55. Surrogacy and Infertility with Samantha Busch

Mar 14, 2022

There are so many different paths when it comes to walking through infertility. Our bodies are taken through procedures, testing, hormone injections, and many medications - it can take a toll on every aspect of our life and can feel exhausting. We pray for a positive outcome and our miracle babies, but sometimes we have to consider other options which include adoption and surrogacy. Although they are not always ideal on our journeys to completing our families, they are viable options that can close the gap that may be in our hearts.

This week I'm joined by Samantha Busch, who is sharing her infertility journey that lead her to surrogacy. Samantha talks about how being an intended parent and using a surrogate to complete your family is a very mental and emotional experience. Samantha is generous enough to open up about her story and wants to show women that they aren't alone on their journey, no matter what their infertility outcome is. 

Listen in this week as I talk with Samantha about her emotional journey to surrogacy and how having a community of women when walking through infertility is SO important. We talk about how vital it is to have healthy boundaries and how we as Fearless Fighters need to listen to our needs and honor them, even when it may not be the easiest thing to do.


 ✨ Have you heard about my Morning Mindset Magic Checklist? It’s a free download I will send right to your inbox, filled with the exact things I do every single morning to set myself up for success. If you want in on it, simply click here to get it!


Leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts (and make sure hit the "+" sign at the top to subscribe), and listen in each week as I announce a new winner of my PJ's and socks! This is the only way you can get these products now! This helps other women that are seeking support to more easily find Fearless Infertility. You're the best!


✨Exciting things are coming to my Fearless Infertility Program! Starting April 1st, I'm launching a new self-paced course where I will teach and walk you through the model that you can apply to not only infertility, but even to other areas of your life. Make sure you are signed up for my newsletters to be the first to know when doors open!  


What You'll Learn on This Episode:

  • How having a community of women when going through infertility is SO important
  • Samantha’s journey with infertility, including how her journey guided her to choose surrogacy
  • Learning how it’s okay to listen to our needs and honoring them, even when it may not be the easiest thing to do
  • Understanding how boundaries are important and also healthy to have
  • How to help determine what may cause a triggering feeling so you can navigate it and learn how to handle it


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Full Episode Transcript:


[00:00:00] Jenica Parcell: Hi friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility, a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long, I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind and create joy during my infertility experience. I'm here to help you do the same sister.

[00:00:22] Jenica Parcell: Let's dive into today's show.

[00:00:26] Jenica Parcell: Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 55 of Fearless Infertility, Surrogacy and Infertility with Samantha Busch. At the end of today's episode, you'll know about Samantha's journey with infertility, in-vitro, miscarriage, and surrogacy, and you'll feel less alone as you travel this journey yourself. [00:00:44] Jenica Parcell: Samantha is the author of the book Fighting Infertility. She founded the Bundle of Joy Fund, which helps couples experiencing infertility grow their families via IVF. She's the wife of NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch, and mom of son Brexton via IVF. They're expecting a baby girl in May via surrogacy and I love this episode because it's so relatable in those absolutely awful moments that infertility can bring us and it's also so relatable in the fact that we can also search for those silver linings as well. Can't wait for you to listen.

[00:01:17] Jenica Parcell: Hey friends. I'm so excited to get into today's episode with Samantha Busch. She seriously is the coolest, so relatable, and I love that we got to open up about the really difficult parts of infertility, and that's one of the reasons why both of us are so passionate about being here in this community with you and really helping you to know that all of the really challenging, difficult, confusing feelings that you're experiencing, you're not doing it alone. You're normal. You're a normal human being, and this is really hard and we want you to remember that you're not alone and we love you.

[00:01:50] Jenica Parcell: To start off today's podcast episode. I want to read a podcast review. I love reading podcast reviews every week because it helps those people who have no idea that this community exists, that are feeling alone, that it helps them to be able to look for and find podcasts like this more easily. And I want them to know they're not alone. I think oftentimes we expect certain things in our lives that we can plan for and prepare ourselves for. Maybe we expected to go to college. Maybe you expected one day we would get married. Most of us didn't expect to be infertile and by you leaving reviews that helps other people to be able to find it more easily. So I'll give you a pair of PJ's and socks to one winner every single week. And thank you for helping me share the good word of this podcast and this community.

[00:02:40] Jenica Parcell: The winner of this week is sunshine3483. The review title is Jenica, you are a true blessing. I think there's a reason why, if you guys just say nice things about me in the podcast reviews, I'm just going to read yours and choose your so note to self. No, I'm just kidding. No, I just love this. So she said this podcast is everything I didn't even know I needed and then some. After trying to conceive for about a year, I started seeing a specialist over the past few months. The multiple invasive procedures and the numerous tests a woman goes through when trying to conceive can be exhausting and intimidating. But Jenica makes me feel like I'm not alone in all of this. The raw and emotional stories that are told and Jenica's advice and uplifting messages are just what I need to hear every week to keep plugging along through this journey. Someday I just know that I'll have a sweet baby in my arms and be so grateful I chose to have a fearless faith through my infertility. I can feel it in my bones that there are brighter days ahead and Jenica's positivity reassures me. What a blessing this podcast is. Please email me at [email protected]m with your size and address, and I will get those PJs and socks sent out to you.

[00:03:43] Jenica Parcell: And just FYI, I started a pajamas, socks, sweatshirts line to help raise funds for women with infertility. At a certain point, it got to be a lot to manage and I'm spending my time in developing my program and my community and my resources that help you to mentally cope with it. So I no longer sell these items. But, if you want to win some, no problem, you can help bring women into this space and then also have a chance to win some of my pajamas and socks that I no longer sell, so, I'm so grateful for your help in that.

[00:04:17] Jenica Parcell: Alright my friends let's get into today's podcast interview with Samantha. It was so good. I'm so excited for you to get to know her. And I just felt like, like, what you want to do with this episode is just cozy up with a nice warm cup of tea or whatever you drink that's cozy and just feel like you're sitting down with two friends that love you and that understand that this can be really hard sometimes and we've got you.

[00:04:39] Jenica Parcell: Alright, friends. Welcome back to Fearless Infertility. I have my new friend, Samantha Busch here with me on the podcast today. Welcome to Fearless Infertility, Samantha.

[00:04:48] Samantha Busch: Oh, I'm so excited to be on today. Thank you.

[00:04:51] Jenica Parcell: I'm so excited you're here. And one thing that I had mentioned before Samantha and I started recording this podcast was that I am so grateful for infertility in certain ways, right? Like, I wouldn't wish this on anybody. I wouldn't want to experience it myself, but I do think that there are silver linings in it, and I think something that's really cool is that I've been able to connect with really cool, incredible women doing amazing things in the world because of it, and that includes Samantha. So I'm so glad that you're on today.

[00:05:14] Samantha Busch: Well, thank you. And I totally agree. I mean, I've been in this journey for so long and I've made so many close friendships and it's crazy because you've never actually met these women in person-

[00:05:22] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:05:23] Samantha Busch: When I feel like, you know, when I'm going through a procedure, a hard time, I can text or call them and just instantly connect. I will say there is a lot of craziness with social media-

[00:05:32] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:05:32] Samantha Busch: But the connections of the infertility space are definitely like the biggest positive of it.

[00:05:37] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. I completely agree with that. I love it. Okay, Samantha, so for those of my listeners who don't know who you are yet, can you give us a background on who you are and your experience with infertility thus far?

[00:05:49] Samantha Busch: Phew-

[00:05:50] Jenica Parcell: I know it's a loaded question.

[00:05:51] Samantha Busch: -how many hours do you have? [00:05:53] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:05:53] Samantha Busch: Well, to give you my background, I grew up in the Midwest. I grew up in Indiana. I went to Purdue university and while I was in college, I met my husband. He's a NASCAR driver. We've been married, gosh, let's see. We just celebrated 11 years, so not to date myself, but-

[00:06:09] Jenica Parcell: Amazing.

