canadiansurrogates

Bringing us all together with our love for building famillies

Another amazing journey August 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — canadiansurrogates @ 6:27 pm

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Your Name: Darshan Andrews
Surro Baby’s Date of Birth:
Dec 30/2012

Why did you decide to become a surrogate mother? I have always wanted to be a surrogate…even before I had my own children, I felt like it was something I wanted to do. I don’t know why I felt this way, but I had even made it clear to my hubby (at the time, bf) that it was something I wanted to do, and if given the chance, I would. Maybe its weird, but its just something Ive always felt in my heart and soul, I was supposed to do. There really wasn’t a particular reason…just….a feeling deep inside.

 

How did your family/children/support people react when you told them you wanted to be a surrogate mother? I am so incredibly lucky to have the family and friends that I have. Not once, had I ever had anything negative said to me. And those that are important in my life, were all very very supportive. My sweet kids were very excited and my oldest daughter was so affected by it, she has said she wants to be a surrogate. Ive had nothing but support!!! At the same time, I don’t think it was a shock to anyone…they all knew it was something I wanted to do!!


What did you enjoy most about your surrogate pregnancy?There isn’t anything I didn’t enjoy!!! I loved every minute about it! I loved how my IP’s and I came to meet…I loved how we wanted the same things…I loved how involved they were (from the transfer to delivery and everything in between). I loved recording my belly moving and sending it to mom and dad so they could see. And I loved seeing their reaction to seeing their baby on the first ultrasound, its teeny tiny heart, beating away. I really enjoyed learning about the process…about what the egg donor went through, how the eggs are fertilized and everything else that goes along with it. It was a fascinating process.

 

Pregnancies are not always smooth sailing, what pregnancy related issues did you experience and how did you cope with them. Example-morning sickness.Ive always had heartburn in pregnancy and so Im used to coping with that. But what was new, was the increasing blood pressure in the last few weeks. It kept creeping up and up until I ended up being told I would be induced the next day. Thankfully I went into labour on my own that evening. But that was something new and I just went with it and hoped for a great outcome. I knew I was in excellent hands with my midwives

 

When your surro baby was born, what were your first thoughts, what did you say to the Intended Parents, what was the mood in the L&D room?Oh my goodness….the delivery of Hazel was the most amazing thing ever. When I saw babe in her moms arms for the first time, I was so overwhelmed with emotion…mom looking at me in the face with the most incredible amount of love Ive never seen before. I remember hearing her yell “My baby!!!! My baby” as babe came from me, and into her waiting hands and when I looked down, the look of pure elation on her face. I kept saying how beautiful she was…I just couldn’t stop saying that. And my IPs repeatedly saying to us “Thank you….Thank you”. It was really amazing. The mood cannot really be explained because it was so many emotions all mixed in together…its unlike anything in the world.

Having been through your journey, what are your plans now, is there another journey on the horizon, are you going back to school, are you focusing on family?I am very much looking forward to a sibling journey that will happen in about a year from now, and providing that goes well too, and I am healthy and good to do it again, I would love to carry a baby for a gay couple. I want to help a couple of men become dads…I think it would be so different, but also similar and I would like to experience that!!!

Are there any additional comments you would like to share? I would just like to add that for anyone considering surrogacy (IPs or potential surros), go for it…take the plunge. But hold out for the right surro or IPs and you can be a part of the most amazing life changing event that you could go through. For the IPs…I know you would have preferred to carry your own baby. I understand (as best as I can for someone who hasn’t been through infertility) that its devastating…and your hearts ache with pain at times. Take comfort in knowing that your surrogate wants you to feel that joy of becoming a parent and we want to take the best care of your little bean, as if they were ours. And it brings us immense joy, to see the elation on your face when you see your baby for the first time. Potential surrogates…know that surrogacy will change your life…for the better. Surrogacy has changed my life so much. It has made me a better person. And it has changed my children too. It has introduced me to a whole new family, a whole new community of people and shown me what love and kindness can bring. It has shown me just how big a persons heart can be… surros and IPs. IPs have to have incredible trust in their surros and that takes something special, in my opinion. My IM couldn’t have said it better when she said to me in a private letter… referring to myself and the egg donor : “I wanted to be able to tell my baby that she was born into this world by the generosity of the human spirit and that she is a gift to be celebrated and that her birth is a miracle.” And it certainly was…in so many ways.

 

A successful first journey August 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — canadiansurrogates @ 4:46 pm

Your Name: Melissa Stiver
Surro Baby’s Date of Birth: Feb. 28
Th, 2011

Image                                                                                                                                     My Dream Team – My Mom and my IPs

Why did you decide to become a surrogate mother? I feel as if there are so many babies born to some parents who really just don’t deserve such a gift, and the ones who do deserve it, the ones who would love, protect and cherish that baby with all their heart aren’t able to. I’m incredibly blessed to have been able to have children, I wanted to help others have their chance as well. Also, my little family is complete. However, I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant. If I can still get that great experience of pregnancy, and be able to complete someones family at the same time? I was all for it.

