I definitely got some butterflies driving to the clinic yesterday afternoon. They were compounded by the fact that she was running a little late so we had to sit in the waiting area making nervous conversation! My IF came along with me. He is so wonderful and we are always chatty but yesterday there was such a nervous cloud hanging over us that we just didn’t know what to say!! I can only begin to imagine what this step must feel like for them after many, many years of disappointment and heartache.
Another lady was at reception as we came in and she was talking about what I assumed to be a miscarriage and asked when she could expect to have a loss. I couldn’t help but overhear and I just wanted to cry and give her a big hug. I have never had a miscarriage so couldn’t begin to fathom what it would be like but it just goes to show that there is an entire community out there for whom having a baby is not a straightforward process. It made me all the more thankful that because I had two different but brilliant experiences, I can do this for someone else. I need to focus on these positives. Not just for me but also for our IP’s.
So in she came and a few minutes later she called me into her office. I was so concerned about shaking her hand and making a good first impression that I almost sat in her chair behind the desk!!!
First we spoke about the process. She said that she didn’t see me having a transfer done until probably early 2014. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the surrogacy process in VIC, it is extremely lengthy, with lots of board reviews, counselling sessions, etc., all government mandated. Once all of this is completed, a government review board can then “officially” rubber stamp it as approved. They want to make sure that all parties are 100% committed to the process and are aware of all possible scenarios.
She also said that if, throughout this process we felt like we couldn’t proceed, that I could come to her to discuss anything and that she would help us tell our IP’s to make it a little easier. Although I am 100% committed at this moment, it is comforting to know that we have some support should we decide that we wanted to pull out. I felt that she is very protective over her surrogates.
We spoke in great detail about my previous pregnancies. I told her that I needed to go on bed rest at the end of my pregnancy with the twins due to a weakened cervix. She said that it was very common and although twin pregnancies are considered “high risk” that a weakened cervix wasn’t really considered a complication. Given that the twins were born vaginally, at a great gestation and needed very little time in SCN (jaundice), there were no potential alarm bells for her. In fact, the words “perfect candidate for surrogacy” may have been used!
We spoke about the cycle and it would be her recommendation that I do a natural thaw cycle, where my own ovulation cycle is used to get a good lining of my uterus before implantation. This is good cause I can avoid drugs. She said that my body has done it really well before so she didn’t see why it couldn’t do it again!
So what happens next, you ask?
The FS sends her report to the independent Ob, as well as submits it to the internal clinic board. Once we attend the Ob appointment Monday, he will also submit (what is hopefully a recommendation!) his report to the board. They will then approve us to proceed to the first lot of counselling. To say our IP’s were thrilled was an understatement. This is the first step but probably the biggest. It certainly wont be smooth sailing 100% of the time, but now that the process is underway we can look towards what we need to do to make this work!
A question I have been asked so far about this surrogacy arrangement:
Will our IP’s be telling their child about the story of how they came to be?
Our IP’s will be open with their children about the way in which they were conceived, carried and birthed but to be honest, it really is their decision. We will always be friends with them (I hope!), in their lives and share that special bond but it would never be my place to tell them that they HAVE to disclose the information.