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