Ok, I have decided to do a blog about my surrogacy journey and how everything goes through this process. First, let me start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I am a 26 year old stay-at-home mom with two beautiful girls, Alyssa, 3 and Zoe, 1. I am married to a wonderful man, he is my high school sweetheart and best friend. I started thinking about surrogacy before Alyssa was born but my husband and I both agreed that it was something that we wanted to wait on until after we had our kids. I have known a lot of women who have had very difficult pregnancies or haven't been able to conceive at all and since my pregnancies were both very easy I thought it would be great to be able to help some people out. Plus I loved being pregnant.
I decided to get signed up with a company called Growing Generations (GG) and so far they have been great. The first step in the surrogacy journey is the paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. You have to sign all kids of forms and get them a copy of your medical records from previous pregnancies (which come to find out is pretty expensive). My obgyn charged GG $80 to mail me my medical records which was about 100 pages. It took me about an hour to fax all those pages b/c of the fax machine that we use. It is ancient and you have to sit there and feed each page through one at a time or it will get all jammed up. After I faxed all those papers over the lady from GG called me and said that she had told the guy that works in the office that handles the papers to scan my papers (into the computer so they could e-mail it to the insurance people). Well, apparently he misunderstood her or had his mind somewhere else b/c instead of scanning them, he shredded them! So then we had to fax them all over again. This time I got my husband to take it to work with him and fax it there. That was much easier and faster. The hardest part of the paperwork was getting the insurance approval. GG doesn't use your insurance, they pay for a separate surrogate insurance so you have to fill out all the forms for the insurance and wait for them to let you know if you have been approved or not. It was very nerve wracking having to wait on that approval. It was only supposed to take about a week to get the approval but b/c my obgyn apparently "missed" some of my records and didn't send everything it ended up taking about 2 weeks. I had to call her again and get her to mail me the records that were missing so that I could fax it to GG.
The next step after the paperwork is done is to do the physical and psychological evaluations. For that they flew my husband and I out to L.A. where GG is located. First we met with the psychiatrist which I hated. I am a pretty shy and reserved person and don't like having to answer all those crazy questions about myself. Like why do I think I will be able to do this? How would I describe myself? And what is my greatest accomplishment in life? After talking with the psychiatrist I had to answer a bunch of questions on a computer, over 800 questions! They were some of the most off the wall questions, it was crazy. They would ask questions like How many days are in a week? then ask you if you see dead people or if you think someone is trying to kill you. It was very strange. After answering all the questions we had to go to the fertility clinic to check me out and make sure everything was physically ok with me and my uterus. I had to pee in a cup then they did blood work on me and my husband which we should be getting the results on in 7 - 10 days. To check my uterus first they just did an ultrasound then to get a better look and check the shape and make sure there wasn't any cysts or anything in there. Then they took my IUD out and they did a procedure (can't remember what it's called) where they put a catheter into my uterus and pump up a little balloon on the end of the catheter so that it doesn't slide out and they put water into my uterus and fill my uterus up a little bit so they can see better. It was a very interesting experience. The whole time he was pumping the water in there and filling up my uterus I could watch it on the ultrasound machine and you could see the little air bubbles floating around i the water and everything. Then you see them deflate the balloon and pull the catheter out. He said everything looked great and I was cleared for conception. Yay!!! I have to say though, I felt really weird going into a fertility clinic when I don't have fertility issues.
So that's how far we have gotten. The next step after all the blood work comes back ok is that they will start sending me profiles of couples for me to pick from. Hopefully it will move pretty quickly from there. I can't wait to get matched with a couple.
If there is anything at all that you want to know just ask.