Nicole’s Story

Our journey started in January 2012, when I was asked by my sister Clarice if being a surrogate was something I was really serious about. I said “absolutely, if this is something that you need then I will do it for you”. Unfortunately, our journey was put on hold when I had an unexpected pregnancy of my own. I gave birth to my daughter March 2013 and then we started talking about when our journey would begin.

We decided on a January 2014 start date to give me time to nurse my daughter and get a cycle before my February mock cycle and ultrasounds and blood work. All of the testing went perfect and we set dates with my intended mother (my sister) to have her egg retrieval. My IM had her egg retrieval June 8th 2015 they were able to retrieve 12 eggs, 10 were mature and 10 fertilized by day 5 there were 9 left, 7 were sent off for testing and 2 were transferred which were hatched blasts. When pre genetic testing was done there was only 1 left that was usable which was frozen.

We had our IVF transfer June 13th 2014, we transferred 2 fresh 5 day embryos. I was on 2 medications at the time, one oral and one injection. I took the injections for 9 days then switched to an oral medication. I was so nervous during the whole process, I had never experienced anything like this and wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought what if I don’t get pregnant? Oh, what if I do get pregnant? There was so much unknown. Not knowing how anyone would react, how we would react and how things would go. At the beginning of our journey I had all these questions and no idea where to turn, so I started looking on facebook for online support groups for surrogates. I came across Surrogacy in Canada Online, I requested to join the group and spoke with the owner Sally explaining who I was and why I wanted to join the group. After speaking with her she asked if my IP’s and I would like to join the program. SCO offered us a free membership to the program which included much needed support for me but also my IP’s needed support in finding a lawyer and asking any questions regarding their side of the journey that they were unsure about.

On June 18th we did a pregnancy test which we caught all on video, before I flew back to Alberta. It was positive!!! We were so excited! There was tears of joy and laughter throughout the house. The pregnancy was a little different then my own pregnancies, I was more sick than usual because of the medications. We had our first ultrasound July 11th at 6 weeks 5 days where we seen that there was 1 healthy baby growing. I was so excited, I got on the phone right away when I left the hospital and called my IM, my daughter was with me and she got to tell them the great news. “Only 1 baby” she said, IPs were so excited, we took a phone picture and sent it to them right away so they could see him.

I flew to and from Ontario each month to see the OB and midwife. At 18 weeks 1 day, September 29 2014 we found out that it was a baby boy. At 21 weeks I was finally able to go off of the medications, the dr had suggested given IM’s history that I should stay on the medications the whole pregnancy, at 19 weeks I was so sick from the medication that I was begging to go off of it. The rest of the pregnancy went really great once off the medications.

I continued traveling to and from Ontario, keeping up with appointments with OB and midwife, having my ultrasounds as scheduled and also seeing my family dr in my town in Alberta. It was so amazing Skyping with my IP’s and having them listen to the heart beat and showing them the progress of my belly. There was so much excitement in my sisters voice every time we spoke about the baby. She would laugh when she felt him kick or having the hiccups. He moved all the time, kicking and punching, I joke around that he never stopped and now that baby is always on the move haha.

Throughout the journey we had such great family support. My immediate family being my husband and children, they had to go through everything as much as I did and then my extended family being our parents and siblings, everyone was there when I needed them and so were my fellow SCO surrogates. We all love to follow along with the journeys, it’s like a family you get to be there from start to finish.

