What led you to become a Surrogate? 

I wanted to become a surrogate because I had two easy, uncomplicated pregnancies, which resulted in two beautiful, healthy children of my own. My husband and I agree that our children are our greatest blessings, and we couldn’t imagine our lives without them, so we wanted others to experience the joys of parenthood too.

Who was your most significant support person/s throughout your journey?

I was so blessed in the fact that I had everyone’s support during my entire pregnancy. My husband put up with my feet swelling, which I never experienced with my own pregnancies, and insisted that I relax. He was always rubbing my feet and shoulders, and never made me feel guilty for being tired or not cleaning the house. I really couldn’t have survived without him!

My children (10 and 6) were very loving and constantly rubbing on my belly; my mom and dad and mother-in-law called to check on me regularly and offer help with the children, cooking, cleaning, or whatever, which I really appreciated; my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles and grandpa) and friends thought what I was doing was awesome and they were all very encouraging; and even my bosses (at two different jobs) were very supportive, and didn’t want me to over exert myself, or risk my or the baby’s health. They were always asking if I felt alright, and making sure I wasn’t doing something I shouldn’t have been.

The intended parents messaged me several times a week to check and see how the baby and I were doing, and let me know they were thinking about us. The whole journey was just incredible, and I was surrounded by love and support from everyone who knew my journey.

What made you decide to choose your Intended Parents?

After a loss with our previous match, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to be a surrogate anymore. Miscarrying was hard, not just physically, but emotionally as well, and I’d never experienced that before. After taking a couple month to heal, I told Claire she could put our profile out there again, and immediately the intended parents chose us. They knew the story behind our last match/loss and were very caring and understanding.

As soon as we skyped with them, I knew they would be amazing parents so that made saying yes easy. The more we spoke to them, the closer we got, and the more confident I was in knowing we were helping an amazing and deserving couple. They were such genuine people. I was worried that when they came to visit it would be a little awkward since we hadn’t met in person before, but when they got here, it was like we had known them our entire lives! They were great with our children, and so grateful for what we were doing for them.

We introduced them to my parents, my brothers, and my mother-in-law; they even attended one of my daughter’s softball games! Everyone was so excited to meet them. I was honored to be doing this journey for them, and I cried when they left. When we started this journey, they were just two people we were lucky enough to be able to help, but now they’re family!

What are some of the highlights of your journey?

I think after having a failed transfer, one of the highlights was seeing how excited they were after the second transfer was successful. It was amazing meeting them for the first time; they flew over so they could attend the ultrasound to find out what they were having, since they transferred a male and female embryo and I was only pregnant with a single baby. Getting to experience the gender ultrasound together was such an emotional thing, we all cried and hugged when we found out they were having a boy.

The most amazing thing was by far, though, the actual birth. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about them being in the room and watching, but after speaking to my husband and mom about it, we all agreed that they should get to experience the miracle of watching their son enter the world. Seeing their faces as their son took his first breath was an experience I’ll never forget. I cried as they cried, knowing they had waited their whole lives to meet this little guy, and I helped them achieve their dream of being parents. Speaking to one of the nurses later, she said she could feel the love in the room, she even thanked me for allowing her to experience such an incredible thing.

We keep in contact several times a week, and they send me pictures and videos so I can watch their son grow. I am so grateful for our relationship, and so excited that they have asked me to do a sibling journey for them.

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

I tell anyone who’s interested in being a gestational surrogate to definitely look into and consider doing it. I thought my experience would be a good one, but it was so much more than I had even imagined it would be, and I gained an entire family out of it! I cannot say enough positive things about this entire journey! The way I describe it to people is that I was able to experience a new type of love. The love I have for my parents and brothers is different than the love I have for my husband, and both of those are different than the love I have for my children. I love my surrogate baby and his parents too, and until you experience that kind of love for yourself, nobody can even try to explain it to you because you just won’t understand.

Family Source Consultants was there for me not just during this amazing experience, but they were there for me during the miscarriage as well. They were supportive and caring. I never felt like I was just a number or paycheck. They made sure to check on me, and let me know that I wasn’t alone. They were the reason I decided to proceed with being matched a second time, and I’m so glad that I did! After the successful transfer, Claire and Denise celebrated all the little milestones along with way with me, always sending me words of encouragement and checking on me. After the delivery, Claire sent me a beautiful bracelet with my surrogate baby’s name and date of birth on it. I highly recommend FSC and I can’t wait to work with them again!

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.