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This weekend, I happily attended a baby shower. The reason I was so looking forward to attending wasn’t because I have a baby of my own to ease the discomfort of the dreaded baby shower, but rather because of the circumstances. The shower was for my cousins newest daughter, who was born via gestational surrogate. They also have an older daughter, brought into the world the same way. It has been a very special journey for them, involving two amazing women who carried each of their daughters. These selfless women did it out of the goodness of their hearts, to help a friend in need (it is not legal to compensate a surrogate, in Canada). Both of them attended the shower, and they both still act like it was no big deal. Beautiful ladies.
I’ve spoken about my cousins wife before, she has an “incompetent cervix” that has made it impossible for her to carry a pregnancy to term (she lost 4 babies, a set of twins and two singleton pregnancies). When I got pregnant I was pretty open with my family about the fact that we did IVF, and I knew my cousins wife would understand more than most. Little did I know, when I told her I was pregnant, her surro was just pregnant as well, as our daughters were born 3 months apart.
Also at this shower, another extended family member that I don’t see often was there. She struggled with infertility for years, and had gone down the path of adoption. Her and her husband were at the point of waiting for a match when they went to the Fertility Clinic (I think their referral to the clinic got lost in the shuffle because it took them way longer than is normal to get in). They were on their third IUI, staring down IVF for their next appointment, but it took. Third time was the charm and she is now 5 months pregnant.
My other cousin who was there is 37 weeks pregnant, and though she did not struggle to conceive, she is a labor and delivery nurse and has seen enough in her job to not take her pregnancy for granted.
So, three infertility “survivors”, two surrogates, and a labor and delivery nurse walked into a party…and it was beautiful.