Our Surrogacy Journey Part 2: The Beginnings

November 27, 2014

I have never known pain the way I did that day that Jude laid there in my arms last November.  The morning after delivering him my husband got an email from a friend/old co-worker who wanted to tell us how sorry she was for us.  She said she didn't know if timing was appropriate but offered to surrogate for us if we wanted to go that route.  She mentioned that she would do it for nothing in return.  I got this email hours after saying goodbye to Jude.

I was touched by her kindness but in that moment didn't think we would need to go the route of  using a gestational carrier (a woman who carries our embryos/genetic kids in her body).  The desire to have a living child became a quick obsession and the ache of burying my twins made me want to try again ASAP but I was told I would have to wait at least 6 months.  After meeting with our specialist, he did say I could try again but would have to get a cerclage (cervix stitched) and take shots throughout the pregnancy-with a 20% plus chance it could all happen again.  When we mentioned the idea of surrogacy to him, he actually thought it was a decent idea.

I emailed Becky a few weeks later asking if she was serious.  Sometimes in the heat of the moment of emotions people say things but in reality couldn't do it.  She replied that she would not have offered if she wasn't serious.  To make sure she knew what she was signing up for, I sent her a LONNGGGGG email entailing all the "delights" of IVF she would have to do-transfer embryos that could miscarry (I had miscarried 50% of what I had transferred in the past not counting J and B).  I had to tell her about all the pokes/prodes she would have to go through just to be approved.  Then of course the 2 inch PIO shots she would have to take for 12 weeks on top of Lupron.  Then the millions of appointments and the pains of pregnancy.  After I sent the email I got a short reply saying "I already knew all of this, I'm in." 

In the days that followed I would often find myself sobbing when I thought of her and this sacrifice she was willing to make for our family.  I would dream about being in the deliver room with her.  I felt so much love and connection to this woman-as if she were my own sister.  She quickly started all the pre-testing/screening and passed with flying colors.  She had two successful pregnancies in the past but both her children are grown now.  We decided that since the embryos were frozen and hadn't been genetically tested that we would transfer 2.  She was open to the risk of twins.  Since our last FET resulted in zero, we all felt like 2 would be the best bet.

On March 27, 2014 her amazing/supportive husband Tom, Becky, Darren and I were all back in that transfer room at OHSU using our 4th transfer we had paid for before.  Becky was calm and we were all so excited.  The RE knew our story and simply said "I hope this works," as he shot our two embryos into the most amazing woman on earth's body.  I knew this was right.  Although I desperately wanted to be pregnant again and to carry the kids on my own, I knew that they were safer in her body.  This picture was taken minutes after the transfer.

The 2 week wait was different because my brain got a break.  Sure, I wondered if it was working but I didn't have symptoms to analyze or obsess over and Becky didn't freak me out with updates of what she did/didn't feel (fyi she had 0 symptoms)  8 days after transfer she texted me these pictures and I cried uncontrollably-hope had began to enter again and I was terrified and thrilled all at once.

Although I was happy, I automatically went back into "guarded" mode.  Now we needed some serious milestones:

doubling beta
seeing a heartbeat
making it to 12 weeks
getting a normal anatomy scan at 20
making it to viability at 24
making it to term

I had been burned too many times in the past by passing the positive pregnancy test and thinking it was smooth sailing from there-we had many many obstacles to get through. 

Although my faith in God and His goodness was not non-existant, I knew that just because I believe in Him doesn't guarantee that this ending would be any better than the last.  I could hardly pray for success but took comfort in knowing so many people were praying in general for us to build our family.

Another aspect of faith this journey required was faith in Becky; Darren and I were putting our lives, our dreams, our flesh and blood, our most desired babies into her body.  From day 1 I had 100% trust that she was going to be the best home away from home to my children.  And she was...

Our Surrogacy Journey Part 1

November 16, 2014

Our Surrogacy Story Part 1

After losing J and B I have never trusted a positive pregnancy test since.  I am too guarded and to scarred from the stillbirths.  This exact day 1 year ago I found out I would deliver Jude and that he would die.

An amazing, selfless friend stepped forward in our deepest grief and offered to carry some of our left over frozen embryos from Jude and Brinly's cycle.  She asked for nothing in return and hasn't complained once (more on her in upcoming posts, this woman is a saint).  Becky has given me a hope I never thought I would have again and has literally saved me from dying of pain for not having live children.  We transferred two.  Both stuck.  Twin boys. 

I have used this blog to mourn Jude and Brinly while hoping, praying, and trying to remain positive with a surrogacy pregnancy.

I was overwhelmed with joy to have the chance to have twins again but also extra scared knowing the risks.  We kept this entire thing a secret from even our own families till she was 24 weeks along-minimum viability.  We couldn't bare the thought of dragging them through the horrors of the slow week to week to make it to a chance of survival and keeping it a secret helped me cope too.

As posted earlier, we took family to Multnomah Falls for Jude and Brinly's memorial service.  My entire family on both sides cried as we said our final goodbye's too Jude and Darren and I spread the ashes.

We then told our family we wanted a family picture at the base of the falls (our surrogate Becky, her husband Tom, and daughter-all strangers to our family-where at the base of the falls).

We got up there and everyone got in front of the falls and we asked a "stranger" (gestational carrier's husband and daughter) to take a picture.  They were really filming.  They counted to 3 and Becky, our surrogate, walked into the picture.  Our families were confused by the stranger so I eventually turn around, touch her stomach, and say "this is our surrogate Becky."   Here is there reaction in the video.  I cannot express how much this woman and her family have changed our lives.

 (if video is not displaying type in: surrogate surprise reveal on youtube to view <3
I will continue to tell our story in my next few posts.  Thank you to all the followers for the love, prayers, encouragement, support, mourning with us and rejoicing with us.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: