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.
My name is Kate (34). I am a mum to two children Miles (7) and Charlotte (5) and I have a loving husband of 10 years. We live in Victoria BC where I'm a pharmacy technician for a large not for profit called The Victoria Cool Aid society who help the homeless and marginalized people of downtown Victoria.
I decided to become a surrogate in January 2010 after realizing how lucky my hubby and I were to have two happy healthy kids, whom we couldn't imagine life with out. I came across Sally's website SCO and knew that this was the person who was going to help me fulfill my dreams of making families happen. And she has, thank you!
In April 2012 I gave birth to twin boys and I am thankful everyday for being part of their journey. I enjoyed it so much I am currently 7 weeks pregnant in journey #2 thanks to Sally once again. There is no greater feeling seeing mum and dad hold their baby/babies for the first time.
My advice to anyone just starting this journey is believe in the process. Thank you SCO for making my dream of being a surrogate a reality!
Hi! My name is Soraya, from Newfoundland, and I am the very lucky wife of Frederick, and the mother to 5 very active children. I was also the Gestational Surrogate to wonderful family who now have a very beautiful son.
I have loved this whole experience from start to finish and could not have done all this without the help of Sally Rhoads-Heinrich and Surrogacy in Canada Online. I come from a province where surrogacy options are very limited, but still wanted to help someone build a family. Lucky for me I found this website.
In April of 2012 I matched with a wonderful couple from Ontario, through SCO. We went through the whole process and got pregnant the first try with a very wonderful baby boy, who was born in March of 2013. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life which I will never forget! Presently, I am at the beginning of my second journey with another wonderful couple. I look forward to what the future holds!
My name is Keely and I'm a 35 year old single mom of two beautiful children, ages 13 and 10. We live in a wonderful little suburb of Vancouver close to a lot of our extended family. I have a job I love working with very special children in a school. It can be challenging but oh so rewarding.
I was very young the first time I became pregnant and didn't know it at the time that I was about to receive the most wonderful gift, my son. A few years later my daughter came along.
I can't imagine my life without my children, they are the best thing to ever happen to me. My grandma always taught me to treat others how you would like to be treated. If I weren't able to physically bring my own babies into the world I would have hoped that someone would have been kind enough to help me. Surrogacy is a way I can help another person or persons become a family and experience the extreme joy of being a parent and so that is why I chose to become a surrogate.
I was inspired last year by a friend of a friend who carried twins for another family. I got to meet her and hear her story and it really got me moving on the idea of becoming a surrogate at this time in my life. She recommended Surrogacy in Canada Online to me and I'm so happy she did! Through her I found the wonderful support of Sally to guide me through the process and I was connected with an amazing couple.
Every step I've had Sally's support and she connected me with other surrogates and has made this the most wonderful journey.
I wouldn't want to do it any other way! Thank you Sally!
My name is Jennifer and I'm from Chatham, Ontario. I am 33 and mother to one incredible four year old boy and step mother to two beautiful girls. My husband Jay is a licensed carpenter and I work as a personal assistant/housekeeper. We live in a comfortable house in a great neighbourhood very close to the wonderful school my son will attend this fall.
In February 2012 I decided to become a surrogate. It was something I had always thought I could do for someone and I was finally ready to start the process. I went online to find more information and that's when I came across Sally's website. I filled out the application and within a few days I was approved and looking at intended parent profiles. It wasn't long before I began speaking with a wonderful couple that both my husband and I felt a connection with. We met in person about a week later and were matched! It was a very exciting time for all of us. They were very happy to have met us as I was the first surrogate they had actually spoken to.
We started the approval process right away. The process from our first meeting to our first embryo transfer moved rather quickly. We matched in March and transferred in June. I became pregnant on the first try with one baby. Unfortunately we suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks in August 2012. We were all crushed and disappointed. After taking some time to think things through we all decided to give it another try. In December 2012 my intended mother went through another egg retrieval and our second transfer was scheduled. Come transfer day we were all dealt another devastating blow: all the eggs retrieved were genetically abnormal and unsuitable for transfer. What a shock. This was their final attempt at a 100% genetic child. They were heartbroken.
