Kristen’s Surrogacy Reunion

September 12th, 2014

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It was a little reunion for surrogate Kristen and the handsome boy she delivered last week. She had the opportunity to visit with him and his thrilled parents before they traveled home, and she shared how the experience brought her even more clarity and appreciation for the process.

“His mom said, ‘my family’s complete,’ which just made it sink in so much more how much this meant to them and how grateful I am that I was able to do it. His parents were just beaming. He is absolutely perfect and we all couldn’t be happier about the whole journey.”

It was an honor to be part of your journey, Kristen. Thank you for being such a beautiful example of surrogacy!

Day of Hope: All Babies Are Miracles

August 19th, 2014

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In the field of reproductive technology, it’s easy to get caught up in tests, exams, injections, and medical jargon. But a world that could easily be cold and sterile, the ultimate goal is a healthy baby and complete family. In spite of all the heartbreak, hope is kept alive. Infertility is often marked by loss, and it takes great strength to keep hope alive in moving forward.

August 19th is Day of Hope, which keeps the babies who are lost during this journey alive in the hearts of the people who loved them. It encourages us to celebrate the tiny lives who were so desperately wanted, and encourages hopeful parents to persevere.

It’s about coming together as a whole community to speak openly about these children and honor their short lives. Each year, thousands of people around the globe take part in Day of Hope by hanging prayer flags and sharing images on their blogs and social media to remind their friends and family about the babies they lost but deeply love.

Friday Round Up

August 15th, 2014

ConceiveAbilities is keeping you up-to-date on the latest news in the busy, burgeoning world of infertility. Below, a round up of this week’s need to know stories:

From The Des Moines Register: Iowa Climate on Surrogacy Favorable

From ASRM.org: Egg-Freezing Allows Women to Buy Time for Motherhood 

From Digital Journal: Las Vegas Fertility Center Backs Surrogacy For Single & Gay Men In USA

From The New Zealand Herald: Fertility breakthrough offers new hope 

From The Des Moines Register: Years ago, ‘People didn’t talk about’ infertility

And in ConceiveAbilities news? We’re preparing to cross the pond for next month’s Alternative Parenting Show in London!

Friday Round Up

August 8th, 2014

ConceiveAbilities is keeping you up-to-date on the latest news in the busy, burgeoning world of infertility. Below, a round up of this week’s need to know stories:

From Live 5 News: Couple starts nonprofit to help others get through infertility

From Gaystar News: The surrogate mom who decided to only carry children for gay men

From Huffington Post: A Guy’s Survival Guide to Infertility 

From Irish Examiner: Single women seeking fertility treatment rises

From The Daily Beast: Exercise & Fertility: Are You Too Fit to Get Pregnant?

From Prevention: How To Make It Through Infertility Without Destroying Your Relationship

Angel’s Journey – The Surrogate Dad’s View

August 8th, 2014

Angel is now into the third trimester of her surrogate pregnancy with a baby girl. Throughout the process her husband Travis has been one of her biggest supporters, and he’s sharing his perspective on the surrogacy process – plus his answers to the many questions people have for the “surrogate dad.”

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To be honest, I never thought that I would be doing something so awesome for another set of parents. I knew Angel loved being pregnant, but when she came to me one day, over 1 1/2 years ago, about being a surrogate, I was slightly stunned. I really did not know anything about surrogacy at the time, but I am an open person and just told her that whatever she wants to do I support her. This was of course with some, but not many stipulations: it just could not be her egg and no biological ties to us. Those were my only rules regarding my thoughts of the process.

I remember asking her why she wanted to do this and she said she wanted to give a family the happiness we experience with our daughter. It also took a long time to conceive her and we wanted to help a couple out that was experiencing similar barriers in their lives, no matter if the barrier were genetics or social. As Angel began researching more, I felt this would be a great experience for the two of us as a couple. I just wanted to learn and understand all the risks.

Meeting the parents via Skype for the first time was a nervous and exciting experience. I could tell right away that they would be the couple we would like to work with. You just know when you are comfortable talking to someone and understand their needs. It was a connection that is a one of a kind experience. They are an awesome couple.

I get a lot of questions, like: Is it weird seeing your wife pregnant with another couple’s baby? My answer is no. It really doesn’t phase me much because I just treat this pregnancy as if the little girl was going to be ours, but still knowing in my mind that she isn’t. I can’t say I feel attached, but I definitely have a different type of love for this little girl. It is easier detaching yourself when you know from the start that the child has no ties to you what-so-ever. I find Angel more attractive knowing that she is doing something so great that not just anyone would do.

Another question that I get is: Are you worried that Angel will become attached to the baby? At first I was worried a little because she is such a caring person, especially as a mother. Discussing it with her and both of us knowing going into this adventure that the baby is not ours makes it a lot easier. I am sure we will both have an emotional time seeing the baby off to her home in Spain, but it will be happy tears.

I believe some people find it odd that I have no problem with the parents being in the room when Angel gives birth. It is their child. They should to be able to experience her birth and happiness from the moment she enters this world. I remember the first moment my daughter opened her eyes and I would not want the parents to miss that.

Advice for other future surrogate dads? The key to this entire experience is PATIENCE. You must be patient with your wife, your own child, and your family’s schedule. If you do not have patience, I do not recommend it. I am a naturally patient person and between the shots, appointments and busy work schedule it is a lot to handle – but easily manageable, in my opinion. Treat your wife with care, patience, love and understanding, as this is scary for both and you can’t be selfish. Just remember the happiness the couple will experience when your wife gives birth to their baby. That is what I keep thinking of and can’t wait to see their reaction and excitement on the day their daughter arrives.

