That little bundle, all wrapped up, perfect peachy skin, a head of jet black hair, looking up at you with those big, wide eyes and perfect lips. Your heart swells as big as can be when you finally see that precious little face of sweetness. You know you’ve done it! You have lasted nine long months, with the aches, the pains, the lack of sleep, the bathroom every hour on the hour, the weight gain and swelling, the fatigue, the morning sickness! All worth the wait when you hold that 6lb 3oz baby boy, his fathers namesake and carrying all your hopes and dreams within him.
I was young. 21 to be exact when the test came back positive. I was excited, nervous and overwhelmed with the thought of becoming a mother! My husband and I married young and we were ready to start our family, but had expectations it wouldn’t happen so soon. We were lucky we did not have to try very long and starting our family came easy for us. Baby one and two were planned and happened when we chose. When it came time to plan baby three and it did not happen when we wanted it to, instant panic set in. What if we couldn’t get pregnant again? At the time we knew both friends and family struggling to start their families and fear washed over me. I didn’t want my family to be complete, but maybe my body was telling me it was done. I tried not to overthink it, stress over it, or let it consume me, but that is exactly what it does. It takes over your whole mind, the anxiety of waiting every month to see if you are pregnant or not just weighs heavy on you. It is a feeling I don’t wish on anyone.
We didn’t end up having to wait too long, and not only did baby three come, we also had a baby four. But those feelings of anxiety and fear, about not being able to have a baby when I wanted to and not knowing why, really stuck around and lingered for me. My heart just broke knowing so many women and families struggled with creating the families they so longingly wanted to have and experienced those same feelings way too often. I decided that if I could just help them in some way to create that family, I wanted to and was going to, so I did. I am proud to say I am a two time surrogate. I have helped create two families in this world and it is one of my most proud accomplishments. When I had made the decision to be a surrogate there was very little information out there. I was pretty much relying on what we know about celebrity surrogates and the movie Baby Mama. It was a little terrifying to say the least. But, like any good millennial, I decided to hop on google and see what I could find out. What exactly is a surrogate? There are two types, a gestational carrier or a traditional carrier.
Traditional is what it sounds like, the good ‘ol turkey baster method! Just kidding, not really. Traditional surrogates do use their own egg though, and I was not willing to do that. Gestational was the route for me, and that is when you are not biologically connected to the baby in any way. You are strictly the oven and that’s it! The intended parents already have tested embryos at their fertility clinic that are then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus.I knew about what type of surrogate I wanted to be now, I needed to find someone to have a baby for, right?! So, now what?! How do I find them?!
Insert more google searching and I learned a lot about having an independent journey or using an agency. I had originally thought I would be a surrogate for someone I knew, a friend or family member, but it was not easy to figure out all the details for that. The lawyers and legal side of things, the IVF and just the overall process. I didn’t know the steps of how to be a surrogate, I didn’t know what paperwork needed to be done, so I chose to use an agency. I stumbled across Circle Surrogacy and it was like instant family! They made me feel comfortable and answered all my million questions. The social workers made themselves available to you at all times so you always felt like you had support and encouragement. I could not have asked for a better agency.
I am forever grateful to them.
After I was approved and ready to be a surrogate, it all went very fast! You fill out a 300+ questionnaire about everything under the sun and create a profile on your life to be matched with intended parents, or IPs. Think of it like creating a dating profile, because that is sort of how it felt. You include your pictures and talk about your likes and dislikes and this is used to show IPs, and what you see from IPs to see if they are a good fit for you. Its quite impressive how great they are at matching people from these profiles. After matching you go through medical screening and paperwork. Then you start meds, finalize legal contracts and get ready for embryo transfer! Its time for the big day, you think sticky thoughts the whole time and pray that you can create this life for this family.
Being a surrogate is such a gift. Our bodies combined with modern medicine practices allowing us to create families is such a blessing to everyone! Being able to hear that babies heartbeat for the first time and share that with a family that has been waiting for so long, after experiencing potentially heartache after heartache is the best feeling in the world.I cannot explain the amount of love and respect you gain after a surrogacy journey. I commonly get asked, or it’s frequently said to me by people they don’t think they could be a surrogate because they cannot give the baby up. The truth is you’re not giving a baby up, you are giving a baby BACK. It was never your baby to keep. During your journey, sharing those ultrasounds and creating a bond with the IPs throughout that year fills you with such joy. Seeing that mothers face when she gets to hold her baby for the first time, it gives all the feels. You know you have just created a miracle and given new meaning to the word family.
My surrobabes are 4 and 2 now, and I’m happy to say that I still communicate with both families regularly. They send updates frequently and I feel like the fun aunt out in Kansas that spoils them for the holidays. I wish I could have babies for everyone but my uterus is now retired. I love knowing I did grow two beautiful babies out there and have forever bonds with them. Since I am not having anymore babies, I’m now a proud surrogate advocate with Circle Surrogacy. I love to share my journey and answer any questions people have about the process. There is so much misinformation out there I love to share and help anyway I can, just with my words and not my body this time.