Just over 7 years ago, I had some friends and family over for a cookie exchange before Christmas. During the course of the afternoon, my mom questioned what I did around the house, because my awesome husband takes care of so many things for us. I was about 4 months pregnant with “Baby Mort” at the time, so I told her that I grow babies.
Two successful pregnancies and two adorable kids later, I’ve decided to give the whole “growing babies” thing another shot. Before anyone gets too excited, I am not pregnant. Aaron and I will not be having any more babies of our own, despite the fact that we make good kids. 🙂
So now you might be wondering what in the world I AM talking about. Well, I am going to be a surrogate. Technically, I will be a gestational surrogate. Alternatively, there are traditional surrogates who provide the egg as well as the womb. My egg will not be a part of this equation and I will have no genetic tie to the baby.
Having seen various family members and friends struggle with infertility, I’ve thought of egg donation or surrogacy in the past. For a variety of reasons, I never took too much time to explore it in the past. However, last fall I happened to meet someone who had been a gestational surrogate. She was someone I’ll probably never see again, but she gave me the name of the agency she had used – just in case.
I started thinking about it more and the reasons that held me back in the past were gone. I talked to my husband. We thought about it, talked to each other and talked it over with close friends. Then we decided to go for it. And I do mean we. This is not something I could ever do without the full support of my previously mentioned awesome husband!
This all started back in September. Since then, we’ve accomplished a lot to move forward with the process. I contacted the agency and filled out a pre-screening application. They answered my questions. I filled out a lengthy application, provided them with my medical history, had a phone interview and filled out an initial agreement. Fairly quickly, I was provided with the profile of a couple who needed a surrogate, often referred to as Intended Parents (IPs.) Aaron and I agreed this was a couple we wanted to work with. The IPs received my profile and they decided they liked us enough to “meet” via Skype. After chatting, we all agreed this would be a good match and decided to move forward.
After being officially matched, there was even more to do. First I had to receive psychological clearance. After over 3 hours of talking and testing, it was officially determined that I’m not crazy (Ha! Take that Aaron! ;-)) Once we had received the psych clearance, it was time to schedule a medical screening. For this, we had to travel to Chicago to the fertility clinic the IPs are using. I had 7 vials of blood drawn, they checked out my uterus – which is “perfect” by the way – and a nurse talked to us about the medications I’ll have to take before the transfer. When all the results came back and I was medically cleared, we moved on to the legal stage. At this point, the IPs and I each had a lawyer and worked out an agreement that covers all aspects of the upcoming journey – financial, health insurance, legal guardianship, travel, etc…
Well, legal is done and I am scheduled to start meds. Despite the fact that my feelings on needles haven’t changed much since I was 6 years-old and screamed (like, really, really screamed according to my mom!) at a nurse to “get that thing out of me!!!” during a vaccination, I am confident that I’ve gained enough maturity to handle the daily shots coming my way. My super awesome husband might even be a little excited to stick me with a needle 🙂
So now it’s officially official. I am officially on my way to becoming a surrogate. Officially on my way to growing another baby. Officially on my way to helping a couple create a family.
**I’ll probably post occasional updates throughout the process, but nothing like I did with my own kiddos. I’m fully aware that not everyone shares as much as I do and I want to respect the privacy of the IPs and their future little one.**