It was when one of my friends had trouble conceiving, that I thought of helping another couple have a baby as a surrogate. But at that time, I had no knowledge about surrogacy, how to begin, who to talk to, what it involved, so I didn't take it any further.
In 2008, there was no single force or influence that led me to finally take the steps to begin, rather my heart kept pulling me to become a surrogate mother. I began researching the surrogacy medical process, costs of surrogacy and states where surrogacy is legal. I knew this decision wasn’t mine to make alone, so I talked with my husband and son to see if they were willing to take this journey with me. After receiving their support, I began trying to find a surrogate mother agency. It was a tedious process of navigating through promotion after promotion of agencies promising huge surrogate mother compensation. It was difficult to find an surrogacy agency that I felt was going to provide me with the best guidance and support as a gestational carrier.
After selecting a surrogacy agency, having my application approved and submitting my carrier profile, I was informed that a couple was interested in learning more about me. A call was arranged with Blair and her husband. Questions were asked and almost immediately after the call ended, I knew I had found the right match. The journey we began together was one of joy, uncertainty, blind faith and caring. I soon discovered that no amount of research or planning could prepare me for each phase of the surrogacy process, and at times I didn’t know where to turn for advice or support. Both the intended parents and I had questions regarding how often we should speak, how to handle updates on doctor appointments, and whether or not it was appropriate to discuss things beyond my pregnancy. Even though we naturally formed a relationship, the entire process was new to all of us.
In August of 2009, the intended parent's and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl. Carrying a child for someone else was a huge honor for me but seeing them hold this little angel is a moment I will never forget.
After returning home from the hospital, I felt a unique mix of emotions – great happiness for the new parents, a sense of satisfaction that I was able to give this gift to a loving couple, but also a little sadness. The sadness did not stem from separation from the baby. Rather, it was the extreme of going from months of planning and excitement to now it all being over. Alone in my bedroom, I began to cry. I felt better after letting the emotion out, but I wondered why there was no support group to assist carriers after birth. No one prepared me for the "fourth trimester" of this pregnancy.
While my family was very supportive before, during and after the pregnancy, I was completely surprised by the support from my intended parents. Blair's compassion and concern for how I was feeling was amazing and so appreciated. She couldn’t begin to understand exactly what I was feeling, but she did know she wanted to be there for me anyway she could.
Each relationship will vary depending on the Intended Parent and Gestational Carrier’s expectations and feelings. Having open communication and being honest right from the beginning on your values, beliefs and expectations creates the framework for a successful journey. I am very proud that in 2012 I was able to help another family achieve their dream. On April 17, 2012 I delivered twin boys for another great couple. I am still close to both families and cherish every photo, conversation and visit.