About Me

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Caledonia, Northern Illinois, United States
I am a Thirty-Something mother of four beautiful girls. My love for them, and the joy I've experienced during this crazy ride called motherhood, has inspired me to help make the dream of a family become a reality for couples through gestational surrogacy. I've proudly helped A&T, as their lives were forever changed when they welcomed a son in April 2010 and K&S were blessed as parents in Sept 2012 when we welcomed their twin boys. I completed my final surrogacy journey Nov 2015 when I helped a wonderful local couple J&W and Big Brother add their family with the birth of twin boys. I am so very fortunate to have wonderful relationships with each one of my surro-families and continue to share in their lives.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Would Die For That

This song came to mind today....thought I would share.

I like to listen to it now and then, reminds me why I am on this journey and what an amazing gift being a mother is and how excited I am to be doing what I am.

I can't wait to be a part of bringing this dream to life for my IPs.

I Would Die for That - Kelly Coffey

Friday, December 28, 2007

Expectations...some thoughts

I just thought I would share a few of my thoughts. I wanted to get them down in case I later wanted to reflect on them.

On the online surrogacy community that I belong to, there has been a lot of discussing about IP involvement and relationships at the time of delivery and beyond. It has left me thinking long and hard about my expectations and with contracts coming up soon I want to be sure I can express my feelings before we officially embark on this journey.

These are my thoughts......

I've learned in the last few days that I will need my time for closure after the birth. It isn't that I need time to grieve, I am excited beyond words to give A&T the baby they so want and can't wait for that moment, but I will likely need some time to say goodbye alone. It is important that we establish that I will be given access to the baby(ies) while in the hospital and I will be allowed a little time with him/her/them by myself as well.

I know my profile left things pretty open when discussing later involvement. I requested updates but tried not to sound to "high maintenance". Ideally I would love as much contact as possible, I like the idea of being open especially considering we live less than 2 hours from one another. I think I requested frequent early communication (and my IPs stated the same) that will taper off to less often as the child/ren grow. I do however want to know that if I am thinking of them and want to send of an email, make a call or plan a visit that my request for contact will be accepted warmly.

I am hoping to let our relationship develop spontaneously and naturally. I believe and agree with what others have said that if you weren't likely to be friends prior to the surrogacy that it may be hard to maintain a real friendship however, through The Rockford Moms Group I belong to and help organize, I have become great friends with women I typically wouldn't have probably been inclined to seek as friends. Our bond though motherhood has connected us. I think with that in mind our relationship could and hopefully will blossom into a friendship beyond delivery and last for years to come. However, if that connection isn't there I don't want to force it either.

As I said, there has been a lot of talk regarding this subject and everyones insight is really helping me understand what it is I want. I am realizing that although I don't want to sound needy that I do need to be upfront with my expectations to avoid any disappointment later on. Thanks again AAS.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Worked out fine & Lunch with IM

Good news is I woke up to a very "normal" AF so the appt today was a go. I was so relieved. As I said I took DD Brie with me as my travel companion on the 1.5 hour drive in. I posted before about my Chicago driving paranoia but it really wasn't to bad. The worst part was that we were driving right into the sun and with no windshield fluid to clean the filthy window there was a terrible glare and it was sooo hard to read street signs. Now that I know where I'm going though my future trips in should be a breeze.

I made it to the clinic 30 minutes early and they saw me right away. After giving a little blood meeting with our IVF coordinator and having a quick u/s I was on my way. Very easy and simple.

IM meet Brie and I at the office and she took us to this cute little place downtown called "Orange" with a unique menu and tasty fresh juices. My breakfast was super yummy and they make an orange coffee with great flavor. We talked and talked and talked for over two hours. I finally felt 100% comfortable being myself and I really enjoyed our conversation. This time with "just the girls" we got to chat more vs. previous meetings with husbands in tow when they pretty much dominated the conversation. I am so looking forward to more and more opportunities to spend time with my IM, she has a super sweet heart and is so nice.

