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Delivering Hope: What about Surrogacy?
by Pamela MacPhee, Author, Delivering Hope: The Extraordinary Journey of a Surrogate Mom, December 1, 2010
On Easter several years ago I sat down on the couch in the evening with my husband, my cousin and his wife to talk over the possibility of pursuing surrogacy together.
Lauren had been diagnosed with cervical cancer one year earlier and following successful treatment and surgery, she was cancer-free, but left without the ability to carry a child. Luckily, Lauren’s oncologist had suggested before treatment began that she have her eggs harvested and fertilized with sperm from Henry, so they now had 18 frozen embryos in storage.
Growing up, Henry had been like a little brother to me. I wanted to make my cousin smile again, to give him a brighter future. So I had offered a few months earlier at a family Christmas Day gathering to carry their baby for them as a surrogate mom, in a bid to help them overcome their fear and devastation and embrace hope and possibility again.
The Surrogacy Process
We had all spent the three intervening months researching the process of surrogacy, learning the about the medical, psychological and legal requirements to prepare for such a journey. Now, we came together to decide whether or not we wanted to move forward.
That day as I watched my own three children searching for hidden Easter eggs in the back yard, I found myself wanting desperately to be given the opportunity to try to bring a baby into the world for Henry and Lauren, so that they could experience the same kind of joy sharing holiday traditions and everyday moments with a family of their own. I knew I wanted to carry a baby for them, but would they be comfortable sharing a pregnancy with me. Would they want to choose me to share that journey?
Sharing the Surrogacy Journey
It took courage for each of us to sit down on that couch together and share our thoughts and feelings about the possibility of taking a surrogacy journey together. Like most couples faced with infertility, Henry and Lauren had been forced to reframe their vision of how they would build a family and to search in their hearts for the best new path to follow, while my husband and I had conducted some serious soul searching to determine whether we thought we would be able to successfully handle the challenges of carrying a pregnancy for another couple.
As we sat there together in a tight circle sharing our feelings, we quickly came to the decision together that we absolutely wanted to try surrogacy together. It requires an unending supply of trust and understanding to share such an intimate journey, but we knew we could find the right way, a way that worked, to be there for each other.
Beginning a surrogacy journey with honesty and openness minimizes the potential fears, misunderstandings and frustrations, and it helps lay the foundation for a fulfilling experience, one in which everyone feels understood and appreciated. We pledged silently to support each other unconditionally in our quest to realize their dream of a family through the miracle of surrogacy.
With courage in our hearts, we chose to hope, to embrace possibility. I hope you will too.
Pamela MacPhee graduated from Stanford University in 1986 with a degree in Human Biology. When her cousin’s wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer and subsequent infertility, she wanted to do something to help. After some serious research and internal soul searching, she knew in her heart she wanted to be their surrogate mom. Her offer became extraordinary surrogacy journey which ended 18 months later with the birth of a baby girl, Hope. MacPhee is the author of Delivering Hope: The Extraordinary Journey of a Surrogate Mom, published in 2009.