People ask us all the time: “Why become a surrogate?” Surrogate motherhood is an incredible way to give back to your community and to help others truly in need.
For many women, the reasons are the same.
Women Choose Surrogate Motherhood To Help Someone They Know
Surrogate motherhood appeals to women who have watched their friends or family members struggle with infertility.
- They have been a shoulder to cry on for someone experiencing the frustration and heartbreak of being unable to conceive.
- They have offered support to loved ones who have been devastated by one or more miscarriages.
- They may have seen programs on television or read stories about couples who connect and bond over the surrogacy process and want to experience this unique opportunity to help.
Women Choose Surrogate Motherhood To Help Other Women in their Community
- There are many ways to give back to your community, but nothing quite compares to helping a couple realize their dream of a family.
- Surrogate mothers don’t have to put their lives on hold to be a surrogate. They can continue to be a stay-at-home mom or can continue to work as they help create the miracle of family for someone else.
- Intended parents are frequently very involved with the pregnancy, attending doctor appointments and hosting baby showers. Working with a surrogate mother allows them to experience pregnancy as well as parenthood
Learn more about how to be a surrogate mother or calling us at 1-800-877-1880 today.
The day that we’ve been working towards has arrived! With nervous anticipation, I somehow managed a good night’s sleep the night before. My husband and I began our two hour drive to the Physicians office after dropping our kids off with family. I thoroughly enjoyed having a couple hours to visit with my husband on our drive.
When we got to the physicians office, we were greeted by the Intended Parents. After checking in, I was taken back for pre-procedure acupuncture, which I found to be so incredibly relaxing. The transfer itself is very quick, and completely painless. My husband, Intended Mother, Physician, Nurse, and Embryologist were all in the room with me. We transferred 2 beautiful embryos, and all crossed our fingers. I was so thankful that the IP’s were able to be present, and experience the transfer with us, after all this is their baby!
After the transfer procedure, I had yet another round of acupuncture. By the time we left the physicians office 20 minutes later, I felt like a marshmallow! Incredibly relaxed and comfortable, my husband and I made our way home, and I spent two days on bed rest. We had a schedule for our first Beta (test for HCG hormone levels) eight days later.
After seeing the doctor for a baseline ultrasound and blood work, I have been cleared to start “cycling.” Now my medications have arrived! I literally received a chilled “pharmacy in a box” (some of the meds require refrigeration) via fed-ex. The box itself wasn’t that big. Once opened, contents seemed to grow! I now have all of the medications and supplies that I will be taking before the transfer.
I start out with Lupron. Immediately after placing this into the refrigerator, I go online to Google its side effects, which, lets face it, is always an exciting educational experience! Side effects include: tingling, itching, headache, dizziness, weight gain, joint pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain, nausea, fainting, weakness, amnesia, muscular pain, bone pain, abdominal pain, insomnia, vision abnormality, and anxiety… ready or not, here we go!
This medication is injected every evening into my stomach. At first I was a little nervous about giving myself a shot, but so far it isn’t bad at all. The needle I use with the Lupron is very tiny, and on most nights I can honestly say that I cannot feel it. Also, after three weeks, I can report that I have not had any of the lovely side effects previously mentioned!
I am excited to know that we are moving forward, and have a tentative transfer date in mind!
We have finally completed the contract phase!!
This period of time seems to move incredibly slowly. The contract is drafted by the Intended Parents attorneys, to be previewed by the Intended Parents. Once they agree with everything, it is then sent to the gestation carrier (me), to be reviewed by my husband and our attorney. If all goes well, which it did, all parties sign, and we move forward. This process seems to take between a couple weeks to a couple months, depending on a multitude of scenarios. Either way, it always feels like a long wait.
One of my personal goals during the contract phase was to cut down on my caffeine consumption. I work long hours at my job, and had developed quite a love for coffee. At the height of my consumption, I could easily ingest ¾ of a pot of coffee a day. I am proud to say that during the contract phase, I weaned myself down to one cup a day, and since the signing of the contracts, I am coffee free! On a side note, I have co-workers who have told me that I’m much more fun to work with while I’m “on the beans!”
