When it comes to surrogacy, Kiely is a pro in every sense of the word. She has completed three surrogacy journeys and also has two children of her own – sons Robbie (age 12) and Ronin (age 8) – with her husband, Dean. The desire to help intended parents (IPs) who cannot carry a child on their own was a seed that was planted early on for Kiely. As a child, she recalls her aunt being a surrogate and the difference it made for the family her aunt helped to create.
“I saw how important her role was in helping that family have their child, and I knew I wanted to do the same thing for a family one day,” Kiely says. “Outside of having my own kids, surrogacy has been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.”
Every journey is different While each journey was equally rewarding for Kiely, no two were the same. “I’ve carried singletons, and I’ve carried twins. I’ve carried for straight couples and same-sex couples; I’ve had IPs who were close by and others who lived far away,” says Kiely. “Every journey is different from the one before.”
Kiely’s first journey in 2016, coordinated through Surrogate Solutions, was for a couple in their 50s who had moved from China to the East Coast. They had spent many years trying to conceive, and surrogacy was their last option. Kiely knew on delivery day – after seeing the couple with their daughter for the first time – that she wanted to do another journey.
Kiely’s second set of IPs found her through a blog she had written during her first journey. “I asked a million questions and learned all the ‘ins and outs’ of surrogacy during my first journey and wanted to document it,” Kiely says. “I shared the link to my blog in a Facebook group for IPs and surrogates. I received an email from a couple saying they had read every word of my blog and asked if they could take Dean and me out to lunch, so we could all get to know one another.” Kiely and the intended mother bonded instantly, and she went on to carry their son.
For her third journey, Kiely felt strongly that she wanted to carry for a same-sex couple. She reached out to Surrogate Solutions again and quickly matched with Jeremy and Jarett. “Dean and I fell in love with them right away; they are wonderful people,” Kiely shares.
Jeremy and Jarett live in the Dallas area and were able to easily commute to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where Kiely and Dean live, to attend appointments. They stayed with Kiely and Dean the night before the first ultrasound – where there was a huge surprise in store for Kiely and the intended dads the next day.
Kiely, who has always opted for a single embryo transfer with each journey, explains, “I’ve always said that I wouldn’t choose twins, twins would have to choose me. The night before the first ultrasound, we were all joking about how crazy it would be if there were two heartbeats on the sonogram. And sure enough, there were!”
With a twin pregnancy, Kiely was concerned about gestational diabetes. She says Jeremy and Jarett were great – offering to provide whatever nutrition program or coaching she felt would benefit her most. Thanks to her diligence with her diet and the extra care she received from a specialist in maternal/fetal medicine, Kiely had a healthy pregnancy and delivered the identical twin girls in June of this year.
Friendships built through surrogacy While Kiely says she’s never had a sense of entitlement or the expectation of an ongoing relationship
with the families after delivery, she and Dean have been fortunate to cultivate great friendships through surrogacy. They are still in touch with the second couple she carried for, whose son is now three.
“The mom and I talk often,” Kiely says. “Every year on her son’s birthday, she texts me and says how happy she is to be his mom and thanks me for the special role I played in their family.”
The same is true for the relationship she and Dean have built with Jeremy and Jarett. “We talk often and are looking forward to seeing them next month when we travel through Dallas on our way to Galveston,” Kiely says. “We’ve developed a really great friendship.”
Sharing her experience Throughout the past year, Kiely has found a passion in educating other women about the surrogacy process. In 2021, she started a TikTok account – ThatSurrogateLife – which has grown to more than 15,000 followers. She’s also writing a book based on her experience.
“After three very different journeys, I think I have good insights and perspective to share,” Kiely says. “The purpose of the book is to provide as inclusive of a resource as possible for first-time gestational carriers. It will give them real-life perspective into every step along the way – from how to have conversations with your children about surrogacy to how to deal with skeptics.”
Of her personal experience with skeptics, Kiely says, “If someone isn’t supportive, it’s because they don’t understand surrogacy.” Overall, her family and friends have been supportive of her journeys. “My husband is my biggest supporter,” Kiely says. “We’ve been blessed to be surrounded by a wide and loving support system, including our kids, families, coworkers and friends.
“I definitely get the occasional comments like, ‘Girl, you’re crazy,’ or ‘I could never do that,’ but those who are closest to me wish me well and cheer me on.”
Another journey? So, what’s next for Kiely? The obvious question is – will she do a fourth journey?
After much thought and many conversations with Dean, Kiely excitedly shares that she plans to focus on starting her fourth and final journey in January 2023. She shared her reasoning in a recent TikTok video.
“After experiencing the joy of motherhood and knowing there are other families out there who want it just as bad but, for whatever reason, cannot have their own children – that’s why I do this,” Kiely says. “I know how fulfilling parenthood is. If all I have to do is be pregnant, and someone else gets to feel that joy, I’m game!” And if you’re reading this and considering whether surrogacy is right for you, Kiely has this message to share.
“What I’ve learned along the way is just how much of a need there is for gestational carriers. There are IPs lined up waiting. Keep doing your research and learn what you need to learn to get to the point where you feel equipped to make a decision because there are IPs waiting for you.”
If you would like to learn more about how you can help create a family, please visit our website: www.surrogateinformation.com or reach out to our team at Info@CreateAHappyFamily.com.
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