Each Month Canadian Fertility Consultants will focus on one of the amazing families we have worked with. This Month, meet the Peck Family.
My husband and I were ready to start a family and I had always planned on carrying children myself despite the fact that I had a C5 spinal cord injury that I sustained as a child. (I am in a wheelchair and do not have the use of my hands) I had support from my medical team to become pregnant as many other people with high level spinal cord injuries have successfully carried to term, but there was no doubt that it would be a high risk pregnancy and wouldn’t be ideal for either myself or the baby. After a lengthy wait to get pregnant and two miscarriages, we were still optimistic but getting frustrated. A friend shared that she was starting a family with a surrogate and I instantly knew that we should follow the same path, I just had no idea it was a realistic option. I felt like a bit of a quitter after a lifetime of assuring others that people in wheelchairs can have babies, but I had a stronger feeling that it was more important to be a healthy parent than to have accomplished a successful pregnancy.
Biggest misconception people in your world had about surrogacy?
That the surrogate would want to keep the baby
What part of the surrogacy journey was most memorable/difficult for you?
Memorable: The most memorable part of our surrogacy journey is how close we have grown to our surrogate and her husband and how much our daughter loves to be around their children. Our friendship started in such unique and giving circumstances and has become about so much more than our surrogacy connection
Difficult: The most difficult part of the process was to watch a close friend deal with the difficulties of pregnancy without being able to do much to help. But, that isn’t really related to surrogacy … I felt for my sister when she was puking too! I have a hard time describing any parts of the surrogacy journey as difficult as we have had such an incredible experience. Sure, the egg retrieval process and travel and paperwork were inconvenient, but nobody ever said having a family would be easy!
How has life changed since having your child?
I have found that now I take the time to recognize and enjoy day to day moments instead of just focusing on tomorrow (I learnt quickly if you wait until tomorrow to enjoy something a little one is doing, it will be too late because they will have already changed)
Are you considering another child through surrogacy?
If we decide to have a third child, it will definitely be through surrogacy. As our youngest is only three months old, we are still too sleep deprived to process whether a third is a good idea!
What advice would you give other intended parents considering Surrogacy, as a way to build their family?
– Treat your surrogate like an equal member of your team (and believe the same)
– Remember that there are many different ways to get to the end goal of a healthy baby and it doesn’t really matter if every step is exactly the way you would have done it
– Make sure the delivery hospital and you and the surrogate have a plan for the delivery that is clearly communicated on your chart and to all staff so there is no confusion over who you are and why there are extra people attending the birth (we didn’t have an issue with this but I could see how it might be a problem at a strict hospital)
– Encourage your surrogate to have a support person at the birth to care for her and welcome this person as a part of your child’s birth story
– It doesn’t matter how many people love your child
– Lighten up and start trusting!