Tracy: “I wish I could rewrite my mothers passing. She was an unbelievable woman who was loved by everyone who knew her. She fought her battle with cancer for three long years and passed in 1999. The effect her death had on my father was heartbreaking to watch. The fact that some of her grandchildren never knew her or can hardly remember her is a shame and a loss. She passed far too early.”
What’s your favorite tool or strategy for maintaining balance in your life?
Mia: “For both work and family, I use my outlook calendar, my “Task-Task” app, and good old-fashioned Post-It notes. Organization is the key to keeping all the balls in the air. I also try to make the most of the time I have. When I have been away on an extended trip, I plan one-on-one days with each of my kids so we have special time together. In this hectic world, it has to be the quality of time not quantity of time. I also have “NO E-MAIL SUNDAYS.” I don’t even open upOutlook. If I do, I get sucked in.”
Tracy: “In order to maintain balance you must be skilled at prioritizing. It is the only way to achieve balance. There must be give and take between family and work.”
What can you share about your personal story of surrogacy?
Mia: “Tracy and I were brought up in a loud, Italian family full of unconditional love. When someone in your family needs your help, you don’t stop and question; how will this inconvenience me? You help! When my sister found out she could not have a second child because of cancer, she was devastated. She had a hysterectomy but her ovaries were left to produce the hormones that a young woman needs. The doctor told Tracy she could have another biological child using her eggs, her husband’s sperm and a surrogate. I had just had my first child, and had a great pregnancy. I discussed the possibility with my husband and he was in full support. After all, it’s only nine months of my life,and I could give my sister a lifetime of happiness. I knew throughout the pregnancy and delivery that this was my sister’s biological child, not mine. It’s important to keep that clear in your head. On August 23, 1996, through our joint venture, we gave birth to Frances Marie Lubeley. The miracle baby as we call her. People have expressed how wonderful they think it is that I did this for my sister, but I really feel like I was the one that received the gift.”
Tracy: “This is truly a story of a miracle born from tragedy. I was pregnant with my second child when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was told, by my doctors that I could not continue to carry the child within me. If I wanted a chance for survival and to be a mother to the child I already had, the pregnancy would need to be terminated and that I would have to undergo an immediate radical hysterectomy. There was no choice to be made. Although I was devastated at the loss of my child, the surgery was successful at removing all signs of cancer. My husband and I wanted to have another child, and during a post-operation visit, my doctor told me it was still possible. My ovaries were left intact which meant that I still produced eggs. All we needed was to find someone who would carry a baby for us. My sister Mia, the most giving person I know, stepped up and offered to carry our baby.