After the contract was out of the way, I met with the fertility doctor for additional pre-medication screening. It has been eight months since my last screening, so it was time to do it again. They drew four vials of blood and obtained a urine sample (TMI??) for a series of tests. After that, a quick ultra-sound to assure that my reproductive tract appears to be in good working order. I have had enough of these appointments over the last year that I have given personal names to the instruments used during these visits!
As my DH (Dear Husband) and I prepared to go meet with our potential IP’s (Intended Parents) for the first time, I was a complete bundle of nerves. My DH, however was as cool as a cucumber! Looking back, I can describe it as a combination of feeling like I was on a blind date/job interview. We arrived at our meeting place approximately 15 minutes early (I have a serious aversion to being late for meetings/appointments). As we sat in the parking lot waiting for the clock to slowly arrive to the appropriate time, I looked across the shopping center, and recognized the IP’s from a picture I was emailed. I felt somewhat relieved to know that they also, arrive to appointments early/ on-time…that counted as something in common!
I took a deep breath… possibly several, and we went in to the restaurant.
The first thing I thought when I met our potential IP’s in person was they looked as kind in person as they did in their picture. Also, they looked as nervous as I felt. The second thought was confirmed shortly after, when the IF stated as much. Somehow, that little admission from them, and my quick agreement helped to break the ice. This was not a situation that either of us was entirely familiar or comfortable with.
The rest of the meeting went incredibly well. I found myself very comfortable and relaxed with these IP’s. We were able to discuss everything from what brought us to this juncture in our lives, to our families, expectations, and desires. We touched upon everything that we find to be most important to each of us during this process, and appear to agree on everything. I even found myself sharing my “off-the-wall sense of humor”, something I normally reserve for a time when I am in a comfortable surrounding, Two and a half hours flew by, and before we knew it we were calling it a night.
All and all, I feel that they are a fantastic match for us, and hoped that they felt the same. The following afternoon, I emailed Family Formation to let them know that from my perspective the meeting went well, and that I would love the opportunity to work with this couple. I was notified that they also, felt the same way…..we are matched!
Once my DH and I decided to move forward with surrogacy, I started to dread sharing the news. How would our children, family, and friends react? I was confident that my family would be supportive…. But one never knows for sure!
We started with my family, and thankfully I have received an enormous amount of support. They all know why I have chosen to do this, and have thus far been incredible…whew!
Next up, the kiddos. I started the concept of surrogacy in the car one morning on the way to school. It went something like this.
Me: “Did you guys know that there are some ladies out there, that their bodies don’t work right, and they can’t grow a baby? When this happens, sometimes other ladies will grow the baby in their tummy until they are ready to be born, and then the baby will go back to its Mommy and Daddy.”
My then 9 year old: “Umm…. Can we have this talk when I’m 20?”
Clearly I was going to need a slightly different approach! A few days later (again, in the car), I was able to ask my 9 year old to be serious for a minute. I told him that I needed him to think about what I had mentioned the other morning, because dad and I intended to help someone start their family. He looked at me for a minute then said, “So basically a doctor will transplant someone’s baby into your belly, you will grow it, give birth to it, then give it back to its parents?” Wow…he gets it!! I confirmed that this was the plan. Again he looked at me, and said, “I think that’s nice. Maybe if I were a girl, I would want to help someone like that too.” WOW!!!! What a guy! The younger 2 also get the concept, and are thus far in a good place with it.
I have had only one negative reaction…it came from an in-law. She believes that this is too risky, and has stated that you “make someone a sweater, not a baby.” I find those words to be short sided and unkind, yet not unexpected from the source.
I am so grateful that I have so many supportive and positive people in my life!
The path to surrogacy is filled with many go, stop, hurry-up, and waits. It starts with the initial submitting of an application, gathering all your documentation of previous pregnancies, meeting with your program directors, and completing all your screening (the time frame on this varies, for myself it took several months due to waiting for available appointments with my physicians). Then you wait to be matched, luckily for me this went quickly. Next up is contracts. This process can take a while due to complexities of meeting the needs of all parties.
