Almost five years ago, I became a mom. After my son was born, we relocated from New England to Wichita, the city I grew up in. At the same time, my best friend was beginning a long and difficult (and expensive!) journey with infertility. Some of you have been there. It really sucks.
My bestie and her husband live in Wichita too. We have spent lots of time with them over the last four years, going camping, having game nights, hitting up the food trucks and generally having a grand old time. I had another child. My husband and I became foster parents and have had several children in and out of our home, some for very brief moments, some for months at a time. During all this she waited for and desperately wanted a baby.
This past spring, we had the conversation. Most of you have never even thought of asking someone, “Will you carry my baby?”, but I didn’t even hesitate.
Thus began a long and arduous process of bloodwork and physical exams, psychological testing, and contract negotiations. I had to make plans to travel with my kids to California (where her doctor practices) to transfer her fertilized embryo and give myself daily vitamins and nightly hormone injections. It was not easy, and parts of it were really NOT fun (70+ injections tend to make one’s booty a little sore over time). But not once did I rethink my decision.
There may be some of you in a similar situation and are wondering how my family got here. These are a few things I considered when agreeing to be a gestational carrier surrogate:
- Why am I doing this? For us, it’s not about money. It’s about wanting to give my friend the opportunity so many of us take for granted – the opportunity to be a mom.
- What are the health risks? My first two pregnancies were a breeze, the deliveries not so much. My husband and I had a long talk about the potential negative health outcomes. Signing a contract that explicitly says, “I understand the risks up to and including death,” makes one think long and hard before signing.”Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)
- How will this affect my life? Besides the obvious, my relationship with my friend and her husband will never be the same – in the best way possible. We are sharing something incredible. But there are drawbacks, too. Being pregnant in general is not always sunshine and roses, and the fertility drugs I took to jump-start my body into pregnancy mode made all normal symptoms worse. On the bright side, I get a buddy at my doctor appointments, and I’ll have an extra labor coach or two!
I know we made the right decision for us. If you are considering using or becoming a gestational carrier or traditional surrogate, hopefully my experience can help you with your decision!
Note: Gestational Carrier Surrogacy is not legal in all fifty states. Check your states laws before deciding to pursue surrogacy. For more information on Gestational Carrier Surrogacy vs. Traditional Surrogacy, click here.