2 Week Wait is on!

Our blastocyst - day 5

Our blastocyst – day 5

This is our gorgeous little 5 day blasty! Apparently its perfect! And he/she (ok I’ll just go with he, given Michael’s hoping for a boy but I think its another girl) is now snuggly tucked into Chloe’s uterus.

We are also very blessed to have another just as perfect blasty in the freezer, in the unlikely event this little man doesn’t result in a beautiful baby.

Poor Chole was very nervous today. She feels like its all up to her this point forward. I can understand how she must feel, but I also said to her its up to the embryo what it decides to do. Regardless I know she must feel a lot of pressure right now.

I got to be in the room whilst they put our little emby in Chloe. Its done by ultrasound, so we got to see the very tiny little embryo be placed into Chloe’s uterus. To help the embryo along, they hatched the embryo prior to transfer and also used embryo glue to help keep it in place. Pretty amazing hey? How thing took only a few minutes.

Whilst we were in the waiting room Matt put a post on facebook saying he was at home whilst Chloe was out getting pregnant. Pretty funny I thought – got some interesting responds – one saying thats the weirdest update I’ve ever seen. Don’t think they had any idea what was going on.

I felt so amazing after the transfer – like wow were on – this could really be it – we could have a bubba soon. I was so excited, rambling all the way home to Chloe about materntiy clothes, maternity bras, morning sickness, how she carries, baby weight, newborns, sleeping through – just so excited!!!

So now we have what they call in IVF land the 2 WW – this means waiting for 2 weeks to have the offical blood test to see if Chloe is pregnant. So on 15 February we will know if she is UTD (up the duff in IVF land). Anothe test will be done on 18 February and if still positive we will have a check up that afternoon.

However, Chloe and I are going to try a home pregnancy test on the weekend. Apprantly these should pick up the pregnancy around 5 days after a blasty transfer. It could be negative but still pregnant, if this is the case we will just try again the next day or so.

So today we are 2 weeks and 5 days pregnant (weird hey – they take the commencement from your last period which is why its 2.5 wks and not just 5 days) – I know it might not last and we are far from announcing that we are expecting – but its still very exciting and I am very hopeful that this is our year.

Thank you Chloe for taking care of our little munchkin – I know you will everything you can to take good care of him. So excited!!!!!!!!

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Posted in 2WW, Blastocyst, Embryo transfer, Embryos, IVF, Life Fertility, Pregnancy, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Thankful, Uncategorized, UTD, Uterus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

2 x Embryos

Hope our 2 baby embryos are doing ok.

Just need them to hold on for 2 more days.

I’ve requested a call from the lab tomorrow afternoon, hoping for good news. I really not sure how I’m going to go if the news isn’t good.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

EPU

Just a quick post from me as I know lots of people are wondering how we went today with egg pick up.

Today started with lots of well wishers. One of them that was particularly relevant was from a very old friend telling me she was currently 12 wks pregnant after only getting 4 eggs at epu and only 3 fertilising. I was happy to hear this as it was proof that you only need one egg. Little did I know how relevant this message would be.

The procedure itself is very simple and relatively pain free. I walked into the theatre at 1205pm and woke up at 1235pm, so very quick.

When I woke up I asked the nurse if I got 4 eggs. I’m not sure why I asked this? Did I over hear it? Did someone tell me whilst in theatre? Maybe I just dreamt it? Maybe I was thinking about my friends earlier message? The nurse said she didn’t know.

I got back to the clinic at 230pm and had to wait for Michael for the news. Yep you guessed it- 4 eggs. If I’m honest I have to say I’m very disappointed. There’s alot riding on these 4 precious eggs.

In case your not aware, not all eggs fertilise and not all embryos make it to transfer back to the uterus and not all embryos in the uterus become pregnancies and not all pregnancies become babies. So whilst you only need to one egg to become a baby, it’s nice to have a few back ups just in case.

But regardless one of these 4 eggs might become the newest addition to the Delaware family, so we are hopeful. Myla came about pretty easily so there’s no reason one of these little eggs shouldn’t become a little tearaway too.

Michael gave another sperm donation to fertilise the eggs whilst I was in theatre. This afternoon the lab people will have chosen the best sperm to inject directly into the eggs. We will know tomorrow if the eggs fertilised.

Anyway physically I’m feeling pretty good. My tummy is majorly swollen and I have a few sharp pains. I’m on painkillers though and feel pretty good.

