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.
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.
I agreed, and we moved forward. This couple now has a very healthy baby boy. I get updated pictures and emails which include such words as, “We had the best Christmas ever, thanks to you for giving us our son.” That right there is why surrogacy means so much to me. This couple lives in France and has booked a visit for me and my son to go visit them in October. Not only do we get an amazing opportunity to travel out of the country, but we get to spend time with our friends and see how much their son has grown over the last year.
I have not been infected with HIV and have even been asked by this couple to carry a sibling for them, so we are in the very beginning stages of that process. I’m looking forward to growing their family, and I have no worries about being infected with HIV for this cycle either.