What led you to become a Surrogate?
I’ve wanted to be a surrogate since I was in my mid-teens. I was drawn to women who had experienced miscarriages and infertility. My sister-in-law struggled to get pregnant with her second child and my sister had to go through IVF to become pregnant with her son. Due to those experiences, I researched and became familiar with other means to growing a family. In fact, I chose to become a social worker specifically to work in adoption and then I knew I would always have the option of being a surrogate when the time was right. I am now also going back to school for nursing so I can hopefully work in fertility someday and overlap my professions in my passion to help others grow their families.
Who was your largest support person/s throughout your journey?
I had so many supporters! I was very lucky! I’m a single mother to a 4-year old boy, but I’ve always had a solid support system. My parents live very close and are constantly there for me in any way I need. They helped me care for my son during the pregnancy and my recovery and they helped my intended parents (IPs) with nearly anything they needed while they were in town, as they were international. My best friend, Mel, was always available when I needed her for emotional support and to help with things around the house. She was my rock! My extended family, friends, and coworkers were all there for me in various ways.
I truly had the best support system throughout my journey and never once had a negative experience with anyone I knew in regards to the surrogacy. In fact, everyone I knew was so incredibly interested in my journey and just wanted to be a part of it with me.
What made you decide to choose your Intended Parents?
I think there’s always a point where it’s a leap of faith, because this truly is a huge commitment. However, I felt so comfortable with my IPs. At first, I was hesitant, because they were from Hong Kong and there were some health conditions. However, during our first and subsequent Skype conversations, it became apparent that we were on the same page with everything that is important in a surrogacy journey. They spoke near perfect English, which was helpful, but we discussed everything from the number of embryos to selective reduction to termination. Not only did we agree on everything, they showed genuine concern for my health as being the priority from day one. We found conversation to be relatively easy. We also wanted the same experience after the journey was completed, which was to continue allowing our relationship to evolve and to hopefully remain in contact forever.
What are some of the highlights of your journey?
I can honestly say that every part of my journey was miraculous. I was lucky, because I truly wouldn’t change a thing about my journey. I would say that my first big moment in the surrogacy was when I Skyped with the family during my first ultrasound and they got to see their babies for the first time. The looks on their faces took my breath away and I had tears in my eyes seeing them enjoy their moment. We Skyped for nearly every ultrasound throughout the pregnancy and I got to see their faces each time and it was just such a miracle to be a part of that with them.
Also, in the delivery room, I was able to watch my IM as she watched her babies being born, cut their cords, and then held them for the first time. It was the most precious sight I had ever seen. The same when my IF was finally able to come here after his babies were born and could meet them for the first time when they were nearly 3 weeks old. These are the moments that made every minute of this journey more than worthwhile.
Do you have advice for women who are interested in becoming a gestational surrogate?
I have been telling women interested in becoming a gestational surrogate to be sure they are comfortable with their intended parents from the start and if there is ever a problem to make sure it’s addressed immediately. Communication is essential for this to work. Make sure you know what you want and don’t compromise on the big stuff. If you are pressured to agree to termination even though you don’t believe it in, do not cave, because you will be very unhappy and it will likely lead to issues later.
Do your research and make sure you understand what this process is all about by talking to experienced surrogates, joining groups via social media or even locally if possible, and learn about the process via medical websites on IVF. Find a mentor, maybe through your agency, who can help you with questions and in determining if this is really a good fit for you.
Lastly, enjoy the journey. It feels like a slow-moving process when you are in it, but once it is over, you realize how quickly it flew by. Cherish your IPs, because they could become your best friends. Most of all, know that you just made a huge difference in the life of a family. There is no greater gift you can give to another human being than the gift of a child.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
I would love to share with you that FSC has been such an amazing agency! I talk them up all the time to potential surrogates on social media, because I believe in them. They stood by me every step of the way, answered my questions very quickly, helped me navigate each aspect of the process, helped me find resources, and even just allowed me to rant to them if I needed (that only happened once, but I can tell you that I am grateful I could rant to someone who understands it!). They have always been by my side and have been amazing mediators.
I very HIGHLY recommend FSC as an agency for surrogacy. In my case, they were very ethical and very concerned about both parties involved. That’s exactly as it should be. They didn’t advertise the surrogate getting the most money, because it isn’t about a profit. It’s about finding the right match to make a surrogacy journey work and they were fabulous at finding me potential matches that were truly what I was looking for in a family and not just another family that needed a surrogate.