I just adore my IM (Intended Mother). She has a gorgeous smile and a pure heart. She is beautiful inside and out. I couldn’t be a luckier surrogate. Unfortunately, not all surrogates get to have a perfect surrogacy journey, but I really think I am living one.
She is even humoring me with my blogging obsession and has written about surrogacy from her point of view. Reading her thoughts brought tears to my eyes. Oh my gosh….this better work! I can’t think of anyone else in more need of a little luck and happiness than Shannon.
The following article was written by my Intended Mother, Shannon. This is her story:
Surrogacy is something that one does not think of when they first start trying to have children. From my experience, I never even thought of it until I had to think of it. My second daughter, Emelia tragically was born sleeping in May of 2008. They did an emergency c-section, which unfortunately there were complications so, 38 hours after having my c-section I was rushed to the OR and a hysterectomy was performed to save my life. Coming out of that surgery I was devastated and heart broken. How was I going to have children again? I knew that my family was not complete. One of the first questions asked to the doctor was does she still have her ovaries? The doctor said yes, so that is when the first thought of surrogacy came to my husband and me.
But then the question came to me, how do I choose someone to have my children for me? When I was pregnant I did everything to the book. I did not drink caffeine, I did not eat lunch meats, I did not eat the wrong kind of cheeses, and most of all I loved my babies the moment I saw the two blue lines. How was I going to trust someone with the most precious gift that I bring to this world?
Well, research was my first step. I found many agencies that specialize in providing surrogates to intended parents (IPs), which is what I became. Most of the agencies provide the same thing, women who are willing to be surrogates and guidance of how to go through the process. My husband and I agreed since this was new territory to us that we would sign up with an agency. Once we signed up with an agency, we were matched very quickly with a surrogate. So the process began, which was very over whelming.
Many thoughts and questions came to me, I only met this surrogate once and now I was going to let her have my baby for me. My husband and I originally had a list of what we wanted in a surrogate and she had a check mark to all of our qualifications. So we proceeded forward. We found a fertility clinic and our surrogate and I were to begin a cycle together. In November of 2008 we did our first transfer. At first we got good news. Approximately 6 days after the transfer she gets her blood drawn to see if she is pregnant or not. She was pregnant and had a good beta number (the amount of HCG in the blood). The second test is two days later and to be good news her beta number needed to double and it did. Her number actually almost tripled. My husband and I were so happy. Our next beta test would be 16 days later. So 16 days later, which went really slow, we did not get good news. Her beta number was not where it was suppose to be and she was scheduled for an ultra sound.
I remember sitting at the ultra sound praying that we would get good news. We got okay news. Our doctors told us to be cautiously optimistic. There was a sac and it was measuring were it was suppose to be but we could not see anything yet. So we had to wait another week, and then we got the bad news. The sac that we saw a week ago was measuring the same and did not continue to grow. It is what is called a blighted ovum. So our surrogate was to stop her meds.
I cried at that appointment.
I was so sad. Going into surrogacy the doctors told us that we should not have any problems because my husband and I have gotten pregnant before. I guess that was not the case. But we wanted to stay positive so we decided that we wanted to try again. Our second attempt would be a frozen transfer of our two remaining embryos. This was done in the beginning of March. This too resulted in the same thing. She was able to get pregnant but the embryo did not continue to grow. Sadness, disappointment, and heart break again. I started doubting if this will work for me. Now we were out of embryos so we decided to not work with the same surrogate.
So my search started again. But this time I was going to find my own surrogate and do it independently. I found a new surrogate relatively quickly. She lived locally and was very familiar with the process. So we decided to work together. My clinic decided to do a mock cycle, which is were the surrogate takes all the fertility medications to make sure that her body responds well to the medication and unfortunately her body did not respond well and my clinic highly recommended not to use her as a surrogate.
So again my search started over. But my criteria changed.
I decided that I wanted a proven surrogate. I felt like this gave a little extra insurance that at least I knew her body would respond to the medications. I responded to many ads on a surrogate website. But instantly I felt a connection with one of the surrogates, Rhea.
We emailed everyday and it seemed like that we had a lot in common. My only reservation was that she lived in the San Diego area and I live in the Sacramento area, would we be able to make it work? Down deep I knew that I could make it work. It is not a long flight to San Diego and I would be willing to do that. I knew from the beginning that I would want to be involved as much as possible. So about ten days after emailing each other and one conversation on the phone, I asked her if she wanted to proceed with my family. And she said YES! I was so excited.
From there we decided that we needed to meet each other and she was kind enough to invite my family (hubby, my 3 ½ year old daughter, and myself) to her 4th of July party. I was of course nervous but the day went on without a hitch! Her family was great and treated me so kindly and openly. I actually got a few tears in my eyes because I felt at peace and knew that this is what it was suppose to feel like. I have found the perfect match. And I know that when she is carrying my baby that she will do it with her whole heart with no reservations. She even told me that she always follows the proper guidelines just like I did! It is fate.
We are now starting our journey together. We both had our initial appointments at the fertility clinic and everything looks outstanding. We have started on our birth control pills so that we can get on the same cycle and we will be transferring in mid to late August! It will come quickly and I cannot wait!