Following My LDS Surrogate Experience and More!


Following my LDS Surrogate Experience and More! I hope to share my experience and perspective with you. My adventures starts back in September of 2011, and I hope you can follow along and be a part of my journey! I follow one successful and one unsuccessful attempt at gestational surrogacy. Also, make sure to visit my Intended Mother's blogs (with a link to the right) The purpose of my blog is to educate people all over the world about gestational surrogacy and a little about the LDS Church's position regarding surrogacy. If you are somewhere in the process, whether you are an intended parent, a surrogate, or you plan to become one soon, I hope my blog can help put some perspective in your life. Please feel free to leave comments. I have the opportunity to be involved with such a unique and special experience. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I also plan to express my love for the Gospel throughout my scribblings. Thank You for visiting!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Newest Adventure....

Blogging has been on my to-do list for quite some time. I have never really known what direction to take, until now. New Adventures are in store for our family, and I am feeling a rush of emotions. Exhilaration, optimism, peace, delight, auspiciousness, & eagerness. Those closest to us have learned the news, and every single one of them has been supportive and excited for us. With every positive reaction we have been given, it has been another affirmation that this is good, in every sense of the word. We have been trying to decide when to announce the news. Should we wait until things are 100% official? Or let those who want to be a part of this experience share every day with us, even before it’s “official.” I go back and forth. Hubby thinks we should wait. But as I said before, we have got nothing but positive feedback, which makes me want to share every moment with you. I think it’s finally time for the big announcement! And no… we are not about to have a baby… of our own…

I am preparing to be a Surrogate Mother!

That’s right! A Surrogate Mother, for a Beautiful and Deserving Family. I am beside myself. As I said before, there are so many emotions running through me all at once! This has been in the making for some time now. It has taken a lot of time, preparation, prayer, communication, and effort. But it has all fallen into place. Now if you know anything about me, you know that nothing EVER goes quite right. No matter how hard we try, something in our life always goes wrong. I call it the Hatfield Luck. It is more or less the Vanessa Luck, and poor Clark married into it ;) When this whole thing first started, it was a long shot. And we thought for sure something would bring this to an end, we were sure of it. I have never, in my life, had something move forward with such ease.

It all started on a very normal day. I was online trying to find a new nanny. I came across an ad that said, “Please carry our baby.” It was so simple. The requirements were as follows: You had to have had at least one good pregnancy and delivery, you had to be married, you had to have medical insurance, and this specific family required that you be LDS (or an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.) I qualified on the most basic level, except for one thing. I didn’t have medical insurance. I sent her an email, and everything began falling into place. Now because this is such a sensitive issue, she has asked me to not share her name. Suffice it to say her name will be Hope : ) Hope and her husband have been trying to have a baby that is biologically theirs for a very long time now, and with every attempt, there has only been disappointment. When I was first led to her blog, I cried as I read her story. They have two beautiful daughters of their own, but she has been diagnosed with hyperemesis graviderum. They were forced to abort their 3rd baby because the pregnancy was threatening her life. Since then, they have had unsuccessful surrogates, and a series of unfortunate experiences with dishonest prospects. They were almost to the point of giving up when I contacted her, and even then, she has been very guarded. I can’t say I blame her. I don’t know how many times a person can be let down when you are investing so much into something that means so much to you. It breaks my heart.

We were able to obtain medical insurance that covers a surrogate pregnancy, and it turned out to be fantastic medical insurance :) This was the first of many things to fall easily into place. Clark and I were hesitant to pursue surrogacy, because we had heard that our Church “discourages” surrogacy. We take our Faith very seriously, and began to do research on our Church’s stance on surrogacy. Now what I am about to say about my Church’s stance, and my own position on surrogacy may be controversial, but I am firm and confident in my position. Let me start by saying that the Fertility doctor we are working with is a Member of the Church. He was dealing with a potential surrogate, and this woman went to her Bishop about the surrogacy situation. It eventually reached the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and both the woman and this doctor received a letter signed by all three members of the First Presidency regarding the Church’s stance on Surrogacy. It is as follows:

Homosexuals using a Surrogate is discouraged

Single Woman using a Surrogate is discouraged

Unmarried Couples using a Surrogate is discouraged

Woman using a Surrogate simply to avoid the inconvenience of pregnancy is discouraged

People selling their eggs or sperm is discouraged (you are putting your own baby into the world)

Traditional Surrogacy is discouraged (the situation in which the Surrogate uses her own egg and then gives the baby to the intended parents. In my mind that is also considered selling your own child)

There must be a good reason why the Intended Mother cannot carry her own child. The one and only circumstance in which I believe Surrogacy to be morally acceptable is in the case of a GESTATIONAL SURROGACY. The circumstance in which the Intended Mother and Father are the biological parents of the child, and they simply need someone to grow and carry their baby. The intended parents must be heterosexual and married with a strong relationship. This is also the situation in which the Church fully supports Surrogacy.

