It's an honor to welcome gestational surrogate Nikki as a Team Baby guest blogger. Already an experienced egg donor, Nikki came back to us with the desire to help a family in totally different - and equally remarkable - way. Here, she shares how the journey has unfolded for her so far.
Surrogacy in itself is an enriching endeavor. One full of dedication, beauty, happiness, gratification. . . .and at times, the heaviest burdens of sorrow and dismay.
This is my journey from start to. . . .well, here. . . .over the past ten months.
After researching the process for years and deciding that this was something every piece of my heart and soul were set on, I began looking for an agency (first for egg donation and later, the same agency for surrogacy). Knowing up front that this, to me, was one of the more important pieces of the puzzle, quickly rushing through to find any agency was something I very much shied away from. I wanted to find an agency that was not only highly reputable, but one that was the complete and utter embodiment of all the lovely things which are often times associated with surrogacy (if there was even such an agency that existed!). Trust and hope. Communication, love, determination, results, emotions and dreams. I felt that at the very least, it was absolutely worth every last hour I was spending looking for the right fit. When I found ConceiveAbilities, I knew instantly that this was the company who was going to help me fulfill my dream of assisting another in the expansion of their family.
I began the lengthy application process. The application covered everything from medical history to my likes, dislikes and explanations as to why I wanted to become a surrogate. After receiving an acceptance e-mail, a four-hour psychosocial evaluation and personality assessment were scheduled for both my husband and myself, on the same day, at the office with the director of the program. Nerve-racking? Of course. I felt that perhaps even the tiniest of things may ‘disqualify’ me from the program and I so badly wanted to continue the journey with - and with this particular agency, as I found the staff to be warm, friendly and attentive. Happily, I was accepted into the program and from there we moved forward with the surrogate matching process!
When I got the call letting me know that the agency had found a ‘potential match’ I was taken aback with excitement - and reality began to sink in that this was really all beginning. The initial meeting with the potential match was wonderful and awkward, warm and exciting all at once. Everything came together and it felt right connecting with them. Naturally, I hoped intently that they would have mutual thoughts. We were matched a few days later and it was the greatest feeling in the world. . . .but also a strange feeling, having now spoken with my intended parent once and knowing we would not be able to speak again until after legal had been cleared and signed. It seemed like one thousand years away at the time.
I later received a call to schedule my medical workup one month out. From there, we made the arrangements necessary to visit the out-of-state fertility clinic. Upon returning and receiving medical clearance (hooray!), we wrapped up legal. At times, it seemed as though everything was moving so slowly, and there were times when I felt as though we were scrambling. Through the mix of it all, I certainly felt a healthy balance– somewhere right in the middle of too fast or too slow. Looking back, after legal, all of the steps in this process now feel so much more significant when thinking about how they have impacted the journey as a whole. Thriving and learning and growing together.
As our transfer attempt nears, I cannot help but feel full of fear and excitement. Mostly, I feel immense pressure. Pressure to do the best job of all. . . .and for my body to be successful. . . .an overwhelming sense of it’s all on me. With an undeniably wonderful team, good results are bound to come with time. The sort of collaboration that occurs between my intended parent, the agency, the medical staff, my husband and myself truly is a remarkable form of dedication to the objective at hand. The teamwork speaks for itself while providing a very raw picture and understanding of what this process is all about. . . .through the highs and equally, if not more importantly, the lows. The partnership that exists between us really is incredible. It is all of these pieces that help to make up the astonishing puzzle in its entirety.
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.