[00:06:09] Samantha Busch: -we've been together a very long time. So we travel the country 38 weeks out of the year for racing.

[00:06:16] Jenica Parcell: Oh, wow. Yeah, that's a lot. [00:06:18] Samantha Busch: Yeah we basically run, gosh, mid February through mid November.

[00:06:23] Jenica Parcell: Oh, wow.

[00:06:24] Samantha Busch: And then our six and a half year old son Brexton, he races full-time now also.

[00:06:29] Jenica Parcell: Amazing.

[00:06:30] Samantha Busch: Yeah, so we live a very crazy fast-paced life, but when we met so many years ago, you know, we did the typical we dated for a while and then we got married and then I feel like it's very similar for a lot of couples that are younger. Your friends start having kids. You've got the traveling out of your system and you're like, okay, I'm ready to start a family. And that's what we did. And we were young and healthy. I mean, when I say young, I'm talking like 24, 25.

[00:06:55] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:06:55] Samantha Busch: Didn't ever think we'd have an issue. So started trying naturally, wasn't getting anywhere. Started doing the deep dive of the internet, trying every natural thing, every position, every crazy thing that you can think of, because you know, typical OBGYN response is, well, give it a year and then give us a call.

[00:07:16] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:07:16] Samantha Busch: So we were doing all that and anybody listening who faces infertility or failed pregnancy tests, I feel like time just slows down so much. I mean, one month feels like a year and every test gets harder and harder and harder. And so finally, we went back around the year mark. I was having a lot of health issues. Like my periods were all over the place, all these things, and, got tested. Found out I had PCOS. Had never heard of PCOS before. Didn't understand it. Did all the research. They put me on Clomid. Did four to five rounds of that. I'm pretty sure for those four to five months I was certifiably crazy.

[00:07:55] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah, it totally screws up with your hormones. It's understandable.

[00:07:58] Samantha Busch: It was so intense. I just, I couldn't believe, I feel like there needed to be like a huge warning on the box of like avoid all contact with the outside world while you're on this because it was horrible.

[00:08:11] Jenica Parcell: Isolate yourself in like isolation completely. Don't talk to anyone.

[00:08:15] Samantha Busch: Yes!

[00:08:15] Jenica Parcell: So true.

[00:08:15] Samantha Busch: So I literally, I have a book out called Fighting Infertility, and in there I write a chapter called the Clomid crazies, and I'll just give you a quick little, like, brief touch of why I shouldn't have been allowed out. I went to Panera and you know, you're supposed to eat spinach, right? Everybody tells you all the leafy greens, all the beets, right?

[00:08:35] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:08:35] Samantha Busch: And so I order a salad, spinach, not romaine, and they give me regular lettuce. And I start crying and I asked the girl, I was like, do you not want me to have a baby? She was like, I'm sorry, what? And I was like, I just, I don't understand! And like my mom was like, oh my god, we have to leave. Like you are a disaster. I would cry over everything.

[00:08:55] Jenica Parcell: Oh my gosh, that's too good.

[00:08:57] Samantha Busch: So anyways-

[00:08:58] Jenica Parcell: It's too good but it also sucks so bad, cause I can relate to this so much. I can, I mean, I really can. Because you feel like you're vaguely in control, like a little bit, but like you just have, your inhibitions are not there. Like-

[00:09:08] Samantha Busch: No.

[00:09:09] Jenica Parcell: I mean, it's like, you can not stop.

[00:09:11] Samantha Busch: No, like you cannot control the tears or what comes out of your mouth and like the anger, I've talked to a lot of other women. Like it was almost like fire ants to me, like-

[00:09:22] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:09:22] Samantha Busch: -Just wanting to come out. You're like angry over nothing.

[00:09:26] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:09:27] Samantha Busch: Literally nothing

[00:09:28] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. I feel like that kind of right now a little bit. So I just found out I'm pregnant, like, I don't know, two weeks ago, which is so exciting, but-

[00:09:35] Samantha Busch: Yay! Congratulations!

[00:09:36] Jenica Parcell: -Thank you. But I am still taking a lot of the IVF medication and I literally feel like, I'm like, nobody better cross me. I'm like, I'm just, I'm just telling you for your own benefit, if you cross me, you will regret it.

[00:09:46] Samantha Busch: Yes.

[00:09:47] Jenica Parcell: It's so bad.

[00:09:48] Samantha Busch: You sit there and you tell yourself to control it, but those-

[00:09:51] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:09:51] Samantha Busch: -Those meds are no joke.

[00:09:53] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, 100%.

[00:09:55] Samantha Busch: No joke. So anyways, after four torturous months of that, and I still wasn't pregnant, I finally went to a fertility clinic and I will never forget, they were like, okay, well, where's your husband's workup? And I was like, what? Nope, no, I have the issue. And they were like, please tell me you were not on Clomid and nobody decided to check your husband. And so of course he got checked, had super low sperm count, all the things. So we were like, well, great.

[00:10:21] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:10:22] Samantha Busch: I have no mature eggs. You have hardly any working sperm. Like obviously we weren't going to get pregnant.

[00:10:29] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:10:30] Samantha Busch: So we went through IVF and it was like textbook, you know? We did it, we made, a decent amount of healthy embryos. We did the first transfer, got pregnant, had Brexton. Like very textbook. So when that happened, that was back in, you know, 2014. Brex is born in 2015. Um, gosh, when you really put dates on it and you realize you've started this journey in 2013, and it's about 10 years later, that's a-

[00:10:56] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:10:56] Samantha Busch: -it's a big wake-up call. So after that, I just, you know, at that time we started our foundation, The Bundle of Joy Fund, where we started helping local couples in Charlotte pay for their IVF treatments, and we just thought like, this was meant to be. We were supposed to go through this, to help other people and like, look at our wonderful son, and we've, you know, basically climbed the mountain and we're good.

[00:11:20] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:11:20] Samantha Busch: And so when Brexton was about two, we decided, all right, we're going to start again. And, and, I never ever thought it wasn't like a hundred percent success.

[00:11:31] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:11:31] Samantha Busch: Like people said, oh, it's 50 50, but after talking to the doctors, they're like, okay, well, you know, it took the first time. You had a totally normal pregnancy. Your embryos are great. Like we're solid. Nobody thought otherwise.

[00:11:46] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:11:46] Samantha Busch: So, yeah, going back, this was pre Instagram being Instagram, right? So there wasn't this community support that there is now. There wasn't all these apps. And so I thought, okay, well, now knowing what we went through, I should let everybody else in on that journey so then some of that tension is taken away of the shots or the transfer or the after the transfer, you know, like let women in to see this and hopefully it'll make their journey less scary. So we did it all. The clinic was even like, yeah, this is great. Like this will really help the conversation. Go in, do the transfer. I'm pregnant. We announce it. You know, everything's great. And then, uh, about a week after we announced, I miscarried out of, out of nowhere and it was just, gosh, this many years later, it's devastating.

[00:12:41] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. Ugh, I'm so sorry. That's awful.

[00:12:43] Samantha Busch: It was. Thank you, it, it, it just, even to this day, like it was just so shocking and so abrupt and unexpected, and it was really hard. And, and I really felt like things went downhill. Personally, relationships, everything for a bit, and I talk about that a lot in my book, because I think one thing too, that social media does is it shows obviously everybody a highlight reel, but it doesn't show people the fights and the pain and the tears and, and all of that.

[00:13:14] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:13:14] Samantha Busch: And I think now people are really good about being a little bit more open about showing the other side, but I felt like, you know, in 2018, maybe, that wasn't as prevalent as it is today.

