We had been trying for our baby for over two years when the global pandemic hit. Between issues with my lining and my AMH levels dropping significantly, we entered the pandemic unsure of whether our dreams of having a baby would ever become a reality. After locking ourselves down for six months to avoid any additional setbacks, our world was rattled yet again. We learned via Zoom that the best way for us to bring a child into the world would be through gestational surrogacy. While we had somewhat mentally prepared for this news, it was still heartbreaking to finally have this fear confirmed.
As a woman, I felt like a complete failure. What other women sometimes did by accident, not enough science and medication in the world could help me do. When we began our journey with surrogacy, we were just desperate to move forward. For years, we had felt that our world was on hold while everyone else’s lives continued to push forward.
But we were also tired. In two years, we had undergone eight rounds of IVF, a major surgery, two egg retrievals, two implants, an ERA biopsy, many cancelled cycles, a miscarriage followed by a D&C and three hysteroscopies. We were hopeful that gestational surrogacy would be our path to parenthood but also grateful that the bulk of hardships would now be off our shoulders.
We found a match quickly and were excited to finally be “back in the game.” Little did we know, our journey was just beginning. After six months of back and forth, it was evident that we were not on the same page as our surrogate. After being medically cleared by our provider, her cycle had been canceled three times in a row. When it was time to begin to prepare for the fourth, six days prior to the start date, she told us she was going to Disneyworld instead. If we thought we were shattered before, this broke us to our core, but we were still determined to make this happen.
A few months later, we were matched with another surrogate. After weeks of back and forth between the doctors and legalities, this contract fell through. We were beginning to lose hope – hope in our agency but also hope in our dreams of becoming parents. The same day our contract fell through, we were told a surrogate had just joined the agency. Not only had she been medically cleared from our provider, she also lived a short 25 minutes away. It seemed too good to be true. We met via Zoom and instantly clicked – both agreeing to move forward with the contract before we had even gotten off the call. From there, things moved quickly, and I am beyond proud to say that I am writing this just a few days short of our 20-week appointment with our miracle baby.
National Infertility Awareness Week will forever be a reminder of what it took to get here – how many setbacks we hurdled our way through, how many times we were knocked down only to get back up again. It will also be a reminder that no matter what comes our way, together, we will make it through. For those of you in the heart of the struggle, I see you and I remind you of the Japanese proverb, “Nana korobi, ya oki” which means, “fall down seven times, stand up eight.” You got this, and I am forever in your corner.
Kelly C., IL
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