Courtney Armstrong

Surrogate Story: January

What month and year was your surrogate baby born?

November 2018

What originally inspired you to look into surrogacy?

"I enjoy being pregnant and have pretty easy labors (just don't ask me at the time!), but my husband and I do not want any more children of our own. I have seen many surrogate cases in my job as a NICU nurse, and it felt like something I should pursue."

What was your favorite or most memorable moment during this whole process?

“Definitely the birth! The weight of emotions felt in that first hug with the IPs made it all worth it!”

What was the most unexpected part of this process?  

“How much education there would be with other people. Once someone would find out I was a surrogate (stranger or acquaintance), there was always a follow-up game of 20 Questions!”

How was the matching process?

"The matching process went so smoothly! These parents were the first ones I was presented with, and they were exactly what I had imagined! We all have a similar sense of humor and laid-back personalities. I really appreciate that Colorado Surrogacy puts a lot of thought into who they think would be a good match, rather than just presenting the IPs with a "menu" of GCs."

How was the pregnancy and how involved were the Intended Parents during the pregnancy?

"The pregnancy was textbook. I felt great throughout the entire 9 months but was ready to be done in that last week or two. The IPs were very involved, coming to every OB appointment and frequently asking me how I was doing. We also got together many times just to socialize, both on double-dates (we went ax-throwing!) and with our kids, as they have a daughter, too (to the pumpkin patch, swimming pool, Butterfly Pavilion, etc). We also attended their gender reveal party and they came to my daughter's birthday party."

How did you talk to other people about the process, like your friends and family? Even strangers?

"We told our close friends and family at the beginning of the process because we really wanted their support. They were all great! I tried to be pretty transparent with most people because I think the more surrogacy is talked about, the more normalized it becomes. And you never know who may be interested in becoming a GC themselves!"

How did you talk to your kids about surrogacy before, during and after the birth?

“We approached our kids (ages 2, 4, and 6) by saying, "What would you think about mommy carrying a baby in her tummy for someone else? It wouldn't be our baby, we wouldn't bring it home, but we would help someone who couldn't have a baby of their own." They were all ok with it. We did read, ‘The Kangaroo Pouch’ which helped to explain the concept. I think the fact that we were so close with our IPs and their daughter made the process seem less abstract to our kids, as they knew exactly whose baby this was.”

How was your delivery and post-pregnancy?

"The delivery went great! The IPs were there during the entire labor and were able to hold the baby immediately after birth. Post-pregnancy has been going well. I am pumping milk for surrobabe so I'm still able to see them every few days for milk delivery."

What were your feelings when you saw the IP(s) hold their baby for the first time?

"It truly made the whole experience worth it! I felt nothing but extreme happiness for them! Friends and family were worried that I would feel some sort of sadness once the baby was delivered, but honestly I was so much more connected to the IPs than the baby that I just couldn't wait to give their baby to them!"

What was one thing you wished you would have had in your hospital bag that you forgot?

"Liquor ;-)"

What did your kid(s) and/or parter say when meeting the baby?

“My husband teared up in the delivery room, seeing the IPs with their baby. My kids thought he was ‘just sooo cute!’”

What is your relationship and contact with the Intended Parents now?

"We still see each other every few days for milk delivery. I am so happy that they live close enough for this to be possible. Throughout this journey we really became close, and now they feel like extended family."

What were some of the benefits of working with an agency?

"As a GC, the agency is great when it comes to discussing anything financial. It is always an awkward/sensitive subject to bring up, and the fact that you don't have to discuss it with the IPs and can instead focus on building your relationship is paramount. The agency is also great at supporting you emotionally, hosting many support groups, and having a social worker check in with you monthly. Because my journey went so smoothly I didn't really utilize these services, but it is great to know they are there should I have had any issues."

What words of wisdom would you share with other/newer gestational carriers?

"When things get tough, try to remember why you're doing this. And if your journey doesn't go exactly as you'd imagined, know that you still did an amazing thing!"

If you decided to be a gestational carrier again, what would be the reason?

"Seeing the joy on the new parents' faces when their baby is finally in their arms!"

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