Thursday, December 13, 2012

Contract Hell

This journey has started out with a whole lotta madness!  We have spent the last several weeks in contract hell.  My IPs and I were easily able to come to terms with our contract- however, they and the agency did not seem to see eye to eye on the agency contract. 
This was exceedingly frustrating to me because I love my agency (I have used the same one every time with great results) and I feel very strongly that I should work with this couple.  I could not see a clear way to work this out- since I did not want to break my word to either party, and I had agreed to work with both.  
So, after weeks (maybe only one or two, but it feels like three or four) of trying to get them to all agree to terms, several conversations and emails with the attorneys, and frustrating conversations with everyone involved, we realized that it was not a good idea to force the agency and the  IPs to work together.  Since neither of the other parties wanted to work with each other, we agreed they shouldn't- which left Jason and me in a rather awkward position.
It was a difficult decision, but Jason and I were able to accept and embrace the idea of working independently with this fabulous couple.
It is amazing how weeks of crazy frustration sum up so neatly on the page (it is actually quite maddening!). However, one lesson I have learned through my adventures as a surrogate is that once we reach the end goal and there is a healthy child in the arms of my IPs, nobody will even care that we went through these bumps in the beginning. 
I love surrogacy.  I love being part of a world in which I can help other people know the great happiness of parenthood.  I am amazed every day that God has put this great blessing in my life.
I move forward from this rocky beginning onto another unknown path.  I pray that we will be blessed with smooth sailing and a gentle breeze, but I also pray for the strength and endurance to press on through stormy seas to bring a child safely into the loving arms waiting at our journey's end. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

No fear (and the beginning of journey 4)

I have started writing this post five times. Let's hope the sixth time works out.
I have brought six children into this world.  Three of them are mine, and the other three belong to two beautiful and amazing families. 
After the failed sibling project this past summer, I thought that maybe I was done.  I thought that maybe I was not meant to carry another child.  I thought that maybe six was enough.  I had given back to the world the life that had been graciously bestowed upon me, and it was time to find another path.  But then, I knew, deep in that place without words, that I am meant to carry another child.  I am meant to continue this journey that has brought such blessings to my family and those we have travelled with.
I have met a new set of friends.  I have met on this path a couple who is energetic, and happy, and full of joy.  I have visited with them and the time has just flown by as we have talked about life- work, travel, childhood, sorrows, and dreams.  We agree on the importance of family, of truthfulness, of the sanctity of each human life, and of living life with purpose.  What more can I ask for?
We have met on this path and have chosen to walk together for a spell. 

I am thankful to be on this road.  I believe that people are put on this earth to love each other.  There are so many ways that we can show that love, and this is my way.  I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
As we begin this journey, I am filled with joy and hope and a healthy dose of humility, but for the first time, I am not afraid.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Why, when a woman carries her own grandchild, is it a miracle?
Why, when a woman carries her sister's child, is it a blessing?
Why, when a woman carries her best friend's child, is it beautiful?
Why, when a woman carries a stranger's child, is it terrible?
Why, when a woman carries for a couple with no womb of their own, is it a shame?


Thursday, October 25, 2012


Part of me has been avoiding this post.  Part of me has been too busy to write it.  But it is time.
My IPs and I were so excited to begin our sibling journey.  My IM had one more test the doctor wanted to run before we began, and that test delivered the terrible news- we would not be able to retrieve eggs of sufficient quality to attempt another baby.
My IPs came to the decision that they had tried all they could, and they were so blessed to have Isabella. 
I agree.
They decided that it was just too much pain to keep trying and keep losing. 
There will not be a sibling project.
There will be happiness in this amazing child God has blessed them with.
My sweet IM has emailed me to check on me- on me.  And she is the one who lost hope of another child.  And she is the one hurting.  And she is checking on me.
I love this woman.  I love her daughter and I love her husband.  They are my family.
I knew Isabella was a miracle, but I never realized until now that she is the only miracle they will have.  I never realized how everything happened exactly as it was meant to.
I have always questioned myself for finding new IPs and having another baby so quickly after delivering the twins (mostly because of what it has done to my body).  Now, I know that I did it because that was the perfect moment to bring Isabella here. 
This amazing couple gave me a piece of their heart when I carried Isabella.  I gave them a piece of my heart when I returned Isabella to their  arms. 
I keep trying to type the words to show that our journey has ended, that we are ending, but we are not.  Our sibling project has ended, but our journey continues on.
I leave this painful part of our joureney stronger and braver than I was when I began.  We enter the part of our journey where we are friends- and that path will carry us into forever.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Growing excitement again

