There I sit, in a room filled with expecting parents. I sit quietly on my own, notepad and referral documents in hand, just watching.
Glancing across the room, I see a couple holding hands, grinning so loving to each other while the expecting mother rubs her swollen belly. To the left of the couple, sit’s a father and son anxiously waiting for mom to return from blood tests. I can’t help but wonder if everything is ok? I close my eyes for a brief moment to send guardian angels thier way.
Deep in thought a little while later, my focus shifts to the far side of the waiting room. There sits a teenage girl, not more than 15 years old, 12 weeks pregnant. I knew she was that far along because I overheard the father of the teenage girl repeat those 3 words in sheer rage to the petrified teenage boy sitting next to his daughter. The boy took the girls hand, looked at her with just love in his eyes and said : “It will be ok”.
“Nicole Coutinho, please come through.”
It’s a vicious circle…
Gynae appointments are never fun. Ask any woman if they enjoy going to the gyane and thier answer would be, 9 out of 10 times, that they hate it with every being in thier body! It’s awkward and uncomfortable but so very neccessary.
So there I sit, meeting a brand new gynae, telling him all about my sexual health and all the inbetween. I then get to the real reason behind my visit. I go on to ask him the difficult question; “Is there a chance for a Pulmonary Hypertension patient to have a safe pregnancy?” Dr H finished writing his sentence, closed my file looked me straight in the eyes and said: “Mother Nature did you dirty, my dear”.
It wasn’t a sentence that was new to me at all. Almost every single Dr I crossed paths with told me just that. A PH patient cannot fall pregnant, it’s absolutely forbidden. Touché Mother Nature- touché
I just was hopefull that after 10 years, the medical world would have advanced in some way or another. Perhaps I was too eager. 10 years isnt enough time for a medical breakthrough like that. Mother nature did me dirty.
Dr H and I went on to talk about other options and where the right place would be to start. Surrogacy is the next best thing for any person that suffers from a life threatening illness, especially Pulmonary Hypertension. The appointment was insightful and dreadful at the same time because somehow, this appointment felt much more important than the others.
All hope gone…
The drive back home was occupied by thoughts of the emotion that I witnessed in the waiting room before my appointment. A beautiful couple on thier way to starting a family, a father and son worried about the unknown health status of the expecting mother and the teenages that had unprotected sex which led them to an “oops”. I couldnt help but feel anger towards the teenagers situation. Why is it that couple’s that really want children have so much difficulty falling pregnant, while teens or as a matter of fact, ill suited folk go about having, “oop’s” left right and centre. I can’t help but think how unfair it is sometimes, but there has to be a reason right? RIGHT?!
I arrive home to an excited husband, eager to know how the appointment went. I think my husband was as hopefull as I was that MAYBE, just maybe there was a chance. He always see’s things in life as half full and my heart just broke when I uttered the words, we cant fall pregnant, to him that evening.
It really hit home this time. We both looked at each other and cried, hugged and walked to seperate rooms to process what was happening. I felt immense guilt in that moment because it was my fault. I’m the one who is sick and can’t carry our child. Im the one who is stopping us from having a family. I’m the chink in the chain and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.
Light at the end of the tunnel…
Our home was filled with a range of emotions. Discussions consisting of wether we wanted to go through with surrogacy and if we were strong enough for it.
M was anti surrogacy at the time. He saw it as us missing out on the bonding time, the growing belly, the morning sickness, the cradling of the unborn child. We would be missing out on the whole experience of being pregnant. I agreed that we were missing out on alot but at the end, we would still get a baby that was ours. That’s the goal.
I called Vitalab and asked if there was someone that we could speak to prior to seeing a Dr to just talk about Surrogacy.
We met with a young woman named Brownyn, who is an egg donor herself and gave 3 children to 3 different families. We were in awe.
I sat there admiring how this woman gave so much joy to so many people and how I hoped that I would be able to give that same joy to the person sitting next to me in that room. The appointment ended and we walked out hand in hand.
Giddy with excitment and somewhat nervous, I looked over to my husband for a sign.
There it was. The spark was back in his eyes and in that moment, it was all I needed. We were ready for whatever was coming our way.
We were ready.