I’m Back!!

 

The worst blogger award definitely goes to me! I would like to apologize first and foremost for taking such a long break but I do have many good reasons for not blogging lately, most due to being uninspired and overloaded with life. (It happens!) Before you make your verdict of whether I am guilty or not for receiving forgiveness of my absence let me present my case of why I have been sucking at keeping up with my blog.

School

School: If you ever want to challenge yourself try having a family, working and going to school all at the same time. To add some spice do all that while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. This alone was enough to send me into a corner and cry because of all the stress that comes with this. I’m in a Bachelor’s degree program for Criminal Justice and every 5 weeks I finish a class and start a new one. It’s an awesome program, but I just found out that I have a lot of units to still complete on top of the program to fulfill the state’s requirements for graduation. Being that I am a transfer student from another state 6 classes aren’t being counted towards requirements and I have to complete a certain amount of units within this state to graduate. This was a major bummer and I have been dealing with this lately as to how to quickly complete these units and the cheapest way possible. I definitely found the cheapest way: completing them at a community college and the quickest way is to overload my schedule with classes so I can graduate by summer of 2017. For all of this to happen I am starting this summer by taking 4 classes on top of the program so this summer I will be taking 5 classes. Even though this completely sucks by this summer I won’t be working at my current job anymore so I can stay up late to get all these classes done. It’s not too bad, I was able to do the 5 classes a semester and working a 45+ hour third shift job before so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Work

Work: I got a part time job at a retail store and the shifts are early morning, VERY early morning.  We share a room with my toddler and he doesn’t fall asleep until late at night so I’m only getting about 5 hours of sleep the days I have to work and then the days that I don’t work I still have to go to bed early for the next day. Two days have to be taken off to be able to do anything because you are either tired from that day of work or you have to go to bed early for the next day of work. I definitely do recommend this schedule but again I see it as a blessing that I was able to find a job that fit around the Hubs’ schedule so we won’t need someone to take care of our little man.

pregnancy

Surrogacy: This happened just recently, but I was released from contract from my last intended parents at the very end of January and was immediately matched with new parents. I have a transfer date of March 18th so a lot had to happen before that date but thankfully everything that needed to be done has almost been completed. I will be posting an update on that as well 🙂

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Vlogging: We just started vlogging at the end of December and we love it! It’s a lot of fun to keep track of what is going on with our lives through video and being able to share it with the world. As much fun as this is it requires so much time with planning out the videos, gathering what we need for the videos, filming, editing, uploading, and sharing the video. I want to be able to keep up with both our vlog and my blog but bare with me I won’t be perfect at this! Here’s our latest video! Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

 

money

Money: With doing all of these fun blog posts of crafts, recipes and other creative visual content I had to purchase all of the supplies of course and this can get rather expensive. We’re trying to pay off debt and buy a house next year so blogging comes last on the list of expenses. BUT we are in a much better financial state now so we can afford doing some fun upcoming blogs!

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Gym: On the days I’m not working my husband and I are working up a sweat and this takes up our whole morning until the Hubs has to go to work.

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Wife/Mommy Duties: With being the one who mostly stays home I am in charge of our little man with all of his needs, as well as all meals, the cleaning, the bills and anything else that comes with running a household, but I love it! I wouldn’t want it any other way!

If I’m not pumping iron I’m stocking shelves, if I’m not editing videos I’m making dinner, if I’m not studying I’m changing a diaper, and if I’m not cleaning I’m catching up on what needs to be done that is surrogate related. A lot of good is happening in our lives but it has been kicking our butts and after I have gone to the gym, studied for a test, made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cleaned our home, paid the bills, edited a video; the last thing I want to do is write. It’s not that I don’t love to write it just is not my favorite thing to do when I am so exhausted. I’ll try to type and I will have 5689 typos because I fell asleep at the keyboard 🙂 Creativity goes out the window when you can barely keep your eyes open.

Things are changing though! I am quitting my job in two weeks because we are doing so well financially so I will be able to focus on the things that I love to do!

Hang in there with me and keep reading in the future for: surrogate updates, craft ideas, healthy recipes, life updates, mom tips, pregnancy tips, breastfeeding tips and whatever else I can think of! Thank you for reading!

 

 

We are Now Vloggers!

