During our pre-match meeting with Matt & Kyle, Joe mentioned I’d need a current physical from my PCP’s office stating that I was, in their opinion, in tip-top shape and a candidate for surrogacy. I also had asked Matt & Kyle if they had a preference for me to wait to get my Covid booster during the pregnancy (I had been holding off in case they did). The next day, I got my booster at my workplace and called and scheduled my physical. My physician was booked out for over a year but I was able to get in with the PA the very next week. It was a pretty standard exam, vitals, height, weight, lungs, heart, etc. This was my first official weigh-in (surrogates have strict BMI requirements) but all my hard work at the gym had paid off and I was within range WITH wiggle room. The PA wrote me a note stating that I was in the office for an exam (which was normal), was in good health, listed my vitals, and that she saw no contraindication to me being a gestational carrier.
I was contacted by a nurse at the IP’s fertility clinic with instructions on how to set up a patient portal and got on it right away. In the portal, I had to complete a health history questionnaire (definitely was not the first, and wouldn’t be the last in this process, haha!). My next instructions were to contact the office on the first day of my cycle (OCP withdrawal bleeding) to schedule bloodwork and an ultrasound. Since I was on the pill, I knew exactly when that would be so I let them know, then reminded them when the cycle started. They told me that due to the NYE holiday, they wouldn’t be able to get me in right away and to “resume active pills” to “freeze the lining” at its current thickness.
When they were able to do my appt, I headed in for bloodwork and an ultrasound. I remember being caught off guard by the clinic’s decor. It’s like a cafe meets spa meets ski lodge; it doesn’t look like a doctor’s office at all! They started with bloodwork. Funny enough, I had just spent the weekend with the flu and was pretty dehydrated apparently because it took one RN, one LPN, 6 pokes, and 5 tubes of blood to get what they needed. Now, I’m typically a tricky stick, but 6 attempts was a new record (hasn’t been beaten since, thankfully)! The transvaginal U/S (first of many dates with “Wanda”) always makes me feel like I have to pee but it’s not too bad. They told me my uterus looked awesome and that my ovaries look like “perfect chocolate chip cookies”, which is what they were hoping for, I guess, haha.
Once my bloodwork results came back, the clinic called to let me know that my Vitamin D level was at 18.39 (of course it was, #winterinrochester) and so they wanted me to take a once weekly 50,000 IU supplement for the next 12 weeks. I was kicking myself that I hadn’t thought to ask my PCP to check this ahead of time, but you live and you learn!
I returned a couple of days later for the more in-depth ultrasound, the Saline Infusion Sonohysterography, or SIS, where they essentially turn your uterus into a water balloon with sterile saline squirted in just past the cervix to get a really good look at the entire organ. It was ever so slightly uncomfortable but nothing but good news, and I was able to call M&K to let them know that the “house inspection” was passed with flying colors! Later that night they sent me a photo of the sushi they got to celebrate this milestone and I almost died because Jon and I were out doing the same thing! Great minds, I tell ya…
About halfway through my 12-week course of “Super D”, I reached out to the clinic to inquire about medical clearance, just to be proactive and make sure all our ducks were in a row. The clinic got back to me with BRAND NEW INFORMATION that my Rubella titer had returned to a 14 when they like to see 15 and above, and so I would need an MMR booster. Oh, and by the way, you can’t get pregnant within a month of receiving one. “WOW, GOOD THING I CALLED,” I said. But, I digress. Luckily I work in a doctor’s office and I was able to get one just a few days later. They let me know to wait until the end of my 12-week course of Vitamin D to do the redraw and to request that via my PCP. Once the weekly 50,000 IU Rx pills were gone, I would remain on a daily 2,000 IU OTC.
I had to do another exam (very similar to the one at my PCP’s office) with a 3rd party office to get approved for life insurance. In New York state, “a person acting as the surrogate has the right to be provided a life insurance policy that takes effect before taking any medication or commencement of treatment to further embryo transfer, provides a minimum benefit of $750,000, or the maximum amount the person acting as surrogate qualifies for if less than $750,000, and has a term that extends throughout the expected pregnancy and for twelve months after the birth of the child, a stillbirth, a miscarriage resulting in termination of pregnancy, or termination of the pregnancy.” I passed that with flying colors as well! Then, my Vitamin D redraw came back at 41 and I was overjoyed! We were finally medically cleared! Anyway–
December 10th – Covid Booster
December 14th – Created Patient Portal Profile at Fertility Clinic
December 17th – Physical w/ PCP
December 29th – Cycle Day 1
January 5th – Bloodwork + Transvaginal U/S at Fertility Clinic
January 7th – SIS at Fertility Clinic + First Day of 50,000 IU Vit D
March 7th – MMR Booster
March 25th – Last Day of 50,000 IU Vit D
March 28th – Life Insurance Physical + Vit D Redraw
March 30th – Official Medical Clearance
April 7th – Official Life Insurance Approval
Stay tuned for my blog entry on the legal process :)