Once Clark and I were comfortable in our decision, we continued to move forward. Utah law requires that both sets of parents undergo a psychological evaluation with a counselor. That was arranged and executed on September 8th, and it went extremely well! One step closer : ) I had to wean my baby girl from nursing before I could start my medications. It was a lot of work, and I had to wean at a moment’s notice, but it went very well, and other than being painfully engorged for 2 weeks, it only took about 2 weeks to fully wean her. I was so relieved. She is taking a bottle and eating very well, and she was 11 months old, which seemed so much better than having to wean a 6 month old! Another step closer :) I had to have my IUD taken out, and be on birth control pills (so the doctor can control my menstrual cycle) and even that went a lot better than I expected : ) Even closer! I had to meet with the Fertility Clinic and be medically approved to move forward. When the doctor performed my ultrasound, he was very very happy with how thick my cervix was, and how good my uterus looked! (Just the thing you want to hear when getting ready to have a baby!) I was floating on cloud nine that day. One step closer! Hope arranged for an attorney to draw up our legal contract. That has been finalized and I am now able to start my medications! My medications involve everything from prenatal vitamins, to injections both in my stomach and my rear end every day for the first trimester. (Yes this was the part that made me slightly squeamish) But in all honesty, I have been so stinking excited, that I am even excited for the self-administered injections! They will arrive in the mail tomorrow. The injections are to pump an extra amount of estrogen into my body to make sure everything is strong, along with making sure my body doesn’t fight anything off.

Now, the last time Hope tried to transfer her embryos to a surrogate, she only produced one good egg out of 21. Our odds didn’t sound like they would be a whole lot better this time around, and then we got the news that we would have to do a frozen transfer. That means that when they retrieve her eggs, they will freeze them before they can transfer them to me. What happens when you freeze something? It decreases the quality; and we didn’t want our odds to be any worse. Then we received fantastic news that her insurance would be extended, and we would be able to do a fresh transfer! Whoohoo! We were all very excited that day. One step closer, and everything was still going so smooth!

This is as official as it can be without actually being pregnant. We will do the transfer of the embryos for sure at the very end of October : ) Most likely Halloween Day. We will know if the embryos take within 10 days of the transfer. After that, we hope that everything goes well and we have a baby! There is a 40% chance that I will have twins. Every time I share that information, people gasp! I am being completely honest when I say that I am hoping for twins! And I know Hope and her husband are as well. This is their only shot… I am desperately hoping that I can give them two more babies. Here’s hoping.

Now I don’t particularly like being pregnant, and I am sick from the day that I conceive to the day that I deliver. (Not my favorite part) but it is a small sacrifice. I have excellent deliveries, and I am hoping that this bit of good luck is on my side.

Will I become emotionally attached to a baby that I am growing inside of me? …I do not believe for one minute that I will become emotionally attached to their baby(s). It is not my baby. It is Hope’s and her husband’s. It is a wonderful experience and a wonderful blessing to be able to give them a baby. I am overjoyed at the opportunity and excited in every sense of the word.

I have announced the news to my boss, my mother, my sister, my dear co-worker, my husband’s amazing cousin, and a few close friends. I have got nothing but excitement and positive feedback. All concerns have been discussed. My mom said, “I could never do that, it would be too big of a sacrifice for me. But what a neat gift to be able to give to someone.” My sister said, “That’s crazy insane! And I am so happy for you guys!” My boss was incredibly supportive and willing to help in any way she possibly could. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing employer who is also my friend. My co-worker has become a dear friend and she is right there every morning waiting for the newest update! It is wonderful to have her in my life.

I have developed a wonderful relationship with Hope. She is just like me in so many ways, and we have so much in common. The most important is a love for our family and our Savior. She is originally from Utah County, and her parents live 5 minutes from me. She graduated from the same high school as Clark! We get to officially meet her in person in the middle of October :) She is currently living in Illinois. I told her that she needs to be my walking buddy, and she responded by telling me that all her potential surrogates have only ever treated this as a business transaction. I cannot imagine treating her baby as a business transaction. I was floored.

My doctor’s name is Doctor Russell Faulk M.D. He has been phenomenal, and I am very excited to work with him. You can read all about him and his accomplishments here Utah Fertility Center - Dr. Russell Faulk M.D.

If you want to read more about Hope, you can visit her blog

Clark and I have been so at Peace with this decision from the very beginning. We have prayed about it. We have made sure to consider all aspects involved. This is mine and my husband’s decision. It is a sacrifice that we are willing and excited to make. We are putting off having another baby of our own for this experience. We will most likely have our next baby when this is finished.

