I’ll never forget my girlfriend telling me, she wanted to find a couple that couldn’t have a child, and carry one for them. Hailey wanted my support, but I was instantly opposed to the idea. I didn’t want her taking on the burdens and responsibilities of pregnancy… for complete strangers. Ultimately, however, I would stand by whatever decision she made.
I was right to be concerned, but I also underestimated the beauty of what I was about to be part of.
The process, grueling and intense, involved a plethora of screening devices designed to gauge everything from your mental and physical health to the roots of your family tree. Both of us… poked, prodded, interviewed, and analyzed.
Hailey had to withstand and consume painful nightly injections in the stomach and a menu of bad-tasting vitamins and supplements. With great discipline, she manipulated her hormones into an environment conducive to pregnancy. Her resolve never wavered, and I began feeling like, I was part of something special.
The surrogate pregnancy proved to be far more difficult than her natural pregnancies. For the first three months, she couldn’t be on her feet for more than a couple minutes. Perpetual exhaustion made her sleep twenty hours every day, and when she was awake… she was sick. I did what I could to make her comfortable, while she continued to amaze me with her unbreakable spirit.
Of course, the harsh pregnancy was just prelude to the excruciating pain of delivering the baby. The pain, in this unique experience, entwined with the emotional perplexities of forfeiting the life she nurtured for so long. Somehow, Hailey survived it all with grace, and introduced a healthy baby girl to the world.
The day after her release, Hailey’s blood pressure and heart rate escalated to frightening proportions. Dizzy and overheating, her vision was a kaleidoscope of blurry colors. Scared beyond panic, she managed to dial 911. Within crucial minutes, screaming sirens and flashing lights rushed her to the emergency room.
It was postpartum preeclampsia, a medical emergency that can prove fatal if not treated properly and immediately . It was a nightmare for both of us. Hailey, needle-fed magnesium through a steady drip, wondered if she was going to live. She cried… imagining her own children growing up without their mommy, and she wondered if she’d been selfish in her generosity.
We’re both proud, but we acknowledge this was a one-time experience for us. To see a woman have a baby through surrogate pregnancy is an awe-inspiring experience, but there is danger to consider as well. With that being said… if you, or your partner, are considering involvement in surrogate pregnancy, you should both take time to understand, not only the beauty, but the risk as well.