I have been blogging since this past February and it really opened the door to a very creative world, coming on here lets me store all of that energy some where. With getting to know this blogging world, you come across the term vlogging which is just like blogging but in video format. I was planning on blogging my whole surrogate journey and my road to zenith but why not add video to it too! It would make it so much better to get an actual visual on what exactly goes on in the surrogate process and what’s going on with my road to zenith. My husband and I have talked a lot about doing YouTube channels, probably for about 2 years and last weekend I thought why not start now?! There is no perfect time to start, being that I am in contract but still waiting for the next transfer date to be revealed. We didn’t have the greatest camera but we upgraded that this past week because we really want to invest in vlogging AND we are enjoying it immensely. Hey it might go somewhere, right?! I purchased a low cost video editing program for now, that is probably the next thing we will be upgrading but we still need to learn a lot about social media networking and how this all works before we invest anymore money.

We have been having so much fun with thinking of content that would be entertaining but at the same time goes along with our daily life. Also with gaining comfort in front of the camera, cutting out annoying little sayings like: um, uhh, so and so on. I have been busy with learning how to work the new program, how YouTube works and how to grow your subscriber number.

I think the main reason why I wanted to start the channel is because I looked up to see if there were any other surrogates who vlogged their journey and I couldn’t find any! I thought how awesome would it be to let people, especially women, know the true world of bringing babies to this world for couples who physically cannot? We also are in college, we are parents, we are very much into fitness/meal prepping, were a married couple, gamers and whatever else we can muster up. I hope all of my blog readers will tune in to our channel, subscribe hopefully and enjoy what we upload!

I will still try to blog as much as possible so that I have written and video content of everything, but for right now vlogging has been taking up a lot of my time.

Our vlogger channel name is: The Sanzo’s

You can click on the links below to view! (We only have 3 videos uploaded so far)

Surrogacy: Unsuccessful Transfer

I had my first embryo transfer at the end of this past August, I found out only 12 days later that the transfer was not successful. I was in complete shock at first when I heard my doctor’s voice on the phone sharing the news. I told him that I didn’t believe him that I was having pregnancy symptoms that were identical to when I was pregnant with my son. Since I went into a nearby clinic for my blood to be drawn for the first pregnancy test, he wanted to make sure and asked for me to drive to his office so his phlebotomist can do the blood withdraw. I showed up as soon as the office opened the next day and received another phone call that afternoon with the same results. For the next week I went through a lot of emotions starting with self blame, I was mad at my own body for not making this pregnancy happen.

I came to the conclusion though that it just wasn’t meant to be, I did everything I was supposed to with the self injections, medications, vitamins, diet and restrictions. It just amazed me that the transfer wasn’t successful because I know I am fertile, healthy and it only took one try for our son to be conceived. Also, every ultrasound visit I had with the IVF doctor was flawless, everything that needed to happen happened and the doctor would tell me how well my body was doing with all of that was being put into it. So why didn’t it work?

On the phone with the doctor with the second results of the pregnancy test, I asked him what the grade of the embryo was(they are graded on an ABC scale, with A being the best), and he said it was grade A. With everything going as smooth as it did from all aspects, it really was just not supposed to happen. I then was given some closure when the phlebotomist told me that each embryo transferred has a 50/50 chance. That’s why a lot of times surrogates end up pregnant with twins because the IVF doctor likes to transfer at least 2 embryos to have a better success rate. But there was only one A grade male embryo from the retrievals and the intended parents had their hearts set on having a boy.

After receiving the news of the failed transfer, I immediately emailed my intended parents to share my condolences. That I wish there was more that I could do or could have done but honestly I did all that I could have.

I wanted to make something for my intended parents, something they could hold on to, to remember this baby by. After brainstorming I collected all that I had during this surrogate process and printed out a poem and arranged it all in a shadow box:

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I was very happy with how it turned out, I received an email from them as soon as they received it and they were very thankful and touched by my gift. After a couple of weeks I emailed them sharing that if they were willing that I was more than happy to go through with another transfer. They thanked me for my willingness and wrote that they are still deciding if they want to do another transfer or not. It’s been 3 months since then and I finally received word from them mid last week that they are still deciding but that it doesn’t look hopeful. The donor they were using isn’t so inclined to do another transfer and they don’t want to use anyone else. There are female embryos available but they really wanted to even the boys and girls in their household. They have until March for there to be a viable pregnancy, if that doesn’t happen then the contract expires unless all parties agree to extend the contract. It takes about 1 month preparation for everything before the transfer and then about 1 month after for a confirmation of pregnancy, so I should know for sure by January if we’re going to try again. I really hope they do decide for another transfer, the parents were wonderful and we get along very well. In my surrogate support groups I would hear other surrogates’ stories of how their intended parents are international and do not speak English so all of the pre-natal checkups are awkward, especially if there isn’t an interpreter. I also heard another horror story of an intended mother living in a different country and when the baby was born she left the United States with the baby without completing the rest of the payments for the surrogate, thankfully she did pay the remaining balance on the last day though. Hearing all of the stories that I had made me very thankful for who I was matched with.

