I have a lot of ground to cover in this surrogacy section of my blog. I’ve been a Gestational Surrogate twice and I am gearing up to do a third - which happens to be a sibling journey for one of the families I have already worked with. I have also worked for the surrogacy agency that walked me through my surrogacies, allowing me to work with other families and matches in their journies.
I’ll begin with how and why I got into surrogacy in the first place.
I married young, the first of any of my friends. I gained a bonus daughter in the marriage so I was already parenting in my early 20’s. This lead us to having our own first child together fairly early into the marriage, then followed with a second a few years later. I was fortunate to have 2 easy, healthy pregnancies & deliveries for my own two bio-kids. I was a mom of 3 just after my 28th birthday. Perhaps it’s just genetics, but I believe having kids young helped to make everything go smoothly. I know from being in the surrogacy industry, that things just get harder with age.
Since I was done having kids by the time all my other friends & family were just starting, it was hard to see some of them go through fertility struggles. I didn’t know what that was like. I got pregnant fairly quickly both times and had never had any miscarriages. I know, lots of you reading this hate me a little bit now. I’m sorry. My heart was hurting, though, watching others go through heartbreak after heartbreak and here I was with two healthy kids. I almost felt guilty, but one should never feel guilty for receiving blessings. I tried to quickly replace it with gratitude.
I wanted to help everyone. One family member in particular had a few failed attempts while working with an IVF clinic. One attempt was successful, actually, but then led to a fetal loss early in the second trimester. My heart ached. I thought I wish I could do something. I wish I could just carry a baby for them. One night, I was randomly scrolling through Craigslist and stumbled upon ads for egg donation and surrogacy. Then something clicked - I thought Wait. Maybe I can help my family member. People actually do carry babies for people! Then I started googling and researching and overloading myself with information. I wanted to know everything about it. I called my husband and informed him of my plan. He thought I was crazy, of course. But by the time I got home a couple hours later, he had already done his own research and read stories of intended parents who needed to use a surrogate. Those stories touched him. He said “If you think you can do this, you have my support.”
I then reached out to that family member who was struggling over the phone. That was not an easy conversation. People who are struggling with fertility issues often don’t talk about it. It can be hard to talk about and they feel so alone because no one else is talking about it. It can turn into a very lonely battle for most people. I basically told that family member that I didn’t know if they needed it or wanted it, but if they ever reach a point in their journey where surrogacy is an option, I would be happy to carry their baby for them. They expressed gratitude and said they would discuss it. It felt like months before they got back to me, but in reality it was probably a month at the most. They appreciated my offer but wanted to try on their own one last time. Guess what? That one last time resulted in the most precious baby boy!! So, so, SO happy for them.
I couldn’t let it go, though. I still felt drawn to surrogacy. It was almost like I had already made up my mind that I was going to do it. My husband suggested going through an agency that matches surrogates with Intended Parents. So, I googled and contacted one. I think I went with the first one that popped up. When I filled out the application, I didn’t even realize they were based in another state. I called to explain that I really wanted to find Intended Parents that were somewhat local to me (or at least a short plane ride) so that they could attend appointments and be part of the experience. The agency swore up & down that they had tons of IPs (Intended Parents) in my state. They then proceeded to send me tons of applications of IPs in other states as well as other countries! Every time I called them I felt like a number… like they didn’t even care what was important to me. That agency shall go unnamed...
My hubby suggested that I contact an agency based in the west coast (I’m in California), so I googled “west coast surrogacy agencies”. Well, the first one to pop up was West Coast Surrogacy. How clever of them! I called and the person that answered the phone was the director and founder of the company. I instantly knew it was a better fit for me. It was through this agency that I embarked on an exciting and fulfilling journey in surrogacy. My life is forever changed for the better.