This week has been a whirlwind of final edits and book cover design. It has been a good distraction for me after a rough month of fighting this 2R rejection. I had an extreme withdrawal reaction to to the steroid pulse treatment, and once I got home from the hospitalization, I was barely able to get out of bed during the holidays. The treatment also retriggered some infections in my stomach, so I am taking a strong round of anti-fungals and antibiotics to fight the bacteria and fungus in there. Hearing that the book was almost ready to go perked me up significantly!
I’m finally able to share the full cover. The book will be coming out earlier than I had anticipated, and will be available for pre-order soon!
Today, I want to share a section of the book with you. I have had a lot of questions about the process of surrogacy, and I discuss it towards the end of Against Doctor’s Orders.
Without further ado:
Andrew and I decided last year that we would love to have another child, but my doctors were not very enthusiastic about pregnancy for me again. The medications that I take are known to cause birth defects in babies, and the chances are good that I would go into a significant rejection if we made any said changes with the medications. On a more personal note, I know the tragic story of the woman who died and gave me he heart. I feel like it would be disrespectful to her and to her family if I were willing to risk harming the heart that she gave me. I would carry a tremendous amount of guilt knowing that I did not do my best to take care of her precious gift. We began to discuss the option of using a surrogate, and I began my research in the summer of 2015. A friend who was a surrogate recommended posting my story in a group she was in for intended parents and surrogates. Jess reached out to me days after posting, and we immediately hit it off. We made plans to talk on the telephone first, where was chatted for an hour, and found that we had a lot in common. We immediately made plans to meet in person. We decided to meet at the zoo one afternoon with her three children and Ethan, and within ten minutes of being with her, I knew that I wanted her as my surrogate. She tells me she felt the same connection, and thus began our journey. Since then, months later we had an intense two day long screening at my fertility clinic, where Jess underwent several medical tests, psychiatric screenings, and we had group social work sessions with Jess, her husband Jamie, Andrew, and myself. She was approved, and we could not be happier. I have a lot of mixed feelings about not being able to carry my baby myself. I finished my IVF cycle a few weeks ago, and the early morning ultrasound appointments at the same place I conceived has been emotionally and physically exhausting. We ended up with four chromosomally perfect embryos, which are frozen. Knowing that these embryos won’t be transferred back into me makes me feel like weeping at times. It triggers a greater resentment for everything I have been through, and how this heart has ripped away my ability to do one of the most natural things a woman can do. I have to mourn this loss. I missed having the pregnancy where I could be out in public, enjoying the attention pregnant women get, relaxing on my couch, getting foot rubs and taking baths. I spent my pregnancy in a hospital gown, stressing about when my heart was going to give out and if my baby would live.
It makes me sad that I had to miss out on the experience of a normal pregnancy, and I can never get that back. I can’t let myself get too deep into these emotions, as I know it is not beneficial to me. All I can do is thank my lucky stars that I met Jess when I did and how I did. It was meant to be. Jessica’s family has become part of our family, and the gift she is willing to give us is magnificent. It truly takes a selfless and remarkable woman to offer her body to carry a baby. I have been lucky enough to embark on that journey with Jess. We are very excited to give Ethan a sibling, and I know he is going to be an amazing older brother.
Love you Jess!!