As a top fertility doctor at KindBody, Dr. Angie Beltsos has helped thousands of families from all over the world have children using IVF and surrogacy. Sadly, when her daughter Elena didn’t survive, Dr. Beltsos became the patient. She, her husband and her three children decided as a family to partner with a surrogate to complete their own family. This is her surrogacy journey.
ConceiveAbilities: How did you choose surrogacy to build your family after suffering a loss?
Dr. Angie Beltsos: When some women decide that they’re going to partner with a surrogate, it’s a very sad, and traumatic decision for them to have to make. They might feel guilty or feel like their body has rejected them; some women go through some of this internal turmoil. It’s hard to accept that her baby is going to grow in this other woman. So I think you have to sort of find your way with that, work through some of those feelings and identify what the ideal situation is in picking a surrogate when you’re having some of that internal conflict. Others, such as gay men are very excited because they never thought they’d get to be parents. Now, with opportunities like surrogacy, they can have a family! There’s a lot of different directions and emotions that lead to picking a surrogate. When my husband and I picked our surrogate, it was us surrendering to the process, embracing it and really having fun. Because of my personal experience, I tell people to find the person that you’re going to do this journey with and celebrate what you’re doing together. Watch Dr. Beltsos video share more about her surrogacy journey.
ConceiveAbilities: How was your surrogacy journey surprising to your surrogate?
Dr. Angie Beltsos: Our surrogate, Jodi and her husband thought they were going to do this altruistic, incredible thing for a couple that does not have children. When they met us, however, we already had three children. We had a fourth child, Elena, who unfortunately didn’t survive. She was born early and we lost her. So Jodi asked us, “What do your kids think of you doing this?” and learned how much our whole family wanted this baby. Most surrogates match with intended parents but, in our story, Jodi matched with our intended family, all of us.
ConceiveAbilities: Thinking about this gift Jodi has given your family; how does it make you feel?
Dr. Angie Beltsos: We absolutely love Jodi. When our baby was born, her family was in the room afterwards with us holding the baby, loving her. She brought a photographer, so we could take those first day pictures. Our surrogate was just recovering from giving us this most precious gift, so we wanted to celebrate her first day of life together. Jodi’s husband, who is this tough guy in the Army, cried when it was time for us to leave. The people in your life that take care of your child, whether the child is an embryo or toddler, are very invested in the success and the health of the child. It’s magical and it’s important. So don’t be afraid of it, embrace it. You’ll find that that journey becomes even more precious, even many years later.
ConceiveAbilities: How has your personal experience through your surrogacy journey helped you help people throughout their own journeys?
Dr. Angie Beltsos: You don’t have to have gone through something to be compassionate. There are really incredible doctors that may not have that personal story to add. Empathy, however, when you yourself have gone through it goes a long way. Losing a pregnancy through miscarriage and going through my own surrogate journey provides me a very unique vantage point for my patients. Although I have been trained medically to help care for you, I have also been trained personally. My war wounds and successes have helped me be a better doctor!
Read the full blog about Dr. Angie Beltsos's Surrogacy journey on our Medium.com surrogacy blog!
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