MicroblogMondays: Good News All Around

A friend of mine who made her embryos with donor eggs back in January 2018 had had one obstacle after another trying to find a gestational carrier that would work with her.  She had to switch a few agencies in a few states and several gestational carriers who failed the screening.  After three whole years having those embryos, she finally found a gestational carrier who passed her medical screening.  Fortunately, the gestational carrier lives in our state so she was allowed to transfer in my friend’s clinic (vs. those from other states who would not be approved by many clinics due to the pandemic).  The beta is scheduled for today, but her GC already did a home pregnancy test which was positive!  I am so excited for her and am very hopeful that she will be able to hold her baby in October.

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My cousin who has an 18 month old that she conceived with donor eggs is currently 14 weeks pregnant with her second.  I am so so glad that she doesn’t have my kind of crappy uterus.  Even though her eggs didn’t help her become a mom, her uterus is winning at being a great home for her babies.

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Remember I went on a sort of babymoon in Honolulu a couple of months before the babies were born?  I was going to go on a food tour after I published that post.  I did go on a food tour and met this couple who sat behind me on the bus.  We hung out all day long, and hit it off really well.  We bumped into one another that evening buying ice cream.  We discovered that we were going to fly out on the exact same flight.  So on the day of departure, the wife came over to sit next to me at the gate once she spotted me. We started chatting. she asked me where my next adventure was going to be.  I told her honestly that this would probably be my last trip for a while because my babies were going to be born via gestational surrogacy.  Once that piece of information was shared, it was like a flood gate had opened and she shared about her journey of trying for a baby.  It turned out that she and her husband had been trying for a baby for a few years, went to the same clinic that I went to (with Dr. No Nonsense), had a miscarriage and few other disappointments, and were taking a break and trying to recuperate from all the losses.  We exchanged contact information and promised to speak with one another again when we got home.  A chance meeting in Hawaii brought the two of us together as friends.  We met up a few times for lunch.  I eventually introduced her to Dr. E, my reproductive endocrinologist that helped bring our babies home.  She and her husband had been with Dr. E for the last three years.  They even got together with me and Bob prior to the pandemic to speak about the possibility of working with a gestational carrier.  They were going to try once more time with transferring into her, and she did this past year after clinics were allowed to do IVF again.  Guess what?  She is 31 weeks pregnant and everything is going well.  I am so happy for her and I am so honored to be part of her story.  On that day when I picked that particular food tour to book and later chose that particular seat on the tour bus to sit, I never would have imagined these seemingly inconsequential choices would make an impact in someone’s reproductive endeavor.  God is amazing.

 

MicroblogMondays: Disclosure

Microblog_Mondays

We have told a handful of people in real life about our pregnancy.  I told my dad right after the second beta, but didn’t tell my mom right away.  My mom’s mom is currently very sick in the hospital in Asia so my mom’s sisters flew back there from the states.  Because my aunts were around, I didn’t want my mom to share this news with them prematurely.  That was the reason why I didn’t want to tell her yet.  My dad is very good with keeping secrets so I never worried that he would tell my mom.  After our first ultrasound with the confirmation of two babies growing, my mom contacted me regarding adjusting the date of her return to the states.  She was originally going to come back in February, but due to my grandma’s situation, she had postponed her return to May.  I felt the need to tell her about the babies because I would need my own mother to be around when the babies arrive.  I don’t think I need her to take care of the babies, but I would need her to take care of me and my husband so that our house would be at least in a decent state in the first few months of the babies’ lives.  So I decided to tell her at about 8 weeks.  She was very happy about it and promised me that she’d never tell her sisters until I give her permission.  I will have to trust her about that this time.

What about Bob’s parents?  After our ultrasound at 8 weeks 5 days, Bob and I felt comfortable sharing with his parents.  It wouldn’t be hard to share about us expecting two babies but the fact that the pregnancy is via the gift of surrogacy was going to be a bit of a challenge for him.  He was brave and took on the task without hesitation.  He did it on the day we reached 9 weeks. I was a coward and just stayed in the kitchen area while he and his parents chatted on Sky.pe in our bedroom.  My father-in-law was cute.  When he found out, he raised both of his arms in victory and celebrated with a big smile on his face.  My mother-in-law?  I think it probably took her some time to get used to the idea.

