Surrogacy is a life-altering decision that requires careful consideration, will-power and determination. It's a commitment that goes far beyond the 9-month period of pregnancy; surrogates dedicate their time, physical and psychological strength for the purpose of making another family's dreams come true.
When a woman decides to take this huge step for another family's happiness, she has to go through a roller-coaster of emotional and physical changes. Not to forget, all surrogates have families of their own whose choices and decisions also need to be factored in before embarking on this noble journey.
We at Patriot Conceptions have the good fortune of meeting and working with such incredible, brave women every day. So when I sat down with Melissa, I could almost feel her positive energy throughout our conversation.
What I did not know prior to meeting her was that Melissa was a first-time candidate for surrogacy and had two beautiful children of her own, a 3 year old boy named James and a 1 year old girl, Susan.
Before we could even begin talking, Melissa excitedly took out her phone and started showing me pictures of her adorable two kids. She had left them home with her mother and mother-in-law but I could see how badly she was missing them. It had been less than 2 hours of separation yet there she was, going over their photos and videos nostalgically, That's motherhood in its purest form for you.
What motivated you to opt for surrogacy?
My biggest motivation to take the big leap were my own kids and the love and warmth they bring me everyday. Being a mother I truly understand what you're missing out on if you take that out of the equation. My kids are a source of immeasurable joy in my life and I feel absolutely honored to be able to give that gift to someone else longing for a family.
What does it feel like to carry a child for another couple?
In all fairness, it does seem slightly intimidating, the part where you go through 9 months of nausea, morning sickness, craving and all kinds of hormonal ups and downs for a child you're not even biologically related with. It's definitely going to be a first. But I'm immensely excited and at peace knowing the fact that my sacrifice is going to give someone truly the gift of a lifetime.
What were some of your considerations or apprehensions before taking this step?
I have a very supportive family. So right from the get-go I knew I won't be facing a lot of criticism or unwarranted questioning, but I was still concerned how my 3 year old would react, what his thought process would be like. But I'm fortunate enough to have only received the best support and encouragement for my decision from my close family.
How has your experience been like with Patriot Conceptions?
Given that this was my first time surrogating, I was admittedly a little anxious about how everything will move forward. I'm so lucky that the Patriot Conceptions team made everything a breeze! From the matching process to the initial medical screening, everything was so well coordinated that I never felt I was in it alone. It truly feels like a team effort and the folks at Patriot Conceptions have been nothing but exceptionally helpful and cooperative.
What kind of communication do you wish to have with the Intended Parents?
I think my foremost priority is to form a deeply empathetic and organic bond with the Intended Parents in a way that they feel as much a part of this journey as I do.
It may not be physically possible for them to see or be there for every small milestone but once everything starts to progress smoothly I want to be able to have that ease of communication with them where I can share all updates with them however big or small they may be, so that they can be equally involved in this pregnancy.
We wish Melissa a healthy and blessed pregnancy and hope the Intended Parents are able to cherish the joy of their child soon.