I have yet to decide, though, if these current parents decline another transfer if I want to open my contract up to new parents or not. I didn’t realize how connected I would feel with the parents when I started this journey. It really is an emotional roller coaster, the anticipation starts when the inject able medication starts because then there is a count down to transfer day. Then each check up appointment to check on the uterine lining and hormone levels also adds to that anticipation because you see your body progressing and getting ready to accept their baby. The day of the transfer is just filled with jitters and excitement, it’s a good thing they give you Valium for your body to calm down before. The following days after the transfer are a slow torture wondering if it was successful or not. Then the day comes for the results and you can either receive the most beautiful news that soon there will be a baby or the most tragic news that there won’t be.

For now I am enjoying the holidays, praying about my decision and waiting for the intended parents to get back to me, I really hope that they choose the female embryos; I think that they are meant to raise more beautiful women to be in this world. I will keep you all updated for what happens next, stay tuned and thank you for reading! 🙂

Cover Photo

 

My Love, My Life

Today it has been 6 years that my husband and I have been together (Yup, he asked me out on Black Friday). This whole week I have been reflecting upon all that we have experienced together and I wanted to share our story with all of you. I also wanted this to be written down somewhere so that my children can read it one day.

The Hubs and I met at work, which was Target. I had just moved to New Hampshire from California to live with family and for a fresh start. I applied to several jobs and took the first two that called me, which were Charlotte Russe and Target. I met the Hubs on my first day and I remember the exact moment that I saw him, he was standing by the time clock in a white beater (Target’s apparel code is red shirt and khaki pants). After I clocked in I walked by him, and his first words to me were: “Whassup?” Not even “What’s up”, nope, not him, his first words to me were the slang gangster talk of: How are you doing? With this, I can’t say that I was swooned right away, also being that my last job just the past week was volunteering at a church and taking care of kids, the “bad boy type” wasn’t quite doing it for me…yet.  I remember for the first couple of days of working, whenever I saw him from a distance he would be staring at me, not looking, or even turning away when I would catch his gaze, nope, he was 100% on the hunt. We also worked with the Hubs’ brother at the time and he was the one who trained me. I remember my brother-in-law asking me about my parents and I told him that my dad was very well off. At the exact moment that I said that, the Hubs came over to where we were working and my brother-in-law told the Hubs, “Hey, her dad is rich.” At that point the Hubs looked over at me and said, “So we’re getting married right?” Only the second time encountering each other and I received a semi-proposal from him.

After that, it still took the Hubs a couple of days to finally talk to me, I guess he was so intimidated by my intelligence and beauty (haha). He was actually pushed to start a conversation with me, that my brother-in-law initiated, my brother-in-law was giving me rides to and from Target (I was without a car, being that I just moved there). One day he asked the Hubs to give me a ride home because he had something to do. I remember that ride home ever so clearly. It was only a 10 minute drive, but oh man, he really tried to be the slickest guy ever, but he succeeded, he got my phone number when he was dropping me off. From that point on we have been joint at the hip, we would text each other all day, hang out on our breaks at work and find any reason to be together. I remember specifically we would go to the aisle that had bean bags at work and would lay them all out and take a nap on them (working overnights was rough).  I was hesitant at first about the Hubs because he had a half sleeve of tattoos, (at the time I wasn’t a fan of them), he smoked, he drank, and he had a sailor mouth. All of the things that at the time I was completely against; but, I saw his heart. I saw how sweet he was to everyone around him, how he would drive the half hour to pick me up from my house drive me 5 minutes to my second job, to then go back to his house to study for his classes, to then do it all over when my shift was done. I loved how hard of a worker he was, how he was an awesome listener, and how he would walk to the moon for the people he cared about.

