• biotexcom,  infertility,  ivf,  surrogacy,  travel

    Preparing US Citizenship Documents for Surrogacy in Ukraine

    Hello folks, here’s a quick update on what’s we’ve been up to! We have been busy getting the house ready (the nursery is STILL in progress, haha), and preparing for our trip, which is only about a week away! One of the more important tasks for preparation is to make sure you have all of your documents ready, so that the US Citizenship process is smooth and quick. Everyone will tell you that US folks are lucky, because our process is very quick, compared to our European counterparts. Most Euro folks need to stay about 3 – 4 months with court proceedings to get your country to accept your baby for citizenship, so we are thankful that our trip will hopefully be only around 4 – 6 weeks. However, because we are having twins and we don’t really know when they come, we are prepared and ready to go at any time!

    PDF LINK

    This is the checklist that Biotexcom will provide you to collect before you head over. The passports and marriage certificate is easy – we had all of those already. However, the apostilization can be tricky. When I got married to K, I changed my name, but the marriage certificate doesn’t indicate the name change. So we had to get a letter written by an attorney stating how my name had changed, and then get it notarized. We were so fortunate to have one of K’s old high school students (who is now a practicing lawyer) hook us up with the letter and notarization – we were so grateful! Then K took the document to Indianapolis to get it apostilled (sp?) by the Secretary of State. Apostilization is basically just getting something notarized on an international level, so that other governments (in our case, Ukraine) will accept legal documents that you present. K was able to finish all of this in a day, so it wasn’t a huge ordeal, although I’m not quite sure how much prep-work was involved in doing this.

    The only concern that we have is that since I was naturalized in the US in my 20’s, that Ukraine officials might request my birth certificate from Korea, which I don’t have. We sent off everything to Biotexcom, and are now awaiting confirmation of whether this is satisfactory, or whether we need to have my naturalization certificate apostilled, but since it’s at the federal level, we’re hoping this is okay, as it is pretty US official. We’ll keep you posted on what happens!

    On another note, is anyone interested in having a webinar where I can answer your questions that you might have? If so, please leave a comment or email me directly at americansurrogacyinukraine@gmail.com – and hopefully we can get something set up in the next two weeks!

  • biotexcom,  ivf,  surrogacy,  travel

    30 Week Update

    Hello lovely folks!

    Can you believe we’re already in February?! Months ago, I would have thought February is ages away – turns out, it goes faster than you think! This time, we skyped with Yuliya and her growing belly.is.HUGE. All I could think was, I hope that she doesn’t get too many battle scars! She seemed very happy and healthy, and told us the boys have been keeping her up at night, where sometimes, she wakes up because they kick her! I smirked to myself when I heard that, because both K and I are total night owls – so not surprised that the boys get their main source of energy around dawn!

    One thing that was a big surprise to us was that Yuliya had actually been staying in Kiev already since Christmas, the day we missed Skyping with her. We had not been informed that she had already moved to the maternity house, but were glad to hear it, just so she can be well monitored and taken care of. We asked if it was too hard because of her 5 year-old son, who lives 16 hours away. She told us that they had already been there to visit, so that made me feel better. I made a mental note to definitely buy gifts for Yuliya, her son, and her mother, who has been watching over Yuliya throughout this whole process. I’m not sure what I will get them right now, but I’ll keep you posted! If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment on this post.

    Another funny bit is that when I turned on my Skype on my laptop to get ready, once logged in, I saw three messages from Yaryna on Christmas, saying that Yuliya had to leave her meeting early and that Skyping was not possible for this reason. I was irked because I don’t really use Skype on my phone, so I never got those messages, and wish that Biotexcom could have made it a point to at least let me know through email that Yuliya had been moved there, and that there were some scheduling difficulties. The main issue that we’ve had with Biotexcom is communication, and I realize more and more that cultural differences play into it quite a bit. I also wondered that if she had been there since Christmas, we could have Skyped with her as much as we’d like, no? But at this point, we’re just focused on our mission to get the babies here ASAP.

