Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Best Kind of People

Seems I have forgotten about the hurry up and wait part of this process.
It wasn't easy for me last time, and it's proving to be ... trying... for me again this time.

The couple I have decided to help are quite busy. Frankly, so am I. It's proving to be a bit of a struggle to get us all in the same room at the same time. But that's OK- busy people are the best people.

I once told my grandma, "I'm the kind of person who has all five burners on the stove going at high temp and water boiling in each." She asked me if maybe I'd consider turning the heat down on one of them... and I couldn't even fathom the idea.

I am often told, "It makes me exhausted just watching all you do." Maybe it's not meant to be a compliment, but I wear it as a badge.

I like to be busy. I like to have a lot of things going on at once. I like deadlines.  I live for m to-do lists and can't function without a schedule.

It's been said that, "If you want something done, do it yourself give it to a busy person." I actually like to be that person. It's weird, I know. But it's me.

I'm willing to wager at least one of these guys have a similar personality. Just a hunch. This probably means that WHEN we do finally manage to get together, it's going to be a lot of fun. Probably some speed talking, too.

Because I can accomplish more when I speak more quickly.

Monday, June 22, 2015

No Such Thing

We got the thumbs up to start planning for our match meeting today. We should be in LA in the next several weeks to meet this new couple. To hitch our hearts to this cart and get going. To make another family.

As a mother of girls, I know that some day I'll need to teach my little blondesters some things about the internet. Chiefly, nothing ever really goes away once you hit "Send" and, perhaps most importantly, there is NO SUCH THING AS ANONYMITY.

There is something inside of me that is dying to know if these fellas are already reading along. This couple knows my name and face- it's part of the matching process. Google search "Mandy Storer" and the number one result is this blog. It doesn't take much cyber-sleuthing at all to find me, my story, and my heart.

Do I hope you're reading along, new couple? I don't know. But if you are here, I hope you're as excited as I am for our match. I hope your support circles are as pumped and ready to cheer you on as mine are for me. I hope you're ready for this season's Big Brother, because it rules my summer life. Mostly, if you are here, I want you to know you're being thought of daily. Because, there is no such thing as anonymity anymore.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

We're Official

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to announce that the blog you use to have to google "A baby to share blog" to find, now has an official home. From now on, you can find my uterus and I at:

www.ababytoshare.com


Wahoo!

Share the news (And the address) far and wide!

Also- as a hobby- I design T shirts. I've decided any sales from my shop will go towards the annual premium on the domain. If you have an idea for something not currently in my shop, let me know! Also- each design is customizable in color cut, wording, etc. Happy shopping!
Blondester Blog Gear Storefront

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Born to Gestate

Great news,everyone! My uterus is still smooth, thick, bloodrich, and otherwise perfect. Here's a wrap up of my visit with Dr. Ghadir, no longer the nasty name I called him before... because really, he's a sweetheart.

I will say that I will miss the HRC experience. I felt a bit like I was in an Urgent Care waiting room as opposed to a high end southern California fertility clinic.

Being sent to the porn pantry...err...specimen sample collection area and then being directed to, "Go down the hall to the right, find the hanging clipboard and sign up for a blood drawl" is just something that wouldn't happen at HRC... In my previous experience I peed in a room without porn, latex gloves, a wrapped chair and TV and then could expect to be personally escorted to a technician ready to draw my blood.

But, aesthetics aside, the doctor was quite nice, the scan went very well.

On the day of my scan I was on day 12 (Yes, 12) of my menstrual bleed, and was shedding that lining like crazy (Read:bleeding like a broken dam). So,by 12 days of blood loss, many of those days the heaviest I've had in quite awhile, I expected to find a huge open cavity (normal) and thin lining (normal) on my scan.

Instead, we found a 6mm lining (ideal transfer is 8mm or above) and a triple stripe (walls of the uterus touching in the middle, no open cavity).  Essentially, my uterus was transfer ready on day 12 of my bleed. This just proves that I'm a fertile Myrtle, and born to gestate. Maybe I should rebrand the blog, "Born to Gestate". What do you think?

So now we're back in a holding pattern wherein I wait for my urine and blood to come back drug free (they will) so that we can schedule our actual match meeting with the new couple.

I'm very eager to meet them, in large part, so I know what all I am allowed to blog about this time. It's always my first priority to respect their privacy wishes, especially as this blog still has a pretty healthy following. I can't wait to tell you all why Chris and I love this couple. But until I get the green light, mums the word.

Until next time, friends!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I'm Baacccccccccccccccck

First step of journey #2 is being medically cleared for a second time. Which I am currently in L.A. to do, right now.

