The Broken to Brave Podcast

My Surrogacy Adventure

April 02, 2024 Dr. Stephanie Lopez Episode 45
My Surrogacy Adventure
The Broken to Brave Podcast
More Info
The Broken to Brave Podcast
My Surrogacy Adventure
Apr 02, 2024 Episode 45
Dr. Stephanie Lopez

Embark on a journey that intertwines the profound with the personal. Today I open up about a pivotal moment that steered me toward becoming a surrogate. As I take you through the twists and turns of this narrative, you'll witness the resilience of the human spirit and the untapped strength that comes from truly listening to oneself. This episode unveils not just the story of a surrogate, but a chronicle of trust, intuition, and the power of self-awareness.

Stepping through the doors of the surrogacy application and evaluation maze, I expose the details from psychological assessments to legal contracts. It's a tale filled with medical clearances and the anticipation of an embryo transfer that may redefine the essence of connection and family. You'll hear how I'm guiding my daughters to understand this generous act, ensuring surrogacy becomes a concept they can grasp and respect.

In this episode, I cover the following:
1. My personal journey into surrogacy.
2. Insights into the surrogacy process.
3. My fears and uncertainties throughout the surrogacy process.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a journey that intertwines the profound with the personal. Today I open up about a pivotal moment that steered me toward becoming a surrogate. As I take you through the twists and turns of this narrative, you'll witness the resilience of the human spirit and the untapped strength that comes from truly listening to oneself. This episode unveils not just the story of a surrogate, but a chronicle of trust, intuition, and the power of self-awareness.

Stepping through the doors of the surrogacy application and evaluation maze, I expose the details from psychological assessments to legal contracts. It's a tale filled with medical clearances and the anticipation of an embryo transfer that may redefine the essence of connection and family. You'll hear how I'm guiding my daughters to understand this generous act, ensuring surrogacy becomes a concept they can grasp and respect.

In this episode, I cover the following:
1. My personal journey into surrogacy.
2. Insights into the surrogacy process.
3. My fears and uncertainties throughout the surrogacy process.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Dr Steph and I'm here to guide you on your journey to healing from a difficult relationship with your mother, whether she was narcissistic, emotionally immature or just plain toxic. I want you to know that you are in fact not broken and you do not have to suffer from anxiety or explosive emotional reactions like lashing out. You can break the cycle. You are a strong, capable woman who can handle any challenge that comes your way, and I'm gonna show you how to have the ultimate control over your reactions so that you are unstoppable. Welcome to the Broken to Brave podcast. Welcome back. How have you been enjoying the podcast recently? I am so curious. I received a comment from Cindy on the podcast episode titled Exploring the Depths of Defense Mechanisms, saying quote oh my God, dr Steph, you are literally the person I needed to meet a long time ago. That was all caps. You know so much about what I've gone through, what I've been through and literally everything you say. I resonate with end quote. So if you missed that episode that was released on March 19th, make sure that you check it out, because if you have an emotionally immature, narcissistic or toxic mother, it is highly likely that this episode is going to be relevant for you and that this is something that you will need to intentionally work to overcome, and when I say this, what I'm referring to is defense mechanisms. So go ahead, make sure to make a note in your calendar and go back to that March 19th episode, if you have not listened to it already, and check it out. And thank you so much for taking time to tune in each week, and thank you to those who take time to rate and review the podcast. I really appreciate it, and it helps more people find out about the podcast. So it means a lot to me, because if you follow me on Instagram or on podcasts or on Facebook, you know that I don't have a massive audience and the way that I reach more people is primarily with your help, so I greatly appreciate you for that. Now, this week, I am going to take a left turn and I'm going to share a personal update. If you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook, you may know exactly what I'm talking about already, and if not, then I am excited to bring you up to speed. I'm just going to dive right in.

