I hope your summer is wrapping up nicely. I took a few weeks off after our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! If you haven’t seen our video, you need to stop and watch it right now. Or else….none of this will make sense!
And if you haven’t read about our adoption reclaim, you can read about it here.
With Stacy’s blessing, I have decided to keep writing while I document this AMAZING surrogacy process. It is a once in a lifetime experience and I am trying to soak up every minute. And I am constantly trying to find and follow other surrogate journeys, so I am happy to throw my thoughts out there for those coming behind us!
For organizational sake, I think I will do 3 series documenting each trimester. So welcome to the first installment of my Surrogacy First Trimester Series. Here we go…..
Once we got home from our trip to the mountains over New Years, we tried our best to settle into real life. It was hard. We had just started our grieving process and we were dealing with ALL of it at once. We felt the weight of all of the miscarriages and the adoption. We still felt an ache for all the babies we thought would have made us a family of four. There were a lot of daily tears, unpredictable emotions, fighting, confusion, and sadness. We tried to cling to our faith and each other, but it was the hardest season of my life to date.
We started meeting with a grief counselor that specializes in infertility. We weighed the pros and cons, but ultimately decided to continue trying to build our family soon after the adoption. I needed to try and move forward. We still had 6 embryos (out of 18) left from our ONE IVF round. We decided because the doctors had yet to diagnose me with anything (except for unexplained frequent pregnancy loss), I would go back and do another frozen embryo round. We just couldn’t stomach the adoption process again so soon after losing our baby. And we had always planned to go back for our little embryos that had been created on the same day as our precious son, Jack.
We sat down with our doctor in early January. One of the first things she said to us was, “Have you considered a surrogate?” I was completely shocked because I had asked her about this before our last round and she blew me off with, “No, we are not there yet!” I was young and had successfully carried our son. There was no medical reason they had found to explain my miscarriages.
But once she asked the question this time, I knew things were different. She explained that they had done the most aggressive protocol last round and we had only made it to 8 weeks. The genetic tests had come back normal after the D&C. Clearly, something was going on with me. Her best guess is that my Crohn’s disease was causing some immune issues. We decided I would try one more round with my body, but if I miscarried, we would look into a surrogate.
The thought overwhelmed me.
How would we find someone? There was no way we would be able to pay for it…
I started the old familiar process of prepping for our embryo transfer. I administered shots in my belly every night. I faithfully took my prenatal vitamins and folic acid.
The anxiety started to escalate between me and Justin. Would we be able to handle the stress and emotions of another round? We were so tired already. What if I miscarried? Could we really make it through another loss?
Why in the world did we think we were strong enough to do this right now?
In fertility treatments, you usually have a “baseline appointment.” This signifies the official start of the round, and in the case of our clinic, it is when the money is due. My baseline was set for Thursday, February 12, 2015.
Let me back up a bit…
A few weeks after the adoption, I vaguely remember Justin saying that a couple from church had emailed him about wanting to meet up with us. I remember asking him what it was about and he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Something about the adoption, I think.” From what I understand, Justin was a bit slow to respond and the meeting was never scheduled.
Ok back to February…
On the Sunday before my baseline (2/8), it was a strange day at church. Justin and I sat in a different spot and we had to stay long after the service was over so that Justin could do a few things in the sound booth. All of a sudden, this couple walked up to us.
We were all alone in the large sanctuary.
They introduced themselves. I had met the wife, Stacy, before but only briefly. We laughed because the husband was also named Justin and then it came out that this was the couple that had been trying to meet with us. They had wondered when they should try and talk with us because the meeting had never been set up. But, then they explained that we sat RIGHT in front of them today (which never happens) and they coincidentally also needed to stay late after church.
It felt like it was the day to talk.
Stacy started talking. Right when she started speaking, I knew by the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice that it was going to be something important. This is not a direct quote, but it was something like this, “I know this might be a little awkward so I will come right out and say it. I have always thought about being a surrogate for someone and after we heard your adoption story, Justin nudged me and asked if I would consider doing it for you guys. I am not sure where you are at right now, but if you ever need one, I would love to offer to do that for you. It would be an honor.”
She went on to explain that she wanted nothing in return. She just wanted to help make our dreams come true.
It was just one of those moments.
In a previous post, I explained the feeling we had when we got our match call in the hallway. This was very different, but also very much the same. It was one of those moments where I knew I didn’t have all the details, but that my life was about to forever change.
Tears immediately sprang to my eyes.
I cried because I couldn’t believe someone like this existed in the world. The term, “gift,” doesn’t even begin to signify what she was offering. But yet, here she was right in front of me offering to give it to us.
I cried because I felt so loved by God in that moment. Honestly, after our losses, it was hard to remember that He did. For two years, we had received five, clear answers of “NO” to our most earnest and tearful prayers. I suppose I felt forgotten and certainly unloved. I trusted that He had a plan for us and I knew in my head that He loved me, but my heart felt like it was in a million pieces.
But as Stacy spoke, I couldn’t help but witness the dazzling display of His love and care for us, His brokenhearted children.
Justin and I stumbled over our words. I hugged her and we both cried.
Justin explained that we were in the middle of a round, but that we had discussed surrogacy with our doctor for our next round.
“So we will let you know!” we said as we hugged them goodbye.
But as we drove home and settled in for the afternoon, a nagging thought kept running through my head….
Our doctor JUST said we should get a surrogate. An amazing woman and her husband JUST came up and offered to be one for us for FREE and we told them….WHAT? That we would let them know later????
What in the world were we thinking??