Monday, March 14, 2011

Clinic Options

I have never put a lot of thought into the importance of clinic choice until recently.  I am shocked at how much variation is out there in clinic protocol.  I have worked with clinics all over the country and yet to see a real consensus between them.  There are major differences in who they will work with or deem eligible, the medications used and the dosage and duration, the way the embryos are created and grown, when and how they are transferred, how much they charge, etc.  For some IPs these factors are not important to them, they just want a great clinic with a good track record.  The details of how, what, where and when are a non issue.  For most IPs, the clinic choice is a really important detail, they want to pick the right clinic.  I am often a part of this choice and responsible for providing information needed to help IPs choose the right clinic for them.  I would say that cost, location and success rates are often the most important factors for IPs when choosing a clinic.  I think it is important for clinics to be accommodating in their scheduling, especially when we are working with so many active people in the process.  It can very complex and challenging to schedule and manage the intended parent(s), their surrogate, and possibly and egg donor and/or sperm donor (all of them most likely located in different locations).  I have come to have wonderful working relationships with many nurse coordinators and think that has had a very positive outcome on many of our journeys.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I just returned from a trip visiting my 1st surro-baby, S.  She is going on 3 and 1/2 and is an amazing little girl.  I was really excited for this trip for a handful of reasons.  I haven't seen her in awhile and was curious about how she would perceive our unique relationship.  Would she know who I was, would she understand about the pregnancy, would she be comfortable with me?  All of my doubts vanished the moment she greeted me at the door with a jump-into-my arms hug.  The huge smile on her face melted my heart and made me remember the very first time I met her parents.  I am thankful that I have such a wonderful relationship with my first set of IPs.  I adore them both and really enjoy the time I get to spend with them.  Our relationship has always been very natural and rather easy to manage.

I know that many IPs and surrogates do not feel this way about their relationships and struggle with the "walking on eggshells" tension between them.  I really believe that if you have a great match and it is managed properly, all those uneasy feelings disappear.  I am headed to visit my 2nd surro-baby, D, in a few weeks and feel like a I hit the jackpot.  I have an amazing relationship with her and her parents, and I am so happy to be a part of their lives.  I know they are grateful for the gift that I have given them, but I feel grateful to them as well.  They chose to let me be part of their lives and their amazing journey.  That is a huge honor to me, and something that I do not take lightly.  I think many people misjudge how many surrogates feel about surrogacy and the emotional ties.  It is a huge decision, but it is a mutual one.  When the relationship is mutual, it is balanced and often very successful.

Spending the time with S and seeing how happy she is and how well adjusted gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment that is hard to describe.  I certainly do not take credit for the person who she is today, that is all because of her parents.  Yet...there is a part of me that takes a little claim because she grew inside me and I nurtured her for those 9+ months.  Spending time with her also asserted my stand that children understand surrogacy better then adults.  The story of her pregnancy and delivery do not seem unusual to her, she has no predetermined sense of what a family should or shouldn't be.  I think that more adults need to keep an open mind about surrogacy and remember that if a 3 year can understand it, so can they ;-)