[00:13:28] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:13:28] Samantha Busch: Um, so was going through the miscarriage, then it took a good year to kind of get life back on track. And then we did a transfer that we didn't tell anybody about and it was a failed cycle. And so then from there they ran just every test imaginable and they were like, well, on paper, everything's great, but you know, there's obviously something wrong and-

[00:13:53] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:13:53] Samantha Busch: -we can figure out what it is and at this point, you know, you know how there's different, "levels" of embryos and chance for success, and they're like, you know, you want to be cautious of that at this point. So they're like, what do you think about a surrogate? And so that's kind of where my book left off was finding a surrogate. And I can tell you, since then it's been, I give you a whole nother book at this point.

[00:14:19] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:14:20] Samantha Busch: So-

[00:14:21] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. So I haven't had anybody on talk about surrogacy. I think it's, it's something that isn't talked about too often. Infertility in general isn't, right? Even going back to when you said I found out I had PCOS and I had no idea what that even was, that is so common, right? And so I feel like that's probably something that you and I share is that I feel like just education, the fact that we didn't even know what that was or endometriosis and things like that, that it's so like us as like, as teenagers and as young women, we're just not educated on it. And so that's why I think it's so shocking and so difficult when we come across things like this, because everything else in your life, not everything, right? But most things that you experience in your life, you're prepared for. You go to college, you get married, things like that, and then infertility is like this big, you know, brick wall that you run into, and you're like, what? And so I would actually love for you to go into detail about the surrogacy part, if you could, and just tell people about it, because I know I don't know a lot about it, and I know that most of my listeners don't, and I think it's a really beautiful option to be able to continue to grow your family when the other more traditional routes are not working.

[00:15:22] Samantha Busch: Yeah. I mean, it's definitely a beautiful experience. We did find a surrogate. Did another cycle. It was a failed cycle.

[00:15:30] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:15:31] Samantha Busch: Switched clinics. Went all the way back seven years later through egg retrieval. I tried again. Got pregnant last year. Was over the moon. So excited. And it was a weird start though. So I'll go back into surrogacy.

[00:15:50] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:15:51] Samantha Busch: Because this kind of like finishes it.

[00:15:52] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:15:52] Samantha Busch: Cause there was like a surrogacy that didn't take same woman, but then I tried again. So we went to new clinic, which people always ask, like why?

[00:16:01] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:16:01] Samantha Busch: I love my clinic here in Charlotte, but it was to the point that I was like, alright, I need to know that we tried everything because like, I'm, I'm not getting any younger, right?

[00:16:10] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. Yeah, well sometimes it's nice to have a new set of eyes-

[00:16:12] Samantha Busch: Yes.

[00:16:12] Jenica Parcell: -on the situation if you're not getting what you are looking to do.

[00:16:15] Samantha Busch: Exactly. So we did that, we move forward, I'm doing fertility acupuncture and the diets and the supplements. Like everything in my human power. And I just remember, you know, it's like PTSD to take that test before you go get the blood draw.

[00:16:30] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:16:30] Samantha Busch: And I took the test and it was positive. And just over the moon, you know? Like, it finally worked, the answer was maybe, you know, new clinics starting over, all the things. And so I remember I was doing all my testing here in North Carolina and so I like walk in and I remember like giving him my arm and I was like, go ahead, I'm pregnant. Go ahead and tell me.

[00:16:54] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:16:54] Samantha Busch: And um, you know, they take the blood and they called me later that day, and they're like, okay, no, no, no cause for alarm yet, but, and that's like just not what you want to hear.

[00:17:05] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:17:06] Samantha Busch: And they're like, your beta's really low. And I'm like, okay. And they're like, but as long as it doubles in 48 hours, we're good. Okay.

[00:17:14] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:17:14] Samantha Busch: So of course it's a, it's a Sunday. Doesn't that always happen?

[00:17:17] Jenica Parcell: Yes!

[00:17:18] Samantha Busch: It's alwasy a fricking Sunday

[00:17:19] Jenica Parcell: Yes! The weekend, where you have to wait longer, are you kidding?

[00:17:23] Samantha Busch: So, I'm like fine. So now I'm like trying to calculate. All right, if it's an extra day and it's not 48 hours, and then what's this.

[00:17:30] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:17:30] Samantha Busch: And so I go in and they're like, you know, your beta only went up. Like, I think it was like 10 points or something, and they're like, um, unfortunately since it did go up, you have to get tested again. So we go back again and it rises just a little bit, but it hasn't doubled. They're like, all right, well, we're sorry but you have to keep testing. And now this is just like torture.

[00:17:55] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:17:55] Samantha Busch: Because, I'll back up. With my first miscarriage, it was called a threatened miscarriage. So I was bleeding severely, but my cervix was closed, so I had like a 50, 50 shot, they said, of it maybe happening. And then when they did the test, they were like, oh sorry, actually, you know, your numbers are falling off.

[00:18:15] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. And that unknown is literally torture, like you're living in torture cause you don't know conclusively either way.

[00:18:20] Samantha Busch: Yes. So, go for the fourth test and now it's more than doubled and everybody's like, wait a second, hang on. We thought you were having an etopic pregnancy. What's happening? Have to go back again. Now the numbers are going up. So now they're like, everybody's kind of scratching their head and I'm like, well, am I pregnant? They're like-

[00:18:41] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:18:42] Samantha Busch: -well, we're still unsure. And I'm like, okay, this is just brutal at this point.

[00:18:47] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:18:47] Samantha Busch: So we go in for an ultrasound early and they see like a sack. A tiny sack. And they're like, we can't tell, but we think that there's like a little flicker in there. It's so early. And they're like, you have to come back. Okay. Now I'm still waiting. I mean, now this is like a very long stretched out process.

[00:19:08] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:19:09] Samantha Busch: So we have to go back. I can't remember if it was a week or like nine days. So we go back and the ultrasound lady just kind of like stops and I'm like, oh no. And she was like, there's two sacks. I was like, wait, what? And she's like, there's two sacks. And I see the fetal pole and one of them with the flicker and I see the start of another one. And she was like, I think your numbers have been so crazy, because she split. Like you might have identical twins. And I was over, well, first I was like, you know, just shocked.

[00:19:49] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:19:49] Samantha Busch: Like jaw to the floor.

[00:19:50] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:19:51] Samantha Busch: And then I was like, oh my gosh.

[00:19:53] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:19:53] Samantha Busch: Like, are you kidding me? Like, instant.

[00:19:55] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:19:55] Samantha Busch: Every woman matching outfits, like, all of the things.

[00:19:58] Jenica Parcell: Absolutely. We can all relate to that. Yeah.

[00:20:01] Samantha Busch: So excited. I was on cloud nine and they're like-

[00:20:03] Jenica Parcell: Yeah

[00:20:03] Samantha Busch: -but you have to come back in a week because we still don't have the heartbeat.

[00:20:07] Jenica Parcell: Ugh. That is literally torture.

[00:20:09] Samantha Busch: But now I'm like, feeling good and then this is it. What an amazing thing, you know?

[00:20:14] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:20:15] Samantha Busch: I think it's like a 2% chance or less that your embryo will split. So I was just so excited. And so, we go back and I just remember Kyle and I walking in and I was like, no, I know this. Like I was so sick, you know, your boobs hurt.

[00:20:29] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:20:30] Samantha Busch: And I was like, I am pregnant.

[00:20:31] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:20:32] Samantha Busch: And so we go in and it was the midwife and the ultrasound tech, and she just kind of looked at me and she was like, I'm sorry. It's like, is there one even? Like, tell me there's one. And she was like, no, they're both empty. And so then something new, so my body essentially was growing sacks. And they took me off all my meds and my body continued to grow two empty sacks.

[00:21:00] Jenica Parcell: Oh, wow. I did not know that could happen.

[00:21:02] Samantha Busch: Called a blighted ovum.

[00:21:03] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:21:04] Samantha Busch: Or ovums, and my case, which I also didn't know was a thing.

[00:21:10] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:21:10] Samantha Busch: So your body thinks it's pregnant, but there's no baby.

[00:21:15] Jenica Parcell: Ugh, that's awful.

