Becoming a surrogate mother: Telling my son about my surrogacy experience

Becoming a surrogate mother is a big decision, and many considering this decision want to know what it is like to be a surrogate. In this blog series we hope to shed some light on the surrogacy process through the experiences of our past and current surrogates, Charity, Nicole and Jaime. To read previous posts from Jaime, click here.

Surrogate Mom - Jamie

Choosing to be a surrogate was a huge decision to begin with, but once I made that decision, the next obstacle was figuring out how in the world I was going to explain to Jayden, my son, what I was doing. At the time I was preparing for my first journey, Jayden was seven so he didn’t yet know the specifics of how babies were made. I decided I needed to take an approach that would not make him too confused.

As a singlemom, Jayden and I are very close, and I’m very honest with him about everything. He’s a lot like me in terms of wanting to help people out in any way he possibly can. I took the simple approach and told him that I would be traveling to California to meet with a doctor and a family that was struggling to have a son or daughter of their own to see if I’d be able to help them. He accepted that and didn’t really have much to say. After my transfer and confirmation of pregnancy, that was another story. Jayden knew I was pregnant, but now he was excited to have a brother or sister. I had to explain to him that I was carrying for a family that couldn’t, that I wouldn’t be able to bring this baby home when I delivered, and that this baby was going home with this other family. Understandably, this made Jayden confused and probably a little upset because he had wanted that brother or sister. I explained to him that this baby would not look like me or like him, and that it belongs to this other family that couldn’t get pregnant and grow the baby themselves. With that, he accepted and moved on to whatever he may have been doing at the time, like all seven-year-olds do.

Not having done surrogacy before, I didn’t know how much I could really tell people, other than my close family and friends, so I asked Jayden to keep it a secret. Once I was further along in the pregnancy, I let Jayden know that if he wanted to tell people he could. He lit up. It’s almost as if I took a weight off of his shoulders. I found out at his teacher conferences that he couldn’t wait to share with his class that, “My mom was having a baby for a family that couldn’t.” He was so proud and loved bragging about it. He was telling everyone and was no longer upset that we couldn’t keep this baby. It confirmed the joy I had throughout the journey and the reason why I chose to be a surrogate. In retrospect, I think it may have been even easier if I had explained the whole process to Jayden before the embryo transfer!

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Becoming a surrogate mother: My decision to work with an HIV positive couple

Becoming a surrogate mother is a big decision, and many considering this decision want to know what it is like to be a surrogate. In this blog series we hope to shed some light on the surrogacy process through the experiences of our past and current surrogates, Charity, Nicole and Jaime. This is the first post from Jaime. 

Surrogate Mom - Jamie

When I signed up to be a surrogate, I was signing up to help someone in need. I knew I was willing to help any couple in need without discriminating. The agency that I worked with was amazing from start to finish. I felt they were always looking out for me and I had faith that the process would be a smooth one. From the caseworkers to the doctors, I always felt they had my needs met and that they were very appreciative for what I was doing. These families start out as complete strangers and end being life-long friends. I can honestly say that surrogacy has been the most rewarding experience in my life.

After my first successful journey, the agency called me to see if I’d be willing to meet another family and carry for them. Originally, I had planned to carry just the one time, but being that it was such an amazing experience, I agreed to meet another family. Why not? Pregnancy didn’t slow my life down at all, and my son was old enough to understand what I was doing, so we moved forward.

When they chose the next couple for me, they explained to me that one of the parents was HIV positive and explained to me in full detail the process that sperm goes through to be washed before the embryo is created (to learn more about sperm washing, click here). I had a phone consultation with the doctor I’d be working with, and, again, I felt watched out for. I actually felt the risk of infection, for anything, was lower than a non-HIV carrier because of all the extra testing administered.

Maybe I’m too trusting in people, but in my mind, I really felt that the agency, as well as the doctors, would not put me at risk by taking on this couple, so I felt safe to move forward. I realize that a woman who qualifies to be a surrogate and agrees to be one is hard to come by. The agency knows that if I have another successful journey, I would be likely to be a surrogate for another family. If I was hurt or infected in any way, I would not qualify for another round, which helped with my justification of not discriminating against this couple that had a little extra obstacle in their profile.

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Becoming a surrogate mother: Why I chose to do a second surrogacy

Surrogate Mom - JaimeBecoming a surrogate mother is a big decision, and many considering this decision want to know what it is like to be a surrogate. In this blog series we hope to shed some light on the surrogacy process through the experiences of our past and current surrogates, Charity, Jaime and Nicole. To read previous posts from Jaime, click here.

My first surrogate experience was flawless and the most amazing, rewarding experience I’ve ever had in my life. My agency couldn’t have picked a better set of parents for me to work with. We met, had one embryo transferred, and I gave birth to a healthy baby. After birth they mentioned briefly that they had frozen embryos and may possibly want a sibling for their son. I was open to the idea of helping them if they decided to have another child.  

My second journey came unexpectedly. I had contacted my agency to ask a billing question so when I saw the incoming call from them, I was expecting it to be the answer to my question. To my surprise, they were calling to see if I was interested in matching with a new family and doing a second journey.

Taken off guard, I was speechless. They explained to me that they had a “high profile” client, which in the surrogate world usually means someone famous, and they thought I would be a great match. I explained my first family was my priority and I wanted to check to see if they were ready for a sibling. I spoke with my first family and learned they were happy with their son and may have changed their mind about having another child. After that conversation, I agreed to meet the new family and proceed forward.

I met the new family and they were incredible. Famous? Yes, but they were very down to earth and wonderful people. This journey gave me a whole new insight into the realization that surrogacy isn’t a sure thing. I was this couple’s second surrogate and last hope for a baby. Read more