My Surrogacy Experience

We are delighted to have for Surrogate J guest blog on what her experiences has been like so far throughout her surrogacy journey.

How has this pregnancy been different than your own?

We surely took a different approach to get to this point with various medical and psychological screenings, medications, as well as many appointments with the IVF clinic. With my own pregnancies, we were extremely fortunate to become pregnant with our children naturally. For obvious reasons, the beginning of this journey was very different for me, and extremely insightful. I was always aware that others struggled with conceiving for so many different reasons, but this truly helped me to better sympathize with the hardships that couples go through to bring a beautiful life into this world. Once that was all past, and the precious cargo started growing, this pregnancy hasn’t really been all that different overall from my other pregnancies. My mind and body have taken over instinctually. I think about, talk to, read to, and nourish the baby night and day, like that of my own children. I enjoy the little kicks inside my tummy. I had a lot of morning sickness with this pregnancy, where my previous pregnancies were much more forgiving in the first trimester, but the second trimester has treated my body (and the baby) very well. I do have to say, though, that my feelings and emotions have changed so much in comparison to my pregnancies with my own children, and not necessarily due to hormones. Carrying someone else’s baby, trying to help the Intended Parents feel included and connected every step of the way, has been more of a focus for me. I am constantly trying to put myself in their situation and considering their feelings, emotions, and celebrating their triumphs with them, no matter the magnitude. I’m so grateful to work with them, they are so deserving and have waited for these little moments, that I want to share all the little details and milestones with them.

What has been the most challenging part of the journey thus far?

We have been extremely fortunate that overall, this journey has run smoothly, and I cannot thank the intended parents, medical staff, and Guided Surrogacy Solutions agency members enough for creating a welcoming environment. My husband and I honestly work with the most perfect couple of intended parents, that make all of this so worthwhile and fulfilling. Overall, I’m typically a very positive person, and although I wouldn’t consider it a challenge, but more of a discomfort, I would have to say that the medications took some time getting used to. The medications might have been one of the more difficult tasks, only because it was so new to me, but they quickly became the new normal as time continued. Another discomfort that I faced was the plague of morning sickness during the first trimester of this pregnancy. It took a lot of my energy while working full time as a teacher and having my own family to take care of. Thankfully, my husband was wonderful and picked up the loose pieces at home while I wasn’t feeling the greatest.

When did you tell your children and how did they react?

We chose to wait to tell our children about our journey until we hit the 17-week mark, knowing that I would quickly begin showing with my smaller body structure. Our three children were all very accepting from the beginning. Although I was nervous about explaining it to them, deep down I knew that they would accept and love what our household was able to do for another family. Each of our children had different reactions. Our oldest, a 9-year-old boy, was very interested in the science behind taking a microscopic embryo from one person and placing it inside another person to grow until the delivery of the baby. Our middle child, a 7-year-old boy, noted how nice it was and went about his business as usual, although did remind mommy to be careful near slippery ice all winter long. And our youngest, a 5-year-old girl, thought that mommy’s new babysitting job was “really cool.” She currently loves rubbing the baby belly to feel kicks and prays for the baby and intended parents each night. As educators, my husband and I really value books. We used a book called, “The Kangaroo Pouch: A story about surrogacy for young children” by Sarah A. Phillips to aid in our discussion about surrogacy and to allow our children to process in multiple ways. Our children fully understand that they are not getting another sibling and that our family of five is happy and complete, but that we are helping the baby grow until its ready to go to its real mommy and daddy when the doctors take it out.

Describe your relationship with your intended parents

Our intended parents are so delightful to work with. After some of the hardships that they have faced, we feel so privileged to be in their lives and to help them bring their baby into this world. We love the outpouring of kindness, love, and respect that they have for us, and the feeling is mutual. I always feel supported at appointments and throughout the days in between. I look forward to sharing new information about their little one with them and thoroughly enjoy their company at appointments. Right now, we share weekly bump pictures each week, but I truly look forward to the time where the intended parents begin sending me pictures of milestones of the little one as he/she grows up. This journey has brought us closer together for obvious reasons and it is something that will be everlasting. It is a relationship that my husband and I will value for a lifetime.

What is one thing so far that has surprised you or you didn’t expect on your surrogacy journey?

I’m slightly surprised at how confident and sure I have felt this entire time about what I am doing in this surrogacy journey. Typically, when I go through a life-changing time, I tend to overthink or second guess myself. But it has not been like that at all for me with our surrogacy journey. I truly know that my heart and spirit are in the right place and that it feels right in so many ways. I feel so supported from our friends and family, and of course our wonderful IP’s, and the agency support with Guided Surrogacy Solutions.

What does your support system look like and how has this person(s) supported/encouraged you throughout your journey?

Prior to beginning our journey, my husband and I both agreed that surrogacy was something we wanted to do, we had done our research for a few years, but before being able to move forward and fully commit, we wanted the support from our parents. We are extremely fortunate to be so close to both sets of parents, emotionally and physically, living only a few miles from each and maintaining very strong relationships. But, both of our families come from very traditional backgrounds and at first, my husband and I weren’t sure if our parents would understand and accept us going down the surrogacy path, but as always, they are all so supportive and loving. They have always supported our hopes and dreams as children and now adults, which has remained true for this journey also. They asked the hard questions in concern, to make sure that we have thought through all the positives and negatives, but overall, fully supported our idea of helping another family and commend us for our efforts.

What has your experience been like explaining surrogacy to others?

Our close network of friends and family knew about our intentions for our journey prior to it being official. They were not surprised when we announced that we were successful in moving forward with a pregnancy and continuously offer their love and support. We just recently started sharing our journey with our other extended friends and family, who have all been supportive, delighted, and inquisitive when we shared the news. Many of our friends and family had the obvious questions of curiosity about how the process all works, which we have always feel glad to share, as it is such an intricate process, but something that that my husband and I feel confident in sharing with others.

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