My Surrogacy Journey- part 3
Back with more of my surrogacy journey in detail since I have had a lot of people reach out to me over the last couple of weeks wanting more information! It's been a while but I want to catch you all up to speed a bit more or at least get you closer to real time. Last update (Part 2- which can be read here) was the process leading up to having final sign off and contracts. We had our contract in hand and we were ready to go... right?
Well even though in a perfect world that would be how it would go... that wasn't the case for us. We were ready to move forward but something I mentioned in my last update was that I had a current CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection when they originally did my labs in November of 2021. The standard is to wait 6 months before proceeding with an embryo transfer/IVF cycle after an active infection. This would have put us in May. In April the fertility clinic we were working with mentioned that they wanted my lab work to be redone to ensure the virus was gone and that there were just antibodies left.
Things could not have gone more wrong here for us. This is not standard to get retested which posed an interesting issue when my labs came back still elevated/still indicating a current infection. Because we couldn't just turn a blind eye to this lab result even though we shouldn't have retested... we had to meet with a special Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor to get input and sign off on a transfer. When we had the call with her she was stumped as to why they would have asked me to retest-again reiterating that this was outside of the "normal" or standard practice. She suggested that perhaps the repeat labs that were done in April were just a fluke and to retest. If our numbers came back normal after yet another blood draw she would sign off. But she was stumped and quite honestly upset we had done repeat labs.
Back to the lab I went (if you are considering surrogacy but don't like needles- there are a lot of them in the early days of the process and even after transfer). Low and behold after so much "extra" and rigamarole the numbers were right where they were supposed to be. This was only about 1 week after our original testing happened confirming that the initial repeat lab work in April was a fluke. But finally after a lot of unnecessary and expensive hoops to jump through we had official sign off to move forward with an embryo transfer.
Then the somewhat daunting part of all of this happened. I got my med schedule... While you think oh this can't be that bad... There were so many medications that I had to take in a timely fashion in order to make sure things would go according to plan for this cycle. I remember getting my first box (yes first box.... there were refills to come later) of medications and thinking WOW there are a lot of things in here, and more importantly- holy CRAP there are a lot of needles in here. I was so intimidated by the box of medications that came with no instructions. I called the fertility clinic and was able to get a full rundown of what each medication was and what needles were used with what syringes and what medications. I'm not easily overwhelmed but I will say this was probably the only time I really felt it during the whole process. I felt much better after talking with the nurse and getting the lay of the land in regards to my meds.
Along with a medication schedule we were also scheduled for 4 appointments. The first was our baseline appointment to check how things were at the beginning of the cycle. I had come off birth control at this point and also begun Lupron which was the first injection I would be required to take daily. This is a subcutaneous injection (just below the skin) into my stomach. The medication Lupron is used to basically turn off the females normal hormone and egg production cycles.
There were two other monitoring visits that took place each one week after the previous appointment. These were set up to check my endometrial thickness and ensure that my uterus would be getting ready to receive an embryo! And finally, our fourth appointment was transfer. If all went according to plan, and looked good at our appointments, June 9th would be transfer day! The other thing that I wasn't thrilled about being that the fertility clinic we were working with was over an hour from my house is that each of these appointments had to be done in person. That meant I was traveling one time a week at least 3 hours round trip. Not something that overly affected me or mattered to me but something to note if you are looking into being a surrogate yourself.
Things thankfully all looked great at each of our appointments, and after each appointment I was instructed which meds to take when and dosing was dependent on my labs. We also in this process started the dreaded PIO or Progesterone in Oil shots which are given intramuscularly with a longer thicker needle into my booty. Overall, I didn't think the shots themselves were too painful but the aftermath was not pleasant. They created knots in your booty muscles after every single injection and the fun part about these is that you are required to take these until about 13 weeks of pregnancy.
We finally made it though- TRANSFER DAY. A huge milestone in the process was just around the corner and Keith and I and the intended parents of the baby were all SO excited to finally be here after about 9-10 months of planning and conversations. I'll save all the details for part 4 since there were so many intricate details and I'm sure people are curious about the process in detail for what an embryo transfer is like.
If you or someone you know has questions-I encourage you to leave them in the comments or get in contact with me via the connect with me via the "Let Me Know What's On Your Mind" section at the bottom of my homepage. I will be happy to share my experiences although I am not an expert. 🙂
AND if you're interested in getting more information and behind the scenes looks at what this surrogacy journey looks like for me follow me on Instagram (@mariakemnitz) for my story updates. I also post weekly #surrogacysundays posts on Sundays in my feed.
Subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram to see how our journey plays out! I am so excited that one of my life long dreams is finally becoming a reality.