When you hear the word surrogacy, what do you think of? In very recent years, a number of celebrities have had children via a surrogate. A couple years ago, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade welcomed a beautiful baby girl via surrogate. Then you have the ever popular Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who have also used a surrogate multiple times.
A History of Surrogacy
Did you know that surrogacy dates back to Bible times?
In the Book of Genesis, Abraham and Sarah could not bear a child. While they did not have fertility doctors, they did have the option of surrogacy…but the most raw form of surrogacy: the act of physically making a baby with someone else. That’s what Abraham and Hagar did. Hagar bore a child for Sarah and Abraham to raise as their own.
Then in 1884, the first artificially inseminated woman had a child, albeit in an unethical manner. Fast forward to 1975, and the first ethically completed surrogate baby was born.
Now here we are in the 21st century where science is helping those who were meant to have babies, have them! And that is a wonderful thing.
We live in amazing times where we have the best doctors who can help families who have struggled for years with infertility bring a child into their home. These babies born via surrogate could be the next president, a heart surgeon, your child’s best and favorite teacher, etc.
Our Initial Decision: Egg Donation
About six years ago, I signed up to donate my eggs. After much discussion, Dustin and I decided that we have had so many friends and family members struggle to have kids that we wanted to help.
The way egg donation works is that you get approved with an egg donation company and then post your profile. Your profile consists of who you are and your entire history: medical, family, interests, etc. When someone picks your profile, you never know who they are; they just pick you. You go through medical clearance and egg retrieval, and then it’s done.
We actually had two hits on my profile over the past several years, and then a third time in March 2018. A couple selected us for egg donation, and next up was medical clearance. Things came to a screeching halt when I found out that my egg count was too low for egg donation. I was devastated for the parents who had selected me.
Our Final Decision: Surrogacy
This just brought on more discussion with Dustin. It was during many conversations with my husband that we decided if we couldn’t do egg donation, we wanted to do surrogacy. I absolutely loved being pregnant, and this was something that I could do for another family.
We went back to our egg donation center, which was also a surrogacy center, and told them of our decision. Thankfully we didn’t have to start at square one since we already had some doctors appointments done, but we still had a loooooooooooway to go.
Choosing the Parent(s)
In June 2018, we were sent over a dozen profiles for Intended Parents (IPs). Surrogacy is different from egg donation in that the surrogate picks a profile first. If those IPs picked us back, then we had an awkward first-date-type Skype call.
But guess what…our call was not awkward. Everything about this felt just right! And, you wanna know the best and coolest part? The couple that selected me for egg donation earlier in the year was the SAME couple that WE selected for surrogacy!
The Surrogacy Journey
Being pregnant with someone else’s baby is a very different feeling.
I was constantly asked about my pregnancy, which immediately opened up the conversation to surrogacy. For the most part, everyone was in awe that they met a surrogate. Every time I explained it to someone, I was bombarded with a handful of questions.
But it was fine; it was one of my favorite topics, talking about surrogacy, explaining the ins-and-outs. Surrogacy is such an unknown subject.
My one fear from being pregnant and having a baby for someone else was having a C-section. And guess what…I manifested that with my fear. That’s the only way I can explain it! I had an emergency C-section 16 days before his due date.
Post-Pregnancy After Surrogacy
My, oh my, how very different it was being on maternity leave without a newborn around. After my body healed up after the C-section, I have to say it was quite nice. I would take my son to daycare, and then have the day to myself. I caught up on so much reading and TV.
It was exactly the “break” I needed to gain mental clarity on so many areas of my life. (See this post on how my husband and I had a “romantic” Executive Retreat to develop our family goals for 2020.)
It is now five months post-pregnancy. One of the most frequently asked questions I get now is, “Do you keep in touch with the family?” YES! I am in the parent’s family group chat and get pictures and videos every single day.
With surrogacy, we were able to nurture a child who is not genetically related to us in any way, for a family who had longed for a child for years! We got to make them parents and their parents, grandparents. We were able to make their siblings aunts and uncles. But also, Dustin and I get to extend our friends that have now become family! They say it takes a village to raise a child, but in this case, it takes a village to have a child.
Do you know anyone personally that has been a surrogate or used a surrogate?