After what felt like an eternity, but was really just a summer, my husband and I were able to meet with my lovely IPs and their precious daughter.
 Over the summer my IPs had met with the doctor, and they wanted to meet and talk in person before we made a decision about moving forward.  Of course, this terrified me since I was afraid that talking in person meant bad news.  But it didn't.  Not really.
We met over lunch at a yummy restaurant and visited about life and adventure- as all friends do.  It wasn't until we were almost done eating that I realized we hadn't even talked about the sibling project yet!  I love this about my IPs.  They are my friends and we enjoy spending time with them even when we aren't working on a project.
We finally got down to business, and here's the scoop.
Well, just kidding.  First, a tiny bit of background knowledge for your understanding.  When a woman goes in for reproductive assistance (ie. can't get preggo), the doctor does a blood test for a certain hormone (I think) to check the levels.  The levels are supposed to be over 1.
Now for the news.
When we cycled with Isabella, IM's number was 1.2- this is good. 
This summer, the number was something like .4- this is not good.
The doctor's first response was to use an egg donor.
The doctor's second response was that we have a 15% chance of getting pregnant with IM's eggs.
My lovely, sweet IPs wanted to meet just to make sure that I would still want to try with them with such low odds of success.
This took me the space of a breath to look at my husband for his look of affirmation, nod my head at his response, and say, " YES!"
The doctor told us we had very high chances of the embryos surviving the thaw in June- well, he was wrong.
The doctor tells us we have a very low chance of getting a viable embryo this way- well, he was wrong before, and he can be wrong again.
I have never been one to believe in the odds. 
I do believe in this family.  I do believe in Isabella having the chance to be a big sister.
Her mother said to me, "how could I look Isabella in the eye (when she gets older) and tell her that we did not try everything to make her a big sister?"
Well, how could I?
I believe we will succeed.
I continue to live in hope.
I wait now, not in impatience, but with certainty that I will receive that call from my IM with a date, the email from the clinic with a calendar, and another chance to make a family grow.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Forward... progress... I think

I ran out of patience.  After a month of waiting in limbo, I couldn't wait any longer.  I emailed my IM, and I found out that my IPs want to move forward.  I am happy.
I don't know the details.  I am waiting until we can get together to discuss them, but I am hoping that we will have forward progress soon. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Surro limbo

I am waiting.
I am unsure what I am waiting for, but I am waiting for it just the same.
I suppose I am waiting for my IPs to decide if they want to move forward and try to make Isabella a big sister again.  I can not imagine the difficulty of their decision.  They must weigh the odds of a successful egg retrieval, fertilization, embryo growth, transfer, and pregnancy with the devastation that will result if any of these steps go wrong.  I can not imagine the anguish it must take to make this decision, and for this reason, I wait.
I want to make the decision for us, I want to decide that it is a good idea to move forward, but it is not my heart that will be broken if this next attempt doesn't work.  So, I try desperately to convince myself that I cannot make the world bend to my will, and I try, with success, not to pester my IPs with questions regarding their readiness to move forward (this is a big step for me).
I am waiting.
I am unsure what I will do if they decide not to move forward.  Will I find new IPs because I want just one more journey?  Will my husband change his mind and decide he wants to have a child of his own?  I am unsure.  I know I want to do this whole crazy pregnant woman routine just one more time.  I feel it.  It is a need I feel deep in my soul.  I sometimes wonder if I will always feel this way and need to make myself stop having babies, or if I am meant to cart around another baby for ten months.
I am waiting.
For me, this is big.  For me, this is growth.  For me, waiting is nearly impossible.  But I am doing it.  Out of love for my IPs, out of fear for making the wrong choice, out of hope for the "right" choice to manifest itself, I wait.
I am in surrogate limbo right now- I don't like it one little bit- and I am waiting.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Loss (Or, better yet, Today Sucked)

