Krystal and I have spent a lot of time soul searching on what the best pathway was for us when creating our family. For awhile we choose IUI, mostly for financial reasons. After many conversations, tears, and budget spreadsheets we have decided to begin the process of Reciprocal IVF. (If you need a reminder of what exactly that is, check out this post.) What this means for us is that we will use Krystal’s egg with a donor sperm to implant an embryo that will *hopefully* result in pregnancy which I will carry.
As you can imagine this was a hard decision and one that we both feel despite the financial implication is the right path for our family. It is the path that allows us both a part in the creation and gives us each a unique connection to our child.
So what’s the next step in this adventure?
We contacted RMA and there were a few things we needed to do.
- Get updated Infectious Diseases labs for each of us
- I (Madi) will need a Saline Ultrasound/Mock
- Have a session with their resident counselor
- Begin the legal process
We were able to get our labs done locally, hassle free and covered by insurance so it only ended up costing us about $20 each.
I went for my ultrasound and came back with a perfect bill of health. My uterus is healthy and normal. The mock, which is basically them inserting the same tube that they will insert for the transfer was very smooth and went off without a hitch. So all good reports!
With any medical procedure there is more than just a physical impact there is also a mental impact. Because of this RMA requires that you have a session with the resident counselor before starting any fertility treatments. This was our second session with Mayu (we had one at the beginning of this process). She definitely asks questions we hadn’t thought about as well as provide us with resources and expectations on how the process will go.
The legal process is a little different from IUI. In addition to a second-parent adoption, we will also have to complete a Reciprocal IVF Agreement. This basically states that Krystal, although she is donating an egg, is not intended to be a donor but a parent. It also states that although I will be a gestational carrier I am not acting merely as a surrogate but as a parent. Once the pregnancy is further along we can begin the second-parent adoption process for BOTH of us to legally adopt the child and be considered by the state as a legal parent (even though it is biologically Krystal’s child and she will be listed on the birth certificate as well as myself). We are working with Christina Molitor and so far we have been very pleased with her services.
After reading this 11 page agreement, I was incredibly sad. The agreement outlines everything from Krystal being present in the delivery room, her name being on the birth certificate, her presence in the appointments. Even what should happen to the eggs, embroys before and after implantation should we be seperated or divorced. It’s sad because these statements are what a doctor’s office needs to grant our relationship (or transactions) validity. Do these same requirements hold true for heterosexual couples? We just need to remember that this is for the safety, security and stability of our child and not our own comfort.
Since signing we have completed our education modules that outline the process of IVF, which was super informative. I would have loved to have this a lot earlier on in the process! We have purchased sperm. Krystal has also started on birth control to suppress her cycle and prepare for hormone injections which we will begin in the next couple of weeks.
We are extremely excited about this next step in our marriage and we look forward to sharing this journey with you!