I’ve been pretty absent for the better part of 2018. I wish it was for a better reason but in all honesty, I did not have the energy to handle my day to day life, much less the blog and events. I wanted to explain my absence so bare with me. It's a long one.
At the end of February, as most of you know, we found out we were expecting baby number two. Although we were so excited for this little to be on the way, my immediate reaction was “I have to get into my OB tomorrow.”
This is my third pregnancy to be viable past 8 weeks. Viable. It’s such a strong but sterile word. I have experienced three personal losses in-between my surrogacy pregnancy in 2013 and today. Not to mention, I still carry a heavy burden and guilt on the loss of the fraternal twin from that pregnancy.
In total, four babies in five years haven’t survived from my womb. Do you know how gut wrenching it is to go into an OB office and must explain how many pregnancies you have had total and then explain how many are not living and how each of them ended?
So, when I started freaking out this pregnancy early on, it didn’t surprise me. I did not want another loss because I knew emotionally I couldn’t handle it.
I wasn't expecting to start getting anxiety over little things.
The first real sign that I had a bigger issue than normal fear was when I was prescribed Progesterone Shots to take daily. It was literally out of stock EVERYWHERE but online fertility pharmacies but they wanted $125 a vial. One vial only lasted 5 days. I called nearly 60 pharmacies from Charlotte to Statesville and we only ever found six vials but luckily they were cheaper at around $55 each. Normally, with insurance, it would have been $10 for a month supply.
It started out with just a fear that we’d lose another baby. I made countdowns to milestones I hadn’t hit before like the heartbeat, week 8, week 12, week 16 and so forth. Even now, I am counting down weeks. We’re past viability but I keep fearing something will go wrong.
Eventually the anxiety grew to much more than just the pregnancy. I eventually found myself afraid to drive. I would be mid-trip and fear that I would end up in a wreck. I started doubting my career. I started to doubt my ability to mother Hayden the way he needed. I doubted my relationship and even what my purpose was in this life.
Doubt is a horrible feeling.
There were days where I went to work, came home and crawled into bed. There were many weekends where I never took a step outside. Sunny days were still bad but the rainy, gloomy days were so much worse.
Two weeks ago, we moved into a beautiful new home but that also meant packing. Packing was something that triggered the largest panic attacks I have had, not only in this pregnancy, but some of the largest attacks I have ever had ever in my life. I would sit and stare at the stuff and just break down in tears. I couldn’t physically get myself together long enough to do anything productive. I really cannot thank AJ and my family enough for those weeks and the move.
Pregnancy-Induced anxiety is the worst feeling of hopelessness I have ever experienced.
So early on, I decided to completely shut down as I got it under control.
I shut down most of my life for my sanity. I needed the ability to work my full-time job because it was a priority. I needed to reduce the stress for the baby’s sake. I needed to be present for my son.
I am not writing this for sympathy but for transparency.
Every pregnant woman knows the fears and worries of post-partum depression or anxiety. It’s something many doctors really want to check on during that 6-week post-birth appointment. But no one talks about the depression and anxiety that can happen during pregnancy.
It is estimated that miscarriages happen in 25% of all pregnancies. One in eight couples experience infertility. I’ve only experienced a small blimp of what some couples experience but the stress, pressure, anxiety and fear crippled me. The more I have spoken to other women about the anxiety I've experienced, the more I’ve realized I’m not alone.
I’ll leave on a positive note. The anxiety is going down as the days go on. It’s going from irrational and uncontrollable situations to common insecurities or worries – like the fact we are official under 100 days until she will arrive.
Some of the failures so far from 2018 still weigh heavy on me.
- I missed deadlines and events.
- I left many emails ignored.
- I abandoned my social accounts.
But that is going to change. I hope to become more social again and I am taking baby steps to being like myself again. I want to get back to my roots of writing and sharing my love of the city.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me the last six months and even more so my family.
The ones who have noticed something was wrong. The ones who knew I the fear I had during the pregnancy. The ones who offered help emotionally or physically. The ones who held me as I cried or shared my fears. The ones who just talked about anything else to help keep my mind off the fear.
You are my saviors.
Thank you for loving me through the hardest parts.
No. Just No.
Very, very few cases of surrogacy are due to career or body issues. VERY FEW. I’ve only heard personally of three surrogates carrying due to those reasons. But guess what, it's still their choice to do so.
