Ask The Surrogate: Answers from Our Gestational Surrogates
Vermont Surrogacy Network has been operating since 2014 when Jes Stumpf realized there was a need for a more personal approach to gestational surrogacy through an agency. In the years since, we have welcomed 60 babies and helped create countless amazing relationships between intended parents and gestational surrogates.
We have a phenomenal group of surrogates and want you to hear their stories in their own words. We compiled a list of questions for our surrogates and will be sharing their answers in our new blog series: Ask The Surrogate.
If you’ve ever considered becoming a gestational surrogate and want to hear directly from women who’ve been part of this unique journey, this series is for you. We’re so happy to have you here. Let’s get started with today’s question!
What didn’t you know about surrogacy that you wish you’d known when you were getting started?
Kristen B, who has had two surrogacy pregnancies with VSN, wants you to know:
That it is NOTHING like getting pregnant on your own. Just because you can easily conceive naturally doesn’t mean IVF will be just as easy peasy!
Lisa M, who has experienced one surrogacy pregnancy already and is currently pregnant with her second, shares:
IVF is such a crap shoot. I’ve seen embryos fail under the most perfect circumstances (highly rated, tested embryos, perfect lining, hormone levels look great), and I’ve seen less ideal situations that didn’t have as much hope for success result in a perfectly healthy pregnancy and baby.
Having never experienced infertility issues or loss growing my own family, I didn’t realize how common fails, chemical pregnancies, blighted ovums, and miscarriages are with IVF and surrogates. It’s a humbling reality we see every day in the surrogate community. It heightens your awareness and brings a new appreciation for what so many IPs (intended parents) go through. Being able to complete a journey is truly one of the most magical experiences of my life and something I will never take for granted.
Ashely A, currently pregnant on first surrogacy journey, acknowledges the challenges:
We knew that all transfers may not work, but when they fail in real life, it is heart-wrenching. I wasn’t prepared for how I would feel talking with the IPs after things didn’t work out. They are great people, and I did feel like I had failed them.
Aly G, after one surrogacy pregnancy, reflects:
I didn’t realize how long the process could take! Between lining up cycles and unsuccessful transfers, throw some COVID complications in there, and it took two years and a month from when I met the IPs until the delivery of surro baby. I also had no idea that just because I could easily get pregnant naturally did not mean I could get pregnant easily with IVF.
Katie P, currently pregnant on first surrogacy journey, knows about all the surrogacy feelings:
I think I was told. But the emotional highs and lows! The feeling of wanting something so bad for people that were strangers not too long ago is a very overwhelming feeling. Emotionally consuming.
Jennifer D, currently pregnant on first surrogacy journey, agrees with Katie P:
I couldn’t agree with this more. I knew of all that can go right and wrong with surrogacy as I did a TON of research before starting my journey, but I don’t think any amount of research or reading can truly prepare you for the rollercoaster of emotions you go through.
Kayla C, currently pregnant on her first surrogacy journey, urges you to learn about:
The choices for conception, medicated with PIO and estrogen or natural with your own cycle. If I do another surrogate journey, I will only be a natural round now that I know that could be an option. (Note: every IVF clinic has protocols for surrogate transfer cycles, and natural cycles may not be an option at every clinic. Make sure you know what your clinic’s recommendations are.)
Relationships and Intended Parents
Brianne K, who has experienced one surrogacy pregnancy and is starting the sibling journey, stays strong:
The questions and opinions of some can be quite hurtful! It’s important not to dwell on their comments and know that what you are doing is absolutely incredible and is a miracle! Also, having a great bond with the IPs that can last a lifetime is something truly special! I was fortunate to have this, and the IPs will now be our lifelong friends!
Cristy W, after one surrogacy pregnancy with VSN, confides:
Working with my clinic was absolutely awful! I had IVF for two of my own kids and it was not nearly as awful. It can take MONTHS to get started with them! Also, you might have a really good relationship with the IPs, and it can change toward the end and make delivery awkward.
H, who asked to remain anonymous, advises:
It’s super important to take your time during the matching process. It’s okay not to pick your first potential match! It’s easy to get so excited in the beginning and just say yes! But it’s as important for you to match with the right intended parents as it is for them to find the right surrogate.
Questions About Gestational Surrogacy?
If you’ve ever considered surrogacy but aren’t sure where to start, this series is for you. Our surrogates have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share, and they’re excited to do so.
Keep an eye out for future posts in the series, and if you have any questions you’d like us to ask our surrogates, feel free to contact us. We hope that by sharing these stories, we can help more people create their families through gestational surrogacy.