Supporting Our Gestational Carrier
This is a long read, but our parenting journey reality is not a "short story"... Cecil and I have been teachers for 16 (going on 17) years. We have given of ourselves and enjoyed coaching and teaching other people's children, and yet we have always longed for children of our own. We got married on 6/22/96, and in 2016 we celebrated our 20th anniversary by re-newing our vows at the Giants' affiliated AAA Sacramento River Cats baseball game. At 45-years old, I WAS 13 1/2 weeks pregnant with our baby girl on our anniversary (6/22/16)... But our entire parenting journey really starts with all of the losses during our time together:
- 11/5/1997 Thelma Pauline Gowen (Julie's maternal grandmother)
- 4/21/1998 Douglas Gordon Mack (age 30... died from rare cancer... Julie's only sibling)
- 2/21/2005 Nora Belle Phillips (Cecil's maternal grandmother)
- 12/17/2006 Lee Fortney (Cecil's paternal step-grandfather)
- 12/22/2006 Sandra Gay Felkins (Cecil's mother)
- 1/17/2007 Cleta Fortney (Cecil's paternal grandmother)
- 10/2/2010 Mildred Violet Mack (Julie's paternal grandmother)
- 9/13/2011 Ty Eugene Felkins (age 38... died from a different rare cancer... Cecil's only sibling)
- 5/27/2015 Justin Douglas Ty "JD" Felkins (our first born son... 21 wks, 2 days gestation... Preterm labor... Born with a heart beat but died that same day due to extreme prematurity)
- 8/8/2016 Joyce MacKenzie Sandra "Joy" Felkins (our first born daughter... 20 wks, 4 days gestation... Preterm labor... Born with a heart beat but died that same day due to extreme prematurity)
So this is the sad part of the reality of our lives together... And this is another reason why we re-new our vows every 5 years. We have been through so much devastating family tragedy together, and we need to remind each other that our unconditional love and resiliency will help us survive TOGETHER. Family means everything to both of us, but death has prevented life, because we have lived our married lives in a constant grief spiral. Living in continual grief is one of the main reasons why we were such late bloomers in the baby-making department. More than anything we wanted (and still want) hope and happiness in our lives by having our own children to raise and love and nurture and to make us a whole family. We finally sought help through IVF, and had 3 failed cycles (which is a difficult grief to deal with in itself). We also had two cycles that took, but both ended tragically in preterm labor loss. Our only son, Justin Douglas Ty "JD" Felkins, was born 5/27/15 at 21 wks, 2 days gestation. He had a heart beat and was perfect, but was too premature for the medical team to save. Our only daughter, Joyce MacKenzie Sandra "Joy" Felkins, was born 8/8/16 at 20 weeks, 4 days gestation. Same story as her brother in that she had a heartbeat and was perfect, but was too premature for the medical team to save. Unfortunately, with the recent delivery of our daughter, I lost 1/2 my blood volume and had to have an emergency D&C to prevent further blood loss and complications. This most recent loss was a scare for my own life, is causing me to take extended sick leave from teaching due to my extensive recovery, and made me realize that I am not able to be the intended carrier for future implanted embryos.
Which brings us to our financial dilemma... We are actively seeking the gestational carrier route (which is extremely expensive), so that we can utilize the 5 remaining embryos that we have currently invested our emotions, genetics, money, and our time. We always appreciate continued prayers, support and thoughts, but we are genuinely in need of financial assistance as well to help us in the next step of our parental journey. Both Cecil and I are very private people and have held a majority of this story from a lot of people, but we are exposing ourselves and our entire reality to reach out and plead for help, because we desperately want to be parents. The brief moments that we were able to hold our son and daughter were some of the happiest and saddest hours/minutes of our lives. We pray every day that our hopes and dreams of holding our baby boy or girl in our arms will not end abruptly but rather continue to grow into the family that we have longed for.
No amount is too small, and anything you can give is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Also, please feel free to share our reality with others.
Thank you for the time you took to read this and for your consideration.
With hope in our hearts,
Julie and Cecil Felkins
On 12/29/17 CJ (Cecil Junior) turned one week old, and he’s such a patient, sweet boy. I don’t want to “jinx the no-hitter” (baseball fans, you understand), as I’m sure he’ll make up for his current state of sweetness during his “terrible 2’s”, “tantrum 3’s” or teenage years... lol! Right now, we will just enjoy him for who he is... our charming chunky cherub! ❤️☺️
THANK YOU to our surrogate for making this day possible. And a special “thank you” to her husband for his amazing candid shots of that glorious day.
Thank you all for your continued love, prayers and support. We have renewed hope and we are looking forward to the next several months, as this is all a new and exciting journey for us. God Bless! ❤️
"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a real blessing." -Psalms 127:3
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Thank you for your continued love, prayers and support! ❤️
Each and every part of this story is devastating. I hope you find happiness and wholeness but I hope you can find this before you add a child to your family. That much pressure, for a child to fill all the loss you have experienced, is really to much for any child to bare. All who love you and those who read this plight will be thinking about you and sending their best wishes. Wishing you healing and all of the best.
I don't have any money to donate. But if I didn't have the kidney issues I have I would carry a baby for you at no cost. I have 3 daughters, my newest one is 5 weeks. You are in my prayers and I pray you find a surrogate at no charge. Thank you for sharing your story.
For those of you who have posted comments on wanting to be a surrogate for us, both my husband and I appreciate your offer. There is a great deal involved, but if you are seriously interested in helping us with the surrogacy process, please contact Kim Humble from Supportive Conceptions Surrogacy in Chico and talk to her about the details. Not only is she the owner of the agency, but she is currently (and has been) a surrogate, so she can answer any questions you might have. (530-518-0421). Thank you in advance!