David and I have been together since we were 19 years old and married for over 11 years now. Through years of infertility and surviving cancer, our love for each other is stronger than ever. We live in Michigan with our insanely spoiled cat, Reynolds, and appreciate every single day. But there’s still something missing, and that’s a family of our own.
Our journey to parenthood started in 2011. When the old-fashioned way wasn’t working, we decided it was time for some testing. We were absolutely stunned to find out that David didn’t have any sperm and I was reaching menopause earlier than normal, which meant I didn’t have many viable eggs left.
No sperm…bad eggs…was God trying to tell us something? No, we couldn’t believe that. We knew in our hearts we were meant to be parents. After taking some time to grieve for the future we always envisioned, we realized our dreams of having a family weren’t over. We went on to try two IVF procedures with donor sperm, but both cycles failed. My eggs just weren’t up for the challenge. We were beaten down, but not defeated. We kept coming back to one thing…loving and raising a child was more important to us than anything. More important than biology or DNA.
It was at this point we decided to start our family through the wonderful opportunity of embryo donation. If you’re not familiar with this process, here’s a quick explanation: when a couple undergoes IVF and completes their family, oftentimes they have remaining embryos. Instead of destroying those embryos, they choose to donate them to a couple like us. In turn, they’re not only giving those already created embryos a chance at life, they’re also allowing us to carry a child and become parents. It is a beautiful and remarkable gift in so many ways.
Choosing embryo donation was a real turning point for us. Coming to peace with not having biological children was hard, but ultimately we couldn’t imagine building our family any other way. We felt hopeful again. Little did we know life had another detour in store.
We got the shock of our lives when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, we put the brakes on infertility and threw ourselves into fight mode. After chemotherapy, surgery, and a lot of support from David and loved ones, I am grateful to be cancer free and have an excellent prognosis! Sadly, though, part of my treatment consisted of a complete hysterectomy, which means I can no longer carry a child.
Despite all of these hurdles, we are in no way giving up on our dream of having a baby. Our experiences have only reinforced and reminded us of what’s really important in life, and that’s love and family. We have a lifetime of love to give and want nothing more than to have a family of our own.
We’re still excited about and plan to move forward with embryo donation, but we now also hope and pray to find a gestational surrogate to carry our baby for us. We feel it could be a beautiful experience for both us and our surrogate and would love to find someone just as excited about the adventure as we are.
Surrogates are usually compensated $20,000-$50,000, which they absolutely deserve! We wish we could give our surrogate this and more, but after infertility and medical bills, it’s an amount of money we simply don’t have. We’re hoping to find someone who understands this and wants to give the gift of parenthood more than anything else.
So the search is on and our journey continues. It’s been quite a story so far, but we’re ready for the next chapter and have faith that it will be the best one yet. We believe with all of our hearts that there is someone out there willing to share this gift with us…we just have to find them!
When people hear our story, they often ask us if we’ve considered adoption or foster care. The answer is absolutely. However, a lot of adoption agencies require a 2-5 year waiting period after being declared cancer free. For us, surrogacy with donated embryos feels right at this time, but our hearts are always open to adopting a newborn in the future, as well.
Thank you so much for reading our story. We would love for you to share it and help us find the perfect gestational surrogate to fulfill our dreams of having a baby!
Alicia & David