Like Dash on this water, we feel like we've been moving a million miles a minute so far.
The last few weeks have been dash after dash around unknown corners with speed unimaginable, stretching our incredible expectations to the max.
We had our first fertility clinic appointment just a couple of weeks ago. It was a very quick meeting resulting in several more meetings in the following days. Our fertility doctor seemed quite impressed with how much we had already figured out: a gestational carrier (surrogate) and that we wanted to use donated embryos. These two parts truly define our adventure.
You might be asking: why donated embryos? Why not donated eggs?
Well, we always planned adoption as the route for how we might grow our family. This would of course mean that our child would not be biologically related to us. For much of the LGBT community, we often get to choose so many parts of our family that having our child genetically related is just not an important part of our journey. Also embryos can be a faster and more economical road to venture. Therefore, we decided on donated embryos. The goal for our future child is simply to be healthy.
Edna Mode....... and guest.
Our fertility clinic, CRM, has been wonderful to work with. Any time we reach out, we get our questions answered right away: all the information up front, timelines, cost estimates, you name it. As soon as anything happens, we get updates immediately. Our GC (gestational carrier) sent in her medical records and after a thorough review from our doctor she has been cleared to move onto the screening process.
This next step is easily the most important step. We know our GC has had a child already, but part of protocol sets out a series of tests to screen for to ensure everything will run smoothly. Her first appointment is a clearance from her regular OB/GYN, scheduled for early June. Following that, we will enter some psychological counseling for us and her and potentially together to help make us all more mentally prepared for this process.
"Honey, where is my super suit?"
Meanwhile, full steam ahead on our search for embryos. Contrary to popular belief, you can't just find them in the forest with a truffle pig (inside joke, someday you might be in on it). Our fertility clinic recommended an embryo bank based in Colorado that they have worked with many times and have seen excellent results. We met with their intake team to set up our profile, evaluate our wants and needs, and complete our background checks. Once those came back as approved, our clinic would start matching us up. Normal wait times for intended parents is three to seven months.
We expected a wait, yet as everything else has gone, we received our first potential match! We know. Super fast! Sean's background check came back only a few hours before they sent us the profile.
We knew that this possible match could be coming soon since our fertility clinic mentioned it at our first meeting. These embryos are from a gay male couple that lives in the Pacific Northwest. They had a lot of extra embryos after having their son four years ago, 14 to be exact. After deciding to donate the rest, the donors requested another gay male couple receive at least one batch.
"Hey! No Force Fields!"
It was overwhelming how much information we received in the best way possible. Medical history, genetic testing of both the egg donor and genetic father, and pictures of the couple, the egg donor and their four-year-old son.
Here comes the turn, brace for it!
Our embryo bank split those 14 embryos into 5 batches. This means that if we were given these two embryos, our child(ren) would have at a minimum 5 full genetic siblings. As we explored what these embryos might mean for our family we had to come to terms with the fact that we might have open communication with 5 other families who would have a child related to our own.
In reviewing their profile, we discussed our willingness to have open communication with the donor family and the other recipient families as this was a requirement on their end. It's not a piece we had really thought through. We realized we too would want an open communication for our child with their other biological siblings when they (and we) were ready.
After accepting their profile and answering their questions, the company sent over our profile to the donor couple. If they liked what they see (which, let's be honest here, what's not to love?!) along with our answers to their questions, they would request a meeting. Think of it like a 30 minute speed date between the donor couple and the intended parents. You get to ask questions about their family, medical history, and whatever is most important to get to know this family along with beginning discussions on how we might expect interaction would happen between our families. We both had to decide if these were people we would want to have in your life for the rest of your life, and be half of the DNA our child would be built from.
“You come in one hour, darling. I insist, okay? Okay. Goodbye.”
The donor couple looked at our profile and within 12 hours of us passing it along they decided they wanted to meet us. We met later that evening and we had 45 minutes of wonderful conversation.
After this meeting we needed some time to think. Is this the correct match for us? Should we look at other profiles before saying yes? What might other profiles have that this profile doesn't have? Is this moving too fast? After many conversations with family and with the CEO of our embryo bank, we made our decision: YES.
Yes. We are going to take those embryos. You heard me. WE SAID YES. What an AMAZING feeling it is to know that we found a wonderful match. We submitted our profiles and found a match in six days.
This whole "let's have a baby through a gestational carrier" situation has been only been 1 month since we got to see our doctor at the fertility clinic. In that one month, we have moved through so many hoops and have had many blessings since then. This is incredibly real now. And totally wicked.