Fertility clinics. If ever there was a place that could give you serious whiplash of your emotions, it’s this place. Sitting in the waiting room, your mind races through a rollercoaster of excitement, hope, and absolute fear. I know, I’ve been there. My name is Ashley, I am a labor and delivery nurse, runner, writer, and mom of two kids who were not conceived through the help of a fertility clinic. Recently though, I have added “hopeful surrogate” to my list of hobbies, and this is how I found myself waiting at fertility clinics, deciding whether I was nauseous from excitement or nerves. Next to me on those couches is one of my dearest friends, Courtney, who undoubtedly feels all those emotions even more intensely than I, because it is HER baby that will hopefully become a reality in the walls of this place.
Surrogacy has always been on my heart, even before I knew I would be one of the lucky ones who conceived with no planning and had uncomplicated journeys. Motherhood has always been on Courtney’s heart, and for those who are lucky enough to know her, we have already seen her ability to love children unconditionally and selflessly. She is a beloved teacher and foster parent, and she has dedicated her entire life to making sure she fulfilled those roles with everything they called her to do. But we sit on the couches of the fertility clinic because, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how incredible you would be at motherhood, or how ready you are, or how much you desire it or even deserve it. Sometimes when your heart says yes, your body says no; which led us here.
This journey started several months ago as a bunch of Q&A notes jotted down in a spiral notebook, and has taken us to a place where we now reach out for help. The gofundme page about our journey can provide you with a full picture of what we’ve been through, but here is a quick synopsis: things haven’t gone as planned. Three button-nosed embryos made it all the way to the freezing stage, and doing single embryo transfers, we were certain that with my effortless fertility history, we wouldn’t need that many chances. But alas, here we are. Our first transfer ended in a heartbreaking failure, but renewed hope and determination brought us to a second transfer with cautious optimism. I have taken positive pregnancy tests before for my own children, but for some reason I don’t think I ever felt excitement quite like this, when two pink lines flashed across Courtney’s future right before my eyes. The highest of highs. And unfortunately, followed by the lowest of lows.
It seemed so unfair. As a labor nurse, it is my privilege to help babies come into the world, landing in our arms to snuggle down into their mother’s hearts. My job, however, has never been more bittersweet than the weeks following this loss. Every piece of me wanted so badly to give to Courtney the strongest desire of her heart. She is one of the kindest people I know. Not only would a child be so lucky to call her mom, but she is the kind of person that we want to raise our future leaders, your son’s future wife or daughter’s future husband. We would all be missing out by this woman not raising someone that could change a small piece of our world so selflessly as she has. She loves her students. She loves her foster children. And she so fiercely loves this child that she has never even met, as all parents who battle a similar journey do.
Fast forward to today. Its November, and our last chance waits patiently for us to finish raising the funds to end this journey with a rainbow. Courtney encouraged me to include how incredibly thankful she is by the generosity of our friends, family, and strangers alike so far. It is truly humbling to know how many people have this written on their hearts as well. The cost of surrogacy is almost insurmountable. Even with me acting as a completely free of charge gestational carrier for Courtney, asking only that I get to call dibs on babysitting rights, the cost of egg retrievals, multiple IVF transfers, surrogacy lawyers, etc has absolutely maxed out the available funds. So, with that being said, I ask three things of you, knowing that perhaps one or many parts of this story has resonated with you. Perhaps you have battled a similar journey, ending in victory or heartbreak, or maybe you have a teacher that you love and know the value of someone so special parenting a child of their own. Whatever your reason, I ask first that if you are in a position to do so, please donate what you can. Small or large, the third transfer simply isn’t possible without the financial capacity to do so, and It would mean the world to us for you to have a part in this baby’s existence. Secondly, share this article and gofundme link. Even if you yourself are not able to give, perhaps by sharing, it will reach someone who can. The more people who know, the more people who can help. Lastly, whether it be through prayer or good vibes, send it our way. This baby is loved already, but we would really love to meet him or her.
Thank you so much for your support. We are hopeful that soon we will be able to post a very awaited update for many people who care about Courtney. We look forward to that day.
You can help by donating or sharing this link!