Only 3 weeks after getting to know each other we had our first kiss and this is how he asked me out, (he’s going to kill me haha) “Soooo, are we going out?” To this day I tease him about it, but hey it worked. We dated for about 3 months and then I moved in with him and his family. I do not recommend this, I did not want to go this route especially after knowing each other for such a short period of time, but my family that I was living with went crazy on me, and I truly had no where else to go. After about 10 months of living with his family we got our first apartment together, we were so scared being only 20 & 21. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. Shortly after we got our own apartment we got our first kitten together, (Moose), we got better jobs, (again working together at the same company), and we were hacking away at college classes while figuring out what we wanted to do career wise. 2.5 years after dating we decided we wanted to get married but we couldn’t afford a big fancy wedding, so we eloped at the local town hall. We did this in secrecy because we didn’t want our family & friends to be mad that we only wanted it to be the 2 of us there. We kept our marriage a secret for about 10 months. One year after being married we decided we wanted to be parents and became pregnant on our first try with our beautiful son. After he was born we wanted to see what was in store for us in California, and moved out here the summer of 2014.

There is a lot more to that story that I will address in following blog posts; there’s just too much to write about  in one posting, and I don’t like when posts are really long, who has time for that?!

Through all of what we have experienced we have been there for each other 100%. I am writing this with tears in my eyes because I love this man so much. I don’t love him in the same amount when we first started dating, I love him more. When people “fall out of love,” it is such crap, that love for that person should grow and especially in a marriage. We both know that marriage is for life, and it breaks my heart when people give up on something that can be so beautiful (that is in the issues that can be worked out, I understand there are circumstances that it really cannot be worked out). We always tell each other that we would kill one another before we ever were to agree to divorce. To us, marriage is stronger than death. I have recently been talking to people who have been married for 20+ years and I know that the good Lord has placed them in my life for a purpose, we speak about marriage and I ask them their story, and each time they were married very young, right out of high school. I will say something like you guys are very lucky that it worked, and they turn to me and say oh no, you MAKE it work. I just love hearing that, and I have noticed that the ones who have stayed married for so long, get that marriage takes a lot of work. It doesn’t just happen, feelings don’t come falling from the sky. About two years after dating is when those butterflies aren’t there anymore (studies have shown). What makes couples stay together after they don’t FEEL like being together? LOVE, they CHOOSE to be together and work hard on their relationship. LOVE is NOT a feeling, it’s a CHOICE. You need to choose to love that person and the feelings will come after. If you are reading this and are shaky on your marriage and where it’s going, hang tight! Pray over your marriage, and ask God to reveal to you how to work on it and how to repair it, He will LOVE to answer that prayer. He wants you to be with your spouse, divorce breaks His heart. You have to be completely willing though.

Our marriage has never been perfect, and honestly it breaks my heart to say; but, we almost were headed towards divorce, that’s going to be another post though. We fought for us though, and we prayed, and now here we are, celebrating 6 years together. Not everyday is going to be good, there will be days that it are flat out ugly, but hang tight, God can make any mess into something beautiful.

I hope all of you had the most wonderful Thanksgiving, God bless you all, and thank you for reading 🙂 Here are some pictures from our Marriage Timeline, I hope you enjoy!

Our first picture ever taken together, also our first Valentine’s Day:

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First Halloween together:

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First Christmas in our own apartment:

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2nd Summer:

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Married!

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3rd Anniversary:

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4th Christmas:

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First car together:

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Hub’s 24th birthday:

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We’re going to be parents!

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It’s a boy!

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Halloween while pregnant:

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We’re parents!

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Moving to Cali (Yup, we drove across…)

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6th Valentine’s Day together, in Hollywood!

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Hub’s Birthday:

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Thanksgiving of 2015:

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What I am Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!! Today we reflect upon what we are thankful for and I have been doing this for the past two weeks because God has released the flood gates of blessings on our lives, He has always blessed us but just recently we have just been overwhelmed and I want to share what’s been going on in our lives! And an explanation of why I haven’t posted anything in 3 months…

First off the last time I posted was about my surrogate embryo transfer, unfortunately the transfer was not successful. That’s all I am going to say about that in this post because I will be writing about it in depth in another post that I will be publishing probably this weekend. Even though it’s sad news there has been events that happened, as of just last night, that I am thankful for in that category.