    Soooooo right after getting off the phone with Yuliya, we went right onto our laptops and bought our tickets to Kiev! Since the boys are still measuring a week ahead, and Yuliya herself said she feels like she will have them in 3 – 4 weeks, I’m just nervous about not getting there in time! We are flying out March 1st, and our estimated twins due date puts us around 3/14, even though the official due date is 4/14, since twins tend to come in a month early. We asked Anna for advice on when to buy, and she seemed to think that our plan was fine, and told us they would give us updates right away if anything changes. We were able to get round trip tickets for around $800 round trip, which was way better than our original trip, so that’s been great! Do keep in mind that we are flying out of Chicago instead of Indianapolis, because there were cheaper and less layovers when we chose major airports. We chose with our budget in mind, but also with flight time, as I wanted to get the shortest trip span available, since being on a plane with babies can be scary. According to our tickets, our trips back and forth are around 12 hours, which is much better than the 15 hours that is the norm. However, since we’re flying into Chicago, and have a 3 hour car ride home, I’m not sure what our plan is there – perhaps we should spend the night at a hotel and drive down tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted either way!

    Here are the reports, videos, and heartbeat scans (no audio – sorry!). You’ll be seeing a lot more posts from me, since now we’re much closer to leaving. Thank you so much for your continued support – and remember, if you have any questions, you can always comment on the post or send me a message :)!

    Heartbeat Baby A from ASIU on Vimeo.

  • biotexcom,  ivf,  surrogacy

    The Call

    Everyone has been asking us how our two week wait has gone this time, and I have to be honest, it has been the best two week wait ever! The reasons for this are:

    1. I’m not stressed out about being careful about everything I eat or do
    2. No pressure on my body to do this “right”
    3. No feverish early testing with the typical ups and downs
    4. No stressing about beta levels not doubling
    5. Distracted because we are moving to Indiana at the end of August
    6. Distracted because I am interviewing for jobs in Indiana, which require a presentation
    7. Distracted due to sorting through our mess, packing boxes, and having people constantly over to see our apartment

    As you might imagine, with all of this going on, it’s been easy to be distracted and stressed about other things, and so the time flew by. Because we did our transfer on July 22nd, we also thought that our surrogate would do her pregnancy on August 5th, so we were expecting something by Saturday night or Monday morning at the latest. But to our surprise, Yaryna called us early morning Friday to share that:

    OUR SURROGATE IS PREGNANT, WITH A BETA OF 1116!!!

    So, the thoughts that are running through my head:

    1. Ohmygod, did this really work?!?! This is totally surreal and UNBELIEVABLE
    2. Okay now, don’t get too excited, because we’ve miscarried in weeks 6 – 9, and it’s only week 4…
    3. But then again, the embryos are in a 20 year-old uterus, compared to my ancient 37 year-old hostile womb environment
    4. Wow, the beta for 13dp5dt is right on the mark for twins, according to http://www.betabase.info! Could it be that our dreams are coming true?! INSANE
    5. Okay now, don’t get too excited, because we’ve miscarried in weeks 6 – 9, and it’s only week 4…

    So that’s been pretty much on an endless repeat in my head when I think about it surrogacy, while K, the realist between us, is probably patiently only focused on #2. Obviously, that is the best way to go, to be hesitant to get too happy, because we’ve been there 3 times before, and were absolutely crushed when we lost them. Plus, I’m still pretty stressed about interviewing and moving, so it has been easy to put things on the back burner. The next time we’ll hear from Biotex is on August 29th, because they are closed from the 14th – the 27th. Because of the break, I’m expecting them to have a huge number of people back to do ultrasounds and check-ups and such, so giving them until late Tuesday or early Wednesday to get back to us. Although they usually do the first ultrasound on week 6, because of the break, I’m estimating that our surro will be 7w+4d, which isn’t a bad thing in my mind. The later, the more certain we can feel! Incidentally, August 29th is also the day we are moving and leaving Boston, so things will be a bit crazy! But definitely will keep everyone posted on how things go.

  • biotexcom,  ivf

    Grapefruit ovaries, AKA Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome

    It’s been a bit since I’ve last posted, and unfortunately, the reason for this is because I was actually under house arre – ahem, was being hospitalized at the Biotexcom clinic for about three days! After extraction day on Tuesday, I was back at the hotel, chatting it up and talking to my husband about a variety things, including ranting about how Ukrainian pain meds were absolutely worthless. The days following, though, told a different story – they were actually REALLY good, because I was having all of these text conversations with different people, and I wasn’t even aware that I wasn’t making much sense! I went through my phone and Macbook to see what the damage was, and thankfully, I hadn’t said anything offensive or talked to someone outside of my norm. But it was hilarious that I had been complaining to K about XYZ, and the actual opposite had been true! Our UK friends even went out to get me some additional pain meds because apparently I’d been moaning about it, in addition to buying me an orchid (YAY – I LOVE THEM), and my friend even brought me flowers which were beautiful!

