It is approximately five days to the day of my embryo transfer. No, I didn’t have any eggs retrieved…and no, I am not trying to conceive. Some weeks ago, my husband and I made a decision to be become surrogate parents for my mother’s younger sister. I actually prefer using the term ‘gestational carrier’ to ‘surrogate mom’ because surrogacy has been devalued and turned into something I would rather not talk about. Anyways, I have a sweet aunt that has been TTC for over a decade now. She had a long hard battle with Fibroid, and eventually had a hysterectomy. Those years were tumultuous for her, and having her womb removed when she was yet to have a baby; dealt her a blow that almost cost her everything else. She became a recluse; trying hard to understand why fate had dealt with her so cruelly. As civil servants, the Fibroid surgeries had eaten deep into their savings and salaries; that they didn’t even have any fallback savings on.
Some five/six years later, she finally decided to try out IVF but to their dismay, it was going to be another expensive process. But with her fiftieth birthday almost at the door, she and her husband began to save aggressively. With supplements, drugs and injectables, they were able to get good enough eggs to retrieve. Upon fertilization, they got three embryos and had them frozen. Next step was to look for a surrogate; the price tag attached, as well as maintenance fees and hospital bills were scary; but my aunty was desperate. At the time I was weaning my daughter, and was her only niece who could act as a carrier. Some of the requirements were 1. Must have given birth previously 2. Must have had no complications in pregnancy and childbirth 3. Preferably young. I was just weaning my daughter and finally getting most of my pregnancy weight out, I didn’t want to get BIG again. At least, not yet. So I kept making excuses and praying for her to find some other alternative.
Early this month, something happened that changed my mind. We had a get together and while chatting, one of our members told us how she had lost herself and became jaded in her TTC process. Her mother and husband had to stage an intervention, to help her get her groove back. Her story was so beautiful, and it reminded me of my aunty. I imagined how desperate she was at this point, and everything she had gone through in the past. I knew that carrying her baby was going to bring her back to life. So, I stopped thinking about my body that was going to grow big again, the nausea that was sure to come, as well as the stretch marks I was sure to acquire. It became about giving hope to a woman who lost all hope of giving birth when she had her womb removed. Her own child, her husband’s seed, their own DNA could grow within me, and light up their lives again.
So I called my mother and her sister and told them I was willing to go through with it. They were elated of course, but we still needed to get my husband’s support. The night I threw the cards at him, I was frankly expecting a BIG FAT NO. He asked lots and lots of questions, and then said he was going to think about it. Some days later, he gave me the go-ahead. My aunty and mom who practically held their breathes down until this time, were so ecstatic about it. Finally, there was a ray of sunshine! My aunty started dreaming again about holding her own babies. So I went to the hospital with her, got my drugs and got a date! 29-09-2015. This date is five days away and it just might change the lives of two women.
So I enjoin you to join me on this journey…I don’t know what to feel or what to think. I try my best to stay positive and to pray, but as the day gets closer, I feel the pressure and weight of my aunty’s hopes and dreams on me. Right now, she cannot afford another IVF and all three embryos are going to be transferred on Tuesday. I am doing my best to prep my body and mind, because we really must get that BFP!
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