by Carin

I was devastated but decided that it was time to be practical. We sat down with the doctor to discuss options. Option 1: try another cycle with my body. Option 2: find a surrogate to implant the donor eggs into. Option 3: adopt. I decided option 1 was out. I was terrified of another miscarriage. I didn’t know if I could handle it emotionally. Adoption was an option but there was the matter of the six remaining embryos. We decided to try the surrogacy route.

We contacted the same agency that had found us the egg donor and they went to work looking for a surrogate. We were told that it was sometimes difficult to find a surrogate in our home state of Illinois, so they also looked at all the bordering states. Meanwhile, yet another cyst had been slowly growing on what remained of my right ovary. By mid-summer 2008, it had reached eight centimeters and needed to come out. The agency called us in August telling us they had found a surrogate for us in Nashville. We hemmed and hawed and finally decided that it was too far. I wouldn’t be able to make it to all the appointments; if she delivered in Nashville there was the chance of having to go through the adoption process to take the baby out of state. And if she delivered in Illinois then we would need to put her up in a four-star hotel for up to a week before the delivery. We grudgingly let her go hoping that something else would come up.

Then there was the matter of this growing cyst. I had decided after the last surgery that if they needed to go in again, they might as well just take the rest of the ovary out. It wasn’t like it was helping me at all. Whatever eggs may have been left were worthless and I didn’t want to have to deal with a fifth surgery. My husband joked that we should get a punch card saying that if you have four surgeries you get the fifth one free. After speaking with my gynecologist, RE and GYN/Oncologist, it was decided they would do a sub-cervical hysterectomy. They would remove the right ovary and tube, as well as the uterus but would leave in the cervix. The surgery would put me in surgical menopause at age 36. My doctor told me that I would not need hormone replacement treatment unless the menopause symptoms were unbearable. Ironically, the replacement hormone they would put me on – birth control pills!  Someone out there has a warped sense of humor.

On September 15, 2008, four years and seven months after deciding it was time to have children, my doctors removed my last chance of ever getting pregnant. The dream was over. It’s funny, because I didn’t feel sad.  I didn’t feel empty.  The only thought on my mind was finding a surrogate who could help us start a family. Was she out there? If she was, then where the heck was she? I needed to find a surrogate…NOW.