When Bob made the announcement, she was pleased that we were finally expecting.  But she became perplexed and confused about the surrogacy part.  She originally thought that the babies would be half caucasian but Bob explained to her several times that these were our embryos, and the carrier is just carrying for us.  She then was sad that she couldn’t announce to the whole world that her daughter-in-law was expecting.  She was sad that she couldn’t send me Indian sweets that she would’ve sent me if I was pregnant.  She mentioned to Bob that Isabelle must have been at least a little bit sad that she couldn’t carry a baby herself.  So it was nice that she thought at least a bit about my feelings.  She said that she probably wouldn’t say anything to anyone until after the babies are born because I wasn’t carrying.  She then said that she still wants the money we send her every year.  She was probably afraid that the cost of taking care of newborns was going to eat away part of the money that we give her.  She then said that she’d name our babies and to make sure that they marry Hindu Brahmin Iyengar, their caste and subcaste in the Indian caste system.  I laughed when Bob told me this comment.  Even her son didn’t marry an Indian, let alone the same caste and subcaste.  The chances of her grandchildren doing that are slim to none. But it tells you how much our marriage has thrown her world upside down and now she has renewed hope in these children.  Anyways, she was a little apprehensive about this news when she heard it.

When I first heard about her reaction, I was a little bit disappointed that she wasn’t more excited about our pregnancy because it seemed as though my mother-in-law cared more about the “world’s” opinion of it.  It was almost like there was a certain level of shame or stigma attached to us needing to use a surrogate, like I am less than what I am because I couldn’t even carry my own child.  But I thought more about it, and realized that this was so out of the left field for her that she probably really needed time to digest the news.

Bob chatted with his parents again yesterday.  This time it was so much better.  I was still a coward and didn’t show my face.  But Bob reported that both of his parents are now overjoyed that they will finally have grandchildren to join the family.  It seems like my mother-in-law has processed the news.  She is now very happy that we have two babies coming.   As predicted, she took the credit for our twins as she had prayed to her gods last week at a temple for us to have boy/girl twins.  They have been dying to tell people about us expecting but they’ll wait until a month or two from now when we sail into the second trimester.  My mother-in-law praised Annie for being so generous, loving, and kind to carry our babies for us, and she also praised me for making a sacrifice for the sake of the health of the babies.

It makes me happy that despite the initial reaction, my mother-in-law came around very quickly and is able to fully embrace this news.  It’s such a joy to be able to share good news with our families after all these years and for all of our parents to be so happy for us.  I just can’t wait until the day they can all meet their grand babies.  I hope my in-laws won’t insist on naming our babies.  As much as I want them to be part of the babies’ lives, I would want Bob and me to be the ones giving them names since I don’t get the biological connection or the chance to carry them.  I hope my in-laws will understand that.

More Uplifting News: Refund for the Hysteroscopy

It shows you that it really never hurts to ask about anything.

I emailed the surgical coordinator at my clinic about a refund or a partial refund for the botched hysteroscopy that we had paid for out of pocket.  It was a total of almost $2600.  She was on vacation until this past Monday.  I hadn’t heard back from her so I  emailed her yesterday.  Bless her heart.  She called and left a voicemail for me, saying that she would try her best to get us some refund but there is no guarantee as it is usually difficult to get money back from UCSF.  She had to file a lot of paperwork but she would let me know as soon as possible.  I emailed her and thanked her for her willingness to try.

I didn’t expect to hear anything back from her for a while.

And then this morning.  Her message came at 7:40am:

“We are going to refund the facility and pro-fee for this procedure. You are responsible for $185.00 for the medications.  It will take about 3 to 4 weeks to get your money back.”

Wow!  I was blown away.  I was expecting maybe a little bit of the refund for the professional fee but none of the facility fee.  This is the best possible outcome for this non-surgery.  The refund is going to go back to my health savings account credit card, so I can apply the fees for other medical expenses.  It is so nice to know that our own clinic does take care of us.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this.  What a wonderful way to start the weekend.

Praise the Lord!!!