Is it possible to really, truly enjoy being pregnant? So much that you would carry someone else’s child for them?

It sure is, says FSC surrogate ambassador Katherine. And being a surrogate can be the best experience of all. 

Katherine is one of those lucky women who thoroughly enjoy being pregnant. Whether it is biology, attitude, or just good luck – each one of Katherine’s pregnancies has been amazingly smooth. 

She has already had three of her own children – including ‘surprise’ twins. Although her first delivery was long, she got through it without any medication. 

“Everything was just really easy. I loved being pregnant. I felt amazing when I was pregnant. We just felt we were incredibly blessed.” 

While carrying her twins, Katherine met several other women who were also having multiples. Unlike herself, they had struggled with their pregnancies. Hearing their stories made Katherine wonder if she could do something to help. 

“The idea of becoming a surrogate had always been in the back of my mind. It wasn’t that I felt guilty that everything came so easily to me, but there was this feeling in my heart that maybe I could help someone make a family. Somehow, it really called to me,” she says. 

Katherine’s husband was initially a little dubious about the prospect. But when he heard that some of his own friends were having difficulties with fertility, he saw things differently.  

“As women, we often hear about the struggles of infertility, but men don’t hear about it as frequently and they don’t discuss it,” says Katherine. 

So, when one of her friends shared a Facebook post from Family Source Consultants recruiting surrogates, Katherine decided to go for it. 

“I had lots of questions, but I figured I’d get most of them answered if I just applied,” she laughs. She completed the application and soon found out that FSC would accept her for an interview. 

At that point, she realized she should probably fill her husband in.

Fortunately, the online interview left them both convinced that it was the right thing to do. By the time they finished the call, her husband was fully supportive. 

Within weeks, Katherine was chosen by a couple in California, and her first surrogacy journey began. 

Once again, her pregnancy was “flawless” and she shared as much as she could with the couple from afar. 

Although it wasn’t easy to meet regularly (Katherine and her husband live in Minnesota), they did manage to get together on two occasions throughout her pregnancy.

Katherine was in their town on business just after she had found out the baby’s sex. 

“I was able to do a little ‘gender reveal’ for them, which was super fun. It was just so great to be a part of it, and it made it so incredibly worth it, even more than I thought it would.”

The couple also came to visit them in Minnesota at Thanksgiving. 

“They had Thanksgiving dinner with my whole family – including my brother’s family and sister’s family. It was so fun to include them in that. They really became part of our family.”

Her surro-baby was born just a few weeks later, on December 7. His new parents were able to join Katherine and her husband in the delivery room, which turned out to be an extraordinary experience. 

“Having that baby and then half of a millisecond later seeing him in their arms and seeing their reaction… I start crying just thinking about it,” says Katherine. “There is really nothing that can compare to that. It’s as impactful as having your own kids, if not more.”

Although she thought her first journey would be her one and only, she has since found herself longing to help another family. 

Their experience in the delivery room so moved her husband that he too has warmed to the idea. This time, he has been much more involved in the process. 

“When you have been through it once, you have a better idea of what you’d be comfortable with the next time. It’s been kinda fun to have him more involved in the process this time around.”

Working with Family Source Consultants makes the whole process very easy; she says. 

“It means you have a third party to go to and mediate the whole thing, so everyone’s always on the same page,” she explains. “It takes away any awkwardness that I imagine can happen when people work directly with another in a surrogacy arrangement. Everything is much more comfortable, and you know what to expect next.”

Looking back, Katherine says that although not every surrogacy journey will be perfect, the outcome makes up for it.

“There’s always that voice at the back of your mind warning you that things may not go smoothly or there could be a big heartache. But I just trusted my gut. I felt that with my history and the amount of attention you get as the carrier of this embryo, it really took all of that question and hesitation away. Sometimes there can be struggles and heartbreaks, but it’s still worth it.”

Now, Katherine is preparing for her second journey. She has been ‘unofficially’ matched with a couple in Mexico City and has high hopes for another fantastic experience. 

She is also now one of FSC’s surrogate ambassadors, which means she provides advice and support to other would-be surrogates. 

To those considering becoming surrogates themselves, Katherine says the important thing is to be well-informed. 

“My biggest piece of advice is to ask questions. Don’t hesitate to be very clear about what you want and what your preferences are.”

She adds that there is nothing selfish about looking after your own needs. 

“Obviously, someone who wants to go through this has an incredibly generous heart. But you do need to protect yourself, especially if you have your own family. You have to be sure you’re making choices that are good for you and your family as well. You’re already doing something incredible. Don’t feel like you need to go above and beyond what you’re comfortable with. There are so many people who are waiting to find someone like you to help them through their journey, so be very fair with your expectations and your hopes through this process.”

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.