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Everything posted by traci72

  1. List of Acronyms

    That was an acronym I came up w/way back when I started w/surrogacy!!! LOL! I thought it had been added to the list, so will have to double check that. When I 1st started saying it, other surrogates were like "WHAT???" I had one "oldie" surrogate tell me that 'PUPO' "wasn't a thing/acronym", and here almost 11yrs later, it's used a LOT...that'll show her! Hahahahahaha!!!
  2. I want to be surrogate

    I'm confused just a bit. This would clearly indicate that you are not female, thus not able to be a surrogate. If this isn't you, then it's rather odd that your email and IP are connected to this and something you might want to look into.
  3. I want to be surrogate

    Looking for a surrogate mom in Canada
  4. Advice wanted please

    I apologize for allowing the comment through initially, Becky. The person that posted that is from Ukraine and very questionable. We have had an ongoing issue w/that country, spamming this site, trying to push surrogacy being done there. I did remove comments that they posted, though because I quoted it, that part is still there. Other comments made included "allowing" the sister to do this, pushing clinics, etc. Only you can decide what is right for you, and by asking questions and reading here, you are doing your research and educating yourself more about surrogacy and the process. That's exactly what people should do when exploring surrogacy. (no matter what side of it you're on) It is of import to understand that the UK does not honor contracts, but you should still consult a barrister regarding the proper steps all parties should take. While this is a US based site, several of us do have some knowledge of surrogacy in the UK and can direct you to others as well.
  5. Advice wanted please

    I must say that overall, you are not terribly understanding of surrogacy, so it's a good thing that you are (hopefully) doing much research. YOU have to understand that carrying for a family member or friends often works out wonderfully. It sounds like you are projecting your own fears of someone bonding w/the baby and hurting your sister vs what actually happens. As for your comments about carrying for a same-sex couple, that is a concern that only they need to have, and both the US and the UK DO allow carrying for same-sex couples. Finally, it doesn't make a bit of difference as to whether someone is carrying for family, close friends, same-sex couple's, single IP's, traditional IM/IF, etc, it is a REQUIREMENT that EVERYONE has their own attorney. Some US states allow in a TS situation to do things at home, but for a GS situation, it's common knowledge and a given that it has to be done at a clinic. You kinda can't do IVF at home.
  6. Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you're expecting anyone to respond w/how amazing you are for doing this, your expectations are wrong. Most of the general public either do not have an understanding of surrogacy in general, or do not have an ACCURATE understanding of surrogacy, and don't think how great we are. (which honestly, we're not. This isn't about us and our egos) Also, when talking to your family and friends about this (general you, not just specifically you), their concerns are not in the same place. When we go into surrogacy, yes, we're thinking about our own families and the risks to ourselves, but we are thinking more about the IP's and what they've been through to get here. In our minds, it's about helping to build a family for someone that has done so much to try and get there. You family and friends are thinking...what if something happens to her? What if she becomes incapacitated? What if she's hospitalized? What if she has long-term health issues because of being a surrogate? What if she DIES? (and yes, not only is this a possibility, but it HAS happened to a few surrogates, though rare) I've been there for conversations between other surrogates and their family/friends and have seen the surrogate be accused of being selfish to do this because of potentially putting her own children/family at risk "for a few bucks or a dream". (this was NOT a pretty situation and included a lot of tears and yelling) I've seen parents and grandparents that did not understand gestational surrogacy (or just the concept of surrogacy) and accuse the surrogate of selling or giving away their grandchild and constantly refer to the surro-babe as their grandchild. I've seen families/friends get angry based on their religious beliefs and cut the surrogate out of their lives. One surrogate I know, once she went for transfer and was pg, her family wouldn't talk to her, visit her, etc, until after she delivered and would then never talk about it. While it bothered her some, it worked for them and allowed them to continue having a relationship outside of surrogacy. I've known surrogates that have lost friends and some family members (including her parents) due to the decision to be a surrogate. It can make things very difficult, tense, upsetting, sad, etc, when you *think that you'll have their support and then don't. It may be that you just need to educate them more on surrogacy. What the process is, reassure them that it's not your baby/not genetically linked to you, what these IP's have gone through to even get to this point, and how important it is to you, to be able to help them in this way. Will this change their minds? Maybe not, but then again, it might. Either way, you can know that you did your best to help them understand, and if they can't get to a place where they can be supportive of you, then it's on them and not you. At that point, you can tell them that you're happy to discuss any questions/concerns that they might have, but that if they are unable to be supportive in any way, then you will not discuss the surrogacy w/them and hope that they will respect this. And if all else come back here and vent to us and let us help support you!
  7. 2nd transfer

