*today’s post was written by our amazing gestational carrier, Desiree.
MEET MY FAMILY
Hi! I’m Desiree and I have been married to the love of my life, Terry, for almost 9 years. We are a blended family with four kids. Gabe is 18, Yesenia is 13, Serena is 7, and Jeremiah is 6. The second each of my children was handed to me I fell completely in love with them and couldn’t imagine wanting the be a mother so deeply, but being told that wasn’t going to be possible. This is where my surrogacy story starts- thirteen years ago, after seeing my first baby for the very first time. Becoming a gestational carrier is definitely not for everyone- and if you lack patience (hellllllo!!!) this is absolutely something that will give you several opportunities to learn it!
THE ROAD TO SURROGACY
I knew this was something I’d be willing to do for someone after I had Yesenia. I had no idea if it would be in the cards for me, but I did know that if someone approached me I would not walk away from the opportunity to help. Fast forward seven years, and I began to loosely look into what it took to start the process. Jeremiah (my youngest) was a few months old, we were still adjusting to becoming a family of four, and I mentioned surrogacy to my husband. He didn’t say yes…and he didn’t say no. But, I think the hormones of pregnancy and post-natal life were still so fresh in his mind that he could not even think about his wife being pregnant again after almost two years of that being our normal, haha! So we left it at a brief, “I’d like to do this one day” conversation that got put on the back burner.
When Jeremiah turned five I brought it up again. I had looked into agencies already and had a little more info readily available for any questions Terry may have. He has whole-heartedly supported me and this idea of mine ever since! Faith is a huge part of who we are and what our family foundation is- and I feel like God told me,
MY FIRST SURROGACY JOURNEY AND THE HEARTBREAK
In 2017, I worked with an agency and quickly got matched with a couple from China. Things were going relatively seamless, and we got pregnant on our first transfer with untested embryos. I was ecstatic that things happened very quickly, and was optimistic that it would be smooth sailing from there to the end. Weekly ultrasounds showed that the baby was growing as expected. After our 8-week appointment we were told that we did not need to do another ultrasound until 12 weeks. I delighted at the idea of making that milestone.
The 12 week ultrasound came quickly, and I walked into my appointment with stars in my eyes. I couldn’t wait to record their baby’s heartbeat and send it to them! (They were never able to travel for those early appointments since they lived so far away). As soon as the ultrasound tech started our appointment, I just knew something wasn’t right. At all my previous appointments they would let me see the baby for a few minutes before taking measurements- but this time she lingered on baby for about ten seconds before quickly moving and measuring my ovaries.
In those few seconds, I knew baby was gone. The tech turned the lights on, asked me to sit up and apologized and told me there wasn’t a heart beat. I should have been 12 weeks along, but the baby was measuring 8weeks 3days. That means that I lost the baby just 3 days after my last ultrasound. I held it together pretty well after hearing the news, and called the coordinator from my agency from the ultrasound room. As soon as she answered… I totally lost it. I explained what had happened and she did her best comforting me over the phone.
I was moved to an exam room and I called my husband to tell him what had happened. (I know I scared him with the way I was crying and he couldn’t understand what I was saying.) I finally caught my breath enough to tell him the baby was gone, and I am so thankful he was able to rush over to the office in 5 minutes. The doctor came in to talk to us, and explained the different choices I had. I chose to take medication to start the miscarriage process, instead of going to the hospital for a D&C.
As we left, I decided to tell my IPs on my own. I felt like it was something I needed to do- and since there is such a time difference in China, they were still asleep since (it was the middle of the night). I was upset that they were going to wake up to a “WeChat message” from me saying that the baby’s heart stopped beating. I knew they would be devastated.
I knew how sad I felt, so I could not even imagine how they were feeling. Unfortunately, after delivering the bad news, they disappeared. They only communicated with me through the agency, which was so hard for me, because prior to the bad news we were speaking two or three times a week. They avoided me and wouldn’t answer my messages. I know they were grieving, and I cannot tell anyone how they can and can’t grieve, but I was truly heartbroken.
PICKING UP THE PIECES AFTER LOSS
I was heartbroken over the loss of their baby, and heartbroken over the loss of their friendship. A few weeks later, the agency coordinator reached out and asked me if I would wait for the couple to make more embryos and then try (another embryo transfer) again. I was confused after they’d completely ignored me, but I agreed. And although something really didn’t feel right.. I still agreed. I kept praying about our current situation, and I felt like God kept telling me this wasn’t for me. Surrogacy was- but not with this couple. Although it was incredibly difficult, I finally listened, and let the agency know I did not want to move forward with that couple. Thankfully, our contract was for only one transfer, which made the transition out much easier. It was really important to me to be with a couple, where both sides wanted to be in that match, and wanted to work as a team to get to a happy ending. That night as I was putting my kiddos to bed, Serena prayed that I would find another couple that wanted a baby that I could help. It was the sweetest prayer from a six year old innocent heart. And guess who I met the VERY NEXT DAY...
THE PATH TO A NEW COUPLE
When Lauren and I met and messaged back and forth the first night I knew she was, “the one!” When I finally told my husband, Terry, he looked at me like I was crazy. BUT I just knew! Shortly after beginning the matching process, Lauren and Todd made plans to come to Denver, and I couldn’t wait to meet them! We had only known each other for a few weeks, but it felt like we had been friends forever. During that wait period, we worked with an agency, Choices Donations, to square away all the logistics needed to make our match official. (more on the agency later)
Meeting for lunch that Sunday afternoon was exactly as I thought! There really weren’t any nerves going into it…just excitement! After a couple of hours at the restaurant, I knew Terry felt the same way I did. We both strongly felt that these were going to be the people I would get the chance to help build their family.
I am so honored, humbled and blessed that they have chosen me to take this journey with them. And, that they trust me with the most precious gift, ever. We now like to joke that they’re stuck with my crazy family and me FOR-EV-ERRRR (cue Sandlot voice hahaha!) Thanks for jumping on this wild ride with us and following our amazing story! This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to see what unfolds!