Because we went on vacation immediately after our gestational carrier’s visit, I haven’t had the time to write about it until now.
We hired a house cleaning crew to clean the house for the first time ever on the day Annie arrived. The intention wasn’t to clean the house for Annie per se, but I just didn’t want to clean the whole house myself after my in-laws left. I didn’t want to deal with three bathrooms and three bedrooms plus the kitchen, dining room, and living room all at the same time. Since I was off from work, I figured I could be there for the cleaners. We were so pleased that Annie could stay overnight in our very clean house comfortably.
Annie was supposed to arrive at around 10:45pm. Her first flight was on time. On her second leg, her plane was already pulled out of the gate, but was immediately returned to the gate due to a sensor malfunction. That problem was quickly fixed but she was still stuck waiting for a new pilot to take over. Her flight was delayed for about 1.5 hours. By the time we picked her up it was almost 1am. We all went to bed at about 1:15am. My joke was that how am I going to take care of a baby if I can’t even stay up late past midnight right now? I felt really bad for booking an evening flight for her which made it even later for her with the delay, but Annie was a good sport. She was totally calm about the situation. We hugged each other and laughed at the curbside of the terminal as it was so nice to see the real person rather than a photograph. It was great to meet her. She was even more beautiful in person than in photographs.
The next day, our appointment with Dr. E wasn’t until 1:15pm. Bob went to work while Annie and I drove to the beach. Where she lives she doesn’t get to see the ocean so it was definitely a treat. However, the weather in San Francisco was about 35 degrees cooler than where she lives, so a jacket was a must. The ocean water was gray. Even then, she was so happy to be there and exclaimed at the vastness of it. We took a few selfies to document her visit at the ocean. We also went to Land’s End, which is a park with a trail on the northwest corner of the city. Annie mentioned to me that the only place her kids wanted her to visit was Golden Gate Bridge when she told them about coming to San Francisco. Because of that, I drove her to the bridge for a few photos right before we drove to Dr. E’s. It was a unique experience for her and for the kids to see since half of the bridge looked like it was eaten up by the fog.
We arrived at Dr. E’s and found ourselves bathing in the hot sun. It was about 90 outside, 30 degrees warmer than in the city. Dr. E was so great. Although it was lunch time, she came out to greet us prior to the appointment time. She gave me a hug and shook Annie’s hand. I met with the finance person, got the consent forms, and paid for the donor egg cycle that will start actually today! (Today, Monday, is our donor’s baseline appointment.) Dr. E came out again to invite Annie to her office. To my pleasant surprise, I was also invited to join.
In the office, Dr. E asked Annie questions about her past pregnancies, her weight and height, and a few other things about her health. We had a discussion of the number of embryos to transfer. Bob and I have been struggling with this decision. This will be a whole other post. But Dr. E said she always recommends one embryo especially with a donor who has performed superbly in the past. The previous three families that transferred with one embryo from our donor’s eggs all got pregnant with a singleton the first try. Dr. E said that unless we really really really want twins, she’d recommend one embryo as our donor will most likely give us twins if we transfer two. Dr. E said that in her experience, taking care of twins takes a lot out of mothers who are over 40 in terms of physical strength. She wants me to be able to enjoy first-time motherhood as much as possible. So this decision is still up in the air as Bob and I really don’t know if we’d have the money to try with a gestational carrier again for number two.
I was even more surprised when Dr. E invited me to be in the room for Annie’s pelvic scan and her saline sonogram. When Annie was in the bathroom giving a urine sample, Dr. E and I were in the exam room chatting. She commented on how lucky we are to have Annie as our gestational carrier. Annie just looked so chill and easygoing. I totally agree with her.
It was such a strange feeling to be sitting in a chair where Bob would usually sit when I was half undressed on the table. But on that day, I was a bystander, fully dressed, watching from the sideline. Dr. E was great though. She involved me in every aspect of this. She explained to Annie the process of these scans. During the pelvic scan, she called me back to take a look at the screen. She commented on how beautiful Annie’s uterus looked. No fibroid. No polyp. Great shape and size. Nice pattern. Dr. E then began her saline sonogram. It also acted as a mock transfer. She pushed the catheter in easily and again commented on how perfect Annie’s uterus was as it appeared on the screen. She invited me to come take a look. Since the catheter went in so easily, Dr. E said that the transfer will be very straight forward. Annie passed this part of the screening with flying colors! Dr. E herself drew five tubes of blood from Annie. This concluded our visit with her. At press time, we are still waiting for the blood work results so we don’t know if Annie is all cleared medically yet.
Another bonus is that we were only charged for the medical clearance. Dr. E’s office didn’t charge us for the saline sonogram which amounted to a saving of over $400. What a nice surprise.
Annie and I walked around a town close to the airport for a couple of hours before I dropped her off at the airport for her flight home. We basically spent all day together. I am happy to report that we get along very well. She is super easygoing. We had plenty of opportunity to chat and get to know each other. We chatted about anything and everything. Our topics covered our lives, church, homeschooling, my profession, my family, her family, her husband’s family, her fertility history, and our fertility history. The conversations were natural. The occasional silence in the car was not at all uncomfortable. Annie and I connected on a personal level. I am confident to say that we will continue to bond and develop a friendship and a good relationship.
Despite the extra cost of flying Annie to town, this visit turned out to be perfect. An in-person meeting prior to the transfer makes it so much more real that the person on the screen, on texts, or in email has come alive. Both Bob and I are so comfortable with Annie that we just want everything to fall into places so she will be the one to help us realize our long-time dream of becoming parents. We are filled with gratitude that God has led us to her. Although the anxiety is still there, our hope is that our miracle may join us in a year.
Our hope is alive. And we are grateful.