16 Months of Trying and Miscarriages End in Pregnancy

…from a reader

In the summer of 2000, I found myself divorced and left to raise 2 children without any help. I always wanted a large family, but at that moment in time it was the furthest thing from my mind. I was more concerned with providing a suitable life for the two children I was already responsible for.

Two years later I ran into an old friend from middle school. We picked up right where we left off only this time around we had a different connection. I knew from the first moment we reconnected that he and I were meant to be together. We spent day and night catching up and with each passing moment I was reassured that he was the one.

After 3 amazing years, we decided we were ready to create a new life together. He loved my two children and treated them as if they were his, but we felt that having a child together would complete our circle of love. So, with passion and optimism we set forth.

Month after month we were discouraged. We were doing everything by the book. I woke up at 6am every morning to check and chart my temperature. I stopped smoking and he gave up caffeine. Still, nothing was working. Each cycle would end with heartbreak and one red line indicating I was not pregnant.

Finally, in March of 2006, our prayers were answered. Two beautiful red lines appeared on a home pregnancy test. We were delighted and couldn’t wait to tell the world. Sadly, a few days later, our miracle child was no more. We miscarried and soon after depression set in.

We went to visit a doctor who deals with high risk pregnancies and infertility. He informed us that we should start trying again as soon as we’re emotionally ready. He felt that there was nothing to worry about from a medical perspective. So that’s just what we did. Four months later we conceived, only to have that one taken from us as well. I felt helpless and hopeless.

Why couldn’t I get pregnant? I asked myself that question everyday! My husband became curious as well. That’s when we decided that we should start seeking medical help. A few weeks later we made an appointment with the infertility clinic in our area. We had planned to get a semen analysis done to see if our complications were due to a sperm issue.

The woman on the phone was very friendly and reassuring. Though I was saddened by ours losses, I was feeling hopeful once again. I couldn’t wait to find out what was preventing us from conceiving so we could fix it and move forward.

The night before our appointment at the clinic, I felt different. Something seemed off within my body. I didn’t think for a moment that I was pregnant but I had one last test laying around the house and figured I would use it. To my amazement it was positive!

The very next morning I called the clinic to cancel my appointment. I told them I found out the night before that I was pregnant. The woman on the line congratulated me and shared her heartfelt positive wishes. Naturally I was scared that this pregnancy would end in miscarriage as well, but we were truly blessed.

In May of 2007, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He is our miracle child. After 16 months of trying we were finally given the gift of life that we so desperately longed for. Today we celebrated his 3rd birthday, and what an amazing three years it has been!

Can a couple use more than one surrogate at a time?

How many surrogate contracts are a couple allowed to have at one time? Need information on how many surrogates can you have a contract with at one time.

Reply by Rayven
Some intended parents decide to use two surrogate mothers at one time, but there are a few caveats to this sort of situation. (I have never heard of anyone using more than two surrogates at one time.)

First, surrogacy is an extremely emotional process, and it is very important that there is open communication with all parties. Meaning, if a set of intended parents wanted to use multiple surrogates at one time, then it is very important that they let all prospective surrogates know this during matching.

Many surrogate mothers would never consider such an arrangement. They might feel that there are more intended parents looking for surrogates than surrogates available, and would feel it would be unfair to other intended parents. They may feel like they would be treated like a womb instead of a person. They may feel like the intended parents are running a baby mill. They may fear that the intended parents would run out of funds during such an ambitious project, and not follow through on their commitments. And they might fear being dropped if the other surrogate gets pregnant first – or worse, if the intended parents decide they only want some of the children.

But other surrogates would not have a problem with this set up.

It would be important to bring this subject up during matching and find surrogates comfortable with this situation. The last thing you’d want to do is have two pregnant surrogates (who may not have agreed to this) find out during pregnancy causing stress to themselves and the unborn baby.

Also, intentions need to be examined. Is it the intent to have multiple children? The parents could end up with “twins” (not born on the same day), triplets, quadruplets or more. Are the intended parents willing to parent that many children of the same age?

It’s been done. But it is something that needs to be examined closely and shared with all parties.