About a month or so later they contacted me and said they were ready to get an egg donor and try again. I was surprised to hear this but excited and happy that they weren't giving up so easily. So here we are in June 2013 and I have just started meds again prepping for our second transfer next month. I'm hoping this is "the one!"
I'm so glad I've made this decision to be a surrogate. Even though the last year and a half has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, I have no regrets and would make the same choices again. I have a loving, supportive family who is always here for me. I have great IPs who are patient and understanding. I so badly want to help make their dreams come true and someday hand them their baby. No one deserves to be parents more and I know their child will be loved and cherished every day.
If I have any advice to pass on to another woman considering becoming a surrogate it would be to make sure you really think it through entirely. You have to be ready to handle whatever the process could possibly throw at you. You'll need the support of the people closest to you, your husband, children and close family. And make sure you choose intended parents that share the same opinions and views on the important things in your arrangement.
Making families IS my superpower!!!
My name is Bethany, I have given birth to 5 beautiful healthy children. Four are mine and one is a surrogate baby, born in January 2013. I have no plans on stopping anytime soon. I am matched and we plan on doing an October 2013 transfer.
My husband and I live in Trenton Ontario with our four children, our daughters are 15 and 5, our sons are 12 and 9. We chose to become a surrogate family because my beloved sister was told she would not become a mother, this was devastating to our whole family. We were to carry her child for her....but could we emotionally?? We would never find out. We decided to become a surrogate for another international couple. When I was 12 weeks pregnant with our surro bean, she also became pregnant.... I am a very pround aunty!!
Being a surrogate has been a wonderful experience. Seeing the love in a mother's eyes was the most amazing thing I have ever been apart of. To think that I helped two beautiful, caring people become parents to a beautiful baby boy is absolutely mind blowing!!
I chose SCO to be part of an amazing group of kind, helpful and loving families. My previous intended parents are with Sally and SCO and it was through them that I met Sally. She was very understanding of my situation, being a surrogate herself, and gave me the advice that made my first journey a joyful one.
Advice....You are AMAZING. It may not always be sun shine and butterflies, but it is a beautiful journey!
My name is Carrie, and I am a gestational surrogate. I am located in Northern Ontario. I am married to a wonderful supportive man. We have four boys. I couldn't imagine my life without our children. They have brought so much love, joy, hope and dreams to our lives.
I am a licensed funeral director. I have helped people bury their loved ones and dreams for the last 15 years. I was tired of the tears, and pain. I needed to step back. I sold my Funeral Home, and became a full time stay at home mom - I surrounded myself with my family, baby laughs and living!
I was so impressed with Sally, and SCO. She is very compassionate, and supportive. I feel truly blessed that she helped introduce me to a wonderful set of intended parents. We are at the beginning of our surrogacy journey. I am looking forward to it! I know that Sally, and her support staff will be able to assist me in all the happy and disappointing moments throughout this journey!
My name is Dana, also known as "your peanut's shell", I am a very blessed mommy to two beautiful little girls, ages 3 months and 3 years, and a so very proud surrogate mother to 1 year old twins. I work in customer service and my fiance and I have been together for 7 amazing years.
I made the choice to become a surrogate at 20, I may have been young but I knew it was something I wanted and need to do the moment I looked at my beautiful baby girl. Knowing so many would possibly never experience what I had in my arms I began the process of searching for someone to help me make couples into families. I came across an agency who matched me and we transferred two beautiful embryos a few days after my 21st birthday, it was an amazing experience but unfortunately I had rather a poor experience with the agency I was with. After placing these beautiful bundles into the arms of their proud parents I knew deep inside that I was not done and realized I was made for this!! That's when I met Sally, she assured me that she would do anything she could to make this new journey with her as pleasant as she could when I decided to give it another go. We kept in touch and shortly after I had given birth to my newest daughter Willow I honestly couldn't wait, I was so excited to see what Sally had for me, I was very shortly matched with my newest couple and I couldn't be more happy and excited for our transfer in September!!
Sally is there whenever I need her and answers any questions I have the best she can. I have very confidently had other women in touch with her as well... she makes this experience very easy and exciting and I hope to tell any woman out there who is considering being a surrogate that you won't regret it, it's the true gift that keeps on giving and giving...