Thursday, April 26, 2012

how he feels.

I have gotten a lot of questions as to how my husband feels about everything. I honestly think it is the first thing that most people ask me when I first talk to them about the surrogacy. Unfortunately, he doesn't feel exactly the way I would like for him to feel.
Always making faces!
This is my husband, Carlos. He is amazing and so supportive of pretty much anything I was to do. When it comes to the surrogacy, nothing has changed. He feels it is something that is my decision to make, and that if I feel so inclined to do this, then I can do it! I am so thankful that he is willing to allow me follow my heart. He always states how he feels, and he is rarely a very "sensitive" person, but he always leaves it open for me to make the ultimate decision on my own.
Finally home from Afghanistan!

You may think this is great. He's supportive, so what is the big deal? Well, he really doesn't like the idea of me carrying someone else's baby. He thinks it is strange. He also feels some things should just be left alone. He has been throwing around the phrase "natural selection" a lot lately.
Marine Corps Ball

While I can see where he is coming from with this, I also feel that if God didn't want people to be able to have a baby any way other than the natural way, no one would have discovered in vitro! He wouldn't have allowed surrogacy to happen in the first place. Medical technology, well all technology really, has opened up SO many opportunities for people to do things that they never would have thought would be possible. If it weren't for all the advances that have been made, Ali probably would not have even known how unsafe it is for her to carry a child. Now, her life was saved by finding that out before it was too late, and the technology available allows her eggs to be removed and fertilized in a dish and put into my pod. Personally, I think that is pretty freaking awesome! I also feel that if Ali were not meant to have her own baby, she wouldn't have "great ovaries!"
So there Carlos, I love you, but I think you're wrong! I pray that throughout this process, you will truly realize what an amazing thing we are doing here! Hopefully, you'll get more out of it than just the humor in being able to say "it's not even my baby!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Some of you may be wondering why we are still in the early phases if the decision on surrogacy was made last year. All I can say is logistics. It seriously takes SO much to make this thing happen. Pregnancy is supposed to be easy, but I guess when you are using someone else, it becomes a whole lot more difficult. The process is pretty grueling.

First of all, you have all the legal business. Do we use an agency or just do this on our own? The cost of surrogacy through an agency is insanely expensive, and for any of you familiar with a military paycheck, you know that isn't an option. Plus, I didn't decide to do this for the money, I'm doing it so Ali can have a baby! The plus side to using an agency would have been that contracts and everything would have been taken care of by them, and we just would have had to approve them! No agency means we are completely on our own. Ali and I have gotten together many times, looked over other contracts, and figured out the basics of what we both want. When I had my kids, I never really thought about all the things that could happen to ME. Contracts include clauses for life insurance and all sorts of things to cover all the things that can happen to a woman if she is pregnant. Man, why didn't I think of this stuff when I had my own kids?? The legal parts are just the tiny tips of the ice burg. And, it is currently the thing we are waiting to get worked out. We (well Ali & Brian) have to find a lawyer familiar with California surrogacy laws to ensure that paternity paperwork and other things are filed at the proper times to ensure that Ali and Brian are on the birth certificate, not me!

Second, as military families, we have to consider timing. Brian is already scheduled for another deployment. So, they had to decide if it was better to try to get pregnant right away, knowing Brian would deploy shortly after the birth, or wait to get pregnant until right before Brian leaves and hopefully he'll be back in time for the birth. Ali and Brian decided on the latter option, and I definitely don't blame them. We also had to look into how long Carlos and Brian will remain stationed at Camp Pendleton. We want to make sure we are all here for the duration of the pregnancy so Ali and Brian don't have to miss a thing! That being said, we will be waiting until late this year to do the transfer.

Third, finding a clinic. Military insurance, as with most insurances, does not cover any type of fertility treatments. While they do offer some fertility treatments at a few of the Naval hospitals, the wait-lists for such treatments are tremendously long. Ali even called a few of the other military treatment facilities across the country, all with the same long list. Lucky for me, this part doesn't really involve me. Ali was the one that got to spend all sorts of time researching clinics to find the one that best suits our needs!

