The Doctors Said We Couldn’t Get Pregnant

…from a reader

In 2001 I went to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. After waiting hours in the ER and then hours more in the exam room the doctor came in and told me that I had Polycystic Ovarian Disease and that I had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured.

I had never heard of that condition at all and was completely terrified. In a matter of minutes he basically told me not to ever expect to have children or to even try. I was completely devastated.

Three years passed and I got married. My husband and I never expected to have the chance to be parents unless we eventually decided to adopt. We were completely open to adoption and had decided this would be the way we would go when we were ready. We were not at a point in our lives that we were ready to have a child but we knew that some day that’s what we wanted.

In 2008 we were both working full time jobs. We had also moved onto a farm and were working nearly full time there in the evenings and on weekends.

In February of that year I had gone to work and a customer told me that I looked pretty that day. This really made me suspicious. You have to understand that my job was not a place that you looked pretty. I was working for a large format printing company and was always hot and sweaty. So, being told that I looked pretty made me start thinking.

I was due to have my period the following week, so, I wasn’t late yet. When I got home that evening, I went ahead and took a pregnancy test just out of curiosity. Almost instantly it was positive. I thought I was going to faint! My husband and I never used protection, but I was on oral contraceptives.

After 7 years of being told by various doctors that I couldn’t get pregnant… I was pregnant.

The next few days were a whirlwind of emotions. I was crying and saying I don’t want to be a Mom. Finally, after sitting on my couch and sobbing for hours one day, it sank in. I was really going to be a Mommy.

My pregnancy was hard. None of the hardships I went through were major. Just the normal sickness and aches and pains. I managed to get through and on November 4th, the day Obama was elected President, my daughter was born.

She has been the biggest joy of my life. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. I feel blessed that I was chosen to be her Mommy and I don’t know what I would do without her.

my husband’s ex wife is our surrogate

by Mandy Mae

My husband’s ex wife wants to be a surrogate for us. We’ve been married three years and he has a 10 year old daughter with his former wife. They have enjoyed a good friendship over the years as they have been divorced for more than 7 years.

What are your thoughts on this? She would be using my eggs, so the baby will be biologically mine.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Yes, they have a good relationship, but is this situation ok? It feels sort of weird to me.


Reply by Rayven
This is a tough situation, but the bottom line is what you are comfortable with. If this makes you feel odd, or uncomfortable, then this is not the right solution for you.

There are so many things an intended mother gives up with surrogacy, she should not be made to feel miserable during the journey as well.

If you are not uncomfortable with your husband’s ex-wife, per se, but are more uncomfortable with how people will think about the situation, then that’s different. Who cares what others think? They’re not going to understand surrogacy anyways.

But if this situation itself is setting off red flags, find someone else. You and your husband are very lucky to have such a woman in your lives, but that doesn’t mean she should carry your child.

Best wishes!

Share Your Advice:

Will Herpes disqualify you from becoming a surrogate?

Having been a surrogate mother three times, written extensively about the process, and being a friend to many in the surrogacy community, this question is not new to me. The fact of the matter is that herpes is a common occurrence and having herpes will not mean that you have no chance at pursuing your chance at being a surrogate mother with herpes.


All surrogacy clinics require for gestational surrogacy candidates to undergo both psychological and physical testing before they can be approved for surrogacy. This includes STD testing for both the candidate and her partner (if any).

Although some clinics will disqualify you for a positive STD test, not all will. The issue with Herpes in pregnancy is that it can be transmitted to the baby as it exits the birth canal. However, one easy solution to this problem is to agree to have the child delivered via caesarean section as opposed to having a vaginal birth. Eliminate the vaginal delivery and you eliminate the risk of the child being infected.


