We've been profiling Ashley Katzen and her story of building her family through surrogacy (Getting to Know You: Meet Ashley, My Surrogate Gave Me the Best Holiday Gift Ever, My Surrogacy Journey Through a Global Pandemic, My Long Distance Surrogate.)
Ashley Katzen and her husband recently welcomed their first born son to the world. The couple had diligently planned every step of the process and were looking forward to the big day that was quickly approaching. As the saying goes, however, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Jonathan Lawrence Katzen decided he was ready to meet mom and dad two weeks ahead of schedule, surprising everyone with his early arrival! We asked Ashley to share her reflections surrounding her son’s unexpected entrance with us, and here’s what Ashley had to say:
“The statement ‘nothing ever goes as planned’ couldn’t be any more true than with our birth story. We were originally scheduled to have a C-section at 39 weeks and were planning to arrive a week in advance to spend some extra time with our surrogate, Jenna, ahead of the delivery date. As the weeks progressed, I kept finding myself talking to my husband about what I envisioned would happen while witnessing the birth of our first born son. We described to one another how unbelievably amazing the experience would be for us. Being present for our son’s birth was absolutely the anticipated peak of our surrogacy journey.
At 36 weeks, we made an executive decision to travel to Minnesota at 37 weeks - two full weeks ahead of schedule - based on the evolution of our pregnancy and how it was developing. Exactly one day before our planned flight, my husband received a call from our surrogate’s husband that her water broke. When he gave me this news, my emotions were all over the place… A mix between fear, sadness, disappointment, anger, excitement and happiness washed over me in waves. I could not believe that I’d waited my entire life for this moment and, now, I was going to miss it. My tears and overwhelming panic couldn’t be contained. Everything escalated so quickly from that point on, and before we knew it, we received a FaceTime from our surrogate’s husband indicating that she was going in for a C-section immediately. Thankfully, we were on video chat for the entire birth experience which was truly surreal!
We have been so blessed to have matched with such a wonderful woman who nurtured our child until we arrived at the hospital. My husband and I have promised each other that we will teach our son all the different ways a child can come into this world - and that even though he is genetically ours, without Jenna, he wouldn’t be here. It has officially been 6 weeks since we have welcomed our son, Jonathan Lawrence Katzen, earth side and we could not be happier!”
Here are some pictures that highlight the joy of Ashley’s recent birth experience. Congratulations to the three of them and welcome Jonathan!