To set a picture of our lives when we first moved to California last summer (2014) I would like to write about what happened when we first moved here. The plan was to move in with my mother and for her to help us get on our feet by helping out financially so we can pay off debt and helping with our newborn son and in turn we were going to help in other ways for a trade off. Things fell through and we had to get a place of our own which we were not expecting. Money was so tight being that I went part time after our son was born and moving expenses were huge also; we were living by the dollar after I was hired at a local warehouse and cleaning a house on Saturdays.We were barely approved for the apartment because of our income, you have to gross 2.7 times the amount of rent and we were approved by that requirement by just $20.

Being hired at that warehouse was the start of the blessings when we moved here, it’s the best paying warehouse job that I have heard of, and it’s also very difficult to be hired there; I was ecstatic when I received a job offer. When we moved to California we sold all of our stuff and packed it all into our SUV and drove across. When we got our own place in Cali we had barely anything and on top of that no money to buy the things you need like pots and pans, a bed, etc. Thankfully our son was all taken care of, we brought his crib with us and he always comes first, he was never without anything. We were so broke that we were sleeping on an air mattress, our TV was on the floor, I ate a sandwich and fruit bar for work and we couldn’t do anything on my days off to save money for gas. Our diet was also terrible with eating ramen noodles, mostly pasta dinners with canned pasta sauce, etc. It sucked, but honestly it wasn’t that bad, at the time we were quite pissed about our situation  but I look back and think even in our “bad situation,” it’s better than most people living in this world. But coming from what we had before we moved out here, we didn’t realize how good we had it. This whole experience of moving out here has been such a humbling and rebuilding experience for us as people, as parents, and for our marriage.

We didn’t want to put our son in daycare because we have a very hard time trusting people, especially listening to horror stories from the news about what goes on in day cares, that and day care is really expensive, at the time the price of daycare would have taken up most of one of our incomes anyways, so we decided it was better that one of us stay home with the little guy. The Hubs started school immediately last fall and is still working on his degree today, and I was working 6 days a week. We were so stressed during this time that we started verbally attacking each other. Our marriage was suffering, the Hubs felt terrible for not working and I missed my son so much, to make things even more difficult for me, I was still breastfeeding, my pump became my best friend, but carrying that thing around 6 days a week was very annoying; but, I was thankful for technology that there was a way that I could still feed my baby in the best way while working so much.

The December after we moved here I was finally able to quit my cleaning job because the warehouse I was working for gives out this very generous bonus at the end of the year. We decided to use that money to supplement income so I can spend more time with my precious son. That’s when things started to get better. Now I’m working a normal 5 day a week schedule but I still am really missing my boy and the Hubs is still feeling extremely guilty for not being the sole provider for the family. So we switched! I got him into the job I was at and he has been doing so much better, he loves coming home to his family…and my cooking 😉 That was spring of this last year (2015) Shortly after he started working, my surrogacy journey started and I also started working at a part time job that had an off schedule from the Hub’s schedule, so one of us is always with our son. Again, HUGE blessing to find a job that works with my current limited schedule. Over the summer I was accepted into a local universities’ online program to continue my education to receive a Bachelor’s Degree, which is one of my dreams. School started about two months ago, and I absolutely love it.

Another blessing just happened when a previous co-worker asked me to babysit their child during the week in the comfort of my own home. That has been working out great, now my son has a playmate and I can generate even more revenue to really help us get out of debt, all without leaving my own home. Also, having two toddlers to look after has given me a very accurate idea of how life will be when we have baby #2.

With the Hubs going to school, he received a grant at an amount that they have mailed him the excess balance after the tuition was paid. Then in December he is getting the same bonus that I received from that company last year.

Now we are both going to school, we are both working, we were able to buy a bed, a couch, a TV stand, a desk for our computers, pots & pans to cook with and all the other essentials that you need to run a house hold. We also have a much better diet that is filled with meats, mostly organic foods, home cooked meals and all the goods. All while our son never having to go to daycare which was the most important to us. We have never been stronger in our marriage, we have never been closer to our families, even though most of them live on the other coast. I wake up at 3am to go to work 5 days out of the week and my day isn’t over until 9pm, I have long but fulfilling days. I love both of my jobs, I love the people I am around, I love my husband and I definitely love the little boy I have been blessed with. We are all so healthy, on such a good path, and everyday is such a blessing, and I thank God for providing for us when things were tough and in our prosperous days; for helping us withstand the storms and giving us the strength to do so. I hope my story inspires you to hang on, a year ago today, I felt like I was going to be swallowed up by the waves with how much stress I was under, but here I am now doing so well and I am so entirely thankful for that. I hope that you too can be thankful for what you have no matter how little or how much.

