This I Believe

Helen - Santa Monica, California
Entered on November 8, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that life is never easy and you do not always get what you want.

I am a first-generation Korean-American. My parents were not the parents I wanted. So many beatings, so many tears, I wished I had never been born. I even tried to kill myself once. When I would think about having my own child, I could not understand how my parents could treat me this way . I vowed to give my future children the home life I never had.

Growing up, things never came easily for me, but I learned that if I worked hard and persevered, I could overcome just about anything. The one thing I expected would come easily was becoming a wife and mother. I was built for this life.

3 and half years ago I got married and for 3 and half years, I have battled infertility. A momentary mistake by a doctor rendered me unable to have children forever. The slip of her scalpel, which she has never thought twice about, has forever left a handprint on my life.

When I first heard that I could not carry my own children, I was not going to be defeated. Experience had taught me to persevere. I believed I could muscle my way through this infertility process, and have a baby in the end. I would be one of the miracles.

I underwent 8 surgeries, injected myself with hundreds shots, swallowed thousands of pills, gagged down pounds of herbs, visited experts, acupuncturists and therapists, but to no avail. Why had my body betrayed me in this way?

I finally turned to surrogacy. There is nothing easy about this solution. It has been difficult beyond anything I could have imagined. But, I have now rounded the first trimester and my surrogate is carrying a girl. Nothing has brought me more joy.

I keep going over in my mind all the things I have done to get to this point, where some stranger is carrying my baby for the cost of a house, or 2 in some parts of the country. I begin to think how arrogant and naïve I was to believe that life would one day be easy, that I deserved this for everything I had been through. It sometimes makes me angry. But, then I think of how infertility has changed me and the profound and beautiful lesson it has taught me. I have discovered who I am at the core. I am strong and my love for my baby is real and powerful; this love has carried me through this awful process and it has defined me.

I no longer feel my life is unfair or that I am being cheated out of what I deserve.

I believe that life is never easy and you do not always get what you want, but that if I work hard and persevere, I will get something much better than anything I ever just simply wanted. This I believe.