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3 a.m. Changed My Life
Jamie Williams, Surrogate Program Director, The Surrogacy SOURCE, May 4, 2011
It was 3 a.m. when I heard the cries of my newborn — feeding time again. It seemed as though I had just gone to bed. The long days and late nights of motherhood definitely took their toll. I tried to keep the baby quiet and not wake his sleeping sister in the bed next to him. As I nursed him in the rocker, I wearily flipped on the television and settled in to watch what looked like a typical chick flick.
A TV Show about Surrogacy
As it turns out, the show was about a woman’s real-life struggles in her attempts to have a baby and the extremes she went through to try to have one. She first went through many unsuccessful artificial inseminations, followed by multiple attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF).
This was the first time that I heard about IVF. The idea of fertilizing eggs with sperm in a lab followed by an embryo transfer into a woman’s uterus was a new concept to me. My baby had fallen back asleep in my arms, but I was curious to see whether or not the woman finally got to become a mother, so I kept watching. After tremendous financial expense, as well as at the cost of her marriage, she still did not have any children.
I could not help but think of my situation. At 28 years old, I was blessed with three beautiful, healthy children. This woman, despite all her efforts, could not have what I enjoyed everyday. I felt such sympathy for her.
Suddenly, the movie took an unexpected twist. A friend suggested that she use a surrogate. “A surrogate? What was a surrogate mother?” I thought to myself. The show went on to illustrate her meeting with an surrogacy agency, looking through profiles of women who might carry her baby. She chose a surrogate and, ultimately, surrogacy was the option that finally worked for her. Her surrogate became pregnant and delivered a baby boy for the woman. I cried tears of joy when they showed her finally holding her baby after years of heartache.
Inspired to Explore Becoming a Surrogate
“Wow!” I thought and realized that I wanted to help someone have a baby. After the show, they credited the surrogacy agency that helped this actress and I made a mental note to contact them.
The following day, I asked my husband how he would feel if I couldn’t have his children. To my question about what our life would be without our kids, he replied, “quieter,” and we laughed. I told him about the show and how I would like to help these couples have a baby. At first he was opposed to me giving away “our baby,” but I explained to him that the baby was not genetically “ours,” and that I was only the “oven.”
Our conversation left me still curious, so I contacted the surrogacy agency and requested information. When I received the information they sent, I found out that the surrogate mothers were also compensated for their services. Even better! I went back to my husband with all the information and the news about the compensation and explained how this option would allow me to be home with the kids and still help with our income. After some thought, he agreed that we should apply.
The Surrogacy Process
Soon we began the surrogacy matching process. We met with a psychologist and then reviewed the profiles of intended parents. I was deeply touched by one particular woman’s story of nightmare pregnancies and miscarriages and I felt strongly drawn to choose them. My husband and I met the couple and the next thing I knew, I was taking injections preparing for the embryo transfer.
Seven days after the embryo transfer the intended mother came to my house with an early pregnancy test. She began to cry as we watched the stripes appear. “I’m going to be a mom!” she shouted. The look of gratitude she gave me at that moment was indescribable. I knew that I was making life-altering impact on another family.
We soon learned through an ultrasound that I was carrying twins! At 38 weeks after the embryo transfer, I gave birth to 7 pound 11 ounce twins, a boy and a girl. I felt such pride as I handed the newborn little bundles of joy over to their Mom and Dad. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house; even the medical staff was tearing up with joy! I reflected back to that late night one year earlier when I watched the surrogacy story at 3 a.m. and realized that this time, I was the one who was changing, and creating, lives.
More Opportunities to Help Intended Parents
Although I had experienced the joy in helping someone create their family, it was not enough for me. I wanted more. I signed up again to help another couple, then another, all with success.
One day at a surrogate support group meeting, the director came to me and said that she noticed that I had a special rapport with surrogates. They all came to me with questions and for support and really seemed to respect me. She offered me a job as a surrogate coordinator. I accepted.
This opportunity was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I loved helping bring babies into the world, but now I could help other women become surrogates and change the lives of multiple families at once. I was able to start recruiting new surrogates and managing cases and be part of so many happy endings.
Surrogacy is my life, my passion. I am still amazed and touched every time I see another baby born for my intended parents. I am truly honored and privileged to call this my job.
Jamie Williams, The Surrogacy SOURCE's Surrogate Program Director, has extensive knowledge in the field of third-party reproduction with an emphasis on surrogacy case management. This, combined with first-hand experience as a gestational carrier herself, has resulted in a uniquely qualified, highly dedicated and compassionate individual to serve the growing needs of our clients.?? In addition to directing the overall Surrogacy Program, Jamie remains committed to managing cases and staying proactive throughout the entire process. Jamie states, "Our commitment is to provide the highest caliber experience to our clients and surrogates. We recognize that the relationship between agencies, surrogates and intended parents is a special one, and for that reason I believe that every detail requires special care. Having seen both sides, I feel that the most important components of the surrogacy experience are clear communication and rigorous screening. Our program will provide unsurpassed service with these tenets in mind."