Exciting news, showing week I get my IUD taken out and start on birth control! It may seem silly to some, but it is a big step in the process! After the IUD is out, I can get my screening to ensure I am an appropriate candidate for surrogacy. Yay!! Although, I'm not really looking forward to being on the pill again. It has been so long since I've been on the pill, I don't even know which one I should try out!

There are just about a million other things that make the process take so long, but I won't bore you all with all the details. Bottom line is, it just takes time!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


So, I figured that since I've introduced myself and my family, and our exciting news of a surrogacy, I should probably introduce Alison (Ali) and Brian as well. If you know me, it is still unlikely that you know them, except that she is our awesome babysitter! Can I tell you all how very happy I am that they are friends, so I don't have to call them IPs (Intended Parents)!!
Ali and Brian are both from Idaho. They are here in Oceanside because, like Carlos, Brian is a Marine. They have been married 5 years, and made a plan from the beginning to wait 5 years before having kids so that they could have time to enjoy themselves and their marriage. About a year after they got married, they found out that Ali had an autoimmune liver disease. Once diagnosed, they learned that having children may not be an option for them, but they hadn't given up hope that someday they could.


Last year, Brian deployed to Afghanistan. While he was gone, Ali went to see a high risk OB to be thoroughly tested and find out if pregnancy was safe. Unfortunately, the news was not good, the OB informed Ali that pregnancy would not be safe for her. The risk of death to the baby, and herself was far too high for her to allow Ali to proceed with a pregnancy once Brian got home.


 So, here we are. Trying to make a baby for them! Thankfully, Ali found out recently that she has "great ovaries!" Woohoo! 
Once all the legal mumbo-jumbo gets worked out, we can move toward the actual process of getting their pea into my pod!

Obviously, there is SO much more to know about Ali & Brian, but that is for them to tell on their blog, "path to our miracle". All I know is that from the day I met her, she has treated my children as though they were her own. Thankfully, Brian seems to enjoy having them around as well. They love playing with him! I can't think of two people more deserving of such an amazing gift!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

whirling emotions, and I'm not even on hormones yet.

Lord help my husband when I start hormone injections. I'm going to be a mess! I have a feeling he will become much closer to his Harley when the whole process gets started.

This whole experience has already been an emotional roller coaster full of excitement, fear, frustration, happiness and whole lot more. Most of the feelings right now stem from the unknown, but there are SO many questions running through my head all the time.

Did I really just say I'll have their baby!? Yep, that question has run through my head a few times. I never really LOVED being pregnant. I didn't hate it, but it definitely was not some wonderful experience that I want to repeat over and over again. Labor and delivery was easy for me, but pregnancy is nine months long and is full of all sorts of things that just aren't very fun!

I finally have lost all the weight, what if I get fat again!? I did not do very well with weight gain during pregnancy. Carlos was great about telling me I was "all belly," but lets face it, he just wanted to get laid and he knew that if he told the truth, the likelihood of that happening would be even less. It took me a long time and a lot of hard work to get, and keep, that excess weight off. My goal right now is to get into as good of shape as I can now so that I can stay motivated to work hard during the pregnancy and avoid excessive weight gain.

What if the transfer doesn't take?? This is my biggest fear. Pregnancy came easy to me. If I don't get pregnant, I will be devastated. What if I miscarry?? Again, pregnancy comes easy to me. How will I handle a miscarriage, even though the baby isn't mine. What if they hate me because I lose the baby or the transfer doesn't take? The fear of something going wrong and hurting Ali and Brian is constantly in me. I know it is not in my control, but it still scares me to no end.

I get to feel a life growing inside of me, and bring a baby into the world again!! You know the best part, after I have the baby/babies, I will get to sleep in! That's right, 6-8 weeks off work to recover, and I won't have to wake up every 2 hours to feed and comfort a newborn. How awesome is that! I may have a bit of baby fever, but I definitely don't want to raise another child!

