The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy
 




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Gurnee, IL 60031
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Surrogacy, The Ultimate Gift
by: Lisa Emmons

 

After reading about surrogacy in a magazine article, I knew that it was the one thing that I had been looking for to make a difference in the world. The first test tube baby occurred when I was about ten years old and I was fascinated by it. My husband and I had decided that three children were enough, and I had my tubes tied.

I then got serious about being a surrogate mother and applied at the Center for Surrogate Parenting and Egg Donation, Inc. in Beverly Hills. I had an interview after filling out a detailed questionnaire, extensive psychological tests, including an MMPI and Ink Blocks test, and a detailed physical exam, including blood tests for various diseases as well as a check of interior reproductive organs.

After obtaining medical clearance, I was given a choice of three couples to help. It was a very tough decision because I wanted to help them all! I finally chose one that was local to me, so that we could form a friendship and they would be able to participate in the pregnancy and delivery.

We met at the Center and all liked each other (I was so nervous) and agreed to take this incredible journey together! As luck would have it, the Intended Mother was starting her meds for an egg retrieval and we would be pretty much in sync. My IM was taking Pergonal and Metrodin to grow the eggs in her body. These eggs would then be fertilized in a petri dish with her husband's sperm, using a process called ICSI (which injects a single sperm into each egg). After the fertilization process, my couple had six embryos to work with. Three were fresh and three were frozen. After dividing in the dish for three days, all six embryos were transferred into my body via a small, thin catheter. The procedure was painless and I just laid on my back during the whole thing with the IM holding my hand.

After the procedure, I rested on the table for 2 hours and was then sent home for three days of bed rest. During this time, I was taking progesterone shots once a day to help the embryos develop. By day six, I was feeling a bit queasy and was sure that I was pregnant. I went in for consecutive blood tests, which showed the HCG in my body was more that tripling every 36 hours. My couple was beside themselves that it worked the first time and I don't think they could quite believe it. I went in for an interior ultrasound. It showed that FIVE embryos had implanted.I think all of us were pretty shocked and I was scared to say the least!

The Reproductive Endocrinologist told us that due to the IM's maternal age, all the embryos probably wouldn't develop and not to worry as something called "twin vanishing" often occurred. In my case, we were very lucky because by week ten, there were only two heartbeats on the screen but three sacs. The third sac was the last one to vanish on its own. By this time, I was experiencing severe morning sickness and was pretty much a grump. My Intended Parents were very good to me and I had someone taking care of me during the whole time, which really helped. My children had someone to cook for them and watch them while I went through the worst of the morning sickness.

By fourteen weeks, I was feeling like myself again and started enjoying the pregnancy. I loved feeling two little bodies inside me wiggling all the time. My intended parents were at every Dr. appointment and spent a lot of time with my family. My children really liked them and enjoyed their company. Time seemed to go by very fast and at thirty-four weeks, I was dilated to a six. I stayed that way for almost three more weeks, as we waited for the babies to make their entrance. My water broke with the first twin, who was in proper position. But the second twin was sideways by my heart, so I had to have a C- section. The saddest part about this is that my couple missed the birth (it happened so fast). The first baby was born and wheeled off to the nursery, while the second baby was being removed. He was still in his bag of waters and the Dr. had to "pop" the water bag! It was really interesting to watch the whole procedure and it seemed rather surreal. My couple arrived just as the second baby was being wheeled into the nursery. I saw them the next morning and they were on cloud nine! It was really great to see them so happy and worth every minute of the pregnancy! I wish that we could have all experienced the birth together and I think all of us were saddened that it didn't happen that way but I think the little guys more than made up for it! I remained one day longer than the twins, as it was my first C-section. I was so proud that the twins never needed NICU and that they were able to go home so quickly. I never felt that I had given them up, as I was never their mother. I simply grew her precious creations.
 

2007 OPTS - The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy