Hope and Hudson, born with the help of a surrogate
Early in her struggles with infertility, when she was still saving old clothes that were loose enough to serve as maternity wear, Hope Firsel took an honest look at the journey ahead of her.

Quite likely there would be hormone shots to take, invasive procedures to endure and perhaps month after month of disappointments. Medical bills might deplete her savings; the stress of infertility could deplete her soul.

Soon after, she saw another path—one with the same procedures and bills, but with a different perspective. She realized she had a choice.

She could allow the emptiness of being denied a child to take over her life. She could sink into depression, withdraw from friends, lose interest in her career, jeopardize her marriage. Or, she could use her infertility struggles as a tool for personal growth. She could transform the ache she felt for a child into compassion for others experiencing the same. She could face her fears head-on and embrace the lessons concealed within them. Out of the pain, she could gain a stronger sense of self and therefore be a more confident advocate of her health and fertility.

The reality of her son's birth last year differed dramatically from her long-ago dreams of pregnancy. And yet, she wouldn't change any of it. Hope's journey not only gave her the gift of a child, but the gift of a wiser self as well.