The Miracle of SurrogacyOct 26, 2016
July 8, 2016 was a magical day for Mallory Wilson – it was the day that her son, Luke, was born. It was also a magical day for Brooke, Mallory’s sister-in-law, because it was the day that she gave birth to Luke and her journey as a surrogate for her best friend and sister-in-law ended.
It all began in 2012, when Mallory and Brooke were both experiencing infertility. By 2014, Brooke had given birth to a child, but despite multiple fertility treatments, Mallory was unable to become pregnant. It was eventually discovered that Mallory had a uterine issue meaning she would never be able to carry a child to term. The revelation led to a gift that’s magnitude is difficult to articulate – Brooke offered to become a surrogate for Mallory.
“It’s hard to put it into words,” said Mallory. “You have to understand how hard of a journey infertility is. It’s devastating to have negative results over and over, and even though you are doing everything you can to make it work, you’re still unsuccessful. But then, to have a friend not only walk through the journey of infertility with you, but to then have them show that much love by offering to carry your baby, there’s no way to explain that. It’s a gift you can never repay. It’s the greatest example of Christ and grace I can think of. She took my burden and literally carried my child, giving me this perfect gift.”
The process of surrogacy is a long one, involving psychiatric testing, blood work, compatibility tests, and fertility treatments. Luckily, the fertility treatment worked on the first try in Brooke and Mallory’s case. From then, they were able to transfer to their normal OB/GYN, Dr. Ashley Tamucci of Alabama Women’s Specialists at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, when the pregnancy was at 10 weeks.
“Infertility is a tough battle, so our goal is to make sure that every patient is given the best care possible, even if she isn’t the one giving birth,” said Dr. Tamucci. “Both Mallory and Brooke were my patients before the surrogacy, and being able to help them through the ups and down of surrogacy and to see this family come together to help one another through surrogacy was special.”
“It was a good and humbling experience for me,” said Brooke. “At first, it can be an unsettling thought to carry a pregnancy for someone else and wonder if you will be able to detach yourself from the pregnancy since you know it’s not your baby. But with Mallory and I being so close, having gone through our own infertility battles together, I felt like God was calling me to do it and knew he would take care of any emotional bridges that this process could bring with it. In the end, it brought us closer in our friendship and our walk with Christ. The biggest issue I feel we as a society have is that some people think the surrogate should get something in return for carrying a child. I disagree. Surrogacy is an act of love, and it’s okay to do something for someone else and not to expect anything in return. It’s a gift; we need to be willing to help each other and carry one another’s burdens.”
After a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, it was time for Brooke to give birth to Luke; and Mallory was in involved in the delivery, every step of the way. “When we started this process, we were worried,” said Mallory. “I didn’t know how I would be treated because I wasn’t the one who was carrying the baby. I wondered if I would I have to fight my way into ultrasounds or into the birthing suite. But from the beginning, the team was fantastic. They cared about Brooke and me, but they would look to me for the “mom” questions. It put me at peace; I didn’t have to be an outsider in the birth of my child.”
“Brookwood Baptist Medical Center did a great job making sure we were all taken care of. The nursing staff was incredible. They asked questions in a way that included both of us,” said Brooke. “Mallory had wondered if she would feel attached during the birthing process, and I was worried about how I would feel. In the end, all the stuff we were afraid of was so minute – everything worked out perfectly. When I see them with Luke, I feel accomplished and proud; the love I see between them is so great,” said Brooke.
“Everything went perfectly. Other surrogates we’ve talked to were shocked that the hospital was so accommodating – when in fact, they made our journey much easier,” said Mallory.
Mallory had one last piece of advice to offer to those who are struggling with infertility: “I think infertility is still taboo, and people don’t know how to respond to it – the truth is, it’s very painful. But to anyone going through it I’d say this, while I never thought this would be how I became a mom, it is a journey that has led to so much joy. So have hope and don’t give up.”
Photos courtesy of Megan Tsang.