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This fundraiser ended on 03/15/11

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Gift of Life The Story of Manuel Josefina Noah and Aaron

The Story of Manuel & Josefina


The below picture was taken over a year and a half ago, before Manuel and Josefina began their journey to parenthood via Gestational Surrogacy. They were filled with hope and optimism that they would be parents someday, and they were so grateful that Surrogacy offered them this opportunity. With a few bumps along the way, as there so often are with third party reproduction, their journey has now ended in the worst imaginable tragedy.

We are sharing their story because these wonderful people deserve to be parents. We can only hope and pray that despite their horrific ordeal, that the kindness and generosity of others will somehow, someday, help them to piece their life back together again.

Manuel and Josefina met at work about 10 years ago in 1999. They started out as friends, it didn't take long before a romance began and they've been best friends and soul mates ever since. They began trying to have children almost immediately, but after no luck, their doctor referred them to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). Several fertility treatments later, still, no pregnancy success, then finally their fertility doctor suggested that Surrogacy would offer them the best option for having a baby.

The Story of Aaron & Noah

Manuel & Josefina contacted our agency in early 2008, and soon after they were matched with a wonderful Surrogate from Iowa, "D." D went through the entire screening process and was cleared, but in preparation for the embryo transfer, the RE [Reproductive Endocrinologist] determined that D's uterine lining was not thickening with the medication protocol, and he advised Manuel and Josefina that they find another Surrogate. They were disappointed, not only because they really liked D, but also because of the amount of money they had spent in the screening process (because she lived out of state the travel costs involved were expensive) but at the same time they kept it all in perspective and said, "it could be worse," and continued forging along.

A few months later, Manuel & Josefina were matched with a new Surrogate, and it seemed like everything was moving along great. Their transfer took place April 7, 2009, and they received the best news ever when they learned she was pregnant. When the ultrasound showed they were expecting twins, they were completely and totally over the moon.

They had a nice relationship with their Surrogate, and they looked forward to seeing her at each and every OB appointment. At their 20 week ultrasound, they learned they were having twin boys, and begin deciding on names. Their Surrogate felt fine and all was on track - no indication whatsoever of what would lie ahead. Just one month later when they were 24 weeks and 6 days, September 9, 2009, their Surrogate had a routine OB appointment and as usual, Manuel and Josefina attended, filled with excitement. Suddenly, their Surrogate felt a gush and looked down to see blood. The doctor came rushing in, to find out that she was fully dilated to 10, and before anyone could blink she was rushed into an emergency c-section.

Noah Manuel and Aaron Jacob were born around 7:30 p.m. Noah weighed 1 lb. and 11 oz and was 11 inches long, and Aaron weighed 1 lb. and 12 oz and was 12 inches long. They were tiny, but perfect in every way, and were born crying. Despite their incredibly early arrival, Manuel and Josefina were told their sons had a good chance of survival. They were not rejecting the medications, and they were actually stable for the first several days. Manuel and Josefina realized it would be a long haul and several months in the hospital, but they truly believed they would be taking their babies home in a few months. Within the first week, despite their fragility and tiny size, both boys even opened their eyes.

Just one week after his birth, on September16, 2009, Manuel and Josefina watched helplessly as baby Noah tried to fight an infection. The doctors tried to save him, but it was too late, and Noah passed away. In their heartbreak, they still had to worry about Aaron, but they still had the glimmer of hope that at least one of their sons would be okay after all. Aaron soon contracted an infection as well, and only three days after Noah's death, on September 19th, Aaron went to heaven to join his brother.

Manuel and Josefina are in a state of pain that is incomprehensible to most people. They have done everything possible to become parents, and in doing so, they have nearly exhausted their entire life savings. They are shattered and destroyed, feeling hopeless, and asking God, "why?" and "what did we do to deserve this?" They have lost Noah and Aaron, but Manuel and Josefina still maintain the strong desire to become parents again someday. They have five frozen embryos and their infertility clinic is located in Berwyn, Illinois.

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