Monday, March 31, 2008

The Curious Lives of Surrogates Revisited

I read the Newsweek cover story on surrogates this morning, and it wasn't bad at all. They handled it with care, and I appreciated it (I was even able to overlook their usage of "implant" instead of "transfer"). I was happy and somewhat amused to see that they addressed surrogacy in the media (Tina Fey's new movie). The story could have been a lot worse, and I sent it to everyone I know who knows about our plans. The story prompted quite a bit of commentary from my friends and family, and I hope it educated them as well. My coworker stuck her foot in her mouth by gushing to me a bit about the preview for Tina Fey's movie before she read the article. I gently replied that we try to avoid shows and movies with the surrogacy or IF topic b/c frankly, it's just not that funny to us. After she read the article, she emailed me back that she was a moron. I told her not to worry about it. After all, she doesn't have to think about this stuff like I do.

Let's see. I called the clinic today to see if we could start the required testing before the three-cycle requirement was up. I honestly can't remember if the requirement is before we cycle or before we are able to test, so I might as well check. I swear, I'm such a rule follower sometimes. It may very well be that we can start testing sooner. No answer yet b/c the person in the know is out until Thursday. However, I did discover that the signed contract IS required before we start testing. That's good to know. Husband and I received a sample contract from our attorney last week with questionable sections highlighted. Hopefully we can get it back to the attorney soon.

School-wise, I am making progress. I was able to annotate about 18 resources for my annotated bibliography final project. My plan is to annotate 2-3 items each night and finish up the project soon. That way I can focus exclusively on the final project for my other class. I'm teaching the first half of class on Thursday (each of us lead an 1.5 hour session on the topic of our choice; mine is technology in libraries), and I'm a bit nervous about it. I'm sure it will go well, but I feel like I haven't had the chance to focus on it like I should. However, the task is to LEAD the class, not present, so that makes me feel better. Regardless, I'll feel better about 2:00 on Thursday when my part is over :-)

Work is going to be busy this week too. I've been pulled off my normal web tasks to work on 2 market reasearch topics. It's fun work but very time consuming.

What's really on our mind right now is that one of our kitties is sick. She is at the vet right now with a cone around her head and an IV in her paw. She won't eat :-( She has a heart murmur, and they are going to sedate her tomorrow so they can examine her murmur, and there is a chance--small but a chance nonetheless--that she won't wake up. I LOVE her. She is my baby girl and my princess. Please keep her in your thoughts. She's only 9 years old, and I will be devastated if something happens to her.

Forgive my rambling...I am under the influence of a glass of wine and no dinner yet!

In the news

Gee, it seems like surrogacy is everywhere these days, doesn't it? I have a Google Alert set up for surrogacy, and when I skimmed yesterday's, I hoped that the links to a Newsweek story were wrong. Alas, no. And it's the cover story:

The Curious Lives of Surrogates

I haven't read it yet, so I'll be back to comment on it later.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Out of Sorts

This has been a frustrating week. People at work have been stupid and most of my time has been spent putting fires out instead of making progress with projects. Or it might be more accurate to say that mini-projects keep appearing from nowhere and jump to the top of the list. And it seems like March is DRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGING. I think it's because my mind is already focused on April and May, and it's a surprise when I look at the calendar and realize that it is still March. I felt the same way in February last year after we booked our IVF cycle. Poor, short little February suddenly became the longest month ever because all I wanted to do was get to March which was filled with doctors appointments, bloodwork, med ordering, etc. In other words, progress.

I've been trying to take things one day at a time and have been doing pretty well. I understood and accepted that that there were impediments to our cycling with our surrogate immediately: gave birth in early December, lactating until mid-February, need cycles to resume and then have 3 cycles, etc. Nothing I could do to speed things up. But this week I just want to bang my head against the wall. We hadn't heard anything from the attorney on the contract, which sort of surprised me since I thought that she was going to send us some questions or info soon after our meeting. And even better, I received an email yesterday from our surro telling me that the one day of bleeding/spotting she had two weeks ago was NOT cycle 1, and that AF arrived for real on Sunday, pushing out our the potential start date by 2 weeks. I know 2 weeks isn't that big of a deal, but I am so tired of waiting. I feel like I have been twiddling my thumbs since September, and I want to get started. I want to cycle again. I'm ready to get back in the game. Argh. I think all this has really gotten to me this week because we are SO close to being able to start our testing and then cycling.

