're having their friends and family check me out. )I am still very leery of sharing any personal information about them here. At least until I meet them in person and it is something we talk about.

But it's just so hard. 
I'm walking on sunshine!


I am so excited about them, and about this match. I am told that they are just as excited as I am. It's really hard to hold back and not share every detail. To talk about why I am so excited. But, this isn't my baby. And it's not my choice to make. So patience my friends, patience.

Chris spilled the beans that this couple is from Australia, hence the 17 hour time difference.  While this factoid played no part in our choosing them, it is a fun coincidence. Here's why.

Chris and I decided about a year ago that at the close of any surrogacy journey we embark upon we will do a family vacation. A way to gel our family back together after sharing so much of ourselves with so many others. Our choice for this first vacation is a cruise that travels the South Pacific Islands, around New Zealand and ends in Australia, where we will attend service at Hillsong. Maybe if we're lucky we'll get to visit this couple and the baby(ies) while we are there. :)

And Don't it Feel Good! 
So what's next? We are working to finalize some travel dates for an in person match meeting right now. Their availability just so happens to be while we are scheduled to be in Alaska. There is one day where we might be able to do it. We are trying to see if it will work out or if alternate arrangements will need to be made.

If it works out, we move on to contracts and shots. I can't believe we're finally moving. So excited and wishing I could share more information... but I need to hold back just a bit longer. I have a gut feeling though that they're going to be OK with it :) I would love to post a pic of the four of us after we meet. The kiwi team. :)

Well this is good news...

It looks like our counterparts this time around are just as interested in us as we are in them; definitely good news!  This couple is from Australia, which, incidentally, is a place I've always wanted to visit, so I can add this to the list of convenient excuses to fly halfway across the world, yay!  I guess this moves rather quickly; we're already talking about meeting in person this month, which leaves me flustered as always about leaving my office so much lately, but I have to remind myself that it pales in comparison with the amount of time it must take to fly all the way from Australia for a short meeting.  Not sure how much we are able to share at this point, but I'm sure Mandy will provide lots of details :)

THEY SAID YES!

More news to follow, but just a quick update. THE COUPLE LOVED ME!!!!

They said YES!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This Again...

As last night's excitement gives way to this morning's to do list, I realize I am back in a familiar place.


The 48 hour holding pattern. 


Only this time we have a massive time zone difference as well. 17 hours to be exact. Which means the couple will likely be waking up soon... to a lovely surprise in their email. ME!

I've submitted our questions as they relate to international relations (ha) to Growing Generations. So now I just have waiting to do.

Monday, April 8, 2013

yes YES yes!

I am so skeptical of writing again about a couple. 
But I am going to do it, because next year I'm going to enjoy looking back at this exact post and reliving these feelings. 
It's all part of the process, no matter if I get rejected again or not. 

I have received two more profiles from Growing Generations. The first wasn't a good match for Chris and I, so we turned it down pretty quickly.

The next profile arrived this afternoon. 
And it's a winner. 


This couple seems so outgoing and fun. They're quirky and hilarious  I honestly laughed out loud with the first sentence of the profile. I knew it was a match for me within those first 24 words. And I promise, if they accept me and they say it's OK- I will share that first sentence with you all in the future. I just have such a good gut feeling with the couple. I just feel like we will bond easily and laugh together through the ups and downs of the entire year.

The couple is established with one another. Despite one spouse being just 29, the same age as Chris and I, they've been a couple for 9 years. Nearly twice the length of Chris and I's marriage. They seem grounded within their relationship, and appreciative of one another.

The couple is also international. 

This raises a ton of excitement  but also some natural questions and concerns. Among them?

  • Will I get to meet them before I'm spread eagle in the delivery room? 
  • Do the laws between my country and theirs mingle well? 
  • What are the cultural differences? Will I easily offend them? 
  • And, perhaps least importantly of all- When can I go visit and couch surf? 

(OK, I really am just kidding about that last one.) 

So there is a lot to talk about with Chris tonight, making sure he feels as good as I do about them. 

I can't really explain the gut feeling I have... but I just have a better feeling this time around. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

As One Door Closes...

I've been trying to decide how to write this post. 
If to write this post. 

I've decided I need to write the post, because it is an honest part of my journey. 
And I've promised to share it all. 

The couple that Chris and I selected have chosen not to proceed with me as their surrogate.

I've decided to respect this couple and not share their reasons for declining me.

