Strange Psych Evaluation and a Surprise Surgery

*This is the third piece in my surrogacy story. Thanks for following along!

In preparation for a surrogacy, you have to be evaluated both physically and mentally to make sure your body and mind can handle all that will take place over the next year+.

I had never been to a psychologist before this. I imagined the office (and the doctor) would be warm, calming and inviting. Yea, not so much.

First, I was given a 500-question personality survey on a clipboard, and asked to sit on a hard bench in the waiting room to complete it. An hour into it, my neck and back were throbbing. I tried sitting on the floor and using the bench as a table. Then I moved the magazines and plants off a side table and pushed the bench over to the table so I could sit upright and have a “desk.” I wondered if the almost THREE hours of crazy uncomfortable seating while answering bizarre questions about yourself was part of the evaluation. Maybe she was watching me to see if I’d lose it…

Next, I spoke with the psychologist alone in her office. I knew she’d ask the typical questions concerning surrogacy: Why do you want to do this? How are you going to tell your children? Are you going to be sad giving the baby to his parents? But, I didn’t know she’d cut me off during every. single. answer. I gave and ask me another question. And shake her head during my answers, like what I was saying wasn’t right or true. She even questioned my view on selective reduction (ahh, this again!), reminding me that this wasn’t my baby and the decisions were ultimately in the hands of the parents. Pretty sure I realized that, hence the long matching process. It was the most frustrating conversation I’ve ever had. I had thought about surrogacy for so long; I was prepared to explain to anyone how ready I was for this. Yet, she really didn’t want to hear anything I said. And when she brought Jeff in to chat, while a little less intense, it was the same pattern. We left not knowing what had just happened, and not knowing if we’d “passed.” We did (whew!), but I think it’ll be a long while before I walk into a psychologist’s office again.

Thankfully, the appointment with the fertility doctor later that day was much easier and a thousand times more pleasant. And I had an internal ultrasound done. And about a dozen test tubes of blood drawn. Still better than the psych visit.

Dr. Akerman with the Fertility & IVF Center of Miami was/is amazing. The conversation was so relaxed and natural, and he explained everything so thoroughly for us. We could tell he was an expert in his field. It made me excited to move forward! But, there was a hiccup.

My ultrasound showed a small myoma (a benign fibroid tumor) on my uterine wall. This would have to be removed before I could proceed with the surrogacy. Dr. Akerman wanted a clean, as-close-to-perfect-as-possible slate for these sweet little embryos. Because holiday and vacation plans had already been made for both the bio parents and us, we scheduled the surgery for late January. We went back to life as “normal” and enjoyed the holidays with our families.

*I thought seeing this mama duck and all her babies as we left the doctor’s office was a positive sign. 🙂

We drove down to Miami the day before the surgery for a pre-op appointment, and then checked in to the surgery center at 6 a.m. the next morning. I had never had any kind of surgery before, so the anesthesia part was a little scary, but overall it was a short and sweet procedure. I stayed in the hotel one night, headed home the next day and was back to work the following day.

*We loved our view from the hotel … a peek of city, a peek of nature. Little did we know how the Coconut Grove and Kendall areas of Miami would become so beloved by us over the next year.

After giving my body about 6 weeks to heal, I was ready to start the hormones to prepare my body for invitro. A large box arrived on my doorstep with instructions for each medication, injection and patch. Here we go!

Thanks for following along as I share this beautiful experience!

Stay tuned … and feel free to “like” and “share” the blog posts on your favorite social media, or comment below with thoughts or questions. 🙂

Love more,

Dana

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