I have never, ever, ever had to write a sad post in this blog.  I have been so blessed with wonderful IPs, successful transfers, healthy pregnancies, and thriving babies.  I am grateful beyone words for that.
Today, that changes.  Today, I write my first sad post.  Today, I shed tears of sorrow for a lost life.
Twenty minutes from arriving at the clinic with my IPs and my Isabella, the phone rang- it was the clinic.  We fell silent; my IM answered the phone.  And the dream was over.  Our plans to make Isabella a big sister died this morning with the two frozen embryos that would have been her siblings.  They did not survive the thaw.
Nothing else really matters.
Tonight, my IPs grieve the loss of hope for another child.
Tonight, I grieve for them.
I am amazed again at the resiliency of those who suffer from infertility.  I know my IPs will be okay; I know Isabella will be their constant joy; and I know that this family has taught me about love, and bravery, and accepting the things we cannot change. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We are nearly there

It is amazing how fast time flies.  With a daughter going into high school this coming fall, I shouldn't be surprised at how quickly time goes by (or how old I feel!), but I am...
I was completely excited to begin my third surrogacy as a sibling project for Isabella.  I knew that the many complications of finding somebody who I could trust and who could trust me was irrelevant.  I knew that we wouldn't need to worry about what to put in a contract or what type of relationship we would have.  I knew it was all good :)
Contracts went by in a fast blur.  A few name changes, date changes, a signature and a notary, and we were done.
The drive to Houston and the trips to the clinic have been minimal:  A utero-hystero-scopy-water-check appointment was offset by a lunch with my girls (see previous post), a lining check appointment turned up a beautiful and ready-to-go uterus (go my body and awesome hormone pills!), and then they gave us a transfer date.
Meds have been short and sweet:  Since we are doing a frozen transfer, I am the only one cycling, and we were able to start the cycle with my body's own natural timing, and the whole thing takes only 3 weeks.  Pills in the morning, pills in the evening, and I  only started shots five days before transfer.

At my last appointment, my IM and Isabella came to talk to our nurse/coordinator and have lunch.  While we were down ordering lunch, the IVF doctor came down to get lunch (apparently there is only one place to eat), and he got to see Isabella.  He has told her parents how much he likes to see the babies he has helped to grow- and that makes me like him just a little bit more than I did before.  We had a fabulous lunch, Isabella threw chicken all over the floor and ate french fries with me until her mom took them away.  Fun times! 
While we were walking out of the restaurant, I picked Isabella up and carried her for a little bit.  I looked at her, this beautiful child I was holding, and at her mother.  And I realized that not only was I going to help a couple become parents, I was going to help Isabella become a big sister.  My heart filled with such love and happiness.  I hugged A, blew Isabella a kiss (she kissed her hand, but hasn't quite gotten to the blowing the kiss part yet), and waved goodbye.
I came home and started my shots that night. 
We have two frozen embryos waiting for a chance to grow.
 I am terrified that they will not survive the thaw.  I am terrified that we will show up on transfer day and they will say that neither one survived.  I am terrified of having to look at the faces of my IPs at such a loss.   
However, everything that has led me to this moment and the example shown to my by two sets of IPs teach me to live in hope.  There is a hope that lives within my soul, that tells me that it is possible, that if it is meant to be, then these embryos will survive the thaw. 
We are hoping and praying for a successful transfer on Monday. 
I am excited and nervous.
My heart is full of love and hope.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My third beginning

Even as I sit to write this post, my heart skips a beat and I am filled with trepidation.  I love surrogacy.  I love the joy it brings to my life and the happiness it brings to others.  But I am afraid to write what will soon flow through my fingers, upon the keys, and onto the web.  For even though this process, this journey as we so often call it, brings me joy, there are so many people I love that hate when I do this.  I don't know if it shames them that I use my body this way; I don't know if they only fear for my health and my safety; I just don't really know.  And I love them, and I don't want to tell them what I know they don't understand.  However, I know that I must write.  I must write to remember what it is like to be this person that I am.  I hope they forgive me, I hope they love me still, and I hope they will support me in the life I choose to live.  And I digress, as I am sure you are thinking, "hmm... third beginning- I feel some big news coming here."  Well, let me get on with it.