My IM had set up a baby shower date of January 4th 2016, we set up flights that I would fly in that morning. I took a flight from Edmonton to Ontario in the evening and arrived on the 4th at 3am then slept until the afternoon when I had to get ready for the baby shower. The day was amazing, IM had a great time and got spoiled as she should. I traveled back to my parent’s place and stayed the night and relaxed, the next evening my dad took me and my other sister for supper. I went back after dinner and relaxed then went to bed. At 3am on January 6th 2015 I got up because my allergies were bothering me, so I took a drink of water and my spray and figured I might as well get up and go to the bathroom, since pregnancy makes you go all the time haha. When I went to the bathroom there was no sign of anything, I went to the bathroom then noticed that there was quite a bit of blood in the toilet. I got up and went to wake my sister Koren and my mom and told them that we needed to go to the hospital right away. I was 32 weeks and 2 days at this point. In my mind I was freaking out, I was thinking this cannot be happening, I cannot let my family down, nothing can happen to this baby. Right away we went to the hospital, I was not checked as they did not want to disturb the area. At that time, I was not having any strong contractions, just small ones that were barely registering on the monitor. The dr came to see me and I had an ultrasound where everything was fine with baby and there was no evidence of anything wrong to cause bleeding. Throughout the day the bleeding slowed and the Dr said that at 6pm he would be discharging me. Our plan was that I was going to deliver in the town where my IP’s lived. So I had mentioned I would like to be transferred to be closer to them, but they said there was no sign of labor coming. My IM drove the hour to stay with me throughout the day. I rested all day, and nurses assured me that I would be able to catch my flight home the next day as I was moving to Ontario that weekend. My IM head home at about 3pm and I went to sleep.

Around 5pm my friend came to visit, I had 4 contractions while she was visiting. I didn’t think anything of it and didn’t mention it to anyone as they didn’t continue and they had stopped monitoring me at this point. My other sister came for a visit and my friend left, I told her about having the contractions and she asked if I had mentioned it and I said no I didn’t think it was a big deal. She was convinced I didn’t want to say anything because I wanted to catch my flight to go back home haha. I got up to go to the bathroom and when I sat I lost an extremely large clot, I yelled for my sister and pulled the emergency button, I thought that I had delivered baby at this point and was really afraid. Once the nurse came they assured me everything was okay and to get onto the bed so they could see what was happening with baby, so I was put back onto the monitors and requested to lay down. I was then moved to another room where they could get a better look, and was told my water had partially broken and I was 2cm dilated. I was in complete shock, I kept asking “are you sure this is really happening?? I’m only 32 weeks!!!” Doctor assured me everything would be fine, and I was given injections to help with the baby’s lungs. My IP’s were contacted and soon they were on their way.

By 8pm they had arrived and were a huge support for me, they were there for whatever I needed. I asked for an epidural but because of how little he was they advised that it would be best if I didn’t, they didn’t want any unnecessary complications so I opted to receive the gas which made me feel so much better! The most amazing moment that I will never forget is when my waters had completely broken and I was 10cm I looked at my IM and I said “well, are you ready to be a mom?” and she said with tears “ noooo” “I said well you better get ready because he’s coming!”

As I was delivering their son, I looked at their faces. I was more focused on them then what I was supposed to be doing. I wanted to see that joy on their faces, that was the moment I wanted to remember forever. There was crying and laughing and so much joy. At 1038pm Blake was born weighing 4lbs 9ounces. He was amazing, so perfect. 10 little fingers and 10 little toes a perfect little face and a button nose. My sister and brother in law were overwhelmed with joy as they got to see their son for the first time and everything became so real. They had their time with their new son before he was taken away to the nursery to be looked over sine he was premature. He was in hospital for 25 days and grew so fast. I pumped breast milk and so did IM and she nursed as well, I expressed for a month to give him a great start since he was so small.

Throughout my entire journey I had a fantastic support system. I would have been completely lost during my journey and after without the support I received from all the fellow surrogates from SCO and their team. Any questions I had or concerns I had immediate support, it was the place I could rant and rave about my experience and really how I was just feeling in general that day. I had a lot of concerns about how I would feel before during and after but everyone would tell me about their own experiences and how it was so different then having a child of their own. Throughout the pregnancy I was so worried, what if something happens? What if I do something wrong? My IP’s and fellow surrogates were right there to assure me and help bring up my spirits always.

Doing a surrogacy journey was one of the most amazing experiences in my life so far. Not everyone can say that they have helped create a family, and I am so proud that I can say that. I seen the struggles and the joy and I helped a couple become a family and they are amazing parents. Our journey ended a little sooner than expected, but it’s not over yet. This journey will continue forever as I see this little boy grow and become who he was meant to be. I am forever blessed and so thankful for the experience of carrying him and being his temporary home until I could bring him to his mom and dad.

I hope others read this and are encouraged to give such a short time in their own lives to create a lifetime for someone else, it’s like no other experience.