Along for the Ride: A Real Time Surrogacy Experience

post1- family photo

 

Hi there! My name is Mandy, and this is a picture of my family. We’re made up of a husband, wife, and two adorable little blonde haired girls who we affectionately call “The Blondesters.” As the photo suggests, we’re also a surrogate family. In 2014 I gave birth to another beautiful little girl named Eleanor, who now lives on the other side of the globe with her doting dads.

I’m a bit of what you might call a busy body. I graduated from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio in 2005 with one major, two minors, a 3.65 GPA, and enough credits to nearly have obtained my Master’s degree. I’m also a planner. I always knew I’d grow up, get married, and become a mom to two children. I was hoping they’d both be girls.

What I DIDN’T plan for, was that I’d fall in love with all things baby. From pregnancy, to childbirth itself, and even breastfeeding. I just fell in love. But, the planner in me still knew, without a doubt, that I was only meant to have two children. These two things didn’t make sense to me, the love of pregnancy and childbirth paired with the absolute certainty that I only wanted two children. So I began to consider surrogacy. That made sense.

I chose to become Eleanor’s surrogate after spending more than 3 years considering surrogacy. That whirlwind decision has changed my life absolutely. Apart from having created a life, completed a family, and pretty much changed the entire world as a result (because who knows what Eleanor will do with her life?), I also now have a job in the field, Marketing Specialist for Growing Generations, to be exact. I fill my days learning everything I can about the amazing science that is assisted reproduction and talking with anyone who will listen about what I’ve learned. As a stay at home mom, that means that my two children, now 3 and 5 years old, know more about assisted third party reproduction than most teenagers know about old fashioned reproduction. Really, it embarrasses my husband sometimes.  

Recently my oldest daughter told me that I should have a total of 76 babies. Once I picked my jaw up off of my floor, I listened as she told me that I shouldn’t give them all to Eleanor’s dads, because that’d be too much work. Instead, she insisted that I should help more families. So, that’s what we’re doing.

I also had an idea. I wanted to share this journey with the world; to put a real human face to surrogacy. To show that surrogates aren’t poor, undereducated, desperate women. To show that we ARE mothers, lovers of life, and overflowing with compassion. To show that we’re people, just like you, who burn dinner, take vacations, and can NOT find their child’s missing left shoe.

So, here we go! I’m going to take you along for the ride during my second surrogacy journey. Along the way we’ll point out articles from Growing Generations’ extensive resources section that can help you plan for your own journey. I’ll also share Wednesday “bump day” photos of my growing belly over on Instagram (GrowingGenerations), and address your questions here, too. (Feel free to email them to me at email hidden; JavaScript is required). You can interact with me on Twitter @SurroMandy.

This is going to be an exciting journey, and I am SO excited to share it with you.

 

Resources:

Why Would a Woman Be a Surrogate? 

9 Reasons to Be a Surrogate

Telling Your Kids You’re a Surrogate

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.