Three surrogates share their stories of overcoming their psychological and medical roadblocks.
Jessica Ferguson lives in Virginia and has been a surrogate three different times for three different couples throughout the U.S.A. In 2008, she gave birth to twin girls. Then in 2009, she gave birth to a boy. In 2014, she gave birth to another boy. Surrogacy was something she felt to the core that she needed to do.
Jessica became great friends with the parents of all four surrogate babies, and she wouldn’t take that back for anything. But she knows all too well that with surrogacy comes risk. After her last surrogacy in 2014, Jessica had to come to terms with the fact that she couldn’t have any more children. “It was emotional; I felt like less of a woman.” She was able to work through it with the help of her husband and her family. She is proud of her own two children and the four surrogate children she was able to bring into the world.
In giving advice to other surrogates, she offers this, “Think about the worst possible scenario. If you can handle it, then go for it!” She says that having patience is key and that women should not get discouraged if there are setbacks.
Kathy Powers lives in Odenton, Maryland and had two children of her own. She wanted a third child, but her husband was finished having children. At 41 years old, Kathy wasn’t done enjoying the miracle of being pregnant and giving birth, but her age was an obstacle. Many doctors and Intended Parents thought she was too old. She was persistent and found a couple that she connected with and their clinic was completely supportive of Kathy helping them. She defied the odds and went on to help bring six babies into the world.
Her first three surrogate pregnancies were perfectly normal with no complications. The fourth journey resulted in a triplet pregnancy. One of the embryos split into identical twins, so she had the potential for complication of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and other issues that come with being pregnant with multiples. Kathy was 48 years old, so she was monitored very closely until she was put in the hospital at 30 weeks. The babies were born at just over 32 weeks gestation. They are now healthy 2-year old toddlers. “I chose to think positive and believe they were strong little miracles and nothing bad was going to happen to them.” Her positive outlook made her strong in the face of risk. Although she would never choose to carry triplets again, she said the experience was very rewarding and it was such a joy to watch those precious babies grow.
Her advice for other surrogates would be this: “Don’t discount all of the risks. Be educated and informed about all of your options and decisions.”
Julie Stern has delivered five babies into the arms of four different couples. She has realized the amazing impact that surrogacy has on couples with fertility issues.
Julie resides in Lake Worth, Florida. She said the most difficult experience she had to overcome was in reducing a triplet pregnancy to a singleton pregnancy. Her IPs had requested her do so, and it landed her on bedrest for 16 weeks and in the hospital for 11 of those weeks. There was no real way to overcome this difficulty, but her mindset was on getting through the pregnancy and making sure that the baby she was carrying would be born healthy. She was focused on keeping in touch with her family while being out of the house for so long. “I think the ultimate success was a result of my positive thinking and my husband’s willingness to do what needed to be done for our children in my absence. The medical team that cared for me and the baby were phenomenal.”
Julie’s advice for other surrogates is this: “Research, research, research. Find a mentor who will guide you through the process and help you to understand all the ins and outs of a journey. Do not become a surrogate to make a quick dollar.”