Erika is a military wife, mama to two kids, and has done THREE surrogacy journeys!
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself!
A: I am from California currently living in San Diego where my husband is stationed. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Maison, who has been in the U.S. Navy for nearly 17 years. We have two children (ages 20 & 15), Hannah who dreams of being a firefighter and Michael who aspires to be a police officer. We have two fur babies, Opie and Davy Crockett, who have no idea that they are dogs.
Q: What led you to surrogacy?
A: I was very fortunate to have great pregnancies and deliveries and knew in my heart that I was not done having children. I had a good friend who was a surrogate and connected me to her agency. After talking about it with my husband and praying about this decision, I knew this was where I was meant to be.
Q: How many times have you been a surrogate and tell us a little about each journey?
A: I have been a surrogate three times. I delivered a girl in 2018 for a family in China, and two boys, one in 2020 for a local couple and one in 2022 for my friend who I went to high school with. Each journey was beautiful and so unique. Having two babies during a pandemic was hard but thankfully I had amazing IPs who were so caring and supportive. With the exception of not being able to have the parents in the room during the deliveries (due to the pandemic restrictions), I would not have changed a thing about each journey.
Q: Independent or agency led?
A: I have had the best experience with the agency I work with (Family Matters Surrogacy in San Diego) and could not imagine it any other way. They have been so kind and supportive. Breann, who is the mastermind and rockstar behind FMS, has become such a great friend and mentor (having been a surrogate herself). She really knows what it takes to be present and encouraging to a surrogate. There is so much involved behind the scenes of what surrogacy entails, I do not know what I would have done without Breann and Family Matters Surrogacy!
Q: Do you have a close relationship with your IPs & surro babies?
A: Yes! My first wombmate lives in China and I speak to them every few months and they will give me updates, photos & videos of their little one. My second surro baby is local and I speak to the parents often (via social media and text). The moment I met them, without any hesitations, I knew I wanted to be their surrogate. I absolutely love them and I am in a shared album so I get photos and videos of the baby often. I went to high school with my most recent belly buddy’s mother so we had known each other for over 20 years. Our families got together often during the pregnancy. I was able to be there for the gender reveal and that baby shower and we have been able to visit the family after the baby was born. Who could have imagined the friendship we began all those years ago would lead us to this. My cup overflows thinking about our journey and being able to do this for her.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a surrogate?
A: Oh there are too many to talk about honestly! With my first journey, the IM did not speak English (except for a few words) but she was so comforting and was right by my side during the delivery. The moment she saw her daughter she began to cry and you could see the joy in her eyes. My second journey, the moment the heartbeat was confirmed, the way the IPs smiled and reached for each other brought me to tears. That is hands down one of my favorite memories. My third journey, seeing mom hold her baby boy for the first time and then introducing him to his dad, watching that special moment was such a blessing to me. Seeing the look on the parent’s faces as they held their babies for the first time is an absolute gift; they are moments that I treasure.
Q: How did you first learn about surrogacy?
A: A good friend of mine, Jennifer, was a surrogate several times and it was so beautiful to witness. She introduced me to Family Matters Surrogacy and Breann. We even got to be pregnant with surro babies together.