We realize that there is a chance the embryos will never take, and we might not get pregnant. We will attempt another transfer if the first doesn’t work out. We will do all we can, but the rest is in the Lord’s hands. I honestly think I will be devastated if this doesn't work out. I have gotten so used to the idea, and it will be a major let down if we don't get pregnant. But as I said before, it's in the Lord's hands. We were going to wait and announce the news when we were actually pregnant, but there is more to this experience than getting pregnant. A lot of work has gone into it this far, and we want you to be there with us and appreciate the announcement of a pregnancy when the time comes!

I plan to follow this surrogacy experience using my blog. I invite all who are positive to be involved and share this experience with us. We chose to make the big announcement in this way because we felt that it did not single any one person out. Those that we have told up to this point were on a need to know basis because they are either around us every day, or they have helped us with our girls during appointments and such. I wasn’t going to tell my mom until we made the official announcement, but I called her on her birthday and I couldn’t keep it to myself! I welcome comments and phone calls! Please feel free to invite friends and family to learn more. A lot of times, people that have a hard time swallowing the concept of surrogacy are simply uneducated or ignorant. This is a beautiful thing. Thank you to all of you who have been supportive and excited for us up to this point. We love you all and are thankful for you <3 Welcome to our Adventure!


  1. vanessa.. i have chills.. nothing but chills.. i am so speachless, in a good way, that i will have to comment again once this all processes in my head.. i am proud of you! what an amazing blessing for this family..

  2. Wow! What a project for you all. Clark mentioned this to us several weeks ago but wasn't sure how, or if, things would work out. Hope it goes well for all, and it is a great experience for you and she. Best of luck!
    P.S. Love the name of your blog. <3

  3. That is seriously one of the coolest blog posts I have ever read. I cannot imagine not being able to have my own children; and I can only imagine how happy Hope and her husband will be if this all works out. Good luck!

  4. Based on our recent communication, I'm not sure my comment will be well received. However, I want you to know that I think this is an incredible gift you are offering this family. I really hope the pregnancy is successful and both you and the baby are healthy.

  5. Thank you to all of you. Haley, what you said means a lot. More than you will probably ever know. Your comment was well received and we are grateful for a positive reaction from all of you. We are truly excited and hope to be able to include all of you. Debbie, I am so glad you love the name!

  6. I think this is a really neat thing, I do have one question however and it's not meant to be rude much is Hope paying you guys for this?

  7. We will be compensated for the pregnancy, but will receive far less than I normally would if I went through an agency. We will receive enough to get completely out of debt, get a reliable family vehicle, and possibly even go on a small family vacation :) This is however something that I have always wanted to do. We certainly want to make sure we are stable, but I have never once wanted it to seem like we are doing this for any amount of money.

  8. This is so not intended to sound rude but have you ever thought what if something goes completely wrong and you yourself could never have anymore children? I'm not saying anything could or would but if it did? If all the medicines you are taking will take a toll on your little body or if carrying multiples on top of you already having three of your own? Your body can only take so much.

  9. I wondered when someone would address this :) and I'm glad you did. I don't feel like you were rude at all. It is something that we ourselves had to consider and discuss. I want to dedicate a blog post to this subject, but I'm headed to work now. I will do my best later today (in the middle of getting ready for Hope) to blog a little :)

    Thanks for asking!

  10. I'm glad you didn't take it as a rude comment I was kinda nervous posting it and almost did.....twice. I re wrote it like 3 or 4 different ways to make it seem not so out there. But I bit the bullet and posted it not knowing how you might take it. I'm glad I asked. And waiting patiently for what your going to say :)
    oh and when I comment on these I'm going to start putting anonymous #2 so you know that I'm a repeat commenter and know the difference between other anonymous post. Ans the comments on your poem was me as well!

  11. I almost deleted it twice but deleted didn't make it in there.oops

  12. Sounds good, you're welcome to address yourself as anonymous #2. You could also just use your name, since I'm pretty sure I know you anyway :) But it's your call. I knew you commented on the poem, which I'm glad you liked! :)

  13. Thank you, I am and yes you do know me but im not sure if im ready to let you know exactly who i am. I wasnt sure if you would have known if it was actually me who commented. it seems like alot of people are following your blog and i liked it alot actually :)
    -anonymous #2

  14. I understand. Like I said, you are welcome to stay anonymous. But I do know who you are. You talk and write the very same way whether your name is at the top or not. Question... what does your family and friends think of all this? You said you really liked the blog. That makes me happy :) Has anyone else in your world voiced an opinion? (You don't have to use names) Just curious :) Talk to you soon