Transfer was yesterday

Transfer was yesterday. I do everything I possibly can to ensure a positive outcome but still tend to be very negative. I think maybe this is a protective mechanism so I won’t be too disappointed if the embryo doesn’t continue growing. Last night I wanted to take it easy and not cook. I was trying to decide what to order out for. I wanted Chinese food but I had Chinese food after a transfer 8 years ago and that transfer was not successful. Clearly that was not an option so I opted for Vietnamese instead. All I can think about is hoping Vietnamese food is far enough from Chinese food to not jinx us! I should have just ordered Italian.

I was a little crampy yesterday evening, which is a good sign the embryo is snuggling in. But then again, maybe I just had to poop (I did). Feeling a little crampy now again as I write this. Fingers crossed….

Random food thoughts for transfer

Leading up to transfer, I have been trying to make sure my weight is in a good place to start a pregnancy. 140 was my goal because that was my weight before getting pregnant the last time. I met that goal by not indulging in sweets (marshmallows are my cryptonite), eating smaller portions, not eating between the times of 7 pm and 11 am, and limiting carbs. The week leading up to transfer, I cut out all sugar (except a mini Snickers I mindlessly popped in my mouth while babysitting) but upped my calorie intake. I want my body to know there is plenty of food so this is a good time to reproduce! I have no idea if this is scientific or not but it makes sense to me!

Why? What? Who?

By far, the most common question I am asked is why I wanted to become a carrier or what made me want to be a surrogate. I really have no idea what first made me think of surrogacy . It was almost 15 years ago? I have a vague recollection of watching some day time talk show tat much have been discussing surrogacy and it sparked something in me. I loved being pregnant but Stef and I didn’t want anymore of our own.

So in October of 2004 I started looking into surrogacy agencies. In June of 2005 I met my first intended parents, Germans living in Sweden, and had the transfer in October. On June 23, 2006, I delivered twins! It was an amazing experience! At the time, I didn’t think about doing it again. I don’t really know why but I didn’t look back into another surrogacy until 2010 or so.

I was matched through that same agency 2 more times and had 2 more transfers but our attempts at pregnancy failed (I am very happy to say – both eventually went on to have successful journeys with other carriers!). In 2011 I was matched with a Chinese couple doing a tandem journey, meaning they were using 2 carriers at the same time. After another failed transfer, we were finally pregnant with a little boy! The other carrier was pregnant with a girl. Ruby and I became great friends throughout the journey and still talk today. We gave birth two weeks apart – Ruby in California and me in Texas. This journey was a little scary for my husband because it ended in an emergency c-section due to heart decels in the baby. The staff did not keep him informed and he was left wondering if his wife was dead or alive for 45 minutes with no word from anyone. Understandably he said this journey was going to be the last. 😦 After some time of coming to terms of not carrying again, I sold all of my maternity and and pumping supplies. About a month later, after I sold or gave away EVERYTHING, Stef walk into the front door (to this day I have the visual in my head of the moment) and said, “If you want to do another surrogacy, I want to support you.” WHAT!?!! I mean, YAY!!! (but a month earlier would have been way more convenient!)

I started looking into another journey. But… I hit a roadblock. The agency I had used up to this point suddenly wasn’t as supportive as it had been previously and I started getting the a bad feeling. During my previous journey, I had made a lot of local GC friends. We met often for lunch and had a Facebook group we were all very active in. In this group was an attorney, Simi Denson. One thing led to another and Simi, Amanda Smith and Myself decided we would start our own agency and PrimaVita Surrogacy was born!

Through our new agency, I met my next Intended Parents, Moshe and Gal. They are an Israeli couple living in New York City. We had first time transfer success and, after 36 hours of labor, I delivered a baby boy for them in October of 2016. We are very close. I visit them at least once a year and sometimes as many as 3 times a year! I truly feel like we are family.

Shalev and me in Dec 2019

So, I had carried for German parents and Chinese parents and for dads in NYC. What next? Someone local. In 2018 I met my 4th intended parents from Pflugerville (suburb of Austin, about 20 minutes from my house). They had just had a son from a previous surrogacy and were ready to try for another! This journey had a lot of ups and downs. Stef was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of the pregnancy and I ended up with gestational diabetes. Not ideal, to say the least. I could not have asked for more perfect parents for this journey, though. They were 100% the support we needed at the time. I will forever be grateful to them for being the people they were in that highly stressful, emotional time. Despite my OBs constant concerns of a big baby, I delivered a 7lb, 11oz boy for them in December 2018.

Me and Smithy 2019

So this brings us to the story of Garret and Ryan. My job at PrimaVita is to be the first contact for intended parents. The second time I talked with them on the phone I knew they were the ones. Garret was so freaking excited and hopeful about the process and wanted to know ALL of the things. Ryan was so nice and very thankful for the information I was giving. Since then we have met Kara, Ryan’s cousin and the egg donor, and Garret’s parents. We have seen home videos of them as kids and gone camping together and I have beat them both in board games! 🙂 I am so excited to be on this journey with them and hope with all of my heart that I will be able to deliver their son or daughter to them – and make Lawanda and Bill grandparents. ❤

Pretty sure this pic is after I beat them at this game!

A Little About Tiffany

First, my stats: I am 43 years old and have been married to my husband, Stef, for almost 25 years. We have lived in a small town just East of Austin for 21 years. You might say we are the stable type. 🙂 We have 2 boys – Nikolai, 24 and Deklan, 21.

We raise dairy goats and have a goat milk soap business, Sweet Life Soap Company About 5 years ago I started a surrogacy agency with two friends (both surrogates and one also an ART attorney), PrimaVita Surrogacy.

I have been a gestational carrier 4 times resulting in 5 babies and 4 new families (more about that later). I met Ryan and Garret through PrimaVita and knew right away that they were my people for journey number 5! ❤

I can’t wait to get knocked up and share our journey with you!!

A Little About Us

Dear Reader,

Odds are favorable that you are a) a loved one or friend of ours who has been supportive of and curious about this whole surrogacy thing, b) a person interested in their own surrogacy process, in what role you best fit, c) someone for whatever your reasons came not in support of surrogacy (which I hope you can stick around and learn some things with us!) or d) got lost in an internet hole and found us totally by happenstance. Whatever brought you here, I am grateful for the time you have taken to read our blog.

What a wild, weird, and awesome ride this surrogacy thing has been (and continues to be).

Some super important basic info, to start us off:

Garret & I (Ryan, hello y’all!) are the Intended Parents (IP)s, Tiffany is our Gestational Carrier (GC), and Stef is Tiffany’s super rad Husband and we will either find or create a term for his role in our team of four. (I am not sure yet if there’s a widely known shorthand title of his own). Something else of importance is that my cousin Kara was our egg donor.

So to wrap Surrogacy 101 Lesson One, Kara’s Egg + Garret’s Sperm = Embryo. Tiffany is our reigning expert on the matters of the science behind the art, so please stick around for her posts, full of insider knowledge.

This blog will be a way for each of us to record our thoughts, feelings, reactions, questions, comments, joys, mental wanderings, aches, pains, fears, trepidations, and whatever else may come along the way. Also, we may have photos, videos, all kinds of things! You may also hear from a special guest blogger from our circle now and then, so that should be fun!

While my own postings will mostly follow in order as they happen, there may be a few reflections on events from earlier (pre-blog) that may be of relevance and interest, at least I think so.

Be well, y’all

Ryan