Since I have already introduced you to Erika, I have also told you a little about myself and since the original objective of this blog is to let people who may potentially be willing to become our surrogate or egg donor know about us then the logical next step is to tell our story regarding infertility.
Obviously it has been very heartbreaking for us but we do not wish to make this sound like a horrible Greek tragedy so I will try to just stick to the facts though it is quite emotional for me so a little of that can get through.
When we met we started dating exclusively from the day we started going out, that was in November 2007. Three years later we got married and started trying to have our baby two years after that. In the beginning it was really exciting and even though nothing was happening, we were hopeful and confident that eventually she would get pregnant and our baby would be on its way.
After one year it was obvious that something was not right and we made an appointment with one of the fertility clinics in the Montreal area which came very highly recommended. We had all the necessary studies done to the both of us and the results were clear, the odds of us having a baby by natural means were less than 2% and our only option was through IVF treatment. They gave us a contract for us to sign in which all the potential risks were outlined which was pretty scary so Erika asked me to keep trying for one more year before going through with it. I agreed.
It was clear that things were not the same as before, all the excitement became stress, the love making became mechanical and every time it did not work became a moment of crying and mutual reassuring that eventually it would happen. Then in December we were visiting our families back home and Erika was late by two weeks. It was a wonderful feeling, we were so sure she had finally become pregnant that we could almost feel our baby in our arms. Two days later we were each at our parents’ and she called me on the phone crying to tell me that she had just had her period. I don’t know how much time I spent crying over my mother’s lap.
After that episode, as soon as we got back to Montreal we booked the appointment at the clinic to get started.
What happened next is quite long so I will not bore you with too many details. Fertility treatments at that time were covered by the government medical plan and we were entitled to three attempts. We did not know back then how many eggs could be harvested from a healthy woman, now we know that it may be possible to get more than 20 at a single time. Erika went through four cycles and they were never able to get more than eight, on one occasion they got only one. You may be wondering how come did we go through four cycles if only three were covered, well on two of them the eggs didn’t even grow enough to be transferred to her so those two did not count. On the other two they were able to transfer two on the second one and one on the fourth. In neither of those did she get pregnant.
By then the doctor told us that it was very unlikely that we were going to succeed with Erika’s eggs and he suggested that we find an egg donor. We got really worried since, even though we have very good friends, we did not feel we could ask any of them for something like that and getting one from an egg bank cost CAN$20,000.00 . Days went by and we did not know what we were going to do, I talked about it with my colleagues at work and all I could think of was that we had no options. It was then that during the end of the year party that my employer organized that one of my coworkers with his wife approached us and out of the blue they offered to be our donors. We could not have been happier, we had hope again, we were sure that our prayers had been answered and that our baby was finally coming.
Our friend went through all the necessary studies and protocols and the day of the donation came. They were able to harvest 32 eggs but only four grew enough for them to be viable for the transfer which happened five days later and one embryo was put inside Erika. The following two weeks went painfully slow. Every day Erika would hold her belly and say “Grow baby! Grow! These are the magic words”. And he did, two weeks later she had a blood test which came back positive. She was finally pregnant! I dare say those were the happiest days of our lives. We got books about pregnancy, we changed our habits so she could eat as healthy as humanly possible, we talked all the time about all the things we were going to do with our baby, we heard its heartbeat during our first ultrasound. Then week eleven came, we went for the second ultrasound and … there was no baby, only an empty sack. We were devastated. I am having a really hard time trying to describe what we were going through, we had been trying to have a baby for over three years and now that we finally had it life had taken it away from us. We could not believe that we had to go through that all over again, which we eventually did. We had three more embryos so we did try it. Of the three only two survived the thawing process and both of them were transferred. Once again Erika kept repeating the magic words, “Grow babies! Grow!” only this time they did not, she did not get pregnant and that was the end of our dream of her ever doing so.
Our only hope of ever becoming parents was adoption. We are fine with that but we were having a hard time coping with the fact that we were never going to experience pregnancy and holding a tiny newly born in our arms. That’s when Erika turned his attention to the option of surrogacy. Next time I will talk about what has been happening since we started looking into this option.