Isabelle’s Story

About 8 years ago, I jokingly said to my friend: “If only I could be pregnant and not have to keep the baby! It would be awesome!”

This sentence may have sounded weird to some but to me, it was the perfect plan. I loved the whole pregnancy and birth experience, but I didn’t want another child at the time. It just made sense to me.

Five years later, surrogacy was all I could think about. So I started doing research. I came across Surrogacy in Canada Online and browsed the website a little. It was very informative! I got in contact with Sally and there was the start of the most amazing ride of my life.

Not even a week after speaking with Sally, my profile was up and there was already a couple anxiously waiting to speak with me! It was all so exciting! We clicked instantly!

I first met them in February 2013. I met with their fertility doctor in their home town for an initial visit. It was an amazing weekend that made all of it start to feel real!

My screening went well. My uterus was perfect for a transfer, my blood work all came back normal and my psychological evaluation was perfect. It was now time for legal contracts, and then, embryo transfer.

In June 2013, IM had an egg retrieval which resulted in one embryo. We transferred it on day 3 but unfortunately, the little one didn’t make it. Failed transfers are really hard, emotionally and physically. As a surrogate, you always ask yourself if it’s your fault. You wonder if it was because of something you did or didn’t do. But the reality is that we have very little control over it. We take our meds and hope for the best.

A few weeks after learning that the transfer had failed, my IP’s told me that they decided to try again with another egg retrieval. We had to wait a few months so our bodies could get a little break from the medications.

A second attempt was scheduled in October 2013. IM had beautiful ultrasounds and we were very hopeful for success! But our hopes were crushed on the day of retrieval. There were no eggs to retrieve. Our transfer was cancelled. I was crushed. It was very hard to keep working with a straight face on that day.

After this, we took a little break. The holidays were coming so we decided to put surrogacy aside and enjoy time with our families.

I was still thinking about them pretty much every day. I really wanted this to work for them. I wanted to help them become parents.

If February 2014, IM told me that her sister volunteered to donate her eggs for them. What wonderful news! So I started back my medications and was preparing again for a fresh transfer in April 2014.

And then, sad news…her sister was not responding to the medications so it was pointless to continue. We both had to stop meds. Another cancelled transfer.

At this point, I had started looking for new potential IPs. I didn’t know if it was over with them or if they had a plan. Only thing I knew is that I wanted to be a surrogate mother, no matter what.

I gave them a few weeks to talk it over and I let them know that I was still there for them if they needed me.

Then, IM sent me a text and she told me that they have decided to go with an egg donor.

Sally had a few egg donors in her program. They chatted with a few and finally made their choice.

The egg donor had plenty of healthy eggs. We ended up with many healthy embryos.

In July 2014, we transferred 2 little embryos with the hopes that at least one of them would attach.

The few days after that consisted of my doing many…many pregnancy tests!

On day 5 after transfer, I finally saw a little something different on one of my tests! A line!! It was very faint but noticeable. The excitement was unreal!

The line continued to get darker and darker every day. We were very anxious to know what my blood work hormone levels were. First results were 433 and second was 1203!! This meant a healthy, viable pregnancy.

Now that this was over, we needed to wait another 2 weeks for an ultrasound. We needed confirmation of heartbeat and, of course, we wanted to know if there were 1 or 2 babies in there!

I could feel the excitement in the room when it was time for the ultrasound. The tech put her magic wand on my belly and Tada! One little baby with a beautiful heartbeat was all comfy in his new home for the next 9 months. The relief and joy at this moment cannot be described.

At 20 weeks, we had our big ultrasound at the hospital. IPs were very excited to find out they were having a little boy! Baby was healthy and growing well.

When I was 39 weeks, it was time to induce labour. I live New-Brunswick and because of certain laws, it made more sense for me to deliver in Nova Scotia. So we scheduled an induction and it was go-time!

I got to the hospital before my IPs, got checked in and the doctor asked me: “What’s the plan?” I said: “Heu…to get the baby out??” But I knew what she meant. Did I want the epidural or not? I never had one before. I was always scared of the big needle! But this time, I decided to go for it and it was the best decision ever! They gave me a walking epidural so that I could still use my legs and go to bathroom if I needed to.

The labour was 14 hours long. When it was time to push, I gave it all I have but he was not getting out. His shoulder got stuck! The doctor got both hands in there and got him out.

All 10lbs of him!

At that moment, I felt extremely proud of myself. As the nurse put their not so little baby in their arms, I felt accomplished. It’s a kind of high that only a surrogate would know.

Now, baby boy is doing fantastic and just took his first steps. We are now in the early process of planning another journey so that the little guy can have a sibling.

Surrogacy is truly amazing!

Can you share one special occasion or moment during your journey that left a lasting impression?
I guess if I had to share only one moment during my journey that left a lasting impression, it would be the moment I saw my IPs take the baby into their arms. That moment was incredible. I felt such joy. My second moment would be when I got meet the baby. It was amazing to finally say “hi” to the little man who’s been keeping me up at night for the past months.

How is your relationship with your surrogate mother/egg donor, intended parent(s) or recipient couple?
I am very fortunate to have an amazing relationship with my Intended Parents. We talk once every few weeks. She sends me picture updates of the little guy. I sometimes go for a visit. We are truly friends, even family.

What advice can you offer to others considering surrogacy and/or egg donation or embarking on their first journey?
My advice would be to research all you can before, talk to as many experienced surrogates/ egg donors. Asks a million questions. Another advice would be to take your time. Surrogacy can be a lot of ups and downs and it will take patience.