    1st~ YAY!!! What a great update about the U/S, and how thoughtful that she recorded those things for you!! What an amazing sound to hear your baby's Who have you talked to about insurance for baby? I don't know if baby would qualify for Medicaid upon birth, or maybe the hospital would offer at least a discounted rate, but I would try talking to either ArtRisk or ArcLight about possible options. They are the most knowledgeable about insurance here in the US, in regards to surrogacy.
  8. Quick Poll

    My 1st 6 transfers I had IP's there w/me. I mean I travelled alone to get there, but each time, they were the ones that picked me up at the airport, dropped me at my hotel (we did dinner, some sightseeing, hanging out, etc though) and then got me for the transfer. When I matched w/my 4th IP's, they already had embryos at the clinic and were unable to make it there for the transfer (they were in Sweden). We did Skype though, which was nice to do, but it was a bit different feeling than my other transfers. I did 2 transfers w/them and they weren't there for either. My 5th IP's were there for the 1st transfer, but not the 2nd transfer. My last IP's for this last pg also had embryos already created that they shipped to the clinic as they were not able to be there either. (Israel) I'll be honest though....this last time? I actually enjoyed being on my own for the entire thing. My hotel was about a 10-15min walk from the clinic and there were LOTS of shops and restaurants w/in just a few blocks in all directions, so I was easily entertained. I think there is something to be said for both situations really though. Those 1st transfers I felt it was so important for the IP's to be there and be PRESENT for everything, because I thought that they would somehow be missing out on something if they weren't there. Of course all of that was just in my head. The transfer really is so anti-climactic if you think about it, and over so fast. I've been able to Skype w/my IP's if they wanted to, for the transfer and felt it wasn't much different than had they been right next to me. There is also the plus of having that time to yourself w/out having to worry about "entertaining" someone else. I used to joke in the beginning that it was my mini-vacation, but w/my IP's there, the only time to myself was at the end of the night when they went back to their hotel. (don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed having that time together!) The 4 transfers I did w/out my IP's present really were like a mini-vacation. Granted I had to walk, but I could do whatever I wanted on my own time w/out worrying about schedules or what other people might want to do instead.
  9. I've seen/heard many comment that they never wanted to have children and watched them change their minds 10-15yrs down the road. My Uncle and his wife are a perfect example. Nope, don't want kids. Both from larger families,!!! 25yrs later they decided that yep, they actually did want kids. Things change. Situations change. Dreams change. It's fine and dandy that you don't want kids now, but you do NOT know where you'll be at in 10-15-20yrs from now, no matter how much anyone wants to argue that. And as I mentioned, yes, this situation has happened VERY RARELY, for family members. It turns out bad, more times than not, for various reasons, but it can end very positively also. Most of these people do not stay around afterwards, however, so there really isn't anyone to pop in to share. You need to talk to an RE about this as well as a psychologist that is experienced w/third party reproduction/surrogacy. You need to understand, and it doesn't seem like you're either wanting to or are glossing it over, is that you are UNPROVEN. You have zero clue if you can even get pg or hold a pg. You could have the same thing going on w/you that your sister does and not know it. But you're asking her to spend many ten's of thousands of $$$$ to try a risky situation, where she could lose everything. Please contact an RE and discuss this at length before trying to get anyone's hopes up.
  10. Surrogacy compensation plans?

    Whatever you decide to do w/your comp is perfectly right for you. There are a lot of surrogates that use it to pay down debt, pay for school for themselves, new/used car, down payment on a home or towards the mortgage, home improvements, tummy tucks/boob jobs, kids savings, a nice family vacation/cruise/etc, their own family savings, etc, etc, etc. If you're not sure what you feel is most appropriate for you at when you get it, put it into savings or similar until you know what you want to do.
  11. (Almost) 12 week update

