The definition of surrogacy is: birthing a child for a family/couple unable to conceive on their own/the process of giving birth as a surrogate mother or of arranging such a birth.
Surrogacy is not always the happy story you see in the end, the pictures of the baby, all parties involved being joyous and without worry. There are so many factors to consider on this windy road to parenthood.
During my own journey I had so many people ask me, “isn’t it going to be so hard to give up the baby?” or “why would you put your body through another pregnancy, if you can’t keep the prize at the end?” AND there were people who would praise me for gifting a child to a family. “You are such an angel for doing what you are doing.”
A lot of people were confused as to why I would want to get pregnant with my own egg and give the child to the intending parents. Even my own dad didn’t understand how gestational surrogacy works. You are implanted with an embryo (usually a day 5 frozen embryo – that is thawed), it has no genetic ties to the surrogate mother. You would simply be growing the baby.
There have been many positives within our company, many babies born to the most deserving of parents, but we also wanted to shed some light on the more difficult journeys. The ones that don’t always go to plan.
The dark side of surrogacy that isn’t talked about often, or even considered in my case…
This week I went in for an ultrasound. We were all very excited. Leading up to this point we had received some questionable/concerning results prior to this ultrasound, but everything kept checking out. We were cautiously optimistic and all remained extremely hopeful. Unfortunately, we found out the baby stopped growing, just before a heartbeat could be confirmed. Our worst fears were realized. I will be taking medication to pass the fetus. My Intending Parents are amazing! They are grieving a tremendous loss, and still want to know how they can help me. I have so much love for them already, and this has brought us all closer together.
This was not something any of us considered when starting this journey, but unfortunately this is our reality. I truly believe that they will get their baby someday, and when that day comes it will be so damn worth it!
Everything looked so perfect, there were no signs that the pregnancy was going to end in miscarriage. My betas were beautiful and a quick ultrasound in the first few weeks didn’t give us any concern. The thought that we would be getting devastating news at our 10-week ultrasound hadn’t crossed my mind. The doctor told us that the baby had stopped growing about 4 weeks ago. My heart is breaking for my IP’s. I just don’t understand what happened. We are all in shock…I’ve never had to go through a miscarriage.
My journey is being placed on hold…
I have the most amazing Intended Parents. (They have one child through surrogacy and had one embryo left.) We were all so excited as I traveled across the country to begin the pregnancy portion of our surrogacy journey. We didn’t expect to be halted so quickly… the embryo didn’t survive the thaw. They made the hard decision to table it for now and decide how to move forward, either with embryos from another retrieval or create new ones. These journeys are not always a walk in the park.
An unsuccessful transfer…
I transferred 2 weeks ago tomorrow and found out Monday that transfer failed. I am so confused I got 2 positives, one at 6 days post transfer and one at 8 days post transfer. I am so heartbroken for them. I am so grateful that they want to try again and I am very willing to try again. Hormones were perfect. Embryo was beautiful. Don’t know what went wrong…
All the emotions that occur during the 10 day wait…
Alright ladies make me feel better and stop my panicking! I’m 6 days post transfer and still don’t have a positive, I’ve been super crampy all day today. My first transfer I had a positive at day 5 and don’t remember feeling like this…is this normal? When did you guys get your first positive?
Every single surrogate goes into their journey with positive mindsets, but as you can see from these stories, not every journey has the most positive outcome. But we will try again, we will overcome, we will triumph. We have all the hope and belief that the next transfer or pregnancy will be much more successful than the last. All of these couples have wanted and yearned for so long to have a child or children, to grow or complete their families. Being a surrogate is one of the most rewarding experiences, to know the feeling of having your own child and being able to gift that to someone or a couple so deserving.
Never give up hope…
I had submitted my intake form and after a year of waiting, I was eager to be matched with IP’s. I was in the process of losing weight to make clinic requirements (32 BMI or lower) and got clearance for my Crohn’s disease that had been under control for 10+ years. I was matched with the most loving IP’s from Israel. We took our time getting to know each other and picking the perfect date for our transfer. March 13, 2017 was the day! Everything was prepped, everyone was ready, embryo looked exquisite. In all honesty, I was so so nervous. We held our breath to see what the beta would say in 10 days. Sadly, at 5, 6, and 7 days post transfer I was still showing negative on the at home pregnancy tests. The beta results showed the embryo didn’t survive. I stopped all hormones and let my body heal. We all took time to grieve and tried again about a month later. I am delighted to say I gave birth to a handsome baby boy 9 months later. He brings a joy to my life I never knew I needed.
Third time’s a Charm…
When one thinks of surrogacy it’s a blessing and such a selfless act. When I signed up to be a surrogate, I had no idea there was a dark side. My 1st journey went so quickly, it was 11 months from match to the birth of twins. A beautiful little girl and a handsome boy. The pregnancy and delivery were flawless and the babies along with their parents happy.
Unfortunately, my second journey had a dark side. I was matched with a wonderful Intending Father. First transfer was a success, positive pregnancy test. We were pregnant, this is amazing! My daughter and I recorded a video and sent to the dad. He was over the moon excited. My first beta was good but the second one dropped. The pregnancy was not viable. My IF on the other side of the globe was heartbroken, yet so positive and so reassuring. My husband and my daughter supporting and loving on me. What a blessing to be surrounded by so much love. We were able to roll right into another transfer. SHOTS SHOTS and MORE SHOTS!!!
Second transfer happens and it’s successful! Another positive pregnancy test and a good beta, but we were all nervous. What if it happens again…and it did. I cried, so heartbroken. As soon as my IF was informed, he sent the most amazing video message. I could hear the heartache in his voice but the only thing he really cared about was me and how I was doing. I was worried for him. My husband and daughter kept me grounded. I thought oh lord why us, why me… I am a surrogate and this isn’t supposed to happen.
I really thought that I would be dropped and my surrogacy would come to an end. Nope, we chose to continue the course and do additional testing which included a biopsy of my uterus and an Endometrium Receptivity Assay (ERA) done. Matter of fact I had 2 of each done. These were painful and very exhausting. I was ready to give up but my support team was not. The test results came back and we had answers so we moved forward.
Third transfer was here, I was hopeful…also a wreck! Our prayers were answered. I felt great and knew this one would be different. Transfer was a success and we had another positive test and a high beta. We were all stoked but still nervous. Then another good beta, finally heartbeat confirmation. I was able to relax a little. My IF on the other side of the world was so excited. My pregnancy was good but harder than my previous 2, a few minor complaints but nothing big. I thrived taking it one day at a time. I was induced at 39 weeks and gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl. The look in her Daddy’s eyes when he first saw his daughter was perfect and such a blessing.
Despite the challenges it was a magical experience. Almost 2 years of trying, my husband gave me 175 shots over the course of 2 miscarriages, 2 sets of biopsies and finally 1 healthy pregnancy. Surrogacy isn’t all flowers and rainbows. We as surrogates are not exempt from complications. We are 1 in 8, as well as we are warriors. BEAUTIFUL ~~ STRONG ~~ SELFLESS
I AM A PROUD SURROGATE
Thank you for being a selfless surrogate and giving your whole being to growing this baby.
Thank you to the Intended Parents who give themselves so openly, to a situation in which they have little control over their growing baby.