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Bad Things About Surrogacy

Considering becoming a surrogate mother? Wonder if it will be all laughter and joy? Read on for a necessary dose of reality before you continue on this journey by learning about the bad things about surrogacy.

Talk to a surrogate mother about her surrogate pregnancy and she is likely to tell you about all of the benefits and how wonderful it is to experience gestational surrogacy. Rarely will they delve into the bad things about surrogacy – at least not without prompting. But, trust me, the surrogacy journey is not always perfect.


Ok, first off, let me say that the majority of surrogacy journeys go off without a hitch. The intended parents and the surrogate mother get along great. The birth happens without complication and the result is a health, beautiful baby (or two). The surrogate mother is filled with a sense of accomplishment and the intended parents are filled with love and gratitude. Everyone is happy and all is right with the world. However, this is not the case for every surrogate pregnancy.


So, what are some of the bad things about surrogacy:

Failed Transfers

Many intended parents go the route of finding a surrogate mother in order to increase their odds of a successful In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) pregnancy. However, having a surrogate mother does not mean that this will be guaranteed. Transfers sometimes fail. Once. Twice. Three or Four times. Sometimes they never take and the intended parents must part ways with the potential surrogate mother. When this happens it is usually an emotional blow to everyone involved. The surrogate mother may feel as though she has failed. The intended parents have spent a substantial amount of money only to go home empty handed. And, more often than not, everyone is too discouraged to try again.


Miscarriage or Birth Defects

Even when you use a surrogate mother, things can go wrong with the pregnancy. It is a sad fact, but miscarriages and birth defects can happen to anyone. Not every surrogate pregnancy will result in a healthy baby.


Multiples and Preemies

When you pair up assisted reproductive techniques with a surrogate who is already able to conceive unassisted, chances are the surrogate pregnancy may result in multiples. And whenever a mother is carrying multiples, the risks of premature birth increase. Sometimes, micro preemies are born with developmental challenges; not all of them survive.


Falling Outs

Sometimes, the issues that are faced are not even physical. Sometimes they arise because of communication and emotions. Two common reasons for “falling outs” are:

  1. Misrepresentation on the part of either the surrogate mother or the intended parents
  2. The development of unexpected emotions, such as jealousy and resentment – usually on the part of the intended parents.

Whatever the cause, these clashes are capable of ruining the relationship between the surrogate mother and the intended parents. In some situations, the surrogate mother may even forbid the intended parents from attending such momentous occasions as ultrasound appointments and the birth.

The most common of the bad things about pregnancy involves compensation. In some cases, the intended parents may delay compensation or even cancel the contract altogether after the child’s birth. This (of course) is likely to have very negative results.


Financial Concerns

Another financial concern is how the intended mother will deal with medical bills after the child has arrived. Sometimes this is merely an oversight. However, other times, the intended parent does not uphold their end of the bargain and the surrogate mother is left to cover the costs of the medical bills on her own. In this case, she will either have to pay the bills herself or risk her credit being damages.


Preventing a Bad Journey

So what can you do to help make a surrogate pregnancy run more smoothly? The best thing to do is to take things slowly – especially when it comes to finding the perfect match. Be completely open and honest with each other and with yourself. If you have a high level of honesty, communication, and respect between yourself and the other people involved, things will go more smoothly and the result will be the birth of a happy, healthy baby.

Gestational Carrier…Should She Hold the Baby?

by samamnta

Do you think it is a good idea that the Gestational Carrier holds the baby after it is born, or just have a clean break?. I dont want to sound mean but is it possible that she could bond with the baby if she holds the baby?

Reply by Rayven:
There are a lot of fears with surrogacy. It is a very difficult and emotional process.

But if the surrogate mother is comfortable holding the baby, there should be absolutely no reason why she should not. She has had 9 months to bond with the baby; holding him is a way of ending a journey, of saying goodbye, and of seeing for herself that everything has turned out ok.