I find it necessary to keep busy during these times of waiting. I start with praying for patience! I take my prenatal and exercise. Currently I am doing small projects around the house. Projects I will not be doing once I am actively carrying someone’s child, such as painting a room. I am also doing some landscaping, as I really enjoy “playing in the dirt”! Once a day I will go to different online communities that are geared to the surrogate community. I have been able to do a considerable amount of research on these “boards,” and as a result I feel better prepared for the surrogacy process. I currently am what is called a “lurker,” meaning that I read the posts, but don’t actively participate in them.
So for now, I will return to my yard, plant a garden, and continue praying for patience!
Last fall we started on the path to help a wonderful couple start a family through surrogacy. There were many medical appointments I had to go to to become a surrogate: blood work, and ultrasounds, as well as multiple daily injections of hormones. I felt great, and everything was looking positive. In December we transferred embryos, and then waited. 2 weeks later I received a phone call from the intended parents’ Physician, letting me know that the lab work indicated that the transfer failed. I wasn’t pregnant. I was crushed. My heart ached for my intended parents, knowing all that they had been through before surrogacy, and then, another failed attempt at parenthood. We had discussed what would come next, and had planned to try again in a couple months. A couple months passed, then one morning I was incredibly shocked to be informed by my IM (Intended Mother) that they were not intending to pursue surrogacy any longer do to emotional difficulties surrounding their loss. Again, I was crushed. I do consider my first IP’s to be friends of mine, and wish them a wonderful future and family.
I spoke with the fantastic staff at Family Formation law offices after realizing that my reason for wanting to become a surrogate has not changed. I still want to do an amazing thing that will forever make a difference in somebody’s life. Within a few weeks I was informed of several possible matches, and will be meeting with potential IP’s this next week. I find myself optimistically nervous. I think of this first meeting, and feel that it is somewhat like a first date. Will they like us? Will we like them? Will we share a similar vision for this experience? I certainly hope so, and have nothing but positive feelings going forward in this adventure!
This blog is intended to be a peek at the process of surrogacy, including all the ups, downs, joys, pains, twists, and turns of our journey.
Initially I feel that I need to introduce myself. I have been married to my husband for nearly 14 years, and together we have 3 incredible, lively children and an active life. We have been extremely blessed in our lives, and within our family. This last year, it has become increasingly important for us to share our blessings with others.
The first time I heard of surrogacy was nearly 10 years ago. I had just delivered my first child, and had seen a documentary. I remember at the time, talking with my husband, stating that I could see myself doing this for someone, someday. Someday came 9 years later, after completing our family, my return to school, career change, and life altering illness of a parent. I had not given any thought to surrogacy during that time.
Last summer, while at work, I saw a flyer posted in our break room. Someone I work with was looking for a surrogate. I normally see this individual every few months, so I was pleasantly surprised when they came in later that day. I was able to ask about the need for the surrogate, and how they found Family Formation law offices (which was referred to them by their Physician). My interest was sparked! This was something that I could do, an amazing choice that will forever make a difference in someone’s life! I talked with my husband about my intent, and he has been wonderfully supportive of this choice.
As you research surrogacy programs and assisted reproduction attorneys, always check for membership in professional organizations which are exclusive, carry high ethical standards, and are self-regulating. These include the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys and the Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers. Compare this with membership in the California Bar Association, which is mandatory, and the American Bar Association which is not by invitation.
We were sad to see today that any attorney would engage in baby-selling. Theresa Erickson, a California assisted reproduction attorney who was never a member of AAARTA or ACFFL, has plead guilty to multiple counts of baby-selling involving surrogacy and the Ukraine.
We are members of both AAARTA and ACFFL, have been in business nearly 30 years, and during this time have maintained the highest ethical standards and work product–second to none. Our reputation and credentials are impeccable. Call our office today for a complementary consultation and to learn more about how we can help build your family.