Gestational Surrogacy Experience
Hello, My name is Angela and I’m the owner of It’s Time Surrogacy and I was in fact a gestational surrogate. I didn’t carry full term but I still learned a lot of lessons.
Here’s my story…
I was about 21 years old. I do not remember exactly how my intended parents and I found each other but I think I answered an ad in the PennySaver. Yes, it was an independent match, something I have gone on to never recommend to anyone. For our first meeting I met my intended mother in a local cafe type restaurant and she was so nice and kind. We clicked, and I could instantly feel her renewed hope that was layered in a lot of pain. They had done a few IVF cycles on their own and many cycles with a surrogate that they were still matched with at the time. All the cycles had the same outcome, no baby to take home. As she shared her story I couldn’t believe someone had been through so much and still had not given up hope. I wanted to help them so badly, and we right then and there agreed to work together. I was medically screened and passed with flying colors. How could I not? I was 21, with history of 1 vaginal birth, and healthy. There was no psychological evaluation performed on me or them because this was an independent match and it was not a requirement back then. I was working in a fertility center, wise beyond my years and presented well, as did they. The contracts were drafted by the intended parents and I did not have my own legal representation. I know industry people are cringing right now, and believe me, I am too looking back. I read through the contract and everything seemed fine (I was naive), and they wanted to compensate me a few thousand dollars, which I was surprised it was so minimal. Not that I was doing this for the money, but I wanted to put money aside for my then 2 year old daughter for college. I choose to discuss the compensation with my intended father, an attorney actually, and he offered to have his brother-in-law invest the $5000 they wanted to pay me and hopefully get more money. I was a bit upset, but I really wanted to help this couple have their dream of a family. I wanted them to have a baby so badly that I signed the contract.
We went through a few cycles and several embryos were transferred, which was very common two decades ago, and finally ended up with a miracle positive pregnancy test. We were all so excited!! The intended mother cried when she spoke to me, and so did I. Their dream was coming true… I thought.
Sadly the pregnancy did not progress normally and I miscarried. The devastation I felt for my intended parents was something I have always kept in the back of my mind. Their tears, sadness, and disappointment washed over me and have always stayed with me throughout the decades. I truly believe that feeling that pain made me a better person. I underwent a DnC, and the intended mother and I never spoke again. I experienced not only the loss of the dream we all had together, but also the relationships we all had formed. Years later I found out the intended parents relationship ended in divorce as their family drama unfolded on the nightly news. I couldn’t believe what I was reading in the headline, and the sadness of my miscarriage darkened my mood.
As I look back on my own experience, there are so many things I would have changed. I would have gone through an agency! There were not very many agencies up and running over 20 years ago, but I COULD have found one, and I SHOULD have. As a surrogate I would have had someone looking out for me, and the intended parents would have had someone supporting them as well. Overall my gestational surrogacy journey was life changing, and I am glad I was able to see it from the point of view I did. I have been able to share my thoughts and ideas with intended parents and surrogates alike. It gave me another tool and made me a better medical assistant, then IVF coordinator, and now an agency owner.
Stay tuned next week to the story continuation…Egg Donation Experience.