SurrogacyIndia’s focus is in fertility, not infertility. Making babies, is possible. ‘Possible’ is what we believe in.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My 61-year-old mum gave birth to my son four years ago - now he thinks it's 'cool'

When Sara Connell's mother agreed to carry her baby to term it captured the hearts of many - but what happened next?

Finn Connell may only be four years old, but he already knows how he came to be here. His proud mum , Sara, has been honest and open about that.

However, rather than comprising of a child-appropriate chat about the birds and the bees, Finn and Sara's story is a little more unconventional .

It goes back to seven years before Finn's birth, and it's not just about his parents, it's also a story about the crucial part his grandmother played.

Finn's birth captured the imagination of many when it made the news four years ago precisely because it is so unique - and a happy ending to years of heartache for Sara and her husband Bill.

So, how DID Sara describe it to her young son?

The writer, coach and mum explains her incredible story to Mirror Online, and how their unique family is doing four years after Finn's birth.

"He asked once how babies are born"
"I told him the story as simply as I could, 'regularly they take a part from mommy and a part from daddy and a baby grows in the mommy’s tummy'.

"I said, 'my tummy had a broken part and for you they took the parts from mommy and daddy and you got to go into Grandma’s tummy, and I was with you every day until you were born'."

And Finn's response?

"He said 'cool'."

Sara and Bill, a TV producer and director began trying for a family in the spring of 2004. It was to be the start of a seven-year struggle for the Chicago-based couple.

"We weren’t getting pregnant on our own so started with two years of acupuncture and yoga and herbs, then allopathic fertility treatments for a year.

"We did IVF and got pregnant with twins and were so joyful."

Tragically, the couple's joy turned to grief when five-and-a-half months into the pregnancy, Sara's cervix dilated and she went into early labour.

Her twins were delivered stillborn.

"We became pregnant again a year later and had a miscarriage.

The couple persevered with IVF, but there was only so much they could bear. Sara describes it as "hitting a wall".

"We felt emotionally strained and we had depleted our savings.

"We told our families we were taking a break - we’d let them know when we had anything to report."

Recounting how they decided to not talk about fertility for a while, Sara adds: "We asked to keep our hearts open to whatever way we could have a child, - adoption and we did a tiny bit of research on surrogacy, to keep trying in my body."

"It was like a lightning current"
It was around the same that Sara's mother, Kristine heard a story which was to dramatically change the course of events.

"My mother read a story online about a post-menopausal woman who gave birth.

"She and her friends joked about needing to use birth control, had a laugh, but when she got home she said it was like a lightening current moved through her."

Finding pregnancy easy and a joy, Kristine, 59 at the time, had often told Sara the favorite moments of her life had been being pregnant - and she got in touch with her daughter about it.

"She proposed the idea to us in a letter.

"I cried with gratitude. We all agreed it was a wild, crazy idea. We had no idea if it was possible.

"I don’t know if it was the years of trying or her generosity, but I felt a slice of hope, as if a door had opened where there had been no door."

Together, the family agree if they found a doctor who would take care of it, they would go for it.

Admitting it was an extraordinary situation for which there were no rule, Sara says there were some ground rules.

"There are a lot of emotions that came up. We made a pact that we would be honest with each other, talk about things if we needed to, even if scary or uncomfortable.

"I was blessed to have a lot of tools from my training as a counselor we could dip in to if needed.

The rest is history.

Life with Finn
Understandably, Kristine's generosity and the arrival of the son she describes as an "awesome four-year-old" has impacted on Sara's relationship with her mum.

"We have a bond beyond anything I would have imagined.

"There was just so much opportunity for intimacy- my mother moved to Chicago for the majority of the pregnancy.

"We had so much time together. We read Harry Potter to Finn every day when he was in the womb, took walks, sang songs.

Adding how the closeness has continued after Finn’s birth, Sara says the family will be spending Christmas and Halloween together.

As for Finn himself, Sara describes him as taking after both her and Bill.

"Finn is a joy! He is funny, social and creative- and loving.

"Like Bill, he loves to be the leader in games and create games for friends to play. Finn’s dad is also an excellent cook and Finn takes after him.

"He makes up his own sauces and can crack and beat eggs, season food and bake popovers and pies with me.

"Like Bill, he likes to joke and make people laugh. Like me, he loves to read, write stories, make art and play sports."

Since her book, 'Bringing in Finn', Sara's story, has reached many other women struggling to carry their babies to term, and has touched and inspired them.

"I have heard from hundreds of women on the journey to parenthood. At least a dozen have shared that they are embarking on a family surrogacy.

These are also women who Sara is encountering on a day-to-day basis.

"I met a woman in a store last week who shared that she was doing a surrogacy with her cousin. I have heard from two mother-daughters, sisters-in-law, cousins, friends and traditional surrogates and mothers.

It's something Sara has noticed is becoming increasingly common, and she muses: "We wonder if by the time Finn is in middle school, if his beginnings will even be so unique."

A strong advocate of surrogacy and family surrogacy, Sara continues: "I would recommend it - if everyone involved wanted full heartedly to go for it.

"We had the amazing experience of my mother truly wanting this for herself and I felt and believed this was true.

"The experience was one she was up for and emotionally we were all up for. For us it was a joyful, amazing experience. I wish that for anyone taking a less traditional path!"

Looking to the future, Sara intends on continuing to enjoy every minute of parenthood and everything it entails.

Although she does also admit: "And now that Finn is a bit older, some awesome, more exotic travel!"


No comments: