by Carin

Now, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. When people look sadly at me because I can’t have kids of my own, I still tell them how lucky I am. I have a wonderful husband, an incredibly supportive family, wonderful friends and, despite the surgeries, I am in excellent health. Even with the infertility stuff, I was grateful to have insurance to cover most of what was needed. I also truly believe that fate waited until I was ready to give us the greatest gift. One week after my surgery I got a call from the agency. They had found us another surrogate. This one was in Illinois and lived in the south suburbs of Chicago. She was promised to another family who had backed out due to financial reasons. The agency had already set up a meeting for Friday (we got the call on Wednesday) and didn’t want to have to change it. Of course I still couldn’t drive and my husband had already taken a lot of time off work. I frantically called my husband and told him that he needed to take another day off because this could be the one. Luckily, he had a very understanding boss who let him go for the afternoon.

Meeting this woman and her husband were like a dream come true. There I was, shuffling along, one week after another “C-section,” clutching my little pillow to my abdomen, sitting in a conference room listening to a woman tell me that she may be willing to carry my child. After the meeting, we were each told to go home, talk it over and to let the agency know within 48 hours if we accepted each other. We didn’t even make it home before we called the agency and told them an exuberant YES! The other couple waited until the next day but they were as impressed with us as we were with them.

After a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that is very important but not necessary to rehash here, we were ready to start her on the stimulation drugs. In February 2009, two embryos were transferred into our surrogate. Two weeks later, almost exactly five years from the date of my first pregnancy test, we got the news that it had worked. She was pregnant. Of course she was ecstatic (as we were five years ago) but we knew better now. So much can go wrong. We refused to get excited until after the first ultrasound. We saw the heartbeat but I still couldn’t bring myself to breathe. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. At the end of the first trimester I was able to breathe a little bit. We told our families and kept waiting anxiously for each new appointment. I don’t think I truly felt comfortable telling people until halfway through the second trimester. I refused to allow myself to hope and believe that this could actually be happening. To her credit, she put up with my craziness, my skepticism and was a constant source of comfort and support. A deep and lifelong friendship had been forged. We were truly blessed to have found each other, as fate had intended.

Even now, with our four-month-old blessing, it is hard for me to believe that I am actually a mom. I had been told that as soon as I hold the baby in my arms, I would forget all the troubles that came before him. On the one hand, that was true. On the other hand, I never want to forget. That struggle has made me who I am today. I don’t mean a crazy hormone-deprived person who suffers hot flashes (but never when I am actually cold enough to need them). My infertility journey has taught me that I could handle much more than I thought I could. I was stronger than I thought I was. It made my relationships better and more open. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. This little boy will be loved and cherished always, as will the woman who gave up her eggs to allow him to exist, and the woman who selflessly carried him and delivered him safely and securely into his mother’s arms.