I met my former IM and my beautiful surrobaby for lunch last Thursday.  Every time I see them, my heart fills at the sight of A with a baby by her side.  The anxiety and sorrow of two years ago has been replaced by a lightness and a tranquility that covers her face and shines through her eyes.  No matter what Isabella does, A is collected and composed.  She was meant to be a mother.  She is so natural.  So beautiful.  So good at it.  I look at that little girl I carried for nine months, and I see my friend's daughter.  I see a miracle.  And I am reminded that I am so blessed to share a world with people like this. 
We sit and look at the menu.  A gets up to order our food, and I am left with this little girl by my side.  We push her crackers around on the place mat (this super cool plastic rectangle that has tape on all four sides to tape it to the table- oh, the awesome ingenuity of today's inventors!), and make "vroom" and "errr" noises.  I make them, she laughs.  She tries to make them, I laugh.  I enjoy playing with a baby, I don't get to do it too often these days.  A comes back and we visit.  I am so happy to be here with my friend, here with her and her daughter.
As lunch ends, our conversation turns to the purpose of our visit here at the clinic.  I have driven down, taken a day off of work, and we have business to tend to.
We go upstairs, and wait for my turn with the super fun weenie wand.   As we wait, we remember the last time we sat in these chairs- almost two years ago exactly.  We remember the anxiety and the fear of my IPs, and the hope I had that I could help them.  We look around and smile as we remember the cranky ultrasound tech and the appointment we almost missed because they told me the wrong time.  This time, we are mostly calm and cool.  The same ultrasound tech is there, but she is kind this time around.  A little bit of nervousness- what if something had changed and my body wouldn't work?
The procedure ended, and all was fine.  We went with our nurse and talked about our cycle.  We discussed all the details of how this one will be different than the last.  I smiled when I saw that a frozen embryo transfer required much fewer shots than a fresh cycle and my IM smiled when she realized she didn't have to take any shots ;)
Results  of our day:
We went into the clinic hoping everything would be okay and we could proceed with a cycle this summer.
We walked out of the clinic with a calendar and tentative transfer dates.
June.  Two frozen embryos.  My uterus. 
I look at this precious child I am pushing in a stroller and I look over at her mother.  We smile. I have known this family for over two years.  I have watched as the pain turned into hope turned into joy.  I don't know how I can really call this a beginning, for I feel we are starting in the middle.  The important stuff- the love, the friendship, the understanding of each other- is already done.  We are friends going on a trip together down a road we have safely and joyfully traversed before.  But it is a new day, a new process, and a new life.
This is my third beginning, and I am ready. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I hunger for another journey. Another life to hold for a brief time. Another year to feel the wonder of a child growing strong. Another chance to watch the face of hope change into the face of joy and dreams fulfilled.
I question this hunger. I wonder why I feel this need to bear another woman's child. I wonder why it brings me such reward. I wonder why I want to spend my time, my strength, my resources and ask the support of my family yet again.
And then I think of the twins. I think of Isabella. I look at their families. I see faces wih big smiles. I see FAMILIES. I see love.
I know that each human being is put on this earth to lift up, help, and love everybody else. I know that the greatest joy i have i this life is in my children and in my role as their mother These are two of the very few things I know with certainty.
I know that through surrogacy, I fulfill my mission on earth and do what I am meant to do.
Why do I question this hunger?
I don't know.
Maybe it is my purpose here. Maybe it is the way I am meant to be fed in this life.
Either way, I am hungry.