•Written by Katelin Buchanan, Guest Blogger
My husband and I started trying to get pregnant in September of 2013. We were in our late twenties and after 2 years of marriage knew we were ready to be a mom and dad. After several months of trying on our own without any success, my OB referred us to a local fertility clinic where we jumped right in with intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedures. We tried this three times but when it didn’t work, our doctor urged us to move onto IVF for a greater chance at success. We felt like this was our golden ticket! Our first round of IVF resulted in a chemical pregnancy, and then our second round ended in a miscarriage at around 9 weeks. We eventually discovered that we lost this baby because he had Down Syndrome, and our doctor explained that this was very rare so we should keep trying. Our third round ended in an ectopic pregnancy, and our fourth in an anembryonic pregnancy, also known as a blighted ovum. Because we had the blessing of so many embryos, we decided to keep pushing forward to give all of our embryos a shot. We had several transfers that resulted in no implantation and then I had one last miscarriage in January of 2017, which is when we ultimately decided it was time to stop trying with my body. It had been through too much, and while my doctor could not tell me exactly what was wrong, he ultimately determined that my uterine lining was insufficient to carry a healthy pregnancy and that I should consider using a gestational carrier.
This is where my angel and lifelong best friend, Erica, comes into the picture. After our second miscarriage, she offered to be our gestational carrier if we ever chose to go that route. I clearly wasn’t ready to “give up on my body” at the time. Well, after that last miscarriage, my husband and I knew: it was time to take Erica up on her incredibly generous offer. I was officially done trying and knew that the safest way to become a mother was to have our baby grow in my best friend’s body. She had two children of her own and we knew her body could handle a pregnancy, unlike my own.
Our first transfer with Erica resulted in yet another miscarriage, at which point I didn’t know if I could go through anymore fertility treatments. Ready to explore adoption, both Erica and my husband felt strongly that we should give it one last shot.
Well, I am thrilled that this “one last shot” has resulted in boy/girl twins due in April! We just celebrated 26 weeks and our babies and Erica are doing great.
While I realize our journey to parenthood is nothing like most, I am so proud of our journey and where we are today. There have certainly been times when I’ve beat myself up over trying so hard for so long, but I now know this was the plan all along and that if we had not kept trying, we would not be blessed with these exact two babies. As much as I grieved not being able to carry my children myself in the beginning, I know our babies are safe with Erica and we are focusing on being as healthy as possible for when they arrive and we get to take over!
For couples struggling with infertility, my biggest piece of advice is to connect with others. Without the support of Resolve, Instagram, individual therapy, and our closest family and friends who we trust, I truly do not think I’d be an expectant mother today. As tempting as it can be, try not to isolate. Make both your mental and physical health a priority and focus on surrounding yourself with those who improve both.