For our first Surrogate feature of 2022, we sat down (virtually) with Surrogate Influencer Shelby! Shelby is in the last couple of weeks of her first surrogacy journey and loving it. Shelby is currently a surrogate for an amazing couple who have dreamed for years of growing their family. We have loved getting to know Shelby and watching her bloom throughout this experience. She has been documenting her whole journey on her social channels and can’t wait to meet her surro-babe any day now!
Surrogate Feature: Welcome Shelby!
Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Shelby Daniels. I am married to my husband Luke Daniels and we have a beautiful 2.5 year old daughter named Rowyn. I live in Iowa and have been here my whole life. I’m currently a Branch Office Admin for Edward Jones. My husband and I recently celebrated our 11 year together and 5 year married anniversary on December 3rd, 2021. Our daughter keeps us on our toes most of the time!
When did you first consider becoming a surrogate and why?
Since before I can remember, being a surrogate has always crossed my mind even before having our daughter. The thought of not being able to have my own children breaks my heart and I truly cannot imagine the pain
and suffering people go through. Once we had Rowyn I knew someday I for sure wanted to be a surrogate and bring life to this world for someone who could not do so on their own. I absolutely love being pregnant. I like to explain it as a euphoric feeling, even on the days when it’s not so fun. A human growing inside of you is the most amazing thing in the world.
For this journey, what did your support system look like?
My biggest fan has been my husband. He has never once doubted me, told me no, or not been there for me. I talk to friends about this and their husbands aren’t supportive right off the bat, so he has been awesome to have by my side.
My mother is my next biggest fan as she doesn’t know how I’m doing this but also is amazed by what I’m doing and loves that I’m doing this for our intended parents. She also takes our daughter for us when we have needed for appointments/trips, etc. Also my social media peeps have been there for me since day 1 even though some do not understand it they are still on the side lines cheering me on.
My last supporters would be the Circle Surrogacy team. I truly don’t know what any surrogate would do without the wonderful staff at circle.
What was different about your surrogate pregnancy from your pregnancy with your daughter? Did you find it harder to be pregnant knowing that it wasn’t your baby?
Honestly, besides the initial shots and medication, everything has been the exact same. In the beginning I would say I was more worried just because I wanted this so bad for my intended parents. They are the most genuine loving humans and deserve the world. After our first failed transfer I just knew the second transfer had to stick. I honestly think the fact that it’s not my baby has not made it harder. It makes me feel even more grateful I’m doing this.
During your journey, all of this was new to you. How did you prepare yourself for carrying someone else’s child? Do you have any advice you would give a surrogate who is nervous about this idea?
There was no preparing. You go into doing this with the right mindset, then you never have to worry about getting too attached. Once you build that relationship with your intended parents, you will never have a doubt. It’s certainly not for everyone, but the biggest advice I can give you is, imagine not being able to have children of your own. It’s all about the mindset. You chose to work with a surrogacy agency for your journey.
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?
Circle has been amazing! Alana has been my go to this whole pregnancy and man she is something else. She has always given me the best advice on different situations. Any Circle team member is always so quick to respond and that’s why I love this agency so much. Being a first time surrogate, it was different than I expected. I have been pregnant before and know what to expect, but intended parents may or may not have been through this before. They may be scared or worried about the small things and that’s totally okay and normal. But it can be a little stressful for the journey. You never want to upset your incredible intended parents, but you also have to be thinking of yourself and your body too. Having the support from the Circle team made those situations much easier to navigate. As I’m nearing the end of this journey, I can truthfully say I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
You have a young child. How much did you tell her about what was happening? Does she understand that you’re pregnant for another couple?
Rowyn understands I’m pregnant and she also knows at 2.5 that the baby is our intended parents’. She places her head on my belly all the time. She loves babies, so it will be interesting what she will think once baby goes to our intended parents versus coming home with us!
What has been your favorite part of being a surrogate?
My absolute favorite part of this journey is knowing the outcome. Knowing that I’m giving my IPs their miracle baby they have wanted for so long. Knowing they won’t have to struggle again. I will add that the relationship we have with our IP’s is something I was never expecting. I never expected to text my intended mom almost daily or to be so open with her about my own family/life. Besides the ending outcome, the bond we have built together is a close second place!
Thank you Shelby!
We completely agree! The bond between Circle surrogates and intended parents is incredibly special. Building a strong relationship can lead to a beautiful journey together.
It is amazing to chat with our surrogates and get to highlight the wonderful gift they are giving to their IPs. As Shelby talks about, it takes a village and we love to hear about the support our surrogates get, not only from their own friends and family, but often times from the IPs and their community. Surrogacy is a truly life changing experience and we are so fortunate to have fantastic surrogates like Shelby!
Thank you, Shelby, for sharing your story and experience with us! For those of you who would like to continue to follow Shelby’s surrogacy journey, please follow Circle Surrogacy on Instagram where we have been documenting her journey. If you’re interesting in learning more about surrogacy, or are already ready to apply, you can do so on our website!