Monday, January 14, 2008


Hello, my name is Jen. I'm starting this journal because I am going to be a gestational carrier (surrogate) for a lovely couple and I want to share the pregnancy with them and their family.

A bit of introduction
I am 26, have been married for almost 8 years (on Valentine's Day!) and have 2 little boys; Ian (4) and Quinn (18 mo). I am a stay-at-home-mom and my husband Chris is in IT Management. We live in Minnesota and are in the process of buying a new house. We're excited. :)

Getting started
In September 2007 I ran across an ad for a Surrogacy clinic and thought it sounded interesting. I was already registered to be an egg donor with a local clinic, so the thought of shots and invasive procedures really didn't bother me. I mentioned it to Chris and he just said "Let's do it!" I filled out the online application and had an email response that same night asking for more information. I filled out a lengthy family history and lifestyle questionnaire. Once I passed that part, I spoke with one of the counselors on the phone for a phone screening. Chris and I run a large fertility message board so we were already aware of the procedures involved and what they would entail. We passed the screening with flying colors and moved on to the psychiatric evaluation. This test was the test to end all tests. One had 500 questions, one had around 300, and the third was a 'finish the sentence' type test. It took almost 2 hours, but I got it done and sent it in.

Group meeting
In October the agency flew us to Chicago to attend a group meeting. This meeting consisted of counselors from the agency, currently pregnant surrogates, surrogates who have already given birth, and a few sets of new folks like Chris and I. It was a very informative meeting and it was great getting to know several ladies who live near me in MN. Once I left the meeting I knew for sure that surrogacy was something I definitely wanted to do. I know many ladies with fertility issues, and I was ready to help someone and go beyond the standard offering of prayers and hugs.

Matching process
Within days of the meeting, I received 3 profiles in the mail. For confidentiality reasons I will only give bare details. Couple 1 was in Switzerland. Couple 2 was in NY. Couple 3 was in Paris.

Couple 1 was an older couple and we liked them immediately. Couple 2 already had children and we were more interested in helping a couple who did not yet have any kids. Couple 3 was nice and would have been our 2nd choice. We picked couple 1, but due to an error on the agency's side, we had to be rematched. We were sent the profile for couple 3 again, to ponder.

While waiting to see if couple 3 was the right one, I received an email that our profile was being sent to a couple in PA for their consideration, along with another potential surrogate's. I waited, hoping to hear something, anything, for a while. The other surrogate is a friend of mine (from the group meeting) and we decided that no matter who was picked, we'd be nothing but happy for that person. I got a phonecall from a counselor with the agency asking if I had any questions about the PA couple. I was confused because nobody told me that I had been picked. So YES I had questions! I was supposed to have been told already, and I was supposed to have received their profile already. The counselor told me a bit about them and said their profile would be in my mailbox within a couple days. I anxiously awaited its arrival.

THE match!
The day it came I ripped open the envelope and sat down to read it. Immediately I thought to myself...this must be why couple 1 didnt work out...there was a better match for me and I had to wait for it! I called Chris and told him "This is our match!" Once he got home and read through their profile, he agreed.

I called the agency immediately and told them YES, absolutely YES! I got a call a few days later asking if I could travel on December 8th to meet them in Colorado! Talk about moving fast! So we hopped on a plane and went. I was so nervous. Incredibly nervous! I am pretty quiet around people I dont know, particularly people who I will be entering into an incredible journey with such as this one. I was afraid they wouldn't like me in person, or that it would be weird and awkward. Once we all met in the lobby I felt much better. It didnt take long for me to get comfortable. Once the business was out of the way, we were all left to fend for ourselves. "M" gave me a very nice card and a beautiful journal to write my private thoughts regarding the surrogacy. I was so touched that she thought to bring me a gift.

Chris and I had rented a car because we missed the shuttle to the hotel and didn't want to be late. So we took them downtown so we could all spend some time together and get to know each other better. We walked, talked, ate, walked, talked some more. Our impression of them was that they were very well rounded, stable, devoted to each other, and would make incredible parents. As soon as we parted ways back at the hotel that night, I was giddy and told Chris "I love them!" We met up for breakfast the next morning and talked so much that they almost missed their shuttle to the airport. Oops!

The agency wanted both of us to call them afterwards and let them know if we wanted to move forward together. I called on the way to the airport and told them definitely YES. I had to wait until I knew for sure that they wanted to move forward, too. All day Monday I waited for the call and it finally came Monday night. Relief! They liked Chris and I! We were officially MATCHED!

I didnt know what would come next. I didnt know when I would have contact with them again. One day I got an email from "M" and I was so glad to get it. We've been emailing and getting to know each other better ever since. If I wasn't so phone shy I'm sure we'd talk on the phone, too. ;)

Next steps
I am anxiously awaiting the call from M's clinic to let me know that I have been cleared by the agency to fly out for a consult. The contract is done and preliminary medical stuff has been done. Once that's over we can get on with the fun stuff and get me pregnant with M&B's baby!

This blog will chronicle my pregnancy, thoughts, and feelings, as well as some lovely belly pictures. I want M&B to feel as close to the pregnancy as possible so they'll have my memories to cherish along with their own.

I'm very excited for all of us and I can't wait to see what the journey brings.

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