I had my one and only child in 2014. He is a wonderful little boy and the light of my life. I had no idea the love I could and would feel for him until he was in my arms. I also have two stepdaughters, so after my son was born my husband and I decided our family was complete. My sister had issues conceiving and tried multiple rounds of IUI. I always wished there was something I could do to help her, but there wasn’t. That got me thinking about any way I could help someone in a similar position as hers.

I knew of surrogacy and thought it sounded like a wonderful option, but I figured I was too old at 40. I even did a few Google searches and all the agencies I found said you had to be under 40. Then I met a woman while I was working at a local hospital. She had just come from an OB appointment and was taking pictures of her ultrasound pictures. I congratulated her and asked her if she knew what she was having. She told me she was a surrogate and taking pictures to send to her intended fathers. I asked her about it and what agency she used and if you had to be under 40 to be a surrogate for them. She said she thought so, but gave me the name of her agency, Family Source Consultants. I decided to try anyway. I immediately applied to FSC and I think I got a response either the same day or the very next day. That was one of the many things I loved about working with them. Even though they work with many surrogates, egg donors and intended parents, I always felt like I was their number one priority. Then, it turns out, that same woman that told me about FSC ended up being one of my coordinators for my journey!

My husband and sister were my largest support person throughout my journey. He was on board from day one. I talked to him about it in passing when I was thinking about it, but too old. Then when I found FSC and found out that they were willing to work with me we talked about it again. While I think he always felt like it was my decision since it was my body, he was always supportive every step of the way. My sister had been through her own fertility struggles, so I was worried how she would react to me helping someone else, but she was always supportive and checking in. She always made it seem like she was really proud of what I was doing.

When I was first accepted with FSC I was sent some profiles and chose from those. Then my medical records were sent to the clinic the IPs I chose were using and I wasn’t accepted, so it was back to square one. Looking back, it was meant to be though because the second time around my IPs were ready to be matched and as soon as I was sent their profile I knew. It was like I was meant to not be accepted by the first IPs clinic so I could match with my IPs.

We went through three unsuccessful transfers before the fourth one was finally successful. For the first three we transferred one embryo, but the fourth time we decided to pull out all the stops and transfer two. When the betas came back positive that first time we were all so excited, but also nervous it might be twins. Then seeing that one little heartbeat at the first ultrasound was so exciting for all of us (and admittedly a bit of a relief). We transferred one of each gender, so now the IM didn’t know if it was the boy she wanted or the girl the IP wanted. I was really hoping for the boy the IM wanted, so at that 20-week ultrasound when the ultrasound tech finally showed us it was a boy both the IM and I screamed! We were both so excited. Those were the highlights, along with the obvious one, the first time I saw my IPs with their son.

The advice I have for any women interested in becoming a surrogate is to not get discouraged. I was worried once the first clinic denied me due to my medical records. I’m glad I didn’t give up because I think it was meant to be that I matched with the IPs I had. Also, be patient. Things do not always go the way you want or expect them to, but they will work out in the end.

I chose FSC because they were not as rigid as some of the other agencies I had looked into. Then when they responded to my application almost immediately I knew that this was the right agency for me. Things can happen slowly with surrogacy, but it was never due to FSC. They were on top of everything. As soon as they could help with the next step they did.

I didn’t really think about how a transfer might not work. Everything had gone so well up to that point that I really walked out of the first transfer figuring I was pregnant and everything would be great. I didn’t have trouble conceiving my own child, so I didn’t think this would be any different. It was really disappointing, but in the end I think everything worked out the way it was supposed to.

Family Source Consultants was so great to work with. It started to feel more like a family by the end. Between my Program Coordinator and the Surrogacy Support Manager to the Co-Founders, they were always making sure all my needs were met and making sure that I knew that I could contact them with any issue or question I had. Honestly, had the Surrogacy Support Manager not reached out to me a couple times I think our journey may have ended before we achieved success, but she had some great ideas and suggestions that really helped us continue and move forward. The entire team at FSC was so great to work with.

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.