[00:21:17] Samantha Busch: So then, thank God for apps in the community because, I was like, they were like, okay, you can either take pills and miscarry, but know that you're almost 10, 11 weeks at this point. And there's two sacks, so it's going to be a lot. Or you could have a D&C. And so I, you know, asked a lot of women in the community who had been through it and everybody was like, do the D&C, just- and so it was actually, the Friday before Mother's Day. Yep. I went in.

[00:21:50] Jenica Parcell: That's awful.

[00:21:52] Samantha Busch: Not going to cry, not going to cry.

[00:21:53] Jenica Parcell: Oh my gosh, you can cry on this podcast. I'm crying. You're good.

[00:21:56] Samantha Busch: And I just, we had to have a D&C and it was, ugh, so bad.

[00:22:03] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:22:03] Samantha Busch: You just get your hopes up so much. And-

[00:22:07] Jenica Parcell: When you'd already been through so much up until this point as well. I mean, unbelievable.

[00:22:13] Samantha Busch: And, uh, I just remember laying on the couch on Mother's Day because I was still bleeding a bit and just being like, what, what is this? And, you know, as a mom, you still have, you know, Brexton my son.

[00:22:25] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:22:25] Samantha Busch: And just trying to, you know, like, oh, mommy's got a tummy ache. And like, that's, you know, just smile and happy. And it's, it's just so hard.

[00:22:34] Jenica Parcell: It is.

[00:22:36] Samantha Busch: So to go back to your original question. Sorry, I did prepare you before that I'm a rambler.

[00:22:40] Jenica Parcell: No, it's good. I think it's so good to know your whole story. And I think so many women can relate with this because it's just so many ups and downs and it's just heartbreaking. I mean, especially when you think that something worked and then it doesn't, and then just to gather up that bravery to keep going is like nothing I've ever experienced.

[00:22:57] Samantha Busch: I think one thing for women in the community, it's the hope. It's so, it's something you need to hold on to and have.

[00:23:04] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:23:04] Samantha Busch: But also, it hurts. It hurts when you get like so excited and so hopeful and then it just gets torn away.

[00:23:12] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. [00:23:12] Samantha Busch: Like again and again.

[00:23:13] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, it's those two like really extreme emotions.

[00:23:16] Samantha Busch: Yes. Yes. So after that happened, my body just was not happy after that procedure and I wasn't getting like back on track, and so, they were like, well, would you be open to the surrogacy again and trying that? And I was like, yeah, I think at this point, because honestly that was A, body-wise, just dealing with the aftereffects of that.

[00:23:42] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:23:42] Samantha Busch: And hormones and cycles and all the things, like they were like, we can't really even do a transfer for a while because even on birth control, like, I mean, I'd have a period like every two and a half weeks, and then it would just disappear. And they were like-

[00:23:56] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:23:57] Samantha Busch: Even on birth control, this is happening. Like we can't, we can't really do a transfer.

[00:24:02] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:24:02] Samantha Busch: So I reached back out to our surrogate that we had tried, you know, two cycles ago and she's like, yeah, I would love to still do it again. And that's where we are today. So, now after that long, long-winded story, I'd love to get into the surrogacy stuff if you would like to.

[00:24:17] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, I would love that. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. I know that your heart is with other women experiencing infertility, and it's so helpful I think to know that all of these huge, big, awful, terrible emotions are normal. And although they are horrible, we wouldn't, wish them on anybody. I hope that women listening know that it is normal and that there is a home for them. And that when they're experiencing this just immense joy and hope and then like this sorrow. And so I'm glad that you shared that. So thank you. I appreciate it.

[00:24:47] Samantha Busch: Yeah, I just, I feel like that's one really great thing, not one, but one of the biggest things is just being able to connect with women on that very raw level and understand the emotions that they're feeling. And then I've also been talking to women too, because sometimes I get like this. You just get numb at times.

[00:25:06] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:25:06] Samantha Busch: And then you're like, is that normal? Am I not supposed to be feeling? But sometimes you're like, I feel so much, and it hurts so much. All these disappointments and let downs-

[00:25:16] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:25:16] Samantha Busch: -that I feel like you just sometimes build this wall and it's just nice to talk to other women and, you know, kind of like walk through your feelings with someone.

[00:25:25] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:25:26] Samantha Busch: Who's going through them with you in real time,

[00:25:28] Jenica Parcell: Right. Yeah, absolutely. Well, and I also wanted to touch on too a little bit where after you've been through all of that, like your body, I mean, man, it takes a long time to recover from it. And that's something that I don't think I expected going into all of this because I had three failed IUI. One failed round of IVF. Then I had a chemical pregnancy with a miscarriage. And then I took a little bit of a break and then started again. And that's a whole other story in and of itself because I had ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and then I had a twin pregnancy and then I got preeclampsia and then I had Epstein-Barr virus and I had to take years to recover from that. And it was just like this whole physical challenge, I didn't really expect. And as I'm sure you probably didn't, you know, having a D&C, that's so hard on your body. And so I think it's just so helpful to talk about these things, because not only is it physically challenging, but it takes a big toll mentally, I think. And so getting through that and then being brave enough to say, all right, we're going to try it again, even though we know this could really turn out, not how we want to. I just think it's important for people to hear.

[00:26:26] Samantha Busch: Yeah, and did you feel like when you went through all that, like it filters into all of the other relationships and things in your life and it makes-

[00:26:33] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:26:34] Samantha Busch: -I feel like everything more complicated and you have to-

[00:26:37] Jenica Parcell: Oh yeah.

[00:26:38] Samantha Busch: -you know, I mean little things, like, I'm sure you had the multiple appointments, that then you have to kind of like rearrange your life for.

[00:26:46] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:26:46] Samantha Busch: Or I don't know how you felt like after some of the miscarriages or failed cycles, like, kind of boundaries with friends, cause there was some times that like, I really wanted that comfort, support, and like touch and like companionship. And then there were other times that I was like, I don't, I don't really want to talk to anybody-

[00:27:03] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:27:03] Samantha Busch: -right now.

[00:27:04] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:27:04] Samantha Busch: I don't, I can't see anybody. Like I just, I need to be alone and-

[00:27:09] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah.

[00:27:09] Samantha Busch: -it complicates life, I feel like on so many other levels, unless you go through it, it's kind of hard to explain.

[00:27:18] Jenica Parcell: It's so true. And I completely agree with that. And it's so interesting too, because I've really come to know myself better, I think, throughout all of this and what I personally need and really listening to my needs instead of doing what's right.

[00:27:28] Samantha Busch: Correct.

[00:27:29] Jenica Parcell: And like, listen to what is right for me right now. And like really honoring that versus feeling guilty about it or saying, okay, well I should be doing this, but I don't feel like it. You know? And I think that really leaning into listening to what my body is asking me to give it, and my soul is asking me to give it versus saying, you know, even just today, for instance, I, oh my gosh. So I'm still on the IVF medication and I've literally felt like a psycho the last few days. And I felt like normally in the past, I would've wanted to go to my workout class today. And today I kind of asked myself, like, what do you need? And, and it was like, you need quiet. You need to like, do your Peloton at home and not be by anyone and talk to anybody. And you know, like even just thinking about like all the stimulation of people and all the noise, I was just like, I can't, I can't do it today. And so I, I love that you brought that up just to honor where you're at and that there's no right or wrong way. It's just like really listen to what you need. Yeah.

[00:28:20] Samantha Busch: Yes. And I feel like as women, and especially with all the other responsibilities you have, it's really hard to kind of set those boundaries and say like, this is where I'm at and this is what I need for my own mental health.

[00:28:31] Jenica Parcell: Absolutely.

[00:28:32] Samantha Busch: And I bring up mental health a lot because-

[00:28:34] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:28:34] Samantha Busch: -I think, you know, the hormones, the situation, everything going on, it just plays such a factor.

[00:28:40] Jenica Parcell: Absolutely.

