one huge part of the grieving process that both Kristin and the surrogate found was to hear stories from other surrogates, intended parents and even naturally conceived child loss.and to acknowledge they weren't alone. to hear the words of these hurting hearts as though they took the words right out of your mouth and onto paper. we wanted to share with you some stories that brave families took time to revisit that tragedy to help others. hopefully this can shed some light to know together we can find a sense of peace to press forward. we will never forget or get over our loss, however we can learn to be strong and become a vessel for others.
I’m a 3x surrogate (last babe ended in stillbirth) and delivered 08/16/21. On 08/04/21 I tested positive for covid. I started with headaches on 08/01/21 and assumed it was from the smoke due to fires. During covid I had cold like symptoms. The worst of it was the body aches I had for about 3 days. I checked babies heart rate everyday to make sure he was okay. Covid symptoms pretty much went away by 08/11/21. I had a small cough and runny nose. The last movement i felt from him was the night of 08/12/21. He was hard to feel because he was behind the placenta but I thought that was him moving that night. (We still don’t know when he passed) Starting Friday (08/13/21) he was balling up and I would have to push him down. I thought this was weird and check his HR. I thought I had found it and went on with my day. I also did this Saturday (08/14/21) but Saturday night I started getting pressure and knew it was contractions. I went up to get in a warm bath and see if they were Braxton Hicks. When they wouldn’t stop I went to the hospital to hopefully get told I’m crazy, baby is fine and go home. Around midnight it was confirmed he had no HB by ultrasound. The HR I was finding was mine I think. My heart sunk and I couldn’t breath…. I called IM first and let her know. Then I called and woke up my husband to let him know. IM reaction: immediate shock and said she would call me back after talking to the IF. She called back. They wanted a second ultrasound to confirm before I took anything or had him. They also wanted to speak with the OB at the hospital. I called my OB office and spoke with the nurse and asked her to see what I need to do next and that I have requested to discharge because I only wanted to deliver this baby with MY OB. They called back and said tomorrow afternoon call and the OB on call will have a message to order me meds and my OB will call me Monday for next steps and to go to the hospital to deliver. The IPs talked to the OB at the hospital I was at and I gave them an update what my OB office said we would do. My drive home after discharge. I was in shock…. I have had 4 healthy beautiful babies… 2 Surro babes! How could this have happened to me… Sunday was hell. I knew this sweet baby in me was gone and all I could do was hold my belly and cry. My swollen belly was a horrible reminder looking in the mirror. I felt alone and like my heart was shattered. Sunday afternoon I called my OB office again and that OB called my OB to let her know and get a plan in place. She called me back about 5:30 PM my time. My OB said to be at the hospital by 8am on Monday morning and we would do the second ultrasound to confirm and we will start meds that morning. I messaged my IF and let him know the plan. He told me they wanted to speak with my OB. I told him I would have her call him and to tell me if they didn’t get a call by 10 am Monday morning. Monday……. I woke up around 3:30 AM and I heard a very calm voice say “you’ll be alone today.” I didn’t know what it meant but I already felt like the most alone person in the world…. I knew emotionally I would be alone and I heard it again “you will be alone and you’ll be okay.” I felt calm and like I was processing what was about to happen. Getting ready for the hospital was a blur…. Time stood still… minutes felt like hours. My husbands first break down: on our way to the hospital I held it together okay. We drove about 15 minutes without saying a work. My husband started crying and that was the end of me holding it together. I bawled the whole way to the hospital. I held my belly and begged him to have a heartbeat when we got there. I prayed and prayed for strength. My nurse was incredible from the second she walked out! She wrapped her arms around me and said “I’ve got you today and we are going to do this together. Your in great hands.” She called me mama and my husband daddy. She said even though he wasn’t biologically ours we are still parents and this isn’t easy. We told her that was fine (I think this is easier for nurses because they see so many people and can screw up names easily.) My OB came in and did the second ultrasound. I held