A surrogacy journey, jointly documented by Surrogate and Intended Mother.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

The agreement session

As we mentioned on the last 2 posts, at SUK the team need to carry out an agreement session before commencing treatment. Having been given a little wiggle room to allow Niki to start her jabs on the correct day, we got to agreement day yesterday. Adam and I traveled up to Coventry on Friday, and after scoffing down a very scrummy lasagne, spent a lovely evening meeting Steve's family. It was fantastic to spend some time with Niki's children Jack and Beth again; Adam and I are so chuffed that they seem to really like us. Friday night was a late one, and part way through the evening, Jack snuggled up on me and fell asleep - I took this as a huge complement and was v touched that he felt comfortable and happy enough with me to do so. 

On Saturday morning, Adam and I headed over to Niki and Steve's for the agreement, picking up brunch on the way. The agreement is essentially a large form with lots of questions on it, which ensure that you've all thought about and talked about the ins and outs of a surrogate pregnancy. They are questions that if you were having a "normal" pregnancy, the couple would be thinking about, however of course in surrogacy there are 4 people working very hard to make this happen, and it's important that the answers given are right for everyone. Some of the questions are simple, some are more difficult to contemplate (such as what would happen in the event of a stillbirth) but all are very important. 

The lovely Vee from SUK came to do our agreement for us - she is one of SUK's experienced surrogates so was able to offer us advice as we went through the forms. We had all discussed the questions thoroughly in advance before hand, so knew there were no issues, and the session went very smoothly. Vee left, and Niki and Steve suddenly got out 2 little packages - they had bought Adam and I gifts to congratulate us on reaching this landmark stage. I was completely overwhelmed by the whole thing and couldn't speak, so in good old Thackray tradition, sobbed on Niki's shoulder instead. 

I have no doubt that this will get boring as I will keep saying it, but my awe and wonder for these two  knows no bounds. They are doing all this for us. They are going through all of this to try and help us start a family. I mean, that's huge isn't it? Unfathomably huge. And the additional support and friendship they're giving is invaluable. We really are hugely lucky.

They're all heading down to Surrey tomorrow for a week of Teamie fun and we're really looking forward to it! Watch this space for updates and photos...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Ready....skip the next bit...GO!!

Well, where do I start? The beginning is always a good one I know but it's all such a blur I'm not sure where exactly that bit was!!

Everything was so clear in my head after our previous appointment with Anna, I was to start meds on day 27 of my cycle, day 1 was looming, all was fine....then in jumped Mother Nature to keep us all on our toes.
Day 1 didn't come. When it still wasn't here a week or so later I started to worry a little (OK, a lot) and after lots of panicky messages between Em and I, and a reassuring email from Anna (on a Sunday evening too, she really is fab!) we all felt a bit better and resigned to the fact we'd have to let nature take it course and decide what to do when it finally arrived.

On to the day of the joint appointments. After a last minute re-route on the tube Steve and I met Emily and Adam in London and headed off to Hammersmith. First was the compulsory counselling with a lovely lady called Jeni. She made Steve and I feel really at ease and just wanted a general idea of why we were wanting to help Emily and Adam, how we met, what sort of relationship we had etc. I did have a 'wave of terror' moment when she asked Steve how he would feel when I was pregnant and his response was simply 'I haven't given it much thought, she'll be fat and I'll be looking after the kids'!! Luckily though it seems that's a typical male attitude to take and she actually commented that she'd have been more shocked had he have been completely happy with everything all along and had all the 'right' answers.
As Em had said she complimented the whole team and seemed genuinely delighted at the close friendship we all have.

After a quick gourmet lunch in the hospital cafe it was in for our appointment with Prem, our coordinating nurse.
A short introduction was followed by some quick cycle day questions and off he popped out to liaise with Anna about our treatment protocols. (Cue complete childish behaviour from the boys once left alone in the nurses office!! *rolls eyes* ). It seemed like an age before he returned but when he did he announced they'd like me to start treatment the very next day!!!!!! 
As Em has said, we had some idea this might be an option already, but for it to actually suddenly be a reality was both very daunting and hugely exciting all at the same time. Em and I shared an excited smile and then it was time to do lots of listening and learning...eeek.
I have a date with one of these every morning now.
Is it pleasant? No. Does is hurt? A little. Is it worth it? Yes.

So as you can see from the picture above I have started jabbing each morning and as of Thursday 19th July we are officially in our first treatment cycle! The oven is being prepped!
It is completely bizarre to think that less than a week ago I was worrying I may not start treatment in time to be ready for our aim of a fresh transfer in September, and now here we are, 5 days in!

Along with Em, I cannot thank SUK enough for being completely behind us all and giving us approval to begin a few days before our official agreement with them is signed.

So that's it, the official start to what's going to be a hugely exciting couple of months.
Positive thoughts for Cheese Teamcake please.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Nought to Sixty.

So yesterday was pretty huge really.

We went along for our coordination appointment. This meant all four of us going to Hammersmith for various bits and bobs. First came the compulsory discussion with the counselor, to ensure that Niki and Steve are doing this voluntarily and with fully informed consent. Then Adam and I joined them to talk things through, and the lovely lady gave us a glowing report.

We had to fill in a few forms before hand....
Blood tests, chats with the nurse and even more forms, and then we got onto trying to work out when treatment would commence. We had vague thoughts but I think we were all a bit shell shocked when our nurse returned and announced that Niki would need to start her 1st drug the next day! Huge excitement, a huge amount of (legal) drug purchasing, and a bit of a mind blowing day really! I'll leave Niki to detail how they felt about it all - I cannot imagine what a whirlwind yesterday was for them, but they were truly fantastic.

A minor panic trying to sort out SUK stuff ensued, as we are should sign an agreement before commencing treatment, however the Executive Committee have been fantastic and very supportive and accommodating so all is now fine.

So basically, here starts the beginning of Cheese Teamcake's first ever attempt. How am I feeling? Predominantly excited, but mixed in with trepidation, worry (I am a bit of a worrier but Niki happens to be as well so we understand each other well on that one!) and some fear. Am I feeling positive? Definitely. Realistic - we know all too well it doesn't always work, and a part of me stays braced because of that - but definitely positive. And whatever happens, Niki and Steve are making every step of this journey feel as enjoyable as possible. That is definitely a silver lining of surrogacy - we are going through it with the additional support of team friends every step of the way. I feel very lucky in that respect.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Feels like progress :)

Just a short update from me.
Emily and I met for girlie lunch and then had our latest appointment with Anna this afternoon. After the formalities of confirming all of our various test results were perfect (naturally ;) ) we got down to discussing time scales for treatment.
We have all got to attend the compulsory counselling session to make sure we all know what we are doing and that I'm not being dragged into this kicking and screaming...standard stuff, then there is the SUK agreement session to do. Then all being well I could begin my down regulation treatment THIS MONTH.....WOW!
I think I can speak for both (if not all) of us when I say the words 'stupidly excited'. It has seemed like an age away for so long and now it's actually tangible, and very very real. We even did a little 'happy feet' dance on our way out of clinic.

It's all looking good for our joint aim of a fresh transfer early September.
Dreams could well come true in the space of a few short, and probably hectic months.
Watch this space...