This pregnancy is just moving right along! We’ve hit week 25, and the official point of viability. It’s kind of a big deal. Viability means that, from this point forward, the twins have a greater chance at survival than non-survival should they be born. Their odds at life improve daily from this point until the day they are actually born. This is a point in the pregnancy where we all breathe our first collective sigh of relief, for the most part. Continue reading
Surrogacy is an emerging discipline that pairs the innovation of science with the heart and soul of human compassion. As a result, it is no surprise that the media loves reporting on surrogacy. This is an emotional process that highlights the awesome ability of science, the incredible compassion of the human race, and for some, the ethical issues than can arise if this process goes wrong.
While many positive surrogacy stories are being shared via the news and across social media, the vast majority of headline grabbing surrogacy stories tend to revolve around cases that have gone astray.
My decision to explore surrogacy was twofold. When my husband and I decided to try for our first baby I didn’t get pregnant as quickly as I thought I would. I ended up getting pregnant after trying for almost a year, but I’ll be honest, I was getting nervous that it wasn’t going to happen for us. After I got pregnant I started thinking of all those women who struggle for years and years and how my year of trying was a drop in the bucket compared to what they go through. My heart went out to them. So, later, after the birth of our second child we knew our family was complete; however, I loved being pregnant! Surrogacy was the perfect solution. I could enjoy another pregnancy while helping someone who needed help having a baby of their own.
While my husband knew that I enjoyed pregnancy, I don’t know if he knew that I enjoyed it quite as much as I did. When I first said “Hey, what do you think about me being a surrogate?” he thought I was a bit nuts! However, the more I researched surrogacy and the more I talked about it he came to realize how passionate I was about helping a childless couple. So while he might not understand why I enjoy being pregnant, he admires my passion and willingness to help others. He knew surrogacy was a dream of mine and has been very supportive in helping me make it come true. Continue reading
Surrogate applicants go through an extensive screening process before they are cleared to begin their surrogacy journey. One of the most commonly asked questions during this screening phase is, “When and how will I have my IUD birth control removed?”
IUD, or inter-uterine device, is a birth control option that is placed inside of the uterus. When a woman is attempting to become pregnant as a surrogate, the device will need to be removed. Continue reading
When I heard about surrogacy I just thought it just sounded incredible and it would be cool to be able to help someone like that. I enjoyed being pregnant, so why not!?!
My husband was very hesitant to the idea at first. He has never been through the pregnancy and delivery stages, being that he’s my kids’ stepfather. He doesn’t have kids of his own so he was very new to the whole idea, whether for us or others. He was worried about the risks and what could happen to me. So, of course, we had more in depth conversations. We discussed my previous pregnancies and deliveries and my passion for wanting to help someone else experience the joys of parenthood. He agreed, and I agreed to only one surrogacy unless we both agree later. Everyone I’m close with was very supportive. My mom, my sister, my friends; they were all excited to be with me on this journey of helping someone become parents.
When taking on something as large as surrogacy, it’s unsurprising that surrogates can forget about the little things. We find that women who make the most successful surrogates are often so filled with the desire to make others happy that they can forget about making themselves happy in the process. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 things surrogates should remind themselves of on a daily basis.
- Keep an open mind, and let your heart guide you. Whether you’re reviewing profiles or planning for the birth, keep an open mind to all ideas. This is a new experience and may, at times, feel foreign to you. Keeping an open mind will allow you the possibility to have the best experience possible. Even so, always let your heart be your guide.
- Great things take time. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Your process may take many months, sometimes more than a year, to complete. And the length of the race is different for every runner. When you feel exhausted, remember that the finish line is well worth crossing, no matter how long it takes to get there.
- This is as new for your intended parents as it is for you. It can be easy to get frustrated during your journey. Try to remember that, even if you’re a repeat surrogate, this is very likely your intended parents’ first experience with surrogacy. You’re all learning as you go. Remembering to be empathetic, patient, and kind will help keep your journey positive.