    Sorry, I was classified as "elderly", cause that sounds SOOOOO much better!!! LOL! My Dr said that the software that this health system uses automatically inserts the labels based on DOB and it wasn't her that entered it. Here's how it appears in my records.... Supervision of elderly multigravida
  12. Another thing to consider is will your sister be able to handle it if you lose your fertility or uterus due to carrying a child for her? Can she live w/herself knowing that you had 1 chance potentially to have your own child, and heaven forbid, you would never be able to have your own?
  13. While it has happened for family members, it is exceptionally rare. Surrogacy is NOT cheap and even w/you carrying for no comp, your sister is still looking at $40-80K for the entire process. You living in NY gives many added issues and potential road blocks/complications due to the very negative laws there. There are many requirements to qualify to be a surrogate, which the biggest one you already don't meet. *21yrs old minimum *financially stable *no govt. or medical *no drug/alcohol/tobacco use *support system in place *given birth and raising that child/ren *pass psychological evaluation *pass background checks *pass medical screening These are just some of the requirements. The goal of surrogacy is to minimize as many risks as possible, and being frank, you having never carried a pg before adds a significant risk, both physically and financially. You do not know if you can get pg or stay pg. Your mental health is also greatly put at risk because you do not know or understand what it's like to go through a pg and give birth....and then to hand that child back to it's parents. That can be challenging for surrogates that meet all the requirements. It's also very difficult to understand the implications of if you were to lose your own fertility, whether just a tube or ovary, needing a complete hysterectomy and almost potentially losing your life. While I think it's great that you have the heart to want to help your sister, I truly do not feel that it is in either's best interest. I would strongly urge both you and your sister to do extensive research into surrogacy to better understand the implications.
  14. (Almost) 12 week update

    Congrats on it being a !!! This pg is flying least for me. LOL! What a great update and I hope you post again after this next U/S. And an FYI, if it makes you feel any better, I was classified as "geriatric"!!
  15. Need to vent

