I'm Kelly - from Ontario. Among many other things on my life's CV, I am honoured to be able to add 'gestational surrogate' to the list of what defines me.
My journey did not start the day I typed 'Surrogacy Canada' into the Google search field and pressed 'enter'; it started exactly 10 years before that in a Doctor's office when I was diagnosed with PCOS at 20 and told not to rule out adoption if I wanted children, as it may be the only opportunity for a family.
Still in University, it was not a time of my life that I was willing to test out my fertility; Instead, I did a lot of research. I read up on what seemed like every case study, read every blog post, bought every book I could find.... everything came back with the same vague answer - that PCOS was not textbook, and it is case-by-case... Discouraged, but still too young to try for a family, my mother put my worries at ease and offered to carry to term my children if required; my first thought about surrogacy was as someone who may or may not need one. It was during this time I said that I would love to be a surrogate for someone/a couple if I was lucky enough to be able to carry to term.
When we were ready to try for a family, we were among the lucky who could conceive with the aid of fertility drugs (a very high dosage at that) - and without any complications. My uterus is amazing --- too bad my ovaries fail by comparison. We had many months where the drugs didn't bring about ovulation.... so I had experienced, first hand, the emotional roller-coaster of hope, wonder....and two weeks later, disappointment.
It was 10 years, and 2 children later (girls, ages 5 and 3 at the time) that my family and I were ready to embark on the journey that I had promised in secret so many years before.... and thankfully, with the amazing support of my husband, children, close friends and family, and Sally (Surrogacy in Canada Online) I delivered a set of beautiful and healthy boy/girl twins on February 14, 2014 - only 2 days shy of our 1 year anniversary of first meeting R & N (the Intended Parents) in person and officially 'matching'.
In an instant, their family was complete... and seeing them holding their children warmed all of our hearts in such a way that you can't put to words; my husband and girls were just as proud as I was.
Being this was my first go at surrogacy, and in a country where the very word surrogacy is blanketed well within a grey zone of confusion and uncertainty to the average person, the experience and knowledge that Sally offered before, during, and after the pregnancy was monumental. It didn't matter if it was a question about how to properly pick the Intended Parent(s), what's 'normal' or 'crazy' during the contract stage, what the heck was going on with all the injections, suppositories, appointments, etc etc. during the first trimester, and what was normal for postpartum healing with twins (since that was also new to me).
In addition to her knowledge and experience, just having her as someone to talk to about things that you can't talk to your mom or best friend about, because their pregnancies compared to surrogacy pregnancy is apples to oranges, is a major asset to a first-time or experienced surrogate. She was there to congratulate me in person when I was in the recovery room moments after the (scheduled) c-section, as well as to welcome the twins and congratulate R & N and the families and friends also there. I can't speak on behalf of R & N, but it meant so much to me to have her there. Her face had a story of happiness, pride, respect, and excitement; she is genuine in this business, wanting what is best for everyone, and for miracle babies to go into nurseries that were once spare bedrooms that stored seasonal decorations and dust.
A surrogacy baby & delivery is unlike other pregnancies... so much preparation, work, energy, nerves, emotion, and hormones are involved in the journey by more than just the pregnant woman, but everyone involved.... and all with the same end goal - a healthy baby (or two) to make a family. So when you hear the baby's first cry, and hear the doctor say that the baby is perfect... it is validation that you did a job well done. Every injection, every suppository, every appointment, every bloodwork requisition fulfilled. Every vitamin and pill, every sleep-deprived night, every stretch mark, every episode of heartburn, every boring day on bed rest, every hour fasting before the c-section. Every IV, failed IV, and restarted IV, every painful tear, every panic attack, every stitch and staple. Every day spent recovering all worth it for every excited video response to the news that the pregnancy test is positive, every tear of joy that stains her cheeks when they see their babies via ultrasound for the first time and find out they are having twins, every ear-to-ear grin and love-filled stare shared between them when they hear the heartbeats for the first time and every time after. Every glowing smile when the parents and grandparents see and feel the babies move, every hug and kiss from your children on your growing tummy followed by the words "that's for the babies, mommy", every laugh and story shared over lunches and carpools to doctor appointments, every hug from the IPs family members when you meet them for the first time and warmly treat you like you aren't the stranger you are, but a friend, every sincere 'thank you' for carrying their children/grandchildren/niece/nephew/cousin, every milestone shared. Every supporting handhold in the prep & delivery room on their children's soon-to-be-birth-days, every relieved cry, every first newborn baby cry, every time you see your own children holding and kissing the babies you did everything in your power to grow as well as you grew your own. Every family member you see holding their children/grandchildren/neice/nephew/cousin, every thank you card, every picture shared, every text message received to check up on you and tell you how the babies and new parents are doing.... every. single. thing.
....all made possible by signing up with Sally.
from my family and I ---- thank you, Sally... for every. single. thing.