Speaker 1:

On January 12th 2024, I was sitting at my desk in my office, very much like I am right now chatting with an acquaintance named Kelly on Zoom, and she shared with me that she had started working with an agency to find a surrogate to carry her baby and that she started interviewing a potential surrogate. In that moment these words flew out of my mouth so quickly I'll be your surrogate. And milliseconds before that, a thought swept through my mind and, like really quick thought this is your third pregnancy and yeah, so I said it to Kelly. I was like I'll be your surrogate. And later Kelly shared with me that she thought I was kidding and there was zero part of me that was kidding.

Speaker 1:

Now, after doing years of inner work, at this point, what has become more and more clear is that when I follow my intuition, everything flows and I feel at ease. That doesn't mean that life is always easy and that I never deal with things that feel challenging or difficult or things that help me level up that I kind of struggle with. I definitely do. However, when I follow my intuition, I feel clear and I know in my heart that this is the right path for me and this is what I'm supposed to do. So, after telling her, I'll be your surrogate, the next step was to get my husband, ed, on board. Let's go ahead and rewind back to October 2021.

Speaker 1:

At that time, my youngest was about a year and a half and I felt this pull to be a surrogate. Now, full transparency, I actually had this pull to be a surrogate even before I had kids, which is kind of odd, perhaps, and it's just something that I thought I would probably do, something that I thought I would probably do. When I felt this pull again in October 2021, I brought it up to Ed and he immediately shut down the idea and over the next two and a half years, what I did was I brought up being a surrogate to him a number of times and it always seemed to land on deaf ears. Now, I felt some confusion about this, because I just tend to listen to my intuition, like almost always, especially now. So I thought, huh, like why do I have this intuition if he's not supportive of it? And I thought, well, maybe we're supposed to have another baby and that this feeling was more about that and not actually being a surrogate. So, full transparency between October 2021 and December 2023, I flip-flopped bringing up being a surrogate and having another baby to Ed, in which his response was always no, thank you. I thought that was so cute. No, thank you, you know. Rather than like getting upset or feeling annoyed that I kept bringing it up, he was just like no, thank you and moved on. Okay, fall 2023. So we're fast forwarding a bit now.

Speaker 1:

I was chatting with one of my clients about this and she shared a perspective that was really helpful for me. So keep in mind, at this point I was still going back and forth between being a surrogate and having another baby, and what she said to me. She said, fast forward, 10 to 15 years from now, who is at your Thanksgiving table? And as I reflected on that and sat with it, what became clear to me was that there was not a third child for us. I wanted you know, part of me wanted. I was like, okay, well, if he's not supportive of surrogacy, then I want another baby, because I feel like I'm supposed to be pregnant again and carry again, and so I need to have this third baby not a baby 10 to 15 years from now, but I need to have this baby at the Thanksgiving table. But really, when I sat with it, I need to have this baby at the Thanksgiving table, but really, when I sat with it. There wasn't anybody there other than my two girls. Okay, so that brings us back to January 2024.

Speaker 1:

I wanted to bring you up to speed because a couple people have messaged me and they're like what, how did we get here? Where did this come from? Because I never mentioned surrogacy to anybody on Instagram. If people were in my life and my friends, then several of them had heard me talk about it before Several of them but it wasn't something that I brought up publicly, so it felt like it came out of left field. However, it didn't. It's been on my heart and on my mind for years now. Okay, so we're back in January 2024.

Speaker 1:

And I get off that Zoom call with Kelly and I immediately talked to Ed about being a surrogate for her and her husband, and that weekend we ended up having several heart-to-heart conversations and after those heart-to-hearts, he got on board and now he is supportive, completely supportive of the journey, and in fact, he's about to meet both of them Kelly and her husband this week. So we are super excited. Now, what I did was I started applying to the surrogacy agency that Kelly was already working with and I let her know we were on board and basically, the rest is history. I want to take a few minutes, though, to answer some questions that you have sent me personally on Instagram, and the first thing that I'll say is that surrogacy is a regulated process with tons of steps, and, although sometimes I definitely find myself wishing that the timeline was more clear and more certain, the number of steps and the gates that you have to pass through for this process brings me a lot of comfort, because I know, like carrying somebody's baby is not something that I take lightly at all. It's a big deal, and so it should be. You know, a little bit more of a regulated process and not like something that you can kind of like do on a whim. Now let's dive into some of the questions that you have sent in particular, and one of those questions was what stage are you at in the process and how far along what's involved? Now I'm recording this March 26th, so we are more than two months into the process, and I'm just going to kind of go like line by line and share what has happened so far. I have.

