We recently celebrated Castle’s first birthday, and – looking back on my surrogacy journey -there are three things that stand out the most to me.
Awkward Blind Date
The first: being the most awkward blind date ever. Arrangements had been made for my husband and me to meet John and Carissa at a restaurant near where we live. I received a picture so I had an idea of who to look for, as well as their cell phone numbers in case anything came up. Beyond that, I knew nothing. We arrived early, only to find that the restaurant we were supposed to meet them at was closed. I finally saw a couple walking up that looked similar to the picture I had. I smiled and introduced myself, and then we discussed other restaurant options. Once we decided on a place and got settled, the nerves set in. We started off with small talk and getting to know each other. Then we got into our stories and how we got to where we were. Overall, the dinner went well. On the way home my husband asked me what I thought, and I told him these were the people I wanted to help. As soon as I got home, I e-mailed Dory to let her know.
The second thing that has stuck with me over the last two years is all the major milestones we experienced along our surrogacy journey together: the embryo transfer, getting that first blood test back confirming we were pregnant, and the first ultrasound where we got to see baby’s little heartbeat flickering. It was during these milestones that I knew I had made the right decision to help John and Carissa become parents. The look of wonder, amazement, and relief on their faces when we saw the heartbeat for the first time is something I will never forget.
Finally, the third and most memorable piece of the whole surrogacy journey was the day Castle was born. I was scheduled to have a C-section at 7 am, which meant we had to be to the hospital at 5:30 am. While we were on our way to the hospital, I text Carissa “Good morning! Hope you’re ready to have a baby today!” That was the first time I cried that day. I was so incredibly overcome with joy for what was about to come. We met at the hospital, I got all checked in, and then we waited. At this point, we had formed a pretty solid friendship with John and Carissa, so conversation flowed smoothly as we all waited anxiously to be called to the operating room.
When the nurse finally came to get me, I said “see you soon” to John and my husband and walked to the OR. Once I was all situated, they let Carissa come in to be with me. As soon as she walked into the room, the tears started flowing again. When she saw me laying there crying, she rushed over to ask if I was OK. I told her I was fine, just really excited that they were finally going to be parents. Shortly after she came into the room, we were blessed to hear the sweetest little cry. The doctor lifted the baby over the curtain for us to see. He was absolutely perfect in every way.
Why I Decided To Be A Surrogate
And then it happened, Carissa laid her head on my shoulder, and we cried the happiest of tears together. She thanked me over and over for everything I had done for them. This moment we shared together was everything I could have ever asked for. This was why I made the decision to be a surrogate. As soon as the nurses were done with the baby, they swaddled him up and let Mom have him. Seeing Carissa with her baby for the first time was the most rewarding feeling. She was absolutely glowing. The doctors allowed Carissa to stay in the operating room with me until they were finished. I was taken to recovery shortly after, and Carissa took the baby to meet his Daddy. Once I was finally out of recovery and settled in my own room, Carissa brought the baby in to see me.
They had a name picked out for him but wanted to keep it to themselves until he was born. While I was holding him for the first time, Carissa asked if I wanted to know what his name was. I absolutely did! She told me his name was Castle Becklin and explained that they wanted something unique for his first name. His middle name was a combination of my first and middle names. I was so honored that not only did these amazing people pick me to carry their child, they proceeded to name him after me. I was touched beyond words and cried again.
I Helped Create A Family!
We spent a couple of days in the hospital and were all discharged the same morning. Watching John and Carissa load their new baby up in the car and drive away, I was filled with a feeling of content. I had done what I set out to do. I helped create this little family! As we drove home from the hospital, two short days after giving birth, I knew that this was something I absolutely wanted to do again.
What started out as an awkward first date turned into a wonderful friendship, a happy, healthy baby boy, and two very deserving people becoming parents. If, given the chance, there is not a thing about my surrogacy journey I would change. The entire experience was perfect from start to finish.