You never realize how hard it is to describe yourself until you have to. V and I met 4 years ago, he was an anesthesiologist in Southern Illinois and we started dating long distance, as I worked as a real estate attorney in Bellevue, Washington. Just a side note – I was convinced he wasn’t my type, but he swears I chased him from the start…but since I am the one writing this, we will just say my story is the truth 😊 We got engaged after a year of dating, and then the COVID-19 pandemic infiltrated our lives, he was in charge of the COVID unit — intubating and ventilating patients and we barely saw each other due to concern over spreading the virus since he was in close proximity 24/7, the borders shut down and our wedding in Canada got cancelled. It has been a tough road, his father and sister also both got diagnosed with cancer, and we have been trying to have a baby without much success. However, we are so excited now to be intended parents, currently V just finished his cardiac fellowships and now focuses on heart and lung transplants and fertility treatments have basically become my full time job, kidding but not really
To describe V and I would be to describe opposites — he is more quiet and reserved and I am more outgoing and love meeting people. I am outright positive and he is “cautiously optimistic”, he listens to country music and old school hip hop and rides a motorcycle, I sing my heart out to Top 40 and Taylor Swift and ride a peloton, he likes the outdoors and nature and I naturally like the outdoors when I am sitting on a patio for brunch or having a coffee staring outside, he is a pescatarian who enjoys sushi and seafood and avoids all meat, I cannot bring myself to eat Ariel and her friends so I only eat chicken and steak and have zero interest in sushi or seafood, he is always cold and I am always hot, he hogs the blanket for warmth, I think about opening the window all night and sleep with one leg out – always! He believes less is more, I believe more is actually more.. the list goes on and on but what we both have in common is — we absolutely love family and our tribe — people who we discover life with, which includes our surromom — we both know and understand the sacrifice of a surrogate (medically as a physician and physically/emotionally as someone who has been through 3 years of treatment). We also both believe that going through things together is always more fun and less stressful than going through it alone, so we are excited to have someone be added to our team. The last 4-5 years have been challenging but we are so excited to hopefully add the very first baby to a family that has suffered immensely with sickness and hopefully start a new chapter of hope, health and happiness and a baby!
What we are looking for in a surrogate
What we are looking for in a surrogate is someone who is compassionate, positive and resilient. We are very easy going and we are grateful to even be considered by the surrogate to carry our child. We are flexible in the relationship that the surrogate would want or be comfortable with. We hope to connect with someone who has amazing family support and we will most definitely be alongside as well. R would like to be present (virtually or in person) at all major appointments and birth. V has birthed many babies, but I would love to be there if possible in the room. We would love the option of breastmilk but no pressure put on the surrogate to produce, only if she can and it is easy for her to do so and of course if she is willing. I would love to have a sisterhood relationship with my surromama, where it isn’t so formal and professional. We are not anxious intended parents, with V’s medical background, we understand science and want our surromama to feel relaxed and happy, it is best for her and the baby, we do not want her to feel anxious, nervous or be afraid to disappoint us. We believe that the surrogate would be the baby’s first family member that the baby learns to know, and her feelings and happiness is circled back to the baby. Following birth, we would love to update the surromom with pictures and updates/facetimes as she is comfortable with and for her to know that she will always be part of our family and we will always and forever remain — grateful.
We were asked our thoughts on the following: We ideally would like to transfer one embryo at a time as the surrogates health is of the utmost importance, we also feel that decisions surrounding terminating the pregnancy due to birth defects and complications should remain with the intended parents, our embryos are genetically tested. We also believe in the power of continued testing to ensure the fetus is doing well and cleared of dangerous life conditions.
When I look back at my life, the greatest moments and events always start with the people that were there sharing the moment with me… We are so excited to meet you and start this journey on creating another greatest moment — together.
- Names: V and R
- Location: Chicago/Seattle/Arizona
- Number of embryos: 7 PGT tested embryos
- Agency/Management Team: The Biggest Ask
- Fertility Clinic: Seattle Reproductive Medicine
- Surrogate Compensation: High
- Requirements: Ages 24-37, BMI under 32, has children of her own, strong support system
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
- 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
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 $20,000
- Medium = surrogate compensation between $20,000 and $40,000
- High = surrogate compensation greater than $40,000