I'm now officially half way through this surrogate pregnancy with the fathers' sweet little princess! Since I've updated last, I've started to feel her kick, which I love! It's so funny what you forget about pregnancy, although I was pregnant not too long ago before this (2 1/2 years) and there's no hiding the baby bump now! I finally feel like it's more of a bump than that weird in between stage that looks like a large lunch or beer gut rather than a baby. I'm still feeling great, which I'm super thankful for, especially since I know other surrogates who are just as far along as me who have had a rough time with sickness or other complications and it makes me realize how lucky I am for such a great pregnancy. Since I'm now halfway, I feel like I'm getting more questions about this process and my plans to possibly carry another surrogate baby/babies again. I thought maybe answering a list of questions I get asked most often might be helpful for anyone who may have been following my story or who still had questions about this whole process.
Here's part one of the Top 10 Most Asked Surrogacy Questions:
1) Q: Why did you decide to do carry a child for someone else?
A: My husband and I decided we did not want any more children since having our daughter. It took 2 years to conceive her and a lot of tears, heartache and disappointment along the way. Due to what we went through to have our family and since we are so happy with having just one child to focus on, we made the decision to not have any more kids. However, I was sad at the thought of never being pregnant again and thus, I started looking into surrogacy - both to fulfill my desire to experience pregnancy again as well as help another couple build their family.
2) Q: What is the process like?
A: In a very brief summary, it includes submitting a very detailed application, mental health evaluation (of your spouse, too), a home visit, medical work up, compiling a legal contract, background and credit check. I also participate in monthly support calls for surrogates as well. For some surrogates, the process takes longer than others. It is unique to each individual and intended parents. For us, from the application to transfer, it took about 9 months.
3) Q: How did you get involved with a couple from Spain?
A: I spent hours researching reputable surrogacy agencies and decided that one, ConceiveAbilities, was the one for me. I put my application in last April and was accepted to move on in the process. After a mental health evaluation and home visit, we were "matched" with a couple from Spain who were on the waiting list with the agency as well. We were able to Skype with each other to "meet" and see if we felt the match was a good fit for us both, based on values, what we wanted out of the relationship, our agreement on various topics, etc. We were officially matched last August and the rest is history!
4) Q: How did you "get pregnant"?
A: With the miracle of science. The fathers used an egg donor and had embryos made with both of their own sperm that were then frozen. To prepare for the transfer of two embryos into me (one from each father), I started taking injections and oral medications about a month prior to the transfer and for roughly 7-8 weeks after receiving a positive pregnancy test. These injections suppressed my own ovulation while thickening my uterine lining to help make those babies stick! The transfer itself took all of 5 minutes - the embryos were thawed the morning of and then inserted and then I was on bed rest for 3 days.
5) Q: How do you communicate with the fathers?
A: We Skype and email. We email frequently throughout the week and try to Skype as often as we can. I love to talk to them and although they are 7 hours ahead in time, we make it work with our schedules. They speak very good English so that isn't as big of a barrier as I thought it could be. Each time we talk, I can see the joy in their faces about having a baby on the way and they are always so thoughtful, telling me I look great and how thankful they are to my husband and I for helping them in bringing their baby into the world. They are as involved as they can be from that far away, but they've Skyped during ultrasounds and doctors appointments and I'm so thankful for technology to allow that to happen!
Check in next week for part two of the 10 most frequently asked questions about surrogacy!
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.