November 19, 2017

Local Resident Fulfills the Dream of a Family for a New York Couple

(Article courtesy of  Times~Journal 8/09/11)

Infertility doesn’t cross the minds of most unless it hits close to home, but there are millions of men and women that have problems with infertility.

Statistics show that 15 percent of the population is affected by infertility. One in seven people are infertile with an even one-third distribution between the woman, the man, and a combination of both.

Problems can arise due to the age of the person, weight of the woman and other medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which affects 10 percent of the women in the U.S.

More than 50,000 babies are born each year in the United States using assisted reproduction technology with 1,000 of these babies born via surrogate mothers. Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person.

For Michelle Strickland, the decision to become a surrogate mother was a well-researched, thought-out, family decision.

Michelle and husband, Terry, have been married almost 2 years with a combined family of six children, three grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way. Michelle is a 30-year-old stay at home mother, while Terry runs his own business of 20 years, Strickland Paint and Remodeling.

After the birth of her last daughter, Michelle encountered a co-worker that was having problems with infertility. It was terribly upsetting to her that there were so many couples that wanted children but were unable to for various reasons due to infertility. She began doing research on the subject of surrogacy.

It took approximately three years of research before deciding to become a surrogate mother and to register with a suitable agency that met all of there needs and expectations.

There are two different types of surrogates. The gestational carrier, which doesn’t use their own eggs and the traditional carrier, which uses their own eggs. Michelle chose to become a gestational carrier.

Before getting married in September of 2009, Michelle had already filled out the paperwork and sent it into the agency for approval. The agency suggested that she wait of six months after getting married to make a definite decision.

In March 2010, Michelle sent in updated paperwork with her husband’s approval. Michelle was a prime candidate for surrogacy, because she had already had three children with no complications and no cesareans.

In April 2010, Michelle and Terry met the perspective couple from New York on a conference call. This call was to let each couple get acquainted and see if they were compatible. The call took place on a Friday with the agency calling back on Monday saying it was a go.

During the months of June and July of 2010, Michelle had to update medical records and also had to go through an extensive medical screening process and exams.

In August 2010, Michelle and Terry flew to New York to meet the couple and to complete medical exams and psych exams with the doctors at Cornell.

Michelle flew back to New York in November to learn about the injections of Estrogen and Lupron that would prepare her body for implantation. She had to give herself injections and visit an infertility clinic in Columbus, GA months before the actual implantation of the babies.

In February, Michelle made the trip back to New York, and this time she was implanted with the embryos. Two were implanted, hoping one would take. Michelle had to wait 21 days before going to the doctor and finding out that the in-vitro was a success.

In mid-April, she round out by ultrasound that both embryos took, and she was carrying twins. In June, Michelle found out along with the parents from New York found out that she was carrying twin boys that were due to arrive on October 28.

Michelle has a very supportive family although some were apprehensive about her decision in the beginning. Her children are adjusting well and understand that she won’t be bringing the babies home to live with them.

Michelle states, “I feel like I am doing what I have to do to fulfill another’s dream of having a child. I want to give other women hope and not let them give up on having a baby. This is what I’m meant to do to help someone.”

Infertility shouldn’t mean a permanent roadblock to having a family – There are options out there for the determined.

Pictured above are Michelle and Terry Strickland and three of their children, Kailey 10 years, Gracie, 8 years, and Layla, 5 years. Michelle is a surrogate mother for a couple in New York State.

Comments

  1. terry strickland says:

    Thank you for posting this. I just want to give other couples hope, Never Give Up on Your Dream of Having a Child

  2. terry strickland says:

    Quick update: Boys were born on Sept. 9, after 3 weeks in N.I.C.I,they went home to New York. They are doing great! THANK YOU ALL for your support!

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