Tomorrow I’m taking Chloe for another scan to check on her uterus. Hopefully her uterus is coming along nicely and there’s a nice embryo to transfer to her on Monday.

So fingers crossed my eggs are being fertilised as we speak.

Posted in Disapointment, Egg retrieval, Eggs, Embryo transfer, Embryos, Infertility, IVF, Life Fertility, Sperm, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Uterus | 3 Comments

All Systems GO

Well its all happening now!

I had another scan this morning to check my follicles. I now have 10 good sized follicles ready for retrieval next Wednesday 30 January 2013. Dr Sterling estimates we should get 8 quality eggs from the follicles.

Chloe also had a scan today and Dr Sterling said her uterus lining is coming along well.

So we have now booked in egg retrieval for next Wednesday at 12pm. So I have 4 more night of injections and then on Monday at midnight I have give myself the trigger shot. My understanding is that this is a huge shot of HCG which helps detach the eggs from the follicles or the follicles from the ovaries – something like that!!

Chloe will then have another scan on Thursday 31 January to check how her uterus is going. If all is well and we have one good quality embryo, Dr Sterling will implant an embryo into Chloe on Monday 4 February.

I am really excited about the prospects of Chloe becoming pregnant – but all these negative emotions are starting to come up for me. I am assuming a lot of it’s got to do with the high level of hormone drugs I’m on.

I started crying when Dr Sterling said he will do egg retrieval next Wednesday. I’m not sure why, but I had this wave of feeling that this is not going to work, that we won’t get enough eggs out, or we won’t get enough good embryos or we will only get one and Chloe won’t get pregnant and we have no back up etc etc. I guess up to this point there has been so much hope. But soon its all about to become a reality either we will have a baby or we will know that we won’t have a baby.

Chloe has been such a trooper through all this. Taking her medications, having scans, doctor appointments etc. We’re so lucky to have her. Surprisingly to me, she is excited about transfer. She is actually excited about being pregnant, for Michael and I – not for herself. So amazing! I will never fully understand why women like her do this for couples like us, but I will always be forever grateful for her putting herself through this for us – regardless of what happens.

So for now I got to get through the next few days of hormone injections, stay on top of the emotions and most importantly stay positive.

Posted in Egg retrieval, Eggs, Embryo transfer, Embryos, Follicles, Infertility, Injections, IVF, Life Fertility, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Thankful, Uterus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

IVF Update

So I have now been on my stimulation injections for a week now and so far so good.

The Gonal F in the pen form is simple, just glides into my belly, doesn’t hurt a bit. The Orgalutran is in a syringe format. It was pretty scary the first time. Unlike the pen, you got to give it a good push to go in. But funnily enough it does not hurt either. I can’t watch either of them go in though. I kinda line the needle up, turn away, push it in and then turn back and inject the medication.

So far I have not had any real side effects. I do think I am a little more tired than usual and my tummy is very bloated and a little tender now but nothing too major. I’m also going through some pretty full on mood swings. At times I feel so down and depressed, and feel like I could cry my eyes out at the drop of a hat. But other times I feel ok.

Poor Chloe has been getting headaches from the Oestrogen pills. Makes you feel so guilty when you know someone is unwell due to taking medication so you can have a baby. I have been feeling terrible about it. I suppose I really need to toughen up, as she is likely to have many more occasions of not feeling well in the next 9 months or so.

Michael had his sperm analysis yesterday afternoon. Probably should not say too much about this or Michael will probably kill me!!! I received the results today and Michael’s sperm did come back below average on many counts, but overall it is still of a good quality. It does not matter too much as they are going to do ICSI, which is where they choose the best sperm and inject it direct into the egg to fertilise.

This morning I had my first scan to check how my ovaries are doing. On the right side I had 5 follicles all between 8-14mm. On the left I have 2 follicles between 8-11mm. They like the follicles to be around 17-20mm. Unfortunately the follicle that is 14mm will probably mature sooner than the others and therefore will probably go to waste.

My dosage has been increased and I have another scan booked for Friday to see how they are going. At this stage its likely I will have egg pick up next Wednesday or Friday, depending how the follicles grow. Hopefully we will get a lovely embryo and it will be transferred to Chloe the following week.

Chloe also has a scan on Friday to see how her uterus is coming along.