    OMWORD!!! I'm reading the OP and on edge, about losing my own shit on your behalf!! I was literally talking/shouting to my screen. LOL! I'm so glad they finally called and meds will be there tomorrow. So nerve wracking though!
  16. I'm so, so happy you reached out to her!! I've known her a few years now and have nothing but respect for her. You are in amazing hands w/her.
  17. She turns 10yrs old this May!!
  18. I'm doing this out of order, so forgive me. PGS/PGD testing...this is a very personal issue, to me. I've never worked w/IP's that had tested embryos and it's never been an issue. None had known issues or concerns (though my 2nd IP's should have really considered this, but only based on their IVF history) and there was no reason to even think of testing. I could def. see this if there had been multiple IVF attempts w/out success or a history of chemicals or miscarriages, if the ED's medical history was limited or if there were specific things in your family medical history that could be tested for and ruled out. (my DS#1 has a genetic 'disorder' that predisposes him to specific early cancers and he has a 50/50 chance of passing it on to any child he has. This is something we can do PGD/PGS testing for and would be something that we are discussing as he gets older) If there are no red flags or reasons to do the testing, other than just to do it, if it were me, I would pass on this. ICSI...this is different for me, and after my 1st surrogacy, I can see this. My 1st IP's were a same-sex couple. Both very healthy and no reason to think there would be sperm issues. The RE recommended doing 1/2 by natural fertilization and 1/2 by ICSI, simply because they didn't know if there could be a sperm issue, not having had a pg before as "proof". They reluctantly agreed. By day 3, the ICSI embryos were doing ok, a couple of "natural" embryos looked great, but by day 4, they had 2 embryos left, one of each. The slower one was the ICSI, the more "advanced" was the natural. By day 5 and time for transfer, the naturally fertilized embryo had almost completely stopped expanding and the ICSI embryo leaped ahead in growth. That was the one we ended up transferring, w/the intention of freezing the remaining natural ended up arresting before it could be frozen. We don't know if had all been fertilized naturally, if we would have lost all of them, or if it wouldn't have made a difference and we still would have a good one to transfer and be successful. The next same-sex IP's I worked w/were offered the same thing, but chose not to do ICSI and just try the odds. We started w/twins the 1st transfer and lost one early on and I delivered a singleton. Next transfer w/them we had a BO and the transfer after that resulted in their twins. Same ED each time. ICSI was offered w/the 2nd surrogacy w/them and they decided against it again, but we ended up w/twins, so it was all ok. They had the mindset that if we had "a few" failed transfers, then they would turn to ICSI and potentially PGD/PGS testing. The explanation though that we were all given about ICSI, was that if there were known male factors, ICSI was a logical step to take and would significantly improve the odds. If there was not a known male factor, but there had never been a documented pg from that sperm, there was no way to know if there would/could be a male factor issue, and it didn't hurt to at least do 50/50, but that waiting to try a few transfers 1st was totally a reasonable thing to choose to do. My 1st IP's weren't sure how many times they would be able to attempt this, so they just decided to err on the side of caution. In the end, of course, it's what you feel is appropriate and feasible to do. If you are a healthy man w/no known issues, all testing/sperm analysis have looked normal, no family history of infertility, disorders, etc, I would probably skip on the the testing and at most, consider doing a 50/50 ICSI cycle, but would be willing to forgo all of that until there was a reason to really consider it.
  19. Those are 2 out of the top maybe 5-6 of the MOST expensive agencies, hands down. That's not to say that they are not good agencies by any means, but they are way up there. I'm going to try and share a few that are lower cost. This 1st one, I know the owner and feel you would be in good hands w/her agency at least. 3 Sisters is also good....
  20. Welcome to the Forums. While I know that it's a hard thing to learn (not being able or safe to carry the pg), it's wonderful that it was discovered and dx now vs during a pg. A couple of things. #1 is that there is, unfortunately, nothing inexpensive about surrogacy. From creating the embryos to the IVF process and meds to the attorneys to parentage and lastly a surrogate's comp (which will often be one of the lower costs incurred), it just adds up. Hopefully one day, insurance companies will wake up and start making IVF coverage mandatory, or at least more widely available and affordable. #2...surrogacy is still possible in NY, however COMPENSATED surrogacy is not allowed. There are enough legal risk though regarding contracts, that most IP's do not choose to pursue surrogacy in NY, but it has been done. #3...The numbers you put out there...$80-100k are rough estimates of the TOTAL cost....that's agency fees, the RE/clinic and IVF + meds, all screenings/psych evals/med testing/insurance/co-pays/birth, contracts, parentage (PBO or post-birth) and the surrogate's comp. There are many mitigating factors in the overall cost, such as an agency w/a lower agency fee, going independent, a lower comp surrogate, a family member/friend willing to do no comp, a successful 1st transfer, etc. My 1st IP's spent less than $65k and that included the agency fee and that our 1st transfer took. I have IP friends that have been trying for years and have spent more than $150k and still hoping for their baby. I also have IP friends that did several years worth of research to prepare for going indy, found a lower comp surrogate, had luck the 1st time and spent less than $50k for everything. You also don't have to use an agency that is more local to you. You can use any agency in the US, and depending on what they offer, you can find agency fees ranging from a couple of thousand $$ up to $35+k. Unfortunately you can't know going into this, just how much it will cost in the end as there are just too many variables. #4...You will not see support for attempting to save a few bucks, by going to any foreign country. It will cost you substantially more $$$ than you think and you are putting your child in both a huge legally precarious position as well as medically/health wise. There are zero legal protections in those countries, despite the claims of the opposite. I've watched more people have to pay fines and bribes to try and get their children out of Mexico, Ukraine, Thailand, etc, and some fight for more than a YEAR to get their child out. I've watched a dear friend whose twins were born to a surrogate in India have one of them die due to the conditions and medical care, then cremated while the parents were lied to about where his body was, tried to pass off WOOD ASHES for that of their dead child, then hold both the remaining live baby AND the fake ashes hostage until they paid thousands of $$$ more. They have spent the last several years being harassed and threatened by the "experts" that were supposed to help protect them in doing an international surrogacy. Where you choose to have your child born is one of the very 1st important decisions that you can make for them, and to potentially choose their legal status to save a few bucks is huge. Staying in the US honestly, is safest for you and the baby (or if you were able to find a surrogate in Canada, but that it more challenging just because of their laws), doing TONS of research of everything surrogacy related, find a lower comp surrogate (hopefully w/surro-friendly insurance and potentially an experienced surrogate that is very familiar w/surrogacy), you could save the agency fee at least and potentially stay well below that $80k.
  21. Does anyone know why.....

