October 24th, 2013: The big day!
Today is the day that we head back to the clinic to find out the RE and the team’s opinion about how we move forward. I’ve spent the last 3 weeks going through each and every scenario, and how it would work. I also have every scenario’s questions laid out in my mind to ensure we get all the answers we need. Knowing the RE didn’t seem to be interested in surrogacy for us, I needed to know every medical reason behind each option and how it might work. This was the only way we could make decisions about how was can move forward.
Dan and I got to the appointment, and I was trying to prepare myself for the news- and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly expecting great news. Could I do another IVF round again? How…? Emotionally, mentally, and physically I wasn’t so sure I could handle it.
To doc sat us down and opened with, “After review with my team and your medical history, we believe we’d be very supportive if you wanted to move forward with a gestational carrier”. WHAT?!!!
This was the one scenario that I didn’t plan for. The last appointment made it pretty clear that this wasn’t something that he was excited for. My mouth actually dropped. He laughed and said he thought I’d be happier with the news.
It wasn’t that it wasn’t exciting, but how did this come about? What had changed? The doc explained that after reviewing everything, we didn’t have very much medical evidence to base our decisions on. We were basically guessing at best.
He explained that there was a very high chance of OHSS for me due to the amount of meds I require, and the extremely high levels of estrogen that I kept having. This would not be supportive for the transfer, and additionally, could actually lead to us being cancelled- meaning either no retrieval or no fresh transfer- both not good. Secondly, there was no medical evidence to support that is would work if we continued. He said that we might be right, but then so might he.
He emphasized the importance of the ‘right’ carrier, not just any carrier. Third party fertility was very difficult and not clear cut in Canada due to our laws. This was not something to do on a whim with such anyone. He felt that the close-knit friendship I had with the potential carrier, as well as her family situation was actually optimal for a gestational carrier.
The other issues that weighed into the decision was if I was able to get pregnant, we still may have problems during pregnancy and birth due to my bleeding disorder and the anti-depressants (which we now an even higher dose than before- thanks infertility!).
I honestly had no response for the doc. This was the exact appointment I had dreamed about getting, but was not expecting at all. Dan asked a bunch of questions, which, quite frankly, was very un-Dan like. He is normally more of a nod and listen type of guy. But he was the pinch hitter in this appointment as I just sat there stunned.
The doc said we needed to talk to the IVF nurse to discuss specifics, but we had his blessing and off he went. My heart was racing, I had a huge smile plastered across my face, and I couldn’t stop squeezing Dan’s hand- this was it! We’re going to have a baby!!!
The IVF nurse came in and went over how to move forward. First things first, did we understand the financial impact? Well yes, I already had a colour coded spreadsheet at home with our guess-timates of cost. Then, out came the sheet. Holy sh*t… I perhaps forgot that OHIP would cover nothing. At all.
Every appointment with the doc, blood tests, ultrasounds etc would all need to be paid for. And man, did those fees add up. We remembered the IVF fees, the counseling fees, the legal fees, the expenses, the post pregnancy expenses, but totally forgot about these. The general estimate for typical surrogacy arrangements in Canada was anywhere between $60,000 – $90,000.
We swallowed and smiled. Yes, the fees were ok. Nothing was going to make my smile disappear today.
Our plan was that Jen would need to come into the clinic for an assessment by our doc. He would go over her medical history and determine if she was a medical fit. If she passed that test, she would get the privilege of having a sonohysterogram and blood work. If she passed that hurdle, next was the psychiatric analysis. If we all made it through those appointments, then we’d be off to the lawyers to sort out a surrogacy contract. Once we have that, we would have to sync up Jen and my cycles, then off we go- I’d get medicated, grow awesome eggs, get them retrieved at the same time as getting Jen’s uterus ready for the embryos, pray the eggs fertilized, pray they make it and continue to grow them in an incubator for 3-5 days, then implant them back into Jen. Then pray for sticky vibes and hope they stick and she would get pregnant!
Easy peazy….??! Breathe in. Breathe out.
By the time I made it the 30 steps from the conference room to the front desk, I had texted Jen and my parents with the good news.
Even though we hadn’t had our official sit down with Jen, I got a bit ahead of myself and booked her for her initial consultation two weeks from now (to the tune of $250.00… :S) and left my credit card number.
To do: Call Jen and set up a little family meeting to discuss her carrying our child, go over all the information we had received and try to ensure we understand each step then come up with a new updated budget, oh, and raise our credit card limits. Bright side is that we’re about to get a ton of air miles…!
On we go! Surrogacy here we come!!