Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Surrogate medical care matters..

Drew and I choose to have a "facilitator" involved not once, but twice because we knew we didn't have the ability to effectively vet and monitor a clinic on the other side of the planet.  Our facilitator told us that she traveled to India frequently to check on surrogates and make that they were being well taken care of.   During the entire year we were involved with her, she made trips to Thailand and Mexico.  She did not travel to India during our surrogate's pregnancy. When she finally went there after one of her trips to Thailand, we were appalled to find out that it was the first time she had been since the birth of her nephews-  who were almost two years old.  

Prenatal care is absolutely critical to the health and safety of babies.  We were assured repeatedly that our surrogate would have the absolute best care.   Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that was the case. 

A cursory look at our surrogate's medical records indicates that she was tested for iron deficiency on four different occasions.  On three of those occasions, she tested as anemic.  Despite those test results and despite the fact that she was complaining of dizziness and fatigue, there is no evidence in the chart that this was ever treated.  Anemia  in pregnancy increases the risk of post-partum hemorrhage  which can be fatal.  It's also dangerous to the developing fetus and increases the risk of developmental delay.  

Despite supplementation,  which started when I arrived in India,  Maizy was  anemic at her first pediatrician appointment in the US.  Our pediatrician says this is an indication of just how anemic she was at birth.   Her pediatrician believes that her anemia may have contributed to her seizure.  Only time will tell if she will experience  developmental delay as a result.  This was entirely preventable.

In the beginning of the pregnancy, our surrogate had low to normal blood pressure.  However, from twenty weeks on it appears that her blood pressure rose steadily at each appointment.  By the time she delivered the twins, the hospital records indicate that she had pre-eclampsia.  The chart indicates that Mrs. S was complaining of dizziness, headache and visual disturbance.  Despite these clear indications, the clinic did not do a 24 hour urine collection, which would have confirmed the diagnosis.   While she was observed in the hospital overnight at one point there is no indication that they did anything other than give her some fluids.    Pre-clampsia is a very serious medical condition -  left untreated it can result in seizures, stroke and even death.  It seems that they did nothing other than record the fact that this was happening.  The fact that our surrogate survived appears to be a result of luck more than anything else.  When we confronted our facilitator and the doctor about this, they  denied that it was a problem.

We were not the only clients who were concerned that our facilitator had not made the promised trips to India for surrogate monitoring.  When these concerns were brought up to her, she became very defensive and angry and talked about how she needed to make her family a priority.   

If Mrs. S was the only surrogate whose health and safety was put into jeopardy,  I could understand why someone  might think that our situation was an aberration.  Unfortunately, I know that this is not the case.  I can't speculate as to why a facilitator  would continue to refer clients to a clinic where two clients in three months experienced serious complications for their surrogates and their babies.  I don't want to believe that the referral fees are what motivated her,  perhaps she genuinely believes that this care was appropriate.  

We wanted an independent facilitator because we wanted someone to advocate not only for our family, but also for our surrogate.  Our facilitator and our doctor likely feel very differently about our journey than we do.  Regardless of how anyone feels the facts are this:  

•My surrogate had more than one health condition that was not managed appropriately
•My daughter has ongoing health issues directly related to those issues, her prematurity and the facility where she was born.
•My son died.

As an aside,  another surrogacy facilitator, not the one we used,  threatened to take legal action against me because she didn't like what I've said on this blog.  For the record, nothing I have said here constitutes libel or slander.  

She also told me "Your blog does NOT paint you in a positive light."

My child died.  The last thing on my mind is what other people think of me.  Lastly-  bullying a grieving mother says a hell of a lot more about you than it does her.  


  1. AMEN AMEN AMEN! I'm disgusted by her negligence and even more so by her feeble attempts to defend herself instead of profusely apologizing and trying to make amends for her egregious misconduct.

    1. It's just very hard, because I truly considered her a friend. I promoted her and defended her when things were tough, what I've gotten in return is her telling people that I'm "crazy" because I'm grieving. I wish I could say that our son's death changed how she does business, but unfortunately I haven't seen any indication of that.

  2. I truly am sorry to hear how horrible your experience turned out. I know we used different doctors and clinics but I truly am heartbroken for what you have had to endure. Best wishes to you xxx

  3. I am fuming for you, and at same time dizzy with disbelief as literally I have been trying to email KH whom I think you are referring to for some time and no response to my emails, as I was just about to sign with her for India!! I have set aside tonight to read your whole blog, and just can't believe your story, and that it also came at just right time for me, as I was booking my flights tomorrow. I just don't understand the behaviour of the agent. It just must be all about the commission. I have talked to some nice agents, some ignorant, and some clearly in it for the money, it really is like a minefield to jump in and trust. One thing that worries me about Dr B's clinic is that there is no surrogate house, compared to other clinics which house the surrogates.

    1. I'll be updating my blog more this week, but the extent to which our surrogates medical care was mismanaged is still coming to light. It's come out that my daughter's pneumonia (which she has been fighting for months) came from an infection she acquired from our surrogate. She is going to require ongong medical care for a very long time to deal with this.

      I am sharing my experience with the person you reference. Your experience could be very different. However, as she is currently threatening my husband and I with a lawsuit for us talking about what happened to our son and daughter in India, it's a little scary for me to go into here. With that said, in my opinion if a person tries to bully grieving parents into silence, that says something about them. I would never have expected to be in the position we are now... and am deeply hurt by the things she has said and done to my family.


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