Friday, February 29, 2008

Times Two and Three .... and I Don't Mean Math

The second time I encountered the concept of surrogacy was after I was married, while Blaine and I were initially trying to conceive, ourselves. I have a cousin who, by the time she was sixteen, had not yet started her period. Her mother took her to their family doctor, who discovered this girl had been born without a uterus. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is that a permanent loss of fertility is a pretty big issue for a sixteen year old to have to deal with. My mom told me that tests had revealed my cousin had normal working ovaries, so she could produce eggs, she would just never be able to carry a pregnancy. My mom said, very matter of fact, “So both her mom and her sister have already offered to carry for her if she ever wants them to.” And I thought to myself, “Of course. I would too, if she needed me to.” It just seemed *natural* to me, to want to help someone else like that if you were able.

And the third time was when Blaine and I were in the throes of treatment. We kept trying procedure after procedure, medication after medication; it had been years of treatment so far, all to no avail. The doctors never found anything seriously wrong, but never had any success getting us pregnant, either. One night our phone rang and it was a friend of mine from high school. Her voice shook a little and she said she had something serious she wanted to talk about with me. She then went on to tell me that she and her husband had discussed it at length, and she would like to offer to be a surrogate for us if we needed it. She told me how nervous she was to make the call, and she didn’t want to pry into our business, but that she had given it great deal of thought and was willing to do that in order for us to become parents.

After I got over my shock, I discussed it with Blaine, and we agreed: her offer was overwhelming and kind-hearted and sincere. But bottom line, we didn’t NEED a surrogate. At least not yet. Surrogacy is a wonderful option for people who have run out of traditional medical treatments, and that wasn’t us. We still had treatments we could try. There was no reason we knew of that I couldn’t carry, and I wasn’t ready yet to give up on my dream of becoming pregnant myself. We were still considering adoption, if we couldn’t get pregnant. Simply put, we hadn’t reached that point in our own journey yet. But I always remembered her gesture and offer. I thought it was probably the kindest thing anyone would ever do for me.

Then we met Brayden’s birthmom and received a gift even kinder and more generous that would at last, after years of frustration and sadness, allow us to become parents.


Cathy in MI said...

Wow, what a generous friend to have called you and made that offer. I like in one of your previous posts when referring to the sister on Oprah she said it was like she was babysitting for a period of time. That is one of the best descriptions of surrogacy I have ever heard. Kristie, thanks again for sharing your journey with us.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your story. You are doing a great job of telling about your journey to surrogacy. Please don't take the smaller number of comments as a lack of interest - I know that I am always excited to read your entries.

Lisa C.

Anonymous said...

Where was the glich, I mean how come "all of a sudden" you could become pregnant? We all know it was not just becuase the pressure was off due to the adoption. We are so happy that it all worked out for you, just curious on the details, after all your life is like a novel fo us. We love it!

Kristie said...

Dear Anonymous, well, if I were being sarcastic, I would say that, as opposed to the popular myth that "if you'd just relax, you'd get pregnant", it appears for us, the key was to pile on as much shit and stress and pressure as is humanly possible, and THEN you will get pregnant!

My truer opinion, however (and I said this in a previous journal entry ....) was that God knew all along that Brayden was meant to be a part of our family. Had I ever gotten pregnant, during any of the years and years that I was trying, we would never have pursued adoption. He needed to get her into our family where she belonged, and *then*, and only then, was it "ok" for me to get pregnant, and so it happened. (Amid much shit and stress and pressure!) :)

It's very difficult when you're in the midst of a struggle to understand and accept that there is a timeline and a purpose for all things. Or if not a purpose, then perhaps a reason ... or something. I know our fertility struggle led us to adoption, which led us to our daughter.

Beyond that, who the hell knows why ANYTHING works the way it does??? :)

Anonymous said...

And aren't we immensely, hard-to-put-into-words grateful to our birthmothers every day of our lives?


Trish said...

What a friend! How awesome, I mean, I know someone who is going through infertility right now. As much as I care for her and her husband, and want for them to experience parenthood, I know I could not be a surrogate for them. I am too emotional and would never be able to hand over the baby, even though he or she would not be my own. I know my limitations. But for a friend to offer to do that, I think that is incredible!

Trish (in Leesburg, since I forgot to put that the first time) said...

oh! an having just read through the other comments, I agree with you (not that my opinion on it matters) about God knowing Brayden belonged in your family and so that is why you only got pregnant AFTER she came to be with you & Blaine. Truly, your family could not be complete with her smiling face!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for people like M. and the miracles that allowed you to become pregnant with Kellen and Kendrie! Have a great weekend Escoe Fam!

Monica (H)opeful said...

Thank you for sharing your surrogacey story. I love that Brayden belonged in your family. Beautiful!