Imagine my surprise 10 years later, when I got the urge to be a surrogate again.
During the course of my business, I had met with a couple that had recently had
While enjoying a fairly uneventful pregnancy and delivery, she started to haemorrhage. In order to save her life, a hysterectomy had to be performed. At 29 years old, she was never going to be pregnant again.
When I met them they were still in the information gathering stage, and needing to know that surrogacy was a viable option for them. I assured them that it was.
They called several times over the next few years just to touch base, so that when they called and said that they were ready to begin, we had already gotten to know each other. I offered to be their surrogate and they accepted.
The Intended Mom went through the egg retrieval process in February 2002. 19 eggs were retrieved. 12 fertilized. At the end of the first day, the clinic called to say it didn’t look good. We were going to do a transfer possibly on day 2 (normally transfer
doesn’t take place till between day 3 and 5), because there were only 2, maybe three embryos remaining.
We ended up doing a day 3 transfer. But just before the transfer, the doctor wanted to talk with us. He just about fell over himself apologizing for the number of embryos,
and the quality. Apparently they were not very good at all. But he assured us, with the
next retrieval he would do a different protocol and things hopefully would be better.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Basically we were just “going through the motions” of a transfer, but not a lot of hope.
Out of the three embryos, one wasn’t doing very well, so we decided to transfer two embryos and see what happened to the third, but we were told it would probably stop developing and die.
I adhered totally to the doctor’s orders. No baths, only showers, shots in the butt
every day etc…
Just for fun, I did a home pregnancy test on day 9. It was POSITIVE. To say I was surprised was an understatement. I showed everyone that stick, just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. They all assured me it was positive. Then the “What was I thinking” hit??? Here I was 42 years old. Could I do this? Well on Day 10, 11, and 12, pee on a sticks convinced me, I was indeed pregnant. I hadn’t told the couple yet, because I wanted the blood test to confirm it. I had made up a wonderful “baby basket”, with all kinds of great baby stuff, and attached the “pee on a sticks” to it. We patiently waited for Day 12. I had made arrangements to meet up with the Intended Mom, already knowing what the test results would reveal.
I went in early in the morning to the clinic, and told them to ONLY call me when the result came in. They smiled knowingly.
I was in the middle of a meeting when the phone rang. The nurse said, “Joanne…it’s positive”, and gave me the beta number. Even though I already knew the result, the tears streamed down my face.
When I got off the phone, the woman I was with said…”it’s positive isn’t it?” I nodded. She said…”Joanne, that’s how the story should go…”
After I left the meeting, I went to meet the Intended Mother. Carrying the huge box, (baby basket), I sat in front of her. She said “What?” I said, “Open it”, she did and pulled out the huge basket. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, …”Did you hear something”? I said..”Yes, you guys are gonna have a baby”, She said NO! I said…YES! She immediately got on the phone to the Intended dad, to share our news.
We all couldn’t believe with the crappy quality of the embryos that it actually worked. Their lone embryo also continued to develop to blastocyst, before freezing.
Our first ultrasound showed one baby. We were all thrilled and truly thankful. Our pregnancy was textbook. Our relationship was even better than I could have ever imagined. The Intended Mom made it to every doctor’s appointment, while the Intended dad made it most of the time.
We emailed and spoke often. I let them know how I was feeling. The good, the bad, and the milestones throughout the pregnancy. I called when the baby kicked for the first time, when I was tired and had heartburn, and when he would do somersaults.
Both of their families got very involved, which was so wonderful for me. Both sets of parents lived out of the country, but we also emailed and spoke often.
Finally it was time!!! The doctor decided we could start inducing on Friday, November 8th, 2002.
We were all to be at the hospital at 7:30 am. We were all filled with such anticipation.
I couldn’t believe that they would be holding their son (yes, we found out it was a boy) in less than 24 hours. After a couple of false starts, everything gets going, and we
also get the “Good Room”. Which was fabulous, because there would be a lot of
After a very long day, our doctor who had been fabulous, came to tell us his shift was over, but that he would come back for the delivery. In the meantime, he wanted to introduce us to his “boss”, the doctor that would be delivering. He said…”Joanne, here is Doctor Livingstone”. I looked up at him, and said “Oh my Gosh, did you used to work at Toronto General?” He said, “Why yes, I did”. My eyes misted up, and I said, “You delivered my surrogate twins”, which he remembered right away. I believe in fate, and this was a BIG sign for me. That this was meant to be. He was there for my first delivery and my last.
Finally at 11:45 pm, I am fully dilated and ready to push. My hubby holds one leg, and the Intended Father, the other. The Intended Mother just couldn’t watch, and was standing by my head. I push once, and the nurse says, hold up a bit. Goes over to the Intended Mom, and says, “Hold out your hand”, with a confused look on her face, she does, and the nurse slaps a glove on her. Even more confused now, the nurse says, “Come over here, you are gonna feel your baby’s head”. The look of horror on her face was priceless. But she looked over at me and I said…”Go ahead”. She did, and then completely broke down.
Three more pushes and he was out. The dad cut his cord. The mom and dad oohhed and ahhhed over him, and then they brought him to me. I have to say, he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen (next to mine of course). His eyes were open and he was looking around, just like he had the most incredible journey.
12:31 am November 9th, 2002 7 lbs 9 oz.
The look of joy and wonder on the new parents faces still brings tears to my eyes.
I cannot imagine a better “end to the story” than how I spent that weekend. I hope all of you at one time or another get to feel what I and his parents felt that day. …That another miracle was born…