On my drive home the RE office called to say my levels looked great and u/s was good too. She called in a RX for BCP that I need to start in the next day or two. I also had to contact my OB to see if I could get my cervical cultures (STD tests) done here to avoid driving all the way into the city for just some swab tests. I'm still waiting to hear back from my OB, they haven't been to cooperative with me so far during this surrogacy journey, the seem pretty lost in it all, so I may have to keep on them. I was hoping to change OBs but the one that I wanted and I had heard great things about doesn't take my insc. Bummer!! For now I'll stay with my past OB, maybe once we're closer to being preggo I'll consider changing.

After seeing my OB for the cultures the next step is meeting with the RE and having the hysterosonogram. This is scheduled for the 9th of Jan but I know they want my cervical culture results prior to going ahead with this so if my OB can't get results back by then it might have to be delayed.

Here's hoping all works out fine for that appt like today did in the end.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ugh, she is a WITCH

Why do things have to be complicated when they shouldn't be?

So here all along I was worried that AF would be early and just the opposite happens...she was LATE!!! Ideally Sat/Sun would have been perfect for her arrival, why then did she wait till today (Tuesday) 4 days overdue? So here I am with an appt with the RE tomorrow morning which was supposed to be somewhere in the window of CD 2-5 and here we are just barely making it. I'm hesitant to make the 2 hour drive to Chicago when really I'm not gonna be on CD 2 however, I've been told that as long as the flow is "normal" I should be ok and results for the b/w should be accurate. :unsure:

I've decided I'll call the office in the AM and talk to the Dr on call before driving into the city. I don't want to call now considering it is C'mas night and I hate to bother anyone with a stupid cycle question.

If tomorrow doesn't work out I'm hoping I can find a sub for my daycare Thursday and that the RE can see me that day as well. If not were pushed back to late Jan since Friday is a no go for me and then we are smack dab in the middle of another weekend/holiday. I'm guessing they have Sat appts though....maybe that will work ok???

If tomorrow works IM and I are meeting up for lunch/coffee afterwards. I've decided to take my oldest DD Brie (13) along with as a travel companion and I'm excited to spend the day in Chicago with her and also have IM meet her too.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Woohoo, I'm not crazy!!!!

Well it is official, per the psychologist I am NOT crazy!! Woohoo!! I got a copy of the doctors summary of our visit, it is nice to have something in writing saying I am not insane. She wrote, "As part of the screening, she [Tiffany] took the MMPI-2 (personality test) and her profile indicates that she has no psychopathology and is functioning normally psychologically." Great news huh?

I'll be honest, I was beginning to get a bit worried. The agency and I have been in pretty close contact through this whole process talking at least once a week if not more often then that. Since taking the psych exam over three weeks ago I hadn't heard a thing and was beginning to wonder if they knew something that I didn't. I couldn't help but fret and be concerned that perhaps due to my results we weren't moving forward and nobody wanted to tell me. :hiding: I ended up sending a brief email yesterday and to my relief they said that my results had just come back and my info was being sent over to the clinic right away so we could continue on. Whew!!

So today I got to make some appointments with the RE but we may run into a problem. They want to see me sometime between CD (cycle day) 2-5, normally that would be no problem but of course AF (auntflow) is due basically tomorrow (12/21) and CD 2-5 puts us right in the weekend, Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Ugh! We went ahead and put an appointment on the books for Wednesday, Dec 26th in hopes that maybe with the holiday stress my period will be a day late. Keeping everything crossed that the witch doesn't show until Saturday or even better Sunday. If she doesn't hold off then everything is delayed till next month meaning I have to cancel all my appointments (including the one with the lawyer) and try again end of January.

If all goes ok and we move ahead now my first appointment will be for blood work. I have a second appointment two weeks later set for Jan. 9th to meet Dr. Tur Kaspa, have physcial, complete anything we aren't able to do on the first visit and to do the hysteroscopy.

We also have the appointment I mentioned above to meet with the lawyer on Jan 22nd. After all med exams are complete we'll start working on contracts which is another exciting step. If all works out things should be wrapped up the end of next month and we could start cycling in February.