Tv on the ground:

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My adorable son and our lovely air mattress in the back:

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We also bought these college dorm chairs because we couldn’t afford a couch and were sitting on the floor to watch TV:

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Road to Surrogacy

Hi friends, this post is going to go over my experience of becoming a surrogate and to those women who are thinking of doing it themselves. I have quite a few good tips for you to read and consider before you embark on this journey. This is my first surrogacy journey and it might be my last I’m not sure yet, only time will tell; I am not an expert on this topic as there are some women who have done this several times and probably could give you a better viewpoint, but I will give you as much knowledge that I have on this subject. I’ll go through the steps in the process in order and break down each step.

  • Get educated: you need to decide if you are wanting to go independent and work directly with the intended parents or work with an agency who will be the middle person between yourself and the intended parents. If this is your first surrogate journey I would suggest that you work with an agency, there are a lot of steps that need to be done between meeting the couple and the birth of the baby(s). Also they are highly knowledgeable in this and will help you each step of the way and if there ever arises a problem between yourself and the intended parents they are there to help resolve the issue. If you decide to go through an agency you now need to look up reviews about each agency, don’t just pick one that is close to you, it might be worth it to travel a bit than to deal with incompetent people during the whole pregnancy. If you decide to go independent, get your name out there that you are looking for intended parents either online, or through your friends. Another decision you need to make is whether you want to be a gestational or traditional surrogate. A gestational surrogate is what I am, it’s when the baby is not biologically yours, it’s when they take the mother’s (or egg donor’s) egg and combine it with the father’s (or sperm donor’s) sperm and combine it to make the embryo. A traditional surrogate is when the baby is yours but you are using the father’s sperm to create the baby. There is no way I could do that, knowing it was my child and giving it away to be raised by someone else.
  • Online application: I’m going to take the rest of the steps related to my journey since I did work with an agency. This is an extensive application about yourself, your medical history, pregnancies, where you work, and everything else personal. i wouldn’t lie on this application, the truth will always come to light and it will waste a lot of time on your part and the agencies’ part.
  • Phone call/email: If your application if your application is accepted you will get a phone call or email asking you to come in to be interviewed, go over your application and go through a psychological screening.
  • Interview: Dress well to this interview because they will be taking your picture to show to potential intended parents. During the interview they will ask questions to make sure that you know what you are doing and that you are sure that you want to continue on this road. Some of the questions they will ask are:
  1. What made you want to be surrogate?
  2. What kind of parents are you willing to work with?(single, homosexual, heterosexual, foreign)
  3. What kind of relationship do you want with the intended parents? (close, anonymous, distant)
  4. Are you willing to carry multiples?
  5. How soon are you willing to become pregnant?
  6. Do you want anymore kids after this journey?
  7. Are you willing to work with intended parents who are of a different race than you?
  8. Does the intended parent’s religion matter to you?
  • Psychological Screening: Some agencies do this and some do not. This test is to make sure that you are psychologically capable to carry someone’s child. The test took me about 2 and a half hours to complete and then the psychologist comes in to review my answers. She told me right after we were done that she saw nothing alarming and welcomed me to the surrogacy program.
  • Matching Process: Since there was 15 intended parents waiting to be matched with a surrogate it only took 2 days to receive a phone call of a potential match. I was given an overall profile of the intended parents and then via email I was sent the couples’ complete profile that the agency did on them including a picture. I agreed to do a phone interview with them the following week.
  • Phone interview: This may be done in person also if the parents live close enough or are willing to travel. I received a phone call from the agency and then they put me on the line with the parents and we were able to ask whatever questions we wanted. Some of the questions that I was asked were:
  1. How is your diet?
  2. What made you want to be a surrogate?
  3. Are you expecting any life changes anytime soon?
  4. Do you live in a safe/clean neighborhood?
  5. What do you do for work?
  6. Do you want anymore kids?
  7. Is your child healthy?
  8. What is your typical daily routine?

