Please welcome Pamela MacPhee, author of Delivering Hope, to Luxury Reading!
The week after a thrilling family river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon that included my cousin, Henry, and his wife, Lauren, my mom called to tell me Lauren had been diagnosed with aggressive cervical cancer.
A few weeks later Lauren submitted to an egg retrieval procedure before she began radiation treatment to rid the cancer from her body. While Lauren battled for her life, eighteen embryos sat waiting frozen in storage.
Frozen in storage for what I wondered?
And so began my online research. I learned the meaning of the word ‘surrogacy’ and I read into the wee hours of the morning many touching stories written by gestational surrogates and intended parents about their amazing journeys to come together to create a family. When I crawled into bed that night my mind buzzed with possibility, and by the time I closed my eyes, my heart had embraced a newly chosen path.
I wanted to be a surrogate mom for Henry and Lauren.
So what would that mean, though?
I had a general idea of the logistical steps to prepare for surrogacy, the psychological and medical evaluations and the legal process, but:
How would I prepare myself mentally for an embryo transfer? How do two couples share a pregnancy? How would I feel when I felt my cousin’s baby kick inside of me? What would I say to my cousin when I delivered his child? And what would our relationship be like after the baby arrived?
After Lauren beat her cancer and she and Henry embraced a surrogate journey, with a foundation of honesty, trust, and open communication we found our way through the anxieties, challenges and awkward moments of the surrogacy process together. We discovered joy and hope on our intimate journey, from the first ultrasound heartbeat through nine months of shared doctors appointments, late night phone calls, and holiday gatherings as my belly grew round with their child.
The day after Mother’s Day I was thrilled to deliver a beautiful, healthy baby girl to Henry and Lauren, and they were speechless with awe when they first laid eyes on her.
Those two days in the hospital after Hope was born was the most fulfilling time of my life, watching my cousin become a father and his wife embrace life and hope again after the devastation of cancer. It was a privilege to share that moment of joy and wonder with them, and to watch my gift redefine their world.
I will tell you that Delivering Hope is the story I wish I had been able to read when I prepared to become a surrogate mom for my cousin. I will tell you that I wrote Delivering Hope to share hope for the future with cancer survivors and couples struggling with infertility, and to provide guidance and encouragement for surrogates, intended parents and their families.
And that is all true.
But, really, Delivering Hope is at its core an inspiring story about the incredible joy of giving. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to give my cousin such joy and meaning in his life, and our journey has given back to me a thousand times over. It is the story I love to share because it touches deeply mothers and women of all ages, as it continues to touch me.
Please visit the Delivering Hope website for more information.