Experienced Carrier Week: Surrogate Stories

experienced carrier week

We like to celebrate our surrogates all year long, but this week is special. It’s Experienced Carrier Appreciation Week at Circle! We’ve created a week of activities, discount codes, prizes, and more to celebrate the incredible women who have given the most amazing gift.

Alicia McKinley and her family
Alicia McKinley and her family

Not only do we appreciate the gift(s) our surrogates have been able to give to their IP(s), we always appreciate hearing their feedback and their stories. We asked some of our experienced carriers questions about their journey(s) and are blown away by the responses. Check them out below!

How taking part in a sibling journey has been/is going for you?

“I am SO excited to be able to embark on a sibling journey with Circle and my IP’s. We currently have medical & legal clearance and are planning a fall transfer. Taking part of a sibling journey is a different experience than the first time around. My first journey, I only knew what Circle had told me about the process of gestational surrogacy. Being told a process and actually going through a process are two very different things. This time I know all of the feelings, emotions, difficult times and overall a lot more of what to expect. I also know that everything I experienced my first surrogacy was 100% worth it and I would without a doubt do it again for my IP’s. The moment you see that baby in your IP’s arms is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Surrogacy has been life changing for me. One of the most gratifying experiences. This time around, I have an established relationship with my IP’s.  I have a tremendous amount of love for my IP’s and their sweet baby. My husband and children love them as well. We all became family throughout our first surrogacy and have continued an amazing life long relationship. Both Circle and my IP’s were absolutely incredible for the first surrogacy and so far the experience has been the same. I am really looking forward to the next few months.”  Experienced Carrier, Circle Surrogacy

What your life was and has been like since completing a surrogacy journey?

Surrogacy has become such a big part of who I am now, and it will forever be something that I am passionate about!  Not only were we able to help a family achieve their goal of being parents (x2), but we saw their family members become grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.  In the process, we also extended our own family who will always have a huge piece of our hearts! We were also able to expose our children to a different kind of family, and help them to learn that love makes a family, regardless of who’s in it, and we feel like they will be better people for it! Katie V, Experienced Carrier

What are some of the differences between first and second journey?

I think the main difference I’ve noticed from my last journey to my current one is the ease of forming a relationship with my IFs now. I had a great relationship with my previous IFs as well, but since they were from France sometimes it felt a little distant, or disconnected, if that makes sense. Unfortunately, they were only able to come to 1 appointment until the birth of the baby, while my IFs for this journey have been able to make it to at least 1 appointment so far (my 8 week ultrasound), with plans to come to many more since they are only about 6-7 hours away. They have also been able to communicate with my doctor(s) a lot more as well, without the time zone, language, and culture differences. 

During the first journey communication from Circle was great in terms of what to expect next, etc, but there was still some uncertainty and stress that came along with not knowing what that would look like. However, with my second journey I pretty much knew what was coming next, so it helped ease my mind a little bit. Everything from paperwork, to appointments, to the medications seemed a little easier to navigate the second time around. 

Otherwise, this journey is turning out to be just as great as my first journey! Experienced Carrier, Circle Surrogacy

What the best part of your surrogacy experience was and has been?

surrogate mother relationships
Val and her IPs

My favorite part about surrogacy is: Surrogacy has opened my heart to a new way to love. You get to be a part of this huge picture, gain new family and love in a way you didn’t know was possible. Val Jacobson, Experienced Carrier

I think the best part of my journeys as a surrogate is the extended family we now have. I truly feel the timing of our paths crossing is no coincidence. Our connections made and experiences shared is unmatched. I am forever grateful and honored to have carried these babies, and as life changing as it was for the intended parents, I must say it was equally as life changing for me. I think of them every day with a full and smiling heart. Steph Hines, Experienced Carrier

The best part of my surrogacy experience was watching my intended parents become parents. The instant love and connection between them the moment she was born was beautiful beyond measure.  Melissa Asper, Experienced Carrier

When I finally made the decision to become a gestational carrier, I was so excited for everything to come. I couldn’t wait to help create a family. Now 5 years later, I have carried two beautiful siblings for one family and now I’m about to start my 3rd journey with a different family. Surrogacy has been such a rewarding experience in many ways. Watching two people become parents right before your eyes is a feeling that can not be described. I’m just lucky to play a small part in it all and am so proud to be a surrogate mother.   Megan Depetrillo, Experienced Carrier

Is there anything you wish you would have known prior to taking part in your journey or any advice you have for first time or return carriers?

Alicia V
Alicia V

My advice would be to follow your gut when being matched. I’ve seen girls speak about lack of bond with their IPs halfway through, this is not the case for me because I love and adore my IFs, but they were my second match and I’m so glad now. They are like family. My advice would be not to be scared to say no to your 1st match, you want to have the best experience imaginable and don’t settle for less.  Alicia V, Experienced Carrier

You know, I sat here and thought for a few minutes as I replayed my journey and I can wholeheartedly say there’s not anything I wish I knew prior to beginning my journey.  Everyone I crossed paths with at Circle and my team were so informative. My social worker reached out monthly and always replied promptly to my calls, texts or emails. I was offered an experienced surrogate to me at every stage of my journey… from matching, to the days leading up to delivery AND postpartum that I could ask questions to or wanted someone I could relate to. Also, the Facebook carrier group was so resourceful and I’m grateful to each and every amazing woman in that group.