And then it was my turn to ask questions, and I asked:

  1. How many kids do you have?
  2. Why do you need a surrogate mother?
  3. What kind of relationship will be between us during the pregnancy and after?
  4. Do you want breast milk provided by me after the birth?
  5. How do you feel about abortion or reducing fetuses?
  6. How many IVF cycles are you willing to attempt to achieve a pregnancy?
  • After the phone interview: I had my answer right away, they were so perfect for me and I told the agency the next day that I was willing to work with them. The parents on the other hand took their time and didn’t give me answer until the end of the week but they picked me! Make sure to really think about this because you are going to basically be temporarily married to these people for the next 10+ months of your life.
  • Medical evaluation: Now that you are matched a lot has to happen between now and the embryo transfer. The first step is to go to the IVF office that the parents want to work with to get an evaluation done, all that is done is a lot of blood work(about 8-10 tubes of blood will be drawn) and an ultrasound to check out the womb that you are renting out. They will then give you a calendar of what they expect to happen, when the injections will start and when the embryo transfer will be.
  • Spouse evaluation: Being that I am married they asked for my husband to also have blood work done to make sure that he’s not giving me any diseases, and the spouse gets paid for this.
  • Contract: This part was such a headache, there was a lot of confusion over our insurance and what not so it had to be sent back and notarized twice. You will receive a phone call from the lawyer that is recommended by the agency. He/she will go over with you what the contract means and if you are okay with it, if you are not okay with something you can ask for it to be changed, your lawyer will call the IPs’s lawyer and their lawyer and the IPs will talk hopefully agree and make the changes. Once all parties have signed & notarized the contract you are now legally bound to it. READ EVERY PAGE! My contract was about 40 pages long and i have read it through at least 5 times to make sure that I am doing everything on my part and made sure that nothing was snuck in there.
  • Insurance Evaluation: This is rather simple, you just fill out the form with your information and your insurance’s information if you and your IPs have agreed to use your insurance for the surrogacy. A review is done by a third party to make sure that your insurance is sufficient for a surrogacy pregnancy.
  • Your Cycle and Donor’s Cycle: I was put on birth control for 3 weeks to get my body on the same cycle as the donor, also I take a pre natal and baby aspirin everyday.
  • Weekly Ultrasounds/Injections: As the transfer day draws near you will be going to the IVF office on a weekly basis about 6 weeks out from T-Day. Keep in mind that if the IVF office is at a hospital make sure to bring cash with you, I was lucky that I had cash on me the first time I went. Again about 6 weeks out you will begin your injections, depending on the protocol by your IVF doctor the injections could be inserted into the stomach and inter muscularly. I had to do 2 and a half weeks of injections by the stomach and then two weeks out from the transfer date was the inter muscular injections which was every Monday and Tuesday.  Once the donor donated her eggs I started another injection that is also inter muscular and is to be done every day until around 12 weeks of pregnancy. I was really scared about the injections at first but the office walks you through how to administer them and gives you instructions week by week to not overwhelm you. I have my husband do the inter muscular injections, which works out great because I don’t think I could stick a needle that large into my rear end.
  • Week Before Transfer: This week you will be taking 6 tablets and the two inter muscular injections. Read the instructions carefully on the tablets, make sure you take them at the right time of the day, I was also sent a detailed calendar for that week of what medications to take and when.
  • Day of the Transfer: Bring someone along with you to drive you back home or back to the hotel. Depending on the doctor’s orders you may be on bed rest for up to 3 days. I was on bed rest for 3 days but I read that some other offices don’t require the best rest and tell their surrogates’ to take it easy. Also if you have little ones, get someone to help out with taking care of them so you can focus on relaxing.
  • Embryo: The doctor will tell you right before the transfer how many embryos he is transferring and the gender. My doctor transferred only one embryo and it’s a boy!
  • Compensation: I think this was the number one question I was asked whenever I would tell someone I was going to be a surrogate. Yes, the compensation is very generous, you won’t have to pay for a thing BUT it takes a while for the compensation/reimbursements to flow in. You will be given a base amount, a fee for the start of injections, a fee for the embryo transfer, reimbursement for any mileage you drive over a certain amount, a misc. monthly spending compensation, reimbursement for premiums paid, reimbursement for life insurance plan, and also other amounts that are paid if something should come up like multiple fetuses, dropped cycles, complications at birth, etc. Everything will be laid out for you to read in the contract.
  • Reimbursement: How my agency does it is you fill out a reimbursement form and fill out everything you are entitled to for that month and also including the section of the contract where to find why you are entitled that compensation or reimbursement. Typically these need to be turned in by some date out of the month to receive payment for the beginning of the next month. To give you an idea I applied to this agency summer of 2014 and they said no because I was still breastfeeding my son, they asked me to reapply when I had weaned him off which I did this past spring. I was invited in for my interview this past April, matched with intended parents in May, contracts were signed in June, injections started mid-July, first reimbursement was beginning of August and the transfer was only a week ago. And still I won’t get the first payment of my base pay until October. This is not a quick process so if you are hurting financially I wouldn’t advise being a surrogate as there are a number of factors that can delay the process.