How did your family/children/support people react when you told them you wanted to be a surrogate mother? My mom was/is my biggest support person. She was very proud of me, and was there every step of the way. My kids were very young at the time, but I think they thought it was neat. My daughter loved to talk to surro baby, and gave him kisses through my belly. My son liked my IP’s a lot and was happy with my choice to help them have a little baby.


What did you enjoy most about your surrogate pregnancy? The contact with the parents. The amazing friendship we formed was something I never thought would/could happen. We emailed regularly, I sent them pictures of their growing baby in me. They came to every single OB appointment, even though they live 2 hours away. I felt very loved and cared for and had great support from them. I expected a relationship, hoped for some contact, maybe a picture or 2 afterwards. They blew my expectations out the window, and I’m happy with how things turned out.

Pregnancies are not always smooth sailing, what pregnancy related issues did you experience and how did you cope with them. Example-morning sickness. One thing I guess I wasn’t prepared for, was that being put on bed rest was possible. At our first 6 week ultrasound, they found a blood clot that was beside the baby (there were 2 embryo’s inserted and they believed the blood clot was a twin that didn’t completely take). So I was put onto bed rest, hoping that the blood clot would re-absorb into me. If it were to get bigger it could’ve exploded, causing us to lose the baby that was growing and doing very well. Bed rest with 2 young children was tougher then I could’ve imagined and lasted about a month. After a very large number of ultrasounds to keep an eye on it, I was eventually able to resume normal activities.

When your surro baby was born, what were your first thoughts, what did you say to the Intended Parents, what was the mood in the L&D room? Wow what a question! My first thought? “holy crap finally he’s out”. After having my own children completely natural, I decided for this one to have en epidural. Before the epidural, they gave me a shot of gravol/morphine. Those 2 choices, to have pain meds, were 2 of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t feel a single thing, I didn’t know if I was pushing, I didn’t know when to push. It was horrible. Because of this, little man got stuck and I was too out of it to push anymore. They tried everything to get him out, to help me do the job I was supposed to be doing on my own. Eventually I got some strength up and he was out. He wasn’t breathing and he was very purple. The atmosphere was joy mixed with incredible worry and fear. I just wanted to pass out. It was only 5 hours of labour, but felt more like 20. There were so many nurses in there in a matter of seconds, they worked on him and soon we heard that perfect little sound of life. I layed there smiling at my IP’s who were crying and saying thank you over and over. I remember thinking after seeing their intense emotions, watching them coo and talk to their little guy, “THAT is why I did this”.

Having been through your journey, what are your plans now, is there another journey on the horizon, are you going back to school, are you focusing on family? After a lot of consideration, time and conversations, I have finally decided to do another journey. To help another family’s dreams of having a wee baby come true.

Are there any additional comments you would like to share? This beautiful world of Surrogacy was more then I ever could have dreamed. These Intended Parents, think we are the ones making their dreams come true. When, for me at least, they helped my dream come true. I was taught so many wonderful things through Surrogacy. When you’re a surrogate, it’s not only about the wonderful parent(s) whose world you help complete. You have a hand in making new grandparents, aunties and uncles, who might never have thought they would be. I feel unbelievably lucky, blessed and overjoyed to have been a part of this incredibly love filled world of Surrogacy, making so many dreams come true.

Image                                                                                          What started out as 2 little dots, turned into an adorable, lifelong dream come true

 

The Protocols for Induced Lactation — A Guide for Maximising Breastmilk Production By Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC and Lenore Goldfarb, Ph.D., CCC, IBCLC

Filed under: Uncategorized — canadiansurrogates @ 4:39 pm

As an intended mother, going through surrogacy,  you may ask whether or not you are able to induce lactation for your baby. The answer, happily, is YES! One site that you may find interesting is ASKLENORE.INFO , together with Dr Jack Newman, Dr. Lenore Goldfarb has developed The Newman-Goldfarb protocols. These were developed from information published in Dr. Newman’s book “Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding” (Harper-Collins, 2000).

ImageThe protocols that follow are designed to prepare the mother’s breasts for making breastmilk, just as occurs during pregnancy. Until recently, the typical advice that lactation consultants and members of the medical profession suggested to women who were interested in adoptive breastfeeding was to either pump and stimulate the breasts or do nothing before the baby arrives, just put the baby to the breast when the baby arrives and in a while the mother may or may not have breastmilk. The option of pumping alone requires serious dedication and commitment to pumping and breast stimulation many times per day for several months.  Many mothers may prefer to go the route of putting the baby to the breast and waiting to see what happens, not using any preparation at all or any medication. This is a legitimate option but one that will much less likely produce significant amounts of breastmilk. There is more to breastfeeding than breastmilk but if it is possible to breastfeed AND bring in the breastmilk … why not do it?”

