Thursday, June 30, 2011

Allie the Ally's 2011 Pride Adventure

So as I stated in my last post, my friend Stacie thought we should bring my uterine plush, Allie the Ally to Pride with us this year . . . a la Flat Stanley adventures. Allie and I thought that was a splendid idea!

So Friday Allie and I drove to Rocklin to pick up fellow surrogates Stacie and Heather- I am sure you remember them from our adventure to Pride last year.

Anyway, the three uh, I mean four of us started our drive to San Francisco . . . but not before stretching out the ol' uterus and "smelling the flowers"

We settled into The Westin and waited for our other surro friend, Katie, to join us. When she arrived, we went out to eat and had a few drinks.
my apologies about "the rack" shot but we were trying to get one of Allie without me holding her up . . . drinks hit her pretty hard, especially since she doesn't drink very often and last Pride she was carrying a set of wonder twins, so it was a "Dry" Pride.

After dinner the five of us decided to head to Castro via Muni. Here's Allie at the Castro Station

and of course, whenever in Castro, you have to stop by Hot Cookie!

We walked around for awhile, taking in all the excitement and then, because we are four old, married, straight ladies, decided to head back to the hotel around 1:00 am. Of course, Allie wanted to party it up but I have the brain, so I decide where my legs take us. Here she is at Harvey Milk Plaza!

Saturday we just walked around the City and you'll never guess who surprised us at Brunch . . .
George was there too but he was taking this picture of Sanj, my surro girlies and me, so he's not pictured :( But he was there and we had the best brunch ever. It was great to visit with them and get some surro girlie time!

Sunday was PARADE time so we got our 2011 Pride shirts on, Allie ironed her rainbow cape and we picked our spot

After, we attended the Official San Francisco Pride VIP Party in the historic City Hall Rotunda. I'm not sure we'll attend this party again, as it left lots to be desired, but at least the "cover" was a donation.

Virgin Atlantic was a sponsor so Allie and I decided to do an impression of the two of us flying to LA for my Surrogacy Screening

Here we all are

And here's Allie in all her Glory!

We are discussing perhaps attending Pride in New York next year, or maybe Heather's home town of Chicago? We'll see, we have a year to plan (and we may have to work around a pregnancy or two or three (since Heather, Stacie and I are all thinking of third journeys).

Of course, if a Pride Parade decides to have Allie, Me, or any of my surro friends as one of their Grand Marshals, then I guess we'll go there.

Have uterus, will travel!

The Screening . . . Part 1- Physical

I flew down to LA this week for my physical and psychological screening for my third journey as a gestational surrogate. It's always great to go to Growing Generations, say Hi and meet the people I have been phoning and emailing for the last few months/years.

* Now before I go any further, I feel I have to mention that I will post about our Surro Trip to Pride this year, I promise. I just can only do so much at once and now it's a little hard to determine what I'll post here and what I need to save for my blog on The Next Family. I'm still working this all out, so I hope there isn't too much repetition in the next week or so. *

Now, back to the Screening. Right before I left for SF Pride my period started, so I had to schedule my screening appointment several days later. Even though I was going to be gone from Friday morning to Sunday evening, I thought it would be easier to travel once I got back versus Fourth of July Weekend, so I planned to fly out Monday afternoon. Now usually, I fly out, screen and fly back all in the same day, but boy is that exhausting. They'd usually have me on a 6:30 am flight, which means at the airport at 5:30, so I'd have to leave my house at 4:15, which means getting up around 3:30 am . . . . . and then having a full day and making it back to my door around 10:00 pm. Historically, this has worked because I hate to be gone overnight but lately, I have realized it's nice to get away and not stress the whole time I'm away from my own children.

Before Pride, my friend Stacie mentioned we should take Allie the Ally (my uterine plush) with us and take some fun photos like Flat Stanley (which we did and you'll see soon) . . . so I decided that I should take her along with me to the Screening too!

When I arrived in LA, I took the car to my past IPs house and hung out with my Surro Wonder Twins and their Daddy for awhile. They are getting so big and are getting more beautiful everyday. I'll post some pictures of them later, but for now hopefully this pic (about a month or so old) will do

After that I headed to the hotel before meeting some friends. Here is Allie relaxing at The Westin Pasadena, which by the way has THE BEST BEDS EVER!!!

And here I am with two other GG Surrogates that I've known online for months but finally got to meet in person
So after closing down the restaurant, I headed back to catch some zzzzzz's before the big day.

My physical screening began the next morning. When I arrived at Dr. Kolb's office The signage out front showed there was also a Cosmetic Surgery practice in the same building and I (and my saggy belly) started wondering if I was going into the right office.

After checking in I filled out all the new patient forms
and got my blood taken and I MEAN SEVERAL vials of blood . . . you know, to make sure I don't have HIV or other diseases that could be passed onto someone's fetus.

Afterwards, I met with Dr. Kolb in his office. This is usually where they will explain the whole process. However, being a 2 time Gestational Surrogate and Human Sexuality Instructor, he just summarized since I've "been there done that." I really liked Dr. Kolb. He was friendly and personable and I can see why Growing Generations likes to use him to help create families.

After I left them a quick urine specimen,
Dr. Kolb lead me to my exam room.
I undressed from the waist down for my pelvic exam (notice my lucky undies?) and Transvaginal ultrasound
and here's the picture of the instrument used for the ultrasound aka "the weenie wand"
Dr. Kolb let me know, after he filled my uterus with saline that it looked great. That my uterus looked smooth (which is what they like to see, especially after c-sections) and very inviting- okay, I made up that last part ;)

So now we wait to hear the results from thephysical screening, which they say will be about 7-10 days.

Next, I'll post about the Psychological Screening . . . or at least the voices in my head are telling me to.

