My husband and I were married for 6 weeks when I was hospitalized
for some unknown illness. Before I went in, I was a mess. I couldn't
walk more than 10 yards without stopping. I couldn't sleep, except for
sitting up at the kitchen table, leaning over a stack of pillows. My
right hand (I am right handed) was curled up, useless, and even my arm
was curled up into my body. I had virtually no grip in my left hand.
My speech was slurred to the point of people having a difficult time
understanding me. My neck was so weak I had to prop up my head with my
arm, because it couldn't hold up my head on its own. Needless to say, I
was very, very ill.
When we got married, I was going downhill,
but Doug and I both thought it was stress from my job. I was working
50-55 hours a week as an Operations Manager at a Trucking company, and I
LOVED it. But I literally thought the stress was killing me. So I
quit, and instead of getting better, I got worse. We were married
(eloped pretty much) August 26, 2000. (We were still planning a "big"
wedding for February, but got married legally in August so I cold be on
his insurance, as I had just quit my job. What a God thing that turned
out to be!) The month of September was spent going from doctor to
doctor to doctor. I heard everything from "You've got a tumor on your
spine" to "It's all in your head" to "I have no idea what it could be."
In October I had an MRI under sedation, stopped breathing, and had to
be emergently intubated. I was admitted to the hospital in Grand
Rapids, and flown via helicopter 4 days later to the U of M. I was
pretty much out of it for 2 weeks.
I was in and out of the
Neuro-ICU (mostly in) for the next 3 months. My husband was by my
side...he was committed to me, to God, and to our marriage vows. I knew
I picked the right guy!
When we got married, I was 29, and Doug was
30. We kind of both assumed we'd have kids right away and get on with
our lives. When I was discharged just before Christmas in 2000, I was
told I either had Myasthenia Gravis, which was treatable, but incurable,
or bulbar palsy, which was degenerative and terminal. I was 29 years
old. The docs decided to treat me as if I had MG, because they really
had no other option. If I got better, I would have MG, if I didn't get
better, I knew I would die a slow, agonizing death.
Fast forward 4
years (I'm getting better, so obviously I have MG and not bulbar palsy,
thank God!). Doug and I do not think it would be wise for me to have a
child, but Doug is set on having our own biological child. In what I
thought was a Divinely inspired plan, a friend of mine from high school
(I'm not sure if she would care if I used her name, so I'll use her
initials, LV) volunteered to carry Doug's and my biological child. We
couldn't have been more amazed, thankful, or, frankly, surprised. She
just completely volunteered, and this was actually something she had
mentioned years before as a thing she could do. She had great
pregnancies and super easy births...(her youngest was ONE HOUR from
first contraction to birth!) We thought it was the perfect plan. We
thought God had worked it all out.
It was kind of a nightmare
dealing with the legality of surrogacy in Michigan. Whereas in some
states, you can pay a surrogate for her services, in Michigan you
cannot. You can pay for medical expenses, maternity clothing, things
like that that are directly related to the pregnancy, but nothing else.
No money, no gifts, nothing. We had to each hire separate attorneys
(required by law, not by the generous friend who wanted to do this for
us), and pay for each of them. LV's insurance covered a lot of her
medical expense, prescriptions needed for her fertility drugs and stuff,
which was awesome. Our insurance paid for part of mine too, but they
would NOT cover the procedure of transplanting the newly formed baby
into LV (to the tune of $3800.00, and that was 6 years ago!) They
covered my fertility drugs, and the ultrasounds, and even the in vitro,
but not the transfer. We had just enough money in the bank to cover it.
drugs are hideous. I was the the most evil woman on the planet. I
would look at people and just want to scratch their eyes out! I am a
generally friendly, kind, loving person by nature. This was SO not like
me. The drugs were making me crazy. And the shots HURT. The one
burned for like 30 minutes. Ug.
So after "X" amount of time (I
can't remember exactly) I go in for the ultrasound to see how many eggs
were big enough to remove. We had decided ahead of time that we would
take out as many eggs as were big enough, and then fertilize and implant
only 2, because if I had more than twins, I would be in BIG trouble. I
would have been in trouble with twins! But I was still pretty healthy
at this time...my medication was working well, and I was doing quite a
bit on my own. I remember I had gone to this particular appointment by
I impatiently waited for what seemed like eternity to go
into the exam room for the ultrasound. The nurse came in, started the
ultrasound, and started the search for eggs, on each side....and they
found...... To be continued!!!!