[00:28:41] Samantha Busch: And you know, you're always trying to please people and putting yourself last. And I do feel like that's one thing throughout all of this I've learned is like, no, boundaries are healthy. And I'm not a very confrontational person whatsoever.

[00:28:54] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:28:54] Samantha Busch: And so I was always afraid to like, hurt people's feelings, but after talking with therapists and stuff, they're like, you know, boundaries help you, but it also helps other people around you not be in the dark because they're kind of like throwing darts and hoping something sticks to help you.

[00:29:08] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:29:08] Samantha Busch: But when you give them a boundary of like, hey, you know, I'd love to go for a walk, but can we not bring up infertility or miscarriage at all tonight? Or like, hey, I really need somebody to talk to. Do you think like I can come over and you'll listen. Like, are you open for that?

[00:29:23] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:29:23] Samantha Busch: And I found, you know, setting those boundaries of what I felt like I needed and asking those around me, if they could give me that, for their own mental space too, just help the relationships, instead of kind of just either faking that everything's okay, you know, just smiling and like, oh, it's great.

[00:29:39] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:29:39] Samantha Busch: Or just shutting people out. And so that's one thing I talk about, like, people always ask me about baby showers and I'm like, you know, if it's a good friend and you can't handle it, just have that conversation.

[00:29:52] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:29:52] Samantha Busch: You know, just tell them, like, I love you. I am happy for you. You don't have to hide this for me, but it's a huge trigger. And I just can't do it right now. And like your true friends will understand that, you know?

[00:30:04] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:30:04] Samantha Busch: And I don't think it makes you a bad person for being honest about like what you're comfortable handling at that moment.

[00:30:10] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. And I love that too. When I think about my relationship with other people, I would want that for them too. I wouldn't want someone to pretend around me. So I just think it goes both ways.

[00:30:18] Samantha Busch: Yup.

[00:30:18] Jenica Parcell: And if you can see it like that, that you would appreciate that if somebody else treated, you know you the same way and was very open with you. I think that's so important.

[00:30:27] Samantha Busch: Exactly.

[00:30:27] Jenica Parcell: And it's just like, it's just a good relationship all around. Like even a few weeks ago I was having the worst anxiety. And my anxiety is triggered a lot by a lot of these medications. They really do mess with your mind.

[00:30:37] Samantha Busch: They do.

[00:30:37] Jenica Parcell: Like with your hormones and they mess with like how you're feeling and the things that you can handle versus what you could handle before. And I just was super open with my husband and I was telling him that I was feeling so incredibly anxious and it literally was hard for me to tell him that because it's so vulnerable, right? None of us want to be on the side of giving. I think most of us will want to be the givers, right? We want to help other people.

[00:30:57] Samantha Busch: Right.

[00:30:57] Jenica Parcell: And so it's a very vulnerable, challenging thing to be able to stand up for yourself and say, okay, this is what I need right now. And it sucks, right? It's hard. But I do think it's so important and I also think that's a beautiful thing to be able to learn, to support ourselves.

[00:31:11] Samantha Busch: I love that you brought up about the hormones and the anxiety, because before going through IVF, I didn't have some of the anxiety that I do now. And I always wonder. And I'm so glad you said that, cause I'm like, is it the mass amount? I mean, we've gone through so many rounds.

[00:31:27] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:31:27] Samantha Busch: Is it like the mass amount of hormones and stuff that you've put into your body? I mean-

[00:31:32] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:31:32] Samantha Busch: -like I said, this is like a decade in, you know?

[00:31:35] Jenica Parcell: Right. Yeah.

[00:31:35] Samantha Busch: And I always wonder that because there's definitely things that trigger me now that didn't, and I'm like-

[00:31:40] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:31:41] Samantha Busch: That's, that's, I'm just, it's interesting that you bring that up because I always sit there and wonder that, and I'm like, where did this come from?

[00:31:48] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:31:48] Samantha Busch: But you can't help feeling the way that you feel, you know?

[00:31:52] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:31:52] Samantha Busch: I always tried to tell that to people when I'll like feel anxious in a situation. Like I don't want to feel like that, it just comes on, you know?

[00:32:00] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. And I think understanding helps me so much because what I teach in my coaching is that a certain thought will always trigger a feeling. So it's nice to be able to understand what thoughts are causing those feelings and oftentimes we can't determine those right away. I think oftentimes the feeling is easier to distinguish first. So for me when I, you know, in coaching and, and just like with my own self and self coaching, it really helps me to be able to use the model that I teach to figure out what thought is causing that feeling. And even if I don't change it, which a lot of times I don't, right? I'm like, I'm anxious. And I, it just helps me to understand why, and then it's like, okay, I can like ease into it versus being so confused as to like, I don't know what's going on. And you feel so out of control, but at least when you can figure out what the thought is triggering that specific feeling, you're like, okay, that makes sense, you know?

[00:32:47] Samantha Busch: Yeah.

[00:32:47] Jenica Parcell: And I also love too when you were explaining it, I love that you said it's interesting because I think that approach gives so much grace to yourself. I think that as women in general, I think we are so hard on ourselves. And so I love that you use the word interesting versus like annoying or whatever, because I love, I think that it's like so important to give ourselves grace in these really hard times. It's like, this is so freaking hard and it's okay that it's confusing. So I love that approaching yourself and what's going on with curiosity versus judgment, I think is such an incredible place to start.

[00:33:18] Samantha Busch: Well, there you go. Well, I'm happy. I chose that adjective.

[00:33:21] Jenica Parcell: Yes! I love it! That's so healthy.

[00:33:24] Samantha Busch: You know, there's so many things that come up and one thing I really haven't talked about, but I want to start openly talking about more and I'm hoping I'm not the only person that feels this, so maybe some of your listeners do. After every miscarriage, especially the miscarriages, but also the failed cycles, I would become crazy obsessive about Brexton, our son.

[00:33:46] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:33:47] Samantha Busch: To the point, like, I wouldn't really want anybody else to drive him but me. Or I didn't want him, like when he was playing with his friends, it would take everything, like he'd just be playing on a jungle gym, to not be like, oh my gosh, get down, you're going to get hurt. Like I was-

[00:34:03] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:34:04] Samantha Busch: -and I'm still working through that. And it's hard. And it's also like a little source of tension in our marriage because my husband is fearless and outgoing and that's how I was, and I want to be.

[00:34:16] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:34:16] Samantha Busch: But it's something with the miscarriages have triggered it-

[00:34:20] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:34:20] Samantha Busch: -where it causes me a lot of anxiety when he's doing things and I can't help, but like panic and think of the worst, and that's something that I'm really trying hard right now to work through, um, because you know, for him, so that I don't project any of that onto him, I keep it all bottled in.

[00:34:41] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:34:41] Samantha Busch: And just like secretly panic, or panic, you know. Like we have a sitter and I'm like, okay, we were flying out somewhere and I didn't hear from her. And I'm like, cause I need you to text me the second you leave, and the second you get there.

[00:34:54] Jenica Parcell: Haha yeah.

[00:34:54] Samantha Busch: And they ran into her friend and she forgot. And I mean, full-out panic. Like couldn't get hold of her. Called my parents, made them like drive to where they were, send me a photo, like it's, it's bad.

[00:35:05] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:35:05] Samantha Busch: And it's gotten better. That was probably like two weeks after our last miscarriage and I had just- there's just so many things in infertility that you face that you're like-

[00:35:15] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:35:15] Samantha Busch: -What in the honest hell is happening right now?

[00:35:18] Jenica Parcell: That is the best description ever. Honestly, I see that in myself, literally like hourly now. I'm like, what is the actual hell?

[00:35:25] Samantha Busch: Yes!

[00:35:25] Jenica Parcell: Oh, it's the worst.

[00:35:27] Samantha Busch: And my husband's like they're fine. It's like his little ninja class, 10 minutes down the road. And I'm like, somebody give me a visual on the boy.

[00:35:35] Jenica Parcell: Yes!

[00:35:36] Samantha Busch: Right now. Right now! And I can't help it!

