The beginning

Hi, my name is Tina.  I want to share with you all about a wonderful journey I’m on and how it all started.  Many years ago someone very close to me struggled with a pregnancy loss and infertility.  My heart hurt for her in so many ways.  How do I comfort her?  How do I continue to be happy and excited about my pregnancy while she just lost hers?  What can I do for her?  How can I help her?  Well it took many, many years and a Facebook group for me to have my answer and to find what I believe to be my true passion.  While my friend was able to have 4 amazingly wonderful children of her own, I know the journey for her to get there wasn’t an easy one.

This opened my eyes to the struggle many couples face, infertility.  I reached out to a Facebook group to inquire about surrogacy.  To my wonderful surprise there was an unbelievable supportive response with many wonderful stories about surrogacy.  This eventually led me to an agency, IARC (International Assisted Reproduction Center), where my journey began in 2015.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many questions I got from family and friends when I told them I wanted to be a surrogate.  “How can you carry a baby for 9 months and just give it away”, “Why don’t these people just adopt”, “Why do you want to do this”, “Is it going to be hard to give the baby up”, “Are they using your egg”, “What does your husband think about you doing this?  What about your kids”.  To answer these questions, it was my husband who brought up the idea of surrogacy to me (although not entirely his idea, I still let him believe it was!) He’s very supportive not only of me but also for the intended parents.  My teenagers think it’s weird but cool, and my younger kids are excited that mommy is going to help someone have a baby.  **BONUS** this also teaches my kids about compassion, love for one another, and how someone can make a difference.  Sure I could use my own eggs if I choose, but that’s not for me.  I have chosen to be a gestational carrier-this is where the IP’s use their genetics or that of a donor and I’m just the carrier for them.  But for those who can be a traditional surrogate, more love and support to you!  This brings us to those questions about ‘giving the baby away and will it be hard’?  Well first off I went into surrogacy knowing I am helping someone else.  This child isn’t mine and was never intended to be mine, so to be able to handover the baby to its parents and to see the joy, the love, the fulfillment of their heart, this to me is what surrogacy is all about and why I have chosen to become a surrogate!!

That all being said, the road to being matched with IP’s is intense.  There is a lot of screening, doctor approval, documents, forms, serious questions about abnormalities and termination, questions that I would have never thought of!  Then there’s finding the right IP’s for you….but once you have that, you form a connection, a love, a bond with them that makes them a part of your family and forever in your heart.

My first match was with intended parents from China.  Unfortunately our journey ended before it really began.  We still keep in touch and if things change and they need a surrogate, I plan on being there for them again!  I am now matched with IP’s from Israel.  Talk about exposing my children to the world and the amazing cultures of others.  So now this brings me to where I am currently….waiting on lab results so that I can begin my medication protocol.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you!

Until next time,

Tina

Intro to Ruthie’s 3rd surrogacy journey

Welcome to my third and likely final surrogacy journey. I am Ruthie, a Jersey girl living in Minnesota for the past 12 years, and the lead surrogate coordinator here at IARC. My passion for surrogacy began in 2009 when I experienced a miscarriage and realized right then and there that when I completed my family, I wanted to do all I could to help others create their families. Once I had both my son and my daughter, I was a traditional surrogate in 2011. I decided to do it again in 2014 as a gestational surrogate. It took 2.5 years and 3 embryo transfers, but daddies took home their baby this past February. I said during that pregnancy that I was 95% sure I was done. I began working at IARC in May and through all the talking about the process and telling my stories, I realized I wasn’t yet truly done and I dove back in for a third time. Time will tell if this is truly my last journey, but I will treat it as though it is.

My 2nd IPs are from Israel and my new IPs are from Israel as well. I also had the pleasure of befriending IPs who recently came to Minnesota for the birth of their daughter who were also from Israel. I was not their surrogate for their 2 children, but I still feel like an auntie of sorts and the short time I was with them was very impactful and our friendship came at an important time for all of us. It’s been the most amazing experience creating not just families, but building friendships to last a lifetime with some of the most incredible human beings I’ve ever met from halfway around the world. I will be visiting them all there in February when I fly to Israel and I cannot wait.

 I am not entirely sure what I will blog about. I’ve never been much of a blogger, but I wanted to do something a bit different this time around. I will take you from screening to meds to transfer to tests to prenatal care, bump shots, and ultimately the final days when I likely will feel like a whale. I hope you follow along and I hope for at least one person out there, it changes your perspective on surrogacy, the motives behind it, the passion I live with every day, and how beautiful an international match and friendship can be. As much as I have changed the lives of others, I hope all of these families know it’s really my life that has been forever changed and I am blessed to know them and to call them friends.