The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy
 




Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 611
Gurnee, IL 60031
Telephone:
(847)782-0224

Email: bzager@msn.com

  

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Our Surrogacy Journey


 

After being married 6 years and 5 of those years on the infertility roller coaster, we decided on surrogacy as an option to have a baby. I was 34 and my husband was 36. We had no kids and no pregnancies. I wanted to pursue gestational surrogacy sooner than my husband- I felt hopeful that this was what would work. A friend had researched different agencies after doing some research on surrogacy. She and her husband pursued gestational surrogacy successfully and had a 3 year old. Her story was similar to ours in the fact that we both had immunological problems perhaps contributing to our infertility, reasonably good results in the IVF lab with embryos, but no pregnancies! Of course my husband was scared of surrogacy and wanted to continue in treatment with some meds we had not tried. Well even though I was at my "wits end" with fertility treatment and we had "been there and done that" I knew we both had to be comfortable with all aspects of gestational surrogacy. We spent 1 more year doing IUI and IVF and I used the time to learn about gestational surrogacy, (agencies, fees, statistics, etc.. ) figuring that this information would educate my husband so he could feel comfortable \ with it too.

The "last ditch effort" for us was our last IVF with me in January 1998--we had 11 eggs all mature, most of which fertilized, and 6 went on to excellent quality 8-cell embryos. It was a typical result for us but since we had done IVF before and had #'s of embryos transferred with no pregnancies ever, we put all 6 back, hoping 1 or 2 would take. When it didn't work we were not surprised. Although we had info on at least 2 agencies we scheduled a consultation with the surrogacy agency that our friend had used. My husband felt more comfortable with the option after meeting with the director.

My husband was more comfortable knowing that he agency would handle many of the details. We signed a contract that covered every aspect imaginable and a trust fund was established in which we would receive a monthly ledger detailing the gestational surrogacy expenses. We felt $50,000 was worth it for all the services they provide. We figured by the time all is said and done and if we have multiples and an expensive stay in intensive care it would be about $100,000 and they basically agreed.

We told a few close friends both fertile and infertile that we were exploring the option of surrogacy. They asked would it be your eggs and sperm? How do they do this? And what do you do--go out to where the agency is? Why do the women want to do this? And do you mind me asking how much do they get paid? Only 1 friend mentioned Mary Beth Whitehead! We also told the prospective grandmothers and I think they were concerned at first but once we explained how everything worked they felt good about it.

Over the course of the next 6 months (6-8 months was a quoted wait on the brochure) we received 2 profiles of women we chose not to go with because of their medical/pregnancy history. The counselors and psychologists try to match couples and surrogates on all aspects: personality, beliefs, lifestyle, hobbies, and views on multiples and selective reduction. We expected the surrogates would typically all be married and have at least 2 kids and no miscarriages but that was not the case. Some were young unmarried mothers with only 1 child and some had miscarriages. The basic guidelines for the surrogates were: had to be between ages of 21-37, have at least 1 child, good health, good job, stable home life, psychologically and emotionally secure, and motivated to be a SM for the right reasons. Most important to us was that the SM have a shared belief on no selective reduction and a very good medical and pregnancy history. A suitable profile came in January 1999--the 3rd profile was the charm--she was everything we had hoped for in a gestational surrogate. We met her, her husband and their five kids and instantly clicked! We synchronized in February and did the IVF/egg retrieval, embryo transfer in March. And in April we learned we were pregnant with twins! It was our 1st positive test ever in all our years of trying. It was definitely "whirlwind" but our elation was short lived because our surrogate miscarried at @7 weeks! We were at an all time “high” then a dismal “low”. We were very discouraged but decided to pursue another transfer the next year.

Our dedicated surrogate Mom stuck with us and I had 3 more IVF’s and she had several transfers over the course of the year. It was a much longer time than normal to pursue surrogacy, but 2 years after meeting our SM, in January 2001, she made our dreams come true and gave birth to our miracle!”



Footnote: M” & “F” are parents of a 4 year old boy, born January/2001, via gestational surrogacy. They are now waiting for the birth of a 2nd child, due in August/2005,with the help of an egg donor and their gestational surrogate.


 

© 2007 OPTS - The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy