For our very first surrogate feature, we sat down with Ashtin Gurevitz, who finished her first journey with Circle in March of 2019, and is about to embark on her second journey with the same parents this month! Ashtin is excited to take us on this journey with her and share the whole experience with all of you!
At Circle, we are incredibly fortunate to have so many amazing surrogates that want to take us on their surrogacy journey with them. We chatted with Ashtin and addressed some of our most asked questions around surrogacy, becoming a surrogate, and working with a surrogacy agency. She didn’t hold back and gave us all of the details from deciding to become a surrogate, to the day she gave birth to the most perfect little boy and the family she has gained through the process.
Surrogate Feature: Welcome Ashtin!
1. Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
“My name is Ashtin and I currently live in Indiana where I was born and raised. I have the most amazing husband of almost 10 years and three beautiful kids, two boys (Masen and Brooks) and a girl (Gracie). I am a stay at home mom and love it! We have a pretty active schedule, between school, sports, friends and family we rarely have a free weekend! “
← Surrogate Feature: These three cuties are Ashtin’s kiddos enjoying the last few weeks of summer.
2. When did you first consider becoming a surrogate and why? Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
“Being a surrogate has always been on my mind. My husband and I started dating in high school and got married just after graduating college; I can remember a few conversations where I talked to him about helping another family have children once our family was complete. He never questioned me. We quickly got pregnant with our first and from that point forward there was never a question that I found my passion as a mother. To be real and raw, I lost my second pregnancy… it was like nothing I’d experienced before. My heart was literally broken, but at the same time I was so thankful. I had a healthy, beautiful son that was here. I could see him, touch him and kiss him. After my miscarriage, I appreciated my pregnancies so much more and knew how lucky I was. About a year after my husband and I decided our family was complete I kept randomly thinking about becoming a surrogate. Around that time a childhood friend came back into my life and she was on her first journey carrying a beautiful little boy for the most deserving dads-to-be. I knew in my heart I was ready. The next thing I knew I was googling surrogacy and Circle Surrogacy caught my attention. Ten minutes later I walked into my husbands office and said “sooo, I just applied to be a surrogate!” Without hesitation, he said that’s awesome! Tell me more! The rest was history, I applied in March 2018 and delivered the most perfect little boy March 17, 2019. “
3. For your first journey, what did your support system look like? Did you have an extensive network to look to for guidance and support?
“I have to say I’m a very independent, determined person. It wouldn’t have made a difference if people questioned my decision to become a surrogate. However, I was luckily enough to have many people support me and love me harder because of my desire to help create a family for someone else. My mom really struggled, she was afraid and uncomfortable with the whole idea. I continued to listen and educate her the best way I knew how. As soon as she met Brian and Scott though, everything changed… she got it. I’m so thankful she opened her heart to them, it has been amazing to watch her growth too. My husband—my MVP, was my main support and a huge advocate for me. He was just as excited to share the news as I was! I have the best girlfriends who were always there to listen, learn and give advice. My aunt was a huge support for me as well. We’ve always had a deep connection and she was a definite source of comfort. My dad, I’ve never seen him cry… well he cried! He was so proud of me, I know this experience has been so rewarding for him too. My in-laws were supportive and super helpful when we needed childcare also! Through all my support though, I’ve had some people share their confusion, questions, and concerns, but I’ve never wavered…. I found my purpose and nothing was going to hold me back.”
4. What was different about your surrogate pregnancy from your pregnancies with your children? Were you more/less worried? Did you feel like a pro by the time you became a surrogate?
“My pregnancy with my surro-babe was much different than my own… I was so surprised! I was in for it! Between the injections, nausea, heartburn, restlessness, weight gain and exhaustion nothing compares to the pressure of delivering a healthy baby boy to two patient, anxious, and most deserving daddy’s-to-be. It’s the most incredible feeling… you have this baby moving all around, kicking day and night… so many times I’d get the perfect video of a good kick or roll and couldn’t wait to send it over and wait for my guys to freak out with excitement and nerves… because it was happening and he was coming! I never once struggled with the idea of not bringing this baby home. This baby was meant for Brian and Scott. My reward was in the delivery room and honestly, not much in my life will ever top that moment. It’s magical… beautiful…vulnerable…and pure.
5. During your first journey, all of this was new to you. How did you prepare yourself for carrying someone else’s child? What steps did you take to ensure that you wouldn’t become attached to the baby as you would your own? What advice would you give a surrogate who is nervous about this idea?
“I may have went into my first journey blindly, but honestly I never questioned being able to detach myself from the pregnancy… because I didn’t have to. I knew from the second I meet Brian and Scott, it was about them. I was always focused on them, every little milestone… first injection, transfer, positive pregnancy test, beta, HB confirmation, growth scans it was always for them. I think that potential surrogates are already aware and open, but it’s understandable if they come into the process a little nervous. For me, it was so important to have a relationship with my IPs… that connection was my drive, I was going to make them parents!”
6. You chose to work with an agency for both of your journeys. How would you describe your relationship with the different team members at Circle that you work with on a regular basis? Did you find yourself needing more, or less support than you originally thought?
“Working with Circle has been amazing! Their commitment and reliability made it easy to trust them and eager to start a journey. I had a great support system and always felt advocated for. I wasn’t just another surrogate, I was a friend and that meant so much. I don’t feel I leaned on them to much, but knew at any point they would be there to guide me. Ashleigh and Rachel made me feel important, I couldn’t have asked for more.”
7. You have young children. How much did you tell them about what was happening? Was this a difficult conversation? Did they find it difficult to understand?
“My kids are 7,5, and 3. Telling them was exciting, but I wanted to wait until I was matched to share it with them. My husband and I read the Kangaroo Pouch to them and after we asked questions. I wasn’t surprised with their reactions! My oldest was so interested in learning more about Brian and Scott, my 5 year old was very curious about the science behind it, and my youngest enjoyed the book lol. As we went through the process we kept them in the loop the whole time. My youngest was always so excited to listen to his heartbeat and always followed with “Brain and Scott’s baby in your belly!” I think it’s was so helpful to have developed a relationship. Brian and Scott stayed in our home during their visits and made my kids feel like family… I’m so grateful for them. My kids are always asking to see pictures and can’t wait to see them next.”
8. What has been your favorite part of being a surrogate?
“I could ramble on for days about how life changing the experience has been for me. I get emotional every time… I honestly feel like the lucky one. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think about Brian, Scott and baby Silas. Being a surrogate has taught me more about myself than I thought possible. I’ve not only changed my life, but I believe I’ve opened the eyes of others… I made a difference. My passion and purpose is to be a mother and now I can add being a surrogate. I found something bigger than myself… we all gained something beautiful on March 17, 2019.”
After reading Ashtin’s surrogate feature, are you interested in becoming a surrogate? You can learn more about the process of becoming a surrogate here, and if you feel ready to take the next step, apply today!
Stay tuned for more in our surrogate feature series!