So for now I just continue to stick myself with needles. I am a little nervous to see what this increased dosage does to me. I’m currently on 300, so 450 is a pretty big increase!!

On top of everything, there is a lot of change going on at work, we are very busy and I still don’t know what my role will be (if I have one) going forward and here I am taking time off for IVF. But at the end of the day – I don’t care – this is so important to me right now and I am not going to do anything to jeopardise success. I’m so lucky I work with such wonderful, supportive girls that I know have my back!

Posted in Egg retrieval, Eggs, Embryo transfer, Embryos, Follicles, Infertility, Injections, IVF, Life Fertility, Sperm, Surrogacy, Uterus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

We started IVF!!

OMG just gave myself my first injection!!! Woo hoo that’s right I have now officially started IVF.

What a week hey – things have really got moving this week.

So on Saturday night Chloe, Matt, Michael and I all went out for dinner to celebrate the finishing of the red tape and the commencement of baby making – little did we know how soon it would kick off. Michael and I had a great night. We feel like Chloe and Matt are old friends of ours. Lots of stories, laughs etc. Of course endless discussion about our kids – that’s what parents do when they are away from their kids – talk about kids!! Not a lot of talk about surrogacy actually. Its good to know that we can have such a nice friendship with them now and hopefully for many years to come.

Then yesterday Chloe, Michael and I had an appointment with the clinic. We met Steph our new IVF nurse. She is awesome!! So sweet and very friendly – just what you need doing surrogacy. So she explained the process of all the drugs etc – totally mind-boggling – I was completely overwhelmed. She might as well have been speaking a foreign language.

But anyway what I did get from it – was I have to take an injection each night for 5 nights to start my ovaries making follicles, which contain eggs. Usually we have 1 egg per cycle, but in IVF they try to get lots. Then for a further 3 nights I add another injection, which prevents ovulation.

Steph showed us how to use the injections. The main one comes in a pen, like what diabetics have. I thought oh yeah easy – but when I saw the needle it was so long I was like SHIT!!!! Do I really want a baby – yes – ok so get over it! Then she showed us the next needle; this is an actual syringe and apparently hurts a little. This kinda freaked me out more – an actual syringe. This is going to be interesting.

After all this I have a scan to see how the follicles are going and if all is good, I then have a trigger injection of HCG which helps the follicles detach from the ovaries. Then exactly 36 hours later I have egg pick up. For egg pick up, they put you asleep and drain out the eggs from the follicles. They reckon 8-10 eggs is a good number.

While I’m in egg pick up, Michael does his business and provides the sperm for the eggs. The eggs get fertilised straight away – and hey presto – hopefully we have lots of embryos.

They grow the embryos in the lab for 5 days. Apparently embryos die off each day, but a good number is 3-4 embryos at day 5. Then they choose one to transfer into Chloe.

Pretty exciting stuff. But yes if you have done the maths that means we could be pregnant in about 2-3 weeks. Well they don’t actually confirm pregnancy until 2 weeks after transfer.

For Chloe she stops taking the pill tomorrow and starts on Estrogen – to help her uterus thicken up ready for the embryo. She is having a scan in 10 days, to see how the uterus lining is going.

Not to leave Michael out – he’s got his own appointment next Tuesday to give a sample of sperm. Just to check it out and make sure they are in good working order. Can’t wait to hear how his appointment goes!!! He’s dreading it.

Before we got the go ahead on the drugs, I had another appointment today to have a scan on my ovaries. What a fright that was. So I have my appointment with the scanographer. She’s looking and looking, says “are you sure they left your ovaries”, I’m like “ahhh that’s what they told me”. At this point I’m freaking. So she says you better come back and see the Doctor this afternoon.

So this afternoon I go back and see Dr Sterling. He couldn’t find my ovaries either. But he told me that sometimes during a hysterectomy they stitch them up high so they don’t fall down without the uterus there. So he does a stomach scan and immediately fines them – yah – thank god!!!

Oh funny story – when I see Dr Sterling he goes “so your Chloe’s surrogate?” I’m like “no, Chloe’s my surrogate”.

Anyway Dr Sterling says were good to start and I can start injections tonight.

I called Chloe straight away – she was like wow, so soon. I was a little worried that she was stating to get nervous about it all. But I texted her to see if she was all good and she said she was very excited about it – phew!

