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Becoming a surrogate was the best decision I ever made

Sometimes, the best way to gain an accurate and clear understanding of something is to hear from someone who has gone through the experience. And that, perhaps, especially applies to something as singular and significant as surrogacy. What better way to gain a deep intuitive understanding than from a like-minded person with firsthand knowledge? Here is the story of one such mother.  

Mothers like me are in a unique position to consider whether surrogacy is one way they will choose to give back, writes guest columnist Niki Renslow

I first became interested in surrogacy in high school, when my LGBTQ+ friends were talking about surrogacy as a way for same-sex couples to become parents. Many years later, after I’d become a mother myself, I made the decision to embark on a surrogacy journey. I was both excited and nervous, but I was also sure that I was making the right decision.

For people looking to grow their families, surrogacy is a highly reliable – and sometimes singular – way to become parents. In addition to the barriers that same-sex couples face, one in six couples globally face infertility issues that may prevent them from growing their family without the help of a surrogate, egg or sperm donor. And in Virginia alone, over 250,000 women of childbearing age experienced infertility as of 2020.

For Virginia women struggling with infertility who might also be wondering if surrogacy is right for them – or who are open to considering it – this is my story as a former surrogate and current surrogacy advocate, who wants to assist potential parents just like you.

Surrogacy is a life-changing and fulfilling experience, and it is one that should be made with great consideration and thoughtfulness. The reality is that it’s not all smiles and rainbows.

I decided to become a surrogate in 2010 and worked with an agency to match me to prospective parents. When I first met the intended parents who I would be carrying for during our welcome call, a same-sex couple who lived overseas, I knew their goals for communication and the surrogacy aligned perfectly with mine. It was amazing getting to meet them; with the agency’s assistance, I was able to learn about their culture, their goals and, ultimately, their vision of parenthood.

Still, questions remained. I knew that I had easy pregnancies with my own two children, but I wondered whether it would be different to undergo the IVF (in vitro fertilization) process, a necessary step to be able to carry my intended parents’ embryo(s). Was this something I was really ready to do?

I eventually got pregnant with twins, but as it turns out, it was very different from my previous pregnancies.

Actually, everything I wasn’t prepared for did happen, and I wish I’d had a community of surrogates around me, supporting me as I went through my surrogacy journey. Prior to getting pregnant with the twins, I suffered two miscarriages and had a third failed embryo transfer. Because of this, I had to pause my surrogacy journey, and it wasn’t until the parents were able to find a new egg donor and create new embryos that they came back to ask me to try one more time — my fourth and final embryo transfer, which was a success.

During my pregnancy, I also found myself correcting peoples’ misconceptions. People asked me if I felt like I was giving the twins away, and I had to explain that there was no genetic connection between me and the twins. These twins already had parents. I’ll never forget the day the twins were born or seeing them with their dads for the first time. I just kept thinking, “We did it!”

When I approached surrogacy for the first time, I was grappling with all of the questions, concerns, and uncertainties that come with such an intimate and personal journey. I would have liked to have a community of surrogates who had gone through or were currently going through a pregnancy journey like mine. I longed for a place where I could ask my questions, hear the honest truth, and take in a real picture of what the process and experience is like. There were dozens of clinics and health centers in Virginia that offer surrogacy services, but there was no cohesive network connecting women acting as surrogates here.

So I made a decision to become a resource for other surrogates, and now I’m a full-time member of the Surrogacy.com team, which is the very resource that I wish I had: a 100% surrogate-centered community designed to educate, guide, onboard and support future surrogates. Surrogates need a personable, trusted, candid resource that can provide them with the facts, know-how, and support they need on their surrogacy journey. There’s no one better to provide that guidance and sense of community than former surrogates themselves.

Every day, I have the pleasure of introducing other women to surrogacy and creating supportive communities for surrogates. In my role, I’m able to answer questions for surrogates in Virginia and elsewhere in the country who are facing the same misconceptions and misinformation surrounding surrogacy that I did. In the process, I hope that I’m also helping normalize surrogacy as the way some people become parents.

I remain close with the family that I helped to create and feel so much joy from witnessing their happiness over the years. Now, 10 years after the twins were born, our families still video via Skype and send updates through email, and I have the chance to see the twins grow. In 2017, I was even able to see the twins in person when I traveled abroad for a work conference. That meeting will always hold a special place in my heart.

Mothers like me are in a unique position to consider whether surrogacy is one way they will choose to give back. I continue to tell my surrogacy journey story in the hopes that it will inspire other moms in my Virginia community to consider becoming surrogates and help someone else grow their family.

By becoming a surrogate mother, you are not just carrying a baby; you are also cultivating the hopes, dreams, and future of a family. Creative Love wants all of our surrogate mothers to enjoy their experience with us, from your initial consultation to being matched and delivering your surrogate baby! We are here to guide and support you throughout your journey, and we offer the highest compensation package in Florida. Call us at 954.776.9878 or join our Instagram community here

Reference: [ https://virginiamercury.com/2024/01/31/becoming-a-surrogate-was-the-best-decision-i-ever-made/ ]