I'm feeling better today, though. Husband called the attorney yesterday, and she thought her assistant had emailed us already, so she was going to check on that and email us. Yay! Even better, Husband sensed how stressed and tense I was last night, and we got rather tipsy. It felt very decadent getting tipsy on a Tuesday night, but hey, we can. We might as well enjoy that perk of the child-free life while we can :) I do have a slight hangover today I'm embarrassed to admit. 30 years old and slightly hungover. Oh yeah, that's something to brag about! I feel calmer and more serene. I can only affect what's in my control and very little of this situation is. I'll repeat the Serenity prayer over and over and over until I believe it.

Oh, Husband and I have a new love: Apple's iPhone. He has been wanting one for a couple of months, and we checked them out at the Apple store last Friday. And now I'm in love too. It surprises me b/c I am a very low-tech cell phone user. I call no one but Husband. I don't text. I don't even know how to check my voicemail. But I want that iPhone. I had been skeptical of its claims ever since it came out, but no more. I'm just so surprised by this Apple love I'm having lately. Sure, I love my iPod. What's not to love? But an iPhone? I didn't feel cool enough for it. But now I don't care. We're going to wait until the next model comes out later this year and get them then.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Me, Grungy?

Kate and Kymberli are correct: I am indeed a child of the 90s. I graduated from high school in 1995 and was a grunge-loving teenager. I didn't wear flannel, though. I liked to dress up and seldom wore jeans. My favorite shoes were my clunky patent-leather Mary Janes :)

I like music, but I don't love music if that makes sense. I have fairly pedestrian tastes; it's actually kind of embarrassing. I'm not a big fan of concerts either...too many people, too expensive. There are only a few bands I would leave my house for. I did attend a Hole concert in high school and procured a "doll part" as a souvenir. I never went to Lollapalooza or OzFest. I felt alternative and weird in high school, but I had friends who exemplified that movement much more than I did and was proud when one of them was voted student body president. Imagine my disappointment and dismay when I discovered that they were assholes just as much as the old-guard preppy, popular types had been. The flannel and Birks were just a costume.

But I digress. Someone, please tell the trees to stop fornicating. Allergies are killing me!

Is there a shift in the wind? My friend J with whom I've been struggling for the last year over her successful transition to motherhood after 50 mg of Clomid has emailed me TWICE in the last week. That means that since July 2007, she has initiated contact three times. I have been the one to initiate all contact, something which has pissed me off for months. Are things changing? Is our presence at her child's 1st birthday party paying dividends at last? Too early to tell.

PG friend K has invited me to two of her baby showers. She said that right things about hoping I can attend one or both but would understand if I couldn't. I'm going to try to attend at least one. But I'm going to buy her gift online. I'm not going anywhere near Babies R Us.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Blahs

I really hate Mondays. I'm sure that's a universal sentiment. It's especially bad right now because I'm in the thick of my grad school semester, so weekends are spent trying to do that work (because I can't get my ass in gear during the week), so they seem very short, too short. Plus, my next holiday isn't until Memorial Day. Sure, I have vacation, but I'm a hoarder and I'm trying to save it as long as possible and I just took a day two weeks ago when my mother and stepfather came to visit. But I really, really want another day. Sigh.

Anyway, long story short, all of the above is combining to make me have a pretty bad case of the Mondays. On days like this, I listen to the dark, moody songs on my iPod which also have been what I listen to when I'm feeling really blue about IF. Here are a few heavily-played songs:
  • Fade to Black (Metallica)
  • One (Metallica)
  • Ridiculous Thoughts (The Cranberries)
  • Blow Up the Outside World (Soundgarden)
  • Hate Me (Blue October)
  • Yellow (Coldplay)
  • High and Dry (Radiohead)
  • Karma Police (Radiohead)
  • Let it Be (The Beatles)
  • Patience (Guns N Roses)
  • Sour Times (Portishead)
  • Sweet Dreams (are Made of This) (Marilyn Manson version)
  • Violet (Hole)

Quite a depressing list. But I like it. I think that it's healthy to acknowledge and wallow (briefly) in those feelings as an antidote to the relentless commands from clueless people to think positively or be positive. By nature I am not an optimist (I prefer realist), so these songs are my catharsis.

I'm in an interesting place right now. We have a surrogate. We are working on the contract. Things are progressing. I might cycle as soon as June. And EVERYONE is so freaking excited. Sometimes I get excited too. But then I remind myself that as usual, there is no guarantee that surrogacy will be our answer. As with IVF, surrogacy works for some and not for others. In some ways preparing for surrogacy isn't any different than the preparations I went through this time last year to prepare for my own IVF cycle. The only difference is that our surrogate has an intact uterus and 4 pregnancies under her belt. Which is a BIG difference! But still it's very similar yet so very different. Husband and I have noted that we are going to have to manage expectations from our friends and family. And maybe even our own expectations.

