Friday, May 12, 2017

I think we passed our test!

On Tuesday, May 9, we completed our psychological evaluation over the phone with the psychologist in Nashville. This was the first step on the way to our babies and now it's done! We had to tell her all the things we've tried up until this point to try to become parents and I believe she felt we were completely ready after 10 years of treatments especially after we mentioned traveling to Mexico twice! She also asked a lot of questions about my relationship with Katie and about the compensation plan. Fortunately Katie and I had already discussed all the ins and outs of this entire process so I had a complete answer for all her questions. I am so thankful to my two surrogate buddies (one carrier and the other an intended mother) for helping me know how to prepare for this whole process. If any of you are thinking about using a gestational surrogate, I would encourage you to go independently. It has been such a blessing to become so close to Katie and figure all of this out as a team. I know this is the beginning of a beautiful lifelong relationship and I'm so glad God chose this path for our family. This kid(s) are going to be so loved by more than just me and Brad and I can't wait to tell them the story of how they came to be. It's a path I never would have chosen but I have definitely not walked it alone. Thank You God for being with us every step of the way and thank you to all of you who have stood by us and prayed for us. I feel He is very close to putting an end to our mourning days!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The beginning of the dance!

I would love to introduce to you our wonderful gestational carrier, Katie Statler! She is from North Carolina and when we began talking in a surrogacy facebook group we noticed we had mutual friends. It turns out that my previous music minister in Tennessee was also her previous music minister in North Carolina! Not only that but my mother was his secretary at my church for several years and his wife was in my Sunday School class and was an educational assistant at my school. She kept in touch with both of them after they left her church and actually flew them in for her wedding. The minister married them and his wife sang at their wedding. When we realized this connection we knew this match was ordained by God himself! My First Baptist Crossville friends will absolutely love this.



Katie has two brothers and three children. She married her high school sweetheart and works from home with her large LulaRoe business.  She has wanted to become a surrogate since her first child was born. After she knew her family was complete, she started pursuing surrogacy with an agency. Luckily I found her before she committed to the agency! She is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to get us to our rainbow baby(ies). I am so thankful to her and her entire family for putting their lives on hold for two people they have never even met.

Katie and her husband Brian

I can already feel my feet starting to move!!!!! Not only do we have our surrogate but we have our appointments made, flights scheduled and hotel accommodations in Nashville. Go ahead and mark June 5 and 6 on your calendars for the days to pray extra hard for all of us. June 5 Katie will be taking the 600 question psychological test. On June 6 she and her husband Brian will be sitting down together for the psychological counseling and then Brad and I will join them at the end of the session. After lunch Katie will have the medical screening. It will take some time to get all of the results back so I don't really have a timeline in mind for when the transfer would be. After we get the results then we will contact a lawyer in her state, which we have already found, to draw up the contract for us, which we have already written! We will purchase life insurance for her and that should be it!


Brian and Katie's three adorable children


Thank you to all of you who have been there for us throughout these 10 years. The Lord has taught us so much throughout this process and although we'd certainly never choose to go through any of this, it has brought us to our child(ren) hopefully. I have more hope than ever before that my dance is coming and I want you all to dance with me!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Matched!

I can't believe I'm even writing this but we have committed to a surrogate! I'm not going to share any personal information about her yet until she gets the chance to tell everyone she needs to first. I met her through a Facebook matching group back in February and we have been talking ever since. She has three children and lives in a surrogacy friendly state with insurance coverage for carriers. She had three perfect pregnancies and deliveries and is willing to transfer two embryos at a time to give this the best chance of working.

This was such a God thing and I know that's why it feels so right. She didn't think that we would be a match because she still had some weight to lose to become eligible. I told her that if she was the one God had for us then we would wait as long as needed for the right person. It turned out that my clinic doesn't require the lower BMI like an agency so she will be ready in a few months! We are looking at July to get started with the psychological and medical testing. We are opening another store in the next month so that will give us time to get it going so we can focus on this process. Hopefully there will be two little sweet embryos growing inside her by Christmas! What a present to receive from God and her family. In the meantime please pray for everything to go smoothly so that she will pass all her "tests" at the fertility clinic in July. I am so thankful God gave her to us. We found out shortly after meeting that we have mutual friends even though we live in different states. If that isn't God then what is? Praising His name today and always.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The search is on!