My advice for a first time surrogate would be… it’s OK not to match with the first family you’re presented. When you get off that first Skype call if you’re not overcome with that sure feeling of knowing “they’re the one”… it’s OK to pass that match. Their perfect carrier is out there and your  perfect IPs are out there for you too! It’s your journey as much as it is theirs and it’s important to feel comfortable and connected. It’s OK to ask questions if you’re unsure of something. That’s what your team and especially your social worker are there for. My social worker, Dylan, and I have become so close and I feel like I can talk to her about absolutely anything. It really is a family at Circle! If being a gestational surrogate is something you’ve contemplated and are genuinely interested in, DO IT! My first journey was nothing short of incredible and life fulfilling. I now have new family and I get to share in the happiness of watching my sweet belly buddy grow and hit milestones in her life. Wishing you the best in your journey ♥️ Shannon K, Experienced Carrier

How your family, friends, community responded to this journey?

My husband was my biggest supporter. He was always so excited for the Skype calls with our intended parents as he got along so well with them just as much as I did. 

Explaining what was going on to my, at the time, 2 and 3 year old “keepers” was interesting. Did you know they have books on being a surrogate to read to your children? They are amazing! My kids from the beginning knew that the babies in mommy’s belly were our intended parents babies. 

Co workers were always coming and asking me how I was doing and how the journey was going. My supervisor told me at one point that my manager was super proud of me as him and his wife ended up adopting after they had troubles with infertility. 

Some of our friends said they were not surprised I was a surrogate and others thought it was neat, and all had questions. The biggest being, how I thought I was going to take the delivery in the end. Kari Corson, Experienced Carrier

surrogacy process for intended parents
Courtney and her IPs

I couldn’t have asked for a better surrogacy experience with my IPs, their twin girls, and Circle!! The support system I had was unbelievable! My family and friends were completely on board right away without hesitation when I initiated the interest of surrogacy.  They were so welcome and inviting with my IPs and now see them as family!! My coworkers were so amazing as well!! They threw me a “Nach-o Baby” theme baby shower and gave me a prenatal massage gift certificate! I work in OB as a nurse so when we delivered the twins my coworkers showered them with extra care and support by recording and take pictures of the whole experience for us! We shared our experience and I believe it is helping people get more knowledge, familiarization, and interests in it; whether has a carrier or IP. I delivered November 2018 and now know 4 more people doing surrogacy in our small community already!! I can’t wait to do a sibling journey next year! Courtney Johnson, Experienced Carrier

My first surrogacy journey was amazing. When I first told my family and friends that I wanted to become a surrogate I had a lot of positive feedback about it. They told me I was doing an incredible thing and were very supportive of it. I did have a few who were concerned about becoming attached to the baby after carrying it for 9 months then giving it up to their family. I told them I wasn’t concerned at all because I had a strong mindset and was very confident in what I was doing and the family I was helping create. Even though I had a few concerns in the beginning I had a lot of support and help through out the pregnancy. My children were also very happy with what their mommy was doing for a family and that was an amazing feeling.  Alicia McKinley, Experienced Carrier

Nicole B
Nicole B

Once I completed my own family, I began researching agencies and ultimately chose Circle. I didn’t really tell anybody, except for my husband, about my plans until I was approved and it became a sure thing. Once it was confirmed, I was SO excited and began telling everyone around me. Mostly all of my friends and family were super supportive, give or take a few…which I was absolutely anticipating, because we can’t please them all, am I right? I was even more excited to find my PERFECT match. I chose two very deserving people, who just so happened to be two men. I used this as an opportunity to teach my son that LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE and that it is 100% normal for two men to be in love and to have the right to be parents. My son, who was 6 at the time, has been super involved in the whole process and absolutely adores N and K. He took to the situation with such an open mind and I couldn’t be more proud of my baby. He gets to grow up being kind and accepting to ALL humans and I love that. 

My mother-in-law has always been a super supporter of all of my decisions and this has by far been her favorite. I involved her from the start and she too has a relationship with my guys. She was even in the room  with all of us when my sweet little surro babe was born. It was such an experience and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have friends and family all over the world and I shared little insights of my journey with all of them via social media. Doing so really opened people’s eyes to surrogacy and I had so many supporters. It was such a beautiful thing to see so many people excited about what I was doing. Surrogacy has really impacted not only my life and the dad’s lives but also all of those around us.❤️ Nicole Barwise, Experienced Carrier

experienced carrier appIf you want to learn more about the surrogacy process, becoming a surrogate, or coming back to do another journey, please feel free to go to check out our website and apply today!