Speaker 1:

Last week I was officially medically cleared, which means that we can move on to legal. I'll say a little bit more about that in a minute. But basically the start of the process is applying to the surrogacy agency. Now, because I already knew Kelly and knew who she was working with, I applied to the agency that she was working with so that I could be matched with her. During that process you have to submit tons of paperwork including, you know, your full application, all your medical records, insurance benefits, benefits package in general, your tax records, all sorts of information. Then, after that, you complete a psych evaluation and that's where I met virtually with a psychologist just to make sure that I'm one doing this for the right reasons and that I'm going to be totally OK throughout the process. It was about an hour call.

Speaker 1:

After I did that call, ed also completed a psych evaluation. Primarily, it seemed like they wanted to make sure that we were on the same page, me and Ed, and that he was completely on board and supportive of the journey, because it is a process. Next, our insurance was reviewed by a third party and this is done to see if my insurance, our insurance, could be used for the surrogacy journey or if a separate package needed to be purchased by Kelly and her husband. By the way, the official term is IP intended parents. So if you ever hear me say intended mother or intended mom or intended parents, that's what I'm referring to.

Speaker 1:

After that I had two appointments with Kelly's fertility clinic just to officially meet them and bring me up to speed on the details of the process that they handle. And then we locked in our attorneys for the contract both the intended parents and the surrogate and her spouse so my spouse have an attorney to represent them for the contract. So that's actually the stage that we are in now we are working with the attorneys to get the contract drafted and signed and edited if needed. And what I did after locking in my attorney is a blood draw just to make sure that everything was supportive of pregnancy and that I wasn't deficient in anything or didn't need any medication or things like that, and then also had an ultrasound to check my uterus and again make sure that there were no issues. Finally, after that I feel like I'm just listing. Hopefully you're not like, oh my gosh.

Speaker 1:

After that I met with Kelly's fertility doctor and last week I got the medical clearance from her to move forward with getting that contract drafted with our attorney and with Kelly and Mark's attorney. And now we wait. We're waiting throughout that process and the next steps are to start medication for the cycle and do something called a mock transfer after that and then we will do the actual embryo transfer after that. And the timeline is a bit uncertain because there are multiple parties involved and there's really no way to know exactly how long things will take. There's no way to know if there's going to be any hiccups, and so we think that the embryo transfer will probably be this summer, probably in June, but we don't know for sure, so we'll see. And one other thing that I encountered, for instance, I said there can be some hiccups. So on my last blood draw it showed that my TSH levels, although they are in normal range this is your thyroid levels they were not as low as a fertility clinic wanted for pregnancy. So I'm on thyroid medication right now and going to be doing another blood draw here soon to make sure that my numbers came down within that desired range. And if they didn't, then I would need some more time on the medication to make that happen. So it's just like all these different variables can impact timeline and how things go. So we'll see, but I'm hoping for June or July transfer of her embryo.

Speaker 1:

Now I want to share another question that came up and it's about the girls, and I've actually received a couple questions like this Do your girls know about this? And if they do, how do they feel? And they do know, and I would say that Annabella understands more than Sophie does. Annabella is older and I followed the process. Basically. What I did is, during the psych evaluation, I asked that psychologist how do you recommend that I tell the girls about this? Basically, she said make it normal, make it so that it's not a thing and it doesn't seem weird. Essentially, just explain that Kelly can't have the baby in her belly. So what we're going to do is we're going to grow her baby in my belly and it's not going to be your brother or sister, and then, when I have the baby, we are going to give Kelly and her husband their baby back. And Annabella, she seems to totally get it. And Sophie, at one point she was like where's the baby? You know, because I was going to go see Kelly for lunch and she's like is the baby here now? Did you see the baby Asking questions like that? So I think she sort of gets it, but maybe not completely. Now let's see.