Here's the hitch... this time I'm going to be working with a new doctor. And this doctor is a bit known in my surrogacy circles as, 'Dr. Fat Shame." Apparently he has a way of trying to talk anyone with a BMI over 26 into losing some weight before getting knocked up.

Now, let's look at the facts here, folks.

Fact: my BMI is not a 4. Hell, it's not even a 24. (it's a 28, and I'm kind of proud of it)
Fact: I out-gym most men.
Fact: I've lost 61 pounds (and counting) in the last year.
Fact: I am healthy, and my body does what I want it to do.
Fact: I've successfully carried and birthed 3 children.
Fact: No one really shames me for anything.

Fact: I'm nervous for this appointment despite the facts. 


Makes no sense. But I am.
They'll also be looking inside of my uterus to make sure it's still beautiful. I'm fairly certain it is, but this doctor seems to be a bit more picky... so who knows what he'll think of my "deflated balloon"

So here we go. Off to the doctor, nervous, but daring him to fat shame me.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

I recently was given the incredible opportunity to travel to Australia to speak about surrogacy. I was on a panel discussion at the Families Through Surrogacy Australia convention in mid May. It was simply one of the best things I've ever done. 

The timing of the event was incredibly fortunate- it fell just days after the first birthday of Ellie. So, naturally, when given a free day in Oz I chose to hop a flight from Sydney to Melbourne to meet up with Ellie and M, T was out of state on business.

In case you don't recall how our last visit went, Ellie was not a fan of her surrogate mother. For the little girl who refused- REFUSED- to vacate my womb 9 months earlier, she outright couldn't stand the sight of me that day. One look from me would send her into tears. And I had even brushed both my hair and teeth that day. I wasn't heart broken by the rejection. Truly. I knew it was a possibility and really, she's surrounded by men. So imagine this strange looking (and sounding) woman coming at you and assuming familiarity? I think  most kids would cry.So this time I decided to try a different approach. I went to her more slowly, less familiar, and asked her for permission to cuddle, hug, hold and play. Imagine my incredible joy when she was OK with each request! So for the day we spent time playing peek-a-boo, cuddling, tickling, raspberry blowing and bonding. It was such an awesome change from just three months prior. 

After lunch I stopped by her home to see the place I had sent this child into just over a year earlier. I think my favorite part was a bulletin board by the back door that is covered in snapshots of the family. Every time the dads walk E by it they stop and point out one or two people and call them by name. My heart was flooded when I noticed photos of me with Ellie as well as other photos that my girls have sent them over the last 12 months on the board. It was obvious that these photos weren't added just for my visit. The photos were there because we really are a part of one another's families at this point. When I think back on this visit, it is likely that board that I will think of first.

The guys had also saved me one of E's birthday cakes from her party. In this way I was able to have some of her birthday cake, even though I had missed the party. So, over coffee for me and tea for Grandma and M, we talked surrogacy, and Ellie, and parenthood. I shared a tearful hug with M's mom. We really do have a unique and special bond. After our snack we crowded around the TV to watch video from the birthday party so that I could see the traditional singing of Happy Birthday. It was very cute, but what was really moving was what happened next. The computer went right into the video montage the guys made shortly following the birth. It had video of the days just before the birth, footage at the hospital, immediately following the birth, and a bit from E's first days of life. 
I've seen the video before, clearly, but this time it had an entirely new impact on me. I started to cry, again. You see, this time I had this fly on the wall view of my choices to become a surrogate and how HUGE that choice really was.

I made a little person. I'm not so arrogant as to say she wouldn't be here without me, there are other surrogates, but because of people LIKE me, Ellie exists. M&T are dads, Grandma S has another grandchild. Because of my choice, someday M&T will be grandpas. The branches of this family tree have forever been changed "for the good" because one person with a big heart and an able uterus said, "Yes. I can help. And I will." That realization sends chills down my spine. It's so big! On that day, in that living room, with those tears running down my face while holding the hand of the grandma I helped make... I felt such incredible pride. A new pride, a new sense of self. 

And I knew, I just had to do this all over again. 

So, one year removed from the end of our epic and well chronicled journey, I am here to announce that there will be another journey.

M & T are quite happy with their family of three, and have changed their position from "coach" to "cheerleader" for this journey. They'll be a part of my support team, but not the parents this go-round.  So, if not M&T, then who? There will be more on that in the coming weeks as I learn more myself.

But for now, buckle your seatbelts! The ride of a lifetime is back for seconds.