A first-time surrogate shares her story
We frequently hear from surrogates that one of the best parts of their journey, second only to helping to create a family, is the relationship that is formed with the intended parents (IPs). After sharing such a uniquely personal experience, many gestational carriers (GCs) and their families develop lifelong friendships with the IPs, even considering one another part of their extended family.
Paige, who delivered her first surro baby in November 2021, is no exception. The connection with IPs Raquel and Carl came easily for Paige, her husband, Nathan, and their children – but it’s the bond she forged with Raquel that stands out the most.
“I think most surrogates would agree that the relationship with the intended mother is the most important relationship throughout this journey,” Paige says. “Raquel and I clicked right away.”
The right match
At Surrogate Solutions, we conduct an in-depth matching process to help ensure a successful journey for both surrogates and IPs. For Raquel, being paired with a surrogate to whom she could relate was a top priority.
“I was nervous I would have a GC who is a lot older than me, and I wouldn’t be able to relate to her,” Raquel says. “I ended up matching with Paige, and we are only two days apart.”
Indeed, their closeness in age (both are 31) helped spark the initial connection that has grown into a lasting friendship.
“We joke that we are sisters separated at birth,” Paige says. “I feel like we were always meant to be on this journey together and become amazing friends. We still text, or I get a picture with updates almost every day. I love seeing how much Max [Raquel and Carl’s son] has grown and how much everyone loves him.”
While the match between Paige and Raquel happened rather quickly, the amount of time it takes for surrogates to be matched with IPs varies on a case-by-case basis. Paige’s advice for other GCs is that it’s worth the wait to find the right IPs.
“Finding the perfect match is going to make all the difference,” Paige explains. “Don’t feel like you have to budge on your feelings or beliefs. You will find a family that is perfect for you to go through this journey with.”
She adds, “I am so thankful to Raquel and Carl for choosing me and trusting me to carry their son for them. Imagine, having someone else that you just met be the person who takes care of your child for you for nine months. They made so many sacrifices for their child, and I feel absolutely honored to have helped in any way!”
Paige describes the delivery day as the “big moment that everything has built up to.” She and Nathan met Raquel and Carl at the hospital for an induction. Due to COVID-19 protocols, Paige could only take one person with her to labor and delivery, so Raquel accompanied her. Once they both tested negative, their husbands were able to join. Paige says the labor took longer than with her own two children, and they all passed the time hanging out together as they waited for it to progress. After 16 hours of labor, Max arrived at 11:11 p.m.
“Raquel and I had talked for months about an 11/11 baby. I saw the numbers 11:11 throughout the entire journey, so that moment was really special,” Paige explains. “We all got to be together in the room when he was born. My husband took the most amazing pictures of Raquel and Carl seeing their son for the first time. It was magical!”
Like many surrogates, the question Paige gets asked most often is if it was hard to say goodbye to the baby. “I loved carrying him, but the hardest part was saying goodbye to Raquel at the end of the journey,” she shares. “Having an entire state between us is torture!”
Raquel agrees. “It was really hard for me to leave Paige and head back home,” she says. “Of course, I was beyond excited that Max was finally here and to bring him home, but just knowing that we would be five and a half hours away from each other again was tough. We still talk often, and I cannot imagine our relationship ever coming to an end.”
For Paige and her family, the closure to their surrogacy journey was seeing Raquel and Carl with their son.
“This baby never felt like he was mine, so seeing him with his parents just felt natural,” she explains. “It’s hard to describe. I knew he wasn’t mine, and I think that he knew I wasn’t his. I would see him with Raquel, and in my opinion, I don’t think anyone would be able to tell that she didn’t carry and give birth to him herself. They were just naturally each others.”
Paige’s children were also able to spend time with baby Max before everyone headed their separate ways. “They got lots of snuggles,” she says. “Of course, my kids loved it…finally seeing who they would talk to and read to while he was in my belly.”
The journey was everything and more
As Paige and Raquel hugged goodbye at the hospital, Paige shares how she told Raquel, “This journey is everything I hoped it would be.”
Raquel’s response? “And more.”
“When people ask me about my experience, I tell them it was everything I hoped it would be and more,” Paige says. “Getting to be a part of the journey and seeing how much love brought this perfect boy into the world is one of the biggest highlights of my life. I wouldn’t change a single thing!”
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