When Crystal Reagan went to the hospital to give birth for the fourth time, she already knew that she would return home without a child in her arms. But this time, Reagan’s pregnancy was not what it used to be. This time, the child in her belly, the child with whom she spoke and whom she loved, was not her or her husband. Now Reagan was in the role of a surrogate mother.
After fate gave her three charming children, Crystal decided it was time to help other women become mothers. Who is she, a female mother? What is not a simple question! The answer to it now and in many years will be just as difficult, especially for those women who fear that they will never become mothers.
Millions of American couples suffer from infertility, but due to in vitro fertilization (IVF), hundreds of thousands of these couples become parents every year. And one of the most developing ways to motherhood is the bearing of children by a third party, which is more commonly known as surrogate motherhood.
So, who are they, these women, who take barren couples into their bosom?
Crystal Reagan started a blog to talk about what it means to help another woman become a mother. Let's take a closer look at this amazing woman...
What made me decide to become a surrogate mother?
More than eight years ago, I sat in a church, listening to the prayers of a woman suffering from infertility. I already had two of my children, and this greatly impressed me. Unexpectedly, at some point I leaned over my husband and told him that I wanted to become a surrogate mother, because I had an overwhelming desire to help people like this woman who was praying in church. That's how this decision came.
How did I meet my family, for which I decided to become a surrogate mother?
I have carefully studied the issue of surrogate motherhood and decided to contact a specialized agency in my Texas. I called the agency and made an appointment to learn more about their procedures. Finally I decided to follow their proposal and filled, as it seemed to me, a ton of documents. I had to get tested to make sure I was healthy, that I had no infections or anything that could harm me or the child. I also had to undergo a psychological examination in order to be convinced of my emotional stability.
From this point on, my profile was placed in the database, and couples looking for a surrogate mother could view my profile. After some time, I met with four different couples for a two-way interview. I did not feel confident and calm with the first three couples, but as soon as I met the fourth couple, I already knew that this is the couple I would like to help.
How did my husband react to this?
Pretty simple. As I mentioned earlier, I told him that I wanted to do this, and he showed an amazing insight. He was and remains my biggest and most reliable support. He understood what it meant to me to be a surrogate mother, and fully agreed with me.
Have we told our children about our decision?
Yes. As soon as the decision was made, we immediately told our children about it. They were then 4, 6 and 9. And it happened like this. We had a book about surrogacy, and we read it with the children. After reading together, we told them that we were going to be like the family that the book was about and help the other couple make their family happy.
What did I follow when choosing a parent pair?
I really wanted to help someone who had no other choice. It certainly could not be the lady who wanted to use the surrogate because she did not need stretching. It could only be a woman for whom it was really necessary. I am a very alive person, so I needed to find a couple that would be the same alive, and would not ask me to terminate the pregnancy.
What happened next?
Next was the contract. Many, many pages in which I didn’t really understand much either. But, fortunately, I had a lawyer who helped me get through all the difficulties.
It was important not only to trust people with whom you sign a contract, but also to protect yourself and your rights. So my lawyer and I tried to provide all the conditions that protect me; parents could not ask me to refuse for any reason. I had the opportunity to terminate a pregnancy if my life was in danger, but they could not make it do it of their own free will.
For medical reasons, the genetic mother she could not use her eggs, so the donor biomaterial was used. It was necessary to do IVF to get pregnant. When the donor egg was fertilized with the sperm of a biological father, it was placed in a Petri cup, where it was kept for five days. On the fifth day, the strongest embryo was selected and implanted.
Did potential parents participate in the process of carrying the child?
Oh, yes, and very active! Of course, it was not easy, as they lived in another city, but they flew whenever possible to almost all the meetings, we constantly communicated and exchanged emails. By the time of birth, both of them were already in the hospital, so both were in the ward, and when their child was born, the father proudly cut the umbilical cord.
Do you know what I felt, knowing that this time would not be like during my own pregnancy, after which I was able to take my child home?
It was easy for me to accept it. I knew my family was full. And that was my family! But I also treated this pregnancy very carefully, like my own. Although I knew that I could not take the child home with me, I wanted him to feel loved in my womb. I didn’t want to be so detached from pregnancy, knowing that I would be ahead.
I loved this child, I sang to this baby, I stroked his little limbs when he was pressing on my stomach ... I treated him like he was mine. He needed to feel motherly love, and I tried to give him that love until his own mother had the opportunity to do so.
Are such physical and emotional experiences worth the effort?
Oh, yes! After all, I’m the reason for the birth of a little man who has a mother and father who love him. Without me, these parents could not have a child.
Their faces at the moment when I gave birth to their child and looked at them, I will never forget! I can only imagine the pain and suffering that they experienced in their struggle with infertility, but they knew that at that moment, in the hospital ward, their dream finally came true.
based on https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018