[00:35:37] Jenica Parcell: That is so relatable. No, that's honestly so relatable. And it's just your brain trying to protect you, right?

[00:35:42] Samantha Busch: Yes!

[00:35:42] Jenica Parcell: You've gone through trauma. You've seen what can happen and your brain's just like searching for these danger points, and so, I've had to really, I mean, like that's beyond relatable. Like I can relate to that personally. I'm sure so many people listening can relate to that. And for me, and even for me like getting pregnant again, I was like, I don't, I don't, I, it took me literally two years to decide if we even wanted to try again, because I was so terrified of things repeating itself in the past, and then realized I was just so fixated on only the story of like horror, right?

[00:36:12] Samantha Busch: Yes.

[00:36:12] Jenica Parcell: Like everything that could go wrong. And so I finally, the only thing that helped me move forward was just, okay, yes, that could happen. Like that is true. All those horrible things can happen, but they could also not happen. And it could also be totally incredible as well. And so I have to like, just force my brain to that thought when I'm feeling that panic.

[00:36:28] Samantha Busch: Yup.

[00:36:28] Jenica Parcell: But it is, I mean, there's certain skills that, that I think you and I, and so many people that are experiencing or developing that we wouldn't have to develop otherwise, if we hadn't experienced this type of trauma. And it's hard, right? And like I said, like, I always say we wouldn't wish it on anybody, but I also actually do think in a way it can be cool to look at it and say, okay, well I'm like, like the person I am becoming is incredible, you know? LIke I would not have had to become this strong, this resilient and like develop these type of coping skills, had I not experienced this. And, and then other times I'm just angry about it and that's fine.

[00:36:59] Samantha Busch: Yup, yup, I know there's all spectrums-

[00:37:02] Jenica Parcell: Yes!

[00:37:02] Samantha Busch: -that you go through emotionally.

[00:37:04] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. Yeah. It's it's, it's insanity. It's a rollercoaster of emotions, and, yeah. And, and things you just don't expect, you know? Like oftentimes I think logically you can say, okay, this isn't logical to react this way and I'm having a hard time stopping.

[00:37:18] Samantha Busch: Right.

[00:37:18] Jenica Parcell: And just like accepting yourself in those moments and giving yourself grace that like your brain is just doing the very best that it can.

[00:37:25] Samantha Busch: Yeah, I just, that's a good point is giving yourself grace. That was one thing that's hard for me. I'm very type A and I like everything to be very perfect.

[00:37:32] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:37:32] Samantha Busch: And I've had to learn in this journey, like there's so much that's out of your control and that, you know, when your mind is going places, like just trying to get back on track. But if you don't always get back on track, that's okay too.

[00:37:43] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:37:44] Samantha Busch: Like sometimes you just are going to have those off days and that's okay. And that's what I try to tell a lot of women who reach out and you're like, oh, you seem to like, you know, have it all together. And I was like, no, I'm an absolute shit show. It's just like-

[00:37:58] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, you just don't see it all.

[00:38:00] Samantha Busch: -some moments I have it together, and then there's other moments that I'm like crying on the bathroom floor or yelling at the girl at Panera because-

[00:38:08] Jenica Parcell: Because she doesn't want you to have a baby. How dare her?

[00:38:10] Samantha Busch: How dare she not give me spinach. And I literally, I mean, I did go back and like profusely apologize and I was like, I'm on medication. Not like that. Like, cause I was like, she probably thinks I'm like psychotic.

[00:38:21] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:38:21] Samantha Busch: And I was like, I'm getting hormone medication.

[00:38:23] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:38:23] Samantha Busch: I'm so sorry.

[00:38:25] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. Oh my goodness. Okay. Well, can you tell me how you've been able to move forward with surrogacy? Because I know, just that bravery and courage and stepping forward and say, all right, like, we're going to try this again. Can you tell us about maybe some of the thoughts that have helped you move forward versus staying stuck in that really like scared place?

[00:38:46] Samantha Busch: I'm just laughing, cause I'm like, oh, there's, it's a lot.

[00:38:51] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:38:52] Samantha Busch: So surrogacy, first of all is a very beautiful thing. And I think any woman who's willing to like sacrifice their body to carry a child for another family, like, it is incredible on so many levels. And I always tell people, I am very grateful, very humbled by the whole thing. And then on the flip side, there's some days that I'm like really sad and jealous and I'm like, I know everybody's like, it doesn't matter how she gets here. Like, she'll be here, she'll be yours. And I fully get that. But it's also sometimes sad when you don't get to feel the kicks.

[00:39:32] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:39:33] Samantha Busch: Or you don't get to have your little companion carrying along with you.

[00:39:38] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:39:38] Samantha Busch: And it does. It's, it's hard. It is a, it is a very tricky, so I can go back. So we decided, um, to go with an agency.

[00:39:48] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:39:48] Samantha Busch: And I'm just gonna like lay it all out on there. So when you go to the agency, they make it kind of sound like match.com, right? Like, you are going to fill out a profile and they fill out a profile and we match you. And so I'm thinking in my head this whole time, like, it's like, I mean, I will fully date myself .Dating apps weren't a thing. That's how-

[00:40:08] Jenica Parcell: They weren't a thing when I, when Tyler and I got married either.

[00:40:11] Samantha Busch: Coming up on 36, so like, but in my head, I'm like, this- yeah. I said, match.com. Is that even a thing anymore?

[00:40:18] Jenica Parcell: Probably. I don't know. I haven't been looking so I don't know.

[00:40:20] Samantha Busch: Yeah, I don't know. It's probably like there's some new app.

[00:40:23] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:40:23] Samantha Busch: But I thought like, oh, I'm going to like swipe and I'm going to find all these women and like we're going to match and all these things. And like, I, you know, put our very best pictures together, of who we were as a family and like made my profile all great. And, um, the lady, we fill it all out and she was like, okay, well at this time, you know, we don't have anybody. And I'm like but no wait, what?

[00:40:47] Jenica Parcell: Excuse me?

[00:40:48] Samantha Busch: What? I'm, I'm so confused right now.

[00:40:50] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:40:50] Samantha Busch: She's like well, you know, our pool is, it's very small. There's like a select number of women because you know, all these things and I was like, No, no, no. I thought it was going to be like lots of swiping and lots of people. And we are going to, like, I was almost treating it like a dating situation. Like we're going to meet, we're going to see if we all vibe and-

[00:41:08] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:41:08] Samantha Busch: She was like, no, we don't have anyone at the moment. And I was just like, what?

[00:41:16] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:41:17] Samantha Busch: Like you said, brick wall.

[00:41:19] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. You're ready to move forward. And then, okay, you're stuck again.

[00:41:22] Samantha Busch: Yeah, my husband and I were like- we're so confused right now. Um, and so as this is going on, I keep reaching out to people. I'm like, do you guys know anybody. And so, I talk about it in the book, so I had a friend's sister, who went to the same church as us and she was like, I have always wanted to do this. And she's like I would love to, and she had three kids of her own. They were done having their family. So we were moving forward. She, you know, passed, cause to give people some background, like you have to pass a psych exam, they have to pass a psych exam. Like you guys have to meet with a therapist together. So we did all that stuff. We had all the contracts worked out and then, we went for her physical and they were like, oh, her left tube is blocked. And I was like, all right, well, I don't need that tube. It's a uterus, like, it's our embryos.

[00:42:11] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:42:11] Samantha Busch: So basically like, why are you telling me this? You know?

[00:42:14] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah.

[00:42:15] Samantha Busch: And they're like, no, you can't move forward.

[00:42:17] Jenica Parcell: Oh, wow.

