Ever since I announced my role as a surrogate there have been a variety of questions and comments made. I’m hoping this post will answer a lot of the general questions, but if not I am happy to explain more!
I also plan to write more posts about how to become a surrogate and the whole IVF process.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when a woman carries a child for someone else through the use of IVF (in-vitro fertilization). The most common form of surrogacy here in the United States is a gestational carrier. A gestational carrier is when a woman carries a child that is not biologically related to them. This means the embryo that is transferred is either the intended parents’ biological child or an egg and/or sperm donor used for the pregnancy.
The other form of surrogacy is known as a traditional carrier, this means that the surrogate is the biological mother to the child as her own egg was used for the pregnancy.
Why would someone need a surrogate?
There are a ton of reasons someone might need a surrogate. As most of you expect, infertility is one of the top reasons that comes to mind when you think of someone needing to use a surrogate. However, infertility is definitely not the only reason. Anyone in the LGBTQI+ community could potentially need or want a surrogate. Some women choose to use a surrogate instead of carrying a child themself for any variety of reasons such as their career, trauma, mental health, and so on.
Reasons to be a surrogate
Exactly like there are a ton of reasons to need a surrogate, there are also a ton of reasons to be a surrogate!
You enjoy being pregnant
To me, this has to be a top reason. If you are someone who does not enjoy pregnancy, labor, and delivery I honestly would not even consider being a surrogate. When being a surrogate, you pretty much have to act like you are pregnant before even getting pregnant. Between all the fertility treatments, testing, and the pregnancy itself you want your body to be as prepared as possible.
With my previous pregnancies, I had the bare minimum of morning sickness. But with this surrogacy, I was sick until 17 1/2 weeks. Just like with each of your own pregnancies, you have to be prepared for a completely different experience.
You want to help someone start/continue/complete their family
Isn’t this the whole point? You have a kind heart and want to help give someone the gift of life, all while knowing this child is not linked to you biologically and once it’s over, your job is complete.
Every intended parent has their own reason for why they can’t be pregnant or are choosing not to. As a gestational carrier, you have to be able to accept their reasons and be there for them in a way no one else can.
You like a challenge
Being a surrogate comes with all sorts of challenges. You’re navigating a new relationship with someone, or a couple, carrying for a life that you will only be a small part of, and the challenges that come with pregnancy and delivery.
Creating a special bond that so few will get to experience
How amazing is it that you can carry someone else’s child for 9 months that so few people understand or will get to experience?
Every intended parent is different, but they are all so incredibly thankful to their surrogates for carrying their child. Can it be awkward? Absolutely, but you learn to bond with them over their future and share the joys that come with pregnancy.
You aren’t just thrown together with the first person in line for a surrogate, there is a matching process that you go through to make sure you all are a good fit for each other.
Some surrogates and intended parents live near each other and can see each other frequently to help strengthen their relationship. Mine unfortunately live a bit too far, but the mom has been there for every major appointment and texts me frequently. Most of our bond has been comparing pregnancies and our experiences raising children.
This is my surrogate baby at the 20 week scan, I can’t announce what it is yet as the parents are waiting.
Financial compensation is 100% a reason to be a surrogate. Here in the U.S. gestational carriers are paid fairly for their part of the journey. Many surrogates use these finances to help with their debt, house renovations they want, and trips that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
Is the money the only reason you should do this? Absolutely not! If you are only going into surrogacy for money, you are doing it for all the wrong reasons.
Why it’s a good fit for me
Being a surrogate is something I have thought about since I was pregnant with my daughter in 2017. I have always enjoyed being pregnant and have been blessed so far with easy pregnancies and deliveries. Other than our miscarriage, we have truly been so lucky.
About 9 months after our son was born, I was positive we were done expanding our family. Heck I thought we were done before he came along. But I also knew I was going to miss being pregnant again. So, I talked with Kevin and we decided to go ahead and apply just to see what happens.
Within days I was starting the full process of all the background portions of becoming a gestational carrier which brings me to where I am today.
I have watched many friends and family struggle to conceive and while I can’t put myself in their place, I knew there was something I could do for families like them. Why didn’t I just carry their baby? I’d be more than happy to, but that’s a personal decision on their part. I’m also happy to say, most of them have gotten pregnant with the help of IVF.
I can never understand why I am able to get pregnant and carry a child when so many other women aren’t. But I know that I can, and because of that knowledge it felt like a waste to not be able to do something about it.
Would I do this again?
Ask me again after March! Just kidding of course.
As of right now, I’d say it’s about a 75% chance of saying, “yeah I think I would!” So far the pregnancy has been great and the intended parents are very sweet. I also have to brag on my agency, Southern Surrogacy, who have supported me 100% since first contact.
Why only a 75% chance? Pregnancy is hard. A surrogate pregnancy comes with entirely knew challenges such as fertility treatments, extra appointments with the fertility clinic, navigating a good relationship with the intended parents, and a whole new postpartum experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for this experience and my wonderful little surro-baby. I also just miss rolling over in bed, keeping up with my kids, and having a glass of wine after a long day. But I know this will be completely worth it when my intended parents hold their child for the first time.