Pride 2011 Post is up! CLICK HERE

*** Part 2 Psychological Screening HERE *****

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You Want a Baby. I've Got a Uterus. Let's Do This!

It's time for an update and I figure Father's Day (or rather Fathers' Day) is the perfect time for it.

The decision has been made. Much to the chagrin of a few people in my life, I will be proceeding with the process of a third journey. I know their only concerns are for my safety, and there's nothing wrong with that. They all seem to be supportive, they just don't want anything to happen to me. For the record, I totally understand that, I don't want anything to happen to me either.

However, just to point out there is a larger chance of me:

. . . getting killed in a car accident. Yet, I still drive a car every single day of my life- and with my kids!

. . . getting killed in a plane crash. However, I still fly various places to visit people- sometimes with my kids in tote!

Heck, my father's sport of choice when I was growing up was Skydiving. Not the safest activity to participate in and I remember being pretty freaked out about it at times (especially before my wedding when he started diving again) but he did it anyway because he enjoyed it even though he knew there were risks. Come to think of it, my dad has lost more friends skydiving than I have friends who have given birth. My count- zero . . . and when your friends are made up of women, including surrogates, we're talking a looooooot of birthing going on! :)

My OB has signed off on another journey, although he did say he'd rather me carry a singleton this next time instead of twins again and I agree! He said that I could do another twin pregnancy, whether it was a surrogacy or my own, but if I did, he'd watch me more closely. I take his opinion over everyone else since he has seen my uterus first hand and has my medical files. If he had said No, I would've shrugged and said, okay. But he didn't!

While, I know some may be bummed by my decision to proceed, they know I am an educated woman that makes informed decisions and that I am not feeling pressured by anything or anyone.

I am not being held against my will in a Criminal Surrogacy Ring!

I am not a woman from a third world country (possibly?) being exploited so a western couple can have a baby. (My feelings about Indian Surrogacy will have to wait for another post as I still don't have a concrete opinion about it- I'm all over the place).

I am not destitute. As I've stated many times before, my family is financially fine without the money from surrogacy. We bought our house before any of my journey's, we do just fine without it ;) A surrogate friend once shared they had a family member ask her, "If I give you the money would you not do this." She laughed and reminded her that she's not in it for the money, that like me, she's in it for the entire journey. The journey that ends with helping create a loving family.

SOOOOO . . . what are the next steps? Well, for me, even though this will be my third time with my same agency, I still have to go through the process of applying and being screened again.

In the next few weeks I hope to pass the Medical and Psychological Screening and of course the background check. I'm not too worried, although I do think my blood pressure will shoot up once they put the cuff on my arm, definitely "white coat syndrome".

I've already filled out the application with Growing Generations.

My Insurance situation has been straightend out.

I've signed and gathered all the paperwork (Surrogacy agreement, pay stubs, consent forms, etc.)

I've revised my Profile and Pictures. This part is my favorite to complete . . . introducing myself, sharing my family, and reminicing about my last two journeys. This is actually where the title of my blog came from. Someone asked what you should say on the profile and letter to the Intended Parents (how winded to get) and I joke, " I just say: You want a baby. I've got a uterus. Let's do this!" . . . I mean really, does it need to be more than that? Maybe a photo pointing to my pregnant belly with the subtitle, "ehhhhhhhhhh???!!!"


Just wanted to share an email from my dad:

I just spent about 30 minutes discussing with Mamaw your decision to take "the final journey", defending your position on surrogacy with a small discussion on gay rights and the need we all have for a willingness to "learn new tricks". As "an old dog", I may not always agree with you, but I am a seeker of truth and understanding and try not to allow the prejudices, bias and habitual thinking that we all struggle with to control my thoughts and actions. Your happiness and success, as defined by you, are and will always be at the top of my desires. I may not always voice my thoughts when they are conflicted, but know that I always support you even when I'm at odds with your methods or motivation.

I'm very proud of you, Kelly. You're an extremely intelligent and compassionate woman. I take pride in your independence even when it bumps up against my own.

I love you, Kel.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 Surro Shirts for Pride

I think we have a WINNER!!!!


Or Maybe Two?


Some of you have seen the magic that is The MuthaCrafter . . . I, like many other Surrogates and Moms have used her art as a profile picture on Facebook and even have a few things posted throughout my blog, based around her idea.

On her Facebook Fan page she explains the idea began in 2007, while she was a few months pregnant and selling her jewelry at a craft fair. She looked around and thought, "I'm the craftiest bitch here, I am making people!" (Doesn't she sound like someone I could hang out with?)

She sells her items on several different sites, including Etsy and Cafe Press.

My surro friend Stacie and I decided that we wanted to use a compalation of her ideas (and have her design them since it's her original artwork) for our PRIDE shirts this year. So we messaged her that we wanted her graphic, but with the rainbow circle we have seen her use in the past along with either, "Proud Surrogate" or "I make families. What's your Super Power" on it.


I'm going to probably get one of each . . . Proud Surrogate and The Super Power one. I find that one can never have enough customized clothing to show off ones' uterus.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Do you have a Surrogacy Blog?

Hey all! I know I follow quite a few blogs regarding Surrogacy but I wanted to give you the chance to leave your own blog address and description in the Comments Section.

Feel free to do a little intro (Surrogate? IPs? Former IPs that have graduated to Parenthood?) and include the link to your blog that discusses Surrogacy*.

*Blogs that are not about Surrogacy will be removed as I'd love for this Comments Section to be a resource for people who are looking for stories of personal surrogacies.

Can't wait to read your posts!

Your comment could look like this:

I'm Kelly a 2x GS (identical girls 11/28/08 and B/G twins 10/12/11)

and I blog about surrogacy for The Next Family