What if it really is hard to give the baby to Ali? This has to be my biggest fear. This is definitely one of the reasons why I always thought people who were surrogates were crazy. How can you spend nine months growing an amazing little baby, only to hand them over. Sure, the baby will not be MINE in any way, but I can't imagine not developing some sort of bond with the baby. I pray about this all the time. I pray that it doesn't crush my heart to part ways with the baby. I pray that the fact that I will be an Auntie to the baby will make it easier. I pray that knowing I will be able to have a relationship and watch him/her grow will relieve some of the pain. Hopefully it will be easy. Hopefully my prayers will be answered. Hopefully the constant reminders of the baby NOT being mine throughout the pregnancy, will help me bond with the little miracle while maintaining an appropriate relationship with him/her!

I have gotten SO many questions regarding a lot of these things since I first started the blog, so I figured I would go ahead and post this now. I'm sure I'll have another post like this in the future as things will change throughout each phase of the process. It is hard to believe that I already have so many feelings about all of this and it really hasn't even started!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

How it all got started...

5 years ago, 3 years ago, even 1 year ago, I never would have thought I'd be in the place I am today. "That is crazy!" "I don't understand how anyone could want to do that!" Those were both things that came to my mind when I heard about someone being a gestational surrogate. Last summer, I ate my own words!

It is said that God brings you to people, places and situations for a reason, even if you have no idea why at the time. Two years ago, I met Ali. Who would have thought that a resale website could bring such amazing changes to my life. Ali was the first person I interviewed when I started looking for a new babysitter for my own children. I interviewed one other person that day, and then stopped. There was just something about Ali just felt right. From the beginning, I knew that Ali had health issues, but I never really inquired about it because it never interfered with the amazing care she provided to my children. As time passed, we talked more and I learned more about her condition, but I still had no idea what was to come!

After just over a year, I learned (just after Ali did) that she would not be able to have children! This was something that she was expecting to hear, but I was not. My heart broke for her. Here is a woman that has always treated my children as if they were her own, been incredibly flexible with us and provided such a great support as well, how could she not be given the blessing of her own child?
Ali and Kids
Over the course of the next few days, the thoughts of surrogacy ran through my mind, but I simply shrugged them off. I still didn't quite understand how one could give up a child that grew inside of them. The more time that passed, the more I truly felt as though it was something that should at least be considered. I couldn't imagine being denied the things in life that bring me the most joy, and I couldn't imagine Ali without them either. I mentioned it to my husband who replied, "sure, why not. Maybe we can get some free babysitting out of it!"! Well, little did he know, I was serious and since he gave his permission, I decided to talk to Ali.
A few weeks later, everything changed as Ali and Brian accepted my offer! That was almost a year ago...due to necessary scheduling adjustments, we are just now moving forward with the process. I am so excited to begin this incredible journey that will bind my family with Ali's family, and hopefully let her family grow by 2!


Sunday, April 15, 2012


For those who don't know me, I am Caryn and this is my blog! I started this blog as a way for me to document an exciting time in my life, and share it with my friends and family. It has come to my attention that others might read it as well, so this post is for you...those that don't know me, or those that do but want to know more!

I wear many hats...well, not really because I think I look awful in hats. But, I do wear a lot of metaphorical hats. I'm a wife. Not just any wife, the proud wife of A U.S. Marine. I am a mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, friend, nurse and Thirty-One consultant. I imagine I probably left a few things out too!!

Carlos, the husband, and I have been married for almost 6 years now. We are complete opposites, but we balance each other out SO well. I am looking forward to many, many more years with him by my side.
Olyvia is our wild, crazy, strong-willed 4 year-old. She is lucky she is so beautiful, because she sure knows how to test me!
Ethan is our sweet, cuddly, rough-and-tumble 3 year-old. He melts my heart with his constant hugs and kisses and, "Mom, I SO love you" comments!

I can't imagine my life without any of them!

I grew up in a small mountain town in Southern California. I was able to enjoy snow in the winter and the beach in the summer! I have been lucky enough to stay in Southern California, despite Carlos being in the Marines, and we are currently stationed on Camp Pendleton. I love it here and wouldn't really mind if we were able to spend his entire career here!

That's about it for now. I hope you enjoy reading along and sharing in this part of our lives with us!