The amazing women who help create happy families choose to become surrogates for a variety of reasons. Some have witnessed family members or close friends struggle with infertility, others learn about surrogacy from a friend who has been a gestational carrier and some simply want to help other families experience the incredible love they feel with their own children.
For Jen, it was a combination of all three, plus the feeling that she wanted to do something more with her life. “I know the joy I felt the first time I held my babies,” says Jen, who has a five-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. “I wanted to help someone else experience that same joy. I felt called to a higher purpose.”
Jen was referred to Surrogate Solutions by a co-worker’s wife and found a supportive community with the Surrogate Solutions team and with other surrogates.
“My entire journey was amazing – from the first time I reached out and spoke to Gayle [Surrogacy Program Director] to working with Lauren [Director of Matching] during the match process to my coordinator, Whitney, who was there any time I had a question,” Jen says. “The private Facebook group for surrogates is also great. It feels like an extended family.”
Helping first-time parents
When asked what was most important to her during the match process, Jen’s list was short but specific. She wanted to carry for first-time parents. She also wanted someone who was open to a relationship both during and after the birth.
“It didn’t matter to me if the intended parents were straight, same-sex or single,” Jen explained. “I wanted to help someone who didn’t have any children and who desired a close relationship. I didn’t want it to be a business transaction.”
She got her wish and matched with a couple in Houston, just two hours from where Jen resides with her family in Victoria, Texas.
A perfect transfer
The highlight of Jen’s journey was the transfer day, followed by “seeing the pink lines on the pregnancy test and knowing that the intended parents’ dreams were finally coming true.” Prior to surrogacy, the intended parents had spent two to three years trying IVF on their own but never had a positive pregnancy.
“The doctor said it was a perfect transfer,” Jen shares. “I have friends in the surrogate community who’ve had perfect transfers that didn’t result in a pregnancy, so I feel fortunate that it worked the first time. It’s a very emotional and rewarding experience.”
Throughout the pregnancy, Jen and her family grew close with the intended parents. They communicated weekly and saw each other in person at appointments or via Facetime. They were even able to meet the intended grandmother (the intended mom’s own mother), who brought gifts for Jen’s children.
“She said I’m a godsend and the angel who helped their family, which makes me feel amazing,” Jen says. “They have all become part of our extended family.”
Jen describes the nine months leading up to the delivery day as a whirlwind. She was scheduled for an induction the day before Thanksgiving and says she was nervous because it was her first time being induced.
“I had heard nothing but horror stories, but little girl was stubborn and content, so we went with it,” she explains.
Jen labored for approximately seven hours and delivered naturally without an epidural. Baby girl was born with a beautiful head of dark hair and was a healthy 7.9 pounds and 20 inches long.
“Mom got to cut the cord and then immediately did skin to skin,” Jen says. “Just seeing her hold her precious bundle of joy made everything even more worth it. Mom and Dad had tears of joy and kept thanking me for bringing their beautiful baby into the world for them.”
Hoping for a sibling journey
Jen and her family remain close with the intended parents, and she is hoping to do a sibling journey for them in the future.
“It’s hard to plan with the surrogacy process; they are leaving it up to me when I’m ready,” Jen explains. “I’d like to give it a year, but I’m excited for a sibling journey!”
If Jen’s second journey is anything like the first, she has a lot to look forward to.
“I could not have asked for anything more perfect and amazing,” Jen says of her surrogacy experience. “I’m so thankful for this amazing couple and being on this beautiful journey with them to bring them all the happiness that they deserve!”
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