Guest post: Anonymous
“Hi, total stranger! I feel like I’ve asked you a million questions since we’ve been Internet ‘dating’ for the past few weeks. I feel so lucky that you chose us, the agency did so well in the matching process! So, would you babysit my baby for 9 months? I also need you to drive (8 hours return) for obstetrician visits, it’s probably best you get your children babysat, you’ll get poked and prodded with needles for blood tests and then you’ll need to inject lots of hormones into yourself! I may even start sending you supplements and all sorts of green smoothie, bone broth and fertility diet recipes…”
Would you ever, ever, imagine asking your dearest friend or sister to do any of this for you? Unless, it was your last and only option to have a child? No. I couldn’t ask a friend. They’re all starting their own families. I don’t have a sister. But I don’t give up. Never. I love my children, so much, I want more!
There are angels on earth, they are walking amongst us, mostly residing in the USA where it is mostly legal to become a surrogate. Our baby was born in LA, yep, the city of angels!
Our surrogate, our baby boys ‘Tummy Mummy,’ our American Family, my boys Aunty, our Angel, the sister I never had – she gave us more than anyone could possibly ever ask for. And I was afraid to ask for SO long.
It was a path with so many highs and lows. I soaked in every feeling with the support of my family and the determination for ‘life’ that I am known for. I wanted to experience every part of this journey and take it all in, the good and the bad. I was going to earn the journey. Whatever it took. I was going to have another baby in my arms, to love and nurture. And he is SO loved! You just have to see his brothers and all of our extended family and friends with him. Spend a minute with us and you’ll too get to bask in all the love we have for our baby. The gift our surrogate gave us will never stop giving.
If you read my last story you will know I now have three boys. An eight, six and two year old. They are proudly the most compassionate, spirited and loving little boys I could have ever imagined! They were all challenging births but they just prepared me for the surrogacy journey.
Jumping right ahead, I had to go through IVF first, to collect eggs. Something I thought would be a breeze for me, being young and fertile. But there are risks, many of them! I often felt like I was about to over stimulate and end up hospitalised, as Giuliana did on that reality show, Guiliana and Bill. It’s scary when you have two beautiful boys depending on you already. Not to mention that you have to inject yourself for days at the same time every day and carry the needles around in a cooler bag. I often had to pull over in my car and jab myself on the go during mummy duties. Trying not to let them see was even harder! I went through three rounds of IVF over nine months. I hoped spacing it out wouldn’t be so unhealthy to my hormones or long term health. I’m as natural as I can be and these injections were really the last thing I wanted in my body!
In the USA we were asked if we wanted to do gender selection after collecting so many embryos. I thought, why not balance our family? I would love to experience having a daughter and a relationship like I had with my mother.
But during the testing, most of our embryos didn’t survive. So I didn’t have to worry about what to do with spare embryos’ anymore (donate, destroy or store). I then decided to leave it up to fate and simply hope for a healthy baby.
We quickly decided USA was our choice for surrogacy as we felt their agencies had the most experience and the hospitals were of a high quality. We interviewed three agencies, often at 4am Perth time, until we decided on the most ethical one. The one that protected the surrogates first and foremost was our choice. The woman that was going to be our forever friend needed to have the best support and treatment or we just couldn’t live with the guilt. I’ve been through pregnancy, this was my advantage, I completely understand how it feels. I was able to say or do the right thing for her at the right time.
Our first match didn’t work out. Our IVF Doctor whom I sought out privately basically told us to “stay away from that woman, she’s not quite right.” – he was speaking a truth he wasn’t supposed to but he so bravely went above and beyond for us at that time. He also said that after our first transfer, things happened that were not medically explainable. He felt she knew too much about too many medicines when they spoke and he felt she had not so accidentally terminated our only two female embryo’s. Yes, our baby girls. I know I was told over and over that they were “just embryo’s” but to me they were my only baby girls. This is the part I will skip over quickly, like a rock skimming water. This time was that feeling of having my heart ripped out, deep and heavy pain that I still feel when I stop for a minute. I kept on pursuing my dream, I thought, “If I slow down, I will sink.” I pursued my ‘Spirit Baby’ even harder and after nine months and more IVF we were matched with a new surrogate.
I think about her every time I put him to bed. Her family picture is above his cot and we say goodnight to her every night. I wish she didn’t live so far away!
When we did fall pregnant first try with our now two year old, we only told our closest friends. We wanted to keep our secret until my 30th birthday and Skype her during the party for everyone to see her belly. Our baby in her belly! It was the greatest birthday wish I could have ever asked for! This wasn’t to be.
The cheeky little guy decided to meet us early. Not just a little, a whole 13 weeks early! I got a call during an Osteo treatment saying our surrogates blood pressure had suddenly gone up too high. They needed to operate and get our baby out ASAP. It was a matter of her life and our baby may not make it either. I was trembling with fear and tried to stay calm as I cried to a stranger all the way in America, an ER nurse who sounded confused and hopelessly helpless. I said ok and to make sure that she was ok. I asked her husband to let me know if our baby is ok when they get him out. I had no idea how premmie a baby could be. This was my worst nightmare. 27 weeks is just too soon I kept thinking. I got a message through Facebook from her hubby. It said “They are ok, it’s a boy and the doctor called him a squeeker!”
We got on the next flight 12 hours later and made the tense flight without any contact for an entire day to know how he was going.
We got there and spent 75 testing days in the NICU. As soon as we could, we did Kangaroo Care all day every day until he was strong enough to get out. My two bigger boys stayed home, all the way back in Australia. It was tough leaving them. We talked on Skype most days and sent postcards and presents often. We missed their birthdays too. I missed my 30th as well. But to have a new baby in our arms made it all worth it. My heart goes out to any NICU parents. They are incredibly strong babies those little micro preemies and the parents are some of the bravest I’ve seen. The nurses, well, they’re the next best thing to Angels!
Some Facebook Surrogacy groups for your info:
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