Being My Best Friends Surrogate!
Our guest blog has been written by the wonderful Emiliana from 'The Mindful Birth Group'. We are so privileged to be able to hear her personal story about how she was a surrogate to her best friend.
Carrying your best friends baby isn’t exactly an every day occurrence- it certainly isn’t something that would have crossed our minds during our 20+ year friendship!
Until one year of hurt turned into 2 years, which turned into 6. Sophie and I became pregnant for the first time, at the same time and it was a time full of excitement and amazement that it had happened so close to each other.
Sophie sadly lost this pregnancy very early on, and that was the beginning of her story of infertility struggles. 6 years, many losses, ectopic pregnancies and failed rounds of IVF later, I decided to offer to be Sophie & Jacks gestational surrogate. This meant it would be their genetic embryo being transferred to me via IVF. I would essentially be their oven for 9 months!
The process wasn’t totally straight forward at the beginning, but about 6 months after starting the process, we got a positive test. This was one lucky embryo and I had one hospitable womb! The stars really did align for us and we sailed through the pregnancy as a team.
One of the questions I always got asked was, “how will you give up the baby?”. I didn’t mind the question but it did baffle me a little bit! I never once thought of their baby as ‘my’ baby. I’d offered to carry THEIR baby for THEM, it was never anything to do with me having another child- it was about giving them their happy ever after.
Leo was born by planned abdominal birth, and having had 2 home births for my children, this was all very new to me! But my hypnobirthing knowledge (I’m a hypnobirthing teacher!) helped so much, and I actually went on to write a course to support parents who are planning an abdominal birth because I soon realised that there just wasn’t enough out there for this birth preference!
It was honestly the most beautiful experience- Jack and Sophie were able to be in the theatre, despite the pandemic just starting. Leo was born on 31st March 2020 so it was an incredibly unsettling time. But we did it, and they were both there to welcome him into the world.
Being a surrogate for my best friend has been the most rewarding thing I will ever do. I’m proud to tell my children that I did something for someone else which benefited them much more than me- because 15 months (with recovery!) of my life was more than worth it for their whole lifetime with their little boy.
Science really is incredible too- I mean how on earth that tiny speck of Sophie and Jack was able to grow in me and turn into gorgeous little Leo, will never cease to amaze me! But the happiness I see on their faces was worth all of the aches and tiredness I experienced through the pregnancy and postnatal period- they trusted me to carry their precious baby for them. Being a surrogate is a complete honour.
Would I do it again? No, this was a one time offer! It does take up a lot of physical and mental energy. But I have no regrets, just total love and pride for the whole experience and everyone involved.
Miracles do happen!
Below is the link to Emiliana's 'The Mindful Birth Group' website if you want to check it out.