Happy Surrogate Mother
Being a surrogate mother helped solve two problems at once:
- Paying off college loans.
- Staying home to care for my young children.
I have always loved kids, and helping people in general. That’s a big part of the reason I majored in social work during college. During both high school and college I enjoyed volunteering at the local children’s shelter. When I graduated, I had a lot of student loans to repay. Not such a big deal when you’re working but there are not a lot of well-paying jobs in social work.
I Became a Mother
A year out of college I married my college sweetheart. Since we both wanted a family, we started on that project right away. By the time we had been married a year, our first child was a month old. When our second anniversary came around, we were the parents of two beautiful babies. Unfortunately, my salary as a part-time social worker at a non-profit wasn’t even enough to cover daycare. And the truth was, I didn’t want daycare, I wanted to be home with the babies myself.
So, what to do? My husband made enough for us to live on but not to pay our (yes, he had them too) college loans. One day at the park I started talking to a woman with small children who was pregnant. We started comparing stories, as we watched our little ones in the sandbox, and she told me she was a surrogate mother. She was making enough, carrying this baby for an infertile couple, that she could stay home with her own children. When she said that a lightbulb literally want off in my head. By being a surrogate she was helping others and her family at the same time.
Surrogacy: The Perfect Job
As soon as I got home I went on the internet and started researching how to become a surrogate mother. When my husband got home I told him about the woman in the park and what I had learned from my online research. As we talked, he remembered a staff member at our college using a surrogate to carry her baby and how truly grateful she was to the surrogate mother. By the end of the evening, we had selected two local surrogacy centers for me to contact the next day.
But Which Surrogacy Center?
We both wanted as smooth a surrogacy process as possible, so our criteria for the surrogacy centers was:
- Full service, we wanted everything to be as efficient as possible and to have the experts in the various fields available when we needed them. We wanted a blueprint so we knew what to expect and when.
- A dedicated team at the center to guide us through the process. I know how to be pregnant, actually I’m pretty good at it, but we didn’t know much about the surrogacy process and didn’t want to miss any steps.
- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
Matched With Intended Parents
Shortly after we signed up with the surrogacy agency, I was matched with a lovely couple. They had been trying for five years to carry a pregnancy to term but with no luck, she had eight miscarriages in those five years and couldn’t face another one. I couldn’t imagine the anguish they went through each time, their story broke my heart. Using a surrogate mother was their only option for having a child biologically related to them. Since her eggs were viable, the baby I carried for them is their genetic child.
The IPs Supported Me
Throughout the pregnancy I felt nothing but love and support from the Intended Parents. Since they lived only two hours away, they were able to attend most of the medical appointments and track their baby’s progress in real time. We all considered that a gift. Just watching their faces during sonograms was worth any discomfort I was experiencing, they radiated sheer joy.
The staff at the fertility center was also wonderful. The surrogacy coordinator, a former surrogate mother herself, checked on me frequently and made sure all my questions were answered. My appointments were set well enough in advance that I had plenty of time to arrange a sitter for my kids. The whole surrogacy process was very smooth and drama free.
Every step in the surrogacy process was completely explained before it happened and we were provided with everything we needed, like legal documents and monthly checks. Those checks went straight to the student loan debt and that took a huge weight off my shoulders. Being a surrogate mother really was the perfect job for me at the time, I was able to help a wonderful family while helping my family too.
The Baby High
Just being involved in the birth process is an incredible natural high, there is really nothing like it in the world. This doesn’t just apply to the woman giving birth but to everybody involved in the process. When I gave birth, there wasn’t a dry eye in the delivery room. Even the nurses were crying as they watched the Intended Parents hold their precious baby for the first time. Since our families are now friends, I get frequent updates from the mom on the baby’s milestones. The pictures she sends are just priceless, it was really an honor to be able to help that lovely couple become parents.
A couple of months after giving birth to my surrogate baby, I accompanied a friend to the surrogacy center I used so she could get more information on being a surrogate. While I was there I talked to a woman who, like me, had been a surrogate in the past. She was now a “surrogacy ambassador.” This means she did exactly what I was already doing, spreading the word about surrogacy and helping women who were interested in being surrogate mothers get started.
That sounded like a job that perfect for me since I had not only been a surrogate but also had a social work background. After speaking to the surrogate ambassador coordinator at my surrogacy agency I decided to sign on. I’m not ready to be a surrogate mother again quite yet but my role as an ambassador allows me to help people, both surrogates and IPs, as well as my family. And yes, I do get a rush every time one of “my” surrogates is matched with a family because I know another miracle is in the making.