As I start this blog, mostly people I know will be reading this and will know how I am and what I am about. It is my hope that this will be shared and help other parents who are also grieving the loss of their child. I am a 39 year old wife, stay at home mom, advocate and recent surrogate. My children are 7 and 4. I worked in social services for 18 years before becoming a stay at home mom about 3 years ago. It was never in my plan because I always enjoyed my job. Working and being an active parent proved to be quite challenging and when the opportunity arose for me to stay at home, I figured I would give it a shot. Honestly, after being both a working mom and a SAHM, I truly can’t say which was harder because I think they are both hard. I love being a mother but it has brought out emotions in me I never knew I had, good and bad.
I have been passionate about helping people since I was in high school, which is why I entered the field of social services. It didn’t pay much and I didn’t care because I loved my job, but I soon realized that loving your job doesn’t always pay the bills. My passion for surrogacy started at a time when it didn’t make any sense because I had no friends who had fertility problems and I hadn’t even had my own kids. I know realize this the definition of a calling. After meeting my husband and being blessed with an easy, great pregnancy, I felt that I wanted to help someone and, lo and behold, I now had a friend who was experiencing infertility. We had 2 attempts when my first son was 2 and neither one of them worked. It was a heart wrenching process but I was so proud.
After giving birth to my second son, adjusting to parenting 2 boys and quickly adjusting to being a SAHM, surrogacy came back into my mind. When our second son was 2, I decided to embark on the journey again in hopes that we would be successful this time around. It took some time to be matched, which was fine with me, because I wanted it to be organic. In June 2018, I was matched with a family that was a perfect fit. In October 2018, we had our embryo transfer and it worked the very first time. I had zero issues and everything about the process was absolutely perfect. It really couldn’t have been better. All except the face that 7 months into the pregnancy, my 7 year old started experiencing knee pain that we could not figure out the reason. We saw our doctor, a specialist, emergency room and our chiropractor and nothing was quite making sense. I became Dr. Mom trying to figure out what was going on with my boy who was experiencing a lot of pain. My mind was split 50/50. Half of my mind was mentally preparing for giving birth to a child that wasn’t mine while the other half was consumed with trying to figure out what was wrong with my son’s knee.
I was induced at 39 weeks and my labor and delivery was in my top 3 most amazing moments of my life, 2nd only to the birth of my own children and my wedding. My children couldn’t wait to come to the hospital to meet my belly buddy. It was so beautiful to be able to complete a family and it is by far one of my proudest accomplishments. When I was being released from the hospital, my husband got sick so he was quarantined to the bedroom because I did NOT want to throw up or have diarrhea at 2 days postpartum, no thanks. Once my husband felt better, my oldest had the same symptoms so we figured that he had the same stomach bug. With 20/20 hindsight, I know realize his was different because he was moaning in pain saying his head hurt. His sickness lasted longer and was not following the same course so we took him to urgent care for possible dehydration. I was referred to the ER and our son was not answering questions like he normally would which signaled the doctor to do a head CT. It came back that he had abnormal spots on his brain, possibly encephalitis, so we were transported to our local children’s hospital.
The whirlwind of the next 6 days was mind-blowing and horrific.