I will say this... their reason was full of heart. And it makes me love and respect them so so much more. I really wish I could have the opportunity to know them in real life. And as I can't communicate with them in real life, my only hope is that they will read this and know there are no hard or hurt feelings. To tell them I actually shared their concerns. To thank them for their heart and their bravery. To wish them nothing but the best in their search. And in their future family.

So yes, my heart hurts. But I am also hopeful and excited for the next round of profiles I will receive in the days and weeks to come.

Friday, April 5, 2013

An Update

I have had a lot of texts, phone calls and emails asking if I've heard anything... so I wanted to let you all know that...

Watching the Grass Grow...
The title of this post is misleading. 
Because I really have no update. 

I was told the IPs were given 48 hours to accept or reject. I was told there was no way I wouldn't have some sort of answer this week. I was told that quite often I will get an immediate, "We love her, but we have some questions for the legal team." I didn't get that. It's been over my 48 hours and still no answer.

In the interest of full disclosure I will let you all know that I am not worried. I'm not even really all that stressed. Which really surprises me. Is it possible I am learning patience already? Probably not. Probably just coincidence.

Either way, I have Emailed the Growing Generations team to ask for an update. If this couple doesn't like me, it's OK. They deserve a surrogate they are 100% on board with. And maybe just maybe there is an even more awesome couple out there for me too. I'd just like to know SOMETHING. SOMETIME.

So for now, it's back to house hunting, kid wrangling, and watching grass grow (not nearly that boring in Seattle...)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What a Lucky Gal


Chris and Emrys
I was just checking my stats pages (seeing what you all are up to on this blog for the day) and noticed the activity on Chris' posts have been pretty high. So I decided to re-read a few of them myself.

Let me just say, I am so incredibly lucky to have a husband who not only is letting me do this, not only supporting me through it, but has become a PART of it. To read his excitement over this potential match and to hear his thoughts just reminds me of how lucky I truly am to have such a supportive and amazing partner in this experience.

I have a close friend who had it in her heart to join me through this journey. 
Her husband said no.
 And that was the end of her journey. 

(And I think it is kind of unfair that if a husband says no, so does the agency. In that way, it is giving the husband more power over the woman's body than the woman. But, I understand why it is done.) 

Chris could have said no. 
But he didn't. 


What A Great Dad! 
In fact ... Chris is the reason that, if God deems it so, our next journey will most likely be to help an HIV positive couple have a child. I would never have considered it. Now I am headstrong to do it. (Just not for my first journey.)

So here's to sportive husbands everywhere. Here's to my best friend. Here's to my partner. Here's to the fourth heart in this puzzle to bring a baby into the world.

I love you, Chris.

Still Waiting

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I am told...

I spoke with Lisa at Growing Generations again last night. 
I am told that as of this morning, my profile will have been sent to our chosen couple. 
What this often means is that we will know if they like me or not by sometime today.

W-O-W

Apart from all of that, Lisa wanted to talk to me about this blog. She wanted to know what sorts of things I planned to share here, and where I would draw a line of privacy for the IPS.

My line has been clearly drawn since before I even knew which couple I might help. And if this couple doesn't choose me, the line will not change. I will never reveal anything that will make my IPs uncomfortable. This may be my surrogacy, but it is their baby and their pregnancy.

In the most ideal of worlds, I would give them rights to this blog and they'd share their thoughts through this journey as well. I am told that just won't happen. That's OK.

Second best? They'd be OK with me using their first names or at least an assumed name.. as calling them simply "IPs" for the next year seems so impersonal  I'd also love to be allowed to post ultrasound photos and a pic of the newborn.

I guess the bottom line is, so long as I am not silenced I am ok with almost any restrictions. I just hope that won't be our sticking point.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ahhh... That is the sound of relief

I finally heard from Growing Generations this morning. 
I am officially and formally cleared!


This means I am not crazy, I must have passed my computer psych test and my uterus is just fine.  

Wait, maybe I should make sure this isn't an April Fool's joke? 

These were kind of my largest concerns in the process. Now I have lupron injections to dread look forward to... but that's only a few weeks of ouch for the exchange of a lifetime of joy for someone else.
Speaking of "someone else" My profile will be sent to the couple Chris and I approved last month. I've been pretty tight lipped about them so far, and I will continue to be. I get the impression this is a very private thing for them and -- as always-- respecting their wishes is very important to me.

I am hoping that, if they approve me, when we get together for our face to face match meeting I can talk with them and see how much information they're comfortable with me sharing here. There is so much I'd LIKE to say. To tell you all the things we have in common and to share just why Chris an I think they're so awesome. But for now, just know they're a deserving couple who we can't wait to meet.

If they like us. 

And I guess we will know that sometime this week.