Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
I have been married for 11 years to my husband Lucky, and we have two children, Carter (9.5) and Arie (almost 6). We love bike rides, family game nights, and are Chicago Bulls season ticket holders.
Tell us about your surrogacy story.
I started my first journey in January 2019 when I applied for ConceiveAbilities. I was matched at the end of March, flew to Connecticut for my medical workup in July, finished legal in September, started meds in October, and had my transfer in December. COVID-19 shut everything in Chicago down when I was about 16 weeks, and the rest of the journey was strange because I was home from work and not really seeing people! I stayed in touch with the family through FaceTime, and they came a few weeks before the baby was born. We visited with them and their 2-year-old daughter up until the baby was born in August 2020. It was my most difficult labor and delivery, but overall everything went well. She was absolutely amazing!
What inspired you to become a surrogate?
The family I worked for throughout college had twins via a surrogate, and it was always something I found beautiful and fascinating. I knew right away that I wanted to do it once we had our own kids. Having had my own children with relatively easy pregnancies and labor/deliveries, and knowing so many people who either had negative experiences or had so many fertility issues, I knew I had to do it.
How did you know it was the right time for your family to embark on your surrogacy journey?
I wanted to do it when my youngest was around 3, so I applied right after her birthday.
How did your partner, friends and family feel about your decision and how did they support you?
Everyone has been so supportive. My husband is there for me through everything, my kids think it's amazing and love the idea of connecting with other families in this way, and the majority of people I work with/am friends with were in awe of it.
Tell us about matching with your intended parents.
The matching process seemed to me to be very thorough and thoughtful. We had a match meeting with a ConceiveAbilities mediator, and we just enjoyed getting to know each other and feeling out each other's vibe.
How does it feel to be able to give the gift of family?
Honestly, I love the feeling of being pregnant, and to know that I can do that while also providing someone with the gift of family is like a completely blissful win-win situation for me!
What has been the most rewarding part of your surrogate experience?
I think the most rewarding part of being a surrogate, besides connecting with the family, has been connecting with other surrogates and finding a whole group of new friends who I can talk to about so many things.
How did becoming a surrogate change your life?
Becoming a surrogate changed my life because I've been able to spread awareness of surrogacy as an option for having a family. Most of my family and friends had not heard much about surrogacy or had preconceived ideas about what it entails, and I was able to share that experience and help people gain an understanding of the process.
What is something you wish you had known or was surprising to you about becoming a surrogate?
This sounds so silly, but looking back, I did not realize that it was essentially doing IVF on yourself with all of the meds and everything!
What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a surrogate?
I would tell someone thinking about surrogacy to be ready for a lot of questions about it, be ready to be open to discussing your feelings and all the things happening with your body, and give yourself grace as you go through a lot of different emotions throughout the process!
Any other wisdom on being a surrogate that you think would help someone on their journey that we didn’t ask?
While all of us surrogates are going through similar experiences and you can always find someone who's been through it to help you, we all have a lot of differences and whatever you feel or go through is your own personal journey and is beautiful in it's own way!