Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! {2014}

Well, it's that time again where we all reflect on the year and make changes for the next...

2013 has been pretty good to us. We had our last baby, Ethan in May. We've met tons of new friends and acquaintances, Brandon's job has been going well..nice and steady. I had the opportunity to work at Oregon's oldest massage school, East West College of the Healing Arts. We went to Utah for our very first doTERRA Convention, had an amazing time and we also got a little break from the little ones while my Mom took good care of them. I also started the process of becoming a gestational surrogate, which has been great so far... But then last month in November we found out my Mom has stage 3 ovarian cancer. Boo. Not the way we wanted to end the year. BUT on the bright side, she's here in Oregon with us and we're taking good care of her as she goes through her treatments. She's had two chemotherapy treatments and her next one is next Wednesday, January 8th. It should (hopefully) be her last one before her big surgery to remove the tumor and do a hysterectomy. It's all a journey and we've been staying strong and positive about it.

In 2014, I am letting go of any fears, obstacles and triumphs of 2013. It's time to move forward for a fresh new start. I am so excited to help two people become parents, to do some traveling to different retreats for our Sacred Pregnancy Portland business. And just be at peace with everything. No time for stress. As I say every year, "this next year is going to be even BETTER!" It's what WE make of it. And I am determined to make it the BEST one yet!

Cheers, blessings and LOVE,

Surro-Mama Angela

Monday, December 23, 2013

Thoughts and perspectives

I saw this blog post and loved it so I have to share here...


She is so spot on. And it's completely true. When I tell someone new that I'm going to be a gestational surrogate, the money is the first thing they mention. I truly don't understand why.

To be a surrogate it's far from easy. Not anyone can do it or even handle it. First you have to know that the baby(ies) that you are carrying are absolutely not yours. They were never yours and they won't be yours. You are carrying them so they can grow, thrive and be with their parents. Their very deserving parents.

This process is a journey. When I say journey, I mean that it's not something that happens quickly. There are a lot of steps that you have to go through. I am at the point of getting ready for my medical screening with Oregon Reproductive Medicine. This is where Brandon and I will have our testing done and where the embryo transfer will be. He will have his blood drawn to test for any STD's, diseases etc. I will undergo much more testing. I am actually super excited about it! I'm still in disbelief that I'm at this point in the process. It's finally becoming reality. Before it was a thought that I always knew I wanted to do eventually.

I hope that more people understand that it's not about the money. It's about helping two people have a family of their own. It's about giving them the gift of life, children. It's an absolute privilege to be part of this amazing journey. But like the lady in the blog post said, it's not easy. There are a lot of sacrifices that I am making. And I'm beyond happy to be doing this.

Tonight after work, I stopped by the pharmacy where the coordinator at ORM called in my prescription for birth control. I haven't been on birth control pills in YEARS so I completely forgot how to take them. I've always charted by cycles and we did natural family planning. I'm a little nervous to start them, I hope I don't become a hormonal mess haha! They are starting me on birth control to know when my cycle starts since it regulates your cycle. I will start this next month after my cycle.

Another awesome article I came across: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/11/portland-gay-couples-babies/2139463/

Time to celebrate Christmas tomorrow with my family. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! May you be blessed by those around you.

Surro-Mama Angela

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Beautiful article by Dr. Hesla & Dr. Bankowski from ORM

I came across this wonderful article by two doctors from ORM. Dr. Hesla will be our doctor and I look forward to meeting him in just a few short weeks!


Love these paragraphs from the article.... 

We are proud of our involvement in this rainbow family explosion, or the Gaybyboom, as it's been called. And we feel fortunate to practice medicine during a time in which medical technology provides an excellent chance of a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and an increasing global culture of acceptance and tolerance that acknowledges the familial rights of all couples, no matter whom they love.

Family is family. Love is love. We see this up close in the offices and hallways of our facilities. It's a constant reminder that the work we do goes beyond good science and medicine.
At the side of our brave and hopeful patients, we get to have a small role in making the world a better place for all our children -- from Berlin to Beijing, Prague to Perth -- a dream of a lifetime for most all of us. 

I have to admit. I am proud to be part of this rainbow family explosion!

Blessings & Love,

Surro-Mama Angela

Friday, December 20, 2013

Heard from ORM... Medical testing date is set!

Another productive morning in the surrogacy world... I heard back from Marissa at ORM and we talked about the process and a potential timeline. Although it's really hard to put a timeline in place at this point. Once I get through the medical screening, we'll have a better idea of what's going to happen. She is thinking March for the embryo transfer. But we'll see! (hopefully sooner!) Marissa sent a prescription over to our pharmacy for birth control pills. I'll need to start the BC after my next cycle which should be after my medical testing. Brandon will be joining me as well to do his blood work.

The date has been set for Monday, January 13th at 8:30am. 24 days from now! So exciting... I let the guys know that the date has been set. I love being able to talk to them everyday. I've been practicing my French, I have a LONG way to go still but it's been fun learning.

I also heard from Molly and they received our Christmas card. It was important for me to send NWSC a card because they have been so wonderful during this whole process. They are very much appreciated and because of them we are at this point of the process. She also gave me the number to the life insurance person to get that process started. That is also in the works now.

I got a referral for a Midwife with Kaiser from a fellow surro-mama friend. Once we get further along I'll give them a call to meet her in person. They just opened up a Kaiser very close to us in Hillsboro. Very excited about that! The Sunnyside location is a bit far from us. So it's nice that we have a location much closer for convenience. 

Time to make lunch for the kiddos! Until next time... oh yes, HAPPY FRIDAY!

Surro-Mama Angela

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

First draft...Final... Contract SIGNED!

