I’ve been on hiatus for a bit. We had a heck of a end of June/July. I think we were out of town something like 20 out of 30 days. We just returned from out 10 day camping trip to Wallowa Lake in NE Oregon a couple days ago. Now we’re settling into more of a summer routine with 2 more camping trips before school starts again and some trips to the swimming pool. I actually kind of enjoy having 2 parts to our summer. The first part is always a whirlwind with school getting out, birthdays, a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, the 4th of July, and our long camping trip. The second part is much more relaxed and mellow. We spend the days we have at home playing in the yard, taking the dogs for a walk, hiking, and swimming.
It’s nice to get in some down time together before the school and sports start again. Not that we have a big sports schedule. The kids do swimming twice a week and Wyatt will start indoor soccer on Nov. 2nd. I would love to be able to get them into Karate or gymnastics, but the schedules for the facilities here are not working parent friendly which is unfortunate. That, coupled with the parent info night I attended at the end of the school year where they specifically stated that kids going from the Children’s House (Kindergarten in Montessori speak) into Lower Primary (1st grade) shouldn’t be enrolled in a bunch of extra curricular activities, has got me just sticking to swimming and soccer for him. Maybe in the Spring when he’s settled into his new classroom a bit we can try to find something else that fits into our schedule.
As far as things with the surrogacy, things were on hold for awhile because, first my lawyer was out of town, then the IFs lawyer was out of town, then I was out of town. I felt bad for my IFs as they were the only ones who have been at home an accessible while we’ve all been taking vacations! Now everyone is back and we’re hopefully close to wrapping up contracts.
I spoke with my lawyer Monday morning and made some final revisions to the contract in addition to all the lawyery (not a real word) things she changed. I didn’t ask for any big changes as most of the stuff was pretty standard and similar to my last contract. Here are the things I asked to be changed (That I remember off the top of my head):
- Out of state travel was prohibited after 30 weeks. This is pretty standard with some contracts being even more strict and not allowing it after 24 weeks. (My contract says no travel to a not surro friendly state which is fine because the only one close is Idaho and we don’t have plans to go there). The change I asked for is for me to be able to visit my sister and her family up through week 35. They are only 20 minutes from the Oregon border and while we haven’t been up there in ages I would want to option to go there if there was a family event that we could make.
- The second thing was a part that I just wasn’t comfortable with the wording. It stated something about the IPs wanting to visit me in my home a reasonable number of times during the pregnancy and that if they gave me at least 48 hours notice I would have to comply. Now, I have absolutely no problem with them coming to our house, in fact I’m so excited for them to visit. What I don’t like is being contractually obligated to have them in my house. What if, God forbid, things turned sour (I absolutely don’t see this happening, but being in the surro community for awhile you see all sorts of things), I would still have to let them in my house? I asked a lot of other GC’s their opinion on the wording and pretty much all of them were in agreement that it was odd and they would want it taken out completely. I only asked for the part that said “in her home” be removed. Again, I 100% plan on having them in our house when they visit and they will be completely welcome there, but I don’t like the feeling of being contractually obligated to do so. I even sent them an email explaining my reasoning for this change in hopes that I can assure them that it is not at all personal and they will be fully welcome in our home when they come to Bend.
- I asked for more time after delivery to deal with any postpartum issues that may arise. The contract had it so that insurance and financial liability would be cut off 90 days after delivery. This was the same in my last contract and I had it changed. It makes me very nervous to only have 90 days to get any issues diagnosed and taken care of. Again, being in the surro world you see all sorts of things and I don’t want my family to be on the hook financially for issues caused by delivery. That being said I do understand that IPs don’t want to be on the hook indefinitely for anything that may arise. So, in the spirit of compromise we put in that they will pay for insurance 4 months post delivery and if a problem arises during that time they will pay for another 2 months of insurance. Hopefully that is acceptable to IPs and their lawyer.
- The other change I can think of was to ask for 4 days off for my husband at the time of delivery. Last time he got one day and that was rough. My mother in law was here, but had to go back to work 36 hours after I got home which meant I needed to get the kids up and ready for school and daycare and drop them off. I was anemic and exhausted so it was really hard to do that. Not to mention I developed bronchitis the day after I got home so I was wrecked. While we can definitely have my mother in law or my mom come down to help us, they also have busy schedules and it’s not guaranteed they can be here for longer than a day or two to watch the kids when I’m in the hospital. Knowing that he could take 4 days off to help with the kids would give me piece of mind and I could not worry about having to do anything but rest those first few days.
- There was a minor thing that I had changed regarding finding out the sex of the baby. (yes it’s the sex, not gender, but I won’t step on the soapbox about that right now LOL) It said in the contract that if the IFs don’t want to find out the gender (yes, they used the wrong terminology, but I digress) then I won’t learn it either. That’s great in theory, but ultrasound techs can slip up and say boy or girl, the doctor may slip up or I might accidentally see a report or note that says boy or girl. I just had it changed to say that I won’t intentionally learn the sex. My last go around we new was she was before the embryo was even transferred which was different, but kind of neat. This time the IFs don’t know the sex of the embryos they have and I don’t know if they’ll fins out or not. When we had the match meeting they were unsure if they would learn the sex or not either before or at the 20 week scan.
Those are all the changes I remember I asked for. For prospective GC’s who may be reading this, every contract is different, but please don’t agree to anything you’re not comfortable with just to keep the process moving forward. Legal takes as long as it takes and you should not be being pressured to just “hurry up and sign”. I understand that contracts are boring and getting to medications & transfer, but being comfortable with your contract is soooo important.
Another piece of advice for potential GC’s is to have an idea what you want or don’t want in your contract beforehand. Facebook groups are so helpful for this as you can search through posts to see what other GC’s have added to or taken out of their contracts and see if it’s something that is important to you. Make a list of must haves and/or deal breakers and stick to what’s important to you. If you and IPs don’t agree then it’s not a match that’s meant to be. It can be hard to not just give in and say okay to whatever, but it is important that you’re protected and comfortable. We all hope that things go as smoothly as can be, but things do go wrong. Relationships go sideways and the contract is what keeps things on track.
After my phone call with my lawyer she sent the revised draft to IFs’ lawyer who will review it with them and if they agree with the changes it will be finalized and we will all sign it. If they don’t agree then they will make their own changes and there will be some more back and forth. I’m confident that there’s nothing that would pop up at this point that would be a deal breaker and we’ll be able to get it all sorted out into a contract we’re all comfortable with.
Once it’s signed we can start looking forward to a transfer! I sent an email to my coordinator at the fertility clinic to see if we can start talking about transfer timing since we’re close to being done with contracts. She was out of the office on Monday and Tuesday so I’m sure she’s swamped today. I have to call them when CD1 arrives which should be any day (minute actually LOL). So If I haven’t heard from her by then I’ll be calling them anyway and will ask then.
I’m so excited to be almost at the next step for this journey! The first part is always so slow, all the waiting, but I know that once contracts are signed and a transfer is scheduled things move so quickly!
Hopefully I’ll be updating soon with a transfer date! In the meantime, here are some pictures from our recent vacation!