As I said in my previous post, I had my first appointment as a gestational carrier on 5-6-16. My sister and I went together and met with the coordinator at the fertility clinic. For confidentiality reasons, we shall call the coordinator “A.”
I will never forget the feeling I had when I was walking into the office for the first time. I swear, my whole stomach did a flip flop. Is this real?! Am I REALLY here to start this journey?
We checked in and patiently (insert eye roll here) sat and waited for them to call us to the back for our appointment. We had awkward conversation…about Facebook, how we’re so hungry, random stuff like that. Then I hear “LISA!” It was my turn…
We are led back to a little conference room where we sit and wait for A to come in. In the mean time, I’m staring at all of these diagrams on the wall about how IVF, egg retrival, ultrasounds, etc work. Lotsa diagrams of lotsa uteruses.
A comes in and introduces herself. She explains that she is a third party coordinator that helps walk us through this journey. In her hand she has my new patient paperwork and the stack of my medical records that I had sent over. She digs right in. She begins asking very detailed questions about every. single. thing. in my records. She wants to know about grandparents medical history. She wants to know about parent medical history. She wants to know what I do for a living and how I am going to manage all the appointments for this journey. Now, don’t get me wrong. While it felt a bit overwhelming, I understood 100% why she was asking these bazillions of questions. She apologized for sounding like a police officer. She explained “this just my job.” I giggled inside, because I get it. And for those of you who know what I do for a living….I say that same line at least once a day (for those of you who don’t know what I do for a living…more on that later).
Then she asked the tough question. But, it was the one question I could answer confidently. She asked me, “why do you want to do this for your sister?” I paused. And sat there. Not because I didn’t know the answer but all of a sudden I had a rush of emotion. I HATE crying. I try to hide tears. I will do everything I can to not cry in front of someone. When I am alone, I explode. I answered as simply as I could. “Because she is my sister. And she wants a child more than anything in life. And if I can do ANYTHING to help her have that child, I will.” A is staring at me as I shed a few tears. Inside I’m telling myself I look like a frikken idiot and I need to suck it up. BIG BABY! ha. Then A asks my sister, “why do you want to do this with Lisa?” She simply states, “I trust her.”
Well, that part is over. THANK GOODNESS. AWWWWWWKWARD! Showing gooey emotions is gross 😉
So then we get down to the physical aspect of things. A states that I will have to complete a mock cycle and a mock transfer. Included in that process is a sonohysterogram (or a saline ultrasound) and 2 internal ultrasounds. This is a mock cycle:
During the mock cycle, you will take the same medications as if this were an actual transfer cycle. The purpose of the mock cycle is to evaluate your response to these medications and to ensure the response is adequate for an actual embryo transfer. If not, adjustments in the medication can be made to achieve the deal response. The lining of the uterus thickens in response to the estrogen pills and patch. Once it is 8mm or greater in thickness, progesterone is added. Progesterone causes the uterine lining to become more vasular, creating an environment that is supportive for embryo implantation.
This is a mock transfer:
A mock embryo transfer is like a dress rehearsal for a trial run performed BEFORE the actual transfer. The doctor needs as many details as possible about your uterus so that when the embryo is ready for transfer, the doctor can place it in the most optimal position to maximize the chances of implantation. The mock transfer allows your doctor to determine the size, direction, and other specifics of your uterus. It also lets your doctor know if there are any potential problems or obstacles to the transfer of the embryo.
So…basically they are going to give me estrogen and progesterone to help my uterine lining become nice and sticky for my sister’s embryo. And then they are going to practice putting the embryo in. I knew all this was coming. I knew I was going to have to take all of these meds. I even knew I was going to do a mock cycle. But when A said “and this can start next week” I about fell out of my chair. We can do the medications THIS SOON?! She started asking about when my next period was coming and what color my period was (I warned you about TMI 😉 I told her that my period should be starting around 5-9-16.
I am instructed to call A the first day of my period. She told me that she will get all the medications ready for my mock cycle when I call her. She then wrote me a prescription for a different birth control pill (BCP) I had previously been on. She instructed me to start the BCP the following night after my period starts. The Sonohysterogram (saline ultrasound) will be anywhere between 6-11 days after I start my period.
- contact legal parties to start contracts
- schedule appointment for psych evals (I’ve been studying real hard 😉
- wait for my period to start
Steps 1 and 2 are required by the clinic.
A told us that she really thinks that we are good candidates for this journey. She was a little nervous about me not having any children but she said that they are willing to work around that (and pray I can carry!) She was happy to see that my sister and I had taken the time to become very educated in the process.
So..now we wait. As I sit here, I swear I feel cramping! I am really nervous about starting these meds. Friends joke with me about me being pumped full of hormones and being a total bitch. I’m not going to lie…it’s probably going to happen. The estrogen is a patch that I will wear on my abdomen. The progesterone is an injection (yes..needle) that I will shoot into my ass/hip every other day. Have I mentioned I HATE needles?