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Screening & Matching this Surrogate

Posted by Dalia on April 16, 2011 in Surrogacy, Travel |

So it’s time to play a little catch up. This is journey number two for me. I was lucky to be a surrogate for my wonderful former IFs (intended fathers) Xavier & Bernard. I gave birth to little Viktoria on 16 November 2010 and I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful experience. That being the case, though, I knew right away I wanted to do this again. So when my OB gave me the all clear I started the process again with my agency. Those in the surrogate world are familiar with the process and know that not everything is as quick as we’d like it to be so I wanted to start right away just in case this journey took as long as my first one. With my first journey, from the first time I met with my agency to my transfer date it had been 2 1/2 years. So yeah…you never know.

Luckily this time around medical clearance was quick and easy. Kenny & I flew out to LA and met with Dr. Kolb. He’s amazing, I really do like him. A very easy man to speak with, I felt very comfortable with him. And his staff is amazing as well. My nurse (her name escapes me at the moment) is quick to answer emails and just as easy to get along with. I must admit I was very nervous as I LOVED Dr. Ringler and was hesitant about having a new doctor. But my worries were easily brushed aside when meeting everyone.

So this one is for my family and friends unfamiliar with the process. Screening involves a few things. Kenny and I have blood drawn to make sure we aren’t carrying the T-virus. :-P Okay, obviously kidding…but seriously, folks. They check for STDs, etc so this would be a great time (or perhaps before) to fess up to your partner if you’ve been creepin’. Don’t want that awkward phone call later, now do we? Next we do the PAP and the sonohysterogram. Basically during the sonohysterogram a small amount of saline solution is filled into your uterus to check for any abnormalities. For more info, click here to learn the exact procedure and what the test is used for. Painless and easy except you do leak the saline for up to a few hours after so if you’re having the test bring along a couple of extra pads just in case.

Okay…I promised myself I wouldn’t explain every step in detail since it can get a bit wordy so I’m trying to be brief while still explaining everything. :-D Next is the “How crazy are you?” test. LOL You know the one…”Have you ever wanted to be a florist?” “Do you sometimes hear voices?” “Have the voices ever told you to be a florist?” Okay, that last one was fake, but you get it. It’s a one hour multiple choice test either preceded or followed by about an hour of speaking with a psychologist. Basically they want to make sure you are prepared for the journey, all that will happen as well as the what-ifs. And then the screening is done. A week later I got a phone call that I was medically cleared and was able to move forward. Hooray!!! And now onto the matching phase, oh no. Match.com for surrogacy. Eeek…

I was so happy when I instantly fell in love with the second profile I looked at. Kevin just sounded amazing. He has a wonderful support system; I loved reading his profile, surrounded by strong, confident female family members and ready to become a daddy and not sugar-coating the process at all. He is ready for the challenge of fatherhood, and single parenthood at that. Luckily for me, he liked my profile as well. Hooray again! :-P

A brief explanation for friends and family unfamiliar with the surrogacy process. When we first fill out our applications with the agency we answer rather extensive and personal questions including what we want in a journey, how much contact we’d like during the process with our intended parents (IPs), how many children are we willing to carry (twins, triplets, etc), our feelings on fetal reduction, etc. This makes the process of matching so much easier as when the time comes you are only looking at a profile where all the tough questions are out of the way and now we’re matching solely on how well we get along.

So now Kenny and I are off to West Virginia to meet Kevin. I must admit this was pretty darn cool. We’ve always gone to the LA office so getting the chance to meet the people I’ve only conversed with on the phone and exchanged emails with was fun. I loved meeting them, and putting faces to the names and voices was great. Okay…I do have to tell you Kenny’s favorite part. We flew into Pittsburgh. :-D He was like a kid in a candy store, LOL. You should have seen his face, big silly grin that could not be washed off. All the Steelers stuff, I’ve never seen so much black and gold. Crazy…

Finally meeting Kevin…right away I knew he was the perfect match for me. We agreed on all the important stuff instantly. He’s so easy to talk with and we just clicked which was fantastic, but nerve-wracking. At the time I was so nervous trying to think if I was forgetting to ask anything important that I sometimes let my mind wander to an imaginary list which was apparently off somewhere in the sky (I look off to the heavens when I’m thinking, LOL). I was afraid that I was coming off as some vapid weirdo. Our match meeting extended to the airport terminal where he kindly put me out of my misery. “Will you carry my baby?” “Why, yes. I will be yo baby GS.” :-P

Damn, here I was trying to be funny and I forgot some of you don’t know all the lingo, LOL. GS means gestational surrogate. Ugh, fail…

So Kenny and I get to our gate and are ready to head home after a nice little break from San Antonio and are greeted with some not so fun news. Our flight’s cancelled and we’re stuck in Pittsburgh for the night. Yuck…with all the travel we’ve done it was bound to happen eventually. So off we go to the hotel and get a nice few hours sleep before having to wake up at 3:30 to get to the airport for our 5:55am flight. Luckily it was a quick trip home the next morning, arriving into San Antonio around 10:30am and both of us ready for a nice nap.

So what now? Well, Kevin and I have exchanged a few emails. This is the process of surrogacy where we get to know each other better while we get ready for the contracts phase and Kevin has the daunting task of choosing an egg donor. For me, it’s all about the waiting now. Patience is definitely not my thing (shut up! :-P ) so this is NOT the easiest for me. But alas it is the world of surrogacy, so I wait. :-D

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