1) Please introduce yourselves and your baby.
Mark, Tyler and Vivienne Katherine. We've been together for 18 years, married for twelve and parents for 3 months. We’ve lived on both coasts and have wanted children for years but struggled with the “how”.
2) How would you describe your surrogacy experience?
Our journey with our surrogate couldn’t have been better. We got along with her and her husband wonderfully. We even stayed with them at their home, and spent several weekends together. We still keep in touch! Gestationally our baby was a week older every Sunday so we checked in every week. And then Vivienne was breach so we had a c-section at 39 weeks on Sunday so now every week she is a week older so I’ve tried to keep up the habit and send a picture on Sundays to check in. Although sometimes I do miss a day! But we have a shared album she can see whenever she wants!
3) What is the best thing about parenthood?
Honestly, everything. Her sideways smile in the morning. Falling asleep in my arms. Seeing my husbands eyes in hers. And selfishly, being able to focus attention on a tiny human being and not on ourselves anymore because let’s face it, after forty, what is the point? Just kidding. :)
4) How is/was your relationship with your surrogate?
Very good. Always respectful in both directions and if we had more embryos we would ask her to do it again!
5) What would you tell other parents considering surrogacy and working with AFS?
We went through the Men Having Babies program which is how we were introduced to AFS to begin with. After meeting with few others agencies, AFS just felt right. It didn’t feel like a big commercialized operation set on statistics and results but rather a family that cared for its surrogates as much as it did for it’s IP’s. While the experience of doing IVF, patiently waiting for a surrogate and the whole entire process was complicated and confusing, AFS did a great job of explaining and navigating the process and always being patient. They spent the time to check in, make sure everyone was always comfortable and to guide you through this very confusing and difficult process, which with AFS made it seem a whole lot less stressful. Right down to the hospital. We walked in and were treated as her parents right away. No awkward conversations, all paperwork handled. Our own room to cuddle, swaddle and have skin to skin with our own baby complete with room service. We had her in our arms minute one and she’s never left our side (except the occasional date night when Nanny watches her ;) ). I would choose AFS again and again.