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surrogacy

05/07/2024 - 5 min read

Gemma's Surrogacy Journey

Care Team

Gemma always knew that having children was going to be a big part of her life, but surrogacy has taken that to a whole new level. She shares her story of her own pregnancy, and what lead her to becoming a surrogate:

My personal journey into motherhood 
When I was younger, I imagined having the perfect family, a loving husband and two or three children. I imagined that all these dreams would come true at a young age, but life decided to deal me a different hand of cards. Trying to conceive with my first child wasn’t as straight forward as I hoped it would be and after 20 months of trying, I felt like my chances of becoming a mum were slim.  

My GP decided to refer me for fertility assessments, and it was discovered during an ultrasound that I had polycystic ovaries. I was so upset to hear this news and felt like I had a long journey ahead of me. In a twist of fate though, at the time of the scan I was told that my endometrial lining appeared to be very thick and that I may in fact be pregnant.  

A few days later following a home test it was confirmed that I was expecting my first child. My partner and I were of course over the moon, but the diagnosis of the polycystic ovaries left me feeling concerned for the future. It was this experience that made me realise how devastated I would have felt had I been told that I could not conceive naturally. It was through all of this that I started to think about other couples who were struggling to start their own families and what a heart-rending experience it must be. 

Considering surrogacy 
When my son, Max, was 1, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I really wanted to be pregnant again. I thoroughly enjoyed carrying Max, pregnancy seemed to suit me, and my body handled it amazingly. However, following the breakdown of my relationship with Max’s dad and the fact that I had polycystic ovaries, I knew that having any more children of my own would probably not be in my future.  

I couldn’t stop thinking about all the couples who wanted a family but couldn’t conceive, and how devastating it must be for a woman to hear that she may not be able to carry her own children.  

That’s when it hit me like a freight train – I wanted to be a surrogate!

I started to research surrogacy and found lots of information on how to go about it, the legal implications, and how to find potential intended parents (IPs). After a year of careful consideration, and weighing everything up, I made the final decision that I wanted to go ahead and carry a baby for someone else. 

My first journey 
After deciding to become a surrogate, I now had to find a couple that were in need. At the time, some friends of the family were considering their options following treatment for cancer that had left the lady unable to have her own children.  

They were looking into adoption, and I decided to ask them if they had considered surrogacy. They were of course overwhelmed and went away to do their own research and have a serious think about things. It didn’t take them long to come back to me, and we got in contact with Care Fertility to discuss treatment.  

I knew from early on that I would prefer to be a host surrogate as using my eggs and carrying a baby that was genetically related to me would be something that I would find difficult.  

Using donor eggs and the intended father’s sperm, things happened quite quickly and following the embryo transfer in April 2015, the IPs were delighted to be expecting their baby due in January 2016!  

Being a surrogate for the first time was the most rewarding experience of my life. The pregnancy and birth went by in the blink of an eye, and without complication! Nothing can describe the feeling I felt when I watched their baby girl being placed into their arms, and the sheer joy it brought them - I knew that surrogacy was something I wanted to experience again. 

My second journey 
It was only a matter of months following the birth of my first surrogate baby that I knew I wanted to do it again and help another couple. At this stage I joined Surrogacy UK and was amazed by the support network that was available to surrogates and IP’s. After meeting so many couples hoping to achieve a family through surrogacy, I found a same sex couple that I instantly hit it off with. It was as though we had been friends forever. Again, things happened relatively quickly, and we got a positive pregnancy test result in February 2017.  

Being a surrogate has made me feel like I am doing one of most special things a person can possibly do for someone else. Helping a couple who otherwise would never be able to have children is so rewarding and the joy and happiness it provides for years to come makes every second worthwhile.