‘In total we had 14 miscarriages’: Rosanna Davison on her emotional journey to surrogacy
Rosanna Davison appeared on Friday night’s Late Late Show to talk about her fertility journey, a long road, which eventually resulted in the birth of her daughter Sophia, via a surrogate
She has been open about her struggles to conceive before; she previously announced the imminent arrival of her daughter on Instagram, stressing that the experience had been ” profoundly lonely, frightening, devastating” for her and husband Wes Quirke.
Speaking to Ryan Tubridy, she explained that she began her fertility journey feeling hugely positive, but the initial positivity turned to sadness as repeated pregnancies resulted in miscarry.
“It got to the end of 2015 and we were really keen to start a family so we went for it and it happened very quickly and it was all very exciting. I had the eight-week scan book , I told all of my family at five weeks and everyone was just thrilled for us,” she said.
Related: ‘A long and very tough journey’ Rosanna Davison announces she’s expecting a baby girl via surrogacy
“And then kind of abruptly and painfully it came crashing to an end and I had a miscarriage. Tried again, got pregnant very quickly again, the same thing happened again at six and a half weeks… In total, we had 14 of these early miscarriages.”
Rosanna explained she saw a number of specialists in Ireland and the UK before finding out the root of the cause.
“I was told pretty much that my immune system was reacting to Wes’s DNA, seeing it as a foreign invader as it would a pathogen or a cancer cell and killing. So essentially my body was killing my babies,” she said, before explaining that with each pregnancy she tried everything to maintain a pregnancy.
“I questioned my role as a woman”
The experiences understandably took a toll, both on Rosanna herself and her relationship also felt the strain at times.
“At the beginning, I questioned my role as a woman, I couldn’t do what my body was biologically designed to do,” she said.
“There were a couple of times, I suppose we look back at them now and laugh, I tried to convince Wes to leave me and find another partner because I knew he was dying for a baby.”
There came a point where she explained that she was jeopardising her own health trying various treatments and drugs (each with side effects) before surrogacy was suggested.
Initially, she said she found the idea “quite horrifying”.
“The idea of a stranger carrying your child in another country was awful. I played with the idea for a few weeks to be honest, I wasn’t sure if we could go ahead with it,” she said.
“I was afraid of the lack of control”
“It was the moment we’d been thinking about for years”
“I can never thank her enough… it was the moment we’ve been thinking about for years.”@rosanna_davison describes the incredible and emotive moment of watching the birth of her baby girl by surrogacy . #latelate pic.twitter.com/jGQBHfTP89
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) February 28, 2020
“We’d seen our baby in the scans but we walked in and she was crowning and my mum was there too, she pushed me over as the surrogate was pushing the baby,” she said, speaking about Sophia’s birth.
“Then Sophia came out and I cut her cord and it was just, how could you prepare yourself for watching a stranger give birth to your child? It was just the most surreal, terrifying, emotional, amazing experience. I think about it every day,” Rosanna continued.
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“It was a big mash of everything, watching this woman, this amazing woman, I can never thank her enough, giving birth to the child, it was the moment we’d been thinking about for years and wishing for and hoping for and I was balling my eyes out.”
Following the show, Rosanna explained that she wanted to speak publically about her journey to help others and to normalise the conversation.
“We want to give hope and inspiration to others who may be going through a similar situation.
“It was also so important to me, as a woman, to contribute to the conversation about miscarriage and infertility, and to help to normalise it for others.”
“We hope that by sharing the story of our challenging journey to parenthood, we’ll give some hope and courage to others struggling as we did, and empower anyone going through the loneliness, pain and trauma of infertility to open up to a trusted friend or relative because speaking to others really does help the healing process.”
Main photograph: @rosanna_davison