Speaker 1:

Another question that someone asked me is why am I doing this? And if I'm nervous and I've talked a bit about why I'm doing this but, honestly, like what it comes down to is this feels like part of the reason that I was put on this planet. It feels like part of what I'm supposed to do and I am super excited At full transparency. I did have a couple days where I got pretty scared and I was like, okay, I felt like I didn't have control ultimately, and it's really due to like how medical this process is. So when I'm pregnant, I don't take any medication. I have unmedicated deliveries. That's my preference and so I don't love that there is a need for medication, for instance, even with my thyroid. However, that's part of the process and so I'm understanding of that and totally on board.

Speaker 1:

But there was a couple of days where that I guess I felt like I didn't. I think I might've said this a minute ago, but I felt like I didn't have control and it felt really heavy and I felt a bit overwhelmed. But I allowed myself to feel through that. I didn't try to make myself stop feeling overwhelmed, I didn't try to make myself stop crying, I just let it flow through me. Let it flow through me and now I feel great and super excited and I just brought myself back to my intuition because in that moment, fear was arising. If you listen to your fear, you won't have power. So it's to notice the fear, to honor the fear, to believe the fear that it's there and to bring yourself back to your intuition. And that's what I did with myself. I know intuitively this is part of what I've been put on this planet to do.

Speaker 1:

There has been so many synchronicities between Kelly and I and things that reaffirm that that is the case. That blows my mind. I'm going to give an example right now. For instance, I just had this feeling that something happened in Kelly's life October 2021. That's when I first brought up that I wanted to be a surrogate to Ed. So I asked her. I was like hey, did anything happen in the fall of 2021 for you? And she said well, in October we decided on using a surrogate. This is October 2021. We decided on using a surrogate and we had a couple phone calls and let our family know that that's what we were going to do. And to me now some people might be like, oh, that's a coincidence, and to me, no, that's evidence In that moment that they decided was also the moment that it was strongly laid on my heart to do this thing, and I think that's pretty cool.

Speaker 1:

There have been several things like that throughout this journey. That Kelly said she was like if I told anyone all of this, like no one would believe it. It's wild and it feels so good and so affirming. So yeah, overall, I'm super excited for this journey, and I got to have lunch with Kelly a couple of days ago. We ended up talking for four and a half hours. At the end, Ed was like hi, how's everything going? It was so wonderful and right now again, it looks like that embryo will be transferred this summer.

Speaker 1:

But can I ask you a favor about that? Would you mind sending prayers and positive thoughts that everything will go smoothly, for instance, that my TSH levels will come down in the desired range, that contracting with the attorneys will go smoothly and that the embryo transfer will go smoothly as well? I would greatly, greatly appreciate you for doing that, and if you're interested in hearing more about the journey, don't hesitate on reaching out to me. I'm happy to answer any questions on Instagram and I do anticipate giving pretty frequent updates in my Instagram stories and my Facebook stories, and I think that I'll record a podcast update.

Speaker 1:

Maybe I don't know, maybe like once every three months, four months, maybe even as many as six months, I don't know once every quarter or two, just to give you an update Again, don't hesitate to reach out. Thank you for taking the time to tune in and to listen every single week. I appreciate you so much and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Thank you for listening today. If you're ready to heal, so that triggering situations no longer control you and so that you can feel empowered, brave and thrive in any situation, dm me the word brave on Instagram and I'll send you a training where you will learn three of the most common mistakes driven women are making that are keeping them stuck in negative emotions, and what you can do instead.

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