We had done NO talking about fees or selective reduction, which are the two biggies. Many people choose to discuss those things upfront with the first emails before taking anytime to even get to know each other, which really is an acceptable approach because it can eliminate a lot of wasted time.
We just knew that everything was going to work out, and we agreed to talk about it further over the weekend. Everything did work out; almost not surprisingly, our views on the serious issues were identical, which was a huge relief to Sarah.
I was actually Sarah's third surrogate. The first was unable to become pregnant after one fresh and one frozen transfer, and Sarah and Paul were advised to find another surrogate, much to their dismay.
The second surrogate never even made it to the transfer, as right before she was about to start the fertility medications, things fell apart with the relationship.
Though I felt very optimistic, I was a bit nervous, knowing that Sarah and Paul's hopes and dreams rested with me. Would I be three strikes you're out, or would I be third time's a charm?
My first tasks were to get my OB/GYN records faxed to the fertility clinic we were working with, and also to get me registered with them. I downloaded the lengthy application that weekend and had it ready to fax first thing Monday morning. I also arranged to have copies of my records sent to the clinic.
In addition, I scheduled an OB appointment to inform my OB of my plans and also to have my regular check-up, as well as the string of STD testing required by RBA.
Sarah called her reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to let her know that she had found a new surrogate and to be on the lookout for my information. This was rather nerve-wracking for both of us, as though Sarah and Paul had accepted me, I still had to be screened and approved by the RE. I was scared that my undiagnosed fertility issues would prevent me from being a surrogate.
Thankfully, in a few days the RE called Sarah to let her know that my medical records looked good, and that we were good to go!
The RE suspected that I might have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome with insulin resistance (PCOS/IR), given my anovulation and slightly elevated BMI. She ordered for me to have a fasting blood glucose test done to confirm her suspicions, and the results proved her correct.
This was an issue that unnerved me slightly, only because I wanted to be sure that Sarah and Paul had the best chance possible at having a baby, but Sarah and Paul assured me that they wanted ME, and that as long as the RE was okay, so were they.
In the two weeks it took to have all of the testing done and records transferred, we planned an official face-to-face meeting. We had originally planned it for the weekend after we matched, but unfortunately, Katie came down with rotavirus and ended up in the hospital.
Finally, two weeks after we were matched, Sarah, Paul, and Katie made the 4-hour trip down to visit us for the weekend. I was so excited, and I could barely sit still to keep a thought in my head. What if we had great chemistry from a distance but couldn't stand each other in person? What if she thought that we were complete slobs because there were crayon spider graffiti all over my walls? WHAT IF SHE HATED ME!?!
It was rather funny! As anxious as both of us were to meet each other, the drive was made exceptionally long because of hellacious traffic which extended the trip another two hours. Becky called every twenty minutes asking, "Are they there yet?" in that excited, high-pitched squeal dog registry voice of hers.
I was on the phone with her while I was doing a last-minute booger check in the bathroom when Sarah called to say that they were in Hinesville and needed directions right to our house. When they pulled up in our driveway ten minutes later I ran out to meet them, and was greeted by little Katie who gave me a bouquet of pink tea roses (Sarah remembered that they were my favorites).
Sarah and I ran up to each other and gave each other huge hugs, and any fear that I had was instantly melted away. Paul also gave me a big hug, and I was even more reassured. Once inside, Kyra and Jaiden greeted Katie as if they had known each other their whole lives, and together they trotted off to the playroom. Frank and Paul hugged each other and then Frank hugged Sarah, and we all had this feeling of being in the familiar company of old friends.
Everything just felt so easy. We sat in stools at the bar as Frank (who fancies himself a Food Network-taught chef) cooked us a fabulous breakfast-dinner (it took him what felt like hours to make three varieties of pancakes), since Sarah and I both enjoyed having breakfast for dinner sometimes.
We exchanged gifts; I got Sarah and Paul a book called, " A Song for Baby" and I wrote a message of all my hopes for our journey on the inside cover.
Sarah gave me a large photo album/scrapbook. On the front page in gold sticker letters, she put the phrase "Two Families, One Journey" and had a family picture of the three of them, and left an empty space at the bottom for a picture of my family. We were both practically in tears while the men sat back and looked at us like were complete hormonal fools.
Jordan, who at the time was 10 months old, instantly took to Paul. The moment of the visit that most touched my heart was when Jordan, a natural cuddle bug, leaned in and gave Paul a huge hug around the neck as he was holding him. Paul got a little misty-eyed and said, "Awww honey, we just HAVE to get us one of these!"
Choking back another round of tears, I said, "We're working on it."
We stayed up late talking, taking the cue from out exhausted children to end the evening. As Sarah and Paul were headed to the hotel, no doubt talking about their impressions of us, Frank and I were at home on cloud nine.
The next day we met up at a playground, then went to lunch at Mickey D's. We decided to get ice cream and went to Baskin Robbins, clearly stalling by that point, doing everything we could to spend a few more minutes together before Sarah and Paul had to make the drive back home.
As we parted ways, I was left with an overall feeling of calm content. I was elated, and was ready to move on to the technical aspects of having Sarah and Paul's baby.
To read Week 5, part 5, click here.