Thursday, March 21, 2013

Verdict : Not Crazy

So, like I had stated in my last post, I had my skype appointment today with a social worker. I didn't know exactly what the interview would be about, so I went into it a little blind. I knew that it would take about an hour, and that the last half, Josh would be included, so he needed to be home.

To ensure that everything was okay at home, we made sure that Lexi was at preschool for the full day today, so that neither of us would have to drop everything to go get her half way through in case it ran late. Lexi wasn't here..check.

We had put Evan down for a screaming teething baby...check.

We gave Gabriel what seemed like a hundred little dinky cars, and lots of toys to keep him occupied. Gabriel occupied...check.

Then the wait for the call to go through. My gosh. My clock said it was only 2 was OBVIOUSLY more like an eternity. Silly clock!

She introduced herself, her name, her profession, her experience in the field of third party reproduction, how she herself had had two separate surrogates for herself, who brought her two daughters into the world.

We pretty much went through my life. Where I grew up, how old I was, how long Josh and I have been together.

Then we got into deeper things, how is our relationship? Was it easy for us to get pregnant? Was Josh there for me while I was pregnant? How were my pregnancies and labors? Were there complications? What is life like for us? Where do we work? Does our family support our decision to do surrogacy? Do we have family who do not support our decision? How do we approach telling people that we do surrogacy? How do we cope under pressure and stress? What are some hobbies we like? What are our children like?

So many questions. It felt like I was giving my life story, and I had to make sure she knew all of the good parts...a movie that has gone on for 22 years, and I had to give a complete review of every aspect. Every detail. Try not to leave things out that may be important. Try to emphasize how much we want to help other in the process of surrogacy.

Where did we learn about surrogacy?

How did the first surrogacy go? Since it was not a good experience, why are we doing it again? What brought me to surrogacy to begin with?

Every answer was seemingly impossible, trying to word things properly, I didn't want her to come off too serious, but joking could lead to miscommunication, and I didn't want her to think that we didn't take this all seriously, because we do. Afterall, we're not mowing someone's lawn, we're carrying their BABY.

My entire capability of being a surrogate could potentially ride on this one conversation. How do you ensure that you're coming across properly? You can' have to hope that your personality comes through and that everything you are saying is something that is valuable. There is so much to take into consideration! The amount of pressure that I felt just in this one insane! Each question, I looked up at Josh and looked for a smile to see if I answered correctly, and of course, there was probably no real "right" answer. And if there was a right answer, surely he wouldn't know it anyway.

One more check in a box. One step closer to transfer, and one step closer to helping The Dudes become parents.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Am I Crazy?

I'm sorry that there haven't really been much to update on so far. The downside to having so much time to a transfer is that noting really is going on from day to day yet!

HOWEVER, I do have an update.

So, I have to meet up with a social worker when I go to the clinic, and I am also meeting up with the life insurance consultant when I go in May. So, that is all forever away.

Right now, I am setting up a skype meeting with a social worker for Josh and I, I can only assume it is to make sure that we know what to expect etc. She will also make sure that we are mentally stable and are good candidates to be a surrogate family.

It is exciting in a way that something is finally happening.
I have also started to save my receipts for my prepregnancy expenses (prenatal vitamins for example, in preparation for pregnancy). Having a system for my receipts was easy.

We bought a receipt book, not only to STORE those receipts, but I also have to keep track of what category the receipt falls under (medication/food/clothes/transportation/medical), the amount, the date of the purchase, and then the overall total so far. Here in Canada, this is how we are reimbursed, without these receipts, as proof that we are spending the money on pregnancy related expenses, we do not get reimbursed.

Again, we are not paid in Canada to be a surrogate, so it makes for a bit more work on our end.

Can you believe that we're half way through March already? 2 months and 13 days until I am in Toronto! I'm the Queen of countdowns...this should be fun haha.

I haven't started my cycles yet, but I am working on getting the baby to sleep through the night, and once that happens, my cycles will most likely come back. I'm also pumping milk whenever I get the chance so that I can stop breastfeeding at 11 months and he'll still have a month's worth of milk. I'm up to 116oz now, for an 11 month old on juice and regular meals, that'll hopefully last almost 6 days. I'm averaging 20oz of breastmilk per day. I don't know if that'll be enough though, so I'm going to pump like crazy, hopefully get 10-20oz a day (20oz would be very optimistic of course)and have lots by July!

I'll keep a log on here on how much milk I've saved up too!

Have a great day everyone! God Bless!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SHOW ME THE MONEY! not quite.

Now that my screening is booked (70 days left...but who's counting?) at the clinic, so is my social worker for my mental eval...aka...they're going to make sure that I know what surrogacy implies (...let me guess...I get pregnant and then give birth...right?) and that I am mentally prepared for this journey (just in case I thought I was going to be bringing the baby/babies home...).

So, Since there isn't a whole lot to update about for a few weeks...I'd thought I'd let you in on a secret of mine...we started contracts this week :) Since I am with an agency, thsi pretty much consisted of the agency asking me what reimbursement I thought I'd have and how much they thought would cover extra expenses like if there are twins,if I need bedrest, if I need a CSection. In the surrogacy community, we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, which means there is also a Loss of Reproductive Organs amount.

Some of those things can be daunting, I know, but we have to make sure that everything is covered just in case something happens, every surrogacy comes with risks involved.

So far, that's all we have discussed for the contract but I know that there will be many other things.

I had agreed to the guys (upon asking them how much information I could share, they let me know that they are not comfortable with me including ANY of their info...comment if you have suggestions on nicknames!) that I would welcome them to any appointments.ultrasounds and of course to the birth. That will all go into the contract. There are a lot of things to discuss, but as things are decided, I'll let you all know how we decided certain things.

The amount of money that we are averaging for has to do with how much extra food I will be in taking while pregnant, and since food is more expensive here because of where we live, I had to take that into consideration. We don't have a car right now, so I will be taking cabs to every appointment, and since wait times are long at the OBS Clinic (I've waited four hours once), I need to take into consideration that I will probably be there through a meal time. And of course, I have to think about babysitters. Unfortunately, with baby number 5, I gained a lot of weight for some reason, and I will need new maternity clothes. If I'm on bedrest, I will need someone to come in, and I have three children 4 and under, so someone will have to tidy and cook. These things are not cheap.

Of course, this is a negotiable aspect, give and take on both sides. It's important that everyone is happy with the caps on these things. In Canada we are not "paid" to be a surrogate, this should never be an income for anyone, and this is not a job. If you are relying on surrogacy to pay bills, then you shouldn't be doing it. My husband makes a decent living, and he works hard to support us financially, I am reimbursed for my expenses, and I have to hand over all receipts to prove my expenses. It's important for everyone to know that this isn't a way to make money in Canada, it is a way to help others.

I won't disclose what my caps are as I believe that's a private matter, but surrogates have to make sure they won't be paying out of pocket for expenses, and IP's have to make sure they are not being cheated out of their hard earned money either.

I'm excited to know what the next category is in the contract! I know contracts can take a few months to perfect, so for now, slow and steady is good!

Right now the guys and I are exchanging weekly emails about. We don't have a ton in common, but we are both looking into surrogacy for the same reason, so I hope that we become closer over time. They are also busy people, and I'm sure they don't even notice the time flying by!

As always, feel free to comment if you have questions or things to add!

Have a great week!