Are you like me? Have you always wondered about surrogate mothering and how it worked but were afraid to ask? I hear you. It's a lofty concept that's not easy to get the mind around. Everything I know about the business of surrogacy I learned through an episode of "American Dad." Fortunately, I have become acquainted with a local expert.
A nursing student at Central Maine Medical Center's College of Nursing and Health Professions gave birth recently, as a surrogate mother for a New York couple. Her name is Ashley Brown, she's 25 years old, of Lewiston, and this is her story.
How did you end up becoming a surrogate? I decided in August of 2010 that I wanted to be a surrogate. I saw an advertisement online and thought about how I couldn't imagine my life without my two boys, so if I could do that for someone else, why not?
So I looked into different agencies to find one I really liked and I chose Growing Generations. I applied with them, and my husband and I flew out to California in November for some testing, and then in December we were matched with a couple who lived in New York. We met them in January and did the IVF (in vitro fertilization) the following the June.
How'd that go? Unfortunately it was unsuccessful. We tried again the following March and it was a success! They are such an amazing couple and I couldn't have chosen more deserving people. It was an easy pregnancy with no complications and 40 weeks flew by.
Was the couple there when you delivered? They were coming up on November 25th, and on the morning of the 24th I woke up and my water had broken but I wasn't having any contractions. I went to the hospital to be checked and they said it was indeed my water, but we would wait to see if labor would start naturally. I called the parents and they hopped on a plane and were here by noon. The day went on and labor didn't start, so at 11 p.m. they started pitocin and he was born the following morning at 8, on his due date!
Are you glad you did it? It was such an amazingly rewarding experience and I look forward to doing it again. Most people reacted with excitement, and there were a few that just didn't understand the process and (questioned) how it couldn't be my baby since I carried it for nine months. Some people were concerned with how my own children would react, but they understood and accepted it better than some adults. But overall, the amount of support I had was wonderful!
How soon were you back in nursing school when it was over? The school has a very strict attendance policy, so I was back to school the following week.