All posts are republished with permission from Sarah’s blog Oven Rental: Life as a Surrogate. Sarah is currently on her third journey. This story recounts the successful match, transfer, pregnancy and birth through surrogacy. For context, this story refers to a previous match with a couple who did not ultimately pursue surrogacy.
December 8th, 2013
I am on a plane to La Guardia airport as I type this. Sorry for the blog silence lately. Haven’t really had anything to report until now.
This process has been slightly different than my last attempt at surrogacy. I think I previously mentioned in my last post that the couple lives in France and has traveled to Connecticut where their IVF doctor is. Since they are an international couple, I greatly appreciate their willingness and sacrifice of their time to be there with me and to go through this process.
The couple that I am matched with are some of the nicest people I have ever me. I’m not sure why, and the weirdest feeling came over me on my drive to the airport. Instead of panicked, and nervous, and anxious about the flight, I wasn’t any of those things. I was calm and excited and the feeling of certainty hit me. All this time, I have tried to prepare myself that a failed attempt is very possible again, but have also tried to stay optimistic and positive about the attempt.
The couple is extremely confident that this will be a success the first time and since we will be finding out if the transfer was successful the week before Christmas, I really hope and pray for the same. This time I made sure to prepare myself with the stats on this particular process. They are basically 50/50. A 50% chance that it will be a successful transfer and a 50% chance that it will fail. Like I said, I’m trying to stay positive and be as confident as the couple is but I really don’t want to be surprised and devastated. So, I’m trying to prepare myself either way.
This process with the couple is different in that the intended mother is capable of producing eggs (see Post 1 in the series for background). Their doctor in Connecticut wanted her to go through a cycle of retrieving eggs from her making them fresh embryos to transfer into my oven. So that is what they did even though they still have two frozen embryos at the same clinic. If this attempt with the fresh embryos doesn’t work, we will try the frozen embryos. On Thursday, they retrieved 8 follicles from the intended mother. Not every follicle contains an egg or even a viable egg but the chances are good that there will be something to fertilize and then grown in the lab for three to five days.
After they are fertilized, the lab is checking them every day to make sure that the cells are dividing and growing larger. They grow them to the blastocyst stage and then implant them into the oven! We just need one but they will be implanting two of the best eggs with the hopes that at least one will attach to my uterus and result in a pregnancy! My heart is heavy but light at the same time if that makes sense. I want so badly for this to work for them. The money, the time investment, and the emotions they have to endure is overwhelming and I thank God that I was able to conceive naturally. My heart is sad for all those who struggle and have struggled to conceive.
Because they have done a fresh egg retrieval, the idea is to match my body as close to the intended mother’s hormonally. I’ve taken estrogen pills to thicken my uterus, a low dose aspirin to promote extra blood flow to my uterus and of course the lovely, ginormous sized needle of progesterone in my hips which makes my uterus sticky to better allow the embryo to latch on!
I’ve also used a vaginal insert of a drug called Crinone. It’s just a cream version of progesterone but inserted into cervix area, promotes a good environment for the baby. Then for five days, started on the same day as the egg retrieval, I started Prednisone and Doxycycline. Both are antibiotics and are used to lessen the chances of my own body trying to reject the embryos. Sound like a lot? It is! I’ve been so worried I’m going to forget something and throw everything off but alarms on my iPhone have come in handy!
So, after a delay at the airport taking off due to needing to de-ice the plane, I am in the air and so excited to meet my couple face to face and give them a big hug. Might shed a tear or two but maybe I can blame it on the drugs! So for those of you reading, there is one thing you can do for me. PRAY! And don’t stop until you hear from me again!
Since the eggs were retrieved and fertilized on Thursday, the embryo transfer will either be done tomorrow (Sunday), or Tuesday. I will be returning to my family on Wednesday evening!!
That’s all for now!