About Me

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I'm Alison, a thirty-something, married, mother of two girls, with a passion for animals of all kinds. My family adopted our goofy, lovable dog {Charlie} from a local shelter. It breaks my heart to know there are countless animals out there being mistreated {to say the least} and I would love more than anything to help even one animal find a loving forever home. Think adoption first. Find a local animal shelter or animal rescue... don't buy your next pet... rescue him/her!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Every doctor does things differently

As I've told you before, this is my second time being a surrogate.  I did one IVF cycle in 2009, which resulted in twin girls, born June 2010.  I also had a second IVF cycle in 2011 that, unfortunately, did not result in a pregnancy due to embryo quality.  Both of those cycles were with one IVF clinic (and one set of IPs), but the clinic I am with this time around with J&T is a new experience for me.  Going in to this I figured I've been there, done that and I know what to expect.  Well, just as my title today says, every doctor does things differently.  They all have their own theories and protocols they choose to follow.  This doctor performs a uterine biopsy (or endometrial biopsy) prior to the IVF cycle, in hopes that the lining of the uterus will be more "sticky" for the embryo(s) transferred to settle in and stick around.  So, Tuesday I drove up to LA for my appointment, which included this biopsy.  The doctor informed me that he does not send the biopsied tissue to a lab and he does not perform this for any sort of testing.  I guess that was his way of letting me know he didn't think anything was wrong with my uterus, he simply does this biopsy as a routine part of his IVF protocol.  The biopsy was not fun, to say the least.  It was painful, very uncomfortable, and 4 days later I am just starting to feel completely normal again, with-finally- no discomfort or soreness.  I keep reminding myself that all of this is being done for the right reasons and it will all be worth it in the end, but sometimes when things are not so pleasant, it's hard to remember that!  I do know, though, that once we're on to another step in the process, this will be just another small part of the journey to make J&T daddies.
After the biopsy, the nurse told me when to start Lupron injections, how much medication to use, and gave me instructions on giving the injections.  Lupron is a medication I used in my other IVF cycles, so this was familiar territory, which is nice.  I was given instructions to call the clinic with the start of my next period and they will then schedule my next appointment.  All in all, the good thing was that the appointment didn't take too long, I was in an out in about an hour.
So, about those shots.  My wonderful husband has given me all of my shots throughout each IVF cycle, and I didn't plan on this cycle being any different.  However, tonight he left for work without giving me my shot and I sucked it up and gave it to myself!  It took 3 attempts; the first two times I stood there, syringe in hand, and then put it away.  Finally the third time I just did it, quickly, without thinking too much- because that's when I change my mind.  ; )  Luckily, this was only a Lupron injection, so it's a 28 gauge (also known as an insulin needle) which is very tiny and short (since it is a sub-Q injection).  This will never, ever happen with one of the other injections.  They are done with larger, longer needles and they are IM (intramuscular) injections which go in the rear hip area.  I will never do one of them myself, so my husband and I better make sure he does them while he's home or I will drive to where he is so he can do it!  I know a lot of girls do them for themselves, and that is great, but I am a wimp and it just will not happen.  So, now that medications are involved let's keep our fingers crossed that things go well and we are getting pregnant soon!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pills, vials and needles...oh my!

I got my shipment of meds on Saturday, as promised by the pharmacy, so I thought I'd share what the beginning of an IVF cycle looks like.  This picture actually doesn't even do it justice, because the needles & syringes are all hidden in the back- and there are lots of needles!  Everything from tiny 28 gauge needles to 22 gauge needles for injections, and of course, the "ice cream scoop" (as it's been referred to by many at MFSC) 18 gauge needle only used for drawing up the medication in to the syringe.  You don't want to forget to change that needle and inject with the 18 gauge... it's a BIG needle!  It was all pretty overwhelming for me the first time I got a box full of meds like this, but once I began to use them and know what everything is for, it wasn't so bad.  Now that I've done it before, I get it and am excited to get going (although the shots are still never fun : P).  This clinic (TFI) is a new clinic for me, so I'm sure things are done a little differently, but at least I have some experience and know generally what to expect.  Tomorrow I make the 3 hour drive to my appointment and I'll let you know how it goes!  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Anther update already?

Yep, that's right- I already have more news.  Things really do start moving once those silly contracts are out of the way!  I heard from the pharmacy today and they will be shipping me my medications and supplies tomorrow, which will arrive at my house on Saturday!  Funny how a surrogate is so excited to get a big box full of needles and medications, huh?  ; )  Countdown 'til Tuesday's appointment begins with a busy weekend.  Tomorrow we're doing lunch and a movie with our little girls (half day at school), then Saturday we have a friend's event to stop by, then on to DH's work dinner dance at the bay, then Sunday is a surrogate get together we have once a month with my agency, MFSC... fun weekend ahead!  Hope you all have a great weekend, too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The ball is rolling!

I spoke with the IVF coordinator from TFI yesterday and we scheduled my first appointment for the IVF cycle!  It's so exciting to be getting started!  I'm so happy to be working with these great IPs and can't wait to get this all going.  Unfortunately, they were very strict with the date the appointment needed to be, so my husband won't be able to go with me, and neither will my IPs.  It's not that big of a deal, since there's not really anything to see for my IPs, so it's ok that they can't make it.  I was hoping, however, that my DH could make the drive with me.  I know he won't be able to come to every appointment, though, so I'll just try to enjoy my "alone time" in the car... for 3 hours...each way.  ; )  The clinic said they will ship me my medications soon, and will go over the meds and how I'll take them at the appointment.  They will also perform a uterine biopsy, which I've never had done before, but this clinic does them standard before every IVF cycle.  A little nervous about that, but they sounded like it's no big deal.  We'll see.  Now I'm waiting for them to e-mail me the orders for DH to get his blood test (at a lab down here, lucky him!).  Since he is my husband, he also has to be medically screened before we can start the cycle.  Things are happening and the ball is officially rolling!

Monday, March 5, 2012


I had a nice little visit today with the ladies from my agency.  They are so friendly and welcoming, it's no wonder anyone would chose to work with them!  You can tell right away that they love what they do and will be there for you through out your journey.  It feels like we're all friends, it's not just business.  In a field like surrogacy, that's the way it should be.  It's such a personal process for surrogates and IPs alike; it can't be handled in an all-business way.  We're building families here!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The wheels are in motion!

Contracts are signed!  Yay!  We were finally able to get a final draft of the contract and sign on February 27th, so things are official.  I have to admit that during the long wait for the contract, I got a little worried.  There were times I wondered if maybe J&T were changing their mind about having me as their surrogate, or maybe if things with the insurance weren't working out and I wasn't going to be able to move forward.  But, in the end it was pretty much all a confusing and misunderstood situation, and we are fine.  I should have listened to my husband when he told me to stop playing the game "telephone"- where I would call my lawyer, who would call their lawyer, who would call J&T to discuss contracts things and insurance...and the information would get jumbled along the way.  We should have been talking directly, just like we did when we decided to work together!  There's something about the official, legal process of contracts that makes you feel like the lawyers need to be so involved, but the truth is, as long as you and your IPs agree, and the lawyers say it works, it's fine.  So one thing I learned moving forward is: talk directly to your IPs when you're questioning something!  It usually works out better (and faster) this way, and you know that you and your IPs are getting the same information and are on the same page.
As for me, now I'm on to the next wait... waiting for the medical side of things to get started.  I should be hearing from TFI soon, letting me know when I'll need to have my first appointment for the IVF cycle to get going!