Let me tell you about my two experiences:

The first surrogacy, where I had twins, the nurses placed both babies in my arms after the parents had greeted them. I held them for a few seconds, and then passed them onto their parents. I very purposefully stayed away from them following the birth because I did not want to make the parents feel uncomfortable. But I never, I will repeat never, had any second thoughts or felt any more bonded with them after their birth than while I carried them.

For the second surrogacy, things were a little different. The baby decided to come a week before the parents, who lived overseas, were scheduled to arrive. (We all foolishly waited until the last moment; what were we thinking!)

It took them until 2 days after his birth to arrive. Which meant that I was the only person who “knew” him in the hospital. I felt it was my obligation to room-in with him, to bottle feed him, and basically take care of him until his parents arrived. My children changed his diapers, my husband rocked him to sleep. Though we all cared for him, every one of us was relieved when mom and dad showed up!

Again, not to sound cold about this myself, but I did not bond with him. To me, he was my responsibility to care for until I was able to give him back to his parents, but at no point did I feel or desire him to be my child.

I should mention, that all three children were for the same intended parents. They were always very open and generous. They were very glad I had chosen to stay with him those first two days instead of abandoning him to the hospital nursery, but if they had been uncomfortable with my attention, I certainly would have respected their wishes.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that surrogacy is about trust. A surrogate mother is already being entrusted with the most valuable thing on earth: someone else’s child. Most surrogates will want an opportunity to say hello and goodbye to the baby.

That being said, if the intended parents do not wish the surrogate mother to hold the baby after birth, and it is ok if you feel this way, that needs to be explained to the surrogate during the matching phase, to prevent disappointment and hard feelings from happening at the time of birth.

Best wishes!

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What’s Hot – Surrogacy Debate in India

Commercial surrogacy is when an intended parent or intended couple compensates a woman in exchange for her carrying and delivering a baby for them. Immediately after the child is born, he or she is turned over to the intended parent(s) via a private process or a legal adoption process. This process is utilized by a variety of people, including those with fertility problems, same-sex couples, and single people who harbor a desire to have children. Even celebrities have been known to have children through surrogacy. Some famous examples are Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelsey Grammer, Robert De Niro, and (most recently), Sir Elton John.

Commercial surrogacy is a huge industry in India, where countless foreign couples head to make their dreams of having a child come true. Now, however, the country is the target of much heated criticism because of new laws that are being deemed discriminatory. These new laws state that in order for a foreign couple to engage in the surrogate process in India, they must be a “man and woman (who) are duly married and the marriage should be sustained at least two years”. This legislation effectively rules out gay couples (whether they are married or not) as well as single people looking to start a family. And this action has, as can be expected, drawn a ton of ire from the surrogacy community.

Seen by the government of India is being a necessary step in the regulation of surrogacy tourism in their country, fertility clinics and gay rights activists are viewing it as “restrictive and very discriminatory”. Head of the International Fertility Clinic in New Dehli, Dr. Rita, Bakshi, says that the legislation essentially strips people of their right to parent. Nitin Karani, a gay rights activist in Mumbai, is quoted as saying that “It’s totally unfair – not only for gay people but for people who are not married who may have been living together for years, and for singles”.

The new rules also state that people coming to India for the purposes of surrogacy must apply for a medical Visa and must provide proof that their home country will give citizenship to any child born to a surrogate parent. Some argue that these new rules represent an “uncharacteristically moralistic stand on the government’s part” Many agree with Rita Bakshi, who asks “Who are we to say that one has to be married to have children?”

However, it is believed that the springboard behind this new legislation is less the value placed on marriage and more about not becoming involved in international legal disputes. There have been highly publicized cases in which the children of these international surrogacy situations have been stuck in “citizenship limbo”. In one much publicized case, a native Norwegian was stuck in India for two years with her twin children. Her children, born to an Indian surrogate, were refused the necessary travel documents because it was determined through DNA testing that they were not biologically hers. In another high-profile case, a French gay man obtained twins through an Indian surrogate and, upon arriving home (where surrogacy is illegal), his children were taken from him and placed in foster care. He is still fighting to get them back.

Whatever the cause for India’s new legislations, it is causing a great deal of turmoil for those same-sex couples and single individuals who looked to India as a solution to their childlessness.