Thursday, February 25, 2010

My First Attempt... Failed

When it comes to infertility, life just isn't fair.  When I see women who have struggled for years and years trying to have a baby, and then hear about a teenage girl who gives birth in a bathroom and throws her baby in the trash, I begin to question why some of us get this amazing gift of natural pregnancy taken away from us.  We are not created equal. 

I just got the most shocking news from an old friend that I took classes with.  Ever since I met her, she had been struggling to have a baby for a few years.  Even though she was young, she was experiencing infertility issues.  She never gave up and is now pregnant with triplets!!  And no, she had no fertility treatments... all natural!!  I still cannot believe it.  But, she is one of the lucky ones.  I know it's hard to believe that I consider her "lucky" because it took her 4 years to conceive, but I have seen much worse.

After months of doing the surrogacy research, I decided I was ready to take on the challenge.  My agency was so excited about the timing; a close friend of theirs was in need of the perfect surrogate.  Meeting the couple for the very first time was so nerve racking.  It's impossible to imagine what you are going to say, what you are going to ask, what the couple will be like, and what questions they might ask you.  The couple has been together since they were in their twenties.  Now in their early forties, they admit that they have been trying to conceive for the past 12 years.  They have gone through so many fertility treatments to find out that her body could not conceive or carry a child.  In these past 12 years, they were able to have one son through surrogacy.  They found an amazing egg donor and used the father's sperm.  They also found a very experienced surrogate, and now have a 2 year old son.  After having this wonderful little guy in their lives, they wanted to try again.  If anyone has children out there, you know how much the first one changes your life.  They cause this yearning for more children, even more than before your first.  However, their surrogate discovered a medical issue and could not help them out again.  They went through a couple more women, and to sum it up, experienced many disappointments throughout the process.  On one occasion, a surrogate had 4 of their embryos transferred without their approval.  As a result, she got pregnant with quads.  She then went behind the couples back, and attempted to reduce to two babies.  Unaware of the situation, the couple learned that all of the babies died in the process of reduction.  To say the least, this couple has gone through so much that it made me want to help that much more.  They had 3 frozen embryos left... I would be their last hope.

So, the process began.  This past October, I began 2 hormone injections a day, folic acid pills once a day, 6 prescribed prenatal vitamins a day, and daily steroid medication.  It was about 6 weeks of preparation.  Not only did all of that take so much dedication, but also sacrifice.  Before the transfer, I gained 13 pounds from all of the medication!!!  We had a great fertility doctor, over an hour away.  I had to go in every 3 days for either blood work or vaginal ultrasounds in order to see if my uterus was doing what it was supposed to be doing (I have a beautiful one!!!).  Throughout this process, the intended mother and myself became very close.  Between lunches, birthday parties, golfing, and trips to the zoo, we became good friends.  I was so happy we chose each other.

Transfer day came.  The embryos were thawed over night, and the doctor gave us the report when we came in.  Sadly, one didn't make it.  For some, this is no big deal.  It's microscopic so many don't see it as a life.  But for me and the intended mother, we were very disappointed because it was more than an embryo, it was their baby.  So, the doctor transferred 2 beautiful embryos.  This process is very easy and takes about 15 minutes.  It's amazing how you are able to watch the whole process on the ultrasound screen.  From what we saw, everything looked perfect...

The 9 day wait to confirm success, wasn't too bad for me except the 3 days of strict bedrest.  I never imagined that it wouldn't work, and I would not be pregnant.  I had the entire next 9 months planned out and never did I prepare myself for failure.  Getting that one phone call was very shocking.  The intended mother told the nurse she wanted to be the one to tell me.  I knew the call was coming, so when I heard the tone in her voice I knew it wasn't good news.  She was handling it so well.  She acted like she knew it was going to fail, and prepared herself for this moment the day she met me.  There was nothing I could say or do for her.  I just broke down and cried.  I could think of nothing more than to blame myself.  I was their last chance and I failed.  I could not be sorry enough.

I guess God has a plan for each of us, and this wasn't what he had planned for them.  They are now in the process of adopting, so maybe God has an amazing child waiting for them.  What kills me the most throughout this experience is what people tried to comfort me with.  The phrase I have learned to hate the most is "count your blessings".  People began catorgizing this family as greedy just because they wanted a chance to have another child.  Does that mean I am a greedy person because I have two children?!?  As much as I love and cherish my oldest son, I could not imagine life without my youngest.  How does wanting to share love with others make you a bad person?   

It all came to an end, and I wasn't sure I had enough in me to move on and help another family.  I was tired; tired of all of the meds and doctor appointments, but most of all, I was tired of feeling the disappointment.  But, I originally set out to help a family in need.  It took months of planning to get to this point, and I wasn't going to let anyone stop me from reaching my goal.  There are millions of people out there who need people like me to help.  So, I decided to put the past behind me and search for another great couple.  As guilty as I feel for the first couple, I have learned that everything happens for a reason.  




  1. This was a bit sad but we are so happy that you had it in you to help another family! And that family is us. We are so happy that you are our surrogate and you are indeed the perfect surrogate because you take this so responsibly and seriously. We are so lucky that you are taking care of our child for the first nine months of its life. Everything does happen for a reason!
    -Your IP's

  2. I cannot imagine going through such a thing. I also can't believe how similar our perspectives are on surrogacy and infertility. I suppose it should not shock me as we are both surrogates. :) Some of the things people say or imply about women who are struggling with infertility really amaze me. The thing most of them have in common is the fact that they were able to have their own children and/or felt led to adopt from the get go. Thanks for sharing.