Diving into Summer with ConceiveAbilities

July 21st, 2014

The heat is on and Team Baby is jumping in with both feet! Spring brought continued growth to ConceiveAbilities, and some exciting changes that will benefit intended parents, surrogates, egg donors, and the company alike.

Read the full newsletter >>

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Summer fun at the 5th Annual Denver Family Picnic

July 21st, 2014

It wouldn’t be summer without reunions, and we were thrilled to host more than 70 people at our  5th annual surrogate family picnic in Denver. Everyone gathered for a day of sunshine, silly games, face painting, keeping cool with a fountain and – of course – sweet treats. The Ben & Jerry’s cart was a hit with kids of all ages, but visiting with old and new friends is always the highlight. “My family and I had a great time at the picnic,” said surrogate Rachel. “It was wonderful getting to see so many of the ladies I haven’t seen since support group.” As Team Baby continues to grow, these events have become even more important in strengthening the ConceiveAbilities family.

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Friday Round Up

July 18th, 2014

ConceiveAbilities is keeping you up-to-date on the latest news in the busy, burgeoning world of infertility. Below, a round up of this week’s need to know stories:

From Time.com: Three Ways to Cut the High Costs of Infertility 

From Fox News: Is pre-implantation genetic screening right for you? 

From Today.com: No more whispers, I’m doing IVF and proud of it

From India Today: Health trend: Celebrities use acupuncture for infertility 

From The Columbia Daily Tribune: Missouri surrogate supports New Jersey family

And in ConceiveAbilities news? We had a blast at our 5th annual Denver Surrogate Family Picnic! 

Angel’s Journey – Surrogacy Q&A Part 2

June 26th, 2014

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6) Q: Are the fathers coming here for the birth?

A: Yes! They will be here a few weeks before my expected due date (in case she decides to debut early!) and will stay here in this area for a week or so after the birth. They will still be in the U.S for several more weeks, preparing to take her back to Spain and getting legal documents to leave the country with her.

7) Q: Do you think you’ll have a hard time giving up the baby?

A: Honestly, no. She’s not mine to give up. She is in no way biologically related to me and I knew that going into this. Sure, I care for her and love her as if she were my own until her daddies can take over that task. I think there may be feelings I don’t anticipate having but I am definitely not worried about “giving her up.” I know once she’s here and I see the looks on her fathers’ faces, that will be the highlight of this whole experience for me. Also, I don’t want another baby! I can’t imagine having to start all over again and as a surrogate, I really get to concentrate on just being pregnant and enjoying it and not have to worry about picking a name, getting a nursery ready, buying new baby stuff, etc. I just don’t have that “baby itch” and I think that’s also why this was something I really wanted to do at this point in my life.

8) Q: Will you be a surrogate again?

A: Honestly, I don’t know yet. I would love to, yes. But it is a huge commitment that takes a lot of time, effort, energy, physical sacrifice and hope on both parts of the parents and surrogate. If the time were right and the fathers I’m working with now wanted a sibling, or if I was matched with another couple who I had a relationship comparable to the one I have with these fathers (which would be very hard to match since I just adore them), I would definitely consider it and be open to the idea.

9) Q: Is this your baby at all?

A: As I said above, no. The egg used was not my own and the fathers will be on the birth certificate from the time she’s born, which is great because Illinois is one of the most surrogacy friendly states there is. The fathers are recognized as her parents from the beginning. Surrogacy is illegal or not recognized in some states – meaning that the intended parents have to essentially adopt their own baby. That is not the case in this instance which makes working with the agency that I do all the more great.

10) Q: Last but not least – Are you getting paid for this?

A: While I won’t go into details, I will say that any compensation for acting as a surrogate mother is most definitely not the reason I decided to pursue this journey, not is it for any of the other surrogates I’ve come to know. While I’m not minimizing the financial sacrifice intended parents make to build their family, I can’t believe any surrogate does this for money alone because of how much is involved, physically and mentally. The process I described above is just the tip of the iceberg about what surrogates have to go through before even hopefully getting pregnant, and then being pregnant and willing to give up your body and life for 10+ months for a child that you aren’t taking home. I don’t mind the question because I know it’s just curiosity, but I don’t want potential compensation to overshadow the real reasons that surrogates do this for families. I will say that while I’m very humbled by the praise I’ve received from my amazing friends and family, I am not shy to give these other women all the praise in the world. Surrogates have to go through the same pregnancy concerns as any other pregnant woman – failed transfers, miscarriage, extreme sickness, complications, bed rest, etc. but I feel they always remain so positive and rooted in why they are doing this, even when the going gets really tough.

 

So there you go. There’s pretty much no question I won’t answer (that doesn’t breach any confidentiality for the parents) and am fine with being so open about this process because I think there can be a lot of misconception about surrogacy. If it means helping a woman become a surrogate or learning about surrogacy to build their family, then it’s worth being an open book!

Friday Round Up

June 20th, 2014

ConceiveAbilities is keeping you up-to-date on the latest news in the busy, burgeoning world of infertility. Below, a round up of this week’s need to know stories:

From Chicago Sun-Times: Father Figure

From The Examiner: The Handsome Father: Nonprofit organization designed to support gay dads

From CNN: Time-lapse video reveals secret life of an embryo, helps women conceive

From LGBTQ NationFor gay dads, two new websites help navigate joys, struggles of fatherhood

From Medical Daily: IVF Time-Lapse Technology Helps Doctors Pick The Best Implantable Embryo

From Huffington Post: Coping With the Anguish of Fertility Treatment

 

And in ConceiveAbilities news?

Our CEO, Nazca Fontes, is featured in the current issue of Worth Magazine!

The Business of Modern Families