My story as a Gestational Carrier – part 1

After our announcement about me being a gestational carrier we’ve naturally had a lot of questions. Besides a ton of supportive and very touching comments – so thank you! I am totally open to answering questions the best I can…or sharing what I can. In sharing this personal journey and also being open to answering questions comes the good and the “bad”. Anytime you put yourself out there you open yourself up to criticism. I will address this more in the FAQs below.  It’s hard to know where to begin because there is so much that can be said. Most of the people that I talk to don’t really want to know the whole story – people are busy. They just want the edited, bite size version. And that’s fine. I’m not sure I could it all into words what this journey has been, what’s it’s meant, how it’s changed me, what I’ve learned, and how God has completely guided the how process. BUT for now, here’s a few questions I get asked a lot that I am happy to answer. If you have a follow up question to something I post, feel free to ask it!

What if their story was my story - #ldsconf quote

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FAQS I get about being a gestational carrier: 

  • Why? Why did you want to do this? How long have you considered doing this? – In a way this is hard to put into words an answer. I always give one. And it’s usually a different grouping of words each time. I don’t have a set answer other than I knew I was supposed to. Or rather I knew I was willing to and if the time EVER presented itself I would know… and I would do it. When I had my first baby 16 years ago I remember thinking after labor was over “I would do this for one of my sisters, family members or a good friend if they needed me to”. I believe that was the first seed that was planted for me to be open to the idea….

Years went by and I didn’t really think about it. We added a few more kids to our family and the “need” never really came up. I mentioned it once or twice to family as life goals or bucket list conversations came up. But just casual convos like that. After our last son was born and growing up and I knew that he was the “end” of the kids that would come to our family through me the thoughts of surrogacy filtered in now and then. I mentioned it only a very few times to certain people when I felt I was to share that with them. It wasn’t anything I was out “advertising.

It never came together for me. Information I found  or comments people made that were deterring or against what I felt was right for me, etc. I just felt like the doors were closed. I began to think that maybe I was just supposed to be open to the idea.. be willing….until one Summer. I stumbled across a blogger/IGer who was sharing her journey of infertility and being able to carry her own children. She was in the process of harvesting her own eggs to created embryos with her husband and have a gestational carrier carry their baby. So I scanned both of their Instagram accounts (and mother and the carrier) and DM’d them my questions. By the time I had come across their story the baby was born and their story together was wrapping up. They were BOTH so helpful and kind and nice. Because they shared their story and were open to answering questions all of the sudden all the “doors” lined up and opened for me. Seriously. One of the coolest experiences of Gods timing in my life. It all fell into place and I found myself with in a week at a fertility clinic getting all the information I needed to know about this process and seeing if I even qualified to do this.

I guess I really haven’t gotten around to much of the “why”…..sometimes you just know you are supposed to do something and you do it. I have a huge heart… a bleeding heart for service and doing good and this just felt natural to me. After our daughter passed away at 2 weeks old I knew the feeling the empty arms. I knew the desire to fill those arms and the want for another child. And as was said in our video “What if their story was my story?”…. how could not do something to ease the ache in another couples heart to have a child. I was simply prepared to do this. And thankfully my body was healthy and ready and able.

Your life is your message to the world - My story as a gestational carrier - brassyapple.com

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  • What does your religion say about it? This was something I hadn’t ever looked into until recently. Sort of funny to NOT CHECK it out but to me is seemed so natural to do this and a “good thing”… so how could this be bad or discouraged. A few years ago I did look up in our church handbook (you can google it – Lds Handbook surrogacy) and see for yourself what it says too. It says it is strongly discouraged but ultimately is a personal matter and left up to the decision of the husband and wife. The two ladies who I asked questions to via Instagram who shared their story were both members of my same religion – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint. They had consulted with their bishops, stake president and even wrote a letter to the First Presidency of the Church. They received answers from all sources and they were all similar – If you feel directed by the Lord to do this, then that is what you should do and this is a matter between you and your spouse. 

I also sought counsel and received the same advice. Some people associate surrogacy with using the egg of the woman carrying it. So let me be clear – this is not my egg. All parts of this baby came from it’s parents and I am simply carrying it for them. I am what is called a gestational carrier.

 

  • Has anyone made rude/judgemental remarks? The short answer? Yes. The long answer: I completely respect other peoples views because we all have differing opinions. What I don’t like or respect is when those views are delivered as the “right way” or the “only way” or in a rude way. As thick as skin can be, some comments, reactions, or words spoken still hurt… or at least bug me for a bit. I feel as if I haven’t shared what I am doing in a way that comes off  as “I am right and you are wrong” but sometimes the comments, opinions and actions showed or directed towards me I feel do not take that into consideration. There’s always more than one side or way to look at this situation or decision. AGAIN, these type of comments are far fewer than the many, MAny, MANY supportive comments I get. I’ve learned people are very quick to judge and may not even realize it. (judge not)

 Do not judge others - my story as a gestational carrier - brassyapple.com

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  • Won’t you get attached? How can you carry a baby and give it up? Honestly, this is something that never even crossed my mind! LOL! Is that funny or what??? Of course it came up before I was approved to be a gestational carrier because my husband and I BOTH had to have a psych evaluation to see if we can handle doing this. And one of the questions asked is about how am I going to handle NOT getting attached to a baby I carry and grow in my body for 9 months (It came up other times as well in the process and of course in conversations with people now).

One of the neat things about our time as foster parents for a few years is learning how to take in children for a time and give them BACK to their parents or BACK to family members. The ultimate goal of foster care is to reunify them with their families. I had no idea that the ONE of the many reasons we felt directed to become foster parents then would aid in this process now. We know what it feels like to take someone in and give them to their family. We know it and our kids know it. We’ve seen the joy of parents and children when the day comes that they get to “go home”. So in a way, this is a same.

Also, the mindset going into starting this entire process is completely different! Completely! We aren’t looking to get pregnant and add to our family that way. If we were it probably wouldn’t be a good time to carry another couples baby! There are no tugging on my womb for another. We aren’t making any plans. And by that I mean when you get pregnant you MAKE PLANS. You think about what gender it will be and start to think about names. You begin to buy items and set up a nursery. You think about the future. You think “wow, this time next year our baby will be ____ months old!” You think about Holidays. Baby’s first Halloween – “Oooo! What costume should we buy!” Baby’s first Christmas – “how exciting!!!” Plans. You make them… and we AREN’T doing that – THE PARENTS ARE! :) And that is a really exciting thought. Something that I get very emotional thinking about. It’s like giving BACK the biggest gift of my life so far to someone that asked me to hold onto for a 9 months.

Being a gestational carrier isn’t for everyone. People have said ” I could never do that” and they are probably right. They know themselves better than anyone and this isn’t for everyone. But it was right for me and I feel blessed everyday that things are continuing to go well and this little baby is growing!

Trust God - my story has a gestational carrier - brassyapple.com

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Those are the highlights of the most the asked questions. There are more but this NOVEL of a blog post is long enough for this time around. I believe there is a power in sharing our stories. Some stories are meant to be shared right away. Others at a later time. Some publicly and some privately when moved upon to do so. I know that the 2 ladies who shared their story via Instagram was an avenue that God used to start me on my journey and my story. And although the sharing of this story had to be delayed until we were a bit into the process, well…. there is timing is all things. I don’t know what that is per say but I do know when it needed to be shared. My hope in sharing is that it reaches who it needs to….

More to come… stay tuned.

(You can see some of our daily life or behind the scenes on my IG feed and don’t forget to check out my IG stories too! I share some of my wardrobe struggles now that I’m in between sizes. LOL! or ask for advice on what to eat to calm my stomach)