Fertility Needs


Chris Payne's Story

I guess we chose surrogacy under different circumstances than most. Six years ago I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease, and would need a kidney transplant to lead a normal life. It is not an easy request to ask a loved one to donate a kidney, but luckily I didn't have to ask as my father insisted that he be the one. Through all of this my husband and I had always hoped for a family, and while it didn't look to good at the outset, once my transplant had taken I was given the okay to try and get pregnant. I did get pregnant and the pregnancy went well until the 32nd week when I became pre-enclamptic and required an early delivery to keep both the baby and me healthy. Our daughter was born pre-mature, but very robust and continued to develop beautifully. I, however, did not fare as well, and began to have kidney problems again. While we were thrilled to have a baby daughter it didn't look as if I could have any more children. This saddened me because I had grown up with two sisters, and their friendship has meant the world to me.

My husband suggested that we consider a gestational surrogate since we could still conceive a child, but I couldn't be the one to carry it. He came to the decision more easily than I did, as it I took me more than a year until I was ready to talk with potential surrogates. Since I had experienced childbirth before I knew what sort of emotional bond I was giving up, and it scared me a little to think that I would be putting my most precious possession in the hands of someone I just met. In the end I decided that the risk was worth it. To have another child meant more to me than the emotional strain it might cause. As I look back, this all seems absurd, considering the wonderful person who in the end brought our second child into the world.

Dr. Figueroa introduced us to Maria and her husband, and I immediately felt at ease with them. They were very down to earth, genuine people who appeared to have their hearts in the right place. We all agreed to work together and began the process of preparing for in vitro fertilization. We were very nervous until it was confirmed that Maria was pregnant, but even with that good news the road ahead was a little bumpy. Maria's first few months were full of morning sickness and dehydration. It made us very uneasy to know that we had put her in this predicament. Maria was such a trooper and never complained, it was just part of life and she moved on. Maria's husband and children were wonderful throughout her entire pregnancy. They provided support and understanding that allowed her to deal with the ups and downs as they came along. It was reassuring to know that she didn't regret her decision and would deal with whatever happened. Of course, in the end she delivered a beautiful baby girl and we were all happy and relieved that everything had gone so well. Through this process I had gained more than a child, but a friend for life.

I have been blessed by two very dear people in my life - my father for donating a kidney and Maria for helping us create our family. They have both done things that go above and beyond what most people will do for each other. We felt it was only fitting that we honor Maria in some way, and thus we named our daughter Trinity Maria. Trinity - because it took three of us to create her, and Maria as a tribute to her generosity. We also felt that we should in some way mention our gratitude to Maria when we told the world about our new daughter, and thus Trinity's birth announcement reflected her contribution as well.

Our experience has been such a positive one that I tell those that ask that if I couldn't be the one to give birth to my daughter then I'm glad it was Maria.

- Chris Payne

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