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Interview with a Gestational Carrier (Part 1: Stephanie)

Today we’re talking with Stephanie, one of the gestational carriers we’ve been privileged to work with.

      What led you to pursue becoming a gestational carrier?

I was intrigued about the process after first being an egg donor. I loved being pregnant, but my husband and I felt like our family was complete. I looked into it more and fell in love with the idea. I love that I’m helping someone create life and grow their family.

I really loved the whole process from beginning to end. But, if I were to pick, I loved the first few moments after delivery when my mind was flooded with, “We made it!”

What was your favorite part of the process?

I really loved the whole process from beginning to end. But, if I were to pick, I loved the first few moments after delivery when my mind was flooded with, “We made it!”

It was an interesting process because the beginning is filled with some worry and doubt, “Will this work? Will I get pregnant? Will everything be okay?”  Then, once the process starts, the anticipation builds the closer you get to delivery. The feeling of being so fulfilled in helping a family grow that I experienced after delivery is unforgettable.

What is one thing you wish you’d known before becoming a gestational carrier?

Just what to expect in general (and I don’t mean like the book! Haha). Though, that expectation of the process is just so hard to pinpoint because each experience is so individual so there isn’t a “one size fits all” timeline. 

The other part of the process I was not fully prepared for, though I tried to be, was the emotions that come once you get home. I did not have a longing for the baby, or anything like that, but I was just so emotional. My OB told me that I would experience a “hormone dump” and man, she was so right! With my surrogacy experience, there was also this buildup of communication throughout the pregnancy with the intended parents. By the end of the pregnancy, we were sometimes communicating hourly as I drew closer to delivery. After you leave the hospital, there is a silence that comes when anyone welcomes a baby into their lives, but that separation of contact could take you by surprise since it is so different than what you were just experiencing! 

   What is something you wish others knew about the surrogacy process?

I felt like people who weren’t super familiar with the process just had this connotation that I was being paid for the use of my body – that it was a transaction. In my experience, it was the opposite! I’m a firm believer that it was less of a transaction because I (and the intended parents) did not treat it like a transaction. We bonded, we connected, we had a relationship, a life was created in this beautiful process!

What was your relationship like with the intended parents? What is the relationship like now?

My relationship with the intended parents was wonderful, and still is! In the beginning, after the contract was completed, we initially communicated every few weeks or once a month. This developed throughout the pregnancy, and by the end, we were communicating hourly, at times.

Now, we still communicate and go out to dinner every few months. We’ve really developed a friendship that is lasting!

    What advice to you have for others who are considering becoming a gestational carrier?

Communication is key! The most important part of the process of being a gestational carrier is the intended family you are connected with. If you aren’t clear of your expectations and truthful and honest in your thoughts and feelings from the beginning before being introduced to an intended family, then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.

I felt an immediate connection to the initial family that was presented to me. The law firm took into account and listened to what I was hoping to get out of this experience and I was able to have that because I put in the work to make my expectations known.

What was your time in the hospital like, both logistically and emotionally?

I had a tremendous support system in the hospital where I delivered. They were so respectful and appreciative of the process and were so accommodating to me and the intended family. The law firm connected with the hospital prior to delivery to make sure the process went as smooth as possible, which helped so much.

For this pregnancy, I was induced, and that really helped from an emotional standpoint. The unknowns of when delivery would occur were taken out of the equation, the  intended parents knew when to be there, and I was able to mentally prepare myself, “ok, we’re here, this is happening!”

Why did you choose to pursue being a gestational carrier with The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson?

I have a friend who used the firm to finalize her adoptions who initially recommended them to me. The more I looked into the program, I loved that everything was local, from the clinic where I was screened to where the intended family lived!

Any additional thoughts you want to share?

I can’t say enough how important it is to have open communication with everyone! This process will be as great as you’re willing to make it! It went so smooth, and I hope that part of that was because I made sure to update everyone each step of the way (my doctor, the intended parents, the law firm, etc). Sometimes I felt like I was overdoing it, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew anytime I traveled, when any new symptoms that arose, appointment dates, delivery discussions, etc.

Thank you for sharing this, Stephanie! If you’re reading and have more questions about the process, please reach out to us directly or read more here.

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