The best thing for you to do if you do have Herpes is to be honest and open about it up front. Let the clinic know before they even test you. Also be sure to disclose this information to the intended parent during the matching process. The reason is pretty simple: if you are found to have an STD during the testing process and it is revealed that you knew beforehand, that will give people at the surrogacy agency and other intended parents reason not to trust you. Secondly, if it turns out that your STD status does disqualify you, it is best for that to be discovered sooner rather than later, to prevent time and money from being wasted.  Last, but certainly not least, STDs are not an issue to be skirted over as they can pose a serious health threat to the child. Herpes in pregnancy (if not detected) can result in serious and permanent damage to the child


Herpes is typically the only STD for which exceptions might be made, since Herpes in pregnancy is only a threat to the child during  vaginal births as opposed to other STDs which can be passed on to the baby in vitro. However, do not be surprised or take offense if your Herpes status does disqualify you from the process. Intended parents are typically very cautious when it comes to their journey to parenthood, and so they may be very hesitant about such things as Herpes. However, there are those who understand that the risk to the baby can be eliminated and are willing to proceed by working with a surrogate mother with herpes. Good luck!

Do you really have to abstain from sex with your husband for the first trimester??

by kristy

I read that the surrogate has to abstain from sex with their partner for the entire first trimester? Is this really true? If so, why? I’ve had three children of my own and was always told I could have sex as long as I felt like it with those pregnancies. This could be the deal breaker with my husband………

Reply by Rayven
Many surrogates have to do this. Nearly every contract is written where the surrogate will follow the clinic’s instructions on abstaining and in addition, at a minimum, will not have relations with her partner for two weeks prior to and two weeks following the transfer. This is to prevent her from accidentally getting pregnant on her own (and YES, it happens).

The whole “first trimester” thing comes specifically from the IVF clinic, and not all require it (though most do). For me, it was stressed maybe 3-4 times during each journey by the clinic while going over medications and procedures.

It doesn’t really matter what you have experienced with prior pregnancies; IVF is different. They are hoping the embryos will attach, it’s not a foregone conclusion.

And IVF is an expensive medical procedure. The clinic just wants to be extra careful and make sure those babies have the best chance of surviving.

If this is a deal breaker for your husband, then maybe your family is not cut out for surrogacy. (and that’s ok!) This is one of the smaller sacrifices a surrogate family makes for the intended parents and the journey. Annoying, yes, but necessary…all the rules in surrogacy are necessary.

Share Your Advice:


What’s Hot: SurroGenesis Update

A case that has been going on since 2009 has recently been moving forward. 37 year old California resident, Tonya Collins has officially pled guilty to 4 counts of wiring fraud, resulting in the embezzlement of $2 million dollars from clients of her surrogacy agency, SurroGenesis. She managed to elude the law for nearly 3 years before being arrested in April of 2012. She was then charged with7 counts of wire fraud, 4 counts of wire fraud, 9 counts of bank fraud, and 10 counts of money laundering. The two companies that are at the center of this scandal are SurroGenesis and the Michael Charles Independent Financial Holdings Group.

SurroGenesis was a surrogacy clinic and an egg donation agency. The aim of the agency was to help people who could not have children of their own to become parents through a surrogate arrangement.

The Michael Charles Independent Financial Holdings Group was believed to be an independent personal property escrow company. Clients of SurroGenesis were referred to the Holdings Group by Collins and were led to believe that the money that they paid would be held by the Financial Holdings Group and that the funds would be used to pay for fees associated with the surrogacy process (i.e. compensation, medical fees, etc.). What they did not know was that the Financial Holdings Group was merely a front and that Collins was the owner and operator.

The prosecution says that Collins invented fake employee identities in an effort to underscore the image that the Financial Holdings Group was an independent, fully staffed company. Between the years of 2006 and 2009, it is purported that Collins embezzled $2 million from her clients – essentially using the two business accounts as though they were her own private bank accounts. It is said that Collins used that money to pay for things such as a new home, cars, jewelry, and vacations. Meanwhile the surrogate mothers were not being compensated for their services and their surrogacy-related fees were not covered.

Victims of Collins’s actions (both the surrogates and the intended parents) feel as though they were preyed upon by Collins- emotionally and financially. Surely the past nearly 4 years since the crimes took place have been ones of turmoil the many families that have been affected. Perhaps this new turn of events will get them closer to finding some form of closure.

Collins has officially pled guilty to 4 of the 30 charges. If she is convicted, she will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

She returns to court for sentencing on May 13th.