It's true. I think I killed a whole tree printing off our contract. It's a good one though. All 22 pages of it. I am planning to make the final review of our contract tonight and then sign it. After that it gets sent off to the parents and to their RE. THEN.... we can get this party started!
The action begins with my next cycle day 1 which is about to happen any day now. In fact, I'm not sure if my stomach is cramping because it's warning me of aunt flo's impending arrival or because I'm a little nervous and excited. Once the cycle starts, I will go on birth control to control the timing of the cycle. Hopefully my family will still like me after being on the pills as I don't tend to react well to them. Its only for a few weeks though. It would be a few less weeks if the clinic out east weren't CLOSED on the 25th of April but we'll roll with it. :) The date, right now, for transfer is April 1 or April 8 if I need more time. I'll take estrogen on top of the birth control pills to build a plush and luxurious home for the embryo to implant in. I'll preheat the oven, fluff the pillows, dust off the welcome mat, and leave the light on in there. You know... all the typical embryo welcoming things.
During the whole cycle, I'll have weekly ultrasounds to check my lining and blood work to make sure hormones are favorable. I'll begin progesterone supplements a few days before the transfer to help support the pregnancy and then it will be time to board the plane for my final blood test, ultrasound, and then the actual transfer.
Because of logistics, I'll have to leave my two girls for about 4-5 days. Testing needs to occur before noon, the day before the transfer, which means I need to arrive the night before because of flight time. After that testing occurs, I'll have an acupuncture appointment to (try and) relax me and increase our chances for success. I'm also weaning myself off of caffeine as it's been known to adversely affect success rates in some cases. I'm not taking any chances. I really want this to work the first time.
The decison regarding the number of embryos to transfer has been left up to me. I am so appreciative of this courtesy and am not taking the decision lightly. I've been researching stats like a mad woman, asking experts, talking to people who have gone through IVF, talking with moms of multiples, etc in my quest for the most complete set of facts to base my decision on. I'm certainly not taking it lightly. The agreed upon objective is one healthy baby and not twins. This leaves me with the decision between transferring one embryo which is the safe call, or two embryos which increase the chances (slightly) of one or the other sticking. It also increases the chances (about 15-20%) of twins. However, the mother is of advanced maternal age (although you'd never know by meeting her!) so we've got that factor against us statistically.
There are a lot of reasons that I don't want to carry twins. Most of them revolving around my daughters' well being. The mother has offered to fly here and care for my children if I'd go on bedrest. This does make me feel better as she was great with my girls when they visited us. (and it's truly generous of her. They're amazing!) The hesitation is still there though. Twin pregnancies are riskier than most people realize, and who knows? Maybe all those eggs need is a different uterus to settle in. ?? So many ?????'s. Suffice it to say that I'm putting some very real thought into this one.
The mother will be accompanying me during the transfer. It will be nice to have the support. It's an easy process and not much different from an annual physical except that a catheter with an embryo (or two) will be placed into the uterus and left there to snuggle in. (It WILL snuggle in. I'm willing it to.) Their Dr advises 36 hours of bedrest following the procedure. Rest assured the second that 36 hours is up, I'll be hopping on a plane back home to hug my husband and girls. Leaving them is like leaving one of my limbs behind. :)
So, that's how it's all going to go down. If you've got some positive vibes or prayers to send my way, I'd really be thankful. The Mom and Dad have waited so long to see their faces in a child of their own and like the surrogate said in last night's episode of One Born Every Minute, a couple does not come to the decision of surrogacy without serious heartache and loss.
Speaking of OBEM, did anyone see the episode? Powerful wasn't it? I nearly cried. All happy tears. ...and I rarely cry about anything.