I decided that I had the ability to give something to someone that needed what I could do in December 2010. So January 2011 I signed up with Sally (SCO) and started the process. I matched very quickly after chatting with several couples, but once I talked with S and K I just knew they were the ones I need to make parents. We did all the necessary steps, doctors, lawyers, psych evaluation and we were on our way. And not with out some stumbles along the way. We had a failed transfer in July 2011 and as a surrogate you feel awful, what did I do wrong to have this not work. But we brushed ourselves off and tried again in September 2011 and it worked. In October we found out it was twins and the look on dad's face as he stared at the monitor was priceless. Had a pretty uneventful pregnancy needed light bed rest in February 2012. The boys did decide to make an early entrance in to this world and instead of June 13 they arrived April 28 (33 weeks and a few days ) via emergency C-section weighing over 5 pounds each. The look on the parents face seeing their babies for the first time is ingrained in my brain and I will never forget the feeling.
So around December 2012 my son (then 7) and I were looking at the SCO website of intended parents and he looked up at me and said, "do all those people need someone to carry their baby? I said "yes they do." He then looked at me and said "mom, I think we should do this one more time." I called my husband at work and told him what he said and he said "well let's do it." Nothing better then having a supportive family!
So my profile was reposted and the process of matching was started again. But you just know when it's the right couple it just feels right in your heart so around valentine's day 2013 I emailed a couple I was chatting with and said "I want to help you fill your seven seater van for you." (something she had mentioned in our conversation, that she wanted nothing more then a van full of kids) So we started the process again and in May my daughter and I flew from Victoria BC to Toronto ON for the transfer on May 30, which was my 10 year wedding anniversary and the transfer worked. We found out in June that it was twins again and everyone was excited and again it was an uneventful pregnancy and I worked until January 3, 2013 and the girls came via C-section at 37 weeks + a few days January 22 weighing over 6 pounds each. And again seeing the parents hold their babies for the first time is a feeling I can't describe, It is priceless.
My journey didn't end there, I thought I was finished being a surrogate, two sets of twins back to back is hard on your body but the thought was still there to help. That all changed January 28 when I went to the hospital when I hemorrhaged and needed 8 blood transfusions and an emergency hysterectomy. I was devastated, the thought of never having any more children was terrible and I finally knew what the couples (the moms) felt and why they needed a surrogate in the first place. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, I helped two lovely couples become parents and had my two beautiful children and I am now meant to enjoy them and watch them grow.
Well that's my story and it is by far the greatest story to date of my life, I only wish and hope people get to experience once in there life the feeling of giving a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Can you share one special occasion or moment during your journey that left a lasting impression?
There are several lasting impression moments. But the ones that stand out and are by far my favorite are when you match with a couple and their pure excitement and prospects of becoming parents it is truly amazing. The first ultrasound and they see what is growing and see they heart beating, and the moment they see their child or children for the first time that they've waited so long for and worked so hard to have.
How is your relationship with your surrogate mother/egg donor, intended parent(s) or recipient couple?
I have a good relationship with both my couples. We both realize how important we each are to each other. They needed me to help make their family but I needed them to teach me the real act of kindness and giving. They send pictures and we meet up when we can. (live in different provinces)
What advice can you offer to others considering surrogacy and/or egg donation or embarking on their first journey?
If this is something you've thought about, do it. There is no greater joy then making a family. Not just for the parents but the grandparents, aunt, uncles and anyone else close to the family. You have the power to give, don't waste it. Trust the process, it won't be easy but it will be worth it.
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.