Wow, all of a sudden things are really moving along now. My attorney received the first draft of the contract on Monday afternoon and sent it over to us to review. We set some time to chat over the phone today to review it together and go over any revisions we may want to add. She sent it over to our IF's attorney and I didn't think we would hear back for a couple of days....

But low and behold my attorney e-mailed me with good news, my IF's agreed with the revisions and we are signing the FINAL contract.

Wow. I can't believe we're already to this point. I was telling Brandon how just a few months ago this was a dream and now it's becoming reality. The further we get in this process, the more real it becomes and it truly feels good.

I've been taking my prenatal vitamins, drinking my red raspberry leaf tea. Which has AMAZING benefits for trying to conceive, pregnancy and more. Gearing up my uterus to grow and thrive babies! Some of my surro mama friends informed me that pineapple is an excellent fruit to eat before the embryo transfer and post transfer. There is an enzyme in the core of the pineapple called bromelain. It helps direct blood flow to the uterus and can also act as an anti-inflammatory, which could aid in IVF success. And one surro mama said drinking hot herbal tea before transfer and then super spicy Chinese/Thai food afterwards. The spices/hotness increase blood flow to uterus. I will do whatever I can to help the odds of the babies sticking! 

I stole Brandon's cup my IF's gifted him. Drinking my tea, yum!

I believe now I wait to hear from ORM on our medical screening... 

Surro-Mama Angela

Friday, December 13, 2013

We want to wish you all.... {Happy Holidays!}

Photo Credit: Urban Bella Designs | Photography and Creations by Nicole

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe & happy New Year!

We are SO excited for 2014, lots of amazing things to come! 


Surro-Mama Angela & Family

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Morning after our dinner date with our IF's!

How do I sum up our feelings after our wonderful meeting with our IF's last night? ....

I already knew that we loved them just from our 30 minute initial Skype meeting. But meeting them in person just solidified our feelings for them. They are SO deserving of having children of their own. I can see and feel the passion they have for having their own family.

I was so nervous but I kept reminding myself to just be myself. And that's what I did.

We arrived at their apartment that they've been staying at this week in Portland. They invited us in for a quick tour of their temporary space. The view was gorgeous and it was perfect for them while visiting here. They sweetly gifted us with gifts from Paris and for our children as well.

We took them to Pittock Mansion because the view is incredible there. Of course it was freezing, but well worth it! Then we made our way to The Melting Pot. We initially had dinner plans elsewhere but at the last minute Brandon and I thought The Melting Pot would be a fun interactive experience for us to chat and get to know one another.

We loved learning about the guys and how they live in Paris. We are so intrigued with their culture. We are a bit jealous too! We would love to go visit them in 2015 after the babies are born. It would be an incredible experience. It would finally be the 'honeymoon' that we never got, PLUS to have wonderful company as well.

Dinner was entertaining! They talked about how our menus are always pages and books long while in Paris, you don't have as many options. (which makes things a bit easier) It took us awhile to decide on what we wanted and we were just laughing about all the options the waiter was giving us. And how he made it sound so complicated. But overall, we made it through our appetizer, salad, dinner and dessert with success! The guys (including Brandon) shared a bottle of local wine from Willamette Valley.

We all forgot to take pictures at the restaurant so as we were walking to the car in the parking garage we decided to take some. We were laughing so hard about the background. Out of all places to take photos we did it in the parking garage-haha! Better there than never.

They are deciding on an egg donor now and will decide soon. They were given 40 egg donors to choose from with ORM. We are going to be doing a frozen cycle. And will be transferring one embryo from each father. This 'dream' is finally coming to reality slowly but surely. It's hard to believe we're even at this point. I'm excited, nervous, anxious and just so happy to be going through this amazing journey with them.

Brandon and I with our IF's

Me and my IF's
Elora LOVED her gift from them!

We have a whole new reason to love Paris!

The girls loved the gifts they received from them.

Even little Ethan LOVED his Sophie!

She was so happy to wake up and open a gift!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Contract movement & first contact with ORM!

This morning has been a productive morning in my surrogacy world! I got an initial contact e-mail from Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM) from the Coordinator's assistant, Nikki that I will be working with. The Coordinator is Marissa. I had to complete a Gynecological Questionnaire for them. I filled it out and scanned & e-mailed it back right away.

Then I received a call from Tabitha from NWSC regarding the first draft of our contract. She will be sending it over to the guys today to review. She connected me with an attorney, Marlene Findling who has been working with IP's and surrogates with NWSC for awhile now. I called her and was able to speak with her right away. She's awesome! Very friendly, understanding and compassionate. Exactly what I had hoped for!

Now we just wait to receive the contract back from the guys attorney and move forward from there.

Tomorrow is the big day! We get to meet the guys in person. Super exciting!

Friday, December 6, 2013

They are on their way to Portland!

I am beyond thrilled that our IF's (intended fathers) are Portland bound! They will be in Portland for almost a week. We are so excited to meet them in person. I added them on Facebook the other day, hoping they didn't mind! I've been chatting with them here and there which is how I know they are on their way here. We have a dinner date with them next Wednesday evening. Location to be determined!

Tonight after work, Brandon and I took the kiddos to the mall to walk around. I did a little bit of shopping and bought our IF's some Oregon goodies! I'm so excited to put it all together. I hope they love it.

We had our first snow fall today! So beautiful. Everyone was freaking out and traffic was a nightmare.

This is the view from our garage this morning

Will keep you updated! I hope we can have a better timeline of everything soon. Still waiting on starting the contract process with NWSC. Hopefully I'll hear something soon!

Until next time....

Surro-Mama Angela