True Friendship Knows No Boundaries
Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Karma Brown tackles difficult issues of marriage, motherhood, and friendship in this emotional page-turner.
I am often told my daughter has my eyes and looks exactly like me. I love hearing this because it’s a beautiful reminder to be grateful for how she came to be.
The first time my husband and I talked about having kids was the day I sat in my oncologist’s office, raw and reeling from my shocking cancer diagnosis at the age of thirty. Along with words like chemotherapy and radiation, I was also told the lifesaving treatment would bring with it more than debilitating nausea, fatigue and hair loss. It also could cost me my fertility. So the first time my husband and I talked about kids was also the moment I learned I might never become a mother.
Luckily my oncologist was forward thinking and determined I would know motherhood. What followed were exhausting and rushed fertility procedures that left us with twenty-one embryos on ice, all set for when I was cancer-free and ready to start a family.
Despite our plentiful embryos and a boatload of determination, my body was too damaged from treatment, and pregnancy was impossible. However, my sister, Jenna, had promised she’d carry a baby for me if I ever needed her to, and so without hesitation that was exactly what she did. With this promise and one of our perfect embryos, Jenna made us parents in June 2008 through the incredible gift of gestational surrogacy.
It took 1,825 days for us to become parents. It was not an easy road, nor one I would wish on anyone despite our fairy-tale ending. But every injection, procedure, medication, worry, challenge and dollar spent was worth it. Because I am a mom.
The Choices We Make is not our story. But my experiences are scattered throughout the pages, as is my gratitude for my sister and all the women who have helped others know parenthood — it is a gift never to be taken for granted.