- Use your network. From your nurse coordinator to your case specialist, you are surrounded by professionals who are here to help you. These professionals want to make your journey better and welcome you to reach out for help. This network of professionals is provided as a benefit to you, and your call is never a bother to them. If you have a question, no matter how silly it seems, we want you to use your network.
- Your IPs are so grateful for you. Not all intended parents have the best communication skills. Sometimes that lack of communicative prowess can leave a surrogate feeling underappreciated. No matter what level of contact you may have with your IPs know that they value you immensely. You are making their dreams come true, and it’s a level of gratitude that they may never find words to express.
- Seek Community. You’re not the first woman to become a surrogate. Finding others who have done this before you, or who are currently doing this, can offer a world of support. Through social media and the internet, it is easier than ever to find a community of like-minded women with whom you can share your experiences.
- A negative pregnancy test is not your fault. When a transfer fails it is all too easy to blame yourself. We understand this reaction. But understand that this is not your fault. In most cases there is nothing that you did, didn’t do, or could have done differently to lead to a different result. Sometimes things just don’t work. What is important is to keep swinging the bat, eventually you’ll hit the ball.
- This is YOUR journey, no one else’s. Being a surrogate grants you access to the ranks of the hundreds of women who have traveled this road before you. Many of them may currently be on the same path you’re walking. It’s only human nature to compare your journey to theirs. But it’s important to remember that your experience differs from theirs in many ways. Try not to compare your experience to those of other surrogates, it’s the quickest way to not enjoy the journey that you’re on.
- Take care of yourself, you’re worth it. Be sure to get the sleep you need and drink plenty of water. Take the time to make yourself a priority, you’re worth it.
- Have faith in yourself. No matter what you experience on your journey to creating a family, never forget that you can do this. Have faith in your body, your heart, and your dedication to this process. You’ve got this.
Fetal reduction is a difficult topic to discuss and an event we hope you’ll never need to face. However, it is an important conversation to have and an area where you will need to be very truthful with your own emotions and limits before ever embarking on a surrogacy journey.
Understand that reductions are rarely done for non-medical reasons. Intended parents come to surrogacy with the intention of achieving pregnancy and having children. These are not unwanted or accidental pregnancies, as is the case in many of the estimated 1.2 million abortions completed in the United States every year. Simply stated: fetal reductions or abortions are not commonplace in surrogacy. Even so, from time to time, the necessity for a fetal reduction will arise. Here are common reasons why a doctor or the intended parents may choose to reduce or terminate a pregnancy.
High Order Multiples
Our surrogates are very excited to start creating families for their intended parents. We are frequently asked how long it will take to go from application to transfer. The simple answer is- it depends. Each journey will progress at its own speed, with much of the pace being set by the surrogate. Surrogacy works best when you are flexible and “go with the flow.” If you attempt to pre-plan every step of your journey, you can wind up disappointed.
Keeping flexibility in mind, here is a potential timeline for a gestational surrogate in the Growing Generations program.
Once upon a time I was at a Barnes and Noble waiting in line. I saw a Time magazine- the front it said, “More Military Wives Choosing to be Surrogates”. I thought to myself, hey, I’m a military wife, and I think I’d be able to do that. And the rest, as they say, is history.
My husband’s immediate response to the idea was no. His idea of surrogacy was traditional surrogacy, wherein the child would be biologically my own, and he wasn’t comfortable having half of me out there with other parents. When I explained to him the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy, and assured him that the child would not share my DNA, he was just fine with it. Continue reading
Transfer day can feel like the peak of your journey to this point. In many ways it is exactly that. Months of effort have gone into preparing for this day. Tons of preparation is required to arrange the logistics to get you from your home to the clinic. It’s an exciting time. Here’s a look at what happens on this very memorable day.
You will arrive at the fertility clinic early in the morning. Generally you will be asked to arrive with a full bladder and, in some cases, you will be asked to have taken a muscle relaxer like Valium before coming in as well. Some believe both of these measures may help improve the odds of embryo implantation in the uterus.