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.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Testing Testing - 1, 2 .... maybe 3!

Cycling has already begun - for K (IM) that is. This wasn't new territory for her, she'd been through it three times before, each time with "ok" results. IM doesn't respond the best to the meds taken to stimulate her ovaries so each of the prior retrievals resulted in only a couple embryos of transfer quality. Due to this the previous three IVF attempts - in which embryos were transferred to her - they transferred on Day 3. In an ideal situation embryos are allowed to "grow" to the Day 5 blastocysts stage and usually the two of the best quality are transferred. However, when dealing with a limited number of embryos the RE isn't able to pick & choose so the general rule is to put them back in their natural environment as soon as possible (Day 3) versus waiting to see what survives and which are strongest.

K&S and the RE decided to try a "test cycle". The game plan was to change up her med protocol a bit hoping for a better response - a greater number of oocytes - and to allow the resulting embies a chance to become blasts. This is to test the quality of the resulting embryos and see if we have a good chance in May at doing a fresh Day 5 transfer when IM and I cycle together. Any survivors from this "test cycle" were to be frozen and used for backup in the future if needed ... lil totsicles if you will.

So K underwent the egg retrieval procedure on Monday with the best results of any of her cycles to date - 10 oocytes retrieved. Out of the 10, 5 were mature and 4 fertilized. On Day 3, all four were growing stronger; there was one 4-cell, a 7-cell & two 8-cell - all with normal fragmentation. On Day 5 (today) they have two nice blasts - a 4AB and 3AB which will be vitrified. Another is at the morula stage and although they aren't expecting it to become anything, they aren't discounting it yet either. The fourth is only at 7-cells and is being discarded.

IM is sooooo excited!! She was keeping expectations low but was praying for one - at least one - that could be frozen and is super stoked that they have two and possibly even a third. So with this news the plan has changed a bit. Originally we were to cycle together in May but now we'll transfer the frozen embryos instead. K has been through 3 IVF cycles and now an additional ER all since April '10 so she's looking forward to taking a break from cycling for a bit. If the FET doesn't work we'll start over with fresh - but for now it's time for her body to rest.

So from here I'm not sure what our time line will be. Originally meds were to start late April and transfer end of May all because IM didn't want to jump into another ER so quickly. Now that cycling together is no longer the plan things may be changed - and even moved up - depending on when contracts are finished.

I'm excited that this could all get underway soon!!


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Speical Afternoon

I'd been anxiously looking forward to yesterday afternoon. I couldn't wait to get together with a special circle of women which included myself, my FIM A, my IM K, my bestie Daisy and her IM A - both whom I must congratulate on the recent news of twins!! It was great all coming together to discuss our journeys - the highs, the lows and everything in between. I also think this was the first opportunity for the IMs to meet other women going through the same process. I know Daisy and I have a great support group of other surros so it was nice that the three ladies had a chance to connect with one another. I really hope there are more of these visits in the future.

Following lunch, which was at a restaurant just blocks from my FIPs home, I stopped in to visit FIF & Baby G. He is just as cute and sweet as ever. Giovanni has been on the move for awhile now so IPs decided it was time to install the baby gates which actually runs the entire length of their family room to keep him corralled and away from both the stairs & the fireplace - IF has named this area the "veal pen". LOL I got in lots of snuggles, even when I put him down to see if he'd show off his "walking" skills he was quickly crawling back into my arms. It's always a treat to spend time with them all and look forward to next time which will likely be his First Birthday! OH MY!!

Just a little side note - I've added a Photo Album in the right margin here on the blog. If you are interested in seeing pictures please contact me for the password.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Off to a Great Start

My journey with K&S is beginning to move along.

So what's the latest you ask. Late last month Jason and I met with the psychologist for our assessment - ya know just in case I went crazy at some point in the last couple years. The evaluation went just fine. We actually saw the same doctor that was used for my last journey and she remembered us once we introduced ourselves. She was very interested to find out how things went with A&T and excited to hear of Baby G's arrival and that we had such a great experience. I dodged having to retake the MMPI, she didn't find it necessary but I must admit I was a tad disappointed - the 500+ question personality test was a source of entertainment last time. Before leaving she said everything sounded great and my clearance letter was forwarded on to the RE.

I promptly scheduled my first appointment to meet with Dr. Kaplan/FCI for my med clearance. I was looking forward to it and was disappointed when we had to rescheduled last minute thanks to the blizzard, going into downtown Chicago the day after that mess - not a good idea. Thankfully we found a time that worked without much delay and Jason and I visited the River North FCI clinic this week. We had bloodwork drawn for the FDA workup and I was also taken back for a saline ultrasound. No problems there, in Dr. Kaplan's words everything looked "beautiful". We then met with the third party reproductive coordinator to sign consents, review the protocol and go over a calendar - VERY EXCITING.

The highlight of the trip to the city was meeting K(IM) for lunch. Since we've been emailing each other over the last two months getting together again was very relaxed and comfortable. I just have to say how much I am enjoying getting to know her - she has such a fun outgoing personality. Unfortunately IF wasn't able to get away this time, but hopefully we'll all be able to get together again soon.

The next step is to begin work on contracts but as of now the time line is an April/May cycle with a tentative transfer the end of May. Come on Spring!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Have Baby - Will Travel

Well sounds like having a lil one has not slowed down my FIPs. At the end of summer they took a trip with Giovanni in tow to New Orleans, then just recently North Carolina. Baby G did so well with the flight that he'll be heading off on his first overseas visit next month - to Spain. FIM said that filling out the passport info was a bit comical; occupation, weight, height, etc., 20 lbs, 28 inches. LOL They've also talked about taking a trip to Italy before he's to old to travel for cheap - sounds like he's going to be quite the world traveler.

Giovanni recently went for his 9 month well-child visit. His growth seems to be leveling out - all in the 50-75% range - and out of the 90s! He weighed in at 20 lbs 10 oz and is 28 1/2 inches long. Still a big boy though (none of my girls hit 20lbs till well after a year)

IM says he's on the move, standing on his own for a minute and cruising the furniture - but no unassisted steps yet. He's also taken to wanting to climb so it's time to install the baby gates! He's a good eater and has been experimenting with plenty of foods, but still prefers his bottle. I'm sure he'll have a well developed palate before long - God knows with his daddy - picky eating will not be allowed. They've gotten lucky in the sleep department - who can complain about 10 hours a night? He's still not the biggest fan of naps, which I'm sure his nap loving dad has a thing or two to say about ... but overall he's a good sleeper.

I'm stopping in for a visit in just a little over a week, can't wait to get in some snuggles and see how big he's getting. Wow time is flying - won't be long at it will be party planning time!