Surrogate Story: October
What month and year was your surrogate baby born?
What originally inspired you to look into surrogacy?
"I first began thinking about surrogacy after the birth of our second child. My two pregnancies had been pretty easy, with no morning sickness and a general feeling of wellness throughout, and I thought it was something I could give to someone who was struggling to grow their family. After our third (and last) baby, I started looking into the process in earnest."
What was your favorite or most memorable moment during this whole process?
“What could be more memorable than the birth?! It was my fastest labor and has been my easiest recovery, as well. I have many great memories of the process, from the first match meeting to our post-birth meet-ups to give our IPs breastmilk and snuggle their sweet baby. It's all been amazing!”
What was the most unexpected part of this process?
“I did not anticipate how intense the pre-transfer process would be. I knew the steps involved, in theory, but having it all laid out in my calendar, with the schedule of meds and vast number of appointments, was a little shocking.”
How was the matching process?
"Pretty easy. The im gave me a a letter after hearing about me and I just fell in love with her aA bit like online dating, haha! We had previously been matched with a couple who found themselves pregnant before we even started contracts, so we were a little disheartened, thinking it would take months to get another profile, but that was not the case! I think it was maybe a week or two later when we were sent another profile, with almost an immediate request for a match meeting. It took another couple weeks before our schedules aligned, but once we met them, it was clear that we would get along wonderfully. We had no doubts!"
How was the pregnancy and how involved were the Intended Parents during the pregnancy?
"The pregnancy was as easy as my previous three, with no nausea and me able to continue my normal activities and gym workouts (where I would often take my "bump day" pictures for our IPs). There was only one appointment, in the 1st trimester, where neither of them were available to attend; otherwise, they were with me every step of the way!"
How did you talk to your kids about surrogacy before, during and after the birth?
"We were very open with our kids about what we were doing. Once we were matched and had contracts signed, we bought the book, "The Kangaroo Pouch," and read it to them, explaining how I would be doing the same thing: growing a baby for another family. I've found that kids are much more open and accepting of such things than adults! They hardly blinked at the concept and didn't have many questions. I think it really helped that we were matched with a local family so our kids could meet and interact with them, especially for our 3yr-old."
How was your delivery and post-pregnancy?
"Labor was abrupt and delivery was fast! Everything went perfectly, even though we were a little nervous about making it to the hospital in time. Post-delivery was great, with no complications, and the fun we were all having netted us a couple rooms at the end of the hall (away from the other patients) while our kids all frolicked together."
What were your feelings when you saw the IP(s) hold their baby for the first time?
"Pure joy! I had the privilege of announcing baby's sex (it's a girl!), then handing her directly to them for skin-to-skin. It was an incredible feeling; an incredible moment."
What was one thing you wished you would have had in your hospital bag that you forgot?
"I was actually over-packed, which is not my usual M.O., but labor was so fast and post-delivery so easy that we didn't use half of the things I brought!"
What is your relationship and contact with the Intended Parents now?
"We're pretty close! Since I am pumping breastmilk for them, we meet up often out of necessity, but we try to do play dates and meals together when schedules allow, so it's not just a quick hand-off."
What were some of the benefits of working with an agency?
"Oh goodness, all the benefits! I think I would have been incredibly stressed going through the entire process without them. I knew I had multiple people I could call/text/email if I had any questions or just wanted to talk about what was happening at any step of the way. The support that was (and still is) available to me is incredible."
What did your kid(s) and/or parter say when meeting the baby?
"My husband was so supportive throughout labor and was of great encouragement during delivery. I don't remember what he said, but he enjoyed holding her! She recognized his voice and would turn her head towards him when he spoke. Our kids have adored her from the start! They announced that she was the cutest baby ever and love snuggling her."
If you decided to be a gestational carrier again, what would be the reason?
"My husband and I haven't decided for sure, but we have agreed that the only way we would consider doing it again would be if our IPs requested a sibling journey. We could not imagine maintaining the same kind of relationship with another family."