    We would have loved to stay at the hotel and enjoy the next week or so as a true vacation that was free from anything to do with a baby. But as usual, the good ole PCOS monster reared his ugly head, and like clockwork, on day two after extraction day, I was feeling unbelievably terrible. My stomach, especially the upper part, was swollen so badly that I looked like I was 6 months pregnant. This has happened to me twice before during my treatments, so nothing new – but I do believe I was pretty bad off at this point, with sleeping all the time, refusing to eat (could this be possible!?), and being in a lot of pain. We both had hoped that the swelling would decline, thinking that using the Lupron trigger would have helped shut down some of the hormones, but as time passed, I was progressively getting worse, and soon I was back at the clinic being examined by our doctor. After taking one look at my ultrasound, she declared that I would have to stay at the clinic for the next three days to get proper treatment so my swelling would go down. Good thing about this was that there wasn’t any extra fluid that needed to be drained, which can happen at times, but that just meant that my ovaries were THAT angry, and about the size of grapefruits. So in went my blood spigot, and my next three days were spent sleeping in a cot below, while getting all sorts of IV’s, intramuscular shots, and suppositories!

    Because I went back in to the clinic on Thursday, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to leave until Saturday, which I was bummed about at first. I had dreamed of being a lazy worm with K at the pool eating ice cream and working on my tan, but instead, I was under the watchful eyes of the nurses 24/7, which is actually a great and wonderful thing, as they check up on you all the time and ask if you’re okay. But the stress of being there just amped up my insomnia, and I was up at all hours of the night, eyes bleary from watching an endless stream of Netflix in order to entertain myself.

    For food, since they usually don’t serve any at the clinic, they worked out a plan so that a driver would bring me a packaged meal from the hotel – and it was stinking delicious, so I looked forward to this for sure. Although I usually try to avoid heavy starches and carbs, there was one day where I had potatoes something or the other for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and so I said to heck with it, and I enjoyed every morsel of potato goodness! Mashed potatoes, crispy sliced potatoes, and potatoes au gratin – I was in potato heaven. There’s nothing that goes better with the main entree of feeling sorry for yourself as a nice steaming helping of potatoes, that you were “forced” to eat, since that’s what was given to you. I wondered if at the end of it all, I would be able to tell if that swelling was due to OHSS or potatoes, but it was worth every bite, I’m telling you!

    Indeed, as with the silver potato lining that came with the OHSS, there was also another HUGE benefit to being at the hospital that Saturday as well – because my surrogate would be there this morning, getting ready for our embryo transfer! I was told that since I would already be there, that I would get to meet her and talk with her. This got me BEYOND excited – because this whole spiel was finally starting to become reality! My next post will be all about our meeting and what details I could get – so stay tuned :)!

  • biotexcom,  eggretrieval,  ivf,  surrogacy

    Extraction Day

    This post was written by my husband, as I am in recovery mode and making mostly gibberish and absolutely no sense. He’s quite the poet.

    Extract Day: Eggs Galore and Pain in Store
    After all of the drugs, extraction day is here,
    If we make it through this day, then we’ll be in the clear.
    Full of eggs and pain, we stumbled in there,
    The clinic was busy, there was barely a chair.
    Off to the extraction, with the hope of relief,
    But all that we found was striving and grief.
    With the extraction complete, the pain soon unfurled,
    There wasn’t enough pain meds in all of the world.
    Now, what was one day of pain has turned into two,
    And just getting by is all we can do.
    But the extraction is done and there’s good news in the mix,
    We got not one egg or two, but we got twenty six.

  • biotexcom,  embryo grading report,  ivf,  surrogacy

    Here’s the Big Day!

    And today is the big day! As you can tell, I have not been able to sleep a wink, because i’m so excied and nervous. For most folks this is just a standard proecured with little downtime, but because I am a high responder and carry so many eggs, the pain levels can easily go thtough the roof, along with naseau and vomiting, my two favorite things! I hope that all thins will go smoothly, and will definilty be back to document the whole process for those of you who were thinking about something pursuing parenthood the same way. Stay tuned in the meantime 🙂

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