my breath and held onto every bit of hope I could. But it was confirmed. He had passed. I asked her to call the parents and she said she would have to move it up to legal and make sure she follows all the right hospital guidelines before making any call. They started my vaginal inserts around 10:00am I believe. I messaged my IF and let him know what our OB said. He replied with a copy of our contract and to point out where I agreed they could have full access to our OB. My release of records was on file so the parents could get whatever they needed. I couldn’t go through this delivery and deal with the stress of my IPs and OB battling on this so I passed everything off to my agency to handle. this is where it got real. My husband was confused and didn’t know I would be delivering the baby. He thought this was a D&C. I was 23 weeks pregnant so unfortunately this would be a vaginal delivery. He fell asleep on the couch and I was sat alone waiting for the meds to start working. My cervix were not open and my OB informed me this could go fast or very very slow and take up to 2 days. These pills would be placed every 4 hours. Around 11ish (I think) my OB called to let me know they heard from legal and she will do a conference call with the parents around 12:45 PM. I started contracting around 12. OB came up at 12:45pm and called the parents. My nurse agreed to call them with updates on when the baby was born. She did exactly that. My nurse left on lunch around 2:00PM. mine and my husbands food was delivered around 2:20 PM. He left and took my phone with him to get our delivery. About 30 second after him walking out the door I went into labor…. No meds and I was alone. I started delivering and didn’t even think about pushing any call button because I was in so much pain. I was afraid to see him and put a wash cloth over my face. My team heard me pushing and the next thing I know my team was in my room. The nurses asked where my husband was multiple times but I couldn’t stop crying and I was in so much pain I couldn’t answer her. I needed to puke and wanted to die. Babies head was out by the time they got in there and they told me one last push but I couldn’t do it. I broke and cried saying “ I don’t want to, I don’t want to” and I didn’t want to… I couldn’t wrap my head around delivering a sweet baby that should have had a full life ahead of him. I pushed and delivered him into my guess is my OBs hands because I still had my face covered. They took him and told me I could move the towel. There was my OB getting ready to deliver the placenta. I could tell she had been crying. Her glasses and shield were fogged a little and her eyes red and face was wet. As I looked around all my nurses were crying. This clearly wasn’t their norm and they were also struggling. My husband walked in with food and confusion. The guilt immediately hit him and I could see it on his face. He also didn’t realize I was going to have an actual baby. He said he thought it was going to be something that didn’t resemble a baby at all. He stood by the bassinet and cried. His face full of hurt and sadness. I finally decided I wanted to see him. I held him and loved him for hours. He had 10 perfect little fingers and big feet! He was bigger than I expected. He looked like a perfect little baby. I cried and cried. I loved on him for a few hours before walking him down to his butterfly room where we would say our final goodbyes to him. I thought the delivery would be the hardest part but the goodbye was. I didn’t want to leave. I felt wrong from leaving him alone. My heart and mind are still not right. I don’t know when I’ll be okay but for now I’m not okay. God knew I would be alone doing this and he knew that’s how it needed to be. Just that sweet baby and I. We still do not have the cause of death but we are pretty sure it’s Covid related. The last time I spoke to IM was the night I found out we lost baby. IF messaged me the day after delivery saying they are thinking of me and hope I’m doing okay. I haven’t spoke to them since so I’m not sure how they are holding up. My guess is not at all. My heart breaks for all of us but mostly my IPs.
I have been reflecting back on all the things I've been through and learned this year on this Surrogacy journey.
I'll start by saying that my first real "close" experience with Surrogacy was a co worker whose sister was having a hard time having a baby and she was considering carrying a baby for her. That was the first time I really had a feeling of awe about someone being able to carry a child for another person. This was around 2005-2006 time frame. From time to time I would think about how cool it was, not ever really thinking about it in respects to me doing it.
Fast forward 11-12 years with my family now complete.
