Once we were matched, we had to go through contracts. UGH! I think this is likely the least favorite portion of a journey. Mostly because it can be lengthy, and dealing with attorneys, (yes, they have one and I have one), can be a tad frustrating. However, it's not a terrible ordeal. It is mostly streamlined because contracts are baseline. They add in and take away things in contracts based on things you and your IPs have agreed upon. Some examples from our contract would be - I do not get the flu shot, and after expressing why I don't, and chatting it all over directly with our Dads, we took that part out of the contract stating I would have to get a flu shot. An addition we made was, I would absolutely not do an induction of birth unless the OB believed there was a medical risk to myself or to baby. Many times IPs want to schedule inductions so they can plan to be there for the birth of baby; I understand that desire. I am not comfortable with that idea, and thankfully both of our amazing IPs have been very welcoming of that scenario. So, we go back and forth, read the contract, send it to our attorney, they make the necessary changes, and send it off to the other party's attorney. This goes on for a little while, until the entire thing has been picked through with a fine tooth comb by both the IPs and the carrier. Then, it is FINALIZED!!!!! Signed, sealed, and delivered!
Holy crap! This is so real! The contract is signed. We are IN THIS! What a relief once contracts are signed. It is almost as if everyone is holding their breath during this period, and once it is signed, everyone relaxes a little bit again, and the relationship really blossoms.
On March 12, we flew out of SC on our way to clinic day, and meeting The Dads for the first time! We fly out, we get to our hotel, we hang out, and the anticipation is so great. Clinic day can't come soon enough. Lake and I talked about how excited we were, what The Dads would be like, seeing our same doctor from last journey again, and things we would talk to The Dads about.
We have to be at the clinic earlier than The Dads. We have some things we do before they do. So, we do our first few things and go back out to the waiting room for what's next on the itinerary at the clinic. Next thing I know, I look and I see two men walk into the clinic, I lock eyes with one, and he says, "Ashley?" YEP, THAT'S ME!!! Lake and I got up, walked toward them as they walked toward us, and we were all greeted with amazing hugs, beautiful smiles, and joy in all the hearts! We were only able to sit and chat for a few more minutes before we were all pulled to our next appointments. Eventually, we all had a meeting together to talk more in-depth about some of the things we all expected from the journey, the pregnancy, the birth, and the experience. This meeting is mediated to help everyone along, and so that things don't go too far off topic, or to help one party understand something the other is trying to express. Another step in the process to help get to know each other.
Clinic day is a LONG day. It's very information based, and overload. BUT, it doesn't have to be brain boggling. Because all of the people with The Surrogacy Experience and the fertility clinic are there for you any time you have questions, concerns, issues, or anything. They are all, always just a phone call or email away. They never want you to hesitate to contact them. This process requires a lot, and no one is expecting any of us to remember it all at once.
Whew! The day is over, and we finally get to leave all together to grab some lunch and chat freely. Conversation just flowed so easily and effortlessly. It felt as if we had known each other for our entire lives, and we were just casually catching up over lunch. I couldn't believe how comfortable we all seemed to feel with each other. We all just got each other. And that was another sigh of relief. Thank goodness for, what seems to be, the perfect match!
That was a lot of information and a big catch up. I hope you stuck through the entire post, and I hope you'll come back for the next. We talk about medications, shots, and transfer day! We are almost caught up to present day!!!!
Chow for now
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