I like to think that my story begins when I was a child. I grow up in a loving family but as an only child. I can’t even explain how many times I want it to have brother or sister, and not just in early childhood but later as well. So, I kinda grow up imagining that I will have at least two kids, if not more. Dreaming about family. I don’t want to get into the reason why my parents didn’t decide to have more kids but being an only child form my dream of having a big family.
I met my husband when I was in High School and yes, we were high school sweethearts.
I knew from the first date with Mark that I want him to be the father of my children. However, we were thinking that we are too young and that we have to focus on building our careers and become enough financially stable in order to plan a wedding and family. We were in love and we wanted to take step by step. Of course, our relationship had its ups and downs but us not being together was never an option.
Maybe this sounds more as a love story so far, but I want it to tell you that when I was diagnosed with endometriosis at age of 29 and fell into intense depression, that was the first time in my life when I thought that Mark and I will fall apart. Yes, infertility has that strong consequences. But, it’s not hopeless and it can be beat. This is the story how I did it.
There was a moment in our lives when we finally decide to start working on having kids. We were financially stable, in a marriage for 3 years, we bought a house. There were some financial struggles but nothing that we couldn’t deal with it. Mark was Jr. Financial Manager at the bank, I had my own business with the bakery. After a couple of months trying to get pregnant, we couldn’t. It became frustrating. Our sex life has become more like one more job that we need to do after coming home from work. The passion was gone and only we could talk about was the pregnancy. When fights between us started, we decided to get the full checkout. With Mark everything was fine.
However, that wasn’t the case with me. When the doctor was telling me that I have endometriosis and explaining what that means exactly and what are the options in that scenario, I had a panic attack. I couldn’t hear him, I felt like someone just shot me and I was dying. I stand up, feeling disoriented and I run out of the ordination.
Mark followed me, and he was hugging me to the point when I start breathing again normally. Then I started crying and yelling. For me that was it. I know that doctor was telling some comforting things, I haven’t heard them, but I could tell by his voice tone. But, the only thing I heard is that I am infertile and that we should consider other ways to get pregnant rather than regular ones. My defense mechanism was to run away, not to think about that at all. I always thought about myself that I am the tough one. So, being in that mindset, I was thinking that I just need to accept the fact that I won’t have children and that is it. We will continue with our lives without it.
In my process of being tough and accepting the endometriosis, I was sleeping a lot, always feeling tired, I neglected my work, my husband, my friends…everything. Unlike Mark, I was totally unaware that I am depressed and that I couldn’t cope with this new situation.
Mark, on the other hand, start researching and asking around about other options to have children. First, in order to decide which option is the best for our case, I would have to go and take a bunch of tests. He knew that I wasn’t in the condition to do so and he made his mission to get me out of the depression and make my mind change. Lucky for me, he did exactly that but patiently, every day a little by little, he was telling me some stories how other couples manage to have a family despite their medical conditions that cause them to have very low or not at all chance to get pregnant.
After a couple of weeks, I opened my mind to that idea and start researching on my own. Among other resources I have found, I found those telling me about the ways how to cope with this, so I don’t fall again. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything that works for me which you can read more at How to cope with infertility?
But, I found my own way. I wrote a book.
That being said, we started visiting many clinics, we did countless tests, analysis and took into consideration a lot of factors so we could make the right decision.
At this point, let me prepare you on some universal feeling – there is no moment where you going to feel 100% that you are making the right decision. Until you do.
However, there is one factor where you have to be rational – money. I know that all women out there facing the infertility are well aware of this problem, so I won’t tell you something you already know. Anyhow, I will share the information that solved my money problem in fulfilling my dream of having a family. Here it goes. I want to tell you something about so-called medical tourism. It goes something like this: there are countries that have excellent fertility clinics but at a very lower price due to the state’s regulation and country wealth in general. Also, their related laws and regulations are more suitable. Mine was in Cyprus. That clinic was the cheapest and have the best medical references.
But, money wasn’t everything for me. We were still having our doubts when the decision was needed to be made. The surrogacy option was the best for us. Our clinic was offering everything as we wanted and at the price we could afford.
Nevertheless, I was still scared and uncertain when it comes to the decision.
However, all that changes when I met my doctor. I am not saying that she would be perfect for everyone but for me, she was the light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel. She managed to calm me, to make me feel that I am making the right decision and that I will have my family. She woke up the hope in me. For the first time in a long time, I felt optimistic. She is not just respectful medical fertility expert, she was and still is my true friend.
Furthermore, I’ve taken detail analysis at the clinic and after careful consideration, especially about my health condition and related success rates of available fertility options, we decided on gestational surrogacy. This is a technique called “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) that in short, gather eggs from the mother, fertilize them with sperm from the father, and place the embryo into the uterus of a gestational surrogate.
After the clinic introduces me to all legal requirements and everything in that aspect was covered, they have matched me with the surrogate mother.
Because she is so important in my life I want to tell a little bit about her story.
Her name is Allis. She has 3 wonderful kids. However, her sister is infertile, and she carried her child. After that experience and when she saw the unspeakable happiness that he brought in her sister’s life, she decided to help other families to experience that kind of pure joy and she felt the urge to be part of it. Also, she is a nonworking mom of 3 kids and she naturally needs the money. So, for her, the surrogacy is the job that gives her the feeling of working for the beautiful cause.
After we met Allis, we knew she is the one. And how lucky we were since she liked us as well. She saw the sorrow in our eyes and desperation that comes on the journey from being hopeless to motherhood. We just clicked. It was like finding the love of your life all over again. I didn’t feel like that since High School!
We had the procedures with the great support of medical stuff, especially from my beloved doctor.
After four unsuccessful attempts, the journey really has begun. Thanks to overwhelming support, we were disappointed after every failed attempt but the most important was that we didn’t lose hope even then.
We didn’t give up. We all knew that it’s going to happen. And it did! Nine and a half months of constant and deeper bonding with Allis. I worried about her and the baby. We all did. We all cared so much. We bond so much that we got the feeling that we already had a family. Every test, every doctor’s appointment, every stage of the pregnancy…we invested everything, emotionally and otherwise.
And then the moment came.
We were so excited, scared, under so much adrenaline…I can’t explain the feeling! It was the longest hour of my life, and then again, the shortest one, the nurses came and told us that Allis had a beautiful healthy baby girl. They told me that Allis wants to see us alone.
We entered the hospital room and the view was breathtaking. Allis obviously exhausted and with a smile, holding the most wonderful baby in the world. Without any words, she told me to come closer. I came slowly, and while I was walking, I didn’t feel my legs. Gently, she gave me the baby and told me to name my baby girl. I lost the ability to talk. I cried and through tires, I said: “Lucy”. I looked at Mark and then Allis, both were very emotional and through smile gave me the support that I needed so much at that moment. Then Mark came, hugged us both and kiss Lucy’s head.
This is a very short story of how we got Lucy.
So, there you go my female warriors:
In conclusion, it is not easy but its definitely not hopeless. Quite the opposite! You just need to wake up the warrior in you and fight back infertility! Go get your family come true.