A bit off topic but amongst all my appointments Jason has one as well for a vasectomy. He is not looking forward to it but I'm sure he'll manage just fine. It is a small price to pay to ensure we don't end up with anymore little ones of our own. This is the first time in my life I can actually 100% say I don't want have anymore least none that we have to keep.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Check that off the list

Well, another appointment down. Today Jason and I went in for the psychological evaluation. It was rather painless and easy, basically just reviewing the questions in my profile that I gave the agency. I think the doctor was very at ease with my decision and there really wasn't a need for "probing" questions. We did discuss the one big factor in the outcome in all this and that is IMs "advance" maternal age. She is just over 40 so a lot of how well this works is weighing on egg/embryo quality. I think the psychologist just wanted to be sure I was aware that even though pregnancy has come easy for me, it might not be so easily achieved through this. Regardless, I'm an optimistic person so I'm not gonna fret over the unknown at this point. I'm just hoping for the best.

I do have the MMPI -2 to take either tonight or tomorrow when I have some peace and quiet to answer the 567 questions!!!! YIKES!!! They are True/False though and mostly statements and then I just have to choose how I feel about it. They are so ridiculous though, it is amazing to think they can actually determine someones personality and tendencies from some of these questions. The test is used to rule out hypochondriasis, depression, paranoia, aggression etc. so I can understand where the questions are coming from but some are so silly. I am amused by it mostly.

OK, on to the great part about today. Jason and I went out to lunch with A&T following the appointment. It was such a nice visit and we chatted for 3 hours. Everything was much more relaxed than last time and we were just able to get to know one another. The conversation flowed so easily and again Jason and IF seemed to have the most to talk about. They are both big time into film (this is actually IF's line of work) and Jason is a movie buff so they get along GREAT!!! LOL

I will admit, I was still a little quiet for me. I guess I hadn't realized how much I ramble on about my kids until I consciously make an effort not to do so. We did talk some about my previous pregnancies/deliveries and the girls too, but I just tried hard to not let that be the ONLY thing I talked about. I know for a fact I let the girls consume my thoughts and I can go on and on and on about them sometimes. Seeing as how A&T haven't met them yet I just feel I'd rather wait instead of blabbing non stop about them and usually when I talk about my children it is with friends who have their own "kid stories" to share. Hopefully A&T will have some of those soon enough too. We talked about plenty other stuff too and as I said it was just nice to enjoy one another company and not feel the pressure we did in the match meeting interview a few weeks back.

So, looks like next it is on to medical exams. We have an appointment set with the lawyer in two weeks but from what IF was saying we need to do med exams with the RE first. If that is the case then those will take place early Jan. and then contracts soon after. Oh, another great thing I found out today is they don't think their RE typically does mock cycles so we may be looking at getting started as early as February. That would be awesome!!

I am very excited by the thought of having a successful Feb/March transfer and A&T getting a baby in time for Christmas. I think that would be wonderful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hurry up and WAIT!!

They aren't kidding when they say surrogacy is all about playing the "hurry up and wait" game. Ugh.

So I relayed all my cycle info to the consultant at my agency and she contacted the RE office. Guess they said a big NO to doing any med exams (hysteroscopy/blood work) before I get my psych clearance. So although we've been racing to get in a few preliminary appointments (psych eval, contracts) to get going we are gonna have to WAIT till January for the next step which is medical exams.

With the way things are going looks like med evaluations early January, with possibly a mock cycle sometime February. I've heard rumors that these can take up to 8 WEEKS so.....that is gonna push us to April at the earliest for an actual transfer. That seems like forever away and I am ready NOW!!!!!

Another frustrating note is that I asked about the possibility of using a clinic close to home for some of my monitoring appts. Guess were gonna have to wait on IPs RE and see if they are ok with that. Truth is that I HATE to drive into Chicago. That part of this surro journey has me more paranoid and intimidated then giving myself multiple injections over and over with a big fat needle in my butt. That sounds like a piece of cake in comparison to driving into the city every few days for u/s and b/w. I am hoping they [clinic] will be ok with me using someone local for the "little" appointments and I can save myself for scary city driving.

