Meet Ashley!

“My children have brought such a joy to my life and I couldn’t imagine life without them.  I wanted to help others feel that same joy that otherwise they would never be able to know.”

Q: What led you to become a Surrogate?

I’ve had friends and family members experience infertility and I have seen first hand the heart break it caused.  My children have brought such a joy to my life and I couldn’t imagine life without them.  I wanted to help others feel that same joy that otherwise they would never be able to know.

Q. Who was/is your greatest support person/s throughout your journey?

My husband was the biggest supporter of my journey.  He was my sounding board and my voice of reason when I was hormonal.

Q. What made you decide to choose your Intended Parents?

The initial profile that I was sent of my IPs had very specific questions. For instance how many embryos to transfer and the kind of relationship they wanted for after the journey.  Their answers directly lined up with my answers to the same questions.  It seemed we all wanted the same kind of relationship out of this journey.

Q. What are some of the highlights of your journey?

The first one was when I skyped with the IPs for the first time and it was this instant connection.  They always thought that they would never have children and then they had this whole new world opened to them when we matched.  They finally could see that yes they can be parents and the idea that I can make that happen for them was one of the best feelings!

The second highlight is when the IPs came to visit (they are international) and they got to go to an ultrasound appointment with me.  Watching them see their babies for the first time on the ultrasound and them realizing that this is really happening and they are pregnant was magical.

And finally, the birth of their babies was the biggest highlight! Watching the parents get to hold their babies and meet them in person was the most incredible experience for me.

Q. Do you have advice for women who are interested in becoming a gestational surrogate?

Take your time through matching.  You want to make sure that you and the parents have the same desires.  My journey went so smoothly because we all had the same expectations.  The parents were extremely laid back and trusted me 100% to take care of their babies.  I’ve read some pretty scary stories about overly controlling IPs as well as some very questionable surrogates.  So my biggest piece of advice is take your time.  Another thing is to really read your contract.  You are bound by that contract so make sure you are comfortable with everything in there.  If you are not don’t be afraid to ask for what you want changed.  Always advocate for yourself!

Q. What did you find was the biggest misconception people had about surrogacy?

I still get asked if it was hard to give up the babies.  I feel like this is the biggest misconception.  These babies were never mine and that is something I feel I am constantly explaining to people.  The best way I have described it is it’s like babysitting for 9 months.  You keep the babies safe and well cared for then when it’s time the most awesome parents take over.

Q. What did you do to prepare yourself for separating from the baby after it was born?

There wasn’t much preparation.  I knew once the girls were born that the parents would be taking over.  From day 1 my whole mindset was different than my keepers.  You know that this baby or babies that you are carrying are not yours and that you will not be going home with a newborn.  And that last part is awesome! Being home, after being so uncomfortably pregnant for the last month or so, and not being pregnant anymore is fantastic! I can sleep through the night and spend my days with my kids without a newborn to care for.

Interested in becoming a Surrogate? Click Here to get started!

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.