Meet Kat!

FSC takes a lot of time to make sure that both the surrogate and the intended parents are cared for and have everything they need through the entire process. The support you receive is phenomenal and I love that I am connected forever to such an amazing group of women in the surrogate world. I’m hoping that I am able to do a sibling journey for my intended parents and we all agreed we would not do it anywhere other than FSC.

Q: What led you to become a Surrogate?

When my husband and I knew that our family was complete (we really love our sleep), I told him that I really felt I was not “done being pregnant,” and neither one of us knew how to help with that feeling. I saw a friend of mine who helped me as a doula during my son’s birth share her surrogacy journey with FSC on Facebook and proceeded to batter her with ALL the questions! It really intrigued me and seemed like something that I was meant to do – like my body was needing this just as much as a family needed me to do it. Once I picked my friend’s brain I knew that I wanted to continue down this path, and the thought of being able to help two amazing people become amazing parents was incredibly fulfilling on top of allowing me to help financially support my family in the process and honor what my body was feeling in wanting to be pregnant again.

Q. Who was your greatest support person throughout your journey?

I would have to say my husband. I had so many support people, but he literally gave me every shot I had to have (he says he’s an honorary nurse now) and was right next to me through the entire journey – from med clearance to delivery. There are beautiful photos of him holding my hand and sitting right next to me while I delivered SOMEONE ELSES child, which I find amazing and showcases how much he supported me and loved me through the phsyical and emotional parts of the journey. He went above and beyond in so many ways.

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

I saw multiple profiles and every single one seemed so deserving and kind, like they would make phenomenal parents. It was also incredibly clear that they all wanted to be parents very badly – which can make choosing really hard because you want to give every single profile that gift! When I saw my intended parents’ profile I got an instant feeling of warmth and saw many similarities between my husband and myself and the parents as a couple. The answers they had to questions were very thoughtful and I was able to get a glimpse into how they were going to raise their future children. I wanted to meet them and learn more, and about 5 minutes into the match meeting I knew that I was going to want to carry for them. We connected even more during the conversation and it felt like we had known each other for a long time. Long story longer, the connection made it easy to make the choice and I’m so thankful that I waited to feel that before matching.

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

Looking back on the journey there were so many highlights, the whole thing was a dream, but if I had to pinpoint some of my favorites:

Meeting the parents for the first time at transfer and getting time with them both before and after – the excitement and hope we all felt together brought us closer as friends and solidified what we all thought, which was that we got along amazingly.

Getting to have them facetime in for the heartbeat confirmation ultrasound and the smiles and joy they had when we knew that the transfer was successful and a little person was growing.

Them visiting us for the 20-week ultrasound and getting to do a gender reveal for them! The pictures from this are EVERYTHING.

The countdown to delivery! This was nerve-wracking and exciting since it happened naturally and we were letting my body do its thing. We were all just on the edge of our toes once they arrived because we knew it could be any time! Everyone was so anxious to meet him!

The actual energy in the room and having them both present for delivery. I can’t even explain how happy I was getting to see the actual second two people became parents and met and held their precious boy. It was life-changing and I helped make that happen!

Getting text updates about my belly buddy and seeing him grow, watching the parents BE parents, and knowing that they were absolutely meant to do this. It’s a continuous highlight that I am so grateful for!

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

It’s never a solo journey, so utilize the resources around you! It can be overwhelming if you try to go it alone, so having your support people and then other surrogates to connect with are hands down the most important piece of the puzzle. You definitely need both though – there are certain things that anyone who hasn’t been a surrogate wouldn’t understand. So reach out, you’re never on your own even if you’re just starting to explore the idea of becoming a surrogate. It’s a family and we’re all here for you!

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

There are two that I kept running into – one was that the baby was partially mine, which was always fun to talk about because science is absolutely amazing. The second was that I didn’t have a say in any of our legal contracts and would be completely up to the mercy of the intended parents. The legal process was such a collaborative thing that was there to make ALL of us feel safe, and protect us all – it was great and so helpful to have in place.

Q. How has becoming a surrogate impacted your life?

It’s so hard to explain. I am forever changed, that’s for sure. I feel like I brought a small slice of joy into the world and changed a family for the better, which is empowering and beautiful. We have an extended family in our parents and belly buddy, and I have amazing friends and connections through FSC that I am thankful for.

Q. How was this pregnancy different from your other pregnancies?

This pregnancy went by a lot quicker than both of my “keeper” pregnancies, which I’ve heard is the case but it still surprised me! I feel like I would blink and we were at another milestone. It was exciting and fun but bittersweet as we got to the end!
I also had COMPLETELY different cravings and it was really funny and interesting how we could see how the cravings might come from the dad or the egg donor :)

It was also different towards the end because I was not preparing for a baby at home so my nesting tendencies got shifted towards other things like completely reorganizing my closet and organizing my pen collection. It’s funny how your hormones can adjust like that, and wonderful!

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

The thing that helped me prepare the most was to talk about it – to a lot of people! I would talk to surrogates about their experience after they delivered and hear about how they felt so that I could get an idea of what I might come across when it came time. I also found it so helpful to have conversations with my intended parents about the baby and how they were feeling and what they wanted right after delivery. Getting to be a part of their excitement and making a solid plan for how baby boy would be handed over and what they planned for immediately post-birth bonding just gave me a sense of excitement over it instead of worrying about the emotional aspect. I also created a tribe around me of surrogates who would know WHAT I was experiencing so that when my support people might not understand I could lean on the people who would – having them to reach out to in moments where I needed some extra love or support was amazing and continues to be.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I just completed my first surrogacy journey with a beautiful delivery of a sweet baby boy into his parents’ arms! it was a fantastic experience from start to finish and I know that the only reason that it went so smoothly was because of the care and attention of FSC.

During the intake process they answered all of my (many) questions and made me feel so comfortable, they took a lot of time and thought into matching me with the sweetest intended parents who I am lucky enough to have a continued relationship with after the journey ended, and then guided me through the entire process from legal until delivery. They are ALWAYS available when you need them and each surrogate has a case manager that they are connected with who makes sure that the surrogate never feels alone handling ANYTHING that comes up.

FSC takes a lot of time to make sure that both the surrogate and the intended parents are cared for and have everything they need through the entire process. The support you receive is phenomenal and I love that I am connected forever to such an amazing group of women in the surrogate world.

I’m hoping that I am able to do a sibling journey for my intended parents and we all agreed we would not do it anywhere other than FSC.

Learn more about becoming a surrogate by submitting a request for information, or start your surrogate application today!

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.