    Screening- the original agency I was w/did psych evals BEFORE ever presenting a surrogate's profile to IP's. I 1000000000% agree w/this in that you, the agency and the IP's know that you are mentally sound and clear to be moving forward. This was one of the biggest reasons I went w/that particular agency. For me, I did NOT want to be matched w/IP's, start building a relationship, only to get to the psych and not be cleared. (I didn't actually think that I wouldn't pass, but sometimes you just never know) They are then out that $$ and have started to become more emotionally involved and would then have to start back over. For some, it's not an "agency" thing, but rather a clinic/RE thing. While still w/the same agency, one of the sets of IP's I was working w/was using a different clinic that wanted the psych eval done in-house, which meant that I was matched already and contracts done. They did the psych and med screening in a marathon day, which was fine, but had there been a reason why I wasn't approved w/them, then my IP's just paid all that $$ for contracts, flying me out, the screening, etc, and just had to start over from scratch. I wasn't terribly keen on that at all, and had I been a 1st time surrogate, I think I would have been way more concerned. Not every RE demands to have a saline sono, hysteroscopy, etc. done. My original RE NEVER did any of that...only the FDA labs and those had to be w/in 6mos of cycing. I had 3 successful surrogacies w/this RE and not once did I have anything more than blood work. I've heard different reasoning for having it done from looking for uterine abnormalities to "mapping" the uterus to making sure there is a good path between the cervix and where the RE prefers to try and release the embryo/s. As for the travelling all honesty, they are trying to keep expenses as cheap as they possibly can. It will cost the IP's significantly less to fly you in early morning, car service from airport to clinic back to the airport and maybe 2 meals for the day vs fly you in, car service from airport to hotel, hotel stay, 1-2 meals that day, car service from hotel to clinic, 2-3 meals that day, car service from clinic to airport. Plus if there are lost wages for 1 day vs 2 days, overnight parking at your home airport (unless someone dropped you off and is picking you up), etc. When I was working w/2 different US clinics for my last couple of journeys, because of commitments and priorities between my own jobs, kids, kids activities and DH's schedule, flying out and back on the same day were not feasible for me. I had to go out the day before and fly home after all screening was done, so it was about 1 1/2days total. Sometimes you, as the surrogate, don't have a choice and the agency will have to suck it up and deal w/it. You will be inconvenienced enough when it comes to surrogacy, but it should not be such a huge deal for something like screening. If there is a reason why you really need to go the day before, they should be accomodating when possible. You will not get a protocol until the RE has legal clearance for you. Period. I have a surrogate right now that we just want to get BCP's for her now, so that once contracts are done, they can get moving quickly. The RE absolutely will not even consider it. Depending on how long it takes to get full clearance (medical/psych) and then contracts finalized, it could be 6-8wks (depending on the RE's protocol) or even longer. If everything went absolutely perfectly and quickly, Feb. could be a possibility, but more realistically I would just think March. I had one RE whose FET protocol was just as long as his fresh protocol (7wks!!) and he still wanted to use BCP's to manipulate my cycle, so by the time contracts were done, psych and med clearance, it was somewhere between 12-14wks before we got to that transfer. The last RE I was working w/has a short FET protocol (3-3 1/2wks) it was maybe 7-9wks from clearance to transfer.
  22. Insurance Insurance

    Where is your surrogate located? I think that will play a big part in the decision making on this, but I will say that from my experience here in the US, dealing not only w/my own insurance for my own journeys, but also from the other side and helping the surrogates w/my agency deal w/insurance, I will respectfully disagree. I've never had an issue w/my insurance company when it has come to billing and mistakes being made in their favor. If anything, I've found maybe 2-3 errors over 4 surrogacies, where the error was in OUR favor. As a program coordinator, I've helped (really the company we use procures it) a number of surrogates w/having to deal w/additional insurance. One of the levels of service that this company offers, is what you are describing. In almost 2yrs I've been working for this agency, not once has this been an issue for our surrogates....ever. We've dealt w/insurance companies in TX, MN, UT, CA, WI and now w/AK. If this is something that your agency is really pushing, I would be concerned about what kind of kick backs they might be getting or how it benefits them, and what kinds of issues that they are encountering. I'm not going to say that it is not worth it and I've seen a number of surrogates and IP's that HAVE had insurance problems, but to characterize it as "most" insurance companies are like this, I think is not accurate.
  23. On II Trimester

    How exciting!!! It sounds like the pg is progressing wonderfully and baby is doing great. It sounds like that was the NT scan, which even if they could potentially see the gender at that time, I wouldn't rely on it a ton. January should give you a much more reliable idea of boy/girl. Just a few weeks away!!
  24. I'm going to have to come back and respond when I'm better able to put my thoughts down so that they don't sound opposite of how I intend, but I will say that in no way, at this point in time, do you qualify as a surrogate. TS or GS. One of the requirements is that you have to have given birth to and raising at least one child. Period. You don't know if you can get pg or stay pg, let alone how you would handle those emotions. Also, in no shape or form does any surrogacy arrangement ever include any type of "mother" role or involved in the upbringing of a surrogate baby.
  25. Can I be a surrogate with my history?

    It would all depend on the RE that reviews your OB records. I work closely w/the RE's we use at our agency in approving surrogate applications, and reading what you've shared, I know that the RE that is doing our reviews would not be willing to take that risk. Your best bet would be to talk to an RE and get their thoughts on it.