Surrogate Spotlight: Cristina
1) Please summarize your surrogacy journey thus far.
Becoming a surrogate was a dream of mine for about 15 years. When I finally made the decision I was so excited I found AFS. From the first moment I received a return call I felt like I was part of a family. I had high expectations of surrogacy and my experience far exceeded what I hoped for.
2) Where are you in your surrogacy journey?
I am 6 months after delivery of my first and only surrogate baby. I gave birth to a healthy, happy, beautiful baby boy in July 2019.
3) Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to become a surrogate.
When I first got pregnant I experienced a miscarriage at 10 weeks; I was devastated and filled with worry that I may never be able to have a baby. I remember the overwhelming grief I experienced and the fear of not being able to bring a child into this world. Of course, no one had any idea why it happened and I was told that it is very common. I was able to have two beautiful children following the miscarriage and pregnancy was very easy for me. I never forgot what I felt after losing a baby, and I decided that I wanted to help a family have a child, to help someone who may have felt the way I did. When I finally decided to become a surrogate I wanted to help the LGBTQ community. Knowing how rare it is to find a surrogate, I thought it would be even harder to find one that wanted to help that community as well.
4) What do you enjoy most about being a surrogate?
I enjoyed the experience of connecting with the parents each day, sharing what I was going through and giving them updates along the way. It was fun to blend my family with theirs and I really love that I found lifelong friends in them.
5) How has the decision to become a surrogate changed you?
I am not sure it changed me as a whole, but I think it opened me up even more to different types of love you can feel. I never worried about being “too attached” and it was easy to watch them become a family, but I think it gave me a deeper appreciation for life and love. Being a surrogate is a new kind of love you get to experience that really is unique.
6) What is the communication and relationship like with your IPs?
We text weekly, even after six months. I get pictures often and we let our relationship unfold organically. Neither of us had any expectations, we just started communicating as it unfolded naturally. I always told them that the pregnancy is their experience and I wanted them to guide me with what they were comfortable with. It just happened that we are very similar in our communication styles and personalities, thanks to the matchmaking phenom that Carey is!
7) How was your experience working with AFS?
I wish there were words that could justify my experience, but I will do my best to put some words together. I felt right at home from the moment I talked with the intake cordinator. I felt like they cared about me as a person, not that they were just trying to get anyone who would qualify to fulfill a need. It was like an instant friendship with everyone I came in contact with. I think because each of them has experience as a surrogate they knew what I was feeling before I even knew how I was feeling. I felt prepared for the emotions that came up, I felt prepared for every next step along the way. They truly cared about me and I believe they prepared me so well for everything you experience through surrogacy. What was most profound to me is the way they take care of you post partum, there are all these new emotions and they are there for you every step of the way. I loved my experience and I truly couldn’t have asked for a better support system.
8) What advice would you give to women considering surrogacy?
I would say that whatever you are feeling to talk with your coordinator. There are emotions that you feel or questions you have that sometimes you worry about asking, but I promise your coordinator has either felt that way before or has had your question before, and they are there to support you no matter what.
9) What would you tell surrogates considering AFS as their agency?
I would say there is simply no other agency I would ever trust to go through surrogacy. Do yourself a favor and let this agency make your journey the best experience you will ever have.