**Continued from Part 1 of my story**
We still had 3 PGS tested embryos remaining. I felt a little bit of hope – surrogacy could be an answer for us! I scheduled an appointment with our RE when I was only a week or two out of the hospital, so we could discuss our options moving forward. I needed a plan. I needed to feel hope for our future.
Walking into the appointment, I thought “surrogacy is our answer!” Then we chatted with our doctor. I had NO IDEA how expensive surrogacy is. I was totally naïve to that world at the time, because we didn’t think we’d have to go down that route.
Our doctor looked us in the eye and said “expect to have about $120,000 in cash on hand if you want to move forward with surrogacy.”
Cue our jaws hitting the floor.
I was now floundering. What were we going to do? It felt like we had no answers and no options to move forward. I vividly remember the feeling of desperation in that moment. I felt hopeless.
I only have one sibling: my sister, my best friend. She has 3 healthy daughters, who came into the world after 3 healthy pregnancies and deliveries. If I’m being honest, I secretly hoped and wished she would offer to carry a baby for us. But I would NEVER ever think of asking her to do that. I never wanted to put her in the awkward situation of having to say “no”, if that’s how she felt.
Fast forward two weeks, and our prayers were answered. My sister offered to carry a baby for us!!! We knew affording an agency (along with a $120k price tag) was out of the question for us. But having a friend or family member offer could definitely be accomplished.
Cue all the happy tears there were to cry! I felt such joy, relief and elation in that moment. A glimmer of hope entered our lives.
We moved forward with the surrogacy process just two months after losing Jack. Anyone in the surrogacy world knows it’s a LONG process. Our journey moved as quickly as it could have, and we had our embryo transfer scheduled with my sister for January 2017, just 7 months after losing Jack.
My sister got pregnant on the first try with our daughter!!! We were so insanely grateful and happy.
My sister went on to have a healthy pregnancy, which we are so grateful for. It wasn’t easy (talk about a ROUGH first trimester), especially when she had 3 kids of her own to care for at home.
On my end, I was on edge and feeling nervous/scared/anxious throughout the ENTIRE pregnancy. There’s no one in the world I’d trust more than my sister to carry my baby…..and it was STILL hard to hand over the control of something SO huge to someone else (as if anyone has control over pregnancy).
It was also tough grieving the loss of what we envisioned life looking like when we would bring babies into the world. We were never going to have that “normal” birth experience, and that made both of us sad. BUT I chose to focus on the positive….like my sister giving us such a huge gift. I also focused on being grateful that we live in an era where IVF is even a possibility.
Our daughter, Reagan, was born on September 20th, 2017!!! I’ll never forget that day as long as I live. Like I mentioned, I was a big stress-ball throughout the whole pregnancy. Even when my sister hit the “viability” stage, even when she hit “full term” at 37 weeks. You never know what can happen in pregnancy, as I was all too familiar with that notion. But once Reagan was born, and she was placed in my arms? All of the stress, worries and fears melted away in an instant. She was here, she was healthy, and she was all mine. I was going to take our rainbow baby home and start to fill up all of the bedrooms in our house like we envisioned many years ago.
It felt surreal for a LONG time to have Reagan home with us. My heart was so full and happy. I couldn’t believe we finally made it…..we finally had a happy, healthy baby home with us!
After a few months, I couldn’t help but think about our future.
My husband and I always wanted two kids, and we had two healthy embryos remaining. Would we ever be able to bring another baby into the world? How would we do that? Again, that $120k price tag of using an agency wasn’t an option. But who else would ever offer such a gift to us? Just like before, we didn’t feel comfortable outright asking someone to carry a baby for us.
It felt like our future was filled with so much unknown. **Continue to Part 3 of my story**