Overcoming Miscarriage and Trauma During Surrogacy
Jessica lives in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada and has been an altruistic surrogate twice. She recently gave birth to a surrogate baby in November 2020.
Q: You mentioned that you experienced a miscarriage in your first surrogacy journey. Could you explain the feelings you had and how you overcame the loss? How did the intended parents handle it?
A: It’s hard to explain but during any of the hard things I felt very separate from what was happening. I would go through the physical aspect of it but mentally the hardest part was knowing these people I cared for were experiencing a loss. I feel like they took the loss as well as one can.. after that we had 2 embryos left and it was hard to feel hopeful.
Q: How did you meet the IPs you were a surrogate for in your first and second journeys?
A: The first time I had signed up with an agency to do an egg donation, I had done one in the past for a friend and was interested in doing it again, but a profile of a couple who were looking for a surrogate caught my eye. We spoke once and I felt like we had been friends forever.
The second time was sort of on a whim. I had no intention of doing another surrogacy but one day I just felt compelled to check it out. I called the girl who had connected me to my first set of ips and asked her to just send me profiles in case something clicked. After reading their profile I knew I was going to do it for them.
Q: You mention in one of your posts that you hate being pregnant. Did you know the IPs intimately before offering to be their surrogate ? What motivates you to be a surrogate?
A: I have this weird thing where I innately love and trust people so it wasn’t hard for me to feel connected to them. I also know how much I love being a parent and would hope that if I had needed a surrogate someone would have done it for me. What motivates me is my love of babies, families and hoping my choices rub off on my own children. I want them to want to help the world be a kinder place and the best way for me to do that is to show them first hand what that means. I should also add that after experiencing the joy of watching my first set of IPs with their baby it was easy to want to do it again. You don’t feel that sort of happiness often. Without try to sound cheesy it’s as much as a gift to them as it was to me.
Q: Where did you give birth? Could you talk about what your hopes were for birth and what ended up happening?
A: I chose to give birth at the birth centre, I had four relatively easy births at the hospital and wanted to give an all natural birth a shot, I also wanted my daughter who is five to be present and felt this was the best way to have that happen. I had this dream of everyone being there and having a beautiful birth and breast feeding the baby after while everyone had snacks…Unfortunately immediately after delivering the placenta I started to hemorrhage. It was really scary and I went into shock. My whole body was shaking uncontrollably and I could hardly speak or open my eyes. After the midwives took all the necessary steps I was coherent and seemed alright but when I got up to use the bathroom I lost consciousness. It’s quite foggy for me but I was taken to the hospital by ambulance, thankfully my daughter slept through it all… in the end I needed a blood transfusion. I wasn’t capable of walking or going to the bathroom alone for a week. I was very weak and unwell. My husband took care of me in a way I never would have expected him to have to. I’m now 2 weeks postpartum and feeling a lot better. I’m still easily tired out but we are getting there.
Q: What is your relationship with your first set of IPs? Do you guys still talk?
A: I love my relationship with them. It feels like they are our family. We have each other on social media and talk every once in awhile. I love seeing photos of Isabelle. It makes everything so worth it. My current ips really want to get us all together one day and I hope we can make it happen.
Jessica’s Advice to Surrogates
“Ensure you have a good support system because this is going to test you in ways you didn’t know you could be tested. You are going to sacrifice a lot and then some. You will be sore and tired and sometimes even resentful. But you will be filled with so much love and gratitude. It’s not comparable to anything else. Also don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with, your mental and physical health should be a priority, make sure you align with your intended parents. I have been lucky twice to have connected with IPs who care deeply for my well being and I can’t even begin to explain how important that is.”
Jessica’s Advice to IPs
“Be gentle with yourself. You can only do so much from your end, some things are still left to the universe. Allow yourself to feel all of the feelings and be hopeful, you’ll become a parent and this will all be a distant memory.”