While I was at the Dr. today, she asked me what led me to consider carrying a child for someone I didn’t know. It has been so long since I have told someone this story. My daughter who was born in 1997 is my only child. Shortly after her birth, I realized that she was perfect. I asked my self why mess with perfection? I gained a total of 8 pounds while I was pregnant, I never had morning sickness, and labor was a total of 20 minutes……with no pain management. After the simple delivery, and having a perfect looking baby, no mis-shapen head or odd colored skin, she looked like a doll…..I took Jayde home. She was so perfect at home too. She would eat when I offered her a bottle and slept when I put her in bed. She started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks old, and has ever since. In hearing stories from other moms, I have realized that I had it pretty easy….and everyone I told about how Jayde ate and slept, told me I was blessed.
It was then that I realized, she was perfect and I would never compromise perfection. When Jayde was a year old, I made the decision that since I was a single mom, and had no plans on settling down, just to have a family; that Jayde would be my one and only. At this point I started to research Egg Donation. I researched this until 2001 when I moved to New Jersey. Once in Jersey, I realized once again that what I had was perfection and that everyone should have the option of having a child of their own. In 2001 I signed up with RMA to become an egg donor. I sent my genetic information and pictures of myself and of Jayde. I scheduled my initial appointment with RMA to get the process started. The day before my appointment, Jayde came down with Pneumonia. I was never able to reschedule this appointment due to my work schedule and 9/11.
Jayde and I moved back to North Dakota in 2003 where we still live. I continued to research Egg Donation and knew that at some point this was made for me. Life tends to get busier than we expect and time really got away from me. In 2006, while doing research for Egg Donation, I came across a website…..www.fertilityhelp.com I became engrossed in this site! I spent days on this site, reading testimonials and the facts about IARC. I emailed them and requested information.
The staff at IARC called me back upon receiving my email request and walked me through some of their processes. In this phone call, they asked me if I had ever considered being a surrogate. When I heard those words, I got goosebumps, I forgot to breathe and my head started spinning. In my heart, I knew the instant they told me about it, that I would be able to do it. I told them to send me the paperwork and I would look it over. I received the paperwork a few days later and ripped open the envelope. I read the information over and over again and signed on the line. I was committing my self to being a surrogate!
The process after that, while slow, was very in depth and thorough. I had medical testing done and hours of psychological testing done, and in the end I was told that I was extremely qualified physically and that I was VERY sane. Now the matching process began.
I had my paperwork completed and I was ready to go. Days seemed like weeks, and weeks like months. One day I got the phone call from Keely at IARC telling me that they thought they had found a match for me. They were a couple from the south of France, and were interested in beginning the process immediately. They forwarded my profile information to Zorah and Khelifa late in 2007. Shortly after they received my profile information a three way call was set up with myself, IARC (the agency) and Zorah and Khelifa. Since they don’t speak very much English, and I don’t speak French, we had a wonderful translator, Megan. This was my first time working with a translator and I was in awe of her skills. The conversation lasted a little longer than an hour and I knew at the end of the conversation they were a perfect match for me. I waited through the weekend, then contacted IARC about my decision.
I was surprised to learn that Zorah and Khelifa felt the same way about choosing me as I did about choosing them. It was a perfect match. Zorah and Khelifa I had learned had been trying for a number of years to have a child. Every instance was unsuccessful. I was finally able to give something that would last a life time. I could give them something that no one else could give them and I was pumped!
I signed a contract with the couple and the agency. It was 38 pages long, protecting my best interest and Zorah and Khelifa’s best interest. The process had began.
In April 2009, I began fertility treatments. I was giving myself a shot every day at 8pm of Lupron. Just as most medications, I had NO side effects! I was so happy to be going through this process. After a few weeks of Lupron, I added Estrogen tablets. I had received notification that the eggs had been fertilized and that I needed an ultrasound to determine the thickness of my uterine wall. My ultrasound went wonderfully, I had achieved the thickness needed, and added a few millimeters to it. The ultrasound tech told me that I was the perfect candidate to get implanted. Off to Toronto I went…..
I decided to drive to Toronto, 1,300 miles. I got in the car with Jayde and my mom and took off on my adventure. I had the privilege of spending a few days with Zorah and Khleifa before the transfer. This time spent with them made me love them even more. They are the most gentile, giving, loving people I have ever met. Even though we didn’t have the luxury of a translator to eliminate the language barrier, we did OK. They had learned a little English, and I a little French; that along with French and English dictionaries, did the trick.
We went to Niagara falls, the Toronto Zoo and ate almost every meal together. When the implant date came, I knew that there was nothing more I wanted to do than to get implanted for Zorah and Khelifa. Don’t get me wrong, I was a little nervous, but I knew in my heart that this was the right decision for Jayde, myself and Zorah and Khelifa. We talked a little bit before the transfer. We went over the possibilities, the success rate and what to expect. We then talked to Dr. Virro and were ready to get the transfer done.
I was told that I would be implanted with 2 embryos, that it wouldn’t be painful and that the worst part would be having to lay on the table for half an hour with out being able to pee. The transfer was over in less than a minute and the Dr. was right, it was horrible laying on the table for so long with out being able to use the bathroom. Dr. Virro gave the peitri dish that the embryos were in to Zorah, and I wish I could have taken a picture of the look on her face. I don’t know that I had ever seen so happy. She and Khelifa were on their way to having a child of their own.
I spent the remainder of the day at the hotel in bed. The following day, I played it pretty low key. The only thing we did was went to dinner and went through a photo album of Jayde’s last 11 years. I think they could see how perfect Jayde was, and how much she meant to me. I said a silent prayer to myself asking God to make their dreams come true and that the implant was successful.
The following day, I left to come back to North Dakota, and Zorah and Khelifa left to return to the South of France. We said our long good byes and wished each other well. I didn’t want to leave them that day. I didn’t know when we would be able to see each other again, and I didn’t want our time together to end.