Matt and I met as sophomores while we both attended Mizzou in February 2009. “College sweethearts”, we embarked on a journey that led us to say “I do” in 2014. Eager to expand our family, we faced a challenging road when, after 10 months of trying to conceive in 2018, we turned to STL Fertility for answers.
The diagnosis revealed polyps, innocent-looking culprits but after testing revealed they were precancerous. Swift action took us to an oncologist who discovered an unexpected twist—an ovarian tumor. With optimism and resilience, I underwent surgery in October 2019, to remove the cancerous tumor and one ovary. Clearing the remaining biopsies needed, we returned to STL fertility clinic in March 2020, only to find our plans disrupted by the looming pandemic.
Undeterred, we finally were able to return in July 2020 for a successful transfer, leading to the miracle of our first daughter’s birth in April 2021.
As hope and joy filled our lives for the following year, we returned to the fertility clinic in June 2022 in hopes of continuing to grow our family again. However, polyps were found but diagnosed at stage I. Further investigation through an MRI in November revealed containment, allowing us to restart another course of IUD treatment in December 2022, providing hope for a future transfer.
Despite the oncologist’s suggestion of a hysterectomy, I am still hopeful to carry one more child in the future if I can successfully complete my current and ongoing hormone therapy. So, while the option to carry is not currently available, we have hope that our journey into surrogacy can be a successful alternative.
We both love staying active, so we try and run or go to the gym. For me, Cooking is another passion so I try new recipes when I can. On weekends, I pursue a passion for photography. I work a second job as a photography assistant for a wedding photographer and on many Sundays take portraits of families with my sister, Emily. It’s incredibly fulfilling.
As for Matt, he’s all about sports – golfing, and playing recreational basketball during the week with friends. Plus, we both enjoy unwinding with friends, catching up on sports, and cheering for our favorite STL teams. It’s a good balance of fitness and creativity, and we love it best doing it together, or with friends, and family
What led us to Surrogacy?
The decision to pursue surrogacy emerged from a deeply personal journey for myself. Despite our strong desire to start a family on our own, we faced certain medical challenges that made traditional conception challenging.
After exploring various options and consulting with medical professionals and friends and family, surrogacy emerged as a path that offered hope and a realistic chance at fulfilling our dream of growing our family.
We were drawn to the idea of surrogacy not just as a solution to a biological challenge but also as an opportunity to create a beautiful connection with someone willing to help us build our family.
It’s a decision rooted in hope, resilience, and the belief of genuine kindness. Our journey into surrogacy represents a profound commitment to the dream of becoming parents, and we’re grateful for the support and understanding that surrounds us on this path.
Communication and Contact
Whatever is mutually comfortable for both us and the carrier.
- Names: Lauren and Matt
- Location: St. Louis, MO
- Number of embryos: 6 PGT Embryos
- Agency/Management Team: The Biggest Ask
- Fertility Clinic: Molina Dayal
- Surrogate Compensation: High
The Biggest Ask Says
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine provides the following recommendations for evaluation of gestational carriers (i.e., many fertility clinics will require the following for their gestational carriers):
- Carried at least 1 child without complications
- Fewer than 3 deliveries via c-section
- Be within the ages of 21 and 45
- Body mass index in between 19 and 32
- No smoking, abusing drugs, alcohol or prescription medications
- Not receiving welfare, public housing or cash assistance from the government
- Has a stable home life with emotional and child care support
- No mental health conditions requiring the use of medications within the last 6 months (including depression)
- No criminal record
Watch the following video to review the Medical and Psychological Clearance procedures that surrogates must complete.
No one likes to talk about surrogate compensation, but it is an important factor in any surrogacy agreement. The following is how we classify high, medium and low compensation (excluding the value of any benefits). Many factors affect surrogate compensation including surrogate experience (e.g., has the woman been a surrogate before?), whether the surrogate is signed up with an agency and surrogate preferences.
- Low = surrogate compensation less than $30,000
- Medium = surrogate compensation between $30,000 and $45,000
- High = surrogate compensation greater than $45,000