Thankfully, I was wrong. I found a husband (Mike) and I can be a mother. Also, the doctors confirmed that I was female--my dad was very relieved he didn't have to tell me I was a boy. And people think "the birds & the bees" is a difficult conversation.
Science is amazing. I have ovaries and produce eggs. Mike and I can make children (Little Allisons, we call them). All we needed was someone to carry our embryos.
Luckily, we have a long time family friend who is generous enough to be our Gestational Carrier. We have been working with her since early spring, in preparation for an embryo transfer.
Here's the plan.
In mid December the Carrier and I will begin taking hormone medication to align our cycles and delay ovulation. In early January we will begin another medication which grow eggs (for me) and builds the lining of the uterus (for her). Soon I'll be ready to have eggs removed, and she will be ready to receive them (and Mike has role in there too, somewhere). In mid January we will do the transfer, with Little Allison(s) showing up in October of 2014!
From here on out it's the luck of the draw. If we transfer one embryo there's only a 40% chance that it will grow into a Little Allison. If we transfer two (which is our plan) we have a 60% chance of one, a 35% chance both will take, and about a 1% chance one will split giving us triplets--YIKES!
So we have been working on the medical and legal loops that we must jump through to get a Little Allison. At the beginning of the process it looked as though the financials would be tight, but if we tightened our belts and cut out all unnecessary expenses we would be able to afford the very costly procedure of creating embryos and transferring them to our Carrier ($12,000 plus medication).
We made changes to our budget by cutting out eating out, going to events, and even tightened up our food budget by eating lots more quinoa, lentils, and beans and limiting our consumption of cheese, peanut butter, cereal, crackers and bread.
But, It's amazing at how many "unexpected" expenses come up during this process.
We already have about $7500 into this process ($1500 to an attorney to create an agreement - required by the fertility clinic; $2225 to the Fertility Clinic for a deposit; $2083 for a polyp removal on the uterus that we will be using; $920 for Mike and I to have blood-work done for the FDA; plus another couple hundred for miscellaneous ultrasounds we've had to have done and other blood tests). We have another $4000 saved up for the process, but we realize we are still so far away from having what we need to make Little Allison(s).
Our hope is that you will help us meet our goal of having Little Allison(s). The following is the list of the medical charges that we will still need to pay for. Any amount is helpful, no matter how big or small.
$99 - Estradiol testing (x2) - Measures Estrogen Levels in Carrier
$175 - Ultrasound (x2) - Measures the Uterus of Carrier
$274 - Abdominal Ultrasound - Checking for Egg Production
$559 - Cryopreservation of Embryos - Saves embryos in case the first transfer doesn't take (which it will *positive thoughts*)
$750 - Hormone Medication for the Carrier
$950 - Embryo Transfer to Carrier
$1004 - Intendent parent screening - FDA requirements
$1405 - Culture & Fertilization of Oocytes (eggs)
$1477 - Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection - When they inject the sperm directly into the Eggs (required for us because they are concerned about how many eggs I will be able to produce, this procedure increases the % of viable embryos)
$1610 - Follicle Puncture/Oocyte Retrieval - Getting the eggs out!
$1620 - Intended Parent Testing - FDA Requirement
$3000 - Attorney fee once the embryo(s) take to draw up adoption papers (in Michigan the birth mother is the legal mother, so we have to adopt our biological child from the birth mother).
$3500 - Hormone Medication to produce eggs - we are applying for a program that will pay either 10%, 50%, or 75% of this medication cost. We haven't heard about how much they will cover yet.
We are also going to need to provide medical and life insurance to our carrier, as well as pay for other expenses for her for carrying our child. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to get Little Allison(s), but would love your help to give us a foot up on the progress. We send you a Big THANK YOU in advance.
- Allison (and Mike) Lents
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