Thursday, July 23, 2015

Moving Right Along

After taking her goodies home,
Tina texted me after noticing what the Hallmark bag said.
"How fitting! All that we are doing to create a little bundle of joy!"


For the last month or so, things had been moving along smoothly. The legal contract was almost finalized and we had a tentative date on the calendar for our transfer. Getting through legal wasn't as overwhelming as I'd anticipated, mainly due to our lawyer's unique perspective (except for maybe the size... it was over 60 pages... which we read through 3 times). Not only did she have experience working with Intended Parents and Surrogates, but she was an IP herself, a few years back. We felt comforted by the fact that she knew the ins and outs of this process really well and that put our minds at ease.
Seeing how things were going so well, Tina and I decided to take the kids to the beach. We packed up some snacks, brought tons of beach toys and had a really great day. The kids showed me how to dig a river for their toy boat to move down, the kids threw frisbees, we watched them chase a kite around the beach, and ate SAND-wiches. After that we stopped by their house because her daughter wanted to give me a tour and before I left she said, "Thank you!... For EVERYTHING." I think there was a lot of thankfulness being felt that day. 

A week or two later, the contracts had been reviewed and were ready to be notarized. I know that I am a grown up and should know what that is... but I don't think we'd ever had something notarized. At least I've never had to look for a notary and I didn't really know where to start. We were in a bit of a time crunch in order for our transfer date to stay the same. So, I asked Facebook if I knew anyone who could do it. I got a few responses, but the first person to get back to me was a friend I've known since Kindergarten. I sent her a message at almost midnight and explained briefly what it was for and right away she said she would do it. Problem solved! When we met up the next morning she was so excited for our news.  The notary process itself was super easy and we sent it in to our lawyer right away so that we could get the approval from our clinic. Later that day,  I received a message from my friend. Super sweet.

So now that everything was approved, the next step was to go to the clinic together for Tina's med protocol and get a finalized calendar. I had been thinking about this particular moment for a couple of years now. I'd been reading a blog (Our Misconception, which is my absolute favorite blog and source of inspiration, and helped me during the last couple of years when I started actually facing my infertility) and that's where I got this idea for a care package for Tina. I knew that if one day we got to this point, I would do all that I could to make sure that we could make the experience even just a little bit easier on our surro. We always knew this wasn't going to be an easy road, but I wanted us to help in any way we could. So I started collecting things over the last few months and was even gifted the same hanging organizer by a friend's aunt whom I've known forever. So incredibly nice!!! It was actually the same ThirtyOne Hanging Organizer that my blogger friend used and it was absolutely perfect!!! 

Here's what I included inside: bandaids, socks, a Lady Buzzy, syringes, sharps container, medications, alcohol wipes, dry erase markers, a Cycle Day calendar, See's chocolates, a heating pad for soothing the oil based shots, lavender/shea butter massage oil, Burt's Beez lip balm, prenatals, and two 3M hooks to hang up the organizer.  
Fun bandaids to keep things interesting and to distract from the pain.
It helped me with my injections and would make me less mad about being poked. 

They also serve as markers so you can remember where you did it last. 
Silly socks to keep feet warm during Dr. visits and after acupuncture.
This hilarious llama card and a Lady Buzzy to help relieve and distract from the pain of injections. 
We showed up to the clinic early that morning so we could finish setting it all up. Most of the stuff fit perfectly in here. There were some medications that didn't quite make it (there was a lot) so I put the rest in the Hallmark bag, but this was still perfect because she can hang it up and out of the way, and even use it after her surrogacy journey for other stuff.

I have really enjoyed putting this stuff together for her. It's a fun way to show our gratitude and focus on things I can do help. It keeps me looking forward so that we can keep moving right along


I was anxious to meet up for this appointment at the clinic, since I had not seen Tina since our initial "interview" almost 3 months before. Erika had started to build up a relationship with her and she would keep me updated and share text conversations with me, but I felt a bit out of the loop in terms of just knowing more about her and the family and her getting to know me and us (Erika and I) together. I was the only guy there along with Erika, Tina, and our agency coordinator. 

My experience in life has taught me that no matter where or who you are with, when there is a group meeting, roles must be determined to get things done. For example, in my own life I've played the organizer, writer, speaker, questioner, transitioner, Debbie Downer, class clown, optimist, etc.... For this meeting, I had to feel my way through the conversations of babies, tattoos, parenthood, life stories to figure out how I was needed and when to chime into a conversation.

The instructions on taking the shots were long and somewhat complicated for a first timer (I wasn't at the demonstration day for Erika's shots and relied on pictures and YouTube videos). I was sitting behind Tina and I could tell by her diligent notes that she wanted to make sure she did everything right. I did my best to ask questions that might clarify possible missteps. It did not help that the nurse giving the directions was having a few issues modeling the injections herself. Our coordinator, who has been a surogate FOUR times showed Tina how to inject herself by using the edge of a table for balance. It was good to have this experienced person in the room to help calm down some of the nerves. 

I believe that if I were Tina, and had been there by myself, without anyone else in the room, I would have had some major second thoughts about this whole thing. I hope she understands and utilizes the support that is there for her. We have told her many times and there are things in place to help her and the family during this  time, and that we are all here for her when she needs it. I had the feeling that this specific meeting was the point of no return for all of us. Not in a "danger! danger!" way, but more like in a reflective "look at all that has happened to get here" type of way.

I learned long ago that life, as much as we try to get our way, is going to play out how it's supposed to. This does not mean don't prepare and pray for the positive, but believe in the bigger picture. As of right now things are still going great. Should I be afraid of that? Should I question how well things are going? I don't know how to answer that, but I figure if WE just stay positive and see the beauty, kindness and generosity of this journey any outcome is a blessing. 

"We really want you to know how many people have been praying for you and have helped out with each little step. SO many people. We get texts and calls from people who are so excited for you and wanting to help play a part in bringing you to us!" 
---excerpt from a letter to our baby

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