Things were finally looking up for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha.
The couple, who have long been transparent about their ongoing infertility struggles, had spent much of 2020 searching for a healthy and willing surrogate to carry the second child that they've long prayed for. And this past September, they found her.
In fact, last month, the two families gathered together in the kitchen of the Busch home in North Carolina, anxious to find out if the blood work scheduled for the next day would definitively show that the surrogate was indeed pregnant with Kyle and Samantha's second child, a daughter.
But they just couldn't wait until the next day. So as the kids played outside and the husbands exchanged small talk, their surrogate took a pregnancy test. And it came up negative.
"It was our last girl embryo," Samantha, 34, tearfully tells PEOPLE about the heartbreaking moment that was shared Nov. 17 on her Instagram. "Our surrogate walked outside, Kyle turned the camera off and we just broke down. You put so much faith and hope in every round. By this time, you would think we would manage our expectations, right? It's just that, every time, they tell you it should work."
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Indeed, it has been a longstanding struggle for the couple to have their second child. After a successful in vitro fertilization treatment that resulted in the birth of their son Brexton Locke back in 2015, the couple has endured heartbreak after heartbreak in their struggle to have baby No. 2.
Back in November of 2018, Samantha miscarried the daughter they'd conceived via IVF. Making the situation even more difficult is that the couple went through all these struggles under the watchful and curious eye of their now-5½-year-old son.
"We actually worked really hard to explain what a surrogate was and how it was going to happen," Samantha remembers, adding with a laugh, "For Brexton to understand what was going on, we equated it to if we were baking Christmas cookies and our oven broke, so we went to someone else's house to use their oven."
"They are still our cookies — they just got baked in another oven, and they will still come home with us," she says.
And all indications were that a baby would come home with them in 2021. Kyle and Samantha's surrogate was healthy and had two healthy kids of her own. Her blood work was perfect, and doctors even said "that her uterus was the most perfect uterus they had ever seen," recalls Kyle, 35.
But still, it didn't work.
"Essentially, up to that point, everyone always thought that something was going on with me," Samantha explains. "But now, we just didn't know. Maybe we needed a second opinion, maybe we needed to look at our options, maybe we had some more things to figure out."
She adds, "The biggest question was, 'Should we start back at square one? Could I still possibly carry a baby?' "
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After a day of tears and a night of unrelenting research, Kyle and Samantha made the decision that their fight to have another child was not at its end — in fact, maybe it was just beginning.
"Getting a second opinion for the next steps in our journey to making Brexton a big brother," Samantha wrote in a Wednesday Instagram post. "I'm so excited and nervous at once, I almost feel like we are back to square one seven years later. Didn't sleep all night as my mind was thinking of a million new questions, outcomes and fears. No matter how many times we get knocked down, I will continue to keep pushing forward."
Pushing forward is something that Kyle and Samantha have become pros at, both on and off the track.
"I think if you asked us 10 years ago if we thought this is what family building would look like, we would have been like, 'There is no way,' " says Samantha, who will celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary with Kyle later this month.
"There have been good times and there has been bad times, but I feel like even in the bad times, we have learned from it," she adds. "It wasn't always easy, but every challenge has made us who we are today and has prepared us for everything we have had to face."
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