Organized by: Trevor Mulligan
Our surrogacy story My brother Paul and his wife Melissa have the typical infertility story. Married in their early 20s, she has a child from a previous relationship, all the time in the world to conceive and no reason to think they wouldn’t. But my brother wanted a child too so they started trying to conceive as soon as they were married. Three years had gone by when their prayers were finally answered. Unfortunately Melissa miscarried very early. After this miscarriage they decided to look into the possibility that something may be wrong. Prepared to hear the typical: you’re trying too hard, don’t stress it’ll happen or even the dreaded “you have low sperm count” they were met with something they didn’t expect. Melissa has endometriosis. You see they have no problem conceiving, it’s just that the fertilized egg cannot implant into the uterine wall or if it does it is overrun by the uterine cells. Her first child was basically a winning lottery ticket. So began the doctor appointments and fertility drugs (maybe if there are more fertilized eggs there might be another winning lottery ticket in there) and hormone induced menopause to clear the uterine cells and allow the egg a chance to implant. Yes you read that right menopause at the age of 29. By this time they are 8 years into this process without even a hint of another pregnancy. After the miscarriage they accepted that they may not be able to have children and became foster parents with the intent of adopting. Both of my sisters in laws have been foster parents and adopted out of the system and I have to say, they are a special kind of angels to do so. So many children came and went. A baby boy was placed with them 2 days after he was born. They nicknamed him Peanut. My brother was in love. The biological father though wanted the child and at 5 months of age he was returned to the family. To this day my brother still cannot go through the boy clothes that are packed away in a corner of the attic. My father told me he had never seen my brother cry so hard as the day they took Peanut. The social workers knew this was coming though and so when a baby girl was born when Peanut was 3 months old she was placed with them. This time they would be able to adopt the child. My niece thrives to this day with all the love Paul and Melissa share with her. My brother loves his daughter unconditionally but still feels the hole in his heart that he would like filled by his biological child. He wants to come home from work to the positive pregnancy test on the table waiting for him, he wants to hold Melissa’s hair as she vomits every morning, feel the first kick, watch his child be born. He wants to experience this wonderful event with his wife. But he knows the only way that will happen is if he “wins the lottery”.
My brother and I are 9 years apart. My husband and I have been blessed with 2 beautiful boys and Paul and Melissa have stood by supportively and happy for us. But I know the heartache is there. So I offered to be a surrogate for them. I mean what the hell right? I’d say YOLO but I think as a society we’ve moved past that saying. Is this the optimal choice? No. Optimal would be them conceiving and carrying themselves. Will he miss out on the vomiting? Yes, but he’s my brother so you can believe I’ll hold it over his head. Do I relish the idea of being pregnant most likely with twins in my forties (after finally losing all that baby weight)? Not particularly, my pregnancies were not “easy”. But am I going to do this? Yes, a million times yes. You see I love my brother and his wife, so much that I want to do this for them and risk everything to give them both something that will take away their heartache and fill that hole.
They wouldn’t have to pay me like they would a stranger; they would just need to cover the cost of the implantation procedure. So when I suggested the surrogacy to Paul he was initially excited, and then devastated. Paul is a CNC machine journeyman, Melissa’s work is helping the mentally handicapped prepare for and secure employment. These are not high paying jobs and then there’s the house payment. There is no way they can afford the $20,000 it is going to take to make this happen.
Anything you can donate would be appreciated, thank you