My transfer was a week ago today and it went great! I may find out tomorrow if I am pregnant or not but for sure by this Thursday. I almost sure that the embryo took I have the same pregnancy symptoms that I had with my son. I am so anxious to find out if the embryo took or not, my IPs asked me not take any pregnancy tests because they are superstitious about it, I promised not to, so I am very anxious to hear about the results hopefully tomorrow. I’ll update you guys with what happens next! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Cover Photo

For a detailed look of everything that goes on at the embryo transfer check out my embryo transfer post!

Love Wins

It has been a very colorful weekend here in the United States. There is no point in even explaining what happened because I am sure the world is well aware, it has been all over the media, it made its mark in history and more so the ruling has been going every which way on social media besides what the hash tag is stating. The hashtag for the Supreme Court ruling is #lovewins but honestly I have seen anything and everything but love this past weekend. A lot of hateful speech has been voiced and mainly it has been the Bible Vs. Homosexuals. I wanted to state a couple of key points of why this debate has no meaning and why it is better to not respond to such comments, postings, profile pictures being changed and such.

  • It’s a losing debate: meaning that no side is gaining anything by arguing. Each side is only throwing out hate upon hate. When has a picket sign in someone’s face ever inspired them to turn to God? Or calling the Bible a lie by which someone believes and follows to make them tolerable to what you think is right? If you are the representation of what you are stating you believe in or follow would it not look better if it was covered with love? I know myself that I was immediately turned off by both sides when I read the comments under a picture, post or link.
  • It’s impossible to convince someone they are sinning if they don’t believe there are sins: I saw faith based arguments about how homosexuals are sinning and are going to hell. And on the flip side arguments saying that the Bible doesn’t say anything about the topic, or that the Bible is false. Trying to convict someone on their sins isn’t the best way to get someone to believe what you believe, and since they don’t have the same beliefs, preaching to yourself is what you will be doing. On the flip side, what I can’t understand is if a homosexual doesn’t believe in the Bible then why be so angry? Why care what religious people think about you? You won! Same sex marriage is now legal, which is what you have been fighting for for decades, why care about intolerance, is it not better to be out there celebrating instead of arguing with people whose opinions are not going to change?
  • Sinning in secret: I was also wondering over the weekend why people are viewing this action to be worse than all the other actions that the Bible speaks against. I came to the conclusion that this action is very publicized. You can easily judge when two women or two men hold hands or kiss, etc in public; but, what is more difficult to judge and where I think most sins are, are the ones in secret. The sins of your mind, when you are married and you are lusting over the person that just walked by, sneaking out and cheating on your spouse in a private motel, watching pornography in the privacy of your home(if you consider that a sin, different topic for a different day), getting drunk every weekend in front of your kids and so on. I cannot think of another sin that is as open as homosexuality and I think that’s why it is so easy to shame it and make it look like it’s worst than the rest.
  • Speaking out of anger: Arguing out of anger has very dangerous grounds. Two opposing sides are defending what they very strongly believe in. Homosexuals want the same rights that heterosexuals have and having fought for it for so long a deep passion has been created because of it. Some have fought most of their lives for this, so when a comment about them going to hell and that they are a sinner comes in their path it must be hard to not respond or to respond in a positive way. Of course on the other side there are people who have devoted their lives to their religion and when a hateful comment about their God comes across their path it also is very difficult to not respond or to respond in a positive way. Both sides are passionate about what they are standing for. Just like when you are in a heated argument with your significant other, sometimes words can slip out that hold no meaning.

Just like racism, egoism, legalism, and any other ism, homophobia is going to be around for a good while. I think it’s best for both sides to cool off. For me I am going to let my light shine and I hope that it has shown through this posting. I am going to continue loving my Savior and following wherever He leads me. He doesn’t need me to call people out on their sins, I have enough sins to get out of my own life than to focus on another person’s life. As for the hashtag relating to my life and my beliefs, yes, love wins, love has won, love has paid the price on the cross for my life and for your life no matter where you are in life.