I feel like I'm giving everyone the impression that I'm OK. That I'm FINE. That I'm OVER all this IF stuff and have found a path that will work for us. But I'm not. I'm truly in a better place than I was last year, and I am looking forward to cycling with our surrogate. Who knows? Maybe it will work! But at the same time, I'm not that ok. Not much has changed in our situation other than our attitude (which is huge). We're still babyless and might still be babyless after we cycle. This new treatment direction doesn't really change anything about our situation.

Mondays. Blech. So what's on your dark/sad/moody/IF playlist?

Friday, March 14, 2008

First Official Step

It's official...we have an attorney on retainer and the contract underway! We met with an attorney with experience drafting surrogacy contracts yesterday and went over our GC's requests and ours and various parts of a contract. It went really well. We hope she can have the contract complete by the end of the month and then we both can sign it have it notarized!

It's a weird feeling having an attorney on retainer. It feels sort of cool to be able to say, "OUR attorney says..." or "OUR lawyer says..." LOL. Thankfully she is retained for a fairly benign matter and not some criminal issue :-)

Our GC is a little confused about what she thinks was her first post-partum cycle. She said it lasted for only one day, but she's still crampy. Since I don't have children and have no experience with post-partum cycles, I don't know if that is in the realm of normal or not. She does have three children, so I'm assuming based on her confusion that her post-partum cycles with them were more normal or at least longer. I'm trying not to worry. We won't know if it was a cycle until she either has a more real cycle or if her April cycle begins when she expects.

We also have the lovely task of figuring out who gets our child(ren) if both Husband and I die during our surrogacy journey. THAT will be fun. Right now we are leaning towards Husband's mother because we trust her to do the right thing and make sure that the other grandparents see the grandchild(ren). I'm not sure if I trust my mother to do that. Sad, but true.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cycle 1

I received a very welcome email from our surrogate last night: she has officially started her first cycle since last March (when she became pg with a surro baby). YES! Her cycles resuming is such a big step forward. It looks like cycle 3 will be in early May, so hopefully the clinic can accomplish all her testing in May and start synching us for cycling. I'm on BCPs already, so hopefully that's one less step. Based on her cycle, it appears that the earliest transfer could be would be late June. We have an appointment with an attorney next Thursday to start drafting the contract. It is a little weird that someone's cycle could make me so happy, but in this case, it's a good thing.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Despite good things happening, I have felt really irritated lately. I think a lot of it is due to being worn out and not feeling good. I've had a lot of sinus headaches the last several days. I just haven't felt 100%. Plus, I'm halfway through my semester, and all the work is starting to catch up to me. I'm taking this Friday off, and I hope that helps me get some rest.

I've been rather irritated at my friends. I found out that K, the pg friend due in May, had not told her husband that we were doing surrogacy or anything about our progress. This came from K's husband himself. Gratifyingly, he was annoyed with her for keeping it from him, and I was stunned. It has been about 6 months since we decided to do surrogacy and that includes two meetings with the surrogate and a clinic meeting. K knew all this. I can't believe she didn't tell him. I think I have mentioned that she is a little flaky, and being pg has definitely exacerbated that tendency, but come on! Part of me wonders whether her not telling him anything about it indicates that how little our lives matter to her. K and her husband apparently don't communicate. This not the first time we've heard him complain about something she hasn't passed along. Our other friends seem to have that problem as well. It baffles us, though. I tell Husband EVERYTHING. We talk a lot. Are we so rare? I can't imagine living with someone and not talking to them. It's like leading separate lives.

So it seems like surrogacy is the latest hot topic in the entertainment industry. I'm dreading that new show (The Return of Jezebel James or something like that) with Parker Posey in which she asks her sister to be her surrogate. And then there's that Tina Fey movie about surrogacy that's coming out this spring. I just can't bring myself to watch them. I'm sure they'll get everything wrong, and I dread friends and family watching them and thinking that's what surrogacy is like. I'm already having to correct people that no, surrogacy is NOT my surrogate's JOB.

Oh. Something weird. (TMI ahead) I posted back in December that I thought my endometrioma had ruptured after I woke up with horrible pain one night. I spotted a lot the next few cycles on continuous BCPs. I had a withdrawal bleed last week and then I realized that I wasn't spotting after it ended. You don't understand...I have spotted more than not during the last year. Spotting has become my normal. But here it is cd12 and no spotting. Does that prove that it was the endometrioma all along that caused my spotting? And what does that mean for my failed IVF cycle last year? Should the RE have drained the endometrioma during egg retrieval? I remember how devastated I was when I started to spot at 7dp3dt (I spotted for about 4 days before AF every cycle). We all know how hindsight is, but now I'm wondering about that cycle and whether the outcome would have been different if that endometrioma had been drained. Probably not, but I'll never know for sure.