Today’s success story is about a woman named Susi. Her story is very different than most in that she first experienced her own infertility and then became a gestational carrier. About eight years ago, her then husband was diagnosed with male factor infertility and given a grim prognosis. However, they were successfully able to conceive two children after a strong course of antibiotics for a testicular infection. Fast forward several years, she heard about a couple in need of a gestational carrier and volunteered. Join us to hear how they went through three failed cycles before eventually switching to a natural IVF protocol.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- At age 39, Susi works as a high school art teacher and enjoys outdoor activities, podcasts, and playing with her two kids
- Her personal infertility story, which includes low sperm count, infection, and two natural and unexpected but successful pregnancies
- How Susi lost hope when they were told they would never get pregnant on their own and that IVF was their only option
- The fond memory of the first positive pregnancy test
- Why Susi volunteered to be a gestational carrier for a couple who met when they were older and then endured uterine cancer and a hysterectomy
- How Susi met and connected with the couple for whom she considered being a surrogate
- The tests and rigid requirements for the surrogacy process
- Delays and obstacles along the way
- Donor eggs and a 70% chance of success…but failure
- 2nd cycle failure: the doctors were perplexed
- 3rd cycle failure: the clinic recommended another carrier, but the couple insisted on keeping Susi
- Suggesting a new test she heard about from a podcast and her own research
- Joining a chat group with other surrogates and hearing the suggestion of a natural cycle
- Frustration when IVF — the last resort — wasn’t working!
- 4th cycle: the dilemma of transferring one vs. two embryos
- How Susi’s relationship with the parents has grown closer and permanent
- The financial aspects of surrogacy and how they vary from state to state
- Balancing work, life, and treatments
- The involvement of the parents during the pregnancy
- Would you be a surrogate again? “Probably not, because of my own age and the emotional toll of all the failed cycles. It would be a lot harder to do this for people I wouldn’t have an ongoing relationship with.”
- How infertility has changed Susi: “I’ve learned to not take things for granted.”
- Susi’s advice to herself back then: “I would say to research and connect with others to advocate for choices.”
Words of Hope:Have faith in yourself. There is always something else to try and explore. Click To Tweet
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