Gretchen and I had tried in-vitro fertilization before unsuccessfully, but decided to give it one more try several years ago after I had some minor surgery to improve my sperm quality. We ended up with seven embryos, two of which were implanted in Gretchen, but which didn't catch; five were frozen.
It took us a while to decide that Gretchen was unlikely to successfully carry a baby to term and that it was worth investigating surrogacy, where another woman would carry the baby for us. We originally spoke with a family friend about the prospect, but although she was willing, it didn't work out. This consumed nearly a year, which -- as it turned out -- was a good thing!
We signed up with an agency in Wisconsin that matches gestational carrier candidates with prospective parents. Shortly thereafter, they had a good match for us with a wonderful married woman with two children of her own (and a supportive husband) who had had fertility problems prior to having some surgery to correct her problem. A year earlier, she wouldn't have been in the program. So that worked out very well.
After everything was sorted out, two of the frozen embryos were implanted in our gestational carrier. That was in early March while we were literally in the air on the way to Consonance. As a result, I was spending a good bit of time in the Internet Lounge checking my e-mail to make sure that everything had gone well, which it had.
A while later, we discovered that one of the two embryos had implanted successfully and then it was just a matter of waiting, like any normal pregnancy. We knew the due date would be in mid-to-late November and were keeping a careful eye on it. The call came in on Thursday and we headed off to Madison, Wisconsin, where Kathleen was born the following morning.
The law in Illinois is extremely well-greased to handle cases like this, partly due to lobbying efforts that some friends of ours engaged in nearly 20 years ago. The law in Wisconsin is a bit more complex, but we have attorneys who are familiar with navigating the court system, and we expect that we'll soon be heading home with our daughter.