So tonight I gave myself my first ever injection. Everyone who has done it before assured me it was super easy, doesn’t hurt etc etc. But I was still pretty scared. Michael really wanted to help me do it. But I just wanted to do it. So when he was putting Myla do bed, I pulled it all out, read the instructions and jab – done. That easy. I seriously did not even feel the needle go in, the needle is so fine. Thank good for that!

Also here is a picture of the waiting room at Life. It is seriously like Qantas Club – know where our fees go. It has coffee machine, fridge full of a variety of soft drinks, poppers, sandwiches, and breakfast cereal, jugs of juice, cheese, crackers, biscuits, fruit and cake. They also have heaps of magazines (not those you get at the GPS, brand new ones from this month!!!) and even ipads with wifi!!

Waiting room at Life - fully stocked!

Waiting room at Life – fully stocked!

Posted in Egg retrieval, Eggs, Embryo transfer, Embryos, Infertility, Injections, IVF, Life Fertility, Pregnancy, Surrogacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Surrogacy Agreement Signed – Yipee!!!!

Just a quick one from me – very exciting news today – Chloe and Matt signed the surrogacy agreement. This means we have now completed all the requirements to start making our little baby!!!

Chloe and Matts appointment was at 10 am this morning – I was a bundle of nerves. Always the pessimist – I thought there’s going to be something wrong with the agreement, something their lawyer does not like. I was like a father outside the delivery room waiting for the news of the baby.

At 10.59am I get a text from Chloe “yay its all done and signed!!”. I was so happy, it was the best news I heard in a long time. At the time I was chatting with my work colleagues Claire and Lisa and then I was like OMG!!!! I was so happy, I felt like I was going to cry from happiness (I didn’t!!). There were hugs all round and even a visit from Emma from a few pods down. She heard the excitement and put two and two together.

Someone said – “what are you going to be like when she is pregnant!” – I know, I mean look how excited I got from a signed document!!! But it’s just such an important milestone in this journey. There is so much red tape to be done just to start the IVF process. When we started I just felt like the IVF was a million miles away. Now its here – I am so happy.

Believe me I know I got a long way to go yet, but I just feel like a big chunk of the process is done.

So we have an appointment with the fertility clinic next Tuesday. Our nurse from the clinic called this morning to confirm the appointment and to remind me that the first payment of a hefty $13,000 is due Tuesday. Oh well the price we pay to complete our family.

So now we exit the world of legals, lawyers and paperwork and enter the world of drugs, injections, scans, blood tests and lotsa medical terms I have no idea how to pronounce, let alone what they mean.

Thank yous

Also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has supported Michael and I to get to this point. A real big special thanks to my work colleagues Claire, Natalie, Crystal and Sharon – they have had to hear about my surrogacy ups and downs on a daily basis for months and months now. I’m a talker and they are all great supportive listeners. I am so glad to have such amazing work mates and friends. Also Claire has helped me lots in writing the agreement. So thank you lovely ladies.

Also thank you to all the lovely strangers from all around the world that have joined my blog and offered lots of support. The world can really be a small place at times.

Thank you to my lovely surrogate group and online friends: Jen, Rachel, Karen, Annette, Arielle, Kate, Cassie, Kim, James – many who I have not met in person, but have been able to lean on when I feel like shit and also share my happiness too.

And thank you to all my friends who have offered support along the way and listen to me jabbering on and on about surrogacy.

Lastly the biggest thank you goes to my gorgeous amazing surrogate Chloe. Wow I just welled up with tears!! (LOL). I am so thankful for the amazing gift you have agreed to offer Michael and I. I don’t think you realise the difference you are making to our lives and the restored faith in humanity you have given me. We were strangers a few months ago but now I feel we are extended family. Can’t wait to grow closer to your family – even if Matt doesn’t want any more friends!!

Listen to me anyone would have thought we had a baby!!! A baby is a long way off yet. But I am just feeling an overwhelming sense of happiness and gratitude right now. This is a bit like my online journal and I want to capture how I feel right now. So yeah I know I am a bit over the top!!!

So Chloe, Matt and Michael lets have some drinks Saturday night to celebrate our success so far. WOOT WOOT!!!!!!!

Posted in Infertility, Lawyers, legal, Legal Advice, Pregnancy, Surrogacy, Surrogacy Agreement, Surrogate, Thankful | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Legal Advice Done / Hospitals

Things are starting to feel a little real for us now. Less than a week till our IVF appointment and hopefully start getting ready for egg stimulation.

