Monday, July 24, 2017

Transfer Date!

Things are moving right along with our surrogacy journey! When we started this process, I imagined time would creep very slowly but luckily everything has gone perfectly and quickly and I owe all of that to the Lord! He has made this process not only easy but fun and I am so thankful that this is the path He chose to make our family.

Since I last posted, Katie had a saline ultrasound of her uterus to make sure there weren't any polyps or fibroids and of course that test came back fine. We contacted lawyers for us both and the contract is completed. We are just waiting on the final draft (even though we didn't change anything from the first draft) so that we can sign and notarize.

She is now taking birth control pills and antibiotics. She will take Lupron shots at the beginning of August then she'll have a suppression check in the middle of August to see if the birth control and Lupron have shut down her own system. She will then begin estrogen patches and progesterone shots to help get her lining ready to implant this little one! So we are looking at a transfer date somewhere around September 5. We will know the exact date after her last lining check and blood work which should be on August 28.

I plan on sharing pictures once she starts her shots to document every step of this baby's journey to life. Please say a prayer that she will be able to do the shots with ease and that God will continue to bless us all on this path. It seems like He chooses to make things easy when you are in His will. And I know that we are.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Nice to meet you. Will you carry our child? ;)

June 2017....The beginning of our surrogacy journey

I can't believe the time has come. 

June. 

Katie and I have been waiting for June to come because not only is June the month of our first surrogacy appointments, it's the month that we meet each other in person. This meeting isn't like any other either of us have ever done. We are meeting the lady who will love our child(ren) as they grow and develop inside her. She is meeting a couple who she must trust without reservation. This was big. 

Katie and her husband Brian arrived in Nashville on Sunday so they could explore the city. It was a complete mess from the Predators game (GO PREDS!) and an Alan Jackson concert but they managed to have a great time just being together, even while trudging through the beer on the street! She sent this picture to me and huge tears welled up in my eyes. I can't believe she's in Tennessee!
They're here!




Exploring Nashville

On the way to take the longest test ever!

Her first psychology appointment was at 5:30 on Monday night. She had to take a 600 question test and sit through an hour interview alone. At the end of the interview the psychologist told her she couldn't wait for her to start her journey and get to these babies. I think it was safe to say she impressed her. :)


June 6, 2017.
Katie and Brian arrived at the second appointment at 9:00am to meet with another psychologist. Brad and I needed to be there by 10:30 to meet with her also. We went into what seemed like a house but we knew we were in the right place because Brian and Katie's luggage was sitting in the waiting room. I looked at the luggage tag that had her name written on it and I thought to myself, "She's really here. She's right upstairs!" The psychologist made her way down the stairs at 10:30 alone. She said she wanted to give us all a moment alone to meet. Katie walked halfway down the stairs and froze in anticipation. Her legs were shaking. She finally made her way all the way down and this was the moment we captured....

We didn't even cry much. It was so weird because we are both criers! I think this was all way too big for even our emotions to handle.We talked for a few minutes then finished our session. We exchanged gifts then headed to lunch. We took them to Double Dogs because it's a restaurant we have here in Knoxville! We wanted them to have a little taste of our hometown. 

Our medical appointment at NFC was at 1:30. I don't know what it was but she and I were laughing at everything! It was certainly the most fun I've ever had at a fertility clinic. The nurse that was talking to us kept laughing at us laughing and said we already seemed like old friends. She was right.


Katie had her vitals checked, blood work, a lining check and a mock transfer. The doctor said, "Wow! You really picked a good one!" Brad and I would have to agree with him. :) The nurse gave us everything Katie will need before her next trip to Nashville. She will do a saline ultrasound in her home town on CD9 of her June cycle to check for fibroids or polyps. When the July cycle comes she will start the medications to get her body ready to receive the embryos. If everything goes well then we could be looking at an early September transfer! Our prayer requests are that Katie's test results will all come back clear (psychological and the saline ultrasound) so that we can get the contract process started.

I can't tell you how all of this process makes me feel! Some infertile women may feel a little sad. Sad that their body has let them down and they are unable to carry life. I don't feel that way at all. I feel extremely blessed that God has allowed this path for us. So many more people are going to love these children because of my infertility. So many more people are going to see God on the move through this process. I praise Him for my broken road. I thank Him for leading me to Katie. And I thank Him for all of you who have prayed us through this journey. Get ready to dance in September!
We kept seeing this advertisement!




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.