Brooke completed her first journey on November 13, 2017, giving birth to a baby girl for Intended Parents E&P. 

What led you to become a Surrogate? 

I have multiple friends and family members that have gone through the IVF process. Closest to my heart though was watching my best friend go through multiple failed rounds of IVF. My husband and I discussed helping them and then offered to help. She actually ended up getting pregnant on their own and now have a beautiful baby boy, but I still felt called to help someone in this way. I started researching surrogacy agencies and applied with FSC.

What made you decide to choose your Intended Parents?

We were really matched perfectly. I wanted more local parents and they are two hours away. They’re easy to get to, but not so close that we pass on the street. It’s a perfect combination. We both have similar interests and outgoing personalities. Overall, they met every criteria on my list.

Who was your strongest source of support and why?

My husband has been my rock through this entire process. He is always so understanding of my hormonal swings and is so encouraging to me. He truly loves me unconditionally. In addition, that best friend I talked about earlier, is pregnant AGAIN on her own! We have found so much joy in being pregnant together and supporting one another through pregnancy!

What is the best/most exciting part of being a Surrogate?

I will never forget my IP’s faces along this journey. The first time we heard the heartbeat, the 20 week ultrasound, and the birth. They are so in love with this little miracle they have been praying so hard for, and I am so glad I have gotten to be a small piece of their journey.  Delivery was amazing! It was so wonderful to watch the parents with their daughter. Both IP’s and my husband were in the room and they all helped coach me through delivery.

What has surprised you most about this journey?

The number of people that I had no idea were struggling with infertility.

I started this journey after knowing some close friends and family members that struggled to get pregnant or couldn’t get pregnant. It is shocking, how many MORE people have come forward and said how appreciative they have been of me sharing this journey to help educate others on infertility when they didn’t have the strength to share their own story. The village gets bigger everyday!

What are some of the highlights of your journey?

Every step has been so amazing and exciting! There have been highs and lows and lots of praying! Biggest highlights have been crying during the transfer with my IM, witnessing the IP’s hearing their babies heartbeat for the first time, and watching them as they got to see their baby at 20 weeks during the ultrasound. The friendship I have built with the IP’s, the strengthening of my own marriage, and educating people on the world of infertility have all been wonderful as well!

Having the parents present for the entire birth was wonderful (induction). They were there every step of the way. IF was on the fence about wanting to be in the room when we first met. I encouraged him the whole pregnancy to be there for it. Not only was he there, he cut the cord. I wanted his experience to be as completely normal as possible (ok as normal as surrogacy can be!)

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

Make sure your family and friends are able to help you. This journey has been rewarding, but so exhausting. Without my ‘village’ this would have been a very long journey.

Why did you choose FSC?

In researching agencies, I found that some were very pro-parent and some were very pro-surrogate. FSC seemed like they wanted the very best outcome for their clients and surrogates. I also met with someone who used them, and only had good things to say. Word of mouth is very important to me.

Have you utilized our online surrogacy support group? If so, what are your feelings about it?

Yes! It was been a great help for answering questions and really forming a community of women who can connect with similar issues/needs. Everyone is at a different point in their journey so advice is from all different points and it is so great to have experienced surrogates there to encourage you.

Would you like to add anything else?

Everything has been amazing. The match was done beautifully and the support I got from the agency was wonderful throughout.

Your Story Matters

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.