Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hope anchors the soul

When we left our financial appointment a month ago I started to get really emotional. This process is A LOT. There's a lot to know, a lot to do and a lot of emotions that go into it. While we were driving home I just kept saying in my head- hope anchors the soul, hope anchors the soul, hope anchors the soul. This has been my motto for 3 years now. It has kept me together through the toughest times.

Then "Fight Song" came on the radio and I started tearing up. Especially these lyrics. It's just going to take one person making one decision that's going to change out entire world. 

We are trucking along. Honestly this surrogacy journey has been almost as hard as having cancer. At least after I was diagnosed there was a definitive path I had to go on. With surrogacy there are so many unknowns and it's really hard emotionally. 

I feel in a lot of ways like a failure. I'm supposed to be able to provide children for my husband and daughter but I can't. It's hard to be reminded of that everyday. I know neither if them would ever say that to me but that's how I feel. I desperately want to be able to complete my family the way that I'm "supposed" to- by me getting pregnant. But I can't. And that's been the hardest part. 

We have completed 5/11 items off our checklist from the fertility doctor. We are figuring out the exact amount of money we will need and then hopefully will be able to keep moving along. We also have to decide about the level of genetic testing we would like to do. 

We know the right woman is out there. It's an incredible thing we are asking someone to do for us but I know she's there. Obviously we would love to get started as soon as possible- since we have been waiting 3 years to get pregnant. I have the due date calendars essentially memorized and we would love to have a baby next summer which would mean someone would have to be cleared ASAP. But obviously we know that beggars can't be choosers. Again we are more than willing to answer any questions you might have- no obligations. We have a questionnaire from out attorney that has a lot of questions that have to be answered that is pretty helpful. And of course we have a team at Shady Grove that are available to answer any questions. 

I know not everyone understands this route we are taking but this is the course that we think is best for our family. Thank you again for continuing to share our story and supporting us! We couldn't have made it this far without you all! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Surrogacy Update

This July I felt like I had THREE full time jobs- my actual job, the fundraiser and trying to have a baby via surrogate. Thanks to everyone who shared my surrogacy post. Sometimes these situations make you feel so alone but with each "share" it felt like people were really behind us with this.

WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR A SURROGATE. We appreciate anyone who has even thought about it. Being a surrogate is hard on the surrogate and her whole family. And there is A LOT that you would have to do. Obviously I'm not trying to scare anyone away but it's the truth. In the last 2 months we have learned a ton of new information and we have been reading and learning about surrogacy for the last 3 years.

Here's an update about what we have been doing the last 2 months-

When we first talked to our fertility doctor about this he set up a team for us including a clinical coordinator, a nurse and a financial coordinator. They have all been SO helpful. I love that everyone is just an email away I can just shoot them questions (because I have A LOT!).

We met with the financial coordinator first. We could have had a phone appointment as she is in Rockville but I'm a visual person and I hate to talk to people I don't know on the phone. I felt like we got a lot more information that we would have otherwise and felt good about the appointment when we left. Right now I'm in the process of begging them for donated medications so we will see how that goes. I donated my medications back to Shady Grove after I was done with my last egg retrieval so I feel like they could donate some back to me. Even if it's just one type of medication or half of the medication I need. Medications alone are going to cost like $3000-$5000!!

We also got the list of questions from the attorney's office that we would have to discuss with a potential surrogate. I thought I kind of knew what all of the questions would be. And I knew a bunch but there are A LOT of questions on there that I didn't even think of! Like- what if you want to abort the baby for medical reasons but the surrogate wants to keep it? Who would ever think to ask that!? I guess that shows we have an attorney that knows what she's doing- she should she does a TON of these!

George and I have had blood work done (the first of many). We also have to have genetic screening done. There are a lot of extra steps to do if you are using a surrogate because any potential diseases or problems we have could be given to her because she's carrying our baby. And of course our future surrogate and her husband have to go through the same testing for the same reason. Eventually we will all also have to be evaluated by a psychologist. I'm interested to see how that part will go because I have no idea what he or she will ask us.

I got approval from my oncologist to go through another retrieval so that was good news. She approved it last year when we talked about it at my appointment but my fertility doctor wanted it in writing to to talk to her so I'm just glad we are all in agreement. My oncologist is probably happy that I won't be asking her every 5 minutes when I can have a baby anymore!

Things are moving along. We have to get the finance part in order but there are more steps we have to complete before we do that. I'm ridiculously pissed off that my insurance doesn't include any type of IVF treatment. In fact when I called she said it was "excluded". I just don't understand how a medical condition could be excluded. I know that having kids is an option and not necessary but so is undergoing chemo or taking any other medications (like viagra- which is probably covered). Once I'm through part of this I'm really going to figure out how to talk to my employer about this because it just doesn't make sense to me. I'm not saying they should give me $50,000 or unlimited lifetime coverage but could you cover like 25% or 10% or SOMETHING?!

This process feels like it's moving fast and slow all at the same time. It feels like there's a million things going on at once and then there's a lull and nothing is going on. I just cannot wait to hold a baby in my arms and finally say this is our complete family! Mackenzie is still talking about "when the baby is here" or "when we have our baby". I was thinking the other day of how in the world we are going to explain to her that our baby was born from someone else. I'm sure we will figure it out. I guess it would be the same if we were adopting a baby- except this baby is biologically related to her/us. But the excitement I feel when I think about telling her she is going to be a sister is absolutely overwhelming! It's the thing I look forward most in my whole life.

I feel like I've been asking for a lot lately (donations, ect) but if nothing else if you could just share our story. We really want to use someone we know or a friend of a friend and not a stranger. I can't tell you how much it sucks that we can't just do this ourselves. We would have a 2.5 year old right now. But I got diagnosed with cancer instead. Although if I was healthy and had a normal pregnancy I would have loved to be a surrogate I can understand anyone's hesitations with it. It is a lot for a family to go through. But we want to answer questions. And again- if it doesn't work out then it doesn't work out. I truly believe there is one perfect person that will be our surrogate for us and if that's not you it's okay. But we aren't going to stop looking until we find her. 

If you aren't sure and want to know more let us know. Our doctors and attorney are so helpful and are willing to answer any question. 

Thanks again for your continued support!