[00:42:18] Samantha Busch: I was like, what? And they're like, well, sometimes if it's blocked, there could be fluid that leaks through, so she would have to have her tube removed. I was like, well, there is no way I can ask somebody not only to carry my baby, but hey, while you're at it, do you mind like removing one of your fallopian tubes? Like, no. You can't do that. So she was out. So then we were waiting on the agency and we just did not have a match. And then through a friend of a friend of a friend, there was another lady. And again, like I met with her first and then the families met a few times. We were moving forward and then, just where she was in life, she was like, I just, I can't do it right now. So basically it was like another huge let down. And, um, I don't even know if I've told this whole story anywhere before. That night, that potential carrier said, you know, it's just not the right time, this lady sent me a DM. She was like, I've had this written for four months, something on my heart told me to send it to you tonight. I have a son and a daughter. We are pregnant. She's like, I followed your story cause we were pregnant at the same time with our sons. And then when you miscarried the first time, I was like pregnant with my daughter, like I just, I'm local dah, dah, dah. And not that I feel like I was mean, but I was kind of like, not mean, I was just defeated and I was like, okay, well here's the agency. Like, I'm-

[00:43:45] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:43:46] Samantha Busch: -in my head I'm like I'm sure something's not going to work. Like-

[00:43:49] Jenica Parcell: Right. Yeah. I mean, based on all past experience, it's not going to work with time either.

[00:43:54] Samantha Busch: Yeah. So I was just like, okay, like here's the agency and like you have to fill out this paperwork and I was kind of just like polite, but distant, because I was like, I am not getting my hopes up again.

[00:44:05] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:44:05] Samantha Busch: So the agency lady calls and she was like, hey, this lady filled out all this stuff. She actually, like, her paperwork's all good. Like, do you want to meet with her? And so, at this point I was in panic. So I brought my best friend with, and she brought her best friend. So we did like a double date to me, which was more stressful than like actually going on a date. Like I analyze, like, what do you wear? Cause you want this person to like you, right?

[00:44:29] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:44:29] Samantha Busch: It's not like a friend or a sister that knows you that you're like, hey, can you carry my baby? Cause I just, I didn't have- this is very interesting. My best friend has had three C-sections and she was like, well, I could maybe, you know, do it, but they won't, they wouldn't let her because she had multiple C-sections-

[00:44:46] Jenica Parcell: Mmm, okay.

[00:44:46] Samantha Busch: -which I didn't know-

[00:44:48] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:44:48] Samantha Busch: -was a factor-

[00:44:49] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:44:50] Samantha Busch: -until we knew.

[00:44:50] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:44:51] Samantha Busch: So we go out on this double date and I'm like in panic. And so I was like, oh, I'll get a glass of wine. And then she didn't. And then I was like, oh no, is she going to think like I'm an alcoholic? Like, do I drink the wine?

[00:45:04] Jenica Parcell: You're just overthinking everything. Like ah! You, you knock it over on accident. Oh no!

[00:45:08] Samantha Busch: I did! And then I said shit and I was like, I don't really swear in front of my kids. That's actually a lie. I don't mean to lie. And my friend-

[00:45:15] Jenica Parcell: Oh that's so cute.

[00:45:16] Samantha Busch: -was like, oh my god, stop talking. She was like, you're a disaster. I was like, I am a disaster. Like I just wanted somebody to carry our baby.

[00:45:24] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:45:26] Samantha Busch: And to think, you know what I mean?

[00:45:28] Jenica Parcell: Yes! The stakes were so high. You wanted it to work out.

[00:45:30] Samantha Busch: Yeah. So we did our double date. I finally acted slightly less, you know, weird by the end of the night.

[00:45:38] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:45:38] Samantha Busch: And then we met up again. And then we met with the husbands. And then we met with the kids a few times, and throughout all this, we're like doing the psych stuff and doing the medical stuff. And she's just the, like, perfect person. She is-

[00:45:53] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:45:54] Samantha Busch: -amazing, and to me, it's just so crazy that somebody, you know, is so willing to help out somebody else's family.

[00:46:01] Jenica Parcell: Ah, it's so, yeah that's amazing.

[00:46:03] Samantha Busch: It's really cool.

[00:46:04] Jenica Parcell: That is really cool.

[00:46:04] Samantha Busch: So that is kind of the whole cliff notes of the back story.

[00:46:08] Jenica Parcell: Yes, oh my gosh. That's so crazy. So how have you handled like the pregnancy since she got pregnant? Fast forward, she's pregnant. Your baby girl is due in March, right? Like, or no, no, May, May excuse me.

[00:46:19] Samantha Busch: Mid May.

[00:46:19] Jenica Parcell: I was like, we're in March. Okay.

[00:46:21] Samantha Busch: So under, we're under the eight week mark right now.

[00:46:24] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:46:24] Samantha Busch: We're approaching 31 weeks.

[00:46:25] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:46:26] Samantha Busch: Or wait, no, we're hitting the 8 weeks.

[00:46:27] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah.

[00:46:28] Samantha Busch: Anyways, close. Mid May.

[00:46:29] Jenica Parcell: Okay. Yes. Okay. And how has that been? Have you been handling it well? Kind of just taking it day by day?

[00:46:36] Samantha Busch: At times, does that count as a fair answer?

[00:46:39] Jenica Parcell: Yes! Yeah! Absolutely, yes.

[00:46:41] Samantha Busch: Um, I mean, she's amazing. Like I know her family is amazing. I know that like she's doing all the right things and I appreciate her and I, you know, I love her and I could never imagine, as I said, just the gift that she's giving us. Um, and then there's days that I'm like, it's, it feels odd, you know?

[00:47:04] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:47:04] Samantha Busch: Like your baby's growing and developing and you're not there and I'm panicked. I'm like, is she gonna like us? Because not like us, but I feel like Brexton, when he came out, he had heard our voices and he had heard my heartbeat and it was like this instant thing. I'm like, am I going to, you know, go to grab her and she's going to be like, who are you? What is this voice? You know? And just things like that. You know, everybody's like, oh no, the instant you hold her. And I'm like, I know, and I know you have to say that, but-

[00:47:35] Jenica Parcell: Haha but you're like I'm still concerned.

[00:47:37] Samantha Busch: But I'm still worried, and so it's just, it's sometimes hard.

[00:47:40] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah that's understandable.

[00:47:42] Samantha Busch: Like the bonding is hard.

[00:47:45] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:47:45] Samantha Busch: It, it, because, also gosh, I'm just going to like have a therapy session on your podcasts.

[00:47:50] Jenica Parcell: Haha, you're awesome.

[00:47:52] Samantha Busch: You know, cause I didn't know her before, like a friend or a sister and I want to like get all up in there and like touch the baby and touch her belly.

[00:47:58] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:47:58] Samantha Busch: But I don't want to make her feel like, uncomfortable so I tried to keep it to a minimum and not attack her and-

[00:48:05] Jenica Parcell: Not like spoon her?

[00:48:06] Samantha Busch: Right! And be like, can I just like touch your belly a lot? Cause you know, it's, it's-

[00:48:10] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:48:11] Samantha Busch: It's a very complicated- it's things that people don't talk about. So like-

[00:48:16] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah. Understandably.

[00:48:18] Samantha Busch: I put my hand on her belly and, you know, feel the kicks and try not to be overly- is crazy the right word?

[00:48:28] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah.

[00:48:29] Samantha Busch: It's hard.

[00:48:30] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:48:30] Samantha Busch: It's very hard. So it's interesting, like you said, it's one day at a time. She's amazing. So it's more me mentally, and you know, you're sitting here preparing a nursery and washing bottles, but you don't have- and I guess, because I was fortunate enough to get to experience it before, you're not walking around with like your little bump. Your little companion.

[00:48:52] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:48:52] Samantha Busch: I would talk to Brexton all day long when he was in my belly. And I always was, you know, rubbing my belly and just, patting him in there and-

[00:49:01] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:49:02] Samantha Busch: -and you know, you don't have that. And so some days it's like, ooh. We're really having a baby? Like everybody keeps asking me.

[00:49:09] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:49:09] Samantha Busch: They're like, how do you feel? Well, I don't, I mean, I'm just, I'm here. So, we're-

[00:49:14] Jenica Parcell: Just waiting!