Yesterday Michael and I had our appointment with our lawyer – Kate Cherry (who I highly recommend). Don’t get me wrong I love Kate – she is awesome – but geez that’s a waste of money and time! Under the legislation it is a requirement to get legal advice about the surrogacy legislation. I’ve read the legislation a zillion times so there wasn’t anything Kate said that I did not know already.

The legislation does not require a lawyer to draft the surrogacy agreement, so I drafted it myself – with help from other surrogacy contracts and a few friends, so Kate just reviewed it and made some minor changes. But even she said, given the agreement is not legally enforceable it really is not that big of a deal.

So for that lovely visit we paid a hefty price (happy to share fee off the record), and Kate was by far the cheapest compared to the zillion other lawyers I called. Many other lawyers would not even give us advice if I wrote the agreement.

Anyway so we got out legal advice, made a few changes to the agreement and signed it – YAH!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited our agreement is signed – well at least half signed, Chloe and Matt still need to sign it.

So Chloe and Matt are meeting with their lawyer, Agnes from Hall Payne, on Thursday. Hopefully Agnes loves the agreement and Chloe and Matt can sign. Or if she wants any changes they can be made then and there, Matt and Chloe can sign and Michael and I can sign the amended agreement in the next few days.

Once the agreement is signed – wait for it – we have ourselves a totally unenforceable agreement. Yep you read right, we pay a zillion dollars to the lawyers to have an agreement that is not even enforceable. Crazy isn’t it?

Anyway the agreement means the clinic will allow us to start the IVF process and that’s the main thing, that’s the baby making stuff so that’s what really counts.

I’ve also started to ring around a few hospitals and OBs to find out how they handle a surrogacy pregnancy. Well hasn’t that proved interesting!!!

I’ll be honest with you, previously I haven’t thought much about the birth – I just want a baby and however it comes in the world is just fine with me, as long as I get to take a baby home – right? Well talking to Narelle our counsellor – she got me thinking how important it is to get the bonding right with the baby as soon as it is born. And how important it is that all medical professionals involved understand and appreciate that I am the mother of the baby and treat me as such.

So I called the maternity ward at the Wesley Hospital – where I had Myla – I had such a great experience there, it was the logical place to start. I know they have had a surrogacy birth before because my OB Dr Cook delivered surrogacy twins there. The head nurse seemed quite taken back by me ringing and asking about the policy/protocols regarding surrogacy. I do get that, its not everyday people think about surrogacy, so I totally understand. But she made me feel like surrogacy was some black market, shonky, under the table deal. Like we were all in on a secret and she would help cover it all up. I just didn’t get a good vibe from her at all.

Perhaps I should tell you what I do want from my hospital experience. Basically I want the same experience any other mother has when she gives birth to her baby and stays in hospital with her baby for a few days. Nothing less, nothing more. Not too much to ask – right?

So I would like to be there with Chloe when she gives birth (she hasn’t decided what sort of birth she would like yet – that’s her decision, not mine). When baby arrives, I want to be the first to hold him or her, I want to cuddle and oooh and ahhhhh over the baby, preferably with Michael right by my side. I then want to stay in the privacy of my own room with my baby, where I have the privacy to feed, bath and again oooh and ahhhh over my newborn baby. What every mother wants – right? I would like to hear from anyone who argues that I am not entitled to this?

Of course when Chloe is ready I want her to meet/hold the amazing gift she just brought into the world.

But I acknowledge a few things will be different due to the surrogacy:

· another woman will give birth to my baby (yah Chloe your awesome!!!),
· I will have the most amazing opportunity to take a front row seat in watching my baby being born!!!
· Chloe will be considered the legal guardian of the baby and go on the birth certificate as the mother (this will be changed once the parentage orders are granted)
· Chloe will need to sign any official documents relating to the baby – but Chloe can easily talk to Michael and I before doing this
· Chloe will have the official say in what happens to the baby in terms of injections, feeding, general care – again Chloe can talk with ask – and she can even give a blanket ok to the maternity ward that the baby will be cared for by me whilst in hospital.

So to me the only real differences SHOULD be that Chloe is the legal guardian and has to sign legal documents. Everything else can be the same as any other birth.

However when I call the Wesley hospital I am told that I would not be able to book into a room in the hospital, I could sleep on the floor in Chloe’s room if I wanted too. The baby would also stay in Chloe’s room and she would be responsible for baby’s day-to-day needs. I was not impressed to say the least. I mean who wants to look after a newborn child that’s not theirs?

