Sister helps sibling build her family through surrogacy

Submitted to Surrogacy Stories

We love this first person account in Today's Parent, where Emily shares the story of her journey to parenthood via surrogacy - with her sister being both the egg donor and gestational carrier ♥️

When I was growing up, people would ask me what I wanted to be, and I told them, "I want to be a mom." I’ve been an aunt since I was ten years old. I’ve always been around babies—it’s always something I’ve loved.

When I went off to college, I still hadn’t had a menstrual cycle yet. I was an athlete, and so I just brushed it off. [The doctors] basically came to the conclusion that I have premature ovarian failure. It just means that my ovaries don’t work like they’re supposed to.

I remember telling my sisters what the doctor had said, and my older sister, Bailey, said, “One of us will carry for you. You’re going to get your family.” At the time I thought it was cool but in the back of my head I was thinking that I didn’t want to ask anyone to do that for us.

We did traditional surrogacy because we couldn’t use my eggs, so Bailey was also our egg donor. The day that she was supposed to be induced, Tyler and I, as well as Bailey’s husband, were all allowed to be there. We FaceTimed my family and all of my sisters and my mom got to watch him be born. Because usually, births are a family affair. I’ve seen like 11 babies be born, so this was nothing new to me. I didn’t birth August James, but we got the full experience of him being born. We had our room next to Bailey’s, and she would pump and we’d bring him over.

I really feel like I’m living my dream life. Obviously I didn’t grow up thinking that I was not going to be able to carry my child or any of that stuff, but when I was growing up, this was what I dreamt of. He got here in a slightly different way than I had planned, but he’s still here and it’s perfect.

This is just our normal. People ask, “Is he going to grow up and ask about his biological mom?” and I’m like, “No, because this is just his life.” Then people ask, “Are you going to tell him your sister carried him?”, and I’m like, “Are we keeping secrets in 2021? That’s not an option here.” We’re so proud of our journey.