Anyway, that is the latest update. Not gonna be much happening for awhile it seems. Psych evaluation is still a week from this Friday (Nov 30) and I am hoping IPs, DH and I can all do lunch following since they have an appt just before ours.

I'm sure I'll post again then if not before.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

So far all is going smoothly

I hope the rest of the journey goes this well.

Now that we have an official match it is time to get in all the preliminary stuff. This past week I got the psych evaluation scheduled for Jason and I, we'll be doing that on November 30th. I also have an appointment on the books with the lawyer we are working with, that is December 12th. I love that everything just keeps moving along.

I've also been cleared by the IP's RE, so after the psych evaluation is done and that is A-OK I begin the medical evaluations. From what I understand this will include a bunch of blood work for both Jason and I and an hysteroscopy for me. According to what I've read they do the hysteroscopy sometime around the week after AF (CD7-14) so if AF shows when I'm expecting that would put us somewhere around December 1-7th. I imagine if we don't do it this cycle it will be delayed until January. I'd rather just get it done and over with. Not that I'm worried about it, when I got my IUD in/out I hardly felt a thing but I hate waiting for AF and it would make me anxious waiting till the new year.

I am very excited because now that things are moving along A&T and I have been able to exchange personal information. I wasn't quite sure how to first contact them, so I decided to send A an E-card to say hello and let them know I was thinking about them. She responded back with an email and I returned her with one of my own. It will be nice to be able to keep in touch now.

On the 30th they also have their psych evaluation, we have back to back appointments so I am hoping maybe we are able to do lunch that afternoon. Since they live about 2 hours from us it would be nice to take advantage of the fact that we will be in the same area at the same time. I'm hoping to hear back from them if this will work out.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Well looks like......

......everything is a go!!!!

Just got the good news, A&T have chosen me to carry the most precious thing they will ever make together....a BABY or BABIES!! Looks like I'll be helping them make a family in 2008 and I am so excited to join in this partnership with them.

It is onto contracts, evaluations, transfers pee sticks and Betas!!

A friend made this blinkie for excited to use it!!!

Match Meeting....we shall see!?!?!

Well, DH and I got home not to long ago. Things went well at our meeting with the IPs. We did a lot of chit chatting over the two hours and the consultants from the agency were there to facilitate the conversation and ask questions and keep things moving.

I have a very good feeling and hope they do to. The IM and I were both crying at one point so I think that is a good sign. IF was very friendly and did the majority of the talking, very outgoing. She however seemed a bit reserved but after we talked about that (how quiet IM was) she confessed she is just a bit apprehensive about getting too excited. Their struggle with infertility has been 5 long years and there have been several surgeries resulting in getting no where so it is understandable for them to be cautious.

I was also a bit quiet, which is unlike me, but I think I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. I just didn't want to blab to much about my own children or how wonderful my pregnancies/deliveries were for fear of sounding insensitive. I know right now "A" would do anything to be in my shoes and I wanted to respect that. I can't even begin to imagine the mental process one goes through to decide to let another woman carry your child and relinquish the dream of being pregnant. It must be a hard place to be. So, I waited for them to ask the questions instead of spilling my guts. I imagine that feeling lessens as you begin to really know one another, but it was a bit awkward during this first meeting. Certainly not something that makes me second guess the match, I think time will remedy it.

I am hoping to hear something by late morning or early afternoon so I'll let you all know.

It really wasn't that hard once we got talking and I am positive they got to see the true me. However, I think they hit it off even better with DH. Maybe they will want him to carry the baby.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moving Right Along

Well, it's on to the next step. The IP couple that have been viewing my profile over the last few days have decided they want to meet with me. I am super excited about this news and after looking at their info I think they will be a great fit for me too.

