2 Moms, 4 Miracles: A Story of Surrogacy
TASHA: I'm waiting for my best friend, Raquel Mitola, to finish seeing the ob. She'd taken a home pregnancy test and called me with the news, and as she walks back into the waiting room -- beaming -- I know the doctor has confirmed what we were both praying for. Her pregnancy is looking good.
I'm next. The doctor tells me everything is fine, too, but I focus on being happy for Raquel. See, I've been pregnant 11 times before -- and each pregnancy has ended in miscarriage. And Raquel, a mom of two, offered to be my surrogate. So thanks to my friend, I'm going to be a mom.
JOHN: That day we found out that both Tasha and Raquel were expecting, we wouldn't let ourselves get too excited about Tasha's pregnancy because of everything we'd been through. Tasha and I got married in 1999, when she was 28 and I was 29, and we started trying to have children right away. She got pregnant immediately, but after about a month and a half, she miscarried. So we tried again. And again, Tasha would get pregnant but then have another miscarriage. It was devastating.
TASHA: When you have a miscarriage, you hear how common it is. Everyone says, "Oh, don't worry, it happens to so many women. You'll be fine." And I tried to stay positive. But after my fifth miscarriage, we decided to see a fertility specialist, who diagnosed me with "recurrent pregnancy loss" -- the loss of three or more pregnancies in a row. It affects only 1 percent of couples, and the worst part is that most of the time it goes unexplained. You'd think a diagnosis would have given us more clues as to why my body wasn't keeping the pregnancies, but it didn't.
During all of this, John's support was incredible. He'd talk me through the miscarriages, and a lot of times he had a more positive outlook than I did. He believed we would have a baby one day and always reminded me of that when I'd start to lose hope.
JOHN: I wanted to be strong for Tasha, despite how upset I was for both of us. I've watched her with our nieces and nephews, and I always knew she'd be a great mom. And it was hard for me to think that she might never get a chance to experience that.
But one thing I always told her was that whenever she was ready to stop trying, I would understand. I didn't want her to feel like she was letting me down. We would have to accept whatever was going to happen and try to move on.
TASHA: After my seventh miscarriage, in January 2003, Raquel called and offered to be a surrogate for me. Raquel's been my best friend since fifth grade, and even though she lives about two hours away, we've always tried to spend time together at least once a month. She told me she loved being pregnant with her two kids -- Mickelle, who's 16, and Chase, who's 13 -- and she'd talked it over with her husband, Jeff. I was so touched -- it was such a kind offer from our close friends, but John and I wanted to exhaust all of our options first.
Two years and three more miscarriages went by -- and then we got a call from a woman in our town who'd known about our struggle to have a baby. Her 17-year-old daughter was almost seven months pregnant and she wanted John and me to adopt the baby. We bought a few little outfits -- she'd told us it was going to be a boy -- and that got us so excited. But just a month before the baby was born, we got another call from the woman: Her daughter had decided to keep the baby. John and I were left crying in each other's arms -- again.