“Any timeline on protocol?  When is protocol coming?  Do we have an idea of what the dates for protocol and transfer will be.”  These questions have to be in the top five most common exchanges between surrogates and clinics.

Just a short time ago that big bold email of excitement came into my inbox: “Your Protocol.”  There are two things a surrogate will look for when she gets that all important, much anticipated, long coming, email: “what day is transfer?” and “how many medications/needles/suppositories am I on this time?” 

Sometimes we have an indication of when transfer will be.  There may be pre-discussed days or weeks the clinic has, or maybe there’s coordination with an egg donor to consider.  But there’s something about seeing that magical date in bold that makes it so much more real, it cements the idea that very soon we’ll be PUPO, counting down until we can pee on all the sticks or see those beta blood test results.

Always, after scanning the page and finding that transfer date, next comes that other list of dates, and all their corresponding medications.  The focus is no longer on transfers and positive tests, it’s on the reality of the process.  After a failed transfer often times something gets added, almost certainly an extra oral medication, maybe an extra needle, maybe both.  Hand in hand with that shiny beautiful new protocol and all it’s amazing prospects is the reality that this process is unapologetically hard on our bodies.  This journey takes perseverance and determination, along with the acceptance of side effects, reactions, and the living by medication reminders programmed into your phone.

Protocol in hand, medications in hand.

One step closer.