Angel’s Journey - Part 1
We're so pleased to welcome gestational surrogate Angel as the latest Team Baby guest blogger. With a positive pregnancy test under her belt, she's excited to share her unique perspective on the process as it unfolds in a series of upcoming entries.
January 28th, 2014 – I took a home pregnancy test and was ecstatic when it came back positive. I couldn’t have been happier or more excited to see those two beautiful little pink lines. I was equally excited to quickly go tell my husband the good news… and even better – it wasn’t his! He didn’t react the way most husbands might when they find out their wife is pregnant but with a baby that isn’t his, but then again, the baby wasn’t mine either! He was just as happy as I was. It was the next step in a journey we started together 9 months prior to help build a family for a wonderful couple. That is where I am at now, but I think it’s important to go back and start from the beginning…
My name is Angel. I am a 29-year-old tired mom of one beautiful toddler and have been happily married for six years to the better half of me. In early 2013, my husband and I had made the official decision to not have more children. We had struggled for two years to conceive when we were finally blessed to become parents to our precious miracle. Those two years of infertility truly changed who we were as individuals, a couple and as parents – for the better.
But I was sad at the thought of never being pregnant again. I so loved every moment of being pregnant – even the unpleasant sides, like not being able to tie your own shoes. I loved being pregnant because I knew I was lucky enough to experience pregnancy and parenthood – the good, the bad and the ugly – when so many others could not. And then surrogacy just came to me, almost like an epiphany. It was the perfect solution! This gave me the ability to experience pregnancy again while helping complete a family. I searched online about surrogacy for hours and came across ConceiveAbilities. From the moment I clicked on their website, I knew this was the agency that would help me become a surrogate. I filled out an application and waited for a response. I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but from the first encounter with them and speaking with Alicia after my application was accepted, I felt completely comfortable and at ease. I came into this knowing nothing about the process and the fine details. It was scary and overwhelming at times, but I knew I had the support of everyone at ConceiveAbilities. Alicia took the time to answer all of my one hundred questions and was so patient with me. From June through November, my husband and I completed mental health exams, a home visit and a medical workup and were cleared to move onto the legal process which, for us, took about a month to complete.
Once we were through the legal portion, we were finally able to start building the relationship with our intended fathers (IF’s) that we were matched with in August. This was my favorite part; we were so excited, nervous, curious and happy to start talking with them. Our IF’s live in Spain, but it has not been any sort of a barrier in our experience. We set up Skype calls every other week or so and email basically every day in between to catch up and get to know each other. When we Skype, an hour flies by because we all feel so comfortable with each other. It’s a unique relationship being built. We are all working towards the same goal on “Team Baby,” but getting to know each other in a way that works for us while navigating a very personal journey. Sure, I wish they lived closer because I would love to see them more often, but we are always keeping in contact and thinking of one another. We are becoming a part of each other’s families and it’s wonderful.
January 21st 2014 - We transferred two beautiful embryos and waited two long, agonizing weeks to confirm if we were pregnant or not. We were so ecstatically happy to get the results back that I was in fact pregnant and my IF’s were going to be parents! In that moment, when I told them that the test was positive, seeing their reaction and their excitement was worth every second of everything that I had done in this process. The trips away from our daughter to complete the mental health exams and medical work up, the daily shots, pills and all the other excitement but uncertainty and anxiety I had faced thus far. There was nothing like that moment and I’ll cherish it forever.
I’ve always been an open person and have been sharing my experiences with surrogacy on a personal blog and social networks. I wanted to do this for two reasons – one was because eventually (hopefully) I would be pregnant and I knew I couldn’t hide a big belly forever. It was easier for me to explain to my friends and family all at the same time. And two, because I wanted to educate others on what the process is really like from someone going through it. And who knows, maybe even open a few closed minds. The response I got from going “public” about my choice to be a gestational surrogate was so overwhelmingly positive that it was almost hard to accept. I have received so many heartfelt messages of gratitude from others, positive thoughts on important days, like the transfer day and genuine excitement from friends and family about my our decision to do this for another family. To any potential surrogates reading this, this is a journey you will not forget or regret should you choose to embark on it. It’s not always an easy journey but you will have the support of ConceiveAbilities and other surrogates to help you through. I am just getting started in my surrogacy journey and it has already been life changing. From the bond that comes to getting to know other surrogates to gaining new family through your IP’s, I look forward to sharing more of my experiences.
Be sure to check out part 2 as we follow Angel on her experience of becoming a surrogate mother!