Sarah’s Independent Surrogacy Journey
Q: Can you describe why you wanted to become a surrogate?
A: I loved being pregnant with my daughter, and my husband and I both felt and knew shortly after she was born that we were a one and done family. Since I loved pregnancy but didn’t want more children, I thought it would be amazing to be able to carry a child for someone else who couldn’t.
Q: You mention in your blog that you thought you didn’t qualify to be a surrogate. Can you describe why? Is this one reason why you decided to pursue an independent journey?
A: I first thought about surrogacy after hearing an advertisement for an agency looking for surrogates. That specific advertisement was looking for women 32 years old and younger, and I was older than that at the time. I just sort of assumed that meant that I was too old to be a surrogate. My daughter was also born with some medical complications, and without really looking into it, I thought that would disqualify me as well. I didn’t really think about it a lot until I was chatting with a woman I met that was a family law and reproductive attorney. I mentioned to her that I would love to be a surrogate but that I didn’t think I would qualify. After many hours talking with her and many more doing research around qualifications, I realized that I could pursue it.
Q: As a first time surrogate, the independent journey must have been scary. Who or what helped you feel more confident and safe during this crazy time?
A: As funny as it may sound, it didn’t feel scary to me to do an independent journey, but I do think that has everything to do with the people I had around me. Judith, (the lawyer that I mentioned earlier), actually introduced me to the woman who I ended up carrying for thinking that we would be a good fit. When the two of us met, she instantly felt like family. Both of those women, the fertility clinic, my doctors and my own lawyer all helped with the independent journey and made it feel as simple as possible.
Q: You were diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia. Can you describe your experience?
A: I was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia 3 days after the baby was born. I had been discharged from the hospital the day before and the next morning had gone into my clinic to do an incision check for my c-section. It was then that they discovered my blood pressure was very high and getting higher. There were moments when it was scary, and I spent an additional 5 days in the hospital. My husband was able to be with me the whole time which helped so much, and I didn’t have a baby that I was caring for so I was able to just focus on myself and my own health. Honestly the hardest part was realizing that having postpartum preeclampsia definitely did disqualify me from carrying again. I had loved the whole process so much that I had already decided that I wanted to carry as a surrogate one more time, so I had to mourn knowing that couldn’t happen.
Q: So SO amazing that your daughter helped with your injections! Did this help her feel more a part of the process with you?
A: It did! She absolutely loved it, and I loved having her be apart of it with me. She’s often been on the other end of the needle through her life with her own ongoing health challenges, so it was super empowering for her to be the one giving the injections! Plus, how many 12 year olds get to give their mom injections? She’s talked about wanting to go into the medical field when she grows up, so it was fun for her to experience that and it was a fun bonding experience for the two of us.
Q: How was it for you to keep the surrogacy fairly private until you were further along?
A: I had a few close friends that I told before and during the process, a few more that I told when I hit 12 weeks, and then I made a Facebook announcement to my wider group of friends when I was 20 weeks along. I was 39 at the time with a 12 year old daughter, so no one expected me to show up pregnant. It was a super fun surprise and an exciting announcement to make. I just felt so passionate about it the whole time that it was really great to be able to share with a wider group of friends that I was doing this, and why I was doing it.
Q: Was it hard for you at all that the Intended mother and baby left just one day after you delivered?
A: It may sound unbelievable, but I only felt deep joy when the mom and baby left. I felt so much happiness that they were finally together and that the mom had the baby she had been waiting for so long for. It was beautiful and fulfilling.
Q: Do you get updates on your old belly buddy now? What is your relationship like with your Intended mother and baby?
A: I do, and I love that little guy! The mom remains a dear friend and I get to watch my belly buddy grow up and be in his life as he does. That makes me happy!