Monday, August 16th, 2010

We Feel Blessed

 

handing_over_baby_smallWhen things go beyond our control, come some compassionate souls as saviors. Taboo for some but blessing for many, surrogacy is a growing industry in India.

I miscarried twice. My first pregnancy ended after just two months. The second seemed more hopeful — despite the bleeding and cramps I managed to carry to eight months, but the day I went to the hospital I was bleeding and cramping. I still remember the agony I was in. But the worst was yet to come in the form of a shock. “Your uterus is not strong enough to carry a baby to full term”, said my gynae. After three years of tests, it became painfully clear that there was little hope of having the child we longed for. We were shattered. We wanted a reason to live. We even considered adoption, but were discouraged by our family. Tired of being disappointed…. we decided on going for surrogacy.

We browsed through the local newspaper and spotted an NGO offering surrogacy. We approached them. Megha was in her 20s, reasonably pretty and did not smoke or drink and matched up with us. We met, talked and after 15 days began our journey. She underwent the physical evaluation to find out if she had any family history of genetic disease and the result was negative. Then began the legal process.

She was asked to fill out an application, detailing her medical history and reasons for applying. She volunteered for the lure of the 3, ooo, oo fee. The money would help her for children’s education and just generally to make their lives better. Vera’s application and her colour photograph were added to 150 others kept in scrapbooks for prospective parents to peruse.

After a few trials we all saw a ray of hope. Yes. Vera was pregnant. It was a mixed feeling for me. What ever… I was happy seeing her bloating. She had a bit of complications initially but she sailed through well.

When the baby was born she was handed straight to us. I did not feel any bond between her and the baby right away. And we went our separate ways. The only thing I can say is that she helped us achieve our dream of having a child. We owe our happiness to her.

Dr Geeta Chaddha describes gestational surrogacy as, when the intended mother’s eggs are fertilised with the father’s sperm and the resulting embryo is then transferred to the womb of the surrogate woman via in vitro fertilization or IVF method. It is one of the well- accepted methods of assisted reproduction that benefits infertile patients whose uterus has become dysfunctional or can’t conceive or carry a pregnancy to full term and even benefits single mothers. Such people can take the help of surrogates, who carry their child in the uterus and then hand it over to the biological parents, after delivery.

Partial surrogacy is a surrogacy agreement where the surrogate’s own egg is fertilised with sperm from the commissioning father or a donor. This can be done by the father having intercourse with the surrogate or through artificial insemination.

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