Thursday, June 9, 2011

Surrogacy Diaries...7 Testing, Testing, Testing

Alright!!! We are finally starting to get the ball rolling!! Last week was 15 tubes of blood drawn, a urine test, and reviewing the first copy of the contract. This week, I got to speak with my IPs, and today Tyler and I had a phone consult with a psychologist to profile us as to whether or not we are fit for this process.

Speaking with my IPs went better than imagined, and was never once awkward. My IF, "C" was very talkative and outgoing. He made it clear that he wanted nothing but the best for me while I was pregnant. He joked that if I needed something moved, instead of heavy lifting, he would drive down and do it for me haha. His Chinese accent was noticeable, but I thought it was cute! My IM showed up from work early so I got to speak with her a bit as well, although she has a little less english experience than "C" she tried as best she could. They were just so sweet! I kept thinking in my head "awww" haha. At one point we decided that we should all meet possibly before the transfer, and IM said "yah, we can stay for a few...months..?" and I hesitated a little until I realized she meant hours during the day , and we all decided to do a meetup soon with lunch and maybe a day at the park to relax.

Then today we had a phone call from the psychologist scheduled for noon. we were getting ready to leave the house and i had initially missed the call....I forgot it was Thursday already!! I immediately called her back and we talked on the way to my grandparents, even though our small old car is fairly noisy and I had to repeat myself several times. Then my phone died 20 minutes into it but we luckily reached our destination in time for me to call back and finish it off. DESPITE THAT haha, we had a GREAT phone consult. She asked for both of us to share our family history, places or born/raising etc. How close we were with our families, what they thought, how we both felt, if we had any reservations. Stuff like that. But when I felt weird with one of my answers, she said "no. not weird...just sounds like a great surrogate mother to me." which I am not gonna lie, it made me feel good :) I know i havent done anything yet, but it was encouraging :)

She was so friendly and pleasant and I almost enjoyed talking about the things she asked. It was fun! I swear, people probably think I am nuts for how excited I am to be questioned by these ppl, and get my body poked and prodded, and take meds. The whole process is just so amazing and fascinating, that I am just soaking up every minute. I know it prolly wont always be this smooth or easy...but let me tell you, I am enjoying the ride :o)

Waiting to hear what the next step is, since everytime i ask what it will be, they say something i have already taken care of. my lawyer said she was shocked at how on top of things i am, and that its making it so much easier on everyone....i agree! it is making things less stressful for me, when i just knock things off the list!

Talk soon! :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

PGD- Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

I have MANY questions (not to mention opinions) thrown at me regarding this sensitive topic, since many of you are aware my IP's will be doing this. So I am going to bring information to you as well as my thoughts and perspective, with the hopes that you will gain a bit of insight and not be so quick to judge :)

PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) Definition: "Preimplantation genetic testing is a technique used to identify genetic defects in embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) before pregnancy. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) refers specifically to when one or both genetic parents has a known genetic abnormality and testing is performed on an embryo to determine if it also carries a genetic abnormality"-(Molina B Dayal, MD, MPH)  

It can also technically be used to create a particular gender embryo to what the media has dubbed "designer babies" - where people use the method to achieve special characteristics they want to bring out in their to-be child.

For some, this method is immoral, or unethical. In my IP's doesn't matter. it is cells from their body after all..and I don't feel I have a say in the matter. And frankly, if it bothered me, I wouldn't be a surro for them. But for some reason- I am able to have an open mind about it. This coming from a person who is strongly against any abortion for any reason. 

In this specific case, the IPs are chinese, and not only are they using PGD to ensure that only healthy embryos are implanted, they would also like to have male children. I cannot say for sure that their culture is fueling their decision, but even if it thoughts are that if I am going to be a surrogate for someone, my DNA or not, I would want to do it only for parents that can provide a safe and loving environment. In certain cultures it would be much easier to be a boy. And even safer. So if I know that the male baby I will be carrying is going to be treated with respect and dignity, that will make me have peace. And would RATHER that than giving birth to one or more females that dont get the treatment they should. See my point?

Another thing people are quick to judge about is the choosing gender part...but who is to say they arent just using PGD as a reassurance tool, and only because they CAN- they choose their preferred gender. And to address those that are saying it isnt following the bible. Personally, I believe my christian God created the science and guided the Dr's hands to be able to do this for a reason. These people have been through so much heartache already...why not spare a little agony and give them the best chance at having the child they dreamt of?


  •  In most cases, results are available within 24 hours. 
  • During the actual process, PGD embryos may fail, however, after the process is performed there won't be any after effects on the embryo.
  • *some* schools of thought suggest that it can increase the chance of the embryo splitting into identical twins. 
  • PGD can raise likelihood of implantation do to the confirmation chromosomal normality.
  • PGD may or may not reduce the quality of an embryo. It highly depends on the skill of the person performing the procedure. Rarely does it take embryo quality down more than one level.
  • PGD has more accurate ways of telling embryo quality. Many times "excellent" embryo quality can actually only be poor or fair- b/c unless you perform PGD, you won't know any of the defects it may have...including that of not being able to properly implant.
  • PGD can reduce likelihood of needing to abort since you will already know the fetus's general "health".

All of that being said I do feel there can be times where PGD is not necessary nor appropriate. I hope some of this helped you understand a little about PGD, or at least open your mind to the procedure :o)