My sister was our surrogate and it was the greatest gift

My sister was our surrogate and it was the greatest gift

12/7/2021 6:25:00 AM

My sister was our surrogate and it was the greatest gift

I never imagined a relative having to carry my baby, but we've learned that there's no wrong way to have a family.

December 6, 2021Courtesy of Emily and TylerWhen I was growing up, people would ask me what I wanted to be, and I told them, “I want to be a mom.” I’ve been an aunt since I was ten years old. I’ve always been around babies—it’s always something I’ve loved.

I met my husband when we were sophomores in high school and we were friends, and then we started dating when we were 17. When I went off to college, I still hadn’t had a menstrual cycle yet. I was an athlete, and so I just brushed it off. Then when we were doing our physicals my incoming year of college, the team doctor asked when my last cycle had been. I was like, “Oh, well, I haven’t had one yet, but it’s not a big deal,” and he told me we would figure it out.

So after a year and a half of all these tests, they basically came to the conclusion that I have premature ovarian failure. It just means that myovariesdon’t work like they’re supposed to.I remember Tyler picking me up and I was crying in the car telling him. He said, “Well, this doesn’t change anything for us.” We had already had a prior conversation that

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adoptionwas something that was in our hearts to do. Then I remember telling my sisters what the doctor had said, and my older sister, Bailey, said, “One of us will carry for you. You’re going to get your family.” At the time I thought it was cool but in the back of my head I was thinking that I didn’t want to ask anyone to do that for us.

Courtesy of Emily and TylerTyler and I got engaged. We knew we were going to get married andhave a family, but we hadn’t really thought about the exact timing. After we got married in 2019, Bailey asked if I wanted to start talking about the timeline if she was going to carry for me.

I told her: “Look, Bailey. You don’t have to do this. We can figure out other ways to have a family,” and she said she wanted to. My husband thought the same thing. He was apprehensive about having someone else going through that type of stuff for us. But once Bailey and her husband both said they wanted to give us this gift, he was on board.

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In July of 2020, we started trying and got pregnant the first time. We did traditional surrogacy because we couldn’t use my eggs, so Bailey was also ouregg donor. We just did artificial insemination, and then we got a positive test result. Her first blood work was great, but then we went into the first appointment and the baby had stopped growing.

Losing that pregnancy, and going through that with someone else, was very interesting to navigate. I was trying to balance letting myself feel the feelings and also not wanting Bailey to feel like she let us down, because she didn’t. It was just sad. I know that she was obviously super sad too, feeling like, “My body is not doing what it’s supposed to do,” even though it wasn’t her fault. It just happens.

I was trying to figure out what to do because we’d had this hopeful and joyful thing. It worked the first time. We were going to be parents in March, and then it flipped us on our backs and we were thinking: “Is she going to want to do this again? What are we going to do after this?”

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Another miscarriagewould be the end of it. It would not be something we would do again. Then to go through adoption would be a years-long process. We went from being parents in March 2021 to who knows when, and that was really hard.After we processed the loss, Bailey said, “If you want to do this, I’m down. You’re going to have your family.” We decided to take a month off and let her hormones get back to normal. Then we got pregnant again on the first try. When we announced it, everyone was just so happy for us. A lot of people that know me know my sister, and so they were so proud of her and happy for us. We won’t use surrogacy again, because Bailey wants another child, and we’ve always wanted to adopt. We love surrogacy but it is very emotionally draining to be worrying about another person’s health along with your child’s and making all those medical decisions together.

Courtesy of Emily and Tyler

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