Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
My name is Michelle Brown. I am married to my husband Bill and we have 2 boys, Myles is 7 years old and Max is 4 years old. We live in Northeast Georgia, we relocated from Florida in 2019 for my husband's job and a fresh start.
Tell us about your surrogacy story.
I read an article in People magazine about a surrogacy agency and a few of their families that they had worked with to complete their family. I became really interested in surrogacy and tried to learn more. I came across ConceiveAbilities and contacted them to find out what was involved in the surrogacy process. I was matched eventually with a wonderful family from New Jersey and we connected almost right away.
What inspired you to become a surrogate?
After reading the magazine article I tried to research more and find out about other surrogate stories. A lot of what I found was from the perspective of the intended parent. I realized how difficult it must be to want to have a baby so badly but your body just won't cooperate. It really got me thinking. I had two very easy pregnancy experiences and thought I could easily do it again for someone else. I talked about it with my husband and he agreed that it would be an amazing thing to do for a family.
How did you know it was the right time for your family to embark on your surrogacy journey?
When we moved to Georgia I became a stay at home mom. My older son was in Kindergarten and my younger son was going to be starting school the next year. Having them be more independent and out of the diaper, bottle, toddler stages made the decision easy. I thought what better time to start this journey. It helped give me a sense of purpose and a feeling of being grateful for what I have in my own life.
How did your partner, friends and family feel about your decision and how did they support you?
My husband didn't hesitate one bit when I told him that I wanted to become a gestational carrier. He was very happy and felt lucky that our family could help build another family. I had a few friends back home that I told about the process and they were very happy and excited for us. They have asked for updates throughout the process and have always been there to talk to. One thing really helps too is when I meet someone new and they ask about the baby. When I tell them I am a carrier they always have the nicest things to say. It just solidifies my decision to do this even more.
Tell us about matching with your intended parents.
I was matched with a different couple at first for a few weeks and it ended up not working out. A few weeks later I got a call about a family in New Jersey that has a young son and wanted to complete their family. As soon as we had our Match Meeting I knew that the first family didn't work out because this family is the family that I was meant to help. As soon as we started signing contracts, etc. we began texting each other. I felt an instant connection to the Intended Mother. Our lives are very different in many ways but I feel so connected to her and am enjoying getting to know her and about her life. Our family got to meet her son a few months ago and it was just such a fun, enjoyable experience. I was so thrilled that they could come here where we live and hanging out just felt so natural.
How does it feel to be able to give the gift of family?
It feels incredible and amazing that I can give the gift of family. I am so lucky in my own body that I was able to carry to healthy boys without issue. I am so amazed at modern science and all that goes into the IVF process. I have learned a lot and am so amazed each time I see the baby on the ultrasound screen. I am in awe that I was able to grow a baby for such a wonderful and deserving family.
What has been the most rewarding part of your surrogate experience?
The most rewarding part of the experience has been getting to know the intended mother. She is such a sweet person and she sends me cards and little gifts all the time to let me know how grateful she is to have me. It makes me feel so good inside that I can help her.
How did becoming a surrogate change your life?
I think the biggest way being a surrogate has changed my life is that I now have an extended family of sorts. We are bonded for life now and I couldn't be more thankful that I got matched with the family that I did. I look at fertility so much differently now. I see other couples on the news, etc. and think, wow, I really wish I could help so many more infertile couples or those who can't have children.
What is something you wish you had known or was surprising to you about becoming a surrogate?
The surprising thing to me was to learn about this surrogacy community. I had no idea there were so many women out there doing this. ConceiveAbilities has a support group and I have met so many other women who are doing this journey or have already done it. It's amazing.
What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a surrogate?
The advice I would give is just to make sure that you have a good support system. My husband and my two boys are my support system and I am so thankful to have them.
Any other wisdom on being a surrogate that you think would help someone on their journey that we didn’t ask?