In September of 2017, I had a random thought (God thought) pop in my head about me being a surrogate. As I scrolled on my phone through Facebook minutes later a friend had posted about anyone possibly wanting more information about being a surrogate to contact her friend that was the owner of an agency. The timing couldn't have been more on point, I had just had this random "out of nowhere" thought and this post shows up.
I message the owner and get more information. From the things I had learned I had a very "strict" set of guidelines I was willing to accept from a possible family. I was told that if I was willing to budge a little on my criteria I could be matched much faster. I assured them that I was set on the guidelines and if that meant waiting a long time/ or possibly not being matched that it was ok because that's what I felt God saying was right for me and my family with those guidelines. Over the next few months I had received a couple calls about potential match families but nothing had come from them.
We got to March and Jason and I were about to go on an anniversary cruise (actually leaving that evening), when we got a call about a potential family. We got their profile and it was such a sense of peace, like we knew them already. We were able to talk with this family before leaving on our trip and by the end of the call we both knew this was our family and they said they felt the same way. As soon as we got back from our cruise we started all the Dr visits and prep work. Everything had gone as smoothly as anything possibly could've gone! It really was God working everything out so smoothly.
We got to our transfer day, made it through bed rest and finally took that home pregnancy test that showed positive!! I was so beyond excited that I was going to be able to help this family complete their family!! This was just so perfect, our weekly ultrasounds showed strong heartbeats and this perfect baby girl was measuring a couple days ahead at each appointment. I had very little morning sickness, but the moments I had it reassured me that everything was just perfect.
Then came July 25, and something I haven't shared before - that morning I was getting ready for work and some news story video about a family who had lost a baby late into the pregnancy was on Facebook, I felt God ask me if I could still praise Him though a miscarriage, my response was, "Yes, but I'm so glad I'll never have to because you have orchestrated this whole thing so perfectly and you will have all the glory through this." That afternoon baby girls Mommy was able to meet me for this ultrasound. We got started and she was measuring a day ahead of where we were but when we went to find the heartbeat we noticed a pause on the ultrasound technician. We turned to look for a heartbeat and I noticed a faint flutter that, at the moment, gave me a sense of relief. When she went to zoom in on the heartbeat to measure it, there was nothing there. I'm not gonna lie, at first I didn't grasp what had happened. A miscarriage wasn't even an option, so how could something that God had so specifically orchestrated end in devastation?
I battled a strong sense of loss for a long time (and still have a sense of loss), not ever thinking that this child was mine but still losing a child I was carrying. Losing the joy that I was suppose to be giving this family, not being able to see them take home THEIR child!
This next part might possibly come across as one giant epiphany between me and God, but it was little pieces over these past 5 months.
I was angry/confused/upset at God for allowing everything in this process to go so perfectly yet end so devastating. God let me know that he allowed everything to go as perfectly as it did so that I couldn't question that it was Him wanting me to do this. That he allowed this process so this family might not be kept wondering "what if" about this child- had they not tried Surrogacy one more time and gone straight to adoption. I found myself one day praying over this families hurt and remember praying "God, why would you have promised us this child if you were going to take her away?" I immediately felt a pull in my spirit... I felt him telling me that He never promised ME a child for this family, he only asked me to be a willing vessel to try and carry their last embryo.
This was big for me, He was so right. I never was promised that I would give this family (or any family) a child. I only felt called to be willing.
I know God has a special child being prepared (through adoption) for this amazing family and I think God needed them to know that this child is specifically created for them, even though DNA is no longer involved. I think God needed them to know that this child was for them and this last embryo/baby girl was more needed in heaven watching over them. If she was still here with us then this special child who God is preparing for them might not be ending up with them! Can you please continue praying with me over this family as they prepare their hearts for their child. Pray over this bio mom and the circumstances that surround her needing to give a baby up for adoption. And last if you remember, say a little prayer for me as my heart and body still heal from this.