Surrogate Stories: Tawna

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I always knew I’d be a surrogate. From the moment I found out, to the time someone I loved learned that due to health reasons she may not be able to have children, to the day I delivered twins for someone who was not my husband, I always knew I’d be a surrogate.

After having my own kids, I was perfectly happy with the thought that my little family was complete, but I found myself devastated at the thought of not being pregnant ever again.

So I brought up the idea with my husband, and he was fully supportive right from the first conversation. We were so lucky to find that our families were supportive of the idea as well. They were just so excited for us to be doing this.

I found Growing Generations, matched, and transferred with little incident. That part was exciting for sure, but it was pretty uneventful. We started a medical calendar and began to get excited for our transfer. That transfer was cancelled due to a failure of the embryos to fertilize. Such an awful feeling. But we kept at it, and eventually made it to transfer. Then we found out that our first embryo transfer had failed. That was devastating.

But instead of giving up, we tried one more time. We felt so positive that this time had to be THE time. This time when the blood results came back, they were positive. And that was the best day ever! Things only got better from there when we found out it was twins.

A healthy delivery of those twins and two years later, I would again find myself in the lab for another blood test and again learn that a transfer had worked, and once again, it was twins! It would seem I have a knack for it!

The truth is, I secretly always wanted to carry twins. I felt like a multiple pregnancy would make it just different enough from my own pregnancies. I knew that there could be health risks and that the twin pregnancies could be harder on my body. Ultimately, we were matched with such awesome fathers and I knew that they had my best interests and my health at heart, so I felt comfortable with the chance of twins. It made it seem worth it to me to carry twins not just once, but twice.

At the end of two surrogacy journeys I have delivered four babies into the arms of loving intended fathers. Honestly? I would love to do this 100 times more! Being pregnant is so special and fun and just amazing to me. I have absolutely loved the fact that I’ve changed these men’s lives forever.

I’m a big believer in going out while I’m ahead. I’ve had two healthy single pregnancies with my daughters, and two healthy, full term twins surrogacy pregnancies. I don’t want to push my luck. So now my family and I stop and move on to the next phase of our lives-nurturing these beautiful relationships that we have with these 2 families.

For me it’s about family. Not only the ones I’ve helped to create, but my own as well. I think it’s just SO cool of my husband to have supported this dream of mine. I think that the partners of surrogates are kind of the unsung heroes in surrogacy. They support their wife during pregnancy and labor and sacrifice so much of themselves to support their wives in carrying and delivering a baby that is not their own. I think a man that is confident in this role as a support person and excited to help another family is so special. And I’m SO glad that my two daughters have grown up with surrogacy as a part of their lives. They see it as perfectly normal to sacrifice your body to help someone and help change the world. I can’t wait to see what they do when they become women.

Surrogacy is so huge in my heart. I hope to find a way to always stay a part of surrogacy without actually carrying the babies. Hopefully being a support for other surrogates, or helping other women realize that they can do this amazing thing too.

I’ve had such positive experiences, and such healthy births and pregnancies. I can’t say enough how amazing GG was through everything. I always felt 100% supported every step of the way. I loved everyone there and always knew that they had my back no matter what.

It’s important for people to know how great surrogacy is. I’m glad to be an ambassador for this amazing, life changing, life affirming thing called surrogacy.

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.