FSC was amazing to me. Not only were they there all the time, and they answered all my questions, but they were so supportive. And my surrogate sisters that I created friendships with were always amazing and there for me.

TeamFSC Surrogate Kristine

Kristine is a first-time surrogate who delivered in September 2021. We spoke with her about her experiences as a gestational surrogate.

What made you decide to become a surrogate? How did you choose FSC?

When I was younger, my sister was told that she cannot carry. So I had my kids, and she said, Hey, can you one day carry for me? And that was always yes, of course. I knew I was made to help, or I don’t want to say made, but my purpose in life was to help others.

So I always expected to help her first. She was able to carry for herself. But I knew I was still going to do it regardless. I spoke to my husband about it. He said, do your research. I did my research, and FSC just stuck with me.

How did you know your IPs were the right match for you?

When I did our match meeting my director was with me, so she got to match us and be there to be a middle person for both me and for my intended parents.

We just started the talking and the communication, everything was going so smoothly. I felt like we clicked. I felt like there was a connection between us. They’re from China, but they live here in the states, and she told me she doesn’t have siblings. And I’m the oldest of eight. So I love to love.

And she just told me all she wanted was a sister or brother. Now she has both me and my husband!

What was your relationship with your IPs like?

I was nervous in the beginning. Where am I? I’m I’m going, going, going. I’m excited. And why is she pulling back? And then I had to remember that she went through so much as a woman to know that you cannot carry yourself. That has to be hard on you, and for someone else to do it for you, that has to be a knockdown. So I understood where she was coming from.

And I took a step back, and I took my time, and then the relationship just was there. It grew stronger. And even after he was born, we’re more like sisters now.

How did you handle the injections?

I thought it was going to be scary, not gonna lie. When I saw the needle itself, I was terrified. But it was nothing. It was, again, going back to my FSC family; they encouraged me and just kept me going. So I did my research, popped it in my hip, and let it go. It was easy.

How did you tell your children you were going to be a surrogate?

I have three boys, and my husband has three girls. 

When I told our boys, it was before I wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. Everyone agreed with it because I don’t want something to interrupt our family that they didn’t understand. 

I kept it simple. I told them the honest truth. I told them about the science behind it. My kids are science nerds. They love it. 

So I was said, “Hey, this is, this is how it’s going to happen. Nothing’s mommy. Nothing’s daddy. It’s just that.” So they understood.

When I told the girls, they were so supportive. They’re a lot older. They’re 17, 18, and 22, but they were so supportive because they know where my heart is.

How did you learn the gender?

In the beginning, they knew the gender. I did not want to know cause I carried three boys myself. I’m like, this is going to be a boy. Who doesn’t want a boy?! But I didn’t want to know. 

My husband wanted to know. So he knew. My friend made a onesie and he told her it was a boy. So she made it say “Blessings ” in blue font and then he put blue glitter in the envelope. So when they opened it, I’m sure they had a big mess to clean up! b

But I did not want to know until I actually had him. I wanted to have one pregnancy where I didn’t know.

How did you prepare for the birth?

Everyone asked me in the beginning, as I was already pregnant, how are you going to give up the baby? I’m not giving up the baby. I’m giving the baby back to its family.

I always kept in my head like this was not my child at all. You just have to be prepared, and that’s when the medical evaluations and the psych evaluations all that come into play.

Were your IPs able to attend the birth?

Even though my intended parents (I am an Alabama they’re in Washington) so even though they were so far away, my husband was able to get on a zoom. They were on the plane fixing to take off watching their son be born. That’s all I wanted. I wanted them to be a part of a magical moment.

What was the most magical thing about your journey?

Well, the most magical thing would be knowing that I was carrying something so beautiful. And then that they trusted me to carry him for them and to give him to them.

How did FSC support you throughout your journey?

When I had questions, I contacted the lawyer that was provided to me. I would contact DiDi or Denise, and they would be right there answering anything I had any questions to. They made it very smooth and easy for me.

How was your surrogacy journey overall?

I’m a very impatient person. I’m very extra. So I want things going fast in my pace. But from start to finish, it was amazing. I had Didi and Denise right there along with my surrogate sisters. The best surrogate team I could have was them. 

Would you be a surrogate again?

Absolutely. Absolutely. Nothing in the works yet, because I had a C-section with him, so I have to wait six months. But as soon as I get that clearance, I’m calling DiDi and saying, “Hey, let’s go again.”

[My IPs] told me that he was the only embryo that they had, but they did not want me to stress over it. They don’t have any more embryos. So I guess I would be matching all over again, starting a new relationship, more friendship. I can’t have a big enough family. I love to grow!

Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.