Thanks for sharing your story with us, @Tovermars!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
I live in southern NH with my husband and our 3 sons. I work outside the home at a local non-profit, although since COVID I've been lucky enough to work remotely. We enjoy hiking, the outdoors, adventures and family time.
Tell us about your surrogacy story.
After signing up with ConceiveAbilities, I was matched pretty quickly with a couple just a few states away. This was all right when COVID/lockdowns began, so it was a crazy time! I drove down for my medical work up to the clinic in NJ, and we had our first embryo transfer September 2020. It was successful, though unfortunately we had an early missed miscarriage discovered at our 8 week monitoring appointment. After a long few months getting back my body back on track after the D&C, we had our second transfer March 2021. I am now 26 weeks pregnant with my IP's baby girl!
What inspired you to become a surrogate?
I wanted to become a surrogate ever since the birth of my oldest son. Being able to be part of that moment of giving someone their child was something that really spoke to me. I was lucky enough to have easy pregnancies and deliveries with my own children, so thought, why not?!
How did you know it was the right time for your family to embark on your surrogacy journey?
We knew after the birth of our youngest son that our family was complete. After I finished nursing him, I knew the time was right to pursue surrogacy!
How did your partner, friends and family feel about your decision and how did they support you?
My husband has been hearing about surrogacy for years, so he knew it was coming! My friends and family were very supportive, although the information is always a bit more shocking for the older generations! It's nice to be able to inform people and educate them on the process. Everyone loves to check in and help out however they can!
Tell us about matching with your intended parents.
We were so nervous for the match meeting! It's such a huge thing to be entrusted with, and I wanted to make a good impression. Our match meeting went great, and we felt like it was the right fit for us to move forward. We have been through a lot together, and they're very supportive and we communicate frequently!
How does it feel to be able to give the gift of family?
I cannot WAIT to give my IP's their daughter! It brings a smile to my face everytime I think about the moment. Such a unique and special thing to be able to do.
What has been the most rewarding part of your surrogate experience?
I think pushing through the uncertainty and the difficult moments that occurred throughout the IVF process and the first half of the pregnancy. We had a bumpy road for sure, so persevering through that to get where we are today is very rewarding. Knowing all the sacrifices I made were worthwhile!
How did becoming a surrogate change your life?
It has given me a different appreciation for my own children. Of course I have always been grateful that I was able to conceive them so easily, but actually going through the IVF process and seeing first hand how many things need to be "perfect" for it to work, it definitely gave me a different outlook and gratitude for my boys.
What is something you wish you had known or was surprising to you about becoming a surrogate?
That it doesn't always go by the book. I think I assumed because I had been fortunate enough to have textbook pregnancies that it would also just go according to plan. We have been thrown a lot of curveballs throughout this journey with first the miscarriage, then recovering from the miscarriage and then discovering our current pregnancy is high risk. I never considered a scenario where the first embryo transfer wouldn't lead to a live birth. It's been eye opening!
What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a surrogate?
Go with your gut! I think you know whether this is the right thing for you or not, deep down. Although "taking the plunge" is still scary! Your family and partner definitely need to be on board because there are many sacrifices beyond the obvious that can pop up, and the support is crucial!
Any other wisdom on being a surrogate that you think would help someone on their journey that we didn’t ask?
It's not easy, but I've never had a moment of regret. Having the privilege of giving someone their child is something I am grateful for every day!