So I have decided to share this part of our life publicly, since we know it has leaked out recently anyhow. We would prefer that people hear from us and not through gossip in the community. So here goes… Back in September, I decide to become a surrogate for a deserving couple in London, who cannot have their own children. We did not make this decision lightly, but we also did not make this decision based on what others might or might not think of it. And when I say we, I mean my husband and I. We made this decision together. If Rene had said he didn’t want me to, it wouldn’t have happened. Doing something like this takes the support of a spouse and never would I have embarked on such a journey without him holding my hand the entire way. We considered every part of how this would change our lives and the lives of our family, especially our children. Before I explain our reasoning for doing this, I want to say one thing very clearly… I understand some of you won’t support this decision and I don’t care. Keep your negative opinions to yourself. I am not writing this to justify why I am doing this to anyone. I simply know that people are naturally curious and we would like to do our best to spin a very positive light on this whole situation. I understand some of you will have lots of questions out of curiosity and I will do my best to answer most of them now so we aren’t bombarded by a million questions every time I see someone. Many years ago I met someone who had done this for many different couples and I was in awe. I thought it was something I would do if I could. Years passed and I had my own four beautiful children. Pregnancy and birthing was kind to me for the most part and it seems I was a bit of a natural. I love the miracle of life. And then through unforeseen circumstances, the idea popped back in my head. Through searching the internet, I found the information I was seeking, but still had reservations. When it was all put on my plate in front of me, it was very intimidating. Trips to fertility clinics, time away from my kids, doctors probing and prodding me. Then there were the estrogen medications and daily progesterone shots I had to self-administer. Nevermind all the legal contracts and everything that had to be put in place before any of this could even go forth. It was a lot to swallow. Then I met my couple in a surrogacy group online. It began innocently chatting and asking questions of each other with no obligations. I realized after a few short weeks that if I were to surrogate for anyone, it was going to be for them. Hands down, they were the reason I went forward. Their desire for a family left an ache deep inside me. I began to imagine life without my children and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It only made sense that my ability to carry babies effortlessly could be their winning lottery. I am no better than anyone else. All sorts of people give of themselves in many ways and this is just one way I can give of myself. I thought about the selflessness required to give over my body for a year and relinquish decisions to other people about the little baby I would be growing. It was a huge commitment. But we all went into it being honest and open with each other and I like to believe that a very strong friendship has grown out of it. This has changed our lives in so many ways, as I know we have changed their lives. I know the most common question people will ask, is how can you give up the baby once it is born? I know this was probably the one concern of Rene’s and our parents and probably my own. In the end, one surrogate I talked with during the process helped me clear my head when she said, “You aren’t giving up a baby, you are giving back a baby. They are giving you their life to grow, and then you are giving it back to them when they can finally take care of it themselves.” It made perfect sense! So the inconveniences and pain I might go through during the process is miniscule in comparison to the joy that I will one day experience when I am able to see their faces when they get to hold their very own baby they could not have had on their own. By the way, I am not genetically related to this baby at all. I am simply the oven for the bun to grow! And during all of this, I want to be able to teach my children a valuable life lesson… that life should be about helping others just because they can. It might mean giving blood, or helping at a food shelter, or just being a good friend to someone who really needs one. But in the end it doesn’t matter how big or little their gift is, as long as they give it, expecting nothing back in return. Maybe it is unrealistic to be so fanciful, but I still want to believe that people are generally good. I want to raise my kids to understand compassion and giving. I am sure I can do that by telling them, but what better way than to show them. I am teaching by setting my own example. Maybe it seems extreme, but I have been known to go all in when I decide to do something. Please forget all you have heard about surrogacy in the United States. It is a lucrative business there that is arranged by agencies that have Intended Parents pick a surrogate candidate out of a profile book. They pick and pay a woman to have their baby. That is not how this works in Canada. There is no profit or compensation to be made. The Intended Parents pay all the expenses I incur during the process, and that’s it. It may seem like I am taking all the risk, and all the burden for the entire time, but trust me when I say this, they are already paying for it heavily in the fact that they can’t have their own children, and who do you think is paying for the insanely expensive fertility clinics to work their magic? They have paid their dues. My part in this is short-lived. So we embarked on this journey and will continue down the road together for as long as it takes to bring them the happiness they deserve. Be happy for us and be happy for them. This is not something everyone is willing to do, but it is our choice, so please respect it.