We were so honored to connect recently with Candace Wohl, co-writer, with her husband, Chris, of the award-winning blog Our Misconception, mother of two via surrogacy, and tireless infertility advocate. She has a unique way of offering both helpful advice and hope to intended parents (such as reminders that surrogacy is not just for the rich and famous)… all with a sense of humor on the side.
You’ve had quite a decade to say the least: from your first IVF treatment in 2010 to letting MTV’s True Life into your own personal life, from two surrogacy journeys to launching Our Misconception – which earned the RESOLVE Hope Award for Best Blog. And I’m sure a million other things in between! Can you tell us about how you navigated so successfully through that roller coaster and share a favorite memory along the way?
Oy. That rollercoaster was off track, rickety, and downright terrifying. We hung on for dear life throughout the entire ride, enjoying the peaks and learning the hard way from the valleys. I think that can be said for all life crises right? But hell hath no fury like a woman who wants a baby—and a supportive husband/partner to equally share in that pursuit. I have two memories to share because they were monumental in what changed the course of our parenting future.
The first memory is not filled with rainbows and unicorns that fart glitter. Sorry to disappoint, if you are into that. Because that’s not the reality of a couple who are dealing with years of infertility. I had just found out my 6th IVF round had failed…on national TV no less. I remember laying on the bathroom floor with my husband sobbing because not only was my psyche exhausted from countless failed attempts, the next step was that I would need to have a hysterectomy essentially permanently closing the door to the option of ever experiencing pregnancy firsthand.
You see, it takes locked doors to help seek out new ones that could possibly open. We had been so laser focused on the experience of carrying a pregnancy, that somehow along the way we lost sight of the greater picture. Fast forward to one of my favorite memories. I was sitting in our fertility clinic waiting room. Not per usual with my husband, but with our first daughter’s gestational carrier. We were waiting for her beta test to confirm a possible pregnancy. She had bounded off the bathroom and came back with a gift bag. In it, was a pregnancy test that was positive. Now in any other circumstance when someone hands you a stick they just peed on moments ago, that would probably not be the most well received gift. For me at the time, I had seen 7 years of staring down at a lone single line. This was the first time in my life it was double. It was the first time I entered into the clinic to test for a beta that I knew I had a chance at motherhood.
What advice would you give intended parents starting their research and selection process on GoStork?
For anyone who is at the overwhelming crossroads of considering surrogacy, there are few things I want you to know.
For those who have matched and their process is underway – any tips you can share about the roadmap ahead? Things to prepare for that one may not expect?
I could write a novel on this, But I will keep it short since CONGRATS you’ve already read this far! There’s a lot that will/can/could happen that you will not expect. Let’s get cliché for a second – expect the unexpected and communicate through it. Surrogacy is a shared experience. Own that. This is a team event. I heard a quote a while back, that sometimes you sing lead and others you have to play a mean ass cowbell. Trust me it’s ok to play more cowbell. SNL anyone?
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone (especially parents of small children) but sometimes it helps to pause and see the bright side! Do you have any funny (or favorite) stories from quarantining with your family of four?
2020 has been a huge jerk. Both my husband and I work 40 hours a week jobs. We’re balancing a ridiculous amount of daily conference calls, house upkeep, meals, life, no child care, and most importantly, keeping the mini humans alive and not bored out of their minds. I am so appreciative for my long-sorted infertility past. Masochistic right? Here’s why: when everything feels upside down and uncertain, even in the most challenging of parenting moments, I am a mother and I know what it took to get there. My perspective is different. The same can be said with quarantining with the minis. It has made us all slow down. We’ve been finding joy in simple things like catching fireflies and daily bike rides. Every weekend we travel the world together and we pick a country to learn about and make an “authentic-ish” meal from. So far we’ve “traveled” to 10 countries. My waistline can vouch for that.
Thank you, Candace – we are so grateful to you for sharing your story. Intended parents: you can follow Candace and her family on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (we do and we highly recommend you do as well!). And finally, check back here in the coming weeks for more spotlights with incredible people who, like Candace, inspire us every day!