Gemma’s Journey into Surrogacy
I always knew that having children was going to be a big part of my life but surrogacy has taken that dream to a whole new level.
“Being a surrogate has made me feel like I am doing one of most special things a person can possibly do for someone else.”
When I was younger, I imagined having the perfect family, a loving husband and 2 or 3 children. I imagined that all of 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.
When my son, Max, was 1, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I really wanted to be pregnant again. I thoroughly enjoying carrying Max and pregnancy seemed to suit me and my body handled it amazingly. However, following the relationship breakdown 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 also kept thinking about all the couples who wanted a family 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 into the world of surrogacy and found lots of information on how to go about it, the legal implications and how to find potential intended parents (IP’s). It took about a year of careful consideration, weighing everything up in my mind before I made the final decision that I wanted to go ahead and carry a baby for someone else.
Once I had made the decision to become a surrogate, I then had to find a couple that I wanted to help achieve their dream of having a family. 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 in my thought process that between straight and host surrogacy 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. We continued with the clinic using donor eggs and the intended father’s sperm. Amazingly things happened quite quickly and following embryo transfer in April 2015, the IP’s were delighted to be expecting their baby due in Jan 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 and when their baby girl was placed into their arms and I saw the sheer joy it brought them I knew that surrogacy was a high I wanted to experience again.
It was only a matter of months following the birth of my first surrogate baby that I knew I wanted to have another surrogacy journey. 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. I look forward to helping make another couples dreams become a reality.
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.