Paul and I were married in 2005 and waited a few years for children whilst I finished my studies. Once we were both working, we fell pregnant with our beautiful son who was born in 2008. The pregnancy was uneventful until I was 6 days overdue, when I showed signs of pre-eclampsia. I was induced, but during labour my condition developed into eclampsia and I started to have seizures. At that point my world went blank and I recall no more of the birth. both my son and i were lucky to survive; we both suffered seizures and I ended up with multiple organ failure and serious haemorrhaging. After several hours of surgery the decision was made to perform an emergency hysterectomy to save my life. There was no other choice. After a long period spent in ICU and hospital we were finally released to go on with our lives: battered, but alive and surprisingly healthy.
But this traumatic experience left its marks, emotionally and physically. We had always hoped for more than one child, and believe that we are not yet complete. We love our son more than life itself, and our wish to have another child does not detract from that; rather we believe it will enrich our family and be the most wonderful thing for all of us. We can barely dream that this might come true, that we could have a complete family, a comrade for our son, another gorgeous child to love and cherish. Families are everything and it seems so unfair that some people are unable to have children when they want them so badly.
So we now require a surrogate to achieve our dream, and the costs involved are high. Without a Medicare rebate to assist us with the IVF part we will only get one shot at this. Therefore we are fully prepared that it may not work, and we may only get one chance. This type of trauma was unexpected and could happen to anyone. We did not plan for things to end up this way – all we want is to have a complete family as everybody does, and we may not be able to achieve that. Surrogacy is such a positive thing with hopefully a beautiful and positive end, but the discrimination that surrounds surrogacy sours this a little. Why should I not receive treatment identical to the treatment that somebody else receives, for an identical cost? The only reason is that my infertility means that I am no longer able to carry a child, and as a result I am treated different to somebody else who requires IVF for different reasons. Sadly, this is arbitrary discrimination.
I just hope that we are successful with one round of IVF otherwise we will not be able to continue on our surrogacy journey. Our son will also be devastated. If we had access to Medicare rebates we might just get that additional second chance…
If this all does not work out, at least we will still have the sweetest, most loving little boy for which we are very grateful. We love him so much and will never lose sight of how lucky we are to have him.