[00:49:15] Samantha Busch: She's gonna come!

[00:49:17] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:49:17] Samantha Busch: Um, and I just, it's weird. I keep saying like, hope she likes me! And I go, of course she's gonna like you, but you know what I'm saying?

[00:49:24] Jenica Parcell: Yeah! Absolutely. Yeah. It's just a very complicated situation that you probably didn't ever expect to experience.

[00:49:29] Jenica Parcell: No. No.

[00:49:31] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, well, thank you for being so open and honest about that because it's completely relatable. I mean, I've never had a surrogate, but I can totally see that I would feel the exact same way with all of that. So thank you for sharing that. It's astonishing what, what we're able to do and how we're able to conceive our families and it's also interesting in the ways that we are as human beings, having to adapt and cope with these really challenging, weird scenarios that we never expected honestly.

[00:49:58] Samantha Busch: Here's a weird scenario for you. So we're at a birthing center now. Um, she had her last child at a birthing center. We both just felt more comfortable and I really wanted to be hands-on during the delivery. And so hospitals were like, no, no. And the midwives were like, yeah, get in that bathtub. And I'm like, I am there.

[00:50:16] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:50:17] Samantha Busch: So the husbands are in panic. So my husband is like-

[00:50:22] Jenica Parcell: Haha, they're in panic.

[00:50:24] Samantha Busch: -what do I do?

[00:50:26] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:50:26] Samantha Busch: Like, you're going to be in the tub. She's going to be naked. I don't know what to do. And then her husband, so basically it's going to be, hopefully knock on wood, if all goes well, a water birth. And they basically said like, I'll do instant skin to skin. They'll keep the cord attached for a while. And then, we'll cut the cord and all that. So her husband is on the other spectrum going, well her boobs are going to be out. Where do I look? What do we do? So both of the husbands are just like-

[00:50:55] Jenica Parcell: Oh my gosh, it's too good.

[00:50:56] Samantha Busch: -cannot get over the parts.

[00:51:00] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:51:00] Samantha Busch: We'll just leave it like that.

[00:51:01] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:51:01] Samantha Busch: They're both kind of asking to stay in the hall, I think.

[00:51:06] Jenica Parcell: Oh, my gosh that's too good. Well, you know, that's like, that's going to be their challenge. You're like, I've gone through enough. Like I'm going to be in there. You decide what you want to do, but I'm there.

[00:51:12] Samantha Busch: That's what I said. I said I can't help you in that situation, just-

[00:51:15] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, you're like you can handle it. I'll let you decide.

[00:51:19] Samantha Busch: Look, don't look, I don't know what to tell you. This is what's going down. It's very natural.

[00:51:24] Jenica Parcell: Yes.

[00:51:25] Samantha Busch: You two will just get through it.

[00:51:27] Jenica Parcell: Oh, I love it. Yep. You're like, yeah, like you said, it's natural. This is how all the humans came in the world. So we'll handle this.

[00:51:33] Samantha Busch: Yes.

[00:51:34] Jenica Parcell: Okay. So tell us about the foundation that you and your husband started. I think it's so incredible that you're able to help other couples in this experience.

[00:51:43] Samantha Busch: Thank you. Ah, it's like my pride and joy. It's my other baby.

[00:51:48] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, it really is.

[00:51:49] Samantha Busch: So it's called, it's called The Bundle of Joy Fund. We started it, let's see, we gave our first grant when Brexton was three months old, but we started it while I was pregnant. So we help couples here in Charlotte, at the REACH clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, go through their IVF treatments.

[00:52:05] Jenica Parcell: Okay.

[00:52:05] Samantha Busch: One thing that we learned throughout all of this, which I think anybody facing fertility quickly learns, is that it is ridiculously expensive.

[00:52:13] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:52:13] Samantha Busch: Absurdly expensive at times.

[00:52:15] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:52:15] Samantha Busch: And it's not fair. I think it's, I will not get on my soap box cause will be another hour long podcast, that insurance doesn't cover what they should cover.

[00:52:24] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:52:24] Samantha Busch: But a lot of the couples that we help, are public school teachers, firefighters, police officers, former military, just hard working couples that, it's finances that stand in the way of being parents. So we're really excited. Last year we hit our goal of donating a million dollars, to-

[00:52:41] Jenica Parcell: Mmm, that's incredible!

[00:52:41] Samantha Busch: -different couples. Thank you!

[00:52:43] Jenica Parcell: That's so incredible. That's literally life-changing for these families. Yay!

[00:52:47] Samantha Busch: Yeah! We have- we've helped 80 couples over 80, and we, let's see, we just had another one born, so I think we're up to 52 babies now.

[00:52:55] Jenica Parcell: That is so amazing Samantha.

[00:52:58] Samantha Busch: Thank you! It's so cool. We do an annual play date. It's surreal. It's surreal watching Brexton play with all these kids and just seeing the number of kids grow and grow. And now that they're older, you know, they're not just babies, so-

[00:53:11] Jenica Parcell: Yeah, yeah.

[00:53:11] Samantha Busch: They're talking and they're telling you stories about school and it's, it's really cool. I'll tell you, we've gone through hell with infertility, but everybody asks like, would you change it? I'm like, no, no, because of these 52 babies, you know?

[00:53:26] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:53:26] Samantha Busch: And being able to watch these couples, who otherwise either would have had to mortgage their house or not go through it or whatever their circumstances might be, and just know that we were able to do a little part, to take away some of the stress that they had to face going through. infertility.

[00:53:45] Jenica Parcell: That's incredible. Okay. So how do people find you? I'm sure if people are interested in getting to know you better and following along on your surrogacy journey with your baby girl coming and just your positivity. So where do people find you? What's the best way?

[00:53:58] Samantha Busch: On all socials @samanthabusch, B U S C H. I have a website, which I do, just kind of food, lifestyle, fitness. Things about infertility and I, I'm pretty much, I think, as you can tell an open book.

[00:54:11] Jenica Parcell: I love that.

[00:54:12] Samantha Busch: So if people have questions, I always try to, you know, I certainly don't have all the answers. I always tell people if I had the answers, I wouldn't have gone through all these miscarriages and failed cycles.

[00:54:22] Jenica Parcell: Right.

[00:54:22] Samantha Busch: But here's things I've learned along the way or things that have helped make a difference in other people's journeys from- I got really crunchy granola this last round and did like the fertility acupuncture, the supplements, the diets.

[00:54:36] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:54:36] Samantha Busch: And even though it ultimately didn't work, if you look at it at the reverse, since Brexton, seven years ago, it was the farthest I had made it in a pregnancy up to 10 weeks.

[00:54:46] Jenica Parcell: Yeah.

[00:54:46] Samantha Busch: So, I think it did do something.

[00:54:49] Jenica Parcell: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I love that. Well, thank you so much. And I appreciate you being so open and candid and for your passion in helping these families with infertility. You're the best. And I appreciate you being on.

[00:54:59] Samantha Busch: Thank you, and congratulations!

[00:55:01] Jenica Parcell: Thank you! Okay everyone, we will see you back here next week on Fearless Infertility. Bye.

[00:55:05] Jenica Parcell: I know how tough it is to struggle through infertility. If you're ready to get ahead of the pain and frustration, the best way is to create an ironclad mindset. That's where it all starts. I have the best free download for you. You're going to love it. It's my free Morning Mindset Magic checklist. You'll get the seven tips I use to create my mindset each morning So I can create a life I love, despite my challenges. You will lower your anxiety and increase your peace. I spent a couple of years of trial and error and finally came upon this list of actions I take or never take every morning, even when I don't want to, because they work every single time. Download for free at fearlessinfertility.com/mindsetmagic.

[00:55:50] Jenica Parcell: Thanks for listening to Fearless Infertility. If you want the best infertility support and community on the planet, visit fearlessinfertility.com. See you there.



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