Our path to a family via gestational surrogacy has not been a smooth one. A few days ago, I got a call from our local clinic that announced a chasm on our route, just when we anticipated easy travel from here out.
This is the nature of treatment for infertility.
I’m writing out of order right now from necessity; I was planning to tell you about finally meeting Auntie Stork, the testing and testing and testing, my IVF cycle this fall (AKA needles and needles and needles) and to arrive naturally at discussing the transfer of our embryos to our gestational carrier.
At our last meeting with Dr. Miracle, he assured us that our process would move ahead in our home city, hopefully as early as transferring embryos to Auntie Stork’s fabulous uterus in October. We felt like we could finally relax a little bit. I even started planning the baby (babies’?) room. The Electrician and I were actively planning to welcome a child next summer. We have names ready to go.
As far as we know, we are the first couple in our city to get this far with a surrogacy process. Our clinic doesn’t technically have a surrogacy protocol, so we are part of the unofficial process to build one. Dr. Miracle has wanted to help us from the beginning, and is actively doing everything he can to get us to the goal. Our approach has been 100% legal and by the guidelines, but since we are going through the public health system, there are additional hurdles to clear.
Tax payers, don’t worry: we have paid out of pocket for all our fertility treatment. A public health clinic just charges much lower fees for IVF and storage. Still, we calculate our expenses so far are approaching 12,000 dollars.
Thursday, I got a call from the clinic with shattering news. My understanding is that everyone had approved our surrogacy process, and that everyone who needed to be is on board with helping us create our family. Dr. Miracle even told us at the last appointment that the clinic was ethically and professionally obligated to finish the process they helped us begin.
Someone unanticipated very high up the food chain in provincial health has pulled the plug on our surrogacy. A person who has never met us and has probably not read our file has said, “No.” This means our process is stopped in its tracks and there is nothing we can do. It means the IVF cycle we struggled through in March and are still paying for was premature. It means there will not be a baby next summer, and the chances of a baby at all have plummeted.
Again, I can only go on what I was told and what I understand. It seems this person sees our surrogacy as a new medical protocol, rather than a very standard frozen embryo transfer. My feeling is that the person who devastated me with the stroke of a pen works in an office and has limited medical knowledge.
There is a fertility program in another city in our province that performs surrogacy procedures, but they are a private clinic that charges through the wazoo, and the travel required for the three of us to repeatedly get there bumps the expenses higher yet. Taking the necessary time off work would also create added costs. We can pay to ship our embryos to this clinic, which is not without risk, and hope they arrive safely. We could choose to start over with a new doctor at this distant clinic, and try to develop a relationship and some trust. Frankly, I am reluctant to get my hopes up and my credit card out at this point.
So here we are. We are hoping Dr. Miracle’s efforts to reverse the recent decision are successful. The local clinic has assured me they are behind us and are trying to get things back on track. In the meantime, we are discouraged and exhausted.
Please send some positivity our way. If you’re a prayer-type person, a little request to a higher-power doesn’t hurt either. Thanks, friends.