The protocols for inducing lactation, can be found here. They “aim to provide you with information on proper breastfeeding techniques to help you nurture your intended, premature or adopted baby.”

 

Our first interview with a 2 time surrogate! August 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — canadiansurrogates @ 5:10 am

Your Name: Isabelle Menard
Surro Baby’s Date of Birth:
Journey 1:
Girl Born March 31st 2011
Journey 2:
Girl Born August 9th 2012

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Why did you decide to become a surrogate mother?

First Off, GIVING is my nature. I have always given more of myself then I have received and I love that. I live to please and be a good person. After seeing my sister go through infertility problems I was crushed. I had my children at a young age and I was not prepared for parenthood. My sister had everything going for her and all she wanted was a family. I felt guilty that I was having children right and left and she was trying and trying. After I completed my family I offered to carry a child for her but by the grace of God she finally was pregnant. The Idea of helping a family have a baby stuck with me and so I went for it full force.


How did your family/children/support people react when you told them you wanted to be a surrogate mother?

My family and support system have always stuck with me with every life decisions I have made and so I knew they would support me through this. My parents were a little scared at first that I would end up getting post partum and having a really difficult time after leaving baby. Although they were proud of me during my first journey they were left unsure the whole pregnancy. Once they saw the joy on the parents faces after delivery and saw how happy and proud I was they understood why us surrogate do what we do. My second Journey was smooth sailing and everyone was excited.


What did you enjoy most about your surrogate pregnancy?

Every journey is different.

With my first journey I really enjoyed the relationship I developed with the parents. We were and still are so close. I loved seeing them react to ultrasounds and my belly growing.

With my second journey I enjoyed the fact that the unknown was in the past as I have done a journey before. I was not as stressed and worried about the process. I loved the fact that these parents waited so long to have a baby and finally I was pregnant and able to help them with their dream of becoming pregnant.

Most importantly I enjoyed the feelings that came with both journeys from beginning to end. The sense of pride and happiness I was left with is amazing. I loved my deliveries and the look on the parents faces as they saw their child for the first time. I felt complete and a better person.


Pregnancies are not always smooth sailing, what pregnancy related issues did you experience and how did you cope with them. Example-morning sickness.

With my first journey I had no symptoms of anything while pregnant and it was such a great pregnancy. Delivery was where I had the most problems. Not only was baby leg first and I needed my very first c-section, I bled a lot during the surgery and after ending up in me getting 4 blood transfusions. That was scary.

With my second journey I had a little bit of a harder time with the pregnancy. It being my first pregnancy in the summer and this year summer was a HOT one I was uncomfortable at the end. I had a lot of heart burn. Delivery went very very well though so that was a plus.


When your surro baby was born, what were your first thoughts, what did you say to the Intended Parents, what was the mood in the L&D room?

With my first journey as soon as baby came out I said “congrats daddy” and was just overwhelmed with emotions as he thanked me and sat down beside me for a while holding baby. The joy in the stay at the hospital was amazing. We shared a hospital room for 3 whole days and I was more hands on helping them with the baby and getting up at night to help them feed and change. I was bonded with her so much. I was like the “real” mother during my stay.

With my second journey I was more detached I guess, in the delivery room baby’s mom was with me and when baby came out mom started bawling and I had to force her to go on with the baby and the nurse. The mood was so emotional with the parents. This time I did not share a room with the new family and so it was more relaxed and I was able to enjoy it a little more. The parents kept thanking me and were just in shock the whole time.

Having been through your journey, what are your plans now, is there another journey on the horizon, are you going back to school, are you focusing on family?

Having been through 2 journeys now, I think it’s time I give my body a rest as much as I would LOVE and will have the itch to help another family I need to concentrate on my kids and our future together. I am now enrolled in a school (Registered Practical Nursing). My program is 2 years and so with that and being a single mom of 3 I will be busy enough. My children have sacrifices their mommy for 2 years I think I should do the same for them. I will never “close” the door on surrogacy and so who knows what the future holds in that aspect.


Are there any additional comments you would like to share?

As much as surrogacy changes a family’s life forever, it also changed my life. I feel like I have become a better person in general. I count my blessings twice as much and hug my children tighter each night as I was lucky and blessed enough to have them. Surrogacy gives me the courage to do the things that at time seem impossible to do. I’m at peace knowing that there is still good in this world. I will forever keep these journeys in my heart and I will forever be grateful that I was given the opportunity to help two amazing set of parents believe that dreams do come true.