I called St Andrews Hospital, a member of Ramsay Health hospitals – two surrogate friends have given birth in other Ramsay Health hospitals and had fantastic experiences. The nurse there was very honest and said they had never had a surrogate birth – which I already knew. She said as a result they did not have any policy on the it, but that she would be happy to make some calls and get back to me.

Yesterday I got a great email from the nurse saying, I could stay in the hospital (cost unknown but she would get back to me), I would be able to care for the baby and be considered by all staff as the mother of the child – however still acknowledging that Chloe was the legal guardian. She even said it would be Chloe’s preference whether she would be admitted to maternity or the normal part of the hospital.

Exactly what I wanted – but more than that I got the vibe that they were keen to facilitate the surrogacy and ensure it was a wonderful experience for both Chloe and I.

I also got a recommendation for an OB at the hospital Dr Rachel Green. I sent her an email and within 30 mins she called me back (impressive). She seemed very keen to have Chloe and I as patients. I explained to her that I wanted to be apart of the pregnancy, that whilst it was Chloe’s body it was my baby. I explained that I did not want to considered as just a support to Chloe but that this was also my pregnancy. She totally understood this and got how important it was for me to be 100% apart of the pregnancy. She said that she had called the maternity ward to discuss the situation and had already discovered I had been in contact with them.

Chloe is happy to have the baby at either hospital – so I think it is decided that St Andrews and Dr Green will be the ones. I feel almost guilty – I have had all my surgeries at the Wesley and I had a fantastic experience there and I love Dr Cook, but I think getting the bonding with our baby right is just too important.

On another note – Michael and I are going to dinner with Chloe and Matt this weekend – without children!!! Woot woot – thought we would have a few drinks to celebrate getting this show on the road.

Hopefully this time next week I will be able to tell you all about my egg stimulation – exciting stuff!

Oh and congratulations on the birth of baby girl number 4!!!!! To my lovely friends Anita and Cameron.

Posted in Hospital, Infertility, Lawyers, legal, Legal Advice, Pregnancy, Surrogacy, Surrogacy Agreement, Surrogate | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bring on 2013

Well one last post from me for 2012.

Its weird what a year can bring isn’t it? This time last year Michael and I had the smallest inkling that we were expecting our second child. This was soon confirmed in late January. Obviously as you all know, I actually had cancer in my uterus and soon after had a hysterectomy.

After getting over the shock of being diagnosed with cancer and loosing my uterus, Michael and I soon after commenced our search for a surrogate, leading us to Chloe and Matt.

Many might think that looking back on 2012 I might be angry or thinking “why me?”, “life is so unfair”. I guess there is a small part of me that does think this way, but too be honest 2012 as taught me some very valuable lessons.

Being told you have an aggressive form of cancer that could kill you, really makes you stand up and cherish life. For me anyway. It made me realise I love life, I want my life and I want to fight for it. This also made me realise what is really important to me in my life. Number one is my family, Michael and Myla. It made me realise you gotta live life for every day, because you never know what’s around the corner.

I have noticed a huge change in myself. I count my blessings everyday. I am thankful for what I have, I try to help others where ever I can and I look at my little girl everyday, I mean really look at her and realise how blessed I am to have her.

I think to be honest with myself, before this year I was quite materialistic. I always dreamed of ways I could renovate my house to make it look better, Michael and I were always doing little home improvements on the weekend. Now I’d rather leave the house how it is and spend quality time with my family. We ensure every weekend we do something special as a family. It may only be a trip to the park, a bbq on the back deck, attending community events – whatever it might be – its way more important than home improvement jobs.

I’ve also decided that lifes short and so I am going to focus on things that matter, spend time with people who care about me and not worry about things that don’t matter or those that aren’t interest in whats best for me. I use to spend so much time worrying about making things perfect and having good relationships with everyone. Now things are what they are and I don’t spend so much time worrying. Ok yes I still worry, but just not as much.

I also realised that there are some amazing people in the world that will do amazing things for complete strangers. I still can’t believe that women are prepared to have another woman’s child – for nothing other than the satisfaction of doing so. Chloe and Matt – I know you are reading this – I will never be able to express to you both how much what you are doing for us means to me. I will never be able to thank you enough. You will always hold a very special part in my heart – no matter what happens – baby or no baby – thank you thank you thank you. I really am so humbled that you would do this for me.

