Cindy, a very prominent Chinese woman, and I had been emailing for several weeks, just going over the basics about surrogacy in China and the entire process. There was so much more to the process that she had imagined and she had many questions. Even after a few weeks of emailing there was not much that I knew about her.
Over the course of time and a few meetings in person, I learned that she was an older, very prominent woman from China. She desperately wanted to have children, but due to her age she was not able to conceive. She had tried many IVF cycles herself, all of which ended with no success. Hence her need for a surrogate. She like many women in her situation were at first hesitant with me. But they soon understood that I was there to help and they put their trust in me.
To me Cindy was very brave. She was coming to the US from China, and spoke no English at all. Her husband was only in the US for about three days, and Cindy stayed behind with her assistant. Everyone is different, and I loved every client I had, but Cindy really touched my heart. She was so very sweet, and so very desperate to have a baby. Of the hundreds of families I worked with Cindy was the only client who met my children. We had dinner one night with several others, ten in total I believe. I will never forget when Cindy looked at my children, then I waited until she was done talking for the translator to translate for me. “I want what you have” is what she said. And her face was sad. I will never forget that moment.
Cindy went through two egg retrievals almost back to back. While Cindy prepared for the second egg retrieval the surrogate also prepared for the embryo transfer. The quality of the embryos were not very good so the doctor transferred three embryos, and told us she had a 10% chance of a successful pregnancy. Over the next few weeks the surrogate had a few blood test, which were not too promising.
A month after the embryo transfer was the day of the ultrasound, to see if there was a heartbeat. And there it was. Just a flicker, but it was there. Before the translator could translate that the doctor said, “Look, there a heartbeat”, tears were rolling down her face and she was smiling. Usually, for me at least, the next nine months goes by quickly, but with Cindy it seemed like a long nine months.
The pregnancy was “text book” and everything went good. Which I am grateful for to this day. As with any pregnancy there is the possibility of complications, issues or problems. For Cindy, who worried about every single minute detail, I don’t think she would have been able to handle any more stress than she was already under.
While I offered to be at the delivery, she said she would go it alone (with her translator, who, poor thing, was not excited about seeing a delivery up close and personal). I think she wanted the privacy, she wanted that time alone with her baby. The delivery took place during the night, so I woke up a voice mail from the translator. Cindy’s son had been born.
He was almost 7 pounds and doing great. And, according to the translator, Cindy had not put him down since the nurse handed him to her. I didn’t see Cindy or the baby after that, but we did communicate through email and phone calls. Cindy was definitely a “first time mom”, worried about exposing him to something or someone who may be sick, or know someone who’s sick.
Even now when I think back to the beginning, I am reminded of how brave she was and how happy I was that her story had a happy ending.