 

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Another Wonderful Surrogacy

Filed under: Uncategorized — canadiansurrogates @ 4:26 am

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Surrogate twins with Surrogate mom born Feb.17th, 2011.

 

Your Name: Nicole Willard – Westcott
Surro Baby’s Date of Birth:
Feb 17th, 2011


Why did you decide to become a surrogate mother?

I decided that I wanted to become a surrogate mother after watching a friend go through hard times trying to conceive a child. I offered to help her in anyway possible, and after year’s had gone by, they ended up not needing me, but I always felt this want and need to help someone make a dream come true.

How did your family/children/support people react when you told them you wanted to be a surrogate mother?

My husbands reaction was amazing, he said if that’s what you want to do then go for it, I will support you in anyway I can. Our children were supportive, our daughter thought is a bit odd carrying a baby that was someone elses, our son at a early stage, thought that we could keep the baby. After explanations, they both understood, and were a great support system for me as well.

What did you enjoy most about your surrogate pregnancy?

I could list a million things I enjoyed most about surrogacy, but the biggest thing, is seeing the Intended parents faces, when we were at ultrasound appts. As well one of the appts, both mom and dad were sick, so grandma and grandpa made the 2 hrs trip so they could see the ultrasound, and the look on their faces were priceless.

Pregnancies are not always smooth sailing, what pregnancy related issues did you experience and how did you cope with them. Example-morning sickness.

I did have some morning sickness, nothing more then what I had experienced with my own pregnancies. In my 25 week I had a sharp pain in my post terior rib area, turned out the OB thinks that the way the twins were laying they were pushing in that area, which did cause me to go off work, because any long period of standing was painful.

When your surro baby was born, what were your first thoughts, what did you say to the Intended Parents, what was the mood in the L&D room?

My intended parents were not in delivery room, I had been scheduled for a c-section, and choose to have my husband by my side, and my intended parents supported that decision. So I never actually saw them till 4 hrs post delivery. But when they came in to visit me to see how I was doing, they were a bit unsure themselves what to say. I think they were just so overwhelmed with happiness. While lying in my hospital bed, they proceeded to tell me what they had named the boy’s, and to my surprise, both boy’s were given my name ( male version ) and my husbands name as their middle names. Honestly I was then more overwhelmed, I cannot believe they went that far and gave their newborns, a long lasting part of both my husband and I. I thought to myself WOW, I guess they were pretty grateful. Having them have our names was something we never imagined. I remember saying to them….The wait is over, Now you have your boy’s.

Having been through your journey, what are your plans now, is there another journey on the horizon, are you going back to school, are you focusing on family?

Currently I am in another journey hoping to make another families dream of being parents come true. After this journey I will be focusing on my family, and just being a wonderful mother and wife.

Are there any additional comments you would like to share?

The only thing more I will say is if you have considered becoming a surrogate, do it, you will not regret the amazing feeling you have when you are able to give the gift of life to a family.

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Surrogate Mother Nicole Willard-Westcott holding surrogate twins at 2 day’s old.

 

Grading a Day 3 Embryo August 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — canadiansurrogates @ 7:17 pm

One of the best articles that I have read on the grading of embryos.

The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago discusses how the embryo quality is assessed at day 3 stating, “There are many embryo grading systems that differ in how they assign grades and in whether a low number grade indicates the best or the worst embryo. We assess the “quality” of embryos from in vitro fertilization by carefully evaluating and scoring some aspects of their appearance.”

Things like cell number, cell regularity, degree of fragmentation and presence of multinucleation are all looked at during the assessment stage.

The below picture, from their article, shows a “perfect” looking 8-cell embryo (day 3 embryo). There is no embryo fragmentation and the cells are very even, regular, and similarly sized. We call this is a “high quality” day 3 embryo. The grading assigned to this embryo was 8 cell, grade 4.

                                        Perfect 8 cell human embryo from IVF

The full article, which further discusses the assessment and grading of embryos, can be found here: http://www.advancedfertility.com/embryoquality.htm

 

A Great Article Regarding Egg Freezing and Thawing

Filed under: Uncategorized — canadiansurrogates @ 6:15 pm

The Donor Network Alliance posted an informative article on Egg Freezing and Thawing that came through my twitter this morning.

ImageDr. Licciardi has written, “Just as not every follicle gives up an egg, not every egg we get is usable. This mostly has to do with egg maturity. We can’t use an immature egg, it will not fertilize later. Basically, getting an egg to mature after we retrieve it is of little value, we count on the eggs to mature in the ovary before we get them. We need tree-ripened fruit.”

The article goes on to talk about the eggs themselves, “There is a bit of a waiting game to get your results. In fresh IVF, you know within a few days where you stand. With egg freezing, you will not know how many good embryos you have until you thaw the eggs maybe years later.”

I encourage you to read the full article found at the DONOR NETWORK ALLIANCE