We're so happy to have Charee guest blogging with us to share the beginning of her surrogacy journey with ConceiveAbilities.
As I'm laying here, with all four of the hotel's pillows wrapped around my back and neck, three magazines at my side - Glamour, People, Women's Health -Netflix up and running on my iPad to my left, my business book I've been wanting to read for weeks, crab cake sandwich and quinoa salad on the way, and a lemon Pellegrino ice cold on my side table, I'm reflecting.
I'm reflecting on why I'm here, why I started this, how far I've come, and how blessed I am. Not just because I have two young boys, 5 and 2 1/2 years old, and that trying to listen all the way through a commercial, or trying to get a quick bathroom break in without one the boys wanting to sit in my lap while I'm actually on the toilet, or trying to wipe the second cup of milk from the table before I've sat down to stick the first bite off the fork into my mouth, is pretty much my day and I'm blessed for the chaos...It's because there are families out there who WANT this beautiful, messy life so bad. And that's why I'm here, in this bed.
I'm back in Denver for my second transfer this year. Same route, only a different route. What does that mean? Back in May, my husband and I traveled to Denver where my IP's fertility clinic is located. They had saved one tiny embryo just for me. They will transfer this precious embryo in my uterus, in the hopes that it will implant and grow so that I can provide this deserving, and now much-loved couple, a new member into their family.
It's the journey of the passion, the love, the desire, the science and the miracle that's been an epic adventure. And we've still only just begun.
I started this journey just a bit over a year ago. With my job, I get to travel a little and meet a lot of women on different missions but with one common goal: natural health with essential oils. With this, I get to hear a lot of "Share Your Story" stories.
In September 2014, I met a young lady who asked me about using oils during her pregnancy, so we naturally started talking about the actual pregnancy. It was her pregnancy, just not her baby.
My eyes opened wide and my mouth dropped. I was so shocked, moved, and curious! Her story was sweet; she didn't know the couple to begin with, but knew after her second child, she wanted to carry a child for someone who couldn't. And her doctor actually put her in touch with someone who needed JUST THAT. Done.
I drove home that night with surrogacy on my mind, heavy. It was a Friday and I decided to see how I felt on Sunday. Sunday rolled around and it was still heavy on mind. It was more than just a scratch I needed to itch, it was like a diet that requires you to not eat bread - you just can't stop thinking Panera. It will not go away until you gorge yourself in its spectacular taste.
I decided to talk to my husband about it because he would be the one to bring the baseline, or to tell me that I'm way cool and he's in. He said the latter! Right away, in fact.
We were on a picnic in the front yard with our boys. Lucas, my 5-year-old (4 then) and Colin, my 2 ½-year-old (only 1 1/2 then) were arguing over food and throwing a bit at each other.
I told my husband, "Ya know, (I'm from the South, Alabama to be specific, so we say "ya know.” I might throw a "ya'll" in here somewhere just for stereotypical reasons…)
"Ya know, what would we do without what's here, on this blanket, in the midst of a food fight, if we, for whatever reason, couldn't have children?"
His words were great: with a laugh and grape to the forehead, "I don't know,” he said.
We don't know. We don't know what it's like to not be able to conceive, we pretty much snapped our fingers and conception happened. We've never thought of life on the other side of fertility. So I opened up and told him my thoughts. He heard my passion for this, and I had done some studying, of course, so I had some facts to share. Both with open minds, we proceeded to the next step: we need a family to help.
I'm a pretty open person, but I wasn't ready to post on Facebook or Craigslist that I was offering a womb complete with uterus for rent. And we at the time, had no clue quite how this was to pan out with the logistics that go into it...legal, medical, insurance, evaluations...etc. Those were the broad categories, and within them were micro categories that blew our mind on what to do on our own with them.
So I Googled "Surrogacy Agencies in Alabama.” There they were, ready for me to click and research: ConceiveAbilities. The name was clever and I'm a huge fan of clever.
So I did, and I called. The sweetest voice answered and answered my 999 questions right away. Cool! Now, I felt pretty good about actually putting my name in those blocks online. So I did.
An email came back pretty quickly and I even got a phone call to answer some general questions about myself. I was told some information was to be emailed to me and that I'd be contacted for a phone interview very soon. Two phone interviews later, a packet of information emailed, information of everything medical, doctor's recommendation, a home visit from one of the ConceiveAbilities staff, a psychological interview for my husband and myself, and the match making was in process!
While I was waiting I had an “encounter” with a surrogate on the Facebook group that ConceiveAbilities added me to be a part of, a support system. The waiting period between matching and actually transferring can take several months so the support is vital!
I started chatting with this lady in the group and found out we pretty much had the same exact timeline! So from then on, we were glued to each other's progress and I have to say she's definitely helped me through this past year.
I got matched in late November 2014 and we scheduled a Skype meeting for the shortly after. I remember being so nervous! What do I say first, what if I say something stupid, what if I can't find the words to say, what if, what if...
The great news is that a ConceiveAbilities team member would be there to facilitate. PHEW!
I remember seeing their sweet faces on my computer and all of this...this passion, this vision, this journey...became real. This was a real couple, with a dream of growing their family, and they entrusted me...ME...to do that. I was on top of the world!
After our interview with each other (which was filled with telling each other about ourselves, our jobs, our passions, our families, etc.) I was in love! But were they?
Are they? Aren't they? Read more about Charee's story next week!
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.