But that certainly isn’t the case here. The fact that it has been brought up is disgusting. She publicly went through two horrific pregnancies and surgeries after both to try and conceive again. She has a HOLE in her UTERUS. She’s had blood transfusions. She had her placenta scrapped from her uterus because it wouldn’t release. Her doctor told her that she had a major chance of dying while trying again.
Yall. That’s intense.
I wouldn’t want to die trying to have a child.
Surrogacy is normally the last chance effort for families. It isn’t a spur of the moment decision. These parents have gone through testing, meetings, crying nights and financial discussions.
Yes. Financial discussions.
Surrogacy costs on average 90-130k. Costs can vary based on many factors. The surrogate may not have surrogacy friendly insurance, therefore either a new coverage will need to be obtained during open enrollment and paid for by the intended parents or the intended parents will pay cash for all services.
Also, the first transfer of the embryo may fail. And maybe the second. And maybe the third. They may need to make new embryos. Each failed transfer and each new egg retrieval + fertilization costs money. There is only a 60% chance on average that an IVF procedure will result in pregnancy whether you transfer one or two embryos. Transferring two only increase the result of multiples – which is risky.
Even as a celebrity, no one wants to fork out that cash to have a child. But they do it. People take out second and third mortgages, max credit cards and borrow. In most states, surrogacy IVF treatments are not covered in the insurance. Actually, IVF treatments aren’t covered at all in most states.
Don’t tell someone they need to adopt.
Would you tell your newly married heterosexual couple friends that they should adopt instead of conceiving the “natural” way? Nope. You would never tell them what to do in their bedroom or how to procreate their family. So don’t tell the infertile.
It is not the burden of the infertile to carry the weight of the orphaned on their back.
Oh and adoption isn’t cheap either.
Adoptions are seriously expensive as well and it isn’t guaranteed you’ll have a child. Surrogacy isn’t either and there are natural risks that can happen but for the most part, once you hit the viability stage of pregnancy, it is very likely you’ll have a child in your home.
You definitely will know you’ll leave a hospital with a child in your arms unlike in adoptions where the birth mom has 48 hours to decide post birth.
We’re not Lifetime Movies
Bless it. I love Lifetime for some juicy crazy drama but too many think their dramas are the real deal. There’s never a good surrogacy story or outcome on television or in movies.
That also includes the news. Some surrogates do go off their rocker but it boils down to missed steps each and every time. Please don't judge surrogates on a few bad apples and television drama.
Surrogacy is in the Relationship
Each relationship between surrogate and IPs are different. Some become lifelong friendships and others turn out to be more professional. Both are okay. However before anyone stabs a needle in their stomach or hip, you go through a lot of testing. You do medical testing. You go through multiple psychological tests and therapy meetings.
You have a contract that is legally binding. You list out each situation that may occur and how it is handled. They contracts are – on average – 25-50 pages in length. I was uncompensated and ours was still 29 pages long and I have seen contracts at upwards of 89 pages. The more details involved the better. You’ll both have representation to look out for your best interests so there shouldn’t be questions or issues when a situation comes up.
The Law isn’t always on our side.
Very few states are very surrogacy friendly, California being one of them. Here in North and South Carolina, we do not have laws for or against surrogacy. That essentially means if something were to come up and when parents apply for a Pre-Birth Order, it is 100% up to the judge.
Some states have laws preventing surrogacy for certain reasons. Louisiana only allows surrogacy for heterosexual couples. New York does not allow for a surrogate to be compensated and even if they are not compensated they are notorious for making the parents adopt their biological child. Michigan do not recognize contracts and a surrogate fled there to avoid losing custody of the child.
Surrogacy is a beautiful thing. I wish others really understood what surrogates actually do. I have been called many names from a cash cow (I wasn’t even compensated) to being told I was a horrible ‘mother’ for abandoning my child - that isn't even biologically mine.
Intended Parents through surrogacy deserve the right to have their children just like any other family. That includes the Kardashian-West family.
Who cares what you think about them.
Who cares what you think you know about them.
Because we don’t know them.
But we do know she could have died having another child.
We know she tried everything she could to avoid surrogacy.
And we certainly know it takes a very strong women to give another women the trust of loving + caring for her child for nine months.
Thanks for trusting our small community in expanding your family.
I can only hope we do not let the Kardashian-West family down.
I'm Katie and I'm so excited to be the new director of the Charlotte region of Housewives in the City! I'm a resident of Mount Holly and currently run the Gaston Co Region. I absolutely love traveling, sports and I'm always up to learning something new. I cannot wait to meet all of you!