Today we’re talking with Brandy, one of the gestational carriers we’ve been privileged to work with.
What led you to pursue becoming a gestational carrier?
I love being pregnant! After having my son in 2013 I started missing being pregnant not long after his delivery. Then in November 2017 my family gathered at my sister’s home for Thanksgiving while she was 8 months pregnant and I can remember feeling even stronger an overwhelming desire to be pregnant again. I think pregnancy is a beautiful process and that pregnant women have an amazing glow. The entire way home from that Thanksgiving dinner I talked to God about my desire to be pregnant again. I knew that I wasn’t financially prepared to be the sole provider for another child and that I already felt that I didn’t have enough hours in the day to spend with my then 4yr old son. So when I arrived back home I started researching becoming a gestational carrier because I had heard about surrogacy while watching television one day but, I wasn’t certain on exactly how the process worked. I looked online for hours researching surrogacy, reading blogs written by gestational carriers and watching video testimonials of parents & carriers explaining their experience. I fell in love with the idea of surrogacy but felt like it probably wasn’t a possibility in South Carolina. I then looked to see if there was an agency in my state and found that there is an office located in Spartanburg, SC! I completed an online survey on James Fletcher Thompson’s website to see if I met the qualifications to become a gestational carrier late that Thanksgiving night and I was overjoyed to see that I did meet the criteria! I entered my information to receive a call back from the firm during business hours to hear more about the process. I received a call the next business day from Shannon and by the end of the conversation- I had my mind set on becoming a carrier!
What was your favorite part of the process?
My favorite part of the process was finally being pregnant! I loved how I automatically felt complete again; like I then had a purpose and huge responsibility. I still feel so blessed to have been given an opportunity to help a couple as great as the intended parents to expand their family! I never took my responsibility lightly and I thanked God every day for my body being able to successfully carry another child.
What is one thing you wish you’d known before becoming a gestational carrier?
I wish I would have known how much love I would have for the parents of the baby and for the baby after delivery. I miss the constant conversations between myself and the parents while I was pregnant.
What is something you wish others knew about the surrogacy process?
I wish everyone knew that the process to become a gestational carrier is long but it is 100% worth it! I wish that everyone would understand that I carried a child that had no genetic links to me so when I delivered I didn’t feel like I was giving up my child – the baby was never mine to begin with. I simply gave another couple’s baby a womb to grow inside so at delivery I was returning the baby to his parents.
What was your relationship like with the intended parents? What is the relationship like now?
I love the parents of the baby I carried! The parents were so thoughtful and generous to not just me but also my son. They treated us like an extension to their family! I received weekly encouraging messages that I looked forward to reading all week. I loved spending time with them and wish they lived closer now so I could see them more often. I received many gifts from the parents even before I was pregnant and after the delivery. They also spoiled my son with love, attention, visits and gifts! They thanked him for sharing his mother which meant so much to me. They will forever be loved by me and my son! Since delivery the parents have moved across the country and sadly I don’t hear from them as often anymore. I think about them so so much though and I am always praying for them. They have messaged me photos of the baby and I love watching him grow! They have invited us to visit and I hope to be able to visit soon! I haven’t seen them in person since being discharged from the hospital. We grew so close during the pregnancy and I hope to remain close despite the distance!
What advice to you have for others who are considering becoming a gestational carrier?
Never take the blessing for granted! Being a gestational carrier is a full time job without sick days or vacation days. Nothing can prepare you for how much your heart will grow during the process, though. Feel and experience every moment throughout the process to its fullest because once it is over you will look back and wish you had spent more time enjoying every moment.
My hospital stay after delivery was busy. I think typical to any hospital admission the doctors and nurses were in and out of the room so much that you easily lose track of time. I remember still feeling responsible for the baby from a sense that I wanted to make sure and know he was okay. I never once felt like the baby was mine or that I wished he was mine. I mostly just wanted to know that he was healthy and well; that I had been successful in carrying him to delivery. I wanted to know and hear that the parents were satisfied with me.
Why did you choose to pursue being a gestational carrier with The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson?
Originally I chose The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson because of the location. After speaking with Shannon on her first phone call to me- I knew that this was the right place for me! Everyone associated with this office has been amazing! All my questions were answered quickly and everyone was so kind. I feel like this office went above and beyond for me! I cannot say enough kind things about the staff. Shannon has been so amazingly knowledgeable, gracious and thoughtful. Jim has been encouraging and supportive. Lauren is one of the sweetest and kindest people I have ever met. Mary has been so attentive and thorough. I think God truly led me to The Law Office of James Fletcher Thompson because after praying for another opportunity to carry a child- this office turned my biggest hope into reality. I was searching that Thanksgiving night for something to complete me and fulfill my desire of experiencing another pregnancy. I know God heard my prayers and answered by directing me to this office!
Any additional thoughts you want to share?
March 21st will be one year since the transfer so now knowing that March is also National Surrogacy Month- the anniversary date seems even more monumental! The first transfer was successful and I went on to deliver a healthy full term baby boy for the most amazing and deserving parents. When I say that this process gives me a feeling of being complete and accomplished- I truly mean it. In my life I will never discover a cure for a deadly disease or win a gold medal for a sport but I can say that I have successfully carried and delivered two beautiful human beings. That my body was able to accomplish this miracle! There are two people on this earth that have heard my heartbeat from the inside. Two people that will do great things in this world were once inside of my womb. I never want to take that for granted and overlook my contribution to this world. Genesis 12:2 reads “I will bless you so you will be a blessing”. God has truly blessed me and when I start feeling sad- I remind myself of how blessed I am already. I think God gave me the ability to carry a child and it is my responsibility to treasure this blessing. I want to be a blessing to others so that God can continue to bless me!