I Can Relate to Jimmy Fallon and His Decision to Use a Surrogate
By now you may have heard that Jimmy Fallon and his wife Nancy had a baby through a surrogate after a five-year struggle with infertility that the late night host described as "just awful."
Awful is a pretty good word for it. Heartbreaking is also accurate. Depressing. Hopeless. Sad, tragic, painful, traumatic, agonizing... You get the idea.
I tried for six and a half years to get pregnant. That's 78 periods. Every month I would hope I was pregnant and every month I wasn't… for SEVENTY EIGHT MONTHS! PMS ain't got nothin' on that emotional roller coaster.
Oh sure, it's all fun and games at first. You throw caution to the wind, stop using birth control and get your groove on as much as possible. Then, after a few months it becomes a cute little project. You break out the calendar and start keeping track of the days. You take your temperature and keep a chart. You become not only members of the mile high club, but also the NJ Turnpike club, the on the desk at the office club and the-in the bathroom of your one bedroom apartment because you have a guest staying with you and this way you can pretend one of you is in the shower and the other is shaving …club.
After a year of office nookie and turnpike trysts with no success, we decided to call in the reinforcements.
They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting pregnant. I had just turned 28 when we started trying so age wasn't an issue. They tried different medications, ran tests and then suggested we do artificial insemination. For this procedure you bring a sperm sample to a lab and they shoot it through a tiny catheter into your fallopian tube. And the sample has to be kept warm. So we’d both get ready for work, then right before we’d leave I’d sex up my husband, shove the cup down my shirt and race downtown, trying not to let the cup fall out of my shirt as I got jostled around on the crowded 6 train. Maybe if I’d announced I had semen in my shirt people would’ve given me some space.
It didn’t work. Neither did the next one. Or the next. When something bad happens to you, you try to deal with it as best you can and you move forward. Away from it. And as time passes and you get further away, the pain lessens with distance. But this was a loss of the future. How do you move past something when it's always ahead, waiting?
After three more years of tests and treatments we decided to move on to the mother of all reproductive assistance procedures. In vitro fertilization. It’s a very involved procedure that requires blood tests and ultrasounds every day for a few weeks. So each morning I’d spend several hours in this huge waiting room surrounded by 50 other childless women. Ah, fun times.
The first round didn't work. Neither did the second. The third I had to cancel in the middle because my mother was dying (are we having fun yet?). But the fourth? (CUE SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC)
The fourth was 6 and a half years in the making. Seems number four was my lucky number because now I have my daughter and my son.
And through foster care we ended up with our littlest one.
There are many paths to parenthood. While the old-fashioned way is a lot more fun, IVF, foster care and adoption have been great for us.
And we save a ton on birth control.