Last time I wrote, we were deciding between using our own embryos, an egg donor with Brad's sperm or donor embryos into our surrogate. I am happy to announce that we did choose one of these options and I know without a doubt that we are in God's will for our family! It is so exciting to think about what He has in store for us in the near future and the fact that my overactive immune system will not be involved this time gives me extreme hope that we are nearing the end of this nightmare.

The original surrogate that we were planning on using is no longer an option unfortunately for two reasons. She had the twin girls and everything was perfect but she did have to have a c-section. Our fertility clinic won't allow a surrogate to have two c-sections. We also would like to put in two embryos at once since we really want this to work and she isn't comfortable carrying twins again and who could blame her! These were her second set of surro twins so she is only interested in a singleton transfer. So we are on the search for a surrogate and she has been helping us every step of the way.

She invited me to several surrogacy Facebook groups that connect surrogates and intended parents. After only a few weeks I have already connected with a couple of girls who I really love. I've talked with them several times and I really think we may be on our way to a baby or babies! These are incredible women who put their own lives at risk for a complete stranger and it amazes me that they are able to give such an incredible gift. We would appreciate prayer that God will bring us the perfect person to carry these special babies. They are going to be loved beyond measure!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The twins are coming and our next steps!

The day is finally here! Our surrogate's twins are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, January 25th! Remember that these twin girls belong to another intended couple but it's been so fun following her pregnancy for these nine months and seeing a little bit of how things will be for us later. Please keep her and the girls in your prayers as she will most likely be dealing with a C-section on Wednesday.

As for us, we have been busy as well FINALLY! We went to the fertility clinic that our surrogate uses  to talk to her doctor about our choices when we cycle with her. He checked me out with an exam and Brad too (you know!) and said everything looked good. He suggested that I get some blood work done on CD3 to test my egg quality so we can determine if we should try one round with our own embryos into her. We don't really have much hope that it will work since I will be turning 39 this year but we felt it was worth doing the tests. I haven't received the results yet but we are thinking about keeping them private regardless of what they say. I'll explain why because y'all know I'm not very private!

We are considering three different options: our own genetic embryo, an anonymous egg donor with Brad's sperm or an embryo adoption. Whatever route we choose to take, we will definitely be transferring into the surrogate. I am totally done trying to grow any more babies in me and that is something I actually feel good about. I feel like transferring into me is a death sentence to any embryo whether they be our's, an egg donor's or someone else's embryo. Being pregnant is way too scary for me now and I am soooo thankful there are women out there who are willing to put their lives on hold for people like us. I don't know how we will ever be able to thank her.

Whichever road we take we are going to keep the way the baby was made private. Not for me. I am an open book and love to tell my life story to the cashiers at the grocery store when they ask if I have children. This is for our child. Although I would love to tell the world his/her story of how he/she came to be, our child may not want it that way. I spoke to someone recently that used an egg donor to conceive her twins and she said that only their family knows. The twins don't even want their friends to know and although I wouldn't be that way, maybe our child(ren) would be. I just feel like it's best to leave their story for them to tell. Maybe they'll be open like their mama. Maybe they will be very private like their daddy. Or maybe they will be somewhere in-between.

I would appreciate prayers as usual. Prayers for the delivery of the twins is of most importance but also remember us as we juggle through these different choices. We want to do what God would have us do and we want reassurance that we are choosing the right path. I actually would be very happy with any of the three. I just want to pick the one that leads us to the child He has been saving just for us.

*Also if any of you in blogland would like to share your experience with surrogacy, egg donor or embryo donors, I would love to hear how you handled things.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Viability!

The surrogate's twin girls reached viability last week!!! They are right on track and doing great. Their due date is in January so prayers they will make it until then and that the delivery will go smoothly for everyone. Remember these are not my twins but our turn is next. If everything goes well she will try for us next summer. Excited!!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Twin Girls!!

The surrogate is now 11 weeks pregnant with twin girls and everyone is doing great! If you read my earlier post then you will remember that although this will be our surrogate next summer, she is not our surrogate for this pregnancy. She had already made a commitment to this family so we are waiting our turn. The family used an egg donor with the husband's sperm and that worked on the first try. It certainly gives us hope for the future!

There was also an adoption situation brought to my attention this week that looks promising but I never want to get too involved because I always get hurt when it never works out. If it ends up being something worth mentioning then I'll write all about it but for right now I'm too nervous. I guess I may have to end up making this blog private if that's the route we end up taking but don't worry. I'll invite anyone who has already been reading! If this works out then we would still like to try again later with the surrogate. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up with a whole house full one day!