Surrogacy is giving yourself to another with the common goal of creating a family. Surrogacy for the surrogate mother and her family is making dreams come true and helping people in a way that changes many lives. Surrogacy for intended parents is trusting another human being with your dreams and the most precious part of you.
There is nothing quite like the experience surrogates and intended parents go through. Every person’s journey is unique and each one will come with its own ups and downs. One thing that I think a lot of surrogates and intended parents don’t expect is just how much personal growth you go through in every step of your journey. You can realize things about yourself you never knew were there, you can see people in different lights and you can in a lot of cases develop a greater understanding of this community of people all embarking on a life changing experience.
Since everyone does go through a different experience and everyone grows in their own way I decided to take to the best sources and interview some surrogates and intended parents. I asked them one simple question and that is “what is one thing you have learned about yourself or one thing you have taken away from surrogacy since venturing into your own personal journey.” It was very eye opening to see all of their different responses. All of these surrogates and intended parents are in different places with surrogacy. Some have gone through losses, some have had bumps in the road, some have had a perfectly smooth journey, but none are the same and that is the beauty of the process. Have a look at their personal words below to get a glimpse into the growth and feelings a few of these people go through. I have added my own personal growth experience at the end as well.
“What I have discovered, since embarking on my surrogacy journey, is more about what I have learned about others than what I have learned about myself. My perspective of others has grown in a positive way because people are good. I already felt this to certain extent and it has only been proven more greatly since pursuing surrogacy. I expected a bit more of a resistance when I started telling people that I was going to be a surrogate for a same-sex couple from across the ocean. Instead I was met with genuine curiosity and interest and more support than I thought imaginable. Friends, distant family members, coworkers, neighbours and even acquaintances have been so thoughtful and understanding. It’s a wonderful thing to discover.” – Surrogate S
“Generally I’m a skeptic and I find it hard to digest tropes regarding the power of positive thinking. But this fraught journey of building a family through surrogacy and fertility clinics and a problematic legal system has softened my cynical side and has taught me to keep a positive outlook and trust in the miracle of hope. Otherwise you’ll just want to quit with every obstacle. So I’ve learned that I’m a pretty positive guy after all and I actually believe in tiny miracles” – Intended Parents J&C
“Since first looking into surrogacy in 2012, I have grown into a much more soulful and patient person. I empathize with those around me and really try to understand their perspectives. I now believe in miracles, wholeheartedly after delivering 3 surrogate babies and having the privilege of watching so many of my surro-sisters deliver miracles into the arms of their intended parents. I have been a witness to so many beautiful love stories, and working with CSC, I am thrilled to know that I will be a part of so many more.” – Surrogate C
“Through surrogacy I have learned what kind of ripple effect one act of kindness could have” – Surrogate A
“As I am sitting here after the delivery of these beautiful babies watching my intended parents scramble to find their way, it was so wonderful the joy they have trying to figure out where to start when baby is crying! It’s all coming together and working together the team they become. The moment their eyes laid on them that is what being a surrogate is all about. The reality, the dream, relationships, and everyone new you meet along the way! The moments you get to see and share. Having the ability to help someone that can not do it alone is the most amazing superpower anyone can have!” – Surrogate M
Reflections from the surrogacy journey:
It is a humbling experience being entrusted to carry life’s most precious gift for someone else. I have never forgotten that…even for a moment. And it has been a true honour.
It’s strange how your perspective changes. Something that was once taken for granted. Suddenly pregnancy seems so magical. And even minor annoyances seem less so, knowing someone else is yearning for that opportunity. Even the exciting milestones are met with a brief moment of dampened excitement since you think of the one who “should” or would love to experience this… but isnt able.
I like to think the last year and a half has brought alot of personal growth. I know there are lessons that life has a way of presenting to us over and over again. The main ones that stand out to me are some things are out of
your control, and learning about time and patience.
I am certainly stronger than I ever knew imaginable! And feel surrogacy has contributed to making me a better person overall. I am so grateful for this experience with everything it brings!” – Surrogate V
Our journey as Intended Parents and what we’ve learned so far:
When my partner and I started this journey, we knew it would be a challenging one. What we didn’t know was how rewarding and inspiring it would be. Although we are still trying for a baby, we have so far formed the most wonderful relationship with our surrogate, one that continues to grow and deepen every day.
As the saying goes, “anything worth having is worth fighting for”, and that certainly has been the case for us. Very sadly we lost our first baby at 11 weeks earlier this year. This was a shock for all of us as up until that point all the signs had been positive. However, as terrible as the experience was it has helped to bring us closer together and strengthen our relationship in ways we could never have imagined. Our surrogate was just amazing throughout the whole experience. Not only did she demonstrate extraordinary empathy for our loss, she remained positive and determined to continue the journey even after undergoing challenging medical procedures. Significantly, it has also deepened our understanding and appreciation of what it is like to lose a baby.
Suffice to say the journey so far has been a real rollercoaster of emotions…nervously waiting for scans and test results, and hoping and praying that everything with the embryos, baby and our surrogate is OK. And amongst all of this, continuing to balance a positive sense of optimism with a pragmatic sense of reality. Knowing that sometimes things can go wrong and being prepared for that but also how important it is to take a deep breath, relax, maintain perspective and enjoy the good times.
Perhaps not surprisingly, we’ve also learnt a lot more about each other and who we are as a couple. Having to discuss and make difficult, complex decisions has tested and reinforced our communications skills, but more importantly our love for each other.
During our recent trip to Canada, we were able to spend more time with our surrogate and her family. Just hanging out, having dinners, playing games, going to the local museum, spending time in the snow (a novelty for us) was so much fun. It’s amazing how this journey has brought complete strangers and two families together…forever. We couldn’t imagine being on this journey with anyone else and feel so blessed to have our surrogate and her family in our lives.
Surrogates would have to be some of the most amazing human beings on the planet. Not only for the personal sacrifices they make and the physical risks they take, but the profound joy and life-giving gifts they create. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the terrible things going on in the world, and so for us our surrogate has renewed our faith in humanity. She lives and breathes the art of dream making, demonstrating what is possible when you put your heart, mind and body to the service and happiness of others…she is a true inspiration!
Lots of love and positive vibes for the next stage of our journey.” – Intended Parent J
So as you have read through all of these different experiences you can see all of the emotions that go into a surrogacy journey. I will finish this off with a little bit of what I have learned from my 2 experiences so far.
I had the perfect first surrogacy experience. Everything seemed to line up and we were very lucky to get pregnant right away (with twins to our surprise). The end our my first journey had a lot of unexpected events including a cesarean birth that I was not expecting but I gave birth to these beautiful twins and made their dreams come true. This experience though changed the way I viewed a lot of things, it really helped me grow as a person and realize I had a passion for what now has become my incredible career of birth support work (Doula). As I ventured into my second surrogacy journey that passion just kept getting greater. We had a beautiful start to our journey and the relationship we have formed is just incredible, but to our surprise we ended up suffering through a miscarriage. This experience continued to change me as a person. I have become so passionate about helping others through hard times and it has really given me a new understanding of the hardships so many people go through in their journey to parenthood. It also changed my views in a big way on the compassion and understanding people still possess. My intended parents were so graceful and caring in a time when they very well could have shut down and should have been able to just grieve their focus was on making sure I was ok and well taken care of. I have always been a very independent person and always had the strong personality type but until you go through certain things you never know quite how strong you really can be. I’ve grown in ways I never though I would and my experiences make me who I am. Through the good and the bad I have realized that I can make a difference in this world, even if just with a couple people. It is all so worth it. – Surrogate R