So 2013 – bring it on!!!! I am so excited for 2013. 2013 is going to be when the surrogacy journey really kicks off for us. This year is going to be full of appointments, injections, pill popping, legal jargon, medical jargon, ups, downs, most likely tears and with any luck a lot of happiness.

Hopefully I am going to find myself in the strange situation of someone else pregnant with my baby. Hopefully this time next year I’m holding my little baby in my arms – wow that’s sounds so surreal to me at the moment, but gee I’m hoping for it.

So anyway whatever your dreams and hopes are for 2013 – I wish you lots of success.

Happy New Year.

PS – Michael and I also have $100 riding on who can reach their goal weight first – he reckons he has it in the bag – so if anyone sees me with chocolate please remove it from my hand, even my mouth if you have to!!

Posted in Cancer, Infertility, Pregnancy, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Thankful | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pre Surrogacy Counselling – TICK

So we have officially completed our pre surrogacy counselling – yah!!!

Yesterday Chloe, Matt, Michael and I had our final session with our counsellor Narelle. I was really nervous, wondering what issues she would bring up were we might disagree. But amazingly there was absolutely nothing that we disagreed on. If anything the session just made Michael and I realise that we have made a fantastic choice with Matt and Chloe.

Topics that we covered included:

· How many cycles are we committed to
· Our thoughts on prenatal testing including amino
· Our thoughts on termination in the case of significant birth defects
· Would Michael and I attend all prenatal appointments
· What our thoughts were on what costs should be covered by Michael and I
· Who would the OB be and what hospital would the baby be born at
· How would Chloe give birth
· How soon after the birth would Michael and I be responsible for the baby
· Who would be first to hold the baby
· Would Chloe breastfeed and / or express milk for the baby
· How would we resolve any issues that arose during the process
· How would we feel if the process did not result in a pregnancy and / or baby

I haven’t provided our answers to these questions, mainly because who knows what the future holds and partly due to privacy. But the good news is that all four of us agreed on everything. We are not naïve and realise that issues may / will arise during the process, but it’s a good sign to see that from the beginning we are all on the same page.

So now our counsellor needs to write up a report saying that we are all fully aware of the process including the psychological implications. She sends this report to our fertility clinic so they know we have completed this process. Once we have the baby and apply for the parentage orders, she will need to provide the courts with an affidavit saying that we completed the pre surrogacy counselling.

Prior to the parentage orders we will also be required to attend post surrogacy counselling. We must find a new counsellor for this.

So what’s next?

Well Michael and I have an appointment with our lawyer (Kate Cherry) on Monday 7 January and then Matt and Chloe have an appointment with their lawyer (Agnes Mazur) on Thursday 10 January. At these appointments our lawyers will be providing us with independent legal advice as required by the Surrogacy Act.

Our lawyers will also review the surrogacy agreement, also required by law, but funnily enough not an enforceable document. I have drafted our own surrogacy agreement by reviewing others surrogacy agreements and basically cutting and pasting the bits I like. Chloe and Matt have also provided their input.

I have also asked two lovely lawyer friends to review for obvious errors and given my own legal background I think together we should come up with something have decent.

The law does not require lawyers to draft the surrogacy agreement, does not say what needs to be in the agreement and given the agreement is not enforceable as stated by law, I really see no point spending thousands of dollars for lawyers to draft it.

So I am hoping the lawyers don’t get dollar signs in their head, give us the required legal advice at the appointments and make minor (if any) changes to our agreement. Then we can all sign the agreement.

Once the agreement is signed we can officially start the baby making.

We have an appointment with our clinic on Monday 15 January to start the IVF process. This appointment cannot go ahead without the legal advice and agreement. So I am really hoping the lawyers do their thing quickly.

I know it might sound like I am bit relaxed about the legal part. But seriously given the agreement is not enforceable – how else can I be?? I mean I am fully across the Surrogacy Act and fully understand what can go wrong. I also believe Michael, Matt and Chloe are also.

So once we have our legal advice and sign the agreement – our lawyers then let the clinic know that we are good to go. So I hope all appointments go to plan and we are sitting in the clinic’s office 3 weeks from now getting ready to make babies!!

Bring on 2013 – this time next year hopefully we will be welcoming another little Delaware into the family.

Merry Christmas everyone – have a safe holiday and happy New Year.

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