A&T are in their early 40's, so a bit older than DH and I, but seem to enjoy a lot of the same things we do like food (who doesn't), wine, theater and film. I am looking forward to meeting them and seeing if we make a good connection.

They've struggled with infertility, after the diagnosis of fibroids and several surgeries resulting in uterine scar tissue making implantation nearly impossible they've decided to pursue surrogacy. I'm hoping that I can help them achieve their dream and give them a bundle (if not two) to welcome into their family. I feel excited and honored to join in this partnership with them.

Our tentative date to meet is in two weeks (November 6th). With all this moving along so quickly it could be early next year when we put everything into motion. That could mean a baby in 2008, can't wait to be praying for babydust and stickyvibes!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh the wait!!

Again, I have to remember to not get too excited. Having potential IPs view my profile doesn't mean anything really but I can't help but be happy about it.

My profile went out to the IP couple in Chicago today. The IM is out of town and won't be back till at the earliest I will get news back Friday.

I am keeping my fingers crossed. It would be so exciting to find a match right away. Of course I have to agree to work with them too but the agency consultant seems so optimistic. Her email today said.... "I think you guys we'll be a wonderful match -- I'm crossing fingers!" I'm keeping mine crossed too.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Moving Fast

Can I just say again how quickly this is all going!!!!

Today my agency consultant called to tell me that she is presenting the Chicago couple with my profile today. She said she is super excited because she believes we are a perfect match, so much so that it gives her chills! She went on about how she told her business partner all about what a great opportunity it is for both the IPs and myself to work together.

She is hoping to have more information for me today or early next week. If based on my profile they want to meet me we move ahead. The from there if they pick me we then go on to doing the full medical exam, psych evaluation and then sitting down with lawyers and writing up our contract.

If all of this comes together and our journey begins late this year or early next I'll be a surromom in 2008!

I'm trying too not get to excited because I know there are a lot of variables to consider but I am just giddy right now over it all.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

In the Beginning

Well, I feel like yesterday my journey officially began.

The consultant (Zara) from Family Source Consultants and I met at a restaurant at a halfway point between my location and hers. I had to track about an hour towards Chicago but it wasn't too bad.

She was very friendly as I had expected. We mostly talked about marriage, family, daycare....all the ins and outs of my life. Then of course we also talked about surrogacy....I had some questions for her, she had some for me.

We got down to the details as she explained the entire process and what it entails, medical and psych evaluations, fertility drugs and injections, retrievals and transfers, Dr appointments and of course D-day too.

She has 3 different IP couples in mind for me. One is right here in the Chicago area which would be great and convenient. The other two are from out of state, on in Missouri and the other in Minnesota. This would require some travel on my part but should still be workable.

She is hoping to contact these couples in the coming days and present them with my profile. She said several times during our meeting that she is certain they will place me with IPs, it is just a matter of getting the right match.

Seems like things moved really quickly. Just one month ago I was contacting them about my interest and now here we are working towards finding IPs. It is all very exciting and I can't wait for more news.

This has been in the fore front of my mind all day long. As with most things that I become passionate about I can see myself getting drawn in to the process, craving all the knowledge, support and insight that I can. I am thankful to have found (AAS), what a great resource. I also happened upon the journal of the surrogacy agencies consultant that I met with yesterday. It is very interesting to look into the lives of the IP/IM/IF and gain insight into their journey as well and how they came to decide on surrogacy. I can't wait to read more experiences from IP and GS/TS alike.

All the family and friends I have told so far about my/our plans have praised me, told me how unselfish I am, giving, honorable and amazing. I have heard a lot of "God Bless Your Heart" and other such comments. I guess I just don't see it. I am not anyone special, I most certainly am not amazing that is for sure. I only want to give to a couple what they deserve, to feel the touch of their child's skin next to theirs, wipe the tears from their eyes when they are sad, hear them laugh and the chance to love someone more than they could ever imagine. I want to give the gift of life, the experience of parenting, and the joy of having